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The purpose of this meditation is to generate a strong sense of feeling fortunate that others have helped us make our lives meaningful by giving Dharma teachings.

Gen-la KungsangI began by making the appropriate preparations for meditation, and then started by remembering how everything I have comes from the kindness of others.

This not only applies to my material possessions but also my knowledge. I made up very little of what I believe. Before I found Dharma, I was confused about what it meant to be ‘good’ and how to live a virtuous life. My kind teachers have provided me with Dharma through which I can make my life meaningful.

I focused on the thought that everything that I now believe came from the kindness of Geshe-la  and my other teachers. As I contemplated this, I began to feel very grateful and fortunate. I focused on this feeling of being fortunate, and slowly I was filled with a feeling of warmth and happiness. I felt like I was blossoming in Dharma, through the kindness of others. It was a lovely feeling, and I focused on it for the rest of the meditation.

Dedication

May all living beings remember the kindness of others and receive teachings to make their lives meaningful.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will try to remember that all the happiness I have comes from the instructions of my kind teachers, and remember the feeling of good fortune in my heart.

The purpose of this meditation is to generate a strong feeling of being held in the love of our mother.

I began by making the appropriate preparations for meditation, and then settled down to thinking about the kindness of my mother.

Mother and babyAs Geshe-la says in Joyful Path of Good Fortune, when we remember our mother, it is easy to take for granted all her kindness, or to forget all the times that she took special care of us. When I was young, I took my mother’s kindness for granted. But I can see from how my wife cares for our children, that they are always her first concern. She thinks of them constantly, and is always doing things for them. She cares for them and plans for them. She helps them and loves them.

I thought of how my mother spent years and years caring for me each and every day. She held me in her arms as if I were the most precious treasure. She kept me close to her, and cared for my every need.

I let my thoughts settle on this feeling of being cared for by the love of my mother. It was a lovely and very moving feeling, and not for the first time, I cried at the power and the beauty of the feeling.

Dedication

May all living being remember the kindness of their mother.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will remember the kindness of my mother and see how it moves my heart.

The purpose of this meditation is to remember the kindness of our mother and of all living beings, and then to contemplate this kindness in the light of renunciation – the wish to be free from the sufferings of samsara.

I began by calling to mind some of the contemplation to the meditation given by Geshe Kelsang in The New Meditation Handbook. In it he reminds me of the kindness of my mother and one phrase in particular stood out to me this morning. He says that when her friends were going out to enjoy themselves my mother had to stay behind. She stayed behind – for me. Although she could have gone and enjoyed herself with her friends, she gave that up for me. She wanted to be with me.

I thought of times when she had stayed with me, and it reminded me of the line in Rossetti’s poem Remember: ‘Nor I half turn to go, yet turning stay.’. This thought of someone having the choice to leave me, and in the midst of leaving, choosing to stay became very powerful in my mind.

I remembered three or four times when my mother had been with me when I needed help and support – times I had not remembered for years and years. They seemed to resonate with significance in the light of this meditation. She could have left, but she chose to stay, with me, and be with me.

I felt very humble and grateful, and I meditated on this simple but heartfelt feeling for a while.

I then thought about what this means in the light of renunciation – the wish to be free from all of samsara’s sufferings.

Although my mother wanted to stay with me and comfort me when I needed help, she could not protect me from all of life’s problems. She could protect me from loneliness and bullies, but she could not protect me from sickness, ageing and death. Only Buddha can give me the help I need to free myself from all these sufferings. How kind Buddha is! I thought that if only my mother knew how to give me this freedom, she would do so in an instant, no matter what the cost to herself – she loves me that much.

I returned to the feeling of being humble and grateful to both my mother of this life, all my countless mothers and to Buddha.

Dedication

May all living beings remember the kindness of their mothers and through this thought progress along the stages of the path to become Buddhas for the benefit of all.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will remember the kindness of my mother, who stayed behind for me.

Meditation 6/9

 

The purpose of this meditation is to recognise the kindness we receive from all living beings throughout our lives, and then meditate on this kindness in the light of our refuge practice.

I began by thinking about how living beings are showing me kindness every time I interact with them. How can this be true when living beings cause me so much trouble?!!

Without Dharma we are at the mercy of other living beings. If they are nasty to us, we automatically generate anger, aversion or self-cherishing. If they are nice to us we develop attachment and self-cherishing. No matter what living beings do, without our having Dharma wisdom they will stimulate delusions and suffering.

But with Dharma wisdom we can use every interaction to progress along the path to enlightenment. If they are nasty to us we can see that they are a manifestation my negative karma. When karma ripens the only thing to do is develop patient acceptance, and to resolve to not create more negative actions. If they are nice to us we can see that this is the result of positive karmic seeds ripening. We can offer the pleasure of the situation to our Guru at our heart, and reinforce our wish to create more positive seeds for the future.

