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The purpose of this meditation is to make the determination to abandon worldly distractions, and then to see what this means in light of the practice of giving.

I began by mixing my mind with my Guru’s mind, and filling the space with peace and stillness. It felt complete calm and peaceful. After a while I moved on…

I began by thinking about how I often see posts from my Facebook friends asking for prayers for their friends or relations who are sick or who have died. I see these posts all the time. I asked myself – am I any different from these people who are very sick or who have died? Can I alone avoid sickness and death? Because that is how I act. I behave like I will never die or become sick.

An image came to me of being in a train station’s waiting room. The room was filled with books, games and toys – full of distractions to pass the time. Lots of people were there, but acting like children, becoming engrossed and distracted by the items in the waiting room, which they will have to abandon when their train comes. When the time comes to go, they will have a leave their distractions behind, whether the game is finished or not. They will be childishly unhappy to leave the game unfinished and their playmates behind. But this is how I am – I engross myself in worldly attachments forgetting that I will have to leave them all behind when death comes and I have to go.

So what does the wise traveller do? The wise traveller concentrates on what he can take with him on the journey, rather than what has to be left behind. I imagined reading a small Dharma book. I can take Dharma with me on my journey. I focused my mind on the idea of mixing myself with Dharma while I have the chance. After a while I was filled with the feeling that when death comes, I will have no fear and no regrets. I will leave the waiting room freely and without hesitation, because I can control where the train is going. I focused on this feeling of no fear, no regrets and control, mixed with the idea of mixing my mind with Dharma, and kept my attention on the feeling for a while.

I then wondered what this means in light of the practice of giving.

Giving is one of the Dharma practices which I should spend my life engaged in. Giving is one of the six perfections, and can be incorporated into all our daily activities. Therefore, I returned to my feeling of mixing my mind with Dharma, with a special recognition that giving is part of my practice. It felt very meaningful, and I focused on this feeling for the rest of the meditation.

Dedication

May all living beings come to understand and remember that they are in a waiting room, and by deciding to fill their lives with Dharma, may they quickly attain enlightenment for the benefit of all.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will try to remember that I am in a waiting room, and use my time wisely.

The purpose of this meditation is to generate the strong conviction that all living beings have achieved true happiness, and then to meditate on this in light of the practice of exchanging self with others.

I began as usual with some breathing meditation, while mixing my mind with my Guru’s mind, and feeling his stability and depth. After this, I moved on to the main meditation.

I started by remembering equanimity, and then the kindness of all living beings. This filled me with a sense of gratitude and the wish to repay their kindness. I then thought about their wish to be happy and how (from my previous meditation) they are like seeds beneath the ground, unable to grow because they are in darkness.

I imagined that my body became a wish-fulfilling-jewel – like sun, which radiated pure Dharma light so strong that it could penetrate the ground, and cause the seeds to grow. They grew and broke the surface of the ground. They then quickly grew into full plants with flat lotus flowers. On each of these flowers, the living beings manifested as Buddhas – completely and perfectly happy all the time.

I felt my light radiating out from my heart, and touching all these Buddhas, and I experienced delight at their achievement. I focused on this feeling of satisfaction and delight for a time.

After a while I thought about the practice of exchanging self with others.

It seemed to me that my success at giving happiness to others depends on the strength of my exchanging self with others. It is only if I can completely exchange myself with others that I will be able to engage in giving properly and successfully. With this in mind, I brought the idea of exchanging self with others into the practice of giving true happiness to all living beings, and with the image of fields of perfectly happy Buddhas atop beautiful lotus flowers, I settled my mind into the exquisite feeling of shared pure happiness.

Dedication

May all living beings attain the state of pure happiness for the benefit of all, and through their practice may they be the cause of fields of perfect lotus flowers.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will try to give happiness to others, either in reality or mentally through dedication of merit.

The purpose of this meditation is to generate the strong belief that through our collection of merit and our virtuous intention, we have successfully given true, lasting happiness to all living beings, and then to meditate on this wish in the light of equanimity.

I began with some breathing meditation and gradually calmed my mind until it was quite relaxed and stable.

I then started thinking about how all living beings are constantly searching for happiness, but cannot find it. All then find is changing suffering.

