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The purpose of this meditation is to generate the wish to put effort into going for refuge to the Three Jewels.

I began with the appropriate preparations for meditation.

I then thought about how I need to put effort into receiving the blessings of Buddha, put effort into practising Dharma purely, and put effort into receiving the help of Sangha friends.

book_mtb_frnt_2At the moment I am trying to understand the difference between an inherently existent self and a self that is self supporting and substantially existent. I know that the difference is subtle. My teacher has given me all the instructions she can. It is now up to me to make effort to understand.

I need to constantly request Buddhas blessings to soften my mind, and make the meanings of the instructions clear. I need to read and re-read the instructions to become more familiar with them. I need to talk to my spiritual friends to gain their insights and to learn what these words mean.

In this way, I will make my life maningful.

Therefore, I made the determination in my meditation that I will put effort into receiving Buddha’s blessings, putting Dharma into practice and receiving the help of my spiritual friends. I repeated this determination to myself, and after a while I felt like I was receiving help from Buddha and Sangha at the same time, and this was propelling me to understand Dharma and be able to fill my life with Dharma. I focused on this feeling for the rest of the meditation.

Dedication

May all living beings receive the blessings of Buddha, and the help of Sangha, and in this way, build the Dharma Jewel in their minds.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will constantly request Buddha’s blessings, I will read and re-read the instructions on understanding the difference between the inherently existent self and the self supporting substantially existent self, and I will continue to rely upon the support and help of my dear Sangha friends.

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 develop a super strong wish to go for refuge to Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, and then to think about this wish in the light of actions and their effects.

I began the meditation by thinking about just how rare it is to find true refuge in Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. There are so many things in life to spend time doing, and taking refuge in the Three Jewels is by no means the most obviously appealing choice! I thought about a city like New York. I imagined walking along looking at the shops, the restaurants, the theatres, the clubs, the bars, the casinos… all the possible attractions that could catch the eye. All these things seem to promise happiness, but only the Three Jewels actually deliver true happiness.

I imagined turning into a beautiful Buddhist Temple – it was quiet and tranquil after the dazzling lights and beeping horns outside. I imagined walking through the temple space to stand in front of the shrine where there was an exquisite gold statue of Shakyamuni Buddha.

I prostrated and settled into a meditation posture and went for refuge to Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. I repeated in my mind – ‘I go for refuge to the Three Jewels, please bless my mind and protect me from the suffering of samsara.’ I stayed with this feeling of going to refuge – of seeking true happiness and protection. I felt a lovely expansive space open in my mind, so that it seemed like my mind filled the universe, which was empty. I kept repeating the words and focusing on their meaning, and developed a very joyful feeling of going for refuge, which I stayed with for a while.

This feeling is an action – a mental action. The effect is for me to develop deep faith in the Three Jewels and follow the path or virtue throughout all my lives. I focused on this for the rest of the meditation.

Dedication

May all living beings take refuge in the Three Jewels, and through their protection, attain the state of Buddhahood for the sake of all.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will remember that the only real protection from suffering comes from reliance upon the Three perfect Jewels.

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 generate a deep sense of going for protection to the Three Jewels, so that we can attain permanent liberation from the sufferings of samsara.

I began the meditation by remembering my fear of lower rebirth. I tried to relive the very real sense of fear I have previously generated. I then asked myself what I was going to do about this fear. I need to do something! At the moment I have good conditions but they will not last forever. I need to do something now to avoid the catastrophe awaiting me.

I generated deep faith in Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, as the objects that can actually offer me protection from my fears. An image came to mind of a vast lightless void many miles deep. I was suspended in the middle of the void in a harness, attached to a rope. Someone was pulling the rope up through a circle of light high above me. It was the only source of light. The person pulling is Buddha, who is trying to release me from the dangers of samara. The rope is Dharma, the actual means of escape. The harness is Sangha, who keep me securely attached to the Dharma.

I understood how precarious my situation is, and how I have to put my complete trust in Buddha, Dharma and Sangha to escape samsara. I focused on this feeling of trust and reliance on the three Jewels for the rest of the meditation. It felt like I had a connection with them all; a very solid connection which will be able to lead me out of the sufferings of samsara. It felt hopeful and safe.

Dedication

May all living beings take refuge in the Three Jewels, and escape samsara to become fully enlightened beings.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will keep my mind of refuge throughout the day, and recite the prayer of going for refuge as many times as possible, concentrating on the feeling I have developed in my meditation today.

The purpose of this meditation is to enable us to achieve permanent liberation from the sufferings of lower rebirth.

I began the meditation by thinking about what my precious Spiritual Guide, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso says in his book Modern Buddhism. He says that having recognised that our present human life is only a temporary release from suffering, we should seek permanent liberation by going for refuge to Buddha, Dharma and Sangha – the Three Jewels of Buddhism.

We need to make a sincere promise to go for refuge to the Three Jewels. For as long as we keep this promise, we are inside Buddhism. If we break our promise we are outside Buddhism.

I focused my mind on this thought that by going for refuge to the Three Jewels I was ‘inside Buddhism’. I let my imagination work on the idea, and slowly developed the feeling of sincerely relying upon the Three Jewels as the answers to what I am looking for. I felt that the Three Jewels formed a triangle around me and I felt like I was receiving the pure blessings of all the Buddhas. I kept the notion of going for refuge, the Three Jewels, and being inside Buddhism in my mind. It felt very beautiful and calm, and very meaningful. I stayed in this feeling for the rest of the meditation.

