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Table of Contents

Title Page Preface Dedication

Part One - MIND AND MEDITATION


Chapter 1 - Why Meditate? What is the mind? Chapter 2 - What Is Meditation? Stabi i!in" meditation Ana yti#a meditation

Part T$o - ESTA%&IS'IN( A MEDITATION P)ACTICE


Chapter 1 - Ad*i#e +or %e"inners )e", ar pra#ti#e The meditation p a#e Choosin" a pra#ti#e Short sessions %e re a-ed b,t a ert No e-pe#tations The need +or a tea#her Don.t ad*ertise/ Chapter 2 - The Meditation Session Sit Moti*ate Meditate Dedi#ate

Chapter 0 - Post,re &e"s Arms %a#1 Eyes 2a$ Ton",e 'ead Chapter 3 - Common Prob ems )est essness and distra#tions S eepiness and d, ness Physi#a dis#om+ort Noise Stran"e ima"es and sensations Dis#o,ra"ement

Part Three - MEDITATIONS ON T'E MIND


Chapter 1 - Meditation on the %reath The pra#ti#e Chapter 2 - Meditation on the C arity o+ the Mind The pra#ti#e Chapter 0 - Meditation on the Contin,ity o+ the Mind The pra#ti#e

Part 4o,r - ANA&5TICA& MEDITATIONS


Abo,t Ana yti#a Meditation Chapter 1 - Meditation on Emptiness The pra#ti#e Chapter 2 - Appre#iatin" o,r ',man &i+e The pra#ti#e Chapter 0 - Meditation on Impermanen#e The pra#ti#e Chapter 3 - Death A$areness Meditation The pra#ti#e The ine*itabi ity o+ death The ,n#ertainty o+ the time o+ death The +a#t that on y spirit,a insi"ht #an he p yo, at the time o+ death Chapter 6 - Meditation on 7arma Some #ommon 8,estions and mis#on#eptions abo,t 1arma The pra#ti#e Chapter 9 - P,ri+yin" Ne"ati*e 7arma 1: The po$er o+ re"ret 2: The po$er o+ re ian#e 0: The po$er o+ remedy 3: The po$er o+ reso *e The pra#ti#e Chapter ; - Meditation on S,++erin" The pra#ti#e Pra#ti#a app i#ation

Chapter < - E8,animity Meditation The pra#ti#e Chapter = - Meditation on &o*e The pra#ti#e Chapter 1> - Meditation on Compassion and Ton" en ?(i*in" and Ta1in"@ The pra#ti#e Chapter 11 - Dea in" $ith Ne"ati*e Ener"y Atta#hment Ways to dea $ith atta#hment An"er Ways to dea $ith an"er Depression Ways to dea $ith depression 4ear Ways to dea $ith +ear

Part 4i*e - AISBA&ICATION MEDITATIONS


Abo,t Ais,a i!ation Chapter 1 - %ody o+ &i"ht Meditation Chapter 2 - Simp e P,ri+i#ation Meditation The pra#ti#e Chapter 0 - Meditation on TaraD the %,ddha o+ En i"htened A#ti*ity The pra#ti#e Chapter 3 - Meditation on A*a o1itesh*araD the %,ddha o+ Compassion The pra#ti#e Chapter 6 - Inner 'eat Meditation The pra#ti#e

Part Si- - P)A5E)S AND OT'E) DEAOTIONA& P)ACTICES


Abo,t De*otion 4aith )e+,"e Chapter 1 - Prayers Prayers to be said at the start o+ a meditation session Prayers to be said at the #on# ,sion o+ a meditation session Chapter 2 - E-p anation o+ the Prayers 1: Prayer o+ re+,"e and bodhi#hitta 2: The +o,r immeas,rab e tho,"hts 0: )e+,"e in the ",r, 3: The se*en imbs 6: Manda a o++erin" 9: Dedi#ation o+ merit and ;: The bodhi#hitta prayer Chapter 0 - A Short Meditation on the (rad,ated Path to En i"htenment Chapter 3 - Meditation on the %,ddha The pra#ti#e E-p anation o+ the mantra Chapter 6 - Meditation on the 'ea in" %,ddha The pra#ti#e E-p anation o+ the mantra Chapter 9 - Meditation on the Ei"ht Aerses o+ Tho,"ht Trans+ormation The pra#ti#e Chapter ; - Prayer to Tara The pra#ti#e E-p anation o+ the mantra

Chapter < - AaErasatt*a P,ri+i#ation The pra#ti#e $hi e sittin" The pra#ti#e $hi e prostratin" E-p anation o+ the mantra Chapter = - The Ei"ht Mahayana Pre#epts The ei"ht pre#epts The #eremony Chapter 1> - Prostrations to the Thirty-+i*e %,ddhas The pra#ti#e Glossary Suggested Further Reading Index The Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition About the Author

Preface
When Ho to Meditate $as +irst p,b ished more than t$enty years a"oD meditation $as not $ide y 1no$n or pra#ti#ed in the WestD and there $ere +e$ boo1s abo,t it: Thin"s are di++erent no$: Mi ions o+ Western peop e pra#ti#e meditation re", ar yF do#tors pres#ribe it to their patients as a $ay to dea $ith painD heart diseaseD #an#erD depressionD and other prob emsF s#ientists are st,dyin" its e++e#ts on the brain and the imm,ne system: There are do!ens o+ boo1sD tapesD CDsD and $ebsites abo,t meditationD and meditation # asses are a*ai ab e in most #ities: This boo1 has been s,rprisin" y s,##ess+, G reprinted se*enteen timesD trans ated into nine +orei"n an",a"es: And I #ontin,e to meet peop e $ho te me ho$ it has he ped them in their pra#ti#e and their ,nderstandin" o+ %,ddhism and meditation: The p,rpose o+ this boo1 remains the same as $hen it +irst appearedG to o++er the peop e in the $or d today a brid"e into the art o+ meditation ta,"ht by the %,ddha and de*e oped in Asia o*er the ast 26>> years: Despite ad*an#es in te#hno o"yD the %,ddha.s too s +or openin" ,p o,r inner #apa#ities +or "en,ine and astin" $e -bein" retain their po$er and re e*an#e: Most o+ the meditations e-p ained here #ome +rom the Mahayana %,ddhist tradition o+ TibetD se*era +rom the Thera*ada tradition o+ So,th East AsiaD and a +e$ are my o$n impro*isations on %,ddhist themes: I ha*e tried to e-p ain them simp y and # ear yD $ith a minim,m o+ te#hni#a an",a"eD be#a,se I $ant to sho$ that %,ddhism is pra#ti#a and do$n-to-earthD not a dry phi osophy or an e-oti# #, t: Thro,"ho,tD the emphasis is on ex!erience" ,sin" meditation to a#t,a y brin" abo,t #han"es in o,r tho,"htsD +ee in"sD and a#tions: Part 1D Mind and Meditation" ays the +o,ndationD e-p ainin" $hy peop e meditate and ho$ they bene+it +rom it: Part 2D #stablishing a Meditation Practice" "i*es basi# in+ormation and ad*i#e +or be"innin" pra#titioners: The rest o+ the boo1 presents the a#t,a meditation methodsD di*ided into +o,r partsG Meditations on the Mind" Analytical Meditations" $isuali%ation Meditations" and Prayers and &ther Devotional Practices' Ea#h te#hni8,e has a preamb e that "i*es some ba#1"ro,nd to the meditationD sho$s its bene+its and ho$ best to do itD and e-p ains its pra#ti#a app i#ation: 4ina yD there is a " ossary o+ terms and a ist o+ tit es +or s,""ested +,rther readin": 4or this present editionD I ha*e re*ised most o+ the meditations and added se*era ne$ onesG on 1armaD p,ri+iyin" ne"ati*e 1armaD #ompassion and tonglen ?Tibetan +or H"i*in" and ta1in"I@D and the 'ea in" %,ddha: The re*isions do not mean that the meditations in the ori"ina edition are in#orre#tF I simp y +e t that they #o, d be impro*edD based on an additiona t$enty years o+ pra#ti#in" and tea#hin" meditation:

Acknowledgments
Whate*er I 1no$ abo,t %,ddhism and meditation I ha*e earned +rom my 1ind and #ompassionate tea#hersD espe#ia y &ama Th,bten 5esheD Copa )inpo#heD 'is 'o iness the Da ai &amaD (eshe N"a$an" Dhar"yeyD (eshe 2ampa Te"#ho"D and )ib,r )inpo#he: I than1 these pre#io,s tea#hers +rom my heart +or sharin" $ith ,s their 1no$ ed"e and insi"ht and pray sin#ere y that their $or1 may #ontin,e +or a on" time to #ome: Many peop e ha*e $or1ed to ma1e this boo1 possib e: I e-tend than1s to Wendy 4inster +or her Handboo( of Mahayana Practices" +rom $hi#h this boo1 de*e opedF to Th,bten Won"moD 2on &anda$D and T: 5eshe +or their initia editin" and trans atin" $or1F to Ni#1 )ib,shD 5eshe 7hadroD Th,bten PendeD Ste*e Car ierD &orraine )eesD Peter )eesD 2ames PayneD Tim 5o,n"D 2an Co,rtinD Marsha 'arrisD Sarah ThresherD 7arin Ceit*o"e D and the n,ns o+ DorEe Pamo Monastery +or their in*a ,ab e s,""estionsF to Da*id 7itte stromD Tim M#Nei D and e*eryone at Wisdom P,b i#ationsF and +ina y to my editor )obina Co,rtinD $ho has $or1ed $ith me thro,"ho,t both editions to re$rite and reshape Ho to Meditate in an e++ort to ma1e it as # ear and pra#ti#a as possib e: For )y !arents ho have hel!ed )e so )uch' May they discover the highest !eace ithin the)selves'

Part One
MIND AND MEDITATION

1
Why Med tate!
E*eryone $ants happiness yet +e$ o+ ,s seem to +ind it: In o,r sear#h +or satis+a#tion $e "o +rom one re ationship to anotherD one Eob to anotherD one #o,ntry to another: We st,dy art and medi#ineD train to be tennis p ayers and typistsF ha*e babiesD ra#e #arsD $rite boo1sD and "ro$ + o$ers: We spend o,r money on home entertainment systemsD mobi e phonesD iPodsD handhe d #omp,tersD #om+ortab e +,rnit,reD and *a#ations in the s,n: Or $e try to "et ba#1 to nat,reD eat $ho e +oodsD pra#ti#e yo"aD and meditate: 2,st abo,t e*erythin" $e do is an attempt to +ind rea happiness and a*oid s,++erin": There is nothin" $ron" $ith $antin" happinessF there is nothin" $ron" $ith any o+ these attempts to +ind it: The prob em is that $e see thin"s i1e re ationshipsD possessionsD and ad*ent,res as ha*in" some intrinsi# abi ity to satis+y ,sD as bein" the #a,se o+ happiness: %,t they #annot beJsimp y be#a,se they do not ast: E*erythin" by nat,re #onstant y #han"es and e*ent,a y disappearsG o,r bodyD o,r +riendsD a o,r be on"in"sD the en*ironment: O,r dependen#e on impermanent thin"s and o,r # in"in" to the rainbo$i1e happiness they brin" #a,se on y disappointment and "rie+D not satis+a#tion and #ontentment: We do e-perien#e happiness $ith thin"s o,tside o,rse *esD b,t it doesn.t tr, y satis+y ,s or +ree ,s +rom o,r prob ems: It is poor-8,a ity happinessD ,nre iab e and short- i*ed: This does not mean that $e sho, d "i*e ,p o,r +riends and possessions in order to be happy: )atherD $hat $e need to "i*e ,p are o,r mis#on#eptions abo,t them and o,r ,nrea isti# e-pe#tations o+ $hat they #an do +or ,s: Not on y do $e see them as permanent and ab e to satis+y ,sF at the root o+ o,r prob ems is o,r +,ndamenta y mista1en *ie$ o+ rea ity: We be ie*e instin#ti*e y that peop e and thin"s e-ist in and o+ themse *esD +rom their o$n sideF that they ha*e an inherent nat,reD an inherent thin"-ness: This means that $e see thin"s as ha*in" #ertain 8,a ities abidin" nat,ra y $ithin themF $e thin1 that they areD +rom their o$n sideD "ood or badD attra#ti*e or ,nattra#ti*e: These 8,a ities seem to be o,t thereD in the obEe#ts themse *esD 8,ite independent o+ o,r *ie$point and e*erythin" e se: We thin1D +or e-amp eD that #ho#o ate is inherent y de i#io,s or that s,##ess is inherent y satis+yin": %,t s,re yD i+ they $ereD they $o, d ne*er +ai to "i*e p eas,re or to satis+yD and e*eryone $o, d e-perien#e them in the same $ay: O,r mista1en idea is deep y in"rained and habit,a F it #o ors a o,r re ationships and dea in"s $ith the $or d: We probab y rare y 8,estion $hether the $ay $e see thin"s is the $ay they a#t,a y e-istD b,t on#e $e do it $i be ob*io,s that o,r pi#t,re o+ rea ity is e-a""erated and one-sidedF that the "ood and bad 8,a ities $e see in thin"s are a#t,a y #reated and proEe#ted by o,r o$n mind:

A##ordin" to %,ddhism there is astin"D stab e happinessD and e*eryone has the potentia to e-perien#e it: The #a,ses o+ happiness ie $ithin o,r o$n mindD and methods +or a#hie*in" it #an be pra#ti#ed by anyoneD any$hereD in any i+esty eJ i*in" in the #ityD $or1in" an ei"ht-ho,r EobD raisin" a +ami yD p ayin" on $ee1ends: %y pra#ti#in" these methodsJmeditationJ$e #an earn to be happy at any timeD in any sit,ationD e*en di++i#, t and pain+, ones: E*ent,a y $e #an +ree o,rse *es o+ prob ems i1e dissatis+a#tionD an"erD and an-iety andD +ina yD by rea i!in" the a#t,a $ay that thin"s e-istD $e $i e iminate #omp ete y the *ery so,r#e o+ a dist,rbin" states o+ mind so that they $i ne*er arise a"ain:

What s the m nd!


MindD or #ons#io,snessD is at the heart o+ %,ddhist theory and pra#ti#eD and +or the ast 26>> years meditators ha*e been in*esti"atin" and ,sin" it as a means o+ trans#endin" ,nsatis+a#tory e-isten#e and a#hie*in" per+e#t pea#e: It is said that a happinessD ordinary and s,b imeD is a#hie*ed by ,nderstandin" and trans+ormin" o,r o$n minds: The mind is a nonphysi#a 1ind o+ ener"yD and its +,n#tion is to 1no$D to e-perien#e: It is a$areness itse +: It is # ear in nat,re and re+ e#ts e*erythin" that it e-perien#esD E,st as a sti a1e re+ e#ts the s,rro,ndin" mo,ntains and +orests: Mind #han"es +rom moment to moment: It is a be"innin" ess #ontin,,mD i1e an e*er+ o$in" streamG the pre*io,s mind-moment "a*e rise to this mind-momentD $hi#h "i*es rise to the ne-t mind-momentD and so on: It is the "enera name "i*en to the tota ity o+ o,r #ons#io,s and ,n#ons#io,s e-perien#esG ea#h o+ ,s is the #enter o+ a $or d o+ tho,"htsD per#eptionsD +ee in"sD memoriesD and dreamsJa o+ these are mind: Mind is not a physi#a thin" that has tho,"hts and +ee in"sF it is those *ery e-perien#es: %ein" nonphysi#a D it is di++erent +rom the bodyD a tho,"h mind and body are inter#onne#ted and interdependent: MindJ#ons#io,snessJis #arried thro,"h o,r body by s,bt e physi#a ener"ies ?see pa"e 191@D $hi#h a so #ontro o,r mo*ement and *ita +,n#tions: This re ationship e-p ains $hyD +or e-amp eD physi#a si#1ness and dis#om+ort #an a++e#t o,r state o+ mind and $hyD in t,rnD menta attit,des #an both "i*e rise to and hea physi#a prob ems: Mind #an be #ompared to an o#eanD and momentary menta e*ents s,#h as happinessD irritationD +antasiesD and boredom to the $a*es that rise and +a on its s,r+a#e: 2,st as the $a*es #an s,bside to re*ea the sti ness o+ the o#ean.s depthsD so too is it possib e to #a m the t,rb, en#e o+ o,r mind to re*ea its nat,ra pristine # arity: The abi ity to do this ies $ithin the mind itse +D and the 1ey to the mind is meditation:

"
What Is Med tat on!
#,bd,in" the mind and brin"in" it to the ri"ht ,nderstandin" o+ rea ity is no easy tas1: It re8,ires a s o$ and "rad,a pro#ess o+ listening to and readin" e-p anations o+ the mind and the nat,re o+ thin"sF thin(ing abo,t and #are+, y ana y!in" this in+ormationF and +ina y trans+ormin" the mind thro,"h )editation' The mind #an be di*ided into sense consciousness*si"ht" hearin"D sme D tasteD and to,#h Jand )ental consciousness' Menta #ons#io,sness ran"es +rom o,r "rossest e-perien#es o+ an"er or desireD +or e-amp eD to the s,bt est e*e o+ #omp ete sti ness and # arity: It in# ,des o,r inte e#t,a pro#essesD o,r +ee in"s and emotionsD o,r memoryD and o,r dreams: Meditation is an a#ti*ity o+ the menta #ons#io,sness: It in*o *es one part o+ the mind obser*in"D ana y!in"D and dea in" $ith the rest o+ the mind: Meditation #an ta1e many +ormsG #on#entratin" sin" e-pointed y on an ?interna @ obEe#tD tryin" to ,nderstand some persona prob emD "eneratin" a Eoy+, o*e +or a h,manityD prayin" to an obEe#t o+ de*otionD or #omm,ni#atin" $ith o,r o$n inner $isdom: Its , timate aim is to a$a1en a *ery s,bt e e*e o+ #ons#io,sness and to ,se it to dis#o*er rea ityD dire#t y and int,iti*e y: This dire#tD int,iti*e a$areness o+ ho$ thin"s areD #ombined $ith o*e and #ompassion +or a bein"sD is 1no$n as en i"htenment and is the end res, t o+ Mahayana %,ddhist pra#ti#e: The p,rpose o+ rea#hin" itJand the dri*in" +or#e behind a pra#ti#eJis to he p others rea#h it too: The Tibetan term +or meditationD go)" meansD itera yD Hto be#ome +ami iar:I What arises in o,r mind is $hat $e are most +ami iar $ith: I+D $hen someone treats ,s ,n1ind y or disrespe#t+, yD $e immediate y +ee h,rt or an"ryD it is be#a,se these are the rea#tions that $e are most +ami iar $ithD or habit,ated to: %,ddhist meditation in*o *es ma1in" o,r mind +ami iar $ith positi*e states s,#h as o*eD #ompassionD patien#eD serenityD and $isdomD so that these be#ome more nat,ra and spontaneo,s: ThenD $hen $e en#o,nter an ,n1ind or hosti e personD $e. be more i1e y to remain #a m and patientD and e*en +ee #ompassion +or them: There are many di++erent te#hni8,es o+ meditationF ea#h te#hni8,e has spe#i+i# +,n#tions and bene+itsD and ea#h is a part o+ the +rame$or1 +or brin"in" o,r mind to a more rea isti# *ie$ o+ the $or d: It mi"ht be best to start by sayin" $hat meditation is not" be#a,se there are many mis,nderstandin"s abo,t it: 4or one thin"D meditation is not an a#ti*ity o+ the bodyG it is not simp y a matter o+ sittin" in a parti#, ar post,re or breathin" a parti#, ar $ayD nor is it done +or the p,rpose o+ e-perien#in" p easant bodi y sensations: )atherD it is an a#ti*ity o+ the mindD and is done +or the p,rpose o+ trans+ormin" the mindD ma1in" it more positi*e: A tho,"h the best res, ts ,s,a y #ome $hen $e meditate sittin" in a 8,iet p a#eD $e #an a so meditate in a noisy en*ironmentD and $hi e $or1in"D $a 1in"D ridin" on a b,sD or #oo1in" dinner: One Tibetan meditator rea i!ed emptiness $hi e #hoppin" $oodD and another attained sin" e-pointed #on#entration $hi e # eanin" his tea#her.s room:

4irstD $e earn to de*e op the meditati*e state o+ mind in +orma D sittin" pra#ti#eD b,t on#e $e are "ood at itD $e #an be more +reesty e and #reati*e and #an "enerate this menta state at any timeD in any sit,ation: %y thenD meditation has be#ome a $ay o+ i+e: Meditation is not somethin" +orei"n or ,ns,itab e +or the Western mind: There are di++erent methods pra#ti#ed in di++erent #, t,resD b,t they a share the #ommon prin#ip e o+ the mind simp y be#omin" +ami iar $ith positi*eD bene+i#ia states: And the mind o+ e*ery personD Eastern or WesternD has the same basi# e ements and e-perien#esD the same basi# prob emsJand the same potentia : Meditation is not spa#in"-o,t or r,nnin" a$ay: In +a#tD it is bein" tota y honest $ith o,rse *esG ta1in" a "ood oo1 at $hat $e are and $or1in" $ith that in order to be#ome more positi*e and ,se+, D to o,rse *es and others: There are both positi*e and ne"ati*e aspe#ts o+ the mind: The ne"ati*e aspe#tsJo,r menta disorders orD 8,ite itera yD de ,sionsJin# ,de Eea o,syD an"erD desireD prideD and the i1e: These arise +rom o,r mis,nderstandin" o+ rea ity and habit,a # in"in" to the $ay $e see thin"s: Thro,"h meditation $e #an re#o"ni!e o,r mista1es and adE,st o,r mind to thin1 and rea#t more rea isti#a yD more honest y: The +ina "oa D en i"htenmentD is a on"-term one: %,t meditations done $ith this "oa in mind #an and do ha*e enormo,s short-term bene+its: As o,r #on#rete pi#t,re o+ rea ity so+tensD $e de*e op a more positi*e and rea isti# se +-ima"e and are th,s more re a-ed and ess an-io,s: We earn to ha*e +e$er ,nrea isti# e-pe#tations o+ the peop e and thin"s aro,nd ,s and there+ore meet $ith ess disappointmentF re ationships impro*e and i+e be#omes more stab e and satis+yin": %,t rememberD i+e on" habits die hard: It is di++i#, t eno,"h simp y to re#o"ni!e o,r an"er and Eea o,syD m,#h ess ma1e an e++ort to ho d ba#1 the o d +ami iar tide o+ +ee in" or ana y!e its #a,ses and res, ts: Trans+ormin" the mind is a s o$ and "rad,a pro#ess: It is a matter o+ riddin" o,rse *esD bit by bitD o+ instin#ti*eD harm+, habit patterns and Hbe#omin" +ami iarI $ith habits that ne#essari y brin" positi*e res, tsJto o,rse *es and others: There are many meditation te#hni8,es b,tD a##ordin" to the Tibetan traditionD a #an be # asssed into t$o #ate"oriesG stabili%ing and analytical'