I decided that this would have to stop, and that they must find true happiness. I made the firm decision ‘I will give all living beings true happiness’. I imagined a metamorphosis within my body, and my flesh and bones gradually transformed beneath my skin into the nature of a wish fulfilling jewel. As the change became complete, light rays began to radiate out of my body. First they touched my parents, and I saw them happy together once more. Then the rays touched my family, my friends, everyone I know, and then all other living beings. I imagined the rays reaching all the living beings in all six realms of samsara, and giving each one pure, lasting happiness. I felt their relief and joy with every  being I pictured, and I felt completely filled with peace and joy. I stayed with this feeling for a while.

I then moved on to think about what this means in the light of equanimity. My warm and friendly feeling towards others is the seed of this joy I am feeling now. It is completely part of this feeling and at the core of it. With this recognition I returned to imagining that all living beings had found true happiness and that this was actually reality.

Dedication

May all living beings see that all the happiness in the world comes from wishing others to be happy, and through this practice experience everlasting happiness and joy.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will try to imagine light rays emanating from my heart today, touching all the living beings I meet and giving them pure happiness.

The purpose of this meditation is to generate the strong belief that we have the ability to give happiness to all living beings, and then to meditate on this wish on the basis of our refuge practice.

I began the meditation by remembering my commitments of not practising training the mind with partiality – in other words thinking that I will practice patience etc. towards one  person but not another. I also was mindful of my commitments not follow delusions or wait in ambush. All these attitudes drip poison into our minds and are the opposite of pure Dharma practice.

I thought about how appearances are deceptive, and how people who seem to be causing problems are kind because they give us the opportunity to practice patience and unbiased love.

I then thought about how all living beings are struggling to find true happiness in this world. They try so hard but true happiness eludes them. I decided that through the blessings of Buddha I would give happiness to all living beings. I transformed by body into the nature of a wish fulfilling jewel, and light rays emanated from the heart of the jewel, touching all living beings. As soon as the light rays touched them, they experienced pure happiness. They experienced pure happiness and joy, and through my connection with them, I experienced it too. It was wonderful. I believed with all my heart that all living beings were truly happy at last, without even a trace of suffering or sadness.

I stayed with the feeling for a while.

I then thought about what this means in the light of my refuge practice. Surely this is the ultimate aim of my refuge practice – to gain the actual ability to bestow pure happiness upon all living beings. My refuge practice is the foundation and giving is the peak of my attainments. I meditated on this for the rest of the meditation.

Dedication

May all living beings follow their path to enlightenment free from obstruction by interferences, and gain the supreme ability to give blessings by becoming a Buddha for the benefit of all.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will remember my commitments of training the mind and how delusions poison my mind lead me into suffering. I will practice giving happiness from my heart to everyone I meet, and pray for the happiness of all other living beings.

The purpose of this meditation is to put our wishing love into practice within the context of our precious human life.

I began the meditation by thinking about my feeling of wishing love. I tried to re-establish the feeling of desperately wanting all living beings to find true, everlasting happiness. I then developed the intention that I would make this happen.

I mentally transformed my body into the nature of a wish fulfilling jewel, sparkling with clear light. I imagined my body growing brighter and brighter, and rising into the sky to shine like the sun over the whole of samsara. I imagined my light rays penetrating the whole of samsara – even the darkest corners. I imagined that all living beings were bathed in this light, and instantly found true, everlasting happiness.

This was what they had been searching for all their life – all their lives since beginningless time. In each of their lives they have searched for true happiness and have never found it, until now. I recognised how profound it was that they had finally found true, everlasting happiness.

I felt a deep happiness flow from all living beings back into me, and then back to them. We were joined in this beautiful feeling of happiness and joy. I stayed in this feeling for a while.

I then considered what this meant in terms of my precious human life. My precious human life gives me the opportunity to give all living beings true, everlasting happiness! This opportunity is so rare – how special! The joy in my mind seemed even more special and precious, and I stayed with this feeling for the rest of the meditation.

Dedication

May all living beings put their wishing love into practice, and through gaining familiarity, become able to actually do so as fully enlightened Buddhas.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will practice mentally giving happiness everyone I meet.

The purpose of this meditation is to practice giving love to others.

I began the meditation by recalling my previous meditation on wishing love. I brought to mind my sincere wish that all other living beings find true happiness.

