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The purpose of this meditation is to make the determination to gather virutous energy in our minds and to purify our negative energy. We then rely upon our Spiritual Guide to enable us to do this.

I made the usual preparations for meditation, and then began by remembering that the scientific process involves the observation of natural phenomena, and then the derivation of explanations, which are then tested through further observations or, if possible, experimentation. How is it that when we say harsh words to someone else, they hit us and cause us pain? How can our mere words end up with the experience of physical pain? These two things are very different, and yet they are obviously part of the same continuum. They are the same ‘energy stream’, if I can use that unsatisfactory term. How is it that our words cause us pain?

The scientific explanation is that of karma and intention. Because of our uncontrolled mind lacking wisdom, we generate a harmful intention. This intention generates harmful words which cause negative imprints to be laid down in our mind. These imprints are like seeds which later grow and bear fruit in the form of harmful experiences.

white mountainThis is a scientific explanation because it corresponds with observations. The underlying mechanism, karma, cannot be observed directly, but it is not unusual for a process to be scientifically understood without a precise understanding of the underlying mechanism. The precise method by which many drugs work is not understood fully, and yet we administer them because we know the cause and effect of the remedy – and that is enough. We do not say ‘Ah – Doctor! You do not understand how this drug works, so I forbid you from using it!’ We say ‘We do not understand quite how this drug works, but we will use it because we know it DOES work’.

In the samy way, we can accept the law of karma as true, and have faith in it, because its principles hold true evey though we cannot see karma directly. Buddhism is so practical!

I thought about these points, and thought about my mind being a collection of these karmic seeds, like black pebbles (negative) and white pebbles (positive). I looked and I saw that I had a mountain of black pebbles in my mind! I decided that I would gather white pebbles only from now on, and purify the black pebbles constantly. I looked and I saw a load of white pebbles appear on the mountain, and some of the black pebbles disappear. I imagined this happening again and again, and slowly I saw a white mountain of virtuous karma grow, so that eventually all the black pebbles were gone, and my white mountain grew more and more.

Eventually the white mountain became a crytsal of wisdom light, and I thought ‘This is me – I am wisdom light’. It struck me that this is inevitable. If I keep on accumulating virtue, my mind cannot help but transform into a Buddha’s mind. It is unavoidable.

I focused on the wish to gather virtuous actions and to purify negativity each and every moment – I rested my mind on this for a while.

I then imagined my Guru sitting on top of my white mountain of virtue – it is through his instructions that the mountain can grow. Through reliance upon him, I can gather virtue and purify my negativity. I brought into my mind a sincere appreciation of his help, and determined to gather and purify through reliance upon him. This was my final object of meditation, and I focused on it for the rest of the meditation.

Dedication

May all living beings gather virtue and purify negativity, and may their minds transform into wisdom jewels for the benefit of all.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will use my wisdom to perform virtuous actions and to purify my negativities.

The purpose of this meditation is to develop a strong wish to purify negativities and to accumulate virtues which will allow us to take another fortunate human rebirth.

I began the meditation by reminding myself that all my experiences are mainfestations of my karmic potentialities. Good experiences and happiness are the result of positive actions in the past. Bad experiences and unhappiness are the result of negative actions in the past.

If I want to attain another fortunate human rebirth I need to use my opportunity now to purify my negativities and to accumulate as much merit as possible.

I thought about this simple fact, and this was enough to cause a very specific wish to arise in my mind: the wish to perform positive action and to purify my negativities through all my actions – to transform my activities into spiritual activities.

After a while I thought about how this wish sits against my precious human life. It was immediately obvious that my ability to accumulate virtue and purify negativities are special characteristics of my precious human life. Without it, I would not be able to do these things. I thought of all the other lives I could have, and it made my ability to purify negativities and accumulate virtue seem extremely precious.

I focused on the preciousness and the wish to accumulate and purify for the rest of the meditation.

Dedication

May all living beings pay off their karmic debts and built up a massive wealth of good fortune, and thereby attain enlightenment for the benefit of all.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will try to remain mindful of my wish to accumulate merit and purify negativities throughout the day and the night.

Meditation 1/5

The purpose of this meditation is to cause us to abandon our attachment to worldly distractions, and focus on Dharma.

I began the meditation by thinking about how everyone dies. We are like fireworks shooting into the night sky – bright and full of energy until finally fading and then disappearing into nothing. I let this image sink into my mind and I generated a feeling of finality. We will all die. Everyone alive 200 years ago is dead. Everyone alive today will be dead in 200 years time. Everyone dies. Why should I be any different? When I check, I have the ridiculous notion that I won’t die! Completely ridiculous.

I opened my heart to the thought that I would die. My life will come to an end. Everything I have will fade away from me. Everyone I know will fade away from me. All the things I have worked for and produced over my life – all the things I thought were so important – they will fade away. All my triumphs and disasters will mean nothing. Even my identity will fade away, and the ‘me’ I perceive now will completely fade away.

There is only one thing I will take with me into my next life: my karma.

Instead of spending energy on worldly distractions, I need to focus on making good karma and purifying negative karma.

I reached the conclusion: from now on I will completely abandon negative actions. I will create positive actions, and I will perform any neutral actions with Bodhichitta motivation. I let this determination sink into my mind and gazed constantly at it. My mind felt pure and focused on practising virtue and purifying non-virtue.

Dedication

May all living beings realise the reality of their mortality, and thereby attain enlightenment for the sake of all living beings.

Practice in the meditation break

Look for death – see death – realise death.

I began the meditation by thinking about what it is that dictates where I will be reborn. It is my karma. What causes my karma? It is my actions. Good virtuous actions result in pleasant positive experiences. Bad negative actions result in unpleasant negative experiences.

This relationship is completely solid and cannot be alterered. As Luna Kadampa commented in one of her recent posts, if you plant a peach stone, you will get a peach tree – not an apple tree or a plum tree, but a peach tree. And there is absolutely nothing that can change that outcome.

I thought that if I only perform positive virtuous actions from now on, it is definitely certain that I will experience positive experiences.  It is certain – guaranteed. I realised that I can be really happy about this. All I have to do to guarantee positive experiences in the future is to perform positive actions now. I stayed with this thought and it filled me with confidence – I am in control of my actions, so I can definitely create a positive world of experience for myself in the future.

I then remembered two more things I have do to – I have to purify the negative karmic imprints on my mind before they get a chance to ripen, and I have to refrain from committing any more negative actions – even the most minor negative actions.

I thought about these things: definite relationship which cannot be altered, creating positive actions, purifying negativity and refraining from negative actions.  I repeated the intention to do these things again and again.  Slowly a feeling arose that I was building a completely solid foundation under my feet, protecting me from lower rebirth. Then this foundation extended outwards so I knew I could walk anywhere and be safe.

It felt like I could go anywhere in the world in complete safety, knowing that nothing can ever harm me again, and I am free from any suffering. I understood the term ‘the state beyond sorrow’ in my heart. I stayed with this feeling, with the recognition that I have to engage in the three activities of creating positive actions, purifying negativity and avoiding negative actions.

I felt like I could engage in vast positive actions which would reach the whole world. It was wonderful.

Working near home today, so able to do the meditation in the morning as usual. This meditation has filled me with energy and optimism. I can’t wait to get out there and create my future!

Modern Buddhism

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