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The purpose of this meditation is to consider the meaning of wishing love in the context of Lamrim.

I began with breathing meditation, settling my mind on more and more subtle aspects of my breath, until my attention was balanced and focused. While there, I tried to feel the stability and stillness of my Guru’s mind, and mix my mind with his mind. I stayed in that feeling for a while.

I then moved on to think about wishing love and Lamrim in general. Wishing love is the wish for all living beings to experience pure, everlasting, uncontaminated happiness. The Lamrim is a presentation of all Buddha’s teachings, showing how we can progress along the spiritual path to enlightenment. It seemed to me that wishing love was a stage where we see the fruits of the hard work we have done earlier in the Lamrim path. Earlier we have contemplated death and the sufferings of the lower realms, we have considered ways of freeing ourselves from suffering and we have considered our relationship to others. Each of these stages springs naturally from the previous stages.

It struck me that wishing love is completely made up of a collection of previous thoughts and attitudes, which, when gathered together, form a suitable collection to be called ‘wishing love’.

With this notion that wishing love springs naturally from the previous Lamrim minds, I focused on the feeling of wishing all living beings to be happy, and thought of my wish becoming stronger in my heart – a longing for all living beings to be happy. The feeling was lovely and I tried to keep it sharp in my attention for the rest of the meditation.

Dedication

Through the virtues I have collected her, may all living beings experience pure, permanent, uncontaminated happiness.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will try to keep this feeling of wishing others to be happy

The purpose of this meditation is to generate the feeling of cherishing others and completely abandoning self-cherishing, and then to see what this means in light of wishing love.

I began with breathing meditation and mixing my mind with my Spiritual Guide’s mental stability and stillness. After a while I moved on to the main meditation.

I started by thinking about my practice over the past few days. It has been the weekend and I have been focusing on cherishing others – responding to them quickly and without hesitation, not being attached to my wishes, doing things for others. It has been lovely. The house has seemed very peaceful and happy and although I have been helping others with things, I seem to have been able to do everything I needed to do as well. In fact, it seemed to me that I have been able to do everything I needed to do, plus helping others without any effort at all.

I thought about this experience. Self-cherishing is tiring! Constantly worrying about our selves and whether we are going to be able to do the things we want. By forgetting all that, and focusing on others, it seemed to me that life is easy and trouble free.

It struck me that by abandoning self-cherishing and cherishing others, we are actually moving towards experiencing a much easier and happy life.

Why don’t we do this, if it is so easy? It is because our self-cherishing has convinced us that if we abandon self-cherishing and cherish only others, we will experience hardship and unhappiness.

Well I don’t believe that any more! I made the determination to completely change the object of my cherishing and to focus my attention on others from now on. I repeated this promise to myself again and again, and developed a lovely feeling of focusing on others, and enjoying a peaceful and easy life. Wonderful!

After that I thought about what this means in light of wishing love.

It seemed to me that exchanging self with others and wishing love were very closely related. Exchanging self with others is essentially cherishing others completely. This means that we regard them as especially precious and we hold them dear in our hearts. Wishing love arises from cherishing love – if we cherish someone, what do we want for them? We want them to be happy – this is wishing love. The one springs naturally from the other. With this in mind I brought my attention back to focusing on cherishing others and experiencing a special happiness – and an easy life!

Dedication

May all living beings exchange the object of cherishing – may they stop cherishing themselves and may they start to cherish others exclusively, and through this practice, find an easy path to enlightenment.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will continue to try to cherish others, and enjoy life 🙂

The purpose of this meditation is to generate a complete feeling of warmth and friendliness towards all other living beings, and then to look at this feeling in light of wishing love.

I began by dissolving my Guru into my heart and mixing his stability and stillness with my own mind. After a while of enjoying this very peaceful and lovely experience, I moved on to the main meditation.

I began by thinking about how in the past, my friends have often turned into strangers, or even enemies. In the past, people who have been my enemies have become my friends, or strangers. In the past, strangers have become friends, enemies, and even both, over time. Given these changing relationships, what is the best way for me to maintain positive states of mind? To react to these changing appearances with hatred or attachment? No. The best way to decide from my own side to hold an attitude which will protect me. I decided that I will only hold a warm and friendly feeling towards all others from now on. Focused on the warm and friendly feeling, and tried to keep it firmly in my mind while I meditated…

After a while I decided to see what this means in light of wishing love.

It seemed to me that equanimity was an essential part of wishing love, or an essential step in attaining wishing love. Knowing that equanimity was an essential part of wishing love, I returned to my intention to only have a warm and friendly feeling in my heart for the rest of the day, and for the rest of my life. Lovely.

Dedication

May all living beings see all their problems solved by keeping a warm and friendly attitude towards others.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will try to keep in mind my determination to maintain a warm and friendly feeling towards others.

The purpose of this meditation is to generate the very strong wish for all living beings to find their way to true happiness, and then to meditate on this in light of the practice of exchanging self with others.

I began with breathing meditation, and then moved on to the main meditation when my thoughts had become quiet.

I started by remembering my affectionate and cherishing love for all living beings. Then I thought about how they work so hard to be happy, only to find that they cannot achieve the lasting happiness they seek. I thought about how they were in spiritual darkness, not knowing which way to turn.

Then another image came to me – an image of seeds buried below ground level. They were in darkness, but bright nourishing sunlight was very close to them. I wished that they could sprout and grow up to the surface. I imagined the moment when they found the surface and broke through into the light. From there, the sunlight nourished them into beautiful flowers. I saw the seeds as all living beings, trapped in darkness. Their sprouting was a combination of their karma and my strong wish, and their breaking through the surface was them finding Dharma, which nourished them to enlightenment.

I focused back down on this wish that all living beings could find the light of Dharma – the light of true happiness, and stayed with it for a time.

After this, I investigated what this means in light of the practice of exchanging self with others. Wishing everyone to be happy, without a thought for myself is the essence of exchanging self with others. All the happiness in the world comes from wishing others to be happy. With that in mind, I returned to the wish for all living beings to find true, lasting happiness. It was a lovely, expanding, blissful feeling and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute.

Dedication

May all living beings find the true lasting happiness of Dharma, and may their seed-like Buddha nature quickly blossom into the beautiful everlasting flowers of enlightenment.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will try to wish happiness upon all living beings throughout the day.

The purpose of this meditation is to generate the strong wish for all living beings to find true lasting happiness, and then to meditate on this feeling in light of the advantages of cherishing others.

I began with a breathing meditation, following my breath until I felt like I had settled my mind into a peaceful still place.

I then thought about wishing love.  Sentient beings trapped in samsara cannot find true happiness. They search for it in illusion-like appearances, but there is no satisfaction to be found. The beings in the different levels of samsara all experience different amounts of suffering. The beings in the hell realms experience unbearable manifest suffering constantly. The beings in less horrible realms experience less suffering, but even in the god realms, where beings do not experience any manifest suffering at all, they still cannot find true lasting happiness.

I focused on all the living beings, and wished them to be able to find true happiness. I imagined a light growing in their hearts, and wished that this light become the light of true happiness. I focused on this for a while.

I then thought about what this means in light of the advantages of cherishing others.

Surely, the direct consequence of cherishing others is wishing love. If I truly cherish others, and believe that they are supremely special and precious, then I must automatically wish them to be happy. And not just temporarily happy – permanently happy. Thus, a direct advantage of cherishing love is the development of wishing love.

With this in mind, I focused my attention once more on wishing others to find true happiness, and tried to keep this wish clear in my mind for the rest of the meditation.

Dedication

Through the virtues I have collected by my meditation of wishing love, may all living beings find true happiness quickly.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will secretly wish happiness to everyone I meet today, including those who cause me problems.

The purpose of this meditation is to generate the sincere wish tat all living beings attain true happiness, and then to meditate on this wish in light of the disadvantages of self-cherishing.

I began with breathing meditation, breathing out my distractions and breathing in wisdom light. After a while I moved on…

I began by thinking about a theme park I recently visited with my children. Everyone was running around excitedly, rushing from ride to ride, from arcade to hot-dog stand. It seemed to me like they were like spiritually blind people rushing here and there looking for happiness, but not finding it.

The theme park seemed to be full of offers of happiness everywhere, but failing to deliver each time. It seemed to me that the theme park was a concentrated example of samsara in general. People trying to find relief from their normal lives full of suffering and disappointment by looking for samsaric distractions.

I imagined a massive Stupa in the middle of the theme park, and I generated the wish ‘may all living beings find true happiness in the Three Jewels’. I focused on this wish, reminding myself about how people search but cannot find happiness, and how wonderful it would be if they could.

After a while of trying to keep this firmly in my mind, I moved on to the next stage.

I thought about what this means in light of the disadvantages of self-cherishing. Self-cherishing believes that I am the most important person who has every lived, and that my happiness is far more important than anyone else’s. By practising wishing love, we can overcome self-cherishing and the disadvantages is brings. It felt like knowing this purified my wishing love, making it uncontaminated. I focused on this uncontaminated wish for all living beings to find true happiness, and remained on it for the rest of the meditation.

Dedication

May all living beings find true happiness in their refuge in the Three Jewels, and attain the state of Buddhahood for the benefit of all.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will try to keep a mind of wishing love, looking at others and mentally wishing them to find happiness, both temporary and permanent.

The purpose of this meditation is to develop the overwhelming wish for others to find true happiness, and then to meditate on this wish in light of the kindness of others.

I began by thinking about how all living beings are in search of happiness. Everything they do is in pursuit of happiness. I was driving on the motorway today thinking about all the other drivers on the road. The one and only reason they are on this road is because they think that one way or another, driving at this moment in time will lead to their happiness. I thought about how they all want happiness, and I began to wish that they could find it. How wonderful it would be if they could find what they have searched for since time without beginning: to finally find happiness!

I focused on this wish for a while.

I then thought about what this means in light of the kindness of others. They have been so kind to me in the past, trying to make me happy. How wonderful it would be for them to experience what they have wished for me so many times in the past! I returned to thinking about wishing all living beings to be happy, and stayed with it for the rest of the meditation.

Dedication

May everyone be happy, and may everyone never be separated from their happiness.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will try to focus on the happiness of others, and where I can help, I will try to make them happier.

The purpose of this meditation is to generate the strong wish that all living beings find true happiness, and then to meditate on this wish in the light of our refuge practice.

I began the meditation by remembering that all living beings have the same basic wish – to be free from suffering and to find true happiness.

But the happiness they find is transient and unsatisfactory. I thought about my family upstairs, still asleep in bed, but not for long! How hard it is to get out of a nice cosy bed on a cold dark morning! They will half wake, find that their bed is warm and comfortable, and then realise they will have to get up. This is a trivial example for sure, but it happens every day! All samsaric happiness comes to an end in this way, causing suffering in the lead up to its end, and sometimes suffering for the rest of our lives as we recall its loss.

I remembered my affectionate love and my cherishing love for everyone, and wished from my heart that they could find true happiness. How wonderful it would be if they could all be permanently and completely happy!

I stayed with this wish for a while before moving on to think about what this means in the context of our refuge practice. Buddha’s wish is that all living beings fulfil their main wish – to be happy and free from suffering. If I truly want everyone to experience happiness, then I must go for refuge to the Three Jewels because they alone provide the means to achieve this goal.

I returned by my wish for all living beings to be happy, and brought in the notion that my refuge practice will the foundation for this to happen. It felt light and expansive, touching all living beings. I then tried to keep this thought in my mind for the rest of the meditation.

Dedication

May all living beings develop wishing love, and by so doing attain enlightenment for the benefit of all.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will wish for all living beings to be happy by wishing those around me to be happy and viewing them as the embodiment of all living beings.

Meditation 4/17

The purpose of this meditation is to develop wishing love – the wish for others to find true happiness, and then to meditate on this wish in the light of the sufferings of the lower realms.

I began by remembering my affectionate and cherishing love for all living beings, and then thinking about how they lack true happiness. I thought about how distracting our manifest suffering is. Because we have mental suffering and physical pain most of the time, we think that if we were free of these sufferings we would be happy. I imagined one of those science fiction type worlds where they have cured all diseases and no-one feels physical pain. It would appear to be a heaven, but what would those living there find? They would find that the happiness they long for does not magically appear because of their lack of suffering. They are free to pursue their routes to happiness, but they find only more disappointment and mental suffering when those routes fail to give them the happiness they seek.

It seemed like in this suffering free world, everything would be grey and featureless, because the causes of true happiness are absent. I wished that all living beings could not only be free from suffering but also find true happiness. I imagined them beginning to rise up out of their grey drab world into a multi-coloured world of bliss. I wished that this could happen, and then stayed with this wish for a while.

I then thought about what this wish means in the light of the dangers of lower rebirth. It occurred to me that these living beings need to find true happiness quickly, in this life, because when they die they may well take a lower rebirth and have to wait aeons for another fortunate human rebirth. My wish for them to find happiness became more urgent, and I stayed with this urgent wish for the rest of the meditation.

Dedication

May all living beings develop wishing love, and become enlightened beings for the benefit of all.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will wish true happiness to everyone I meet and think of.

The purpose of this meditation is to generate the strong wish that all living beings find real and everlasting happiness, and then to meditate on this wish in the light of death and impermanence.

I began by once again contemplating the kindness I have received from all living beings, both when they were my mother and at other times. I then thought about how they are constantly trying to fulfil their deepest wish – the wish that all living beings have: The wish to be happy. But real and lasting happiness eludes them because they do not understand what the real causes of happiness are. They are driven by their delusions to follow incorrect paths, and the happiness they attain is not real happiness, but temporary relief from their misery. It is changing suffering.

I got the image of everyone chasing rainbows, spending the longest time in the pursuit, only to be finally disappointed when the rainbow vanishes when it is just within their grasp. The disappointment hurts them so much, but soon enough there is another rainbow to chase, and another, life after life.

I wished with all my heart that this process could end, and that all living beings could find true lasting happiness. I felt a deep longing for them to find inner peace and true happiness, and I tried to keep this feeling clearly in my mind for a while.

I then thought about what this means in terms of death and impermanence. When I die I will take a different rebirth and I will probably not come into contact with Dharma wisdom. I will not be able to generate wishing love, and I will not be able to help all living beings. My precious opportunity will be over. My death is not just about me losing my opportunity to reach enlightenment – it is my losing the opportunity to help all living beings – the stakes are incredibly high. I developed the sincere wish to develop wishing love and keep it in my heart constantly. I gazed at this wish for the rest of the meditation.

Dedication

May all living beings find true lasting happiness, and become enlightened beings for the benefit of all.

Practice in the Meditation Break

I will remember that all living beings are chasing rainbows in their wish to be happy, and generate the pure wish for them to find true happiness, rather than changing suffering.

Modern Buddhism

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