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I began by making the appropriate preparations for meditation. I then cleared my mind using breathing meditation.

I began by reconnecting with my previous meditation on great compassion. I imagined all my friends, all my family, and all living beings of the six realms gathered in the space in front of me being crushed by the weight of their suffering.

I contemplated the kindness and the suffering and again I found the feeling difficult to bear.

I then made a firm decision that I need to do something about this. I cannot let this continue. I imagined all the pain and suffering rising out of them in the form of thick black smoke. As the suffering left them I saw them become relieved and happy. The physical suffering was gone, the mental suffering was gone, the illness was gone, their anxiety was gone. 

I drew this black smoke towards me and slowly it gather together and entered my heart and completely destroyed myself cherishing mind. Every last bit of the smoke into my heart and completely destroyed myself cherishing mind.

At the end of this process I contemplated: “all living beings are freed from the suffering. I am free from my thought that I am more important than others. ”

I left a feeling of deep peace and joy spread through my mind as I contemplate complete freedom from suffering.

May all living beings be permanently free from suffering.

Today is the day we in the UK make a special point of remembering the dead from all wars. 

 We use the poppy as a symbol of remembrance. 
The poppy reminds me of the suffering of others, and how we should try to feel others’ suffering as if it were our own. If fact, the suffering of others IS our own suffering. Athough we cannot feel it directly, it exists within our mind, so to feel the suffering of others as if it were our own is to experience the reality of the situation more correctly than we normally do. 

The poppy reminds me that we should try to mentally take on the suffering of others, and give them perfect happiness. May we all be able to do this. 

The purpose of this meditation is to generate a strong sense if lifting out the sufferings of others.

I made the appropriate preparations for meditation and then set up my object. I considered how kind all living beings are, and how they suffer constantly.

One does not have to look far to see suffering. I thought of my mother- and father-in-law. She is suffering from dementia and is slowly losing her memory and faculties. My farther in law is watching helplessly as his life partner slowly drifts away from him, in a long goodbye.

I thought of their situation and was filled with compassion. Then I decided that compassion is not enough. I need to do more. I concentrated on them and decided that because of the truth of emptiness, their suffering and them selves are not the same thing. I separated them, and their suffering manifested as black smoke surrounding them. I inhaled their suffering and brought it down into my heart, to destroy my self-cherishing mind. They are so kind to give me their suffering. When I looked again they were youthful and in love, ballroom dancing lightly out of view.

I focused on peace and joy at their freedom and my success.

Dedication

May all living beings find direct release from all their suffering.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will take the sufferings of others and share their happiness and joy.

The purpose of this meditation is to take on our own future suffering, and then to take on all the sufferings of all other living beings.

I began by making the appropriate preparations for meditation and then, with my Guru at my heart, looked along my timeline and imagined the sufferings I have in store. Sufferings of ageing, sickness and death; having to encounter what I do not like, having to be separated from what I like, and failing to satisfy my wishes.

FreeI imagined all these sufferings taking the form of black smoke and bringing it towards me here and now. I imagined all the suffering dissolving into my heart, and bore the suffering fearlessly, with patience acceptance as solid as a mountain and as still at the depths of an ocean. I recognised that for the rest of my life, I will never suffer. I felt completely free and relaxed.

I stayed with that feeling for a while.

Then I imagined the universe of suffering living beings. I wished them to be free from their suffering, and then imagined that their suffering left them in the aspect of black smoke. A cloud of black smoke swirled slowly around me the size and shape of a dark galaxy. Then the smoke started to gather closer to me, freeing others of their suffering. I watched the smoke come closer and dissolve into my heart, destroying the last traces of my self cherishing mind.

I thought:

‘I am free from suffering. All living beings are free from suffering. We are completely free.’

I focused on this blissful thought for the rest of the meditation.

Dedication

May all living beings be free from their suffering. I myself will achieve this.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will try to always see others as suffering, even if they look ok. Simply being in samsara is to suffer, therefore I need to practice taking for their sake.

The purpose of this meditation is to take on the suffering of all living beings.

I began with the appropriate preparations for meditation and then brought to mind my cherishing of all living beings. They are the doorways out of samsara. When I think of them, I am filled with great gratitude and cherishing love. Then I thought of how they suffer, and how unbearable it is – how many tears!

I brought to mind my friend, and pulled out his suffering in the form of black smoke. It left him, and he was free from his suffering. I brought the smoke into my heart, and destroyed my self-cherishing mind completely. I then brought in all the sufferings of all other living beings in the form of black smoke. Although my self-cherishing mind was destroyed, I still brought the smoke into its traces and destroyed them too.