Dedication

Having correctly identified their true predicament, may all living beings enter Buddhism by sincerely going for refuge to the Three Jewels, and by so doing quickly attain Enlightenment for the benefit of all.

Practice in the Meditation Break

Geshe Kelsang gives the practice in the meditation break in Modern Buddhism: I will apply effort to receive the blessings of Buddha, put Dharma into practice and receive help from the Sangha.

The purpose of this meditation is to put our wish to give happiness to all living beings into practice.

I began by remembering my previous meditation – wishing love. I remembered my urge that all living beings be able to find true happiness. I let this urge fill my mind for a while.

I then took a decision: I will make this happen. I made a firm decision that I will make this happen. It felt like nothing could avert me from this path. I imagined my body becoming the nature of a wish fulfilling jewel.

I imagined a pure brilliant white light growing at my heart, slowly increasing in intensity until it filled my body. It grew and grew until it burst out of my body and rays of light extended across space to touch all the living beings ensnared in the ocean of samsara. I imagined that the light rays instantly lifted them out of the water and they transformed into enlightened beings, in the aspect of Buddha Shakyamuni.

I imagined all living beings have achieve complete and pure happiness. I felt their joy and shared in it. I remained in this feeling of universal joy for the rest of the meditation.

Dedication

May all living beings learn to give pure happiness, and become Enlightened Beings for the benefit of all.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will keep strong wish give love, happiness and assistance to all living beings.

The purpose of this meditation is to enable us to attain permanent liberation from lower rebirth.

I began the meditation by remembering that the good conditions I have at the moment are only a temporary respite from the suffering I normally experience. My experience will change and it will get far worse as I take rebirth in lower realms. I want to be free from those rebirths. I want to only take rebirth in fortunate realms, free from overwhelming suffering.

I remembered that the way to achieve this is sincerely to go for refuge to Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.

I focused on the knowledge that the only way to be free from lower rebirth is to take refuge in the Three  Jewels. I generated a humble mind which sincerely went for refuge to Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. I slowly attained a very calm smooth feeling, as if I had moved into calm peaceful waters after being tossed about on stormy waves. It seemed that there was a clear smooth path all the way to liberation – a smooth straight calm stretch of water amidst a stormy ocean.

I stayed on this feeling of being on a smooth calm expanse of water and being able to move swiftly and easily to liberation in the lee of the Three Jewels.

Dedication

May all living beings turn to Buddha, Dharma and Sangha for refuge, and attain liberation from lower rebirth, and ultimately may they attain Full Enlightenment for the benefit of all.

Practice in the meditation break

I will practice the twelve commitments of refuge, as given in Appendix V of The New Meditation Handbook.

The purpose of this meditation is to enable us to receive the powerful blessing of all the enlightened beings through our Spiritual Guide.

I began the meditation by thinking about my Spiritual Guide. He is the one who is providing me with correct instructions on how to live my life. I cannot find these instructions anywhere else – and I have looked. The holy Dharma is the method for use to become free from sufferings, and it is my Spiritual Guide who is giving these instructions to me. How kind he is.

My Spiritual Guide is the manifestation of all the Buddhas, so when I rely on him sincerely, I open my heart to the blessings of all the Buddhas. I generated a strong wish to rely on my Spiritual Guide and I felt a flood of blessings from all the Buddhas flow through him and into my body, and my very subtle mind. I felt the blessings entering my heart, and I felt my whole body and mind filled with their energy and virtuous potential. I let myself be completely filled, and stayed with the feeling of energy, virtue and protection for the rest of the meditation.

Dedication

May all living beings quickly find a Spiritual Guide and attain Full Enlightenment through sincere reliance on them.

Practice in the meditation break

I will keep a mind of reliance on my Spiritual Guide for the whole of the day and night. I will rely on his instructions and teachings in all my actions of body, speech and mind.

The purpose of this meditation is to generate a strong wish to attain enlightenment for the benefit of all – the supreme mind of Bodhichitta.

I began the meditation by looking at the whole of the Lamrim. I remembered how my life is the perfect basis to attain enlightenment, that I will die soon, like Andrea; that my actions will create my future and that the way to gain true meaning in my life it to go for refuge to the Three Jewels. I remembered that there is no real happiness in samsara so I need to gain liberation to be free. I remembered that I am not alone in samsara – all other living beings have been my mother and they are all trapped in this prison of suffering. I remembered my actions of taking and giving, and how these actions purify my negativities. Finally I recognised that although I have a strong wish to free all living beings from suffering, there is only one way I can actually do this: I need to become a Buddha for the benefit of all.

I focused on this wish and brought the final result into my life. I imagined that I had become a Buddha. I felt completely free, and completely in contact with all living beings. I was with them all simultaneously. I was able to bless their minds and give them peace of mind. I was able to manifest as Spiritual Guides, and lead them on the path to Enlightenment. I felt like I was everywhere at the same time, and pervaded by golden light. It felt peaceful, expansive and beautiful. All the time I kept the recognition that I have not achieved this yet, but it is my one and only true aspiration for my life. I stayed with this mind for the rest of the meditation.

Dedication

May all living beings develop and fulfil the aspiration to attain Enlightenment for the sake of all living beings.

Practice in the meditation break

I will try to recognise the truth of all Lamrim minds in my daily life and use everything I see as a reason why I need to become Enlightened as quickly as possible for the sake of all living beings.

Modern Buddhism

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