You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Spiritual Guide’ tag.
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.
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 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.
Buddha is in the Room with us
In the Sadhana, the words are phrased as if we are addressing someone. Why is this?
In Prayers for Meditation, the Sadhana reads:
“In the space before me, is the living Buddha Shakyamuni, surrounded by all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, like the full moon surrounded by stars.”
What does this mean?
Imagine you are sitting with your eyes closed and you hear someone come into the room. You know they are there. You have not seen them, but you KNOW they are there. This is the feeling we should have during the Sadhana. We should KNOW that Buddha Shakyamuni is there in front of us. To the extent that when we open our eyes we should be slightly surprised that we don’t see him.
We can’t see him with our normal eyes, but we can understand that he is actually there by using our wisdom. We should remember that the true nature of all things is their emptiness of inherent existence. Buddha Shakyamuni is empty of inherent existence, and although our normal conception of him is as a historical figure from 2,500 years ago, his true nature is formless and timeless. Therefore if we imagine with faith that he is before us as we meditate, there is no obstruction to him actually being there. He hears our prayers and requests, and he instantly comes to be with us.
In the same way as we are certain that the sun is there even though it is obscured on a cloudy day, we should be certain that Buddha is before us despite his appearance being obscured by the impurities in our mind.
This recognition will have a dramatic effect on the effectiveness of our meditations.
The next level of practise is to regard Buddha Shakyamuni as being inseparable from our Spiritual Guide. When we see the words ‘Guru Buddha’ (as in the Nine Line Migtsema Prayer) we are recognising that our Spiritual Guide, or Guru, is inseparable from Buddha Shakyamuni.
Whenever we see ‘Guru’ in front of a Buddha’s name, we are recognising that the Buddha and our Spiritual Guide are inseparably mixed. Therefore when we visualise Buddha Shakyamuni in front of us, we should imagine that his nature is that of our Spiritual Guide. Remember, as our Spiritual Guide and all the Buddhas are all empty of inherent existence, there is no logical reason why this cannot happen.
There is a very powerful reason why we should have this recognition. When we visualise our Spiritual Guide before us, all the Buddhas come into his or her body, so that when we make offerings, it is the karmic equivalent of making offerings to every one of the countless Buddhas. Furthermore, when we make requests for blessings, we receive the blessings of all the Buddhas.
Now that we understand that our Spiritual Guide, Buddha Shakyamuni and all the other countless Buddhas are present during our Sadhanas, we should focus on making as much progress as possible during each session. That is what I will be blogging about next.
Coming next: Making Progress Every Time