I then took the decision that I will make this happen. I will take responsibility for ensuring that all living beings attain pure everlasting happiness. With this determination, I transformed my body into the nature of a wish fulfilling jewel, radiating pure white light in all directions. These rays of light touched all living beings as gave them pure happiness. I felt like the blessings of all the Buddhas were passing through me to all living beings. I felt joined to the Buddhas and joined to all living beings, and we were all filled with peace and joy; freedom and happiness.

I occupied this feeling for the rest of the meditation.

Dedication

May all living beings attain the realisation of giving, and thereby attain enlightenment quickly for the benefit of all.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will practice the four givings with the motivation and belief that I am giving pure happiness throughout the day.

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.

I began the meditation where I left of in the last one. I re-established the image of all living beings working so hard to find happiness, but not finding it.I remembered my wish for them to find true happiness.

I then formed the determination that I would see that this happens. I will take responsibility for ensuring all living beings find happiness. I made this decision firm in my mind, and felt a firmness in my mind. I imagined a light slowly growing in my heart. It got brighter until it filled my body with light. I felt that I was completely happy and secure. Then the light rays extended outside my body, and reached living beings nearby. They instantly found true and lasting happiness. The light rays multiplied and continued extending further and further, touching al living beings. Eventually the whole universe was filled with light from my body, and all living beings in the universe had found true, lasting happiness.

I felt like all living beings were part of the same body, united in a feeling of happiness and security. It was a feeling of sheer bliss. I stayed with this feeling for the rest of the meditation.

Dedication

May all living beings, including myself, become able to bestow true lasting happiness upon all living beings by becoming enlightened beings.

Practice in the meditation break

In this break, I will mentally imagine light rays emanating from my body, and touching all the people and animals I meet, and I will pray that through my practice of giving, they may find true happiness.

I began the meditation by bringing to mind how I feel about my children. I love them and I want them to be happy. I thought about how I don’t just wish for them to be happy – I take action for their happiness. In fact it is almost effortless to act to make them happy.

I thought about my previous meditation and how all living beings wish for happiness in samsara, but cannot find it. I then made the determination ‘I will give them pure permanent happiness’. I imagined that through the power of this superior intention and my accumulated merit, my body slowly transformed into a large pure diamond. And inside the diamond there was a bright pure light. This light got brighter and brighter until it filled the diamond. Then its brightness increased so that it illuminated more and more of samsara until it completely filled the whole of samsara with dazzling pure white light. All living beings were bathed in this light.

Their delusions were immediately blown away by the wind of the light, leaving only their pure Buddha-nature. They instantly became Buddhas and experienced pure peace and happiness. They felt pure, stable, content and completely filled with profound happiness. And I shared their feeling. Through the light they were all connected and I was connected to every single one of them. We were all the same entity in a massive universe of purity. One part of my mind remained aware that I will make this happen.

I remained in this blissful state for the rest of the meditation.

I began the meditation once again by calling to mind the fact that all living beings have been my kind mother in the past, and that during that time they showed me immense kindness. I called to mind my gratitude to them.

Then I considered that they search desperately all their lives for true happiness, but they cannot find it. Instead they create the causes for future suffering, like a person eating supposedly wholesome food not realising it is laced with poison.

I generated the wish that they could all find permanent happiness. I then decided that I would personally ensure that each and every living being can find peace and happiness.

On the basis of this wish, my accumulated merit and the blessings of the holy beings, I visualised my body and mind transforming into a big clear diamond.  I imagined a light in the centre of the diamond, growing stronger and stronger, lighting up the diamond from within.  The light quickly became very bright, so that the diamond was lost in a mass of brilliant clear light.  The light from my body and mind filled the whole of samsara, and instantly reached every single living being, giving them peace and happiness.  I firmly recognised that this was happening, and that the rays of light were causing them to acheive peace and happiness.

I felt very light, full of clear, powerful pure light.  I felt purity flowing through me and all of samsara into all living beings. I felt a profound joy.

I focused on this feeling for the rest of the meditation.

Something unexpected: As I did so, I recognised that I was connected directly to all living beings.  I felt that the light from my body and mind revealed the connection between us all, and I felt close to and inseparable from all living beings.  I brought this into my recongition.

Even now as I write, I can feel this light, and this connection to all living beings, and the profound joy of them all finding true inner peace.

Meditated as usual on my cushion in the living room, with my little shrine: Statue of Buddha, candle and pinch of rice.  The shrine is put away, but the feeling remains.

 

Modern Buddhism

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