With Dharma wisdom, no matter what others do, we can view it as a kindness, because if they were not doing these things, we would not have the opportunity to practice in a practical way throughout the day.

I thought about these points and mulled them over in my mind. I felt like there was kindness coming at me from every direction –  warm waves of spiritual help. I focused on this for a while and then thought about what this means in the light of my refuge practice.

Buddha is a living being. I go for refuge to Buddha because he shows me the way to make my life meaningful. He has given pure Dharma to the world to show all living beings the way to attain true everlasting happiness. This is how Buddha is kind. I felt like I was completely enveloped in a universe of kindness, and no matter what I experienced from others, I could transform it into kindness. I felt completely protected and like all living beings were ‘on my side’. I stayed with this feeling for the rest of the meditation.

Dedication

May all living beings recognise the kindness they constantly experience, and through this kindness come to attain the state of Buddhahood.

Practice in the Meditation Break

Through my reliance on Dorje Shugden as my protector, I can be certain that the actions of everyone I interact with will be the perfect opportunities for me to develop spiritually and travel along the path to enlightenment. I will also remember the final protecting precept of training the mind: Do not expect gratitude.

Meditation 4/9

The purpose of this meditation is to develop a strong feeling of affectionate love for all living beings by remembering their kindness, and then to reflect on this in the light of the sufferings of the lower realms.

I began the meditation by thinking about the kindness of my mother during my life – how kind she has been to me when I was a child and then as I was growing into an adult. Even now she remembers me and thinks of me. I also thought about all my other kind mothers who are helping me now. My spiritual life depends completely on them.

I felt an appreciation and gratefulness in my heart. I stayed with this feeling for a while.

I then wondered what the sufferings of lower realms mean for this feeling. By remembering the kindness of mother living beings and feeling affectionate love for them, I will avoid performing negative actions, thus reducing my exposure to the sufferings of lower realms. The feeling seemed like protection to me, and I stayed with this feeling for the rest of the meditation.

Dedication

May all living beings develop heartfelt gratitude and affectionate love for their kind mothers, and become Buddhas for the benefit of all.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will try to remember that all living beings are my kind mothers and see the ways in which they help me – either overtly or by being the object of my giving, moral discipline, patience, effort, compassion or wisdom.

Meditation 3/9

The purpose of this meditation is to remember the kindness of all living beings, and then consider what this means in the context of death and impermanence.

I began the meditation by thinking about how kind my mother has been to me. She gave up her job when she was pregnant with me – a job she loved. She stayed home when her friends went out enjoying themselves. She cared for me all day and all night. She took on my welfare and happiness as her personal responsibility. All the opportunities I now have are directly linked to her kindness. I felt a very deep sense of appreciation and gratitude towards my mother.

I then remembered my previous meditation where I proved that all living beings have also been my mother, and treated me in the same way. I also remembered that even today, all living beings are helping me in my quest to become enlightened. They are giving me help, advice, friendship and encouragement. Others are giving me equally precious gifts, such as the opportunity to practice patience, equanimity, love and compassion. Whoever I look at, they are being kind to me.

I thought about all this kindness from each and every living being, and I felt a deeper sense of gratitude and appreciation in my heart, which I stayed with for a while.

I then asked myself what this means in the context of death and impermanence. It seemed to me that death masks the relationship I have with all living beings, but with Dharma wisdom I can see through this mask to the truth. Changing appearances cannot fool me – all living beings are my kind mothers!

This reinforced my feeling of gratitude and appreciation, and I remained on this thought for the rest of my meditation.

Dedication

May all living beings see clearly the kindness of all living beings, and thereby become Buddhas for the benefit of all.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will try to see all living beings as my kind mother today, and with equanimity see all their actions as kind.

Meditation 2/9

The purpose of this meditation is to help us develop affectionate love for others my remembering how kind they have been to us in the past.

I began the meditation by recalling some of the points made by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso in his great Lamrim book, Joyful Path of Good Fortune.

He says that we need to remember the kindness of our mother of this life, because if we cannot appreciate how kind our own mother has been, there is no way we will be able appreciate how kind all living beings have been.

Geshe-la gives many examples of how kind our mother has been to us. At one point he says that our mother will clean the filth from our body without feeling disgust. This is true. I remember one time how I was changing my son’s nappy when he started to do a poo. I put my hand out instinctively and let him poo onto it. I remember thinking at the time that it ought to be disgusting – but it wasn’t. I had such natural affection for him that even excrement was not disgusting if it came from him.

I focused on the idea that my mother loved me so much that nothing I did would upset or disgust her. I thought about the power of love – her love for me. I kept on thinking about this love, and I felt her love. She still loves me so much, even though she can hardly remember anything, her love for me is still strong.

I let this idea of being loved fill my mind, and then I brought in the idea that all living beings have also loved me in just the same way. I felt like I was completely cocooned in love, in a beautiful white ball of pure love. I felt safe and cherished.