#tab l $ ng med tat on


In "enera D this type o+ meditation is ,sed to de*e op #on#entrationD and e*ent,a y to attain #a m abidin" ?Sans1ritG sha)ata@D a spe#ia 1ind o+ #on#entration that enab es one to remain +o#,sed on $hate*er obEe#t one $ishesD +or as on" as one $ishesD $hi e e-perien#in" b issD # arityD and pea#e: Con#entration and #a m abidin" are ne#essary +or any rea D astin" insi"ht and menta trans+ormation: In stabi i!in" meditationD $e earn to #on#entrate ,pon one obEe#tJ the breathD the nat,re o+ one.s o$n mindD a #on#eptD a *is,a i!ed ima"eJ$itho,t interr,ption: Con#entration $itho,t interr,ption is the e-a#t opposite o+ o,r ,s,a state o+ mind: I+ yo, t,rn in$ard +or a +e$ moments yo, $i noti#e yo,r mind E,mpin" +rom one thin" to

anotherG a tho,"ht o+ somethin" yo, $i do aterD a so,nd o,tsideD a +riendD somethin" that happened ear ierD a physi#a sensationD a #,p o+ #o++ee: We ne*er need to say to the mindD HThin1/I or H4ee /I It is a $ays b,sy doin" somethin"D speedin" a on"D $ith an ener"y o+ its o$n: With s,#h a s#attered and ,n#ontro ed mind there is itt e #han#e o+ s,##ess in anythin" $e doD $hether it is rememberin" a te ephone n,mberD #oo1in" a mea D or r,nnin" a b,siness: And #ertain yD $itho,t #on#entration s,##ess+, meditation is impossib e: Stabi i!in" meditation is not easyD b,t it is essentia +or brin"in" the mind ,nder #ontro : A tho,"h the de*e opment o+ a#t,a sin" e-pointed #on#entration and #a m abidin" is the $or1 o+ +, time meditatorsD $e don.t need to retreat to the mo,ntains to e-perien#e the bene+its o+ this 1ind o+ meditationG e*en in o,r day-to-day #ity i+e $e #an de*e op "ood #on#entration by re", ar y doin" ten or +i+teen min,tes a day o+ stabi i!in" meditation ?+or e-amp eD the meditation on the breathD pa"e 0;@: It #an brin" an immediate sense o+ spa#io,sness and a o$ ,s to see the $or1in"s o+ o,r mind more # ear yD both d,rin" the meditation and thro,"ho,t the rest o+ the day:

Analyt cal med tat on


This type o+ meditation is +or the p,rpose o+ de*e opin" insi"htD or #orre#t ,nderstandin" o+ the $ay thin"s areD and e*ent,a y to attain spe#ia insi"ht ?Sans1ritG vi!ashyana@ that sees the , timate nat,re o+ a thin"s: Ana yti#a meditation brin"s into p ay #reati*eD inte e#t,a tho,"ht and is #r,#ia to o,r de*e opmentG the +irst step in "ainin" any rea insi"ht is to ,nderstand conce!tually ho$ thin"s are: This #on#ept,a # arity de*e ops into +irm #on*i#tion $hi#hD $hen #ombined $ith stabi i!in" meditationD brin"s dire#t and int,iti*e 1no$in": 'o$e*erD e*en be+ore $e #an H1no$ ho$ thin"s areI $e m,st +irst identi+y o,r $ron" #on#eptions: Bsin" # earD penetrati*eD ana yti#a tho,"ht $e ,nra*e the #omp e-ities o+ o,r attit,des and beha*ior patterns: (rad,a yD $e #an e iminate those tho,"htsD +ee in"sD and ideas that #a,se o,rse *es and others ,nhappinessD and in their p a#e #, ti*ate tho,"htsD +ee in"sD and ideas that brin" happiness and pea#e: In this $ay $e be#ome +ami iar $ith the rea ity o+D +or e-amp eD #a,se and e++e#tJthat o,r present e-perien#es are the res, t o+ o,r past a#tions and the #a,se o+ o,r +,t,re e-perien#esJor $ith the +a#t that a thin"s a#1 an inherent nat,re: We #an meditate point by point on the bene+its o+ patien#e and the disad*anta"es o+ an"erF on the *a ,e o+ de*e opin" #ompassionF on the 1indness o+ others: In one senseD an ana yti#a meditation session is an intensi*e st,dy session: 'o$e*erD the e*e o+ #on#ept,a tho,"ht that $e #an rea#h d,rin" these meditations is more s,bt e and there+ore more potent than o,r tho,"hts d,rin" day-to-day i+e: %e#a,se o,r senses are not bein" bombarded by the ,s,a +ranti# inp,t $e are ab e to #on#entrate more stron" y and de*e op a +ine y-t,ned sensiti*ity to the $or1in"s o+ o,r mind: Ana yti#a meditation #an a so be ,sed as se +-therapy: &ama 5eshe saidD HEa#h o+ ,s sho, d 1no$ o,r o$n mindF yo, sho, d be#ome yo,r o$n psy#ho o"ist:I When $e ha*e a prob em or $e +ee emotiona y ,psetD $e #an sit do$n and ma1e o,r mind #a mer $ith

a +e$ min,tes o+ meditation on the breath: ThenD ta1in" a step ba#1 +rom o,r tho,"hts and emotionsD $e #an try to ,nderstand $hat.s "oin" on: HWhat 1ind o+ tho,"hts are "oin" thro,"h my mind? What emotions are arisin"?I Within the #a mD # ear spa#e o+ meditationD it $i be easier to re#o"ni!e $here o,r thin1in" is erroneo,s and to adE,st it by brin"in" in more rea isti# and bene+i#ia ideas that $e ha*e earned +rom o,r spirit,a st,dy and pra#ti#e: Some peop e thin1 that meditation is ne#essari y stabi i!in"D or sin" e-pointedD meditationD and that $hen $e meditateD o,r mind sho, d be +ree o+ a tho,"hts and #on#epts: This is not #orre#tG sin" e-pointed meditation is not the on y 1ind o+ meditation there isD and tho,"hts and #on#eptsD $hen ,sed s1i +, yD p ay a #r,#ia ro e in the positi*e trans+ormation o+ o,r mind: At the root o+ o,r prob ems and #on+,sion are mista1en #on#epts abo,t rea ityD and the on y $ay to be +ree +rom these is to +irst identi+y and trans+orm them by ,sin" ana yti#a meditation: Stayin" +o#,sed on these ne$ insi"hts $ith sin" e-pointedness enab es the mind to be#ome thoro,"h y and deep y +ami iar $ith them: This is ho$ rea D astin" trans+ormation o+ the mind ta1es p a#e: Stabi i!in" and ana yti#a meditationsD thenD are #omp ementary and #an be ,sed to"ether in one session: When doin" a meditation on emptinessD +or e-amp eD $e ana y!e the obEe#t ?emptiness@ ,sin" in+ormation $e ha*e heard or readD as $e as o,r o$n tho,"htsD +ee in"sD and memories: At some point an int,iti*e e-perien#e o+ or #on*i#tion abo,t the obEe#t arises: We sho, d then stop thin1in" and +o#,s o,r attention sin" e-pointed y on the +ee in" +or as on" as possib e: We sho, d soa1 o,r mind in the e-perien#e: When the +ee in" +ades $e #an either #ontin,e ana y!in" or #on# ,de the session: This method o+ #ombinin" the t$o 1inds o+ meditation #a,ses the mind itera y to be#ome one $ith the obEe#t o+ meditation: The stron"er o,r #on#entrationD the deeper o,r insi"ht $i be: We need to repeat this pro#ess a"ain and a"ain $ith anythin" $e $ant to ,nderstand in order to trans+orm o,r insi"ht into a#t,a e-perien#e: Stabi i!in" meditations s,#h as the meditation on the breath $i a so "o better i+ some s1i +, ana ysis is ,sed: When $e sit do$n to meditateD $e sho, d start by e-aminin" o,r state o+ mind and # ari+yin" o,r moti*ation +or doin" the pra#ti#eD and this in*o *es ana yti#a tho,"ht: D,rin" the meditation itse + $e mi"ht +ind #on#entration espe#ia y di++i#, tF at s,#h times it is "ood to ana y!e the prob em +or a +e$ momentsD then to rep a#e the mind on the breath: And sometimes it is ,se+, to #he#1 on the mind d,rin" the meditation to ma1e s,re it is not daydreamin" b,t doin" $hat it is s,pposed to be doin": The meditations in this boo1 are di*ided into +o,r se#tions: The +irst o+ theseD Meditations on the Mind" in# ,des three te#hni8,es that he p de*e op a$areness o+ the mind itse +: The meditation on the breath ?o+ten #a ed )indfulness )editation@ is primari y a stabi i!in" pra#ti#e that ,ses the breath as the obEe#t o+ #on#entration: %e"inners are ad*ised to start $ith this pra#ti#eD as it #a ms the mindD enab in" ,s to see more # ear y ho$ it $or1s: The other meditations in this se#tion are +or de*e opin" an a$areness o+ the # ear nat,re o+ the mindD and the be"innin" essness and #ontin,ity o+ the mind: A te#hni8,es in*o *e both stabi i!ation and ana ysis: The ne-t se#tionD Analytical Meditations" o++ers e e*en te#hni8,es +or oo1in" into and ana y!in" o,r ass,mptions abo,t ho$ thin"s e-istD abo,t i+eD deathD s,++erin"D and #ompassionF andD +ina yD ad*i#e on dea in" $ith o,r ne"ati*e ener"y in e*eryday i+e: I+

yo, are E,st earnin" to s o$ the mind do$n $ithD sayD the breathin" meditationD yo, mi"ht not +ee ready to ta#1 e any o+ these s,bEe#ts in +orma meditationF ho$e*erD simp y readin" thro,"h this se#tion pro*ides p enty o+ +ood +or tho,"ht: Ne-t is $isuali%ation Meditations+ +i*e te#hni8,es introd,#e *is,a i!ation as ,sed in tantri# AaErayana pra#ti#eF a #ombine stabi i!ation and ana ysis: The +ina se#tion o+ the main body o+ the boo1D Prayers and &ther Devotional PracticesD in# ,des se*era more meditations as $e as prayers and other pra#ti#es: It is important to "o s o$ y and to adopt ne$ methods on y $hen yo, are ready: There is no point in tryin" to do meditations that seem stran"e or #omp i#ated or $hose p,rpose is not # ear: It is better to sti#1 to one or t$o methods $hose bene+its yo, #an rea y e-perien#e: 'o$e*erD e*erythin" in this boo1 is an inte"ra part o+ ba an#ed spirit,a "ro$th and a step on a path that is *ast and pro+o,nd: 4or e-amp eD most o+ the ana yti#a meditations are +rom the "rad,ated path ?TibetanG la)ri)@ traditionD a $e -or"ani!ed series o+ topi#s to be earnedD #ontemp atedD and inte"rated e-perientia yD a pro#ess that "ets ,s +rom o,r present ,nen i"htened state to the +, +i ment o+ o,r potentia +or per+e#tionG en i"htenment: ?4or more in+ormation abo,t the "rad,ated pathD see the re#ommended readin" ist at the end o+ the boo1:@ Thro,"h #are+, and patient st,dy and pra#ti#eD yo, $i earn to appre#iate the re ationship that these pra#ti#es ha*e to ea#h other and to the entire path:

Part Two
E#TA%&I#'IN( A MEDITATION P)ACTICE

1
Ad* ce for %eg nners

)eg+lar ,ract ce
In order to e-perien#e the bene+its o+ meditation it is ne#essary to pra#ti#e re", ar yF as $ith any a#ti*ityD it is not possib e to s,##eed ,n ess $e dedi#ate o,r ener"y $ho ehearted y to it: Try to meditate e*ery dayD or at east se*era times a $ee1: I+ yo, et $ee1s or months pass $itho,t meditatin" yo, $i "et o,t o+ shape and +ind it a the more di++i#, t $hen yo, try a"ain: Ine*itab y there $i be times $hen the ast thin" yo, $ant to do is meditateD b,t meditate any$ayD e*en +or on y a +e$ min,tesF o+ten these sessions are the most prod,#ti*e:

The med tat on ,lace


I+ possib eD it is best to reser*e a room or #orner espe#ia y +or yo,r meditation sessions: Set ,p yo,r seatD either a #,shion on the + oorD on a bed or so+aD or a strai"ht-ba#1ed #hairD $ith a tab e or o$ ben#h in +ront o+ yo, +or this and other boo1s that yo, need +or yo,r meditations: I+ yo, are so in# ined yo, #an set ,p an a tar nearby +or stat,es or pi#t,res that inspire yo,D and +or o++erin"s to the %,ddhas s,#h as #and esD in#enseD + o$ersD and +r,it: Idea yD the p a#e sho, d be # ean and 8,ietD $here yo, $on.t be dist,rbed: 'o$e*erD $ith dis#ip ine it is possib e to meditate in a #ro$dedD noisy en*ironmentF peop e in prisonD +or e-amp eD o+ten #annot +ind a 8,iet p a#e and sti be#ome s,##ess+, meditators: E*en i+ yo,r s,rro,ndin"s are b,sy and noisyD ma1e yo,r meditation p a#e as p easin" and #om+ortab e as possib eD so that yo, are happy to be there and #an.t $ait to ret,rn/

Choos ng a ,ract ce
It is "ood to start $ith the meditation on the breath ?pa"e 0;@: This is idea +or #a min" the mind and startin" to de*e op some insi"ht into yo,r tho,"hts and +ee in"sJand both

#a m and insi"ht are essentia in"redients +or s,##ess+, meditations o+ any 1ind: On#e yo,.re +ami iar $ith meditationD #hoose the pra#ti#es that best s,it yo,r needsD rememberin" that a the te#hni8,es here are either antidotes to parti#, ar prob ems or methods +or enhan#in" parti#, ar 8,a ities: I+D +or e-amp eD yo, are in# ined to$ard an"erD yo, #o, d meditate on patien#e ?pa"e 12=@ or o*in"-1indness ?pa"e 111@: I+ dist,rbed by stron" desire or atta#hmentD yo, $o, d bene+it +rom meditatin" on impermanen#e ?pa"e 96@D death ?pa"e 9=@D or s,++erin" ?pa"e =;@: Depression #an be #o,ntera#ted by thin1in" abo,t the pre#io,sness and potentia o+ yo,r h,man i+e ?pa"e 6=@: O+ten $e +ee that thin"s happen random y or that i+e is ,n+airG i+ soD meditate on 1arma ?pa"e <>@: I+ yo, re"ret the harm yo, ha*e done to others or +ee hope ess and don.t be ie*e yo, #an #han"eD do one o+ the p,ri+i#ation pra#ti#es ?pa"es =>D 13<D or 21=@: I+ yo,.re o*er$he med by the s,++erin" o+ the $or d and $ant to de*e op the #o,ra"e to he p othersD meditate on #ompassion and ton" en ?pa"e 119@: When yo,r mind is tran8,i D it.s "ood to de*e op #on#entration $ith a *is,a i!ation te#hni8,e that appea s to yo, ?pa"e 130@D or deepen yo,r insi"ht into the meanin" o+ rea ity by meditatin" on emptiness ?pa"e 60@: I+ yo, appre#iate the bene+its o+ de*otiona pra#ti#esD yo, #an in#orporate prostrations and prayers ?pa"e 19;@ or #hoose a *is,a i!ation meditation: A this is meant as a "enera ",ide on yF $ith pra#ti#e yo, $i earn to 1no$ $hat to do $hen: 'o$e*erD the importan#e o+ bein" ",ided by an e-perien#ed meditator #annot be o*er-emphasi!ed ?see pa"e 1<@:

#hort sess ons


In the be"innin" it is best to meditate +or short periodsJten to thirty min,tesJand end yo,r session $hi e mind and body are sti #om+ortab e and +resh: I+ yo, p,sh yo,rse + to meditate +or too on" and rise +rom yo,r seat $ith an a#hin" body and a +r,strated mindD yo, $on.t ha*e m,#h interest in sittin" do$n to meditate a"ain: Meditation sho, d be a satis+yin" and prod,#ti*e e-perien#eD not a b,rden: 5o, sho, d de#ide be+orehand on a period o+ time +or the session and sti#1 to itD e*en i+ the meditation is "oin" $e : As yo,r s1i de*e ops yo, #an in#rease the en"th o+ yo,r sessions a##ordin" y:

%e rela-ed b+t alert


Mind and body sho, d be re a-ed and #om+ortab e thro,"ho,t the session: 5o, #an re amenta y by +irm y de#idin" to ea*e behind a prob emsD $orries and in*o *ements o+ the e-terna $or d and immerse yo,rse + in yo,r inner $or d: It mi"ht he p to re#a a past e-perien#e o+ +ee in" at ease and #ontentedJand then "enerate that same +ee in" on yo,r meditation seat: %reathin" meditation #an a so brin" the same res, t: Obser*in" the "ent eD nat,ra rhythm

o+ the breath and a*oidin" distra#tin" tho,"htsD yo,r menta state "rad,a y be#omes tran8,i and # ear: %,t don.t +a as eep/ Stay a ert: Ta1e note o+ $hate*er tho,"htsD ima"esD +ee in"sD and sensations arise in yo,r mind $itho,t be#omin" in*o *ed in them: 5o,r main +o#,s o+ attention sho, d a $ays be the breath ?or $hate*er s,bEe#t yo, ha*e #hosen to meditate on@: Physi#a re a-ation #an be +a#i itated by the pra#ti#e o+ s,#h dis#ip ines as yo"aD tai #hiD 1,m nyeD or other stress red,#tion and re a-ation methods: Any means yo, ,se to ease physi#a tension and impro*e yo,r abi ity to sit in meditation is a *a ,ab e addition to yo,r pra#ti#e:

No e-,ectat ons
Sin#e $e a $ant to enEoy happiness and pea#e o+ mind and a*oid prob emsD it is nat,ra to $ant "ood e-perien#es d,rin" meditation: %,t s,#h e-pe#tations are not ne#essari y rea isti# and are i1e y to hinder yo,r pro"ress: The mind is #omp e- and e*er-#han"in": One day yo, mi"ht ha*e a #a mD Eoy+, meditation and the ne-t a meditation beset by distra#tions and t,rmoi : This is 8,ite norma and sho, d not #a,se $orry or +r,stration: %e ready +or anythin" and do not be dist,rbed by $hate*er happens: The most tro,b esome pain+, e-perien#es #an be the most *a ,ab e in terms o+ the "ro$th o+ $isdom: 4ee satis+ied that yo, are ma1in" the e++ort to meditate and trans+orm yo,r mindJthat itse + is meditation: As on" as yo, are tryin"D it is mista1en to thin1 that yo, #an.t meditate: )es, ts ta1e time: Don.t be dis#o,ra"ed i+ yo, ha*e not a#hie*ed "ood #on#entration $ithin a +e$ $ee1sF it is better to thin1 in terms o+ years: 'abits b,i t ,p o*er a i+etime are not e iminated instant y b,t by "rad,a #, ti*ation o+ ne$ habits: So be easy on yo,rse +: )e#o"ni!e yo,r #apabi ities and imitations and e*a ,ate yo,r pro"ress a##ordin" y:

The need for a teacher


The most e++e#ti*e $ay to earn anythin" is to st,dy $ith someone $ho has a ready mastered itJand meditation is no e-#eption: The mind #an be #ompared to a m,si#a instr,mentG in order to #reate bea,ti+, m,si# $ith it $e need to st,dy $ith a master $ho 1no$s the instr,ment inside and o,tD and in order to de*e op a # earD enth,siasti#D and o*in" mind $e need the ",idan#e o+ someone $ho thoro,"h y ,nderstands ho$ the mind $or1s and ho$ it #an be trans+ormed: 'o$e*erD it is not easy to +ind a 8,a i+ied tea#her: The 8,a ities to oo1 +or in# ,de #ompassionD 1no$ ed"e and insi"htD mora ityD sin#erityD and s1i in e-p anation: 5o, sho, d ha*e #on+iden#e in yo,r tea#her and #omm,ni#ate $e $ith him or her: There+oreD it mi"ht be a matter o+ years be+ore yo, meet the ri"ht tea#her: %,t don.t thin1 yo, sho, d set o,t on a +ranti# ",r, h,nt/ Ta1e it easy: When the time is ri"ht yo, $i meet the person $ho #an ",ide yo, s,##ess+, y:

In the meantimeD yo, #an pra#ti#e meditations s,#h as those e-p ained hereD and see1 the ad*i#e o+ any pra#titioner $hose 8,a ities yo, admireJe*en i+ the person has been meditatin" +or on y a short time: 5o,r o$n innate $isdomD yo,r inner ",r,D $i te yo, $hether or not yo, are headin" in the ri"ht dire#tion:

Don.t ad*ert se/


Whene*er $e dis#o*er somethin" ne$ and interestin" $e +ee i1e te in" e*eryone abo,t itD b,t it is not a "ood idea to ta 1 too m,#h abo,t yo,r meditation: Bn ess someone is sin#ere y interested and as1s yo, abo,t itD it is better to 1eep 8,iet: %road#astin" yo,r e-perien#es $i dissipate $hate*er "ood ener"y and insi"ht yo, ha*e "ained: It is best to dis#,ss yo,r pra#ti#e on y $ith yo,r tea#her and a +e$ # ose +riends: 'a*in" ta1en ,p meditation there is no need to ma1e bi" #han"es in yo,r i+esty eD beha*iorD or appearan#e: 5o, #an 1eep yo,r Eob and yo,r +riendsD #ontin,e to i*e in yo,r ni#e ho,seD and E,st enEoy i+e as ,s,a : Meditation is an interna D not e-terna D a#ti*ity: 5o,r pra#ti#e $i trans+orm yo,r mind on a s,bt e e*e D ma1in" yo, more sensiti*e and # earD and "i*in" yo, +resh insi"ht into ordinary day-to-day e-perien#es: S,per+i#ia #han"es are not nat,ra and are ,n i1e y to impress anyoneD b,t the deepD nat,ra #han"es #reated by meditation are rea and bene+i#ia D both +or yo,rse + and others:

"
The Med tat on #ess on

#t
Sit #om+ortab y in either the se*en-point post,re or some other re#ommended position ?see pa"e 23@: Spend a +e$ min,tes sett in" yo,r body and mind: De#ide $hi#h meditation yo, $i do and +or ho$ on" yo, $i meditateD and determine not to do anythin" e se +or that period o+ time: It is traditiona to prostrate three times be+ore sittin" do$n to meditate ?see pa"e 1;;@: Prostration #o,ntera#ts pride: It e-presses o,r a##eptan#e that $e ha*e $or1 to doD prob ems to so *eD and a on" $ay to "o in o,r inner de*e opment: It is not ne#essari y an a#t o+ s,bmission to somethin" e-terna D b,t a re#o"nition that the potentia +or $ho eness and per+e#tion ies $ithin ,s: We are prostratin" to o,r o$n tr,e nat,reD $hi#h $e $ant to a$a1en thro,"h meditation: I+ done $ith this ,nderstandin"D prostration he ps p,t the mind in the ri"ht state +or meditation:

Mot *ate
Che#1 ,p on yo,r tho,"hts: Why do yo, $ant to meditate? What do yo, hope to a#hie*e? As $ith any a#ti*ityD the # earer and more +irm y $e set o,r "oa D the stron"er is o,r moti*ation and the more i1e y $e are to s,##eed: A short-term "oa o+ meditation is simp y to #a m do$n and re a-: More +ar-rea#hin" is the aim e*ent,a y to penetrate thro,"h to a #omp ete ,nderstandin" o+ the nat,re o+ rea ity as an antidote to ,nhappiness and dissatis+a#tion: 'o$e*erD the most a tr,isti# and th,s the hi"hest aim o+ meditation is to a#hie*e en i"htenment in order to he p others "ain itD too: This aspiration is 1no$n in Sans1rit as bodhichitta: It is the most +ar-rea#hin" obEe#ti*eJthe Mahayana moti*ationJand ine*itab y the other "oa s $i be rea#hed on the $ay: I+ yo, are #om+ortab e $ith this ideaD yo, #an start yo,r meditation by thin1in"G HI am "oin" to do this meditation in order to attain en i"htenment so that I #an he p a bein"s attain that state as $e :I 'o$e*erD it may be di++i#, t +or yo, to thin1 that yo,r reason +or meditatin" is to attain en i"htenmentJthis "oa may seem too *ast or +ar-distant +or yo, to rea isti#a y #onsider Jb,t yo, may sti ha*e an a tr,isti# $ish to be more bene+i#ia to others: In that #ase yo, #o, d thin1 somethin" i1e thisG HI $ish to pra#ti#e meditation in order to de#rease the ne"ati*e ener"y in my mindJan"erD se +-#enterednessD atta#hmentD prideD and so +orthJand to in#rease my positi*e 8,a ities s,#h as o*eD #ompassionD patien#eD and $isdom: In this $ayD I $i ha*e more bene+i#ia D positi*e ener"y to brin" into my intera#tions $ith othersD and to send o,t into the $or d:I

Whi#he*er yo,r moti*ationD thin1 it thro,"h # ear y be+ore pro#eedin" $ith yo,r meditation: I+ yo, +ee it $o, d he p yo,r pra#ti#e yo, #an say either a the pre iminary prayers on pa"es 1;1K;3 or E,st the prayer o+ re+,"e and bodhi#hitta: Some peop e +ind that re#itin" prayersD either menta y or *erba yD ind,#es a "ood +rame o+ mind +or meditation by remindin" them o+ the $isdom and other 8,a ities they $ant to a#hie*e: I+ yo, do prayD re+ e#t on the meanin" o+ ea#h prayer so that it + o$s nat,ra y +rom yo,r heart:

Med tate
No$D t,rn to the obEe#t o+ meditation and 1eep it +irm y in mind thro,"ho,t the period: 4o o$ the ad*i#e in the #hapter startin" on pa"e 2; i+ yo, #ome ,p a"ainst prob ems d,rin" the session: I+ yo, do a stabi i!in" meditationJ+or e-amp eD +o#,sin" on the breathJaim to ho d yo,r mind ,n$a*erin" y on the obEe#t o+ #on#entration: I+ yo, do an ana yti#a meditationD in*esti"ate the topi# $ith +, attention ,nti an int,iti*e +ee in" o+ it arisesD then p a#e yo,r mind sin" e-pointed yJin other $ordsD do stabi i!in" meditationJon that insi"ht so that it be#omes itera y one $ith yo,r e-perien#e: When the +ee in" or yo,r #on#entration starts to +adeD ret,rn to the ana yti#a pro#ess: %e+ore startin" the meditation it is important to read the preamb e and then to inte"rate into the meditationJespe#ia y ana yti#a meditationJthe ideas raised there: End the meditation $ith a +irm #on# ,sion abo,t the topi#D based on yo,r insi"ht and e-perien#es d,rin" the session: Idea yD o+ #o,rseD it $o, d be best not to need to re+er to this or other boo1s d,rin" yo,r meditationD b,t ,nti yo, 1no$ the detai s yo, #annot a*oid ha*in" to open yo,r eyes +rom time to time to #he#1 on the ne-t sta"e o+ the meditation: E-periment to +ind the most #om+ortab e $ay to #ond,#t yo,r sessions: It is *ery ,se+, to +o o$ the meditations on a CD or MP0 p ayerD or to ta1e it in t,rns $ith a +e o$ meditator to read o,t the meditations to ea#h other: Whi#he*er method yo, ,seD the important point is to be re a-ed and +ree o+ a ,nrea isti# e-pe#tations abo,t the $ay yo, thin1 the session sho, d "o: 4o o$ the instr,#tionsJand yo,r o$n $isdomJas $e as yo, #anD don.t pani#D and ha*e #on+iden#e/

Ded cate
E*ery time yo, meditateD e*en +or E,st a +e$ min,tesD yo, #reate positi*e ener"y and de*e op some de"ree o+ insi"ht: The e++e#ts o+ this ener"y and insi"ht are determined by

yo,r tho,"hts and attit,des as yo, mo*e +rom meditation to ordinary a#ti*ity: I+ yo, +inish the session in an ,nhappy +rame o+ mind or r,sh o++ too 8,i#1 yD m,#h o+ the ener"y is i1e y to be ost: %e+ore yo, ea*e yo,r meditation seatD ta1e a +e$ min,tes to re#a yo,r reasons and moti*ation +or doin" the session and dedi#ate yo,r ener"y and insi"ht to the +, +i ment o+ these obEe#ti*es: C ear dedi#ation in this $ay stabi i!es the insi"ht and ens,res that res, ts #ome: ?See pa"e 1;3 +or dedi#ation prayers:@ And don.t +or"et to brin" the "ood e-perien#es o+ the meditation into yo,r dai y a#ti*ities: Instead o+ a#tin" and rea#tin" imp, si*e y and +o o$in" yo,r tho,"hts and +ee in"s here and thereD $at#h yo,r mind #are+, yD be a$areD and try to dea s1i +, y $ith prob ems as they arise: I+ yo, #an do this e*ery dayD yo,r meditation has been s,##ess+, :

0
Post+re
Mind and body are interdependent: %e#a,se the state o+ one a++e#ts the state o+ the otherD a #orre#t sittin" post,re is emphasi!ed +or meditation: The se*en-point post,reD ,sed by e-perien#ed meditators +or #ent,riesD is re#ommended as the best:

&egs
The best position +or meditation is the *aEraD or +, - ot,sD positionD $here yo, sit #rosse""ed $ith ea#h +oot p a#edD so e ,p$ardD on the thi"h o+ the opposite e": This position is di++i#, t +or many peop eD b,t pra#ti#in" yo"a or stret#hin" e-er#ises may oosen yo,r e"s eno,"h to be ab e to sit this $ay +or a short timeD and #ontin,ed pra#ti#e $i enab e yo, to maintain it +or in#reasin" y on"er periods: The *aEra post,re "i*es the best s,pport to the bodyD b,t is not essentia D so don.t $orry i+ yo, are ,nab e to do it: An a ternati*e position is the ha +- ot,s $here the e+t +oot is on the + oor ,nder the ri"ht e" and the ri"ht +oot on top o+ the e+t thi"h: 5o, #an a so sit in a simp e #ross- e""ed post,re $ith both +eet on the + oor: 'a*in" a mat or #arpet beneath yo, and a #,shion or t$o ,nder yo,r b,tto#1s $i enab e yo, to sit #om+ortab y +or on"er periodsD $ith a strai"ht ba#1D and a*oid n,mbness in yo,r e"s and +eet: I+ yo, are ,nab e to sit in any o+ these #ross- e""ed positionsD yo, #an meditate in a #hair or on a o$D s anted ben#h: The important thin" is to be #om+ortab e:

Arms
'o d yo,r hands oose y on yo,r apD abo,t t$o in#hes be o$ the na*e D ri"ht hand on top o+ the e+tD pa ms ,p$ardD $ith the +in"ers a i"ned: The t$o hands sho, d be s i"ht y #,pped so that the tips o+ the th,mbs meet to +orm a trian" e: Sho, ders and arms sho, d be re a-ed: 5o,r arms sho, d not be pressed a"ainst yo,r body b,t he d a +e$ in#hes a$ay to a o$ #ir#, ation o+ airG this he ps to pre*ent s eepiness:

%ack
5o,r ba#1 is most important: It sho, d be strai"htD he d re a-ed and i"ht y ,pri"htD as i+ the *ertebrae $ere a pi e o+ #oins: It mi"ht be di++i#, t in the be"innin"D b,t in time it $i be#ome nat,ra and yo, $i noti#e the bene+itsG yo,r ener"y $i + o$ more +ree y ?see pa"e 191@D yo, $on.t +ee s ,""ishD and yo, $i be ab e to sit #om+ortab y in meditation

+or in#reasin" y on"er periods:

Eyes
Ne$ meditators o+ten +ind it easier to #on#entrate $ith their eyes +, y # osed: This is 8,ite a##eptab e: 'o$e*erD it is re#ommended that yo, ea*e yo,r eyes s i"ht y open to admit a itt e i"htD and dire#t yo,r "a!e do$n$ard: C osin" yo,r eyes may be an in*itation to s ,""ishnessD s eepD or dream- i1e ima"esD a o+ $hi#h hinder meditation:

1aw
5o,r Ea$ sho, d be re a-ed and teeth s i"ht y apartD not # en#hed: 5o,r mo,th sho, d a so be re a-edD $ith the ips to"ether i"ht y:

Tong+e
The tip o+ yo,r ton",e sho, d to,#h the pa ate E,st behind the ,pper teeth: This red,#es the + o$ o+ sa i*a and th,s the need to s$a o$D both o+ $hi#h #o, d be distra#tin" as yo,r #on#entration in#reases and yo, sit in meditation +or on"er periods:

'ead
5o,r ne#1 sho, d be bent +or$ard a itt e so that yo,r "a!e is dire#ted nat,ra y to$ard the + oor in +ront o+ yo,: I+ yo,r head is he d too hi"h yo, may ha*e prob ems $ith menta $anderin" and a"itationD and i+ dropped too o$ yo, #o, d e-perien#e menta hea*iness or s eepiness: This se*en-point post,re is most #ond,#i*e to # earD ,nobstr,#ted #ontemp ation: 5o, mi"ht +ind it di++i#, t in the be"innin"D b,t it is a "ood idea to #he#1 e*ery point at the start o+ yo,r session and try to maintain the #orre#t post,re +or a +e$ min,tes: With +ami iarity it $i +ee more nat,ra and yo, $i be"in to noti#e its bene+its: The pra#ti#e o+ hatha yo"a or other physi#a dis#ip ines #an be a "reat he p in oosenin" ti"ht m,s# es and EointsD th,s enab in" yo, to sit more #om+ortab y: 'o$e*erD i+ yo, are ,nab e to adapt to sittin" #ross- e""ed yo, #an ma1e a #ompromise bet$een per+e#t post,re and a re a-ed state: In other $ordsD 1eep yo,r body and mind happyD #om+ortab eD and +ree o+ tension:

2
Common Problems

)estlessness and d stract ons


At times d,rin" a meditation session the mind is *ery rest ess and o,r attention is #ontin,a y distra#ted by other thin"s: These #an in# ,de e-terna obEe#ts i1e so,ndsD b,t a so interna distra#tions s,#h as memories o+ the pastD +antasies abo,t the +,t,reD or in#essant #hatter abo,t $hat.s happenin" in the present: S,#h tho,"hts are o+ten a##ompanied by dist,rbin" emotionsD s,#h as atta#hment ?"raspin" at p easant e-perien#es@F an"er or hatred ?obsessin" o*er $hat someone did that h,rt or irritated ,s@F +earF do,btF Eea o,syF or depression: Norma y $e E,st et the mind r,n i1e this $itho,t tryin" to #ontro itD so menta $anderin" has be#ome a deep y in"rained habit: It is not easy to "i*e ,p habitsD b,t $e sho, d re#o"ni!e that this oneJthis menta e-#itementD as it.s #a edJis the *ery opposite o+ meditation: As on" as $e are b,sy r,nnin" in #ir# es on the s,r+a#e o+ the mind $e $i ne*er penetrate to its depths and ne*er de*e op the #on#entration $e need +or per#ei*in" rea ity: There are a n,mber o+ methods +or #o,ntera#tin" menta e-#itement: One is to +o#,s +irm y on the breath and et the mind be#ome as #a m and e*en as the nat,ra rhythm o+ yo,r breathin" ?see pa"e 0;@: E*ery time yo,r attention $andersD brin" it ba#1 to the breath: Obser*e $hate*er tho,"hts and +ee in"s arise $itho,t "ettin" in*o *ed in themF re#a that they are E,st $a*es o+ yo,r mindD risin" and +a in": %,t i+ yo,r mind is stron" y #a,"ht ,p in a dist,rbin" emotion s,#h as atta#hment or an"erD it mi"ht be ne#essary to spend some time $or1in" $ith one or more o+ the antidotes to these ?see pa"e 122@: On#e yo, ha*e re"ained #ontro o*er yo,r mind yo, #an ret,rn to the main obEe#t o+ the session: An e++e#ti*e method +rom the Tibetan tradition +or #a min" the mind is 1no$n as the Nine-)o,nd %reathin" Pra#ti#e: This #an be ,sed at the be"innin" o+ a meditation sessionD or in the midd e o+ a sessionD i+ yo,r mind "ets o,t o+ #ontro : 1: 4or the +irst three breathsD breathe in thro,"h the ri"ht nostri and o,t thro,"h the e+t: I+ yo, $ishD yo, #an ,se yo,r +ore+in"er to # ose the e+t nostri $hi e yo, breathe in and to # ose the ri"ht $hen yo, breathe o,t: 2: 4or the ne-t three breathsD breathe in thro,"h the e+t nostri and o,t thro,"h the ri"ht: A"ainD yo, #an ,se yo,r +ore+in"er to # ose the nostri yo, are not ,sin": 0: 4or the ast three breathsD breathe in thro,"h both nostri s and o,t thro,"h both: With ea#h breathD 1eep yo,r mind +o#,sed on the breath and on the sensations yo, #an +ee at the nostri s as the breath "oes in and o,t: Do not et yo,r mind be distra#ted by

tho,"hts or anythin" e se: 5o, #an repeat the nine ro,nds se*era times i+ yo, $ishD then ret,rn to yo,r main meditation pra#ti#e: Another method re#ommended by Tibetan yo"is is to ima"ine that the mind is en# osed $ithin a tiny ro,nd seed $hose ,pper hemisphere is $hite and $hose o$er hemisphere is redD sit,ated in the #entra #hanne ?see pa"e 191@ at the e*e o+ yo,r na*e : Con#entrate on this ,nti the mind has 8,ieted do$nD then ret,rn to the obEe#t o+ meditation: I+ yo, are +ami iar $ith the ana yti#a meditations on deathD impermanen#eD or s,++erin" ?see part 3@D thin1 brie+ y o*er the essentia points o+ any one o+ theseF this o+ten he ps to ma1e yo,r mind more #a m and ba an#ed: It mi"ht a so he p to re#a yo,r moti*ationJ $hy yo, sat do$n to meditate in the +irst p a#eJand th,s stren"then yo,r determination: I+ menta rest essness is a re#,rrin" prob emD #he#1 yo,r post,re: The spine sho, d be *ery strai"ht and the head ti ted s i"ht y +or$ard $ith the #hin t,#1ed s i"ht y inJthe mind tends to be more rest ess $hen the head is raised too hi"h: )ed,#in" the amo,nt o+ i"ht in the room #o, d a so he pD as bri"ht i"ht #an stir ,p tho,"hts and +ee in"s: Patien#e is essentia in dea in" $ith a b,sy mind: Don.t be ,pset $ith yo,rse + i+ yo, #an.t 1eep yo,r attention on the obEe#t o+ meditation: It ta1es time and persistent pra#ti#e to earn to s o$ do$n and "ain some #ontro o*er the mindD so be easy on yo,rse +:

#lee, ness and d+llness


The *ery opposite o+ e-#itement is s eepiness: This #an *ary +rom a d, D ist ess state o+ mind to near-,n#ons#io,sness: It is re ated to another o+ o,r habitsG ,s,a yD $hen $e # ose o,r eyes and re a- o,r mind and bodyD it.s time to "o to s eep/ 4irstD ma1e s,re that yo,r ba#1 is strai"ht and yo,r head is not bent +or$ard too +ar: Open yo,r eyes ha +-$ay and meditate $ith yo,r "a!e dire#ted at the + oor in +ront o+ yo,: In#reasin" the amo,nt o+ i"ht in the room sho, d a so he p yo, to stay a ert: Another so ,tion is to *is,a i!e yo,r mind en# osed $ithin a tiny seed in the #entra #hanne at the e*e o+ yo,r na*e D as be+ore: This timeD ima"ine that the seed shoots ,p the #entra #hanne and o,t thro,"h the #ro$n o+ yo,r head: The seed opens and yo,r mind mer"es $ith *astD empty spa#e: Con#entrate on this e-perien#e +or a $hi eD then ret,rn to the meditation: It is possib e that s eepiness d,rin" meditation is symptomati# o+ ,nder yin" depressionD in $hi#h #ase e-perimentin" $ith some o+ the antidotes to depression on pa"e 103 mi"ht he p: I+ yo,r mind is sti d, and s eepy a+ter ha*in" tried these remediesD it $o, d be best to either ta1e a brea1Jyo, #an sp ash #o d $ater on yo,r +a#eD "et some +resh airD or do some stret#hin"Jor stop the meditation a to"ether and try a"ain ater:

Phys cal d scomfort


5o,r meditations $i + o$ smooth y i+ yo,r body is re a-ed and #om+ortab eD b,t o+ten it is di++i#, t to "et it into that state: M,#h o+ o,r physi#a tension is mind-re atedD arisin" +rom ,nreso *ed prob emsD +earsD $orriesD or an"er: The most e++e#ti*e so ,tion is to re#o"ni!e these prob ems and sett e them in meditation: A short-term method +or easin" physi#a tensionJto be ,sed either at the be"innin" o+ a meditation session or d,rin" itJ is to s$eep the body $ith yo,r attention: Start at the top o+ the head and tra*e do$n$ard thro,"h the body: Con#entrate brie+ y on ea#h part and #ons#io,s y et it re a-: Ima"ine that the tension simp y disso *es: Another method is to breathe deep y and s o$ yD and $ith m,#h #on#entration ima"ine that the tension or pain ea*es yo,r body $ith ea#h e-ha ation: I+ neither o+ these methods $or1sD yo, #o, d try a more e aborate oneG *is,a i!in" yo,r body as ho o$: Startin" at the #enter o+ yo,r #hestD ima"ine that a the interna D so id parts o+ yo,r body disso *e into i"htD and then into empty spa#e: E*erythin" $ithin yo,r #hestD headD armsD and e"s "rad,a y disso *es and be#omes empty: 5o,r s1in trans+orms into a *ery thin membrane o+ i"ht to en# ose this empty spa#e: Con#entrate +or a $hi e on this e-perien#e o+ yo,r body bein" ho o$D i1e a ba oon: I+ sittin" #a,ses dis#om+ort or painJin the 1nees or ba#1D +or e-amp eJit is a ri"ht to #han"e to a more #om+ortab e position: As meditation is an a#ti*ity o+ the mindD not the bodyD it is more important to 1eep the mind # ear and #om+ortab e: 'o$e*erD at times it is ,se+, E,st to observe the painD $hi#h is a #ons#io,s e-perien#eD a menta per#eptionD and try to o*er#ome the ,s,a +ear+, rea#tion to it: Instead o+ "i*in" it the abe HpainDI see it as E,st a sensationD another type o+ ener"y: Doin" s,#h ana ysis sho, d "i*e yo, more insi"ht into the $or1in"s o+ yo,r mind and he p yo, de*e op more #ontro o*er yo,r physi#a rea#tions: An e-tension o+ this method o+ dea in" $ith physi#a pain is menta y to in#rease it as m,#h as possib e: Ima"ine it "ettin" $orse and $orse: A+ter a $hi eD ret,rn to the ori"ina painJ$hi#h no$ appears m,#h ess pain+, than be+ore/ Another method is to *is,a i!e the s,++erin" o+ a the bein"s o+ the ,ni*erse and thenD $ith "reat #ompassionD brin" it menta y into the pain yo, are e-perien#in" no$: Thin1 that yo, ha*e ta1en on the pain o+ a bein"sD $ho are th,s +reed o+ a their s,++erin": 'o d this tho,"ht and reEoi#e in it +or as on" as yo, #an: It is "ood to e-periment $ith these methods +or dea in" $ith painJb,t be #are+, not to o*erdo them and #a,se yo,rse + an inE,ry/