Then all living beings were free from suffering, and my self-cherishing mind was completely destroyed. I felt like I had no ‘I’ at all. With no self-cherishing, I felt as if my I was completely irrelevant. I felt like all that existed was others – others to cherish and to lose myself in. It was lovely, and I focused on it for the rest of the meditation.

Dedication

May all living beings be free from their sufferings.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I shall lose myself in others.

Today’s meditation was taking and giving.

I thought about how all living beings are suffering in one way or another, and how they cannot find happiness.

I imagined breathing in the suffering of those around me, and breathing out all my merit to them. They were freed from their suffering and filled with permanent happiness. I then thought about everyone in my neighbourhood, and did the same. Then everyone in my town. Then everyone on my country. Then all living beings in the world. Then all living beings in the universe.

As I progressed through these spheres, I felt that suffering was gradually leaving this place, and was being replaced by true happiness.

Finally, all living beings experienced happiness, and all the suffering in the universe was at my heart. I let it destroy my self-cherishing, and I too was free from all my suffering.

Now all was happiness, and I focused on this feeling.

Dedication

My I directly and indirectly offer help and happiness to all my mothers, and secretly take upon myself all their harm and suffering.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will try to take and give.

The purpose of this meditation is to generate a strong feeling of having purified all suffering and established pervading happiness.

I made the appropriate preparations for meditation and the practiced taking on the suffering of a dear friend, mentally taking his suffering and dissolving it into my heart until it completely destroyed my self cherishing mind.

I then generated myself as a wish fulfilling jewel that radiated pure healing light. Light rays filled my friend and then spread to all living beings and filled then with pure happiness.

I focused on this happiness and freedom for the rest of the meditation.

Dedication

May I and all living beings join in destroying negativities, and giving pure happiness.

Practice in the Mediation Break

I will try to mount giving and taking upon the breath.

This mornings meditation was about taking.

Following the appropriate preparations, I began the meditation by calling to mind my friend from Canada. I developed affectionate love then cherishing love for him, then contemplated how he must be feeling. I felt great sorrow and a strong sense of wishing him to be free.

I imagined his suffering rising out of him like black smoke and gathering in my heart. It destroyed my self cherishing, and I felt that we were both free of suffering. In fact I felt I was free of my sense of self altogether. After all, it is only my self cherishing that makes my self seem so solid and important.

I rested my mind on the idea of no self for the rest of the meditation. It felt wonderfully light and blissfully peaceful.

Dedication

May all living beings be free from suffering.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will continue to imagine taking the suffering of others.

The purpose of this meditation is to degrade and destroy my self-cherishing by taking on the sufferings of others.

Today I had the news that a dear friend has a suspected growth in his lung. I focused on him, and imagined being with him in his island home. I imagined his problem rising from him in the aspect of black smoke. As the smoke gathered towards me, I could see him take deep breaths of salty fresh air, free from worry and sadness.

The smoke came to me and dissolved into my heart, destroying my self cherishing. I imagined everyone in the world who has the same worries, and took on their suffering also. Their black smoke completely destroyed my self-cherishing, and I felt completely free from suffering myself.

I focused on us all being free from suffering.

Dedication

May we all be free from mental and physical suffering.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will continue to take on others suffering mentally, and imagine my own self-cherishing being destroyed.

The purpose of this meditation was to take on my own future suffering and the suffering of all living beings.

I began by making the appropriate preparations for meditation and then settled to contemplate my current suffering – my blocked ears.  Not permanent or life threatening thankfully, but still disruptive and distressing. I reminded myself that this is a sign of the suffering and illness that is inevitable. At the age of 46, my body will soon start to become more and more ill. I contemplated how I will become subject to more and more illnesses as I age, and then, my reward for enduring this suffering will be death.

I brought all this suffering to mind, and imagined it as black smoke. I brought the smoke into my heart and let it destroy my self-cherishing. Free from self-cherishing, I am also free from suffering. Although my body will decay, I will remain untroubled, and free from suffering. I focused in this feeling for a while, and then thought about how all my kind mothers are in the same position, I took on their sufferings too.

I focused on all our sufferings being gone, and developed joy. I remained on this thought for the rest of the meditation,

Dedication

May all living beings be free from their suffering.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will try to remain mindful of my love for all living beings, and take on their suffering.

Modern Buddhism

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