I stayed with this feeling for the rest of the meditation.

Dedication

May all living beings remain mindful of the love they have received from all living beings, and thereby become Buddhas for the benefit of all.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will always remember the unconditional love my mother has for me, and remain grateful for it.

The purpose of this meditation is to develop affectionate love for all living beings, remembering that they have all been our kind mother and they have all been very kind to us in the past.

I began the meditation by thinking about one particular statement in Geshe Kelsang Gyatso‘s recent book, Modern Buddhism:

When we were conceived, had out mother not wanted to keep us in her womb she could have had an abortion. If she had done so we would not now have this human life. Through her kindness she allowed us to stay in her womb and so we now enjoy a human life and experience all its advantages.

I thought about how true this is. My mother could have had an abortion. I had no absolute right to stay in her womb and feed off her body. She could just as easily evicted me and carried on with her life, her career, her interests. But she gave up all those hopes and dreams and instead became a mother and stayed at home looking after me.

I thought about how everything I now have is as a direct result of her decision to keep this complete stranger in her own body. That one decision has allowed me to come into this world and meet my Spiritual Guide – to come into contact with his teachings and to try to learn them myself.

I kept thinking about this one decision which gave me everything, and I felt a very deep appreciation for the kindness of my mother. As I contemplated my affectionate love for her, it felt as though my heart was with her. I concentrated on this feeling that my heart was with her, and I felt a very deep tranquil peace. My heart was not here in me, it was with her, and in its place was a deep tranquil peace. It felt beautiful and I stayed with the feeling and meaning for the rest of the meditation.

Dedication

May all living beings develop universal affectionate love and quickly attain enlightenment for the benefit of all.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will always remember my appreciation for the kindness of my mothers in keeping me in their womb, giving me a precious human life.

The purpose of this meditation is to develop the firm belief that all living beings have been my mother in past lives.

I began by reminding myself that I have had countless past lives, wandering in the suffering of samsara. In each life, I had a kind mother who gave birth to me and nurtured me in my childhood. She fed me, cleaned me, entertained me and loved me, when I was helpless.

Where are all these kind people now? They have all taken rebirth too, and are the living beings I see around me today. Because of our changed appearance, we do not recognise each other, but we are still mother and son.

I thought of the story Geshe Kelsang Gyatso relates about a mother who gave up her son to a monastery when he was very young. Later she was able to return and met all the monks. When her son was pointed out to her, she wept. I can see her looking into the faces of those monks, and when she recognised her son, throwing her arms around him and hugging him tight, with emotions only a parent can feel for a long lost child.

I thought what it would be like if we could all recognise each other like this.

We would throw our arms around each other: we would instantly feel like we had rediscovered a precious and unique jewel. We would value and love  each other. There would be no way we could ever harm each other. We could naturally care for, help and protect each other.

How wonderful it would be if we all had this recognition.

I collected all these thoughts and focused on the idea that all living beings are my mother. I thought about how I must have loved each one of them purely and deeply. I imagined what it would be like if we could recognise each other. I would tell her how much I loved her, and how I had missed her. I cried. I tried to keep with the recognition that all living beings are my mother for the rest of the meditation.

Dedication

May all living beings recognise their mothers in the people and animals around them, and through this recognition quickly attain enlightenment for the benefit of all.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will resist the temptation to throw my arms around everyone I meet today, although I feel like I could.

Note:

Please click on the picture.

The purpose of this meditation is to enable us to develop affectionate love for all living beings.

I began the meditation by calling to mind one of the most moving pictures I have seen. A Facebook friend posted a picture of a beautiful young woman just a few moments after giving birth. She is cradling a small, bluish little baby next to her skin. She holds it tenderly in both arms. She looks down into the baby’s face with an almost indescribable look of tenderness and complete love. She has a tear running down her cheek. This little baby has caused her immense inconvenience and pain, yet she looks on it as if it were the most precious thing in the world. If she was offered a car, a house, or a fortune in money, nothing would tempt her to give up her baby. You can see it in her face: ‘I will look after you and love you forever’.

I imagined she was my mother, looking on me like that. I felt very humble and full of gratitude. I was moved to tears (as I am now, writing this). I stayed with this feeling of gratitude and slowly it developed into the wish to repay that kindness – the wish for my mother to be happy. I wanted to give her whatever I could so that she would be happy.

I then remembered my previous meditation where I became convinced that all living beings have shown me the same kindness.

I developed a loving feeling to all living beings, wishing them all to be happy because of the great debt of gratitude I have for them. I stayed with this feeling of affectionate love for the rest of the meditation.

Dedication

May everyone develop universal affectionate love, and thereby quickly attain enlightenment for the sake of all living beings.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will remember the face of the young mother, and remember that all everyone I meet has looked on me with that expression, and thought about me in the same way. I will maintain affectionate love for everyone.

Modern Buddhism

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