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The purpose of this meditation is to generate to overwhelming wish to attain Buddhahood so that we can fulfil our heart’s desire to free all living beings from their suffering, and then to meditate on this wish in light of equalising self and others.
I began with focusing on the breath and counting breaths up to 18. I imagined my attention being pinned underneath the numbers as they lowered before me, and then slowly receding into the distance until instead of numbers I could just see a tiny spot of light dropping into the centre of my ‘visual field’. Then this spot of light faded into emptiness and I was left with a good strong focus on spacelike emptiness, with no distractions.
After a while of enjoying this focused feeling, I moved on to my main meditation: the wish to attain enlightenment for the benefit of all.
I reviewed the Great Scope meditations. I have equanimity towards all other living beings, and great affection for them bearing in mind how kind they have been in the past and how kind they continue to be. I thought about how self-cherishing is like a wound in my mind, and how if I stop scratching it, it will heal naturally, and my mental continuum will become healthy. I can do this by cherishing others completely.
When I cherish others, I want them to be happy – their freedom and happiness are all-important to me. But what do I find when I look at their situation? They are suffering constantly, and they cannot find true happiness no matter how they try. I have imagined the ability to take away their suffering and felt how wonderful that is. I have imagined the ability to give pure happiness, and I have experienced how wonderful that is in meditation. Now I want to be able to actually do these things.
How do I do this? By relying upon my Spiritual Guide completely, and by practising the Six Perfections of Giving, Moral Discipline, Patience, Effort, Mental Stabilisation and Wisdom. An image came to mind of a climbing wall. The handholds had six different colours, one for each of the Six Perfections. The handholds were those plastic ones that stick out of artificial climbing walls. The handholds went up the sheer face of the wall, but they were all within easy reach of each other, and the colours repeated themselves all the way up. This indicated to me that I need all the Perfections to reach the top – there is no route possible to the top without using all the colours. I imagined climbing up to enlightenment using these handholds. I also had a safety rope around me, and at the top of the wall was my kind Spiritual Guide, pulling on the rope, making the climb easier for me and stopping me falling back down.
This image seemed perfect and I used it to review the various aspects of Bodhichitta until I had a lovely feeling of progress, wholesomeness and purpose. I focused on this feeling and I developed a very special feeling of Bodhichitta – the wish to become a Buddha for the benefit of all.
After a while I moved on to thinking about what this means in light of equalising self and others.
My dearest wish is to become a Buddha, but the reason I want to achieve this state is that I will be able to help all living beings attain the same state. It is the ultimate conclusion of the Great Scope journey and incorporates equalising self and others as an essential step. With this in mind, I returned to my feeling of climbing the wall to enlightenment using the handholds of the six perfections, with my Guru helping me and protecting me all the way. What a feeling!
May all living beings see the truth of samsara, and develop the supreme wish to become enlightened beings for the benefit of all.
Practice in the Meditation Break
I will build the six perfections into everything I do today. For example, by doing this blog I am giving love and dharma to the world, I am practising moral discipline because this blog is a virtuous activity, I am practising patience because I am not impatient for results or praise, I am practising joyful effort in writing this blog, I am practising concentration by focusing on my meditation and how to express how it felt, and I am practising wisdom because as I write this, I remember that, at the end of the day, I myself and this blog and all other appearances completely lack inherent existence.
I will try to carry out all my other activities today with the six perfections in mind.