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The purpose of this meditation was to generate a perfect intention throughout all my actions.

I began by making the appropriate preparations for meditation, and then thought about all the suffering in the world. Every day on the internet and in my own life I see how people and animals are suffering. These are not disconnected entities – they Buddhaare my kind mothers, who have been so kind to me in the past and still facilitate my life today. I thought about how I wish them to be free from their suffering, and how I wish that they could find permanent happiness.

How can I achieve this? I can achieve this by becoming a Buddha with omniscient wisdom – a being that can know and help every single living being constantly. I willed myself to become such a being.

After a while I thought about what this means in my daily life. I need to mix all my actions with the six perfections. This will by my life from now until I attain enlightenment. I must maintain a perfect intention to attain enlightenment for the benefit of others throughout all my actions. I focused on this wish for the rest of the meditation.

Dedication

May all living beings be freed from their suffering quickly and without delay.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will think about all my actions in terms of my motivation.

The purpose of this meditation is to generate the strong wish to become able to take away the sufferings of others, and to give pure happiness, and to experience permanent bliss, in other words, to become an enlightened being. Then we consider what this means in light of wishing love.

I began by doing breathing meditation, relaxing my body and my heart, and then mixing my mind with my Spiritual Guide’s mind. After a while of floating in blissful emptiness, I moved on to the main meditation.

I began by thinking about the main object of the meditation: Bodhichitta, the wish to become a Buddha for the benefit of all. I thought about the benefits of Bodhichitta, and focused on the way in which I will be able to fulfil my wishes to help others perfectly. I imagined what it would be like to be able to help others with perfectly skilful means. I would be able to reach all living beings instantly and understand their needs mistakenly  I thought about these points and felt a wish to become a Buddha arise in my heart.

Then I thought about how I can become a Buddha. I am one end of a mental continuum – the other end is a Buddha. It felt like I was looking down a tube of light, with myself at one end and a Buddha at the other. I am connected to my ultimate state, and I need to propel myself along this continuum as quickly as possible so that I can reach Buddhahood as soon as possible. My Spiritual Guide has told me all the things I need to do in order to move along the continuum, and all I need to do is exactly as he says. That way I will make the quickest progress.

I imagined creating the causes to become a Buddha as quickly as possible, and attaining that exalted state quickly for the benefit of others. I really wished that this will happen, and resolved to move along the path.  I focused on this wish to move towards Buddhahood for the rest of the meditation.

After a while I thought about what this means in terms of wishing love. Bodhichitta is the best way of fulfilling my wishing love and also my compassion. Once again, I saw how all the Lamrim objects compliment each other and present the Dharma is a beautiful and logical progression. With this in mind I returned to my sincere and humble wish to become a Buddha for the benefit of all.

Dedication

Through the virtues I have collected through practising the stages of the path, may I and all living beings become enlightened beings.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will try to maintain the beautiful experience of mixing my mind with my Guru’s mind, and wishing to become a Buddha for the benefit of all.

The purpose of this meditation is to generate the overriding wish to attain enlightenment for the benefit of all living beings, and then to meditate on this wish in light of the kindness of others.

I began with some breathing meditation, calming my mind and dissolving my body into emptiness.

I then started thinking about he main object of meditation – Bodhichitta. In The New Meditation Handbook (see the left-hand sidebar), Geshe Kelsang says that we need to remember our cherishing love and also our intentions while taking and giving. He says that cherishing love is like a field, compassion is like seeds sewn in the field, and taking and giving are like the perfect growing conditions. Bodhichitta is the harvest.

I thought about how I cherish all living beings, and then I thought about how I take their suffering upon myself and give them pure happiness. All these points merged together to produce a very strong feeling of loving and helping others.

I stayed with that for a while, and then thought about how I want to be able to do this for real, not just in my imagination. The only way I can really do this is by becoming an enlightened being – by purifying my mind so that all my obstructions and limitations disappear.

I thought about this wish and felt it fill my mind. I was filled with a desire to follow the path and become a Buddha for the benefit of all. I let it sink into my mind, and stayed with it for a long while.

I then thought about what this means in terms of the kindness of all living beings.

In the past living beings have helped me, and they continue to do so. By becoming a Buddha I will be able to repay their kindness finally and completely. How wonderful! With this in mind I focused back on my wish to become a Buddha, and stayed with it for the rest of the meditation.

Dedication

May all living beings develop the supreme wish to become enlightened beings, and quickly follow the path to its end.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will try to remember my wish to attain enlightenment throughout the day.

The purpose of this meditation is to generate Bodhichitta – the spontaneous wish to attain enlightenment for the benefit of all living beings, and then to meditate on this wish in light of the fact that all living beings are our mother.

I began by doing some breathing meditation, and quickly settled into a smooth and blissful state. From there I began the main meditation by reviewing the whole Lamrim up to this point.

I now have a precious human life which will come to an end soon. My future happiness depends on my actions right now, so I need to always think and act in virtuous ways. Although I can improve my samsaric experience to a certain extent, it will always be pervaded by suffering, so I need to escape samsara altogether. I can do this by training my mind. But once I am free, what of others?

My perceptions of others is deceptive and although they seem very varied, they are in fact all my kind mothers from this and previous lives. As they are my kind mother, I naturally love them. And understanding that true happiness comes from loving others and abandoning self-cherishing, I determined to cherish them totally. They experience suffering, and I imagined taking away their suffering. They lack true happiness and I imagine giving them happiness.

This taking and giving produces good results but I want to be able to do this in reality – I want to have the actual power to take and give. The only way I can do this is to perfect my mind and become a Buddha.

I focused on this wish to become a Buddha for the sake of all my mothers.

I thought about my mother of his life. She loves me so much – she would do anything for me if she could. If she knew how to free me from my suffering she would do everything she could to free me. But now the opportunity is mine. It is my responsibility to free her from her prison. Her and every one of my other kind mothers, who would free me in a heartbeat if they could.

I generated a very strong feeling of love and obligation towards my mothers, and a strong determination to attain complete perfection of mind so I can free them. I will set them free! I focused on this wish for a while.

I then thought about what this means in light of the fact that all living beings are my mother. I have already incorporated this notion into my meditation so I kept this recognition especially strong as I returned to my main object – the wish to become enlightened for the benefit of all.

Dedication

May the virtues I have generated in this meditation be the cause of enlightenment for all living beings, and may then experience the bliss of enlightenment quickly.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will keep the mind of enlightenment throughout the day, and the rest of my life.

The purpose of this meditation is to develop the supreme wish to become an enlightened being for the benefit of all, and then to contemplate and meditate on this wish in the light of our refuge practice.

I began the meditation by thinking about how I have developed cherishing love for all kind mother beings, and how they cannot find happiness and constantly face suffering. I have practised taking their suffering and giving them pure happiness in meditation, but how wonderful it would be to actually have the power to do this! How wonderful it would be to bless the minds of living beings, to dispel their confusion and suffering and to show them the way to achieve their own freedom from samsara.

I thought about one of the lines of the Prayer of the Stages of the Path:

May I … take delight in holy Dharma.

I want to become a Buddha to fee all living beings from suffering. Every step on that journey will be delightful because of its goal.

An image of a stairway to heaven came to mind, where the heaven was Buddhahood and the stairway was my path of Lamrim. Every step will fill me with delight as I climb – never taking my eyes off the destination.

I repeated the words ‘I must become a Buddha for the benefit of all’, and felt a huge determination to practice all the stages of the path, to purify my obstructions, to perfect my concentration and to reach that supreme goal. I stayed with this feeling of delight and determination for a while.

I then thought about what this means in the light of my refuge practice. It is clear that my refuge practice is the very foundation of this path – everything begins with unshakeable faith in the Three Jewels. I returned to my feeling of determination with the added dimension of it all arising out of my refuge practice.

Dedication

May all beings find their path and follow it to the peak of perfection.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will put all the teachings I have heard into practice and try to keep Bodhichitta as my default attitude.

Meditation 4/18

The purpose of this meditation is to generate the motivation of Bodhichitta, the wish to attain enlightenment for the sake of all living beings.

I began by remembering my wish to attain liberation from samsara – my renunciation. I then went on to think about how all living beings will still be trapped in samsara even though I have escaped. I cannot possibly leave my kind mothers trapped in samsara. They have been so kind to me in life after life. They are constantly tormented by sufferings, and constantly frustrated in their wish to find true happiness.

I thought about my compassion for them, and my wish that they be free from their suffering, and I thought about my practice of taking and giving, where I mentally take away their suffering, and give them all the happiness they wish for.

I felt a deep wish to be able to do this for real. I want them to be free. I stayed with this wish for them to be free for a while, and then I turned my attention to what this wish means in the context of my precious human life. My precious human life allows me to generate the most virtuous intention of all. Of all the minds I can generate, Bodhichitta is the most sublime. To have the opportunity to generate this mind is so very, very rare it is almost unimaginable.

Once again I felt a deep appreciation of the opportunity I have to practice the Great Scope meditations of Lamrim, and to try to generate  a pure mind of Bodhichitta. I focused on this wish, recognising its rarity and preciousness.

Towards the end of the meditation I found myself say the words ‘may we all be free’, and with the word ‘free’ it felt like my mind and the minds of all living beings had become enlightened all at the same time, and I felt a rising, cleansed and completely pure feeling of being free from samsara. It was like my mind had gone into a completely new gear, and I stayed in this rapture for a while until it settled into a beautiful clear and pure feeling. I remained in that feeling for the rest of the meditation.

Deditation

May all living beings develop the supreme mind of Bodhichitta, and fulfil this wish for the benefit of all.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will try to maintain this virtuous intention my constantly asking myself if the actions I am engaging in are bringing me closer or taking me further away from my goal.

Meditation 1/18

The purpose of this meditation is to develop the firm wish to become a Buddha, so that we can attain the actual ability to help all living beings.

I began the meditation by remembering my compassion for all living beings and my wish that they could find true happiness. I remembered my practice of taking and giving, and the joy I felt at being able help all living beings. Then I recognised that in order to actually do this, I need to become a Buddha.

As Geshe-la says in Eight Steps to Happiness:

“Only a Buddha is free from all faults and limitations and has both the omniscient wisdom and the skill to help each and every sentient being in accordance with his or her individual needs and dispositions.”

I thought about how wonderful it would be if I could become a Buddha and help all living beings. It seemed to me that if I could really achieve the ability to help all living beings, then I need to do it without delay. How could I even think about anything else? Everything I do needs to be helping achieve that result.

I let my mind focus on this wish to become a Buddha for the benefit of all. I felt full of determination and resolve, to achieve the only completely worthwhile aim. I stayed with this feeling for the rest of the meditation.

Dedication

May all living beings develop the precious mind of Bodhichitta, the wish to become a Buddha, and may they realise that wish.

Practice in the Meditation Break

In Eight Steps to Happiness, Geshe-la explains that we should transform all our daily activities into the spiritual path. We should transform our lives into the path to enlightenment. Mundane activities are only mundane if they are undertaken with a mundane mind. Therefore I will try to mix my actions with the Six Perfections from now on.

The purpose of this meditation is to generate the strong wish to attain enlightenment.

I began the meditation by thinking about how all living beings have been my kind mothers, and that they cannot find happiness. They constantly endure suffering.

I thought about Bob Geldof. He saw the suffering of others and worked to mobilise millions of people to donate huge sums of money to help them. He did something amazing.

I thought about how although Bob Geldof did so much for others, the benefits were only temporary. Their suffering was alleviated for a short time, but the sufferings of sickness, ageing and death are still theirs. And their future lives will still contain continuous suffering.

I thought about enlightenment. If I can attain enlightenment I will be able to help all living beings find permanent release from suffering. I will be able to help Bob Geldof, and give him permanent happiness. All living beings deserve a better reward for all their kindness.

I thought about all these things, and reached the conclusion that I need to achieve a Buddha’s enlightenment for the benefit of all. I felt like it was the only thing I had ever wanted – the wish filled me. I stayed with it for the rest of the meditation.

Dedication

May all living beings develop the perfect mind of Bodhichitta and become enlightened beings.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will maintain Bodhichitta throughout the day and night.

The purpose of this meditation is to generate Bodhichitta: the firm wish. motivated by compassion, to attain enlightenment for the sake of all living beings.

I began the meditation by remembering all my Great Scope meditations. I remembered that all living beings were my mother; that they are all very kind; that I love them more than I love myself; that they are in a constant state of suffering, and cannot find happiness; and that my sincerest wish is to free them from their samsara.

Although I want them to be free, I know I cannot make this happen in my present limited form. I need to transform myself into a being who is able to help all living beings directly. I need to become a Buddha for the benefit of all. I need to do this quickly.

I thought about how I would feel if a loved one was in pain, and I needed to find a cure. I thought about parents who discover that their child has an incurable illness. They spend all day and night thinking about how they want to cure their child. They educate themselves through books and on the internet, and by attending conferences all over the world. They devote themselves completely to finding a cure for their child, and they let nothing stand in their way.

I tried to borrow their feeling of wishing their child could be cured, and apply it to my wish to cure all living beings of their suffering. I was filled with an urgent need to become a Buddha. I needed to work day and night, before one more person takes a lower rebirth. I let this feeling of urgency and determination fill my mind and tried to stay with it for the rest of the meditation.

Dedication

May all living beings develop the wish to attain Great  Enlightenment for the benefit of all beings throughout samsara.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will remember my wish to become an Enlightened Being, to free all living beings from the sufferings of samsara.

The purpose of this meditation is to practise generating a very stable concentrated mind.

I chose Bodhichitta as my object of Tranquil Abiding because in the example 7-day Lamrim retreat described by Geshe-la in Appendix IV of The New Meditation Handbook, Bodhichitta is suggested as the object for the Tranquil Abiding meditation.  (How wonderful it would be to have the opportunity to practice four sessions of this meditation on the same day!).

I generated Bodhichitta in the same way that I did yesterday in my meditation, then I focused on mixing my mind with the feeling completely. I became Bodhichitta. Bodhichitta was all I could see and feel. I was completely mixed with Bodhichitta – I was Bodhichitta.

I kept this recognition for the whole of the meditation, and when I detected that my mind was losing this feeling, I renewed it by reminding myself of the feeling. I let it fill me again and again. It was superb. Joy after Joy.

Dedication

May all living beings practice Tranquil Abiding and generate completely stable and pure minds, filled with love, compassion and Bodhichitta. May they all become Enlightened Beings.

Practice in the meditation break

I will try to keep my mind mixed with Bodhichitta, and everything I see, touch and think about will be mixed with this precious mind.

Modern Buddhism

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