No se
A tho,"h it is best to meditate in a 8,iet p a#eD it.s not a $ays possib e to +ind one: In the #ity $e hear tra++i#D TAs and m,si#D 1ids p ayin"D peop e ta 1in" and ye in"D airp anes passin" o*erhead: %,t e*en o,t in the #o,ntry or hi"h in the mo,ntains there are so,ndsG

birds and anima sD the $ind b o$in"D a stream or ri*er: It.s ,nrea isti# to thin1 $e #an +ind a per+e#t y so,nd-+ree p a#e to meditateD and it.s mista1en to thin1 that $e #an on y meditate $hen there is no noiseF rather it.s a 8,estion o+ earnin" ho$ to dea $ith it: The prob em is not so m,#h the noise itse +D b,t rather ho$ o,r mind rea#ts to it: I+ the noise is p easantD s,#h as m,si# $e i1eD $e +ee attra#ted and $ant to pay attention to it rather than o,r obEe#t o+ meditationJthat is attach)ent' I+ the noise is ,np easantD $e +ee irritation or aversion: Either $ayD $e "et st,#1 to the noise and it.s di++i#, t to et "o o+ it and #arry on $ith the meditation: O,r mind starts ma1in" #ommentary abo,t the noiseG $hat it isD $ho.s ma1in" itD re#a in" simi ar e-perien#es in the pastD thin1in" o+ tryin" to ma1e it stopD and so on: It.s these tho,"hts and +ee in"s that are the prob em: The best $ay to dea $ith this sit,ation is to re#o"ni!e $hat is happenin" in yo,r mind and earn to E,st be a$are o+ the noise $itho,t rea#tin" and ma1in" #ommentary on it: )ea i!e that yo, #an.t stop the $or d +rom ma1in" noise E,st be#a,se yo, are meditatin"D b,t yo, #an $or1 on ho$ yo,r mind rea#ts: 5o, mi"ht re#a times $hen yo, $ere st,dyin" +or an e-am or en"rossed in readin" a rea y "ood boo1D and ho$ yo, $ere ob i*io,s to noise aro,nd yo,: 5o, #an earn to do the same $hi e meditatin": One $ay to do this is to "enerate a stron"D positi*e moti*ation at the be"innin" o+ yo,r session ?see pa"e 2>@D so that yo, +ee Eoy+, and enth,siasti# abo,t meditatin": %ein" ha +-hearted abo,t meditation or seein" it as a #hore ma1es it di++i#, t to stay +o#,sed on the obEe#t: Another ,se+, te#hni8,e is to ma1e menta notes ?see pa"e 3>@ s,#h as HnoiseI or Hm,si#I or HbirdDI then et "o o+ them and brin" yo,r a$areness ba#1 to yo,r obEe#t o+ meditation: 5o, #an a so ma1e menta notes o+ $hate*er rea#tions yo, noti#e in yo,r mindG H+ee in" attra#tedI or H+ee in" a*ersionDI Hthin1in"I or Hrememberin"DI then et "o o+ these as $e : Wor1in" on yo,r mind is the best so ,tionD b,t it.s O7 to try to stop or red,#e the noise i+ that doesn.t #a,se prob ems +or anyone: 5o, #an a so arran"e yo,r s#hed, e so that yo, meditate $hen thin"s are more 8,ietD s,#h as ear y in the mornin"D or $ear ear p ,"s/

#trange mages and sensat ons


Meditators sometimes e-perien#e ,n,s,a ima"es appearin" in the mindD or sensations s,#h as the body e-pandin" or shrin1in"D or the mind + oatin" o,tside the body: These are norma rea#tions as the mind adE,sts itse + to ne$ a#ti*ity and nothin" to $orry abo,t: On the other handD do not be atta#hed to s,#h e-perien#es or try to repeat themJthis $i on y distra#t yo, +rom the rea p,rpose o+ meditation: Simp y obser*e $hate*er ima"es or +ee in"s arise $itho,t # in"in" to or reEe#tin" themD and et them disappear o+ their o$n a##ord: 'o$e*erD i+ any dist,rbin" e-perien#e o##,rs +re8,ent y and yo, are ,nab e to +ree yo,rse + +rom itD yo, sho, d #ons, t a meditation tea#her or a more e-perien#ed pra#titioner: It mi"ht be best to dis#ontin,e yo,r pra#ti#e ,nti yo, re#ei*e their ad*i#e:

D sco+ragement
We o+ten hear peop e #omp ainD HI #an.t meditateF I.*e tried b,t it doesn.t $or1DI or HI.*e been meditatin" +or so many months b,t nothin" is happenin":I 'o$e*erD the prob em is ,s,a y that they are e-pe#tin" too m,#h too 8,i#1 y: We need to be rea isti#: Most o+ ,s ha*e ne*er in o,r i*es tried to ,nderstand o,r mind or #ontro o,r tho,"hts and +ee in"s: O d habits are not easy to brea1: E*en i+ the res, ts o+ dai y meditation don.t appear +or t$o or three yearsJa tho,"h this is hi"h y ,n i1e y Jit sho, d not be a #a,se +or $orry or despair: Positi*e #han"es do not appear s,dden y o,t o+ the b ,eD b,t de*e op s o$ yD "rad,a yD itt e by itt e e*ery dayD so be patient $ith yo,rse +: )ememberD E,st ma1in" an e++ort to ,nderstand and #ontro the mind is meditation: I+ yo, are tryin" to do $hat is best +or yo,rse + and othersD yo, #an +ee #on+ident that yo,r meditation is $orth$hi e: O+tenD ne$ meditators thin1 that their ne"ati*e minds are "ettin" $orseD not better/ And they +ee that it is meditation that has #a,sed this: ConsiderD ho$e*erD $hat happens $hen yo, $ash # othes: When yo, +irst p,t them into $aterD a #ertain amo,nt o+ dirt #omes o,t: As yo, #ontin,e to s#r,b them the $ater "ets dirtier and dirtier: 5o, mi"ht e*en be s,rprised by the amo,nt o+ dirt that they #ontained: It $o, d be +oo ish to b ame the soapD $ater and s#r,bbin" +or the dirtJthe pro#ess o+ $ashin" mere y re*ea s $hat is there a readyD and is the ri"ht method +or #omp ete y remo*in" the dirt: Simi ar yD meditation is the $ay to p,ri+y the mind o+ $hat is a ready thereG at +irst $e dis#o*er the "ross ne"ati*itiesD then the more s,bt e ones: So be patient and don.t $orry/

Part Three
MEDITATION# ON T'E MIND

1
Med tat on on the %reath
As mentioned ear ierD one 1ind o+ meditationD stabi i!in" meditationD is +or the p,rpose o+ de*e opin" #on#entration: Con#entration is a nat,ra 8,a ity o+ o,r mindJ$e ,se it $hen $e st,dyD $or1D $at#h TAD or read a boo1: %,t o,r abi ity to #on#entrate is imitedJo,r mind is easi y distra#tedJand the thin"s $e #on#entrate on are not ne#essari y bene+i#ia +or o,rse *es and others: Con#entration in itse + is not positi*eJit depends on ho$ $e ,se it: A ban1 robberD +or e-amp eD needs *ery "ood #on#entration to #arry o,t his #rime: As the "oa o+ spirit,a pra#ti#e is +reein" o,r minds +rom ne"ati*e tho,"hts and emotionsD and attainin" per+e#t # arityD pea#eD and EoyD $e need to earn to #on#entrate o,r mind on positi*eD bene+i#ia obEe#ts: Stabi i!in" meditation in*o *es +o#,sin" the mind on an obEe#t and brin"in" it ba#1 $hene*er it $anders a$ay: Amon" the many obEe#ts re#ommended by the %,ddha to ,se +or de*e opin" #on#entrationD the breath is one o+ the best: We are breathin" a the time any$ayD so $e don.t ha*e to #onE,re ,p some obEe#t to +o#,s o,r mind on: A soD as o,r breathin" is happenin" ri"ht hereD ri"ht no$D +o#,sin" on it he ps o,r mind stay in the presentD the here-and-no$D rather than "ettin" ost in memories o+ the past or +antasies abo,t the +,t,re: 4o o$in" the breath $ith o,r attention has a nat,ra y #a min" e++e#t on o,r mindD th,s 8,ietin" o,r norma y b,sy tho,"hts: The +o,rteenth #ent,ry Tibetan meditation masterD 2e Tson"1hapaD in his boo1 The Great Treatise on the Graduated Path to #nlighten)entD said that i+ yo, ha*e a ot o+ dis#,rsi*enessD yo, sho, d de+inite y meditate on the breath: There are se*era 8,a ities o+ the mind that are essentia in de*e opin" "ood #on#entration: One o+ these is mind+, nessD or re#o e#tionD $hi#h enab es ,s to remember a +ami iar obEe#t ? i1e o,r breath@ $itho,t +or"ettin" it or $anderin" to other obEe#ts: Mind+, ness a so enab es ,s to 1eep in mind $hat $e.re s,pposed to be doin" $hi e $e are sittin" thereD and not to "et #omp ete y spa#ed o,t/ Another essentia 8,a ity is dis#riminatin" a ertnessD $hi#hD i1e a sentryD $at#hes o,t +or distra#tions: A ertness 1no$s $hat.s happenin" moment by momentJ$hether o,r mind is payin" attention to the obEe#t o+ meditationD or has $andered o++ to somethin" e se: It is a so ab e to re#o"ni!e ne"ati*e tho,"hts and emotions s,#h as an"er and desireD $hi#h dist,rb o,r mind and #an ead to prob ems +or o,rse *es and others: De*e opin" the abi ity to re#o"ni!e these $hen they arise in o,r mind and do somethin" abo,t them be+ore they es#a ate he ps ,s to a*oid a ot o+ s,++erin": Mind+, ness and a ertness are th,s essentia +or s,##ess+, meditationF and in o,r day-today i*es they 1eep ,s #enteredD a ert and #ons#ientio,sD he pin" ,s to 1no$ $hat is happenin" in o,r mind as it ha!!ens and th,s to dea s1i +, y $ith prob ems as they arise:

5o, #an ,se the meditation on the breath either +or yo,r main pra#ti#e or as a pre iminary to other meditations: It is an in*a ,ab e te#hni8,eG re", ar pra#ti#e he ps yo, "rad,a y be#ome more a$are o+ yo,r inner $or dD and "ain more #ontro o*er yo,r mind: 5o, $i +ee more re a-ed and more ab e to enEoy i+eD ha*in" "reater sensiti*ity to yo,rse + and the peop e and thin"s aro,nd yo,: And ,sin" yo,r in#reased mind+, ness in other meditationsD yo, $i be ab e to maintain yo,r #on#entration +or on"er periods: Meditation on the breathD and stabi i!in" meditation in "enera D is there+ore important +or both be"inners and ad*an#ed meditatorsG +or those $ho $ant a simp e te#hni8,e +or re a-in" and #a min" the mind and +or serio,s meditators $ho de*ote their i*es to spirit,a de*e opment:

The ,ract ce
%e"in by sittin" in the se*en-point post,re ?pa"es 23@D or in $hate*er position is most #om+ortab e +or yo,: )e a- a yo,r m,s# es and the other parts o+ yo,r bodyD $hi e 1eepin" yo,r ba#1 strai"ht: I+ there is any tension in any part o+ yo,r bodyD et it disso *e and disappear: &et yo,r breathin" be nat,ra so that yo,r breath + o$s in and o,t in a nat,ra rhythm: Motivation 'a*e a positi*e moti*ation +or doin" the meditationD +or e-amp eD HI am "oin" to meditate in order to "enerate in my mind more positi*e ener"yD and de#rease the ne"ati*e ener"yD +or the bene+it o+ myse + and e*eryone e se:I De#ide ho$ on" yo, $i meditate +or ?i+ yo,.re a be"innerD ten to thirty min,tes is "oodF yo, #an "rad,a y in#rease the en"th o+ time as yo,r #on#entration impro*es@D and determine that +or the d,ration o+ the session yo, $i 1eep yo,r attention on the breath in order to +, +i this p,rpose: No$ +o#,s yo,r mind on yo,r breathin": 5o, #an do this either by +o#,sin" on the openin"s o+ yo,r nostri sD $here yo, #an +ee s,bt e sensations as the breath enters and ea*es yo,r bodyD or by +o#,sin" on the in-and-o,t mo*ement o+ the abdomen $ith ea#h breath: Choose one o+ those t$o p a#esD and 1eep yo,r mindD yo,r attentionD on the sensations yo, #an +ee at that p a#e d,rin" ea#h inha ation and e-ha ation o+ yo,r breath: %rin" yo,r mind ba#1 to this p a#e e*ery time it $anders a$ay: I+ yo, $ishD yo, #an #o,nt yo,r breaths: 5o, may +ind this he p+, to 1eep yo,r mind #on#entrated: 5o, #o,nt ea#h +, inha ation and e-ha ation o+ the breath as one: 5o, #an say to yo,rse +D H%reathin" inD breathin" o,tD one: %reathin" inD breathin" o,tD t$oLI and so on: Co,nt ,p to +i*e or ten breathsD then start a"ain at one: I+ yo,r mind $anders in the midd e o+ the #o,ntin"D "o ba#1 and start a"ain at one: Contin,e #o,ntin" in ro,nds o+ +i*e or ten breathsD and brin"in" yo,r attention ba#1 to the breath e*ery time it $anders a$ay: I+ yo,r mind be#omes more stab e and is ab e to stay +o#,sed on the breath $itho,t needin" to #o,ntD then yo, #an dispense $ith the #o,ntin":

Don.t try to #ontro yo,r breathF E,st breathe norma y and "ent y: Ine*itab yD tho,"hts $i appearD and yo,r attention $i be distra#ted by themD b,t as soon as yo, rea i!e this has happenedD brin" yo,r mind ba#1 to the breath: &earn to ha*e a ne,tra attit,de to$ard yo,r tho,"htsD bein" neither attra#ted nor rep, sed: In other $ordsD do not rea#t $ith dis i1eD $orryD e-#itementD or # in"in" to any tho,"htD ima"eD or +ee in" that arises: Mere y noti#e its e-isten#e and ret,rn yo,r attention to the breath: E*en i+ yo, ha*e to do this +i+ty times a min,teD don.t +ee +r,strated/ %e patient and persistentF e*ent,a y yo,r tho,"hts $i s,bside: It may be he p+, to thin1 that yo,r mind is i1e the s1yD and tho,"hts are i1e # o,ds: C o,ds #ome and "o in the s1yJthey do not stay on"D nor do they a ter the nat,ra sti ness and spa#io,sness o+ the s1y: In the same $ayD tho,"hts #ome and "o in the # ear spa#e o+ yo,r mindF they are transientD momentary: I+ yo, #an simp y noti#e them and et them "oD brin"in" yo,r attention a"ain and a"ain to the breathD the tho,"hts $i disappear on their o$n: %e #ontent to stay in the present: A##ept $hate*er +rame o+ mind yo, are in and $hate*er arises in yo,r mindD $itho,t E,d"in" it as "ood or bad: %e +ree o+ e-pe#tationD # in"in"D and +r,stration: 'a*e no $ish to be some$here e seD to be doin" somethin" e seD or e*en to +ee some other $ay: %e #ontentD E,st as yo, are: When yo,r s1i has de*e oped and yo,r abi ity to a*oid distra#tions has in#reasedD yo, #an ta1e yo,r a ertness a step +,rther: Ma1e menta notes o+ the nat,re o+ the tho,"hts that ariseD s,#h as Hthin1in"DI HmemoryDI H+antasyDI H+ee in" an"ryDI Hatta#hmentDI Hhearin" a so,ndDI H+ee in" boredDI or Hpain:I As soon as yo, ha*e noted the tho,"ht or +ee in"D et it "oD re#a in" its impermanent nat,re: Another te#hni8,e is to ,se yo,r distra#tions to he p yo, "ain insi"ht into the nat,re o+ the mind: When a tho,"ht arisesD instead o+ +o#,sin" on the tho,"ht itse +D +o#,s on the thin1er: This means that one part o+ the mindD dis#riminatin" a ertnessD ta1es a oo1 at another partD a distra#tion: The dist,rbin" obEe#t $i disappearD b,t ho d yo,r attention on the thin1er +or as on" as yo, #an: A"ainD $hen another tho,"ht #omesD +o#,s on the thin1er and +o o$ the same pro#ed,re: )et,rn to $at#hin" the breath on#e the distra#tions ha*e passed: These methods +or hand in" distra#tions #an be app ied to any meditation: It is no ,se i"norin" or s,ppressin" dist,rbin" tho,"hts or ne"ati*e ener"yD be#a,se they $i re#,r persistent y: I+ a tho,"ht or +ee in" is parti#, ar y dist,rbin" and yo, are ,nab e to et "o o+ itD yo, mi"ht need to ta1e a short brea1 +rom meditatin" on the breath and ,se one o+ the methods +or dea in" $ith ne"ati*e ener"y on pa"e 122: On#e the dist,rbin" emotion is more ,nder #ontro D yo, #an ret,rn to +o#,sin" on the breathin": Dedication When it.s time to end the sessionD +ee "ood abo,t $hat yo, ha*e done: Don.t E,d"e yo,r meditation $ith tho,"hts s,#h asD Hthat $as a o,sy meditationF my mind $as a o*er the p a#e:I )emember that ,ust )a(ing the effort to meditate is in itse + *ery meanin"+, and bene+i#ia : )eEoi#e in the positi*e ener"y yo, ha*e "eneratedD and dedi#ate it to the bene+it o+ a bein"sJmay their minds may be#ome +ree +rom prob ems and ,nhappinessD and be +i ed instead $ith pea#e and Eoy:

"
Med tat on on the Clar ty of the M nd
The rea ity o+ o,r e-isten#e is that $e are a #ombination o+ body and mind: Ea#h o+ these in t,rn is a #ombination o+ many partsD a #onstant y in a state o+ + ,-: Bn+ort,nate yD o,r e"o is not satis+ied $ith s,#h a simp e e-p anation: It #omp i#ates matters by +abri#atin" a *ie$ o+ an I or se + based on o,r #on#eptionsD i1esD and dis i1es: We thin1D HI.m attra#ti*eDI HI.m ," yDI HI.m a "ood dan#erDI HI $on.t s,##eedDI HI ha*e a bad temper:I We be ie*e these proEe#tions and ass,me they are permanent and ,n#han"in": We do the same $ith peop e and obEe#ts in the $or d aro,nd ,s: We believe Hhe is ," yDI Hshe is "ood:I We b,i d ,p o,r o$n e aborate and *ery so id pi#t,re o+ rea ity and ho d on to it ,n8,estionin" y: Meditation on the # arity o+ the mind is an e++e#ti*e antidote to o,r #on#rete proEe#tions: We #an "ain a dire#t e-perien#e o+ the # earD non-materia D transient nat,re o+ a tho,"htsD +ee in"sD and per#eptionsD th,s $ea1enin" the tenden#y to identi+y $ith them: As the s,bEe#tJthe mindJso+tensD so too do its proEe#ted obEe#tsF they s o$ y ose their #on#reteness: The +ee in" o+ dis i1e to$ard the Hbad personI may sti arise thro,"h habitD b,t $e ha*e the spa#e to re#a D HThis is a proEe#tion o+ my tho,"htD $hi#h is # ear and transitory: It rises i1e a $a*e in my mind and soon $i pass: The obEe#t does not e-ist in the $ay I see it:I This meditation is espe#ia y e++e#ti*e +or so+tenin" o,r *ie$ o+ o,r o$n se +: Norma y o,r se +-esteem is o$D based on past mista1esD persona ity +a, tsD bad habitsD and the i1e: %,t an"erD Eea o,syD se +ishnessD depression and the other prob ems that ha,nt ,s are )ental e-perien#es and there+ore # ear and transitory: These states o+ mind de!end +or their e-isten#e on o,r be ie+ in them/ %y re#o"ni!in" this in meditation on the mind.s nat,re $e earn to et "o o+ and stop identi+yin" $ith these e-perien#es: O,r intrinsi# nat,re is # ear and p,re and is $ith ,s t$enty-+o,r ho,rs a day: The ne"ati*ities that rise and +a i1e $a*es on the o#ean o+ o,r #ons#io,sness are temporary and #an be e iminated: Consistent pra#ti#e o+ this meditation $i e*ent,a y "enerate a #ertainty abo,t this p,re nat,re to the point $here it be#omes o,r rea ityD o,r a#t,a e-perien#e: This is a nat,ra step to$ard ,nderstandin" the more s,bt e nat,re o+ se + and a phenomenaG their emptiness o+ inherent e-isten#e ?see pa"e 60@:

The ,ract ce
Motivation 'a*e a positi*e moti*ation +or doin" the meditation: %e"in by breathin" in deep y thro,"h both nostri sD brin"in" the air do$n to the stoma#hD ho din" it +or a moment and then e-ha in" s o$ y and "ent y thro,"h yo,r p,rsed ips: )epeat this t$o more timesD then breathe norma y in and o,t thro,"h yo,r nose: Obser*e yo,r breathin" $itho,t thin1in"D $itho,t #on#ept,a i!in": On#e yo,r a$areness has be#ome sharpD t,rn yo,r attention to the # arity o+ yo,r #ons#io,sness:

5o,r #ons#io,snessD or mindD is $hate*er yo, are e-perien#in" at the momentG sensations in yo,r bodyD tho,"htsD +ee in"sD per#eptions o+ so,ndsD and so +orth: The nat,re o+ ea#h o+ these e-perien#es is # arityD $itho,t +orm or #o orF spa#e- i1eD p,re a$areness: 4o#,s yo,r attention on this # earD p,re nat,re o+ the mind: Initia y it mi"ht be di++i#, t to +ind the a#t,a obEe#tD that isD the # arity: I+ soD meditate on a menta ima"e o+ # arityJone $ay to "enerate s,#h an ima"e is to *is,a i!e spa#e: Ima"ine yin" on a hi top and starin" ,p at a s1y that is #omp ete y # ear and +ree o+ # o,ds: Con#entrate on this *astD ,nobstr,#ted emptiness: Ima"ine that it + o$s do$n and embra#es yo, and yo,r s,rro,ndin"sF e*erythin" be#omes empty i1e spa#e: 'o d this e-perien#eF +ee that the nat,re o+ yo,r mind is i1e this # earD empty spa#e: Tho,"hts and distra#tions $i ariseD b,t do not rea#t to themF neither +o o$ them nor reEe#t them: )emember that they are # ear by nat,reD $itho,t s,bstan#e: Simp y $at#h them #ome and "oD then ret,rn to the a$areness o+ the mind.s # arity: Do not thin1 abo,t anythin" d,rin" this meditation: There is no need to $onder $hat the mind isF simp y observe itD its # ear nat,reD $hi#h is i1e in+initeD empty spa#e: That is s,++i#ient: %e nat,ra : Meditation is simp e and nat,ra F it is nothin" spe#ia : Con#entration means ho din" the mind on an obEe#t #ontin,o,s yD $itho,t +or"ettin" it: The a,tomati# res, t o+ #on#entration is a$arenessD $hi#h is +ree o+ #on#epts: A i"ht does not need to thin1D HI am dispe in" dar1nessIJit simp y i ,minates: A$areness is an inner i"ht that enab es ,s to see thin"s more # ear y: It dispe s the hea*iness o+ ho$ thin"s appear to ,sD th,s $ea1enin" o,r # in"in" or a*ersion to them: Meditate +or short periodsJten to thirty min,tesJ,nti yo,r #on#entration has impro*ed: Then yo, #an sit +or an ho,r or moreD or as on" as yo, #an maintain stron" a$areness: I+ the meditation is "oin" $e D yo, $i +ee i"ht and re a-ed: Dedication Con# ,de the meditation session by dedi#atin" the positi*e ener"y #reated d,rin" it to the happiness and $e +are o+ e*eryone:

0
Med tat on on the Cont n+ ty of the M nd
The mind has been #ompared to a *ast o#eanD and o,r per #eptionsD tho,"htsD and emotions to $a*es risin" and +a in" on its s,r+a#e: This ana o"y he ps ,s to ,nderstand the e-perien#es that o##,r $hi e $e are meditatin" or "oin" abo,t o,r dai y a#ti*ities: %,t to "et a +ee in" +or $here the mind #omes +rom and $here it "oes toD it is ,se+, to thin1 o+ it as a ri*erD + o$in" thro,"h time: Ea#h moment o+ mind eads ,ninterr,pted y to the ne-t: The mind + o$s a on" #ease ess yD day and ni"htD a stream o+ #o,nt ess momentary e-perien#esD a $ays #han"in": Tho,"hts and +ee in"s arise and 8,i#1 y disappearD b,t they ea*e imprints that are #arried on the mindstream: %,ddhism e-p ains that the mind is $itho,t be"innin" or endD ,n i1e the bodyD $hi#h is #on#ei*edD bornD diesD and disinte"rates: O,r persona ity and e-perien#es o+ this i+e are shaped by the imprints #arried on the mind +rom past i*es: &i1e$iseD $hate*er $e do and thin1 no$ determines o,r +,t,re e-perien#es ?see the meditation on 1armaD pa"e <>@: It is ,p to ,sG $e #an be $hate*er $e $ant as on" as $e #hanne o,r ener"ies in that dire#tion: To do this $e need to ,nderstand the mind and earn ho$ to ,se it s1i +, y: A##eptin" the e-isten#e o+ other i*es hin"es on ,nderstandin" the mind in this $ay: I+ yo, ha*e been ab e to re#a e-perien#es +rom past i*es yo, $i rea i!e that E,st as this i+e is the +,t,re o+ those pastD so too $i it be a past i+e o+ those to #ome: When yo,r mind has be#ome s,++i#ient y #a m yo, $i be ab e to see deep y into it and rea i!e it as an e*er-+ o$in" stream "oin" +ar ba#1 in time: When yo, ha*e e-perien#ed the rea ity o+ past i*es +or yo,rse +D yo, $i then be #on*in#ed o+ their e-isten#e: 'o$e*erD +or many peop e this is an a ien idea: 'ere are se*era ana yti#a approa#hes to #onsiderin" the *a idity o+ menta #ontin,ity: 4irstD the mind is impermanentD transitoryD #han"in" +rom moment to moment: Th,s it is an e++e#tD a res, tJthe prod,#t o+ #a,ses and #onditions: And the main #a,se o+ a mind is ne#essari y a pre*io,s moment o+ mind: Ca,ses and their res, ts m,st be the same type o+ phenomenaD so it.s not possib e +or mindD a non-physi#a phenomenonD to arise or be prod,#ed +rom a physi#a phenomenon s,#h as the bodyD E,st as it.s not possib e +or +ire to be prod,#ed by $ater: A soD as mind is a series o+ e*er-#han"in" momentsD ea#h ne#essari y the res, t o+ a pre*io,s momentD ho$ #o, d it ha*e a be"innin" in time? Some peop e ho d that the mind is the brain or a#ti*ity in the brain: %,t as de+ined hereD the mind is the e-perien#es themse *esJand ho$ #an tho,"hts and +ee in"s be physi#a ? I+ they $ereD s#ientists st,dyin" someone.s brain sho, d be ab e to see themD b,t that is not the #ase: They #an 1no$ hen the person is thin1in"D b,t not hat they are thin1in": The mind de!ends ,pon the brain and the ner*o,s systemD b,t #annot itse + be the brain: Nor #an one.s mind be deri*ed +rom the minds o+ othersD s,#h as one.s parents: O,r body #ame into e-isten#e +rom parts o+ o,r parents. bodiesD b,t o,r mind is a non-physi#a phenomenonD and arises in a #omp ete y di++erent $ay: It.s not possib e +or a part o+ one mind to brea1 o++ and be#ome a ne$ mind: A soD i+ o,r mind did #ome +rom o,r parents.mindsD then $o, dn.t $e be born $ith a o+ their memories and 1no$ ed"e?

This is # ear y not the #ase: O,r present persona ityD 1no$ ed"eD and e-perien#es are ne#essari y the res, t o+ o,r o$n past e-perien#es and a#tions: O,r mindD there+oreD #omes +rom its o$n pre*io,s #ontin,ity: The meditation here is *ery he p+, +or e-perien#in" o,r o$n mind as a #ontin,o,s y+ o$in"D e*er-#han"in" stream o+ e*ents:

The ,ract ce
Motivation Sit #om+ortab y and re a-: Contemp ate a positi*eD bene+i#ia moti*ation +or doin" the meditation: Spend some time #on#entratin" on yo,r breathD ,nti the mind is 8,iet and # ear: 4irstD ta1e a oo1 at yo,r present state o+ mindD at the tho,"hts and sensations + ashin" by: 2,st obser*e them in a deta#hed $ayD $itho,t # in"in" to or reEe#tin" any o+ them: No$D start to tra*e ba#1$ard thro,"h time: %rie+ y s1im o*er the #ons#io,s e-perien#es yo, ha*e had sin#e $a1in" ,p this mornin":::: Are these part o+ the same stream o+ #ons#io,sness as yo,r present e-perien#es? %e+ore $a1in" ,pD yo, $ere probab y dreamin": Try to re#a they a so be on" to this same mindstream? ast ni"ht.s dreams:::: Do

Contin,e to tra#e yo,r menta e-perien#es to yesterdayD t$o days a"oD ast $ee1D ast monthD ast yearF t$oD +i*eD ten years a"o: Contin,e to #he#1 i+ these e-perien#es are o+ the same stream o+ #ons#io,sness: A*oid "ettin" in*o *ed in any o+ yo,r re#o e#tions: The p,rpose o+ the meditation is not to re i*e "ood times or sort o,t prob ems +rom the pastD b,t to "et a +ee in" +or the mind.s #ontin,ity: I+ yo, sho, d +ind somethin" in yo,r memory that yo, $o, d i1e to in*esti"ate +,rtherD p,t it aside ,nti ater: (o ba#1 in yo,r i+e as +ar as yo, #anD brin"in" to mind e-perien#es +rom yo,r ado es#en#e and #hi dhood:::: Peop e are sometimes ab e to remember their in+an#yD or e*en the time o+ birth: )e a- and open yo,r mind to a o$ s,#h memories to ariseL: I+ yo, ha*e di++i#, ty a##essin" memories +rom the ear y part o+ yo,r i+eD don.t $orry: )ea i!e that E,st as yo,r present mindstream is the #ontin,ation o+ e-perien#es that yo, can rememberD those e-perien#es in t,rn are the #ontin,ation o+ ear ier ones that yo, #an no on"er remember: No$D thin1 o+ yo,r birthD the time yo, $ere in the $ombD and the moment o+ yo,r #on#eption: I+ yo,r mind is a stream o+ e-perien#esD ea#h one arisin" +rom the one be+ore itD then did it e-ist thro,"ho,t these e-perien#esD or did it be"in to e-ist at some point? Consider the di++erent possibi itiesG did it arise +rom yo,r parents. minds? I+ soD $hen and ho$?L Or did it arise o,t o+ no$hereD $itho,t any #a,ses and #onditions?L Or did it arise +rom a mindstream that a ready e-isted be+ore yo, $ere #on#ei*edD in another i+e?

L See i+ yo, #an open yo,r mind to that possibi ity: 5o, mi"ht e*en be ab e to " impse a memory +rom another i+eL: 'a*in" rea#hed ba#1 into yo,r memory as +ar as yo, #anD no$ "ent y brin" yo,r a$areness into the present and a"ain obser*e the tho,"hts and +ee in"s that arise: Simp y e-perien#e yo,r stream o+ #ons#io,sness as it #ontin,es to + o$F +ee its moment,mG one tho,"ht or +ee in" eadin" to the ne-tD $hi#h eads to the ne-tD $hi#h eads to the ne-tD on and on: 4ina yD try to "et some idea o+ $here it "oes +rom here: Contemp ate yo,r mindstream + o$in" thro,"h the rest o+ the dayD and then tomorro$D the #omin" daysD $ee1s and years:::,p ,nti death: What happens then? Consider the di++erent possibi itiesG does the stream o+ #ons#io,sness s,dden y #ease to e-ist? Does it trans+orm into somethin" e se? Does it #ontin,e onD en#o,nterin" ne$ e-perien#es? Consider these possibi ities #are+, yD ,sin" the reasons "i*en ear ier: A tho,"h yo, mi"ht not #ome to any de+inite #on# ,sionD the important thin" is to oo1 $ith a # ear and open mind: Dedication 4ina yD dedi#ate any insi"ht yo, ha*e "ained to yo,r e*ent,a ,nderstandin" o+ yo,r mind +or the sa1e o+ a i*in" bein"s:

Part 3o+r
ANA&4TICA& MEDITATION#

Abo+t Analyt cal Med tat on


The meditations presented here are so ,tions to a $ide *ariety o+ prob ems and $i he p yo, de*e op a more rea isti# *ie$ o+ yo,r inner and o,ter $or ds: A meditation on emptiness is "i*en +irstD as this is the most po$er+, remedy to any di++i#, ty: It has ,s in*esti"ate o,r sense o+ a so idD permanentD independent HIDI $hi#h ies at the root o+ a o,r prob ems: 'o$e*erD emptiness is a *ery di++i#, t #on#ept and yo, may +ind this meditation too #ha en"in" to be"in $ithD so yo, mi"ht $ant to E,st read thro,"h itD then "o ba#1 to it ater a+ter yo, ha*e more e-perien#e $ith the other meditations: %,t e*en to start 8,estionin" $hat $e ha*e a $ays be ie*ed to be tr,e abo,t o,r e-isten#e is *ery $orth$hi e: The other meditations "et ,s to oo1 at o,r ass,mptions abo,t i+eD s,++erin"D deathD o*eD and h,man re ationships and to see that it is these ass,mptions and their attendant e-pe#tations that #a,se o,r ,nhappiness and +r,strations: The se#tion on dea in" $ith ne"ati*e ener"y "i*es ad*i#e on ho$ to hand e prob ems as they o##,r in day-to-day i+e: %e"in the meditations $ith a +e$ min,tesJor as on" as yo, i1eJo+ meditation on the breathD s o$in" do$n the mind and obser*in" its present state: ThenD start the ana ysis: Do not et yo,r mind $ander +rom the s,bEe#t yo, are ana y!in"G the more #on#entrated yo, areD the more e++e#ti*e yo,r meditation $i be: Disso *e yo,r mind in the s,bEe#tD penetratin" it $ith inte e#t,a tho,"htD 8,estionsD ima"esD and i ,strations +rom yo,r o$n e-perien#e: 5o,r meditation mi"ht ta1e the +orm o+ an interna e#t,reD as tho,"h yo, $ere e-p ainin" a point to yo,rse +F a debateD $ith yo,rse + ta1in" both sidesF or a +reesty e tho,"ht-ad*ent,re: Do,bts may ariseD b,t do not " oss o*er them: Do,bts are 8,estions and 8,estions need ans$ersD so be # ear abo,t $hat yo, thin1D and $hy: Either #ome to a #on# ,sion abo,t the point in 8,estion or ea*e it aside +or the moment and ta#1 e it a"ain ater: I+ yo, are ,nab e to reso *e yo,r do,bts on yo,r o$nD it.s best to #ons, t a tea#her or more e-perien#ed st,dent o+ this tradition: I+ d,rin" the ana ysis yo, sho, d de*e op an int,iti*e e-perien#e o+ the s,bEe#tD stop ana y!in" and ho d the +ee in" $ith sin" e-pointed #on#entration +or as on" as possib e: When the +ee in" +adesD res,me the in*esti"ation or #on# ,de the session: This ,nion o+ ana yti#a and stabi i!in" meditations is essentia i+ $e are to a#hie*e tr,e mindtrans+ormation: In ana yti#a meditation $e thin1 abo,t and ,nderstand inte e#t,a y a parti#, ar pointD and thro,"h stabi i!in" meditation $e "rad,a y ma1e it a part o+ o,r *ery e-perien#e o+ i+e:

1
Med tat on on Em,t ness
A %,ddhist tea#hin"s are +or the p,rpose o+ eadin" one "rad,a y to the rea i!ation o+ emptiness: 'ereD e)!tiness means the emptiness o+ inherentD #on#rete e-isten#eF and the tota eradi#ation +rom o,r mind o+ this +a se $ay o+ seein" thin"s mar1s o,r a#hie*ement o+ en i"htenmentD b,ddhahood: What is Hemptiness o+ inherent e-isten#eI? In pra#ti#a termsD $hat does it mean? So#a ed inherent e-isten#eJ$hi#h a thin"s are said to a#1D to be empty o+Jis a 8,a ity that $e instin#ti*e y proEe#t onto e*ery person and e*erythin" $e e-perien#e: We see thin"s as +, yD so id y e-istin" in and o+ themse *esD +rom their o$n sideD ha*in" their o$n nat,reD 8,ite independent o+ #a,sesD #onditionsD partsD or o,r o$n mind e-perien#in" them: Ta1e a tab eD +or e-amp e: We see a so idD independent tab e standin" thereD and it.s so ob*io,s y a tab e that it seems ridi#, o,s to e*en 8,estion it: %,t $here is the tab e? Ima"ine ta1in" it apart and ayin" the pie#es o,t on the "ro,nd: No$ see i+ yo, #an +ind the tab eG is it one o+ the e"s? Or its top? Is it the " ,e or nai s that ho d it to"ether? Or e*en one o+ its atoms? I+ yo, in*esti"ate thoro,"h yD yo, $i dis#o*er that yo, simp y #annot +ind the tab e yo, thin1 is there: That does not mean there is no tab e at a : There is a dependent y-e-istin"D #han"in"-+rom-moment-to-moment tab eJthe Htab eI that $e mere y abe onto its parts Jb,t this is not $hat $e see: This is the #r,- o+ the prob em: We e-perien#e not the bare rea ity o+ ea#h thin" and ea#h person b,t an e-a""eratedD +i ed-o,t ima"e o+ it proEe#ted by o,r o$n mind: This mista1e mar1s e*ery one o+ o,r menta e-perien#esD is 8,ite instin#ti*e and is the *ery root o+ a o,r prob ems: This per*asi*e menta disorder starts $ith the misapprehension o+ o,r o$n se +: We are a #omposite o+ bodyJa mass o+ + eshD bonesD s1inD #e sD and atomsJand mindJa stream o+ tho,"htsD +ee in"sD and per#eptions: This #omposite is #on*enient y 1no$n as HMaryDI H'aro dDI H$omanDI or Hman:I It is a temporary a ian#e that ends $ith the death o+ the body and the + o$in" on o+ the mind to other e-perien#es: These star1D ,nembe ished +a#ts #an be rather dis8,ietin": A part o+ ,sD the e"oD #ra*in" se#,rity and immorta ityD in*ents an inherentD independentD permanent se +: This is not a de iberateD #ons#io,s pro#ess b,t one that ta1es p a#e deep in o,r s,b#ons#io,s mind: This +antasi!ed se + appears espe#ia y stron" y at times o+ stressD e-#itement or +ear: 4or e-amp eD $hen $e narro$ y es#ape an a##ident there is a po$er+, sense o+ an I that near y s,++ered death or pain and m,st be prote#ted: That I does not e-istF it is a ha ,#ination: O,r adheren#e to this +a se IJ1no$n as se +-"raspin" i"noran#eJtaints a o,r dea in"s $ith the $or d: We are attra#ted to peop eD p a#esD and sit,ations that "rati+y and ,pho d o,r se +-ima"eD and rea#t $ith +ear or animosity to $hate*er threatens it: We *ie$ a peop e and thin"s as de+inite y this $ay or that: Th,s this rootD se +-"raspin"D bran#hes o,t into atta#hmentD Eea o,syD an"erD arro"an#eD depressionD and the myriad other t,rb, ent and ,nhappy states o+ mind:

The +ina so ,tion is to e iminate this root i"noran#eJ$ith the $isdom that rea i!es the emptinessD in e*erythin" $e e-perien#eD o+ the +a se 8,a ities $e proEe#t onto thin"s: This is the , timate trans+ormation o+ mind: Emptiness so,nds pretty abstra#t b,t in +a#t is *ery pra#ti#a and re e*ant to o,r i*es: The +irst step to$ard ,nderstandin" it is to try and "et an idea o+ $hat it is $e thin( e-istsF to o#ateD +or e-amp eD the I that $e be ie*e in so stron" y and thenD by ,sin" # ear reasonin" in ana yti#a meditationD to see that it is a mere +abri#ationD somethin" that has ne*er e-isted and #o, d ne*er e-ist in the +irst p a#e: %,t don.t thro$ o,t too m,#h/ 5o, de+inite y e-ist/ There is a #on*entiona D interdependent se + that e-perien#es happiness and s,++erin"D that $or1sD st,diesD eatsD s eepsD meditatesD and be#omes en i"htened: The +irstD most di++i#, t tas1 is to distin",ish bet$een this *a id I and the +abri#ated oneF ,s,a y $e #annot te them apart: In the #on#entration o+ meditation it is possib e to see the di++eren#eF to re#o"ni!e the i ,sory I and eradi#ate o,r on"-habit,ated be ie+ in it: The meditation here is a pra#ti#a +irst step in that dire#tion:

The ,ract ce
Motivation %e"in $ith a meditation on the breath to re a- and #a m yo,r mind: Moti*ate yo,rse + stron" y to do this meditation in order to +ina y be#ome en i"htened +or the sa1e o+ a bein"s: No$D $ith the a ertness o+ a spyD s o$ y and #are+, y be#ome a$are o+ the I: Who or $hat is it that thin1sD +ee sD and meditates? 'o$ does it appear to yo,? Is yo,r I a #reation o+ yo,r mind? Or is it somethin" that e-ists #on#rete y and independent yD in its o$n ri"ht? No$D try to o#ate it: Where is this I? Is it in yo,r head ::: in yo,r eyes ::: in yo,r heart ::: in yo,r hands ::: in yo,r stoma#h ::: in yo,r +eet? Care+, y #onsider ea#h part o+ yo,r bodyD in# ,din" the or"ansD b ood *esse sD and ner*es: Can yo, +ind yo,r I? It mi"ht be *ery sma and s,bt eD so #onsider the #e sD the atomsD the s,b-atomi# parti# es: I+ yo, do thin1 that yo,r I is a part o+ the bodyD then $hat $o, d happen i+ that part $ere remo*ed in an operationD or dama"ed in an a##ident? And $hat happens to the I $hen yo,r body #eases to +,n#tion at death? Perhaps yo, thin1 yo,r mind is the I: The mind is a #onstant y #han"in" stream o+ tho,"htsD +ee in"sD and other e-perien#esD #omin" and "oin" in rapid s,##ession: It.s ne*er the same +rom one moment to the ne-t: Whi#h o+ these e-perien#es is the I? Is it a o*in" tho,"ht ::: an an"ry tho,"ht ::: a happy +ee in" ::: a depressed +ee in"? I+ yo, thin1 that yo,r I is one o+ these e-perien#esD then $hat happens to it $hen that 1ind o+ e-perien#e is not present in yo,r mind? I+ yo,r I is o*eD +or e-amp eD then $hen yo,r mind is +i ed on y $ith an"erD does the I "o some$here e seD or disappear a to"ether? Is there no I at that time? Or maybe yo, ha*e many HIIsG an an"ry oneD a

o*in" oneD a +ri"htened oneD et#:? I+ yo, #annot +ind the I in yo,r body or yo,r mindD then #o, d it be somethin" e se? Is there some e-tra part o+ yo, other than yo,r body and mind? A+ter a D $e say Hmy bodyI and Hmy mindDI imp yin" the e-isten#e o+ somethin" e se that o$ns these t$o: I+ soD $hat is it? Where is it +o,nd? What 1ind o+ phenomenon is it? E-amine e*ery possibi ity yo, #an thin1 o+: A"ainD oo1 at the $ay yo,r I a#t,a y appearsD ho$ it +ee s to yo,: A+ter this sear#h +or the ID do yo, noti#e any #han"e? Do yo, sti be ie*e that it is as so id and rea as yo, +e t be+ore? Does it sti appear to e-ist independent yD in and o+ itse +? Ne-tD menta y disinte"rate yo,r body: Ima"ine a the atoms separatin" and + oatin" apart: %i ions and bi ions o+ min,te parti# es s#atter thro,"ho,t spa#e: Ima"ine that yo, #an a#t,a y see this: No$D disinte"rate yo,r mind: &et e*ery tho,"htD +ee in"D sensation and per#eption + oat a$ayL: Then #he#1 yo,r +ee in" o+ IJ$here is it? What is it? Do not ma1e the mista1e o+ thin1in"D HMy body is not the I and my mind is not the ID there+ore I don.t e-ist:I 5o, do e-istD b,t not in the $ay yo, instin#ti*e y +ee G as somethin" independent and inherent: Con*entiona yD yo,r se + e-ists in de!endence u!on mind and bodyD and this #ombination is the basis to $hi#h #on#ept,a thin1in" as#ribes a nameG HII or Hse +I or HMaryI or H'aro d:I This is the yo, that is sittin" and meditatin" and $onderin"D HDo I e-ist?I Whate*er e-ists is ne#essari y dependent ,pon #a,ses and #onditionsD or parts and namesD +or its e-isten#e: A #arD +or e-amp eD is a #o e#tion o+ pie#es o+ stee D " assD p asti#D r,bberD an en"ineD et#:D p,t to"ether by peop e in a +a#tory: We "i*e the name H#arI to this #o e#tionD b,t i+ $e oo1 +or a rea D #on#reteD independent y e-istin" #arD it #annot be +o,nd: So #on*entiona y thin"s e-ist dependent yD and ,nderstandin" dependen#e is the prin#ipa #a,se +or ,nderstandin" their , timate nat,reD emptiness: The #on*entiona nat,re o+ an obEe#t is its dependen#e ,pon other thin"sD and its , timate nat,re is its emptiness o+ inherentD independent e-isten#e: Thin1 no$ abo,t ho$ yo,r body e-ists #on*entiona yG in de!endence u!on s1inD b oodD bonesD e"sD armsD or"ans and so +orth: In t,rnD ea#h o+ these e-ists in de!endence u!on their o$n partsG #e sD atomsD and s,b-atomi# parti# es: Thin1 abo,t yo,r mindD ho$ it e-ists in de!endence u!on tho,"htsD +ee in"sD per#eptionsD sensations: And ho$D in t,rnD ea#h o+ these e-ists in de!endence u!on the pre*io,s #ons#io,s e-perien#es that "a*e rise to it: No$D "o ba#1 to yo,r +ee in" o+ se + or I: Thin1 abo,t ho$ yo, e-ist #on*entiona yD in de!endence u!on mind and body and nameJthe se +.s parts: When the body +ee s h,n"ry or #o dD +or e-amp eD yo, thin1 HI am h,n"ryDI HI am #o d:I When the mind has an idea abo,t somethin"D yo, say HI thin1:I When yo, +ee o*e +or someone yo, say HI o*e yo,:I When introd,#in" yo,rse +D yo, say HI am so-and-so:I

Apart +rom this sense o+ I that depends ,pon the e*er-+ o$in"D e*er-#han"in" streams o+ body and mindD is there an I that is so idD ,n#han"in"D and independent? The mere absen#e o+ s,#h an inherent y-e-istin" I is the emptiness o+ the se +: Dedication 4inish the session $ith a #on# ,sion as to ho$ yo,D yo,r self" e-ists: Con# ,de by dedi#atin" sin#ere y any positi*e ener"y and insi"ht yo, ha*e "ained to the en i"htenment o+ a bein"s: Thin1 that this meditation is E,st one step a on" the path to +ina y a#hie*in" dire#t insi"ht into emptiness and th,s #,ttin" the root o+ s,++erin" and dissatis+a#tion:

"
A,,rec at ng o+r '+man & fe
The +,n#tion o+ ana yti#a meditation is to he p ,s re#o"ni!e and #,t thro,"h the mista1en attit,des and ideas that #a,se ,nhappiness and dissatis+a#tion: O,r e-perien#es in i+e depend ,pon ho$ $e thin1 and +ee abo,t thin"sD and be#a,se most o+ the time $e do not per#ei*e thin"s the $ay they rea y areD $e en#o,nter one +r,stratin" sit,ation a+ter another: As on" as $e b ame o,r parentsD so#ietyD or other e-terna +a#torsD $e $i ne*er +ind any satis+yin" so ,tions to o,r prob ems: Their main #a,se ies $ithin o,r o$n mindD so $e need to ta1e responsibi ity +or #han"in" o,r $ay o+ thin1in" $here it is mista1enD that isD $here it brin"s ,nhappiness to o,rse *es and others: This #an be done thro,"h meditationD by "rad,a y be#omin" a$are o+ ho$ $e thin1 and +ee D distin",ishin" #orre#t +rom in#orre#t attit,desD and +ina y #o,ntera#tin" harm+, attit,des by the appropriate means: The startin" point +or many prob ems is the $ay $e +ee abo,t o,rse *es and o,r i+e: ',man e-isten#e is *ery pre#io,sD b,t norma y $e +ai to appre#iate it: We ha*e so m,#h potentia D so m,#h atent $isdom and o*in" 1indnessD so m,#h to o++er the $or dD b,t $e may i"nore or be ,na$are o+ this and et o,rse *es be#ome # o,ded $ith depression: 4o#,sin" on short#omin"s in o,r #hara#ter and +ai in"s in o,r dea in"s $ith peop e and $or1D +or e-amp eD or the harm $e may ha*e done to othersD $e de*e op an ,n+airD o$ opinion o+ o,rse *es: This se +-ima"e be#omes more and more #on#rete $ith time: We identi+y o,rse *es as in#apab e and inade8,ate and +ee hope ess and depressed: Or $e t,rn to other peop e in an attempt to +ind happiness and +, +i ment: 'o$e*erD as o,r +riends are i1e y to +ee the same $ay abo,t themse *esD s,#h re ationships o+ten brin" on y more +r,stration: We #an ,n o#1 the potentia +or happiness and satis+a#tion that ies $ithin e*ery one o+ ,s by be#omin" a$are o+ o,r menta pro#essesD and then app yin" dis#riminatin" $isdom to a o,r a#tions o+ bodyD spee#hD and mind: %,t to hope to be ab e to a#hie*e thisD andD thro,"h itD +, +i mentD $itho,t +irst #omp etin" the ne#essary "ro,nd$or1 is to in*ite +r,stration: We m,st start by b,i din" a +irm +o,ndationD based on a rea isti# *ie$ o+ o,rse *es: We ha*e to a##ept o,r positi*e as $e as o,r ne"ati*e traitsD and determine to no,rish the "ood and trans+orm or e iminate the bad aspe#ts o+ o,r #hara#ter: E*ent,a y $e $i re#o"ni!e ho$ +ort,nate $e are to ha*e been born h,man: On#e $e ,nderstand thisD $e #an be"in to train o,r minds to a#hie*e en i"htenment: When $e oo1 at o,rse *es deep yD #are+, yD $e +ind that most o+ o,r day-to-day prob ems are 8,ite tri*ia : It is on y o,r proEe#tions and #on#eptions that #omp i#ate them and a o$ them to "ro$ o,t o+ a proportion: As $e se +-ind, "ent y be#ome #a,"ht ,p in o,r prob emsD they appear to "ro$ ar"er and ar"erD and $e disappear into deep states o+ depression and hope essness: Wa o$in" in se +-pityD $e are ,nab e to see thatD in +a#tD $e ha*e #reated o,r prob ems andD there+oreD o,r depressi*e state: This meditation is an antidote to ne"ati*e states o+ bein" s,#h as depression and hope essness: It he ps ,s to re#o"ni!e and reEoi#e in o,r "ood +ort,neD in o,r e-traordinary and ,ni8,e potentia to a#hie*e tr,e happiness and satis+a#tion: An

,nderstandin" o+ this potentia nat,ra y +i s ,s $ith Eoy and enth,siasm +or i+eJ$ho $o, dn.t +ee e ated at the rea i!ation that they ho d the 1ey to their o$n +, +i ment? At the same timeD re#o"ni!in" o,r "ood +ort,ne he ps ,s to see # ear y that there are many $ho are in+inite y ess +ort,nate than $e are: We +ee tr,e #ompassion +or them and ta1e an a#ti*e #on#ern in their p i"ht:

The ,ract ce
Sit #om+ortab y $ith yo,r ba#1 strai"ht: )e a- yo,r body and et any tension disso *e and + o$ a$ayL: Spend a +e$ min,tes #a min" and sett in" yo,r mind ,sin" the meditation on the breath ?pa"e 0;@ or the nine-ro,nd breathin" pra#ti#e ?pa"e 2<@: Motivation When yo,r mind is #a m and sett ed in the here-and-no$D "enerate a positi*eD a tr,isti# moti*ation +or doin" the meditation: 5o, #an thin1D +or e-amp eD HMay this meditation brin" "reater pea#e and happiness to myse + and othersD to the $ho e $or dDI or HMay this meditation brin" me # oser to en i"htenment so that I #an he p a other bein"s attain en i"htenment as $e :I %e"in the meditation by #ontemp atin" that the nat,re o+ yo,r mind is # ear and p,reD and has the potentia to be#ome en i"htenedG the state o+ #omp ete p,rityD "oodnessD and per+e#tion: This is tr,e +or yo,rse + and a other bein"s: 5o, #an thin1D +or e-amp eD HThe nat,re o+ e*ery bein".s mind is # ear i1e spa#eD *astD and ,n imited: O,r ne"ati*e tho,"hts and emotions are not permanentD +i-ed parts o+ the mindD b,t are transientD i1e # o,ds that pass thro,"h the s1y: And be#a,se they are based on i"noran#e and mis#on#eptionsD they #an be # eared a$ay and the mind #an be de*e oped to a state that is #omp ete y p,re and positi*e:I A ternati*e yD i+ yo, +ind it di++i#, t to a##ept that the mind has the potentia to be#ome en i"htenedD yo, #an thin1 o+ the positi*e 8,a ities that yo, ha*eJinte i"en#eD o*in"1indnessD #ompassionD "enerosityD #o,ra"eD et#:Jand remind yo,rse + that these #an be de*e oped e*en +,rtherD and that yo, #an ,se yo,r i+e to brin" bene+it and happiness to others: Spend some time #ontemp atin" thisD and +ee Eoy+, abo,t the potentia that ies $ithin yo,: A tho,"h a bein"s ha*e the potentia to trans+orm their mind and be#ome en i"htenedD not a bein"s are in the most idea sit,ation in $hi#h they #an re#o"ni!e and de*e op this potentia : ',man bein"s are "enera y in the best sit,ation: Non-h,man bein"s either ha*e too m,#h s,++erin" or are in#apab e o+ de*e opin" their potentia d,e to i"noran#e and other de ,sions: Ima"ine $hat it $o, d be i1e as an anima D +or e-amp e: Anima s in the $i d ha*e no one to #are +or them $hen they e-perien#e h,n"erD thirstD heatD #o dD si#1nessD or inE,riesD and are in a most #onstant +ear +or their i*es: Domesti# anima s are sometimes better o++D b,t a#1 +reedom and are o+ten 1i ed +or meatD +,rD or other prod,#ts: And a anima sD e*en the most inte i"entD ha*e e-treme y imited menta #apa#ities and are ,nab e to

de*e op themse *es inte e#t,a y or spirit,a y: Contemp ate this to "et a sense o+ ho$ +ort,nate yo, are to ha*e a h,man i+e: 'o$e*erD not a h,man bein"s ha*e the ri"ht #onditions to re#o"ni!e and de*e op their potentia : Ima"ineD +or e-amp eD bein" a destit,te be""arD or i*in" in a $ar !one: Most o+ yo,r time and ener"y $o, d be spent simp y tryin" to 1eep yo,rse + and yo,r +ami y a i*eF yo, $o, d ha*e itt e or no time to thin1 o+ anythin" e se s,#h as spirit,a pra#ti#e: Ima"ine s,++erin" +rom a se*ere menta disabi ity or i nessD $hi#h $o, d ma1e it *ery di++i#, t +or yo, to ,nderstand the tea#hin"s on the mind.s potentia and ho$ to de*e op it: Or ha*in" a physi#a #ondition that #a,sed yo, a "reat dea o+ painD dis#om+ortD and in#on*enien#eD and hindered yo,r abi ity to earn and pra#ti#e spirit,a tea#hin"s: Some peop e do not ha*e a##ess to spirit,a tea#hin"s that e-p ain the mind.s potentia and ho$ to de*e op it: Ima"ine spendin" yo,r entire i+e in a sma D remote *i a"e $here no one has e*en heard abo,t en i"htenmentD so there.s no opport,nity to earn ho$ to attain it: Other peop e may be a$are o+ their potentia and sin#ere y $ish to pra#ti#e the tea#hin"s on ho$ to de*e op itD b,t are pre*ented +rom doin" so by others: 4or e-amp eD peop e in some #o,ntries do not ha*e +reedom o+ re i"ionF others +a#e stron" obEe#tions +rom their parentsD spo,seD or #hi dren: Ima"ine yo,rse + in s,#h a sit,ationD re#o"ni!e ho$ di++i#, t it $o, d beD and appre#iate the +reedom that yo, ha*e: ThenD there are many peop e $ho are physi#a y and menta y hea thyD are materia y $e -o++ and ha*e the +reedom and opport,nity to earn spirit,a tea#hin"sD b,t are simp y not interested: Their interests ie e se$hereG a##,m, atin" $ea thD propertyD and possessionsD a#8,irin" $or d y 1no$ ed"e or s1i sD or in simp y e-perien#in" as m,#h p eas,re as they #an: They ne*er #onsider that a these thin"s $i be e+t behind $hen they dieJ i1e a dream that *anishes as soon as $e $a1e ,pJand that on y their mind $i #ontin,e to the ne-t i+e: Some peop e en"a"e in harm+, a#tions s,#h as 1i in"D stea in"D bein" ab,si*e or dishonestD not rea i!in" that these a#tions #a,se s,++erin" to themse *es and othersD and #reate +,rther obsta# es to dis#o*erin" their tr,e potentia : )e#o"ni!e ho$ +ort,nate yo, are to be interested in en i"htenment and ,sin" yo,r i+e in meanin"+, D bene+i#ia $aysD +or yo,rse + and others: No$ brin" to mind the positi*e 8,a ities and ad*anta"es yo, ha*e: 5o, are a h,man bein" $ith an inte i"ent mindD a o*in" heartD and a body yo, #an p,t to "ood ,se: There are peop e $ho #are abo,t and s,pport yo,J+ami yD +riendsD a spirit,a tea#her: 5o, ha*e opport,nities to p,rs,e yo,r #reati*eD inte e#t,a D and so#ia interests: 5o, enEoy a "ood standard o+ i*in"Jat eastD yo, ha*e eno,"h to stay a i*e/ And most o+ a D yo, ha*e the potentia and opport,nityJ because o+ a the other bene+itsJto in*esti"ateD ,nderstandD and trans+orm yo,r mind: E*en i+ yo,r i+e does not a++ord as m,#h +reedom and #om+ort as yo, $o, d i1eD and e*en i+ yo, ha*e to i*e $ith some *ery di++i#, t prob ems and #ha en"esD no matter $here yo, are and $hat #onditions yo, i*e inD yo, #an a $ays $or1 on yo,r mind: Thin1 no$ ho$ +e$ peop e or #reat,res on earth share these +reedoms and #han#es $ith yo,: When yo, ha*e #onsidered this deep yD yo, $i rea i!e ho$ rare and pre#io,s a i+e

i1e yo,rs is: )ea y appre#iate yo,r "ood +ort,ne: On#e yo, ha*e seen the disad*anta"es yo,r i+e is +ree o+ and the ad*anta"es yo, enEoyD de#ide ho$ best to ,se yo,r pre#io,s opport,nities: Thin1 o+ a the possibi ities open to yo,J$or1D tra*e D enEoymentD st,dy: I+ yo, $ish to o++er ser*i#e to othersD there are #o,nt ess opport,nities to he p those ess +ort,nate than yo,: %,t the most meanin"+, and bene+i#ia thin" yo, #an doD both +or yo,rse + and othersD is to de*e op yo,rse + spirit,a yG o*er#omin" the ne"ati*e aspe#ts o+ yo,r mind and in#reasin" the positi*eD and a#t,a i!in" yo,r potentia +or en i"htenment: Try to see the imitations o+ a i+esty e "eared so e y to materia isti# "ain: Thin1 o+ the insi"ni+i#an#e o+ +ameD $ea thD rep,tationD and sens,a ind, "en#e $hen #ompared to the "oa o+ en i"htenment: Why aspire to on y tempora a#hie*ements $hen $e are #apab e o+ so m,#h more? See i+ yo, #an +ee a sense o+ Eoy and appre#iation +or the $onder+, sit,ation yo, ha*e: )eso *e to ,se yo,r i+e $ise yJdoin" yo,r best to a*oid harmin" othersD and instead he pin" them as m,#h as yo, #anD and de*e opin" yo,r o*eD #ompassionD $isdomD and other positi*e 8,a ities that $i enab e yo, to a#t,a i!e yo,r hi"hest potentia : Dedication 4ina yD dedi#ate the ener"y and inspiration yo, ha*e "ained +rom doin" this meditation to the , timate happiness o+ a bein"s:

0
Med tat on on Im,ermanence
E*erythin" in the physi#a $or d is impermanentD #han"in" a the time: Some #han"es are ob*io,sG peop e "ro$ ,pD "et o dD and dieF b,i din"s and brid"es $ear o,t and +a apart: The en*ironment "oes thro,"h a #omp ete trans+ormation +rom one season to the ne-tF + o$ers $i tD paint #ra#1s and pee sD #ars brea1 do$n: The so,r#e o+ this e-terna trans+ormation #an be tra#ed to the #e , ar and mo e#, ar #omposition o+ matterD $here #han"e is not so ob*io,s: At this in*isib e e*e D min,te parti# es are #onstant y #omin" into or "oin" o,t o+ e-isten#eD "atherin" and dispersin"D e-pandin" and #ontra#tin"Ja $ays in motionD a $ays + ,#t,atin": O,r #ons#io,s $or d is a so #han"in" #onstant y: Sometimes $e are happyD sometimes depressedF sometimes $e +ee +, o+ o*eD other times +, o+ an"er: Memories o+ #on*ersations and e*entsD tho,"hts o+ the +,t,reD ideas abo,t this and that +i o,r minds one a+ter the other: A +e$ moments o+ oo1in" in$ard $i sho$ ,s ho$ 8,i#1 y the mind is #han"in"G it.s i1e a rai $ay station at r,sh ho,r/ Streams o+ tho,"htsD +ee in"sD and per#eptions + ash byD in e*ery dire#tionD $itho,t #easin": This #onstant #han"e is the rea ity o+ thin"sD b,t $e +ind it *ery di++i#, t to a##ept: Inte e#t,a yD it is not a prob emF b,t rea a##eptan#e o+ impermanen#e rare yD i+ e*erD enters o,r e*eryday beha*ior and e-perien#e: Instin#ti*e yD $e # in" to peop e and thin"s as i+ they $ere permanent and ,n#han"in": We don.t $ant the ni#e person or the bea,ti+, obEe#t to #han"eD and +irm y be ie*e that the irritatin" person $i ne*er be di++erent: And $hen $e are depressed or dissatis+iedD $e thin1 $e $i be that $ay +ore*er: We # in" espe#ia y stron" y to o,r *ie$ o+ o,r o$n persona ityG HI am a depressed personDI HI am an an"ry personDI HI am not *ery inte i"ent:I We mi"ht indeed be this or thatD b,t it is not the $ho e pi#t,re nor $i it a $ays be i1e thatF it $i #han"e: %y not re#o"ni!in" impermanen#e $e meet $ith +r,strationD irritationD "rie+D one inessD and #o,nt ess other prob ems: We #an a*oid e-perien#in" them by be#omin" +ami iar $ith the transitory nat,re o+ thin"sD re#o"ni!in" that they are in a #onstant state o+ + ,-: (rad,a y $e $i earn to e-pe#tD and a##eptD #han"e as the nat,re o+ i+e: We $i ,nderstand not on y that #han"e simp y happens b,t a so that $e #an brin" abo,t #han"e: We ha*e the po$er to #han"e $hat $e areD to de*e op and trans+orm o,r minds and i*es:

The ,ract ce
Motivation Sit #om+ortab y and re a- #omp ete y: Ta1e time to #a m and #on#entrate yo,r tho,"hts by mind+, y obser*in" the breath: When yo,r mind is #a m and sett ed in the presentD "enerate a positi*e moti*ation +or doin" the meditation: 4or e-amp eD yo, #an thin1G HMay this meditation he p brin" abo,t "reater pea#e and happiness +or a

bein"sDI orG HMay this meditation be a #a,se +or me to be#ome en i"htened so that I #an he p a bein"s be#ome +ree o+ s,++erin" and be#ome en i"htened as $e :I ThenD t,rn yo,r a$areness to yo,r body: Thin1 o+ its many di++erent partsJarmsD e"sD headD s1inD b oodD bonesD ner*esD and m,s# es: E-amine themD one by oneF !robe them $ith yo,r +ee in"s: Contemp ate the nat,re o+ these thin"sG their s,bstan#eD their te-t,reD their shape and si!e: %e sensiti*e to the body at $or1D the mo*ement that is o##,rrin" e*ery momentG the ebb and + o$ o+ yo,r breathD the beatin" o+ yo,r heartD the + o$ o+ yo,r b oodD and the ener"y o+ yo,r ner*e imp, ses: %e a$are o+ yo,r body at the e*en more s,bt e e*e o+ its #e , ar str,#t,reD that it is entire y #omposed o+ i*in" #e s #omin" into e-isten#eD mo*in" abo,tD reprod,#in"D dyin"D and disinte"ratin": On an e*en s,bt er e*e D a the parts o+ yo,r body are made o+ mo e#, esD atomsD and s,b-atomi# parti# esD and these are in #onstant motion: Try to rea y "et a +ee in" +or the #han"e that is ta1in" p a#e e*ery moment in yo,r bodyL: No$D t,rn yo,r attention to yo,r mind: ItD tooD is #omposed o+ many partsG tho,"htsD per#eptionsD +ee in"sD memoriesD and ima"es +o o$in" one a+ter the otherD #ease ess y: Spend a +e$ min,tes simp y obser*in" the e*er-#han"in" + o$ o+ e-perien#es in yo,r mindD i1e someone oo1in" o,t o+ a $indo$ onto a b,sy streetD $at#hin" the #ars and pedestrians passin" by: Don.t # in" to anythin" that yo, see in yo,r mindD don.t E,d"e or ma1e #ommentsJE,st obser*eD and try to "et a sense o+ the impermanentD e*er-#han"in" nat,re o+ yo,r mind: A+ter re+ e#tin" on the impermanen#e o+ yo,r inner $or dJyo,r o$n body and mindJ e-tend yo,r a$areness to the o,ter $or d: Thin1 abo,t yo,r immediate s,rro,ndin"sG the #,shionD matD or bed yo, are sittin" onD the + oorD $a sD $indo$sD and #ei in" o+ yo,r roomD the +,rnit,re and other obEe#ts in the room: Consider that ea#h o+ theseD a tho,"h appearin" so id and stati#D is a#t,a y a mass o+ tiny parti# es $hi!!in" aro,nd: Stay $ith that e-perien#e +or a $hi e: Then et yo,r a$areness tra*e +,rther o,tD beyond the $a s o+ yo,r room: Thin1 o+ other peop eG their bodies and minds are a so #onstant y #han"in"D not stayin" the same +or e*en one moment: The same is tr,e o+ a i*in" bein"sD s,#h as anima sD birdsD and inse#ts: Thin1 o+ a the inanimate obEe#ts in the $or d and in the ,ni*erseG ho,sesD b,i din"sD roadsD #arsD treesD mo,ntainsD o#eans and ri*ersD the earth itse +D the s,nD moonD and stars: A o+ these thin"sD bein" #omposed o+ atoms and other min,te parti# esD are #onstant y #han"in"D e*ery momentD e*ery mi ise#ond: Nothin" stays the same $itho,t #han"in": Con#entrate on this e-perien#e: D,rin" the meditationD any time that yo, ha*e a # earD stron" +ee in" o+ the e*er-#han"in" nat,re o+ thin"sD ho d yo,r attention +irm y on it +or as on" as possib e $itho,t ettin" yo,r mind be distra#ted ?in other $ordsD do stabi i!in" meditation@: Soa1 yo,r mind in the e-perien#e: When the +ee in" +ades or yo,r attention starts to $anderD a"ain ana y!e the impermanen#e o+ either yo,r body or mind or another obEe#t: Con# ,de the meditation $ith the tho,"ht that it is ,nrea isti# and se +-de+eatin" to # in" to thin"s as tho,"h they $ere permanent: Whate*er is bea,ti+, and p easin" $i #han"e

and e*ent,a y disappearD so $e #an.t e-pe#t it to "i*e ,s astin" happiness: A soD $hate*er is ,np easant or dist,rbin" $on.t ast +ore*erJit mi"ht e*en #han"e +or the better/ So there.s no need to be ,psetD or to reEe#t it: Dedication Dedi#ate yo,r positi*e ener"y and insi"ht to the happiness o+ a bein"s: i*in"

2
Death Awareness Med tat on
When +irst #on+ronted $ith the idea o+ meditatin" on death $e mi"ht rea#t $ith sho#1: Perhaps $e thin1 that meditation sho, d dea $ith "ood e-perien#esD $hereas death and thin"s asso#iated $ith itJtears o+ "rie+D b a#1 # othin"D s1e etonsD and #emeteriesJ e*o1e +ee in"s o+ +ear and pani#: We see death as the #ontradi#tion o+ i+eD bea,tyD and happinessF it be on"s to the rea m o+ the ,nmentionab eD the ,nthin1ab e: %,t $hy do $e ha*e s,#h ,nrea isti# attit,des? Why are $e ,nab e to a##ept death as #a m y as $e a##ept yesterday.s +resh + o$ers $i tin" today? Chan"eD disinte"rationD and death are nat,ra D ine*itab e aspe#ts o+ e-isten#e: %,ddhism e-p ains death as the separation o+ mind and bodyD a+ter $hi#h the body disinte"rates and the mind #ontin,es to another i+e: The #on*entiona se + or I that depends on the present mind-body #ombination ends at deathD b,t a di++erent se +-ima"e $i arise $ith the ne$ i+e: Death is there+ore not a #essation b,t a transitionD a trans+ormation: At the root o+ o,r ,neasiness and denia is i"noran#e: We # in" to o,r se +-ima"e as somethin" permanent and ,n#han"in"D and $ant it to i*e +ore*er: This $ish may not be #ons#io,sD e-pressib e in tho,"hts or $ordsD b,t it is de+inite y thereF it a##o,nts +or $hy $e instin#ti*e y + eeD str,"" eD or shie d o,rse *es $hen o,r i+e is threatened: This is not to imp y that there is somethin" $ron" $ith tryin" to stay a i*eJ i+e is indeed *ery pre#io,s: %,t it $o, d be ,se+, to e-amine the nat,re o+ the I that does not $ant to die: The +a, t is not in the $ish to pro on" i+e b,t in the +,ndamenta idea o+ $ho or $hat $e rea y are: HAm I the bodyD or any part o+ this #o e#tion o+ bonesD b oodD and + esh?I HAm I my #ons#io,sness?I HAm I somethin" other than my body and my mind?I The ,nderstandin" o+ emptinessD or the non-e-isten#e o+ an inherentD permanent se +D +rees ,s +rom +ear o+ death and +rom all +ears and mis#on#eptions: Bnti that point is rea#hedD ho$e*erD it is important to maintain a$areness o+ impermanen#e and death: The prin#ipa bene+it o+ pra#ti#in" this meditation is that it +or#es ,s to de#ide $hat attit,des and a#ti*ities are tr, y $orth$hi e: ',man i+e is hi"h y si"ni+i#ant be#a,se o+ the opport,nities it pro*ides +or o,r spirit,a "ro$thG de*e opin" o*e and #ompassionD # arity and $isdomD and +ina y a#hie*in" en i"htenment: E*ery one o+ ,s has this potentia : %,t i+e is short: Death #an happen at any timeD and to die $itho,t ha*in" ,nderta1en the on y $or1 that has any astin" bene+itD either to o,rse *es or to othersD $o, d be hi"h y re"rettab e: The present i+e and a its e-perien#es are + eetin"F # in"in" to anythin" in this $or d is i1e #hasin" a rainbo$: I+ $e 1eep this in mind #onstant y $e $i not $aste time on m,ndane p,rs,its b,t spend it $ise yD a*oidin" $hat is ne"ati*e and th,s the #a,se o+ ,nhappinessD and #, ti*atin" $hat is positi*e and th,s the #a,se o+ happiness: 'o$ $e i*e o,r i+e ine*itab y a++e#ts ho$ $e die: I+ $e i*e pea#e+, yD $e $i die $ith pea#eF b,t i+ $e +ai to ta1e death into #onsideration and th,s +ai to prepare +or itD $e are i1e y to die $ith +ear and re"retJstates o+ mind that $i on y #ompo,nd o,r

s,++erin": There is no need $hatsoe*er to re"ard death $ith +ear or sorro$: It #an in +a#t be an en i"htenin" e-perien#eD b,t $hether or not it $i be depends on ho$ $e i*e e*ery dayD e*ery moment o+ o,r i+e: A$areness o+ death d,rin" i+e he ps ,s to stay in the presentD to see the past as dream- i1e and hopes +or the +,t,re as +antasies: We $i be more stab e and #ontent and $i enth,siasti#a y ma1e the most o+ o,r i+e: There are *ario,s $ays o+ meditatin" on deathF the one e-p ained here in*o *es #ontemp atin" nine points: The nine points are s,bs,med ,nder three main pointsG M The ine*itabi ity o+ death M The ,n#ertainty o+ the time o+ death M The +a#t that on y spirit,a insi"ht #an he p yo, at the time o+ death There are di++erent $ays yo, #an meditate on the nine points: One $ay is to meditate on a nine points in one sessionF another is to do one point per sessionD th,s ta1in" nine sessions to #omp ete a the points: A third a ternati*e is to spend one session on ea#h o+ the three main points $ith its three s,b-points: 4ee +ree to #hoose $hi#he*er $ay yo, +ind most he p+, :

The ,ract ce
As preparationD sit in a #om+ortab e positionD $ith yo,r ba#1 strai"htD and et yo,r body re a-: Spend some time ettin" yo,r mind sett e do$n in the present momentF et "o o+ tho,"hts o+ the past and the +,t,re: Ma1e the de#ision to 1eep yo,r mind +o#,sed on the meditation topi# +or the d,ration o+ the meditation session: Motivation When yo,r mind is #a m and sett ed in the presentD "enerate a positi*e moti*ation +or doin" the meditation: 4or e-amp eD yo, #an thin1G HMay this meditation he p brin" abo,t "reater pea#e and happiness +or a bein"sDI orG HMay this meditation be a #a,se +or me to be#ome en i"htened so that I #an he p a bein"s be#ome +ree o+ s,++erin" and be#ome en i"htened as $e :I 5o, mi"ht i1e to re#ite some o+ the prayers on pa"es 1;1K;3: ThenD $ith yo,r mind re a-ed b,t +, y #on#entratedD #ontemp ate the +o o$in" pointsD brin"in" in yo,r o$n e-perien#es and insi"htsD as $e as thin"s yo, ha*e heard or read: Try to +ee e*ery point deep y: )ememberD i+ at any time d,rin" the session yo, rea#h a stron"D int,iti*e e-perien#e o+ the point yo, are e-aminin"D ho d the +ee in" $ith yo,r attention as on" as possib e:

The ne* tab l ty of death


We p an many a#ti*ities and proEe#ts +or the #omin" daysD monthsD and years: A tho,"h death is the on y e*ent that is #ertain to o##,rD $e don.t ,s,a y thin1 abo,t it or p an +or it: E*en i+ the tho,"ht o+ death does arise in o,r mindD $e ,s,a y p,sh it a$ay 8,i#1 yJ $e don.t $ant to thin1 abo,t death: %,t it.s important to thin1 abo,t and be prepared +or it: Contemp ate the +o o$in" three points to "et a sense that death is de+inite y "oin" to happen to yo,:

1. Everyone has to die To "enerate an e-perien#e o+ death.s ine*itabi ityD +irst brin" to mind peop e +rom the pastG +amo,s r, ers and $ritersD m,si#iansD phi osophersD saintsD s#ientistsD #rimina sD and ordinary peop e: These peop e $ere on#e a i*eJthey $or1edD tho,"htD and $roteF they o*ed and +o,"htD enEoyed i+e and s,++ered: And +ina y they died: Is there anyone $ho e*er i*ed $ho did not ha*e to die? No matter ho$ $iseD $ea thyD po$er+, D or pop, ar a person may beD his or her i+e m,st #ome to an end: The same is tr,e +or a other i*in" #reat,res: 4or a the ad*an#es in s#ien#e and medi#ineD no one has +o,nd a #,re +or deathD and no one e*er $i : No$ brin" to mind peop e yo, 1no$ $ho ha*e a ready diedL: And thin1 o+ the peop e yo, 1no$ $ho are sti a i*e: Contemp ate that e*ery one o+ these peop e $i die: And so $i yo,: There are se*era bi ion peop e on the p anet ri"ht no$D b,t one h,ndred years +rom no$D a these peop eJ$ith the e-#eption o+ a +e$ $ho are no$ *ery yo,n"J$i be "one: 5o, yo,rse + $i be dead: Try to e-perien#e this +a#t $ith yo,r entire bein":

2. Your lifespan is decreasing continuously Time ne*er stands sti Jit is #ontin,o,s y passin": Se#onds be#ome min,tesD min,tes be#ome ho,rsD ho,rs be#ome daysD days be#ome yearsD and as time is passin" in this $ayD yo, tra*e # oser and # oser to$ard death: Ima"ine an ho,r-" assD $ith the sand r,nnin" into the bottom: The time yo, ha*e to i*e is i1e the "rains o+ sandD #ontin,o,s y r,nnin" o,tL: 'o d yo,r a$areness +or a $hi e on the e-perien#e o+ this ,ninterr,pted + o$ o+ time #arryin" yo, to the end o+ yo,r i+e: I+ yo, $ere to +a +rom an airp ane $itho,t a para#h,te yo, $o, d be +, y a$are o+ death.s approa#h: Ima"ine this is a#t,a y happenin" to yo,D and #he#1 $hat tho,"hts and +ee in"s pass thro,"h yo,r mind: The rea ity o+ yo,r sit,ation in i+e is not so di++erentG yo, are #onstant y mo*in" to$ard death and #an do nothin" to a*oid or postpone it:

3. The amount of time spent during your life to develop your mind is very small (i*en that the mind a one #ontin,es a+ter deathD the on y thin" that $i be o+ any *a ,e $hen yo, die is the positi*e and #onstr,#ti*e ener"y yo, ha*e #reated d,rin" yo,r i+e: %,t ho$ m,#h time do yo, a#t,a y de*ote to ,nderstandin" yo,r mindD bein" 1ind to othersD de*e opin" $isdom and #ompassion? In an a*era"e dayD ho$ many ho,rs do yo, s eep? 'o$ many ho,rs do yo, $or1? 'o$ many ho,rs do yo, spend preparin" +oodD eatin"D so#ia i!in"? 'o$ m,#h time do yo, spend +ee in" depressedD +r,stratedD boredD an"ryD resent+, D Eea o,sD a!yD or #riti#a ? And +ina yD ho$ m,#h time do yo, spend #ons#io,s y tryin" to impro*e yo,r state o+ mind? Do these #a #, ations honest y: Assess yo,r i+e in this pra#ti#a $ay to see # ear y E,st ho$ m,#h o+ yo,r time is spent doin" thin"s that tr, y bene+it yo,rse + and others and that $i be he p+, +or yo,r mind at the time o+ death and in the ne-t i+e: %y meditatin" on these +irst three pointsD yo, sho, d be ab e to de*e op the determination to ,se yo,r i+e $ise y and mind+, y:

The +ncerta nty of the t me of death


%y #ontemp atin" the +irst three pointsD yo, #ome to a##ept that yo, are de+inite y "oin" to die: %,t yo, mi"ht thin1 that death is not "oin" to happen +or a on" time: Why do yo, thin1 this $ay? Is there any $ay yo, #an 1no$ +or s,re $hen death $i happen? Contemp ate the +o o$in" three points to "et a sense o+ ho$ the time o+ death is #omp ete y ,n#ertain and ,n1no$n:

4. Human life e!pectancy is uncertain I+ h,man bein"s died at a spe#i+i# a"eD say ei"hty-ei"htD $e $o, d ha*e p enty o+ time and spa#e to prepare +or death: %,t there is no s,#h #ertaintyD and death #at#hes most o+ ,s by s,rprise: &i+e #an end at any pointG at birthD in #hi dhoodD in ado es#en#eD at the a"e o+ t$enty-t$o or thirty-+i*e or +i+ty or ninety-+o,r: Thin1 o+ e-amp es o+ peop e yo, 1ne$ or ha*e heard o+ $ho died be+ore they rea#hed the a"e yo, are no$ atL: %ein" yo,n" and hea thy is no ",arantee that a person $i i*e a on" timeJ#hi dren sometimes die be+ore their parents: 'ea thy peop e #an die be+ore those $ho are s,++erin" +rom a termina i ness s,#h as #an#erL: We #an ho!e to i*e ,nti $e are se*enty or ei"htyD b,t $e #annot be #ertain o+ doin" so: We #annot be #ertain that $e $i not die ater today: It is *ery di++i#, t to +ee #on*in#ed that death #o, d happen at any moment: We tend to +ee that sin#e $e.*e s,r*i*ed so +arD o,r #ontin,ation is se#,re: %,t tho,sands o+ peop e

die e*ery day and +e$ o+ them e-pe#ted to: (enerate a stron" +ee in" o+ the #omp ete ,n#ertainty o+ yo,r o$n time o+ deathF ho$ there simp y is no ",arantee that yo, ha*e on" to i*e:

". There are many causes of death There are many di++erent $ays that death happens to peop e: Sometimes it happens d,e to e-terna #a,ses: These in# ,de nat,ra disasters s,#h as earth8,a1esD + oodsD and *o #ani# er,ptionsD or a##idents s,#h as #ar or p ane #rashes: Peop e #an a so be 1i ed by other peop eJm,rderers or terroristsJor by dan"ero,s anima s or poisono,s inse#ts: Death #an a so happen d,e to interna #a,ses: There are h,ndreds o+ di++erent diseases that #an rob ,s o+ o,r hea th and ead to death: There are a so #ases o+ peop e $ho are not i D b,t somethin" "oes $ron" in their bodies and they s,dden y dieD in their s eep or $hi e $a 1in" aro,nd: And then there is o d a"eF no one is sa+e +rom that: E*en thin"s that norma y s,pport i+e #an be#ome the #a,se o+ death: 4oodD +or e-amp eD is somethin" $e need in order to stay a i*eD b,t it #an sometimes ead to deathD as $hen peop e o*ereat or eat #ontaminated +ood: Medi#ine norma y s,pports i+eD b,t peop e sometimes die be#a,se they too1 the $ron" medi#ineD or the $ron" dose: 'o,ses and apartments enab e ,s to i*e #om+ortab yD b,t they sometimes #at#h +ire or #o apseD 1i in" the peop e inside: Peop e die in their s eepD in the $ombD #omin" home +rom $or1D "oin" to s#hoo D on the p ayin" +ie dD #oo1in" dinner: Death #an o##,r at any timeD in any sit,ation: %rin" to mind #ases o+ peop e yo, 1no$ or ha*e heard o+ $ho ha*e diedD and thin1 o+ ho they died: Thin1 that any o+ these thin"s #o, d happen to yo, as $e :

#. The human $ody is very fragile O,r h,man body is *ery *, nerab eF it #an be inE,red or str,#1 do$n by i ness so easi y: Within min,tesD it #an #han"e +rom bein" stron" and a#ti*e to bein" he p ess y $ea1 and +, o+ pain: )i"ht no$ yo, mi"ht +ee hea thyD ener"eti#D and se#,reD b,t somethin" as sma as a *ir,s or as insi"ni+i#ant as a thorn #o, d drain yo,r stren"th and ead to yo,r death: Thin1 abo,t this: )e#a the times yo, ha*e h,rt or inE,red yo,r bodyD and ho$ easi y it #o, d happen a"ain and e*en #a,se yo,r death: 5o,r body $on.t ast +ore*er: In the #o,rse o+ yo,r i+e yo, mi"ht mana"e to a*oid i ness and a##identsD b,t the years $i e*ent,a y o*erta1e yo,Jyo,r body $i de"enerateD ose its bea,ty and *ita ityD and +ina y die: %y meditatin" on this se#ond set o+ three points $e $i de*e op the determination to be"in o,r $or1 o+ mind-trans+ormation ri"ht no$D as the +,t,re is so ,n#ertain:

The fact that only s, r t+al ns ght can hel, yo+ at the t me of death
No matter ho$ m,#h $e ha*e a#8,ired or de*e oped thro,"ho,t o,r i+eJin terms o+ +ami y and +riendsD $ea thD po$erD tra*e D e-perien#esD and so onJnone o+ it "oes $ith ,s at death: On y o,r stream o+ #ons#io,sness #ontin,esD #arryin" imprints o+ a that $e ha*e tho,"htD +e tD saidD and done: It is *ita that $hen $e die $e ha*e as many positi*e imprintsJthe #a,se o+ "ood e-perien#esJand as +e$ ne"ati*e imprintsJthe #a,se o+ s,++erin"Jon o,r mind as possib e: A soD $e sho, d aim to die at pea#e $ith o,rse *esD +ee in" "ood abo,t ho$ $e i*ed o,r i+eD and not ea*in" behind any ,nreso *ed #on+ i#ts $ith peop e: The on y thin"s that $i tr, y bene+it ,s at the time o+ death are positi*e states o+ mind s,#h as +aith ?see pa"e 19;@D non-atta#hment and #a m a##eptan#e o+ the #han"es that are ta1in" p a#eD o*in"-1indnessD #ompassionD patien#eD and $isdom: %,t in order to be ab e to ha*e s,#h states o+ mind at the time o+ deathD $e need to ma1e o,rse *es +ami iar $ith them d,rin" the #o,rse o+ o,r i+eJand this is the essen#e o+ spirit,a pra#ti#e: )ea i!in" this $i "i*e ,s the in#enti*e to start doin" spirit,a pra#ti#e no$D and to pra#ti#e as m,#h as $e #an $hi e $e sti ha*e time: 5o, #an e-perien#e a stron" +ee in" o+ this rea ity by #ontemp atin" the +o o$in" three points $hi e *is,a i!in" yo,rse + a#t,a y dyin":

%. Your loved ones cannot help When yo, +a#e di++i#, t or +ri"htenin" sit,ationsD yo,r tho,"hts ,s,a y t,rn to o*ed onesG yo,r +ami y and +riends: So it is nat,ra that yo, $o, d $ish them to be $ith yo, $hen yo, die: 'o$e*erD it.s not #ertain that they $i be thereJyo, mi"ht die +ar +rom home: %,t e*en i+ they $ere present $ith yo, at the time o+ deathD $o, d they be ab e to he p yo,? A tho,"h they o*e yo, *ery m,#h and do not $ant yo, to dieD they #annot pre*ent this +rom happenin": A soD #han#es are that they $o, dn.t 1no$ $hat to say or do to "i*e yo, pea#e o+ mindF insteadD their sadness and $orry abo,t the #omin" separation $o, d probab y stir ,p the same emotions in yo,r mind: When $e dieD $e "o a oneJno oneD not e*en o,r # osestD dearest o*ed oneD #an a##ompany ,s: And bein" ,nab e to a##ept this and et "o o+ o,r atta#hment to o,r o*ed ones $i #a,se o,r mind to be in t,rmoi and ma1e it *ery di++i#, t to ha*e a pea#e+, death: )e#o"ni!e the atta#hment yo, ha*e to yo,r +ami y and +riends: Try to rea i!e that ha*in" stron" atta#hment to peop e #an be a hindran#e to ha*in" a pea#e+, state o+ mind at the time o+ deathD so it is better to $or1 on de#reasin" this atta#hment and earnin" to et "o:

&. Your possessions and en'oyments cannot help 5o,r mind $i probab y a so thin1 o+ yo,r possessions and propertyD $hi#h o##,py a "reat dea o+ yo,r time $hi e yo, are a i*eD and are a so,r#e o+ m,#h p eas,re and satis+a#tion: %,t #an any o+ these thin"s brin" yo, #om+ort and pea#e at the time o+ death? 5o,r $ea th may be ab e to pro*ide yo, $ith a pri*ate room in the hospita and the best medi#a #areD b,t that is a it #an do +or yo,: It #annot stop death +rom happenin"D and $hen yo, dieD yo, #annot ta1e any o+ it $ith yo,D not e*en one #ent: Not on y $i yo,r possessions be ,nab e to he p yo, at the time o+ deathD b,t yo,r mind may be #a,"ht ,p in $orries abo,t themJ$ho $i "et $hatD and $hether or not they $i ta1e proper #are o+ Hyo,rI thin"s: So that $i ma1e it di++i#, t to ha*e a pea#e+, D deta#hed state o+ mind as yo, are dyin": Contemp ate these pointsD and see i+ yo, #an ,nderstand the importan#e o+ earnin" to be ess dependent on and atta#hed to materia thin"s:

(. Your o)n $ody cannot help 5o,r body has been yo,r #onstant #ompanion sin#e birth: 5o, 1no$ it more intimate y than anythin" or anyone e se: 5o, ha*e #ared +or it and prote#ted itD $orried abo,t itD 1ept it #om+ortab e and hea thyD +ed it and # eaned itD e-perien#ed a 1inds o+ p eas,re and pain $ith it: It has been yo,r most treas,red possession: %,t no$ yo, are dyin" and that means yo, $i be separated +rom it: It $i be#ome $ea1 and e*ent,a y 8,ite ,se essG yo,r mind $i separate +rom it and it $i be ta1en to the #emetery or #rematori,m: What "ood #an it possib y do yo, no$? Contemp ate the stron" sense o+ dependen#e and atta#hment yo, ha*e to yo,r body and ho$ it #annot bene+it yo, in any $ay at death: )e"ret abo,t ea*in" itD and +earD $i on y #ompo,nd yo,r s,++erin": %y meditatin" on the +ina three pointsD $e sho, d #ome to rea i!e ho$ important it is to $or1 on red,#in" o,r atta#hment to the thin"s o+ this i+eD s,#h as +ami y and +riendsD possessionsD and o,r body: We sho, d a so rea i!e ho$ important it is to ta1e #are o+ o,r mindD as that is the on y thin" that $i #ontin,e to the ne-t i+e: HTa1in" #are o+ the mindI means $or1in" on de#reasin" the ne"ati*e states o+ mind s,#h as an"er and atta#hmentD and #, ti*atin" positi*e 8,a ities s,#h as +aithD o*in"-1indnessD #ompassionD patien#eD and $isdom: 4,rthermoreD as the imprints o+ o,r a#tions in this i+e $i a so "o $ith o,r mind to the ne-t oneD and $i determine the 1ind o+ rebirth and e-perien#es $e $i ha*eD it is essentia to try o,r best to re+rain +rom ne"ati*e a#tionsD and #reate positi*e a#tions as m,#h as possib e d,rin" o,r i+e: It is possib e that yo, $i +ee +ear or sadness $hen doin" this meditation: In one senseD that is "oodJit sho$s that yo, ha*e ta1en the ideas serio,s y and ha*e #ontemp ated them $e : A soD it is important to "et in to,#h $ith ho$ yo, do +ee abo,t death so that yo, #an $or1 on bein" prepared +or it $hen it happens: %y $or1in" on o,r mindD $e #an

trans#end +earD sadnessD atta#hmentD and other emotions that ma1e it di++i#, t to die $ith a pea#e+, mind: 4ear arises be#a,se o+ # in"in" to the idea o+ a permanent se +Jthere is no s,#h thin"D so this is a de ,sion that E,st ma1es ,s s,++er: I+ $e 1eep death in mind in an easyD open $ay Ja##eptin" it as a nat,ra and ine*itab e aspe#t o+ i+eJthis # in"in" $i "rad,a y oosenD a o$in" ,s to be mind+, and ma1e e*ery a#tion positi*e and bene+i#ia D +or o,rse *es and others: And an a$areness o+ death "i*es ,s enormo,s ener"y to not $aste o,r i+eD b,t to i*e it as e++e#ti*e y as possib e: Dedication Con# ,de the meditation $ith the optimisti# tho,"ht that yo, ha*e e*ery possibi ity to ma1e yo,r i+e meanin"+, and positi*e and th,s $i be ab e to die $ith pea#e o+ mind: )emember the moti*ation yo, had at the be"innin" o+ the meditation and dedi#ate the merit o+ doin" the meditation to that same p,rposeJ+or the bene+it o+ a bein"s:

5
Med tat on on 6arma
Do not co))it any nonvirtuous actions" Perfor) only !erfect virtuous actions" Subdue your )ind thoroughly* This is the teaching of the -uddha' JThe Dha))a!ada I+ e*erythin" is empty o+ inherentD independent e-isten#eD then $hy are $e sometimes happyD and at other times depressed and miserab e? Why do "ood thin"s and bad thin"s happen to peop e? One e-p anation is that i"noran#e o+ the empty nat,re o+ thin"s sti per*ades o,r mindsD and ,nti $e +ree o,r minds +rom i"noran#e $e $i #ontin,e to ha*e prob ems: %,t another e-p anation is thatD a tho,"h e*erythin" is empty on the , timate e*e o+ rea ityD on the re ati*e or #on*entiona e*e the e-perien#es $e ha*e are s,bEe#t to the a$ o+ #a,se and e++e#tD or 1arma: .ar)a is a Sans1rit $ord that means Ha#tionIJit re+ers to the pro#ess $hereby the a#tions $e do are the #a,ses o+ e++e#ts or res, ts that $e $i e-perien#e in the +,t,re: Positi*e a#tions ead to positi*e res, ts s,#h as "ood rebirths in o,r +,t,re i*esD bein" hea thyD "ettin" $hat $e need and $antD and bein" treated $e by othersF ne"ati*e a#tions ead to ,n+ort,nate res, ts s,#h as bad rebirthsD hea th prob emsD +ai ,re to "et $hat $e need and $antD and bein" ab,sed by others: The a$ o+ 1arma is a so 1no$n as the a$ o+ #a,se and e++e#t: %,t $hen $e ,se the $ord H a$I it sho, d be ,nderstood as a nat,ra a$D i1e the a$ o+ "ra*ityD rather than a a$ that $as in*ented by anyone s,#h as the %,ddha: Thro,"h his meditati*e insi"htsD %,ddha be#ame a$are o+ the a$ o+ 1arma and e-p ained it to ,s so that $e #o, d ha*e more #ontro o*er o,r i*es and e-perien#es: I+ $e earn abo,t 1arma and do o,r best to re+rain +rom ne"ati*e a#tions and do positi*e a#tionsD then $e $i e-perien#e more happiness and ess s,++erin": The res, ts o+ o,r a#tions +o o$ nat,ra yD E,st as $e enEoy "ood hea th +rom eatin" n,tritio,s +oodD b,t "et si#1 i+ $e eat ,nhea thy or #ontaminated +ood: There is no one $ho re$ards ,s +or positi*e a#tions or p,nishes ,s +or ne"ati*e a#tions:

#ome common 7+est ons and m sconce,t ons abo+t karma


Peop e sometimes $onder i+ the a$ o+ 1arma app ies on y to those $ho be ie*e in itD b,t not to those $ho do not 1no$ abo,t or be ie*e in it: I+ that $ere the #aseD it $o, d be better not to 1no$ abo,t 1armaD and the %,ddha $o, d ha*e done ,s a disser*i#e by ta 1in" abo,t it/ In rea ityD 1arma is a ,ni*ersa a$ that app ies to a bein"sD $hether

they 1no$ abo,t and be ie*e in it or not: It is simi ar to "ra*ityJa bein"s are s,bEe#t to "ra*ityD $hether they are a$are o+ it or notJor to poisonJ$hoe*er eats poison $i "et si#1D $hether or not they be ie*e that it.s harm+, : Another #ommon 8,estion is $hether 1arma means that $e ha*e no +ree $i : 4or those $ho are ,na$are o+ 1armaD there is itt e or no +ree $i be#a,se they don.t 1no$ the #a,ses o+ "ood and bad e-perien#es: A tho,"h they $ant happiness and s,##ess and don.t $ant prob emsD they may a*oid #reatin" the #a,ses o+ happinessJbein" honest and "enero,sD +or e-amp eJand may do the *ery thin"s that brin" prob emsJs,#h as yin" and #heatin": On the other handD those $ho 1no$ abo,t 1arma are +ree to a#t in $ays that $i brin" the happiness they $ish +orD and a*oid the prob ems they don.t $ant: So 1arma means that e are the #reatorG e are responsib e +or o,r e-perien#esD rather than an e-terna #reatorD or other peop e and #ir#,mstan#es: Some peop e ha*e the idea that sin#e e*erythin" is emptyD there is no "ood and badD no ri"ht and $ron": This idea is tota y mista1enD and a so e-treme y detrimenta to o,r spirit,a de*e opment: En i"htened bein"s and those $ho ha*e a dire#tD non-#on#ept,a rea i!ation o+ emptiness see a thin"s as ha*in" the same nat,reG emptiness o+ inherent e-isten#e: %,t emptiness does not ne"ate the re ati*eD #on*entiona e*e o+ thin"s: Thin"s sti e-ist on the re ati*e e*e D and their e-isten#e is s,bEe#t to the a$ o+ dependent arisin"G they e-ist in dependen#e on other thin"sD s,#h as #a,ses and #onditions: On the , timate e*e D thin"s are emptyD b,t re ati*e yD there is s,++erin" and #on+,sionD $hi#h is the res, t o+ ne"ati*e a#tionsD and there is happinessD $hi#h is the res, t o+ positi*e a#tions: So 1armaD #a,se and e++e#tD de+inite y e-istsD and $e $o, d be $ise to i*e a##ordin" to it/ Some peop e ha*e no tro,b e a##eptin" 1armaF they may e*en ha*e had an int,iti*e ,nderstandin" o+ it their $ho e i+e: Others are s#epti#a and as1 +or proo+: %,t it.s di++i#, t to #ome ,p $ith #on#rete proo+ be#a,se 1arma is in the mindD and the mind is non-materia : The $ay it $or1s is that $hen $e do an a#tion $ith o,r bodyD spee#hD or mindD a s,bt e imprint is e+t on o,r mindstreamD simi ar to the imprint e+t on #amera+i m $hen $e ta1e a pi#t,re: &aterD $hen $e en#o,nter the ri"ht #a,ses and #onditionsD that menta imprint $i mani+est in the +orm o+ e-perien#es that o##,r in o,r mindD simi ar to the pi#t,res that materia i!e $hen the +i m is de*e oped: &ama 5eshe said that $e #an see the $or1in"s o+ 1arma in o,r o$n i+e: When $e.re in a bad state o+ mindJdissatis+ied $ith o,rse *es and o,r i+eD or an"ry at the $or dJthen e*erythin" $i "o $ron" and $e $i attra#t prob ems: %,t $hen $e.re in a "ood state o+ mind and treat peop e $ith respe#t and #onsiderationD $e.re m,#h more i1e y to ha*e "ood e-perien#es: So o,r o$n e-perien#es are proo+ that o,r attit,des and beha*ior a++e#t $hat happens to ,s in o,r dai y i+e: I+ yo, ha*e di++i#, ty a##eptin" 1armaD it #o, d be ,se+, to #he#1 yo,r reasonsD and as1 yo,rse + i+ they are "oodD so id reasons: 4or e-amp eD yo, mi"ht +ind it di++i#, t to a##ept be#a,se it.s a +orei"n #on#eptD one yo, didn.t hear abo,t +rom yo,r +ami y or ed,#ation system: Is that a *a id reason +or reEe#tin" somethin"? Some peop e +ind the idea o+ 1arma ,n#om+ortab e: They may thin1D HI+ I ha*e ots o+ prob ems in my i+eD that means I m,st ha*e done ots o+ bad thin"s in the pastD so I m,st be a bad person:I This is an in#orre#t #on# ,sion: There is no s,#h thin" as a Hbad person:I The minds o+ a ,nen i"htened bein"s are a++ i#ted $ith i"noran#e and other de ,sions that moti*ate ,s to a#t in ,ns1i +, $aysD #reatin" prob ems +or o,rse *es and

othersD b,t this is not o,r tr,e $ay o+ bein": We a ha*e the potentia to be#ome +ree o+ i"noran#eD de ,sionsD and 1armaD and to be#ome +, y a$a1enedD #ompassionate bein"s: We #an.t ,ndo $hat $as done in the pastD b,t $e #an #han"e o,rse *es +rom no$ onD and the tea#hin"s on 1arma sho$ ,s ho$ to start doin" this: Peop e sometimes +o#,s more on the ne"ati*e side o+ 1armaJHyo, do bad thin"s and bad thin"s $i happen to yo,:I %,t $e sho, dn.t +or"et the positi*e side o+ 1arma: It.s important to remember a the "ood thin"s abo,t o,r i+eJthe *ery +a#t that $e ha*e a h,man i+eD re ati*e y "ood hea thD peop e $ho are 1ind and he p+, to ,sD the opport,nity to earn and pra#ti#e spirit,a tea#hin"sJand rea i!e that these #ame abo,t be#a,se $e #reated ots o+ "ood 1arma in the pastD and $e #an #ontin,e to #reate "ood 1arma in this i+e as $e : The p,rpose o+ meditatin" on 1arma is t$o+o dG to de*e op the a$areness that $e are responsib eJ$e are the #reators o+ o,r o$n e-perien#esJand to earn $hi#h a#tions brin" s,++erin"D so $e #an a*oid thoseD and $hi#h a#tions ead to happinessD so that $e #an en"a"e in those:

The ,ract ce
Sit #om+ortab y and re a- yo,r body and mind: &et "o o+ tho,"hts o+ the past and +,t,reD other p a#es and peop eF reso *e to 1eep yo,r mind +o#,sed in the presentD on yo,r meditation: Motivation (enerate a positi*e moti*ation +or doin" the meditationD s,#h as $antin" to ha*e a better ,nderstandin" o+ 1arma so that yo, #an a*oid doin" a#tions that brin" prob ems to yo,rse + and othersD and #an be more bene+i#ia D both to yo,rse + and others: There are +o,r aspe#tsD or "enera prin#ip esD o+ 1arma: I+ yo, ha*e timeD meditate on a +o,r in one sessionD or i+ time is shortD ta1e one e*ery day o*er +o,r days: As yo, re+ e#t on ea#h prin#ip eD brin" to mind e-amp es +rom yo,r o$n i+e or stories yo, ha*e heard to enri#h yo,r ,nderstandin": And do yo,r best to rea#h a #onstr,#ti*e #on# ,sionD as e-p ained at the end o+ e*ery point:

1. *arma is definite This means that there is a de+inite #orre ation bet$een the a#tions $e do and the e-perien#es $e ha*eD in that ne"ati*e a#tions brin" prob emsD not happinessD and positi*e a#tions brin" happinessD not s,++erin": It #an ne*er be other$ise: It is simi ar to $hat happens in nat,reG i+ $e p ant p,mp1in seeds $e "et p,mp1insD not #hi iF and i+ $e p ant #hi i seeds $e "et #hi iesD not p,mp1ins: 'o$ do $e 1no$ $hi#h a#tions are ne"ati*e and $hi#h are positi*e? In the +irst t$o *erses o+ the Dha))a!ada /0ollected Sayings1D the %,ddha e-p ained that it depends on o,r state o+ mindD or moti*ationG

Mind is the forerunner of all states2 Mind is chief" )ind3)ade are they' If one s!ea(s or acts ith an i)!ure )ind" suffering follo s" 4i(e the heel that follo s the cart3!ulling ox' Mind is the forerunner of all states2 Mind is chief" )ind3)ade are they' If one s!ea(s or acts ith a !ure )ind" ha!!iness follo s" 4i(e one5s shado that never leaves' In other $ordsD ne"ati*e a#tions are those moti*ated by Himp,re mindsI s,#h as an"erD atta#hmentD Eea o,sy and i"noran#eD and positi*e a#tions are those moti*ated by Hp,re mindsI s,#h as #ompassionD o*eD non-atta#hment and $isdom: %,t the %,ddha a so e-p ained ten a#tions that are by nat,re ne"ati*e and ead to s,++erin"G 1i in"D stea in"D se-,a mis#ond,#t ?$hi#h in# ,des in+ide ity and ab,si*e se-,a beha*ior@D yin"D di*isi*e spee#hD h,rt+, $ordsD id e ta 1D #o*eto,snessD harm+, intent and in#orre#t *ie$s ?s,#h as reEe#tin" 1arma or the e-isten#e o+ en i"htenment@: There is a #orrespondin" ist o+ ten positi*e a#tionsD $hi#h in*o *e ma1in" the #ons#io,s e++ort to re+rain +rom the ten ne"ati*e ones $ith the re#o"nition that they ead to s,++erin"G that isD #ons#io,s y re+rainin" +rom 1i in"D stea in"D and so +orth: Other e-amp es o+ positi*e a#tions are he pin" those $ho are si#1D poorD depressedD or "rie*in"D bein" "enero,sD ethi#a D and patientD and doin" spirit,a pra#ti#es $ith a p,re moti*ation: Thin1 ba#1 o*er yo,r i+e and see i+ yo, #an re#a ha*in" done any o+ the ten ne"ati*e a#tionsD and try to re#o"ni!e that a tho,"h these a#tions may ha*e bro,"ht yo, some short-term bene+itD in the on"-r,n they $i brin" prob ems: %rin" to mind instan#es o+ positi*e a#tions yo, ha*e doneD and be " ad abo,t theseD ,nderstandin" that they are the #a,se o+ happinessD +or yo,rse + and others: Try to +ee D HI+ I do ne"ati*e a#tions s,#h as 1i in" or sayin" h,rt+, $ords to othersD I p ant seeds that $i brin" the bitter +r,it o+ bad e-perien#es and s,++erin"D b,t i+ I do positi*e a#tions s,#h as prote#tin" i+e and bein" tr,th+, D I p ant seeds that $i brin" the s$eet +r,it o+ "ood e-perien#es and happiness: There+ore I sho, d try my best to a*oid doin" ne"ati*e a#tionsD and #reate as many positi*e a#tions as possib e:I

2. *arma increases This means that i+ $e do a ne"ati*e a#tionD e*en a minor oneD and do not app y any opponent +or#e s,#h as p,ri+i#ation pra#ti#eD the 1arma in#reases #ontin,o,s y and $i brin" many ,np easant res, ts: And on the positi*e sideD one sma positi*e a#tionD i+ not opposed by a ne"ati*e oneD $i brin" many positi*e res, ts: It is simi ar to $hat $e #an obser*e in nat,reG i+ $e p ant one tiny app e seedD e*ent,a y $e $i ha*e a h,"e tree bearin" many + o$ers and +r,its e*ery yearD and i+ $e et $eeds "ro$ ,n#he#1ed in o,r "ardenD pretty soon they $i ta1e o*er: The %,ddha e-p ained this prin#ip e in the Dha))a!ada+

#ven a tiny evil deed 0an cause great ruin and trouble In the orld that lies beyond* 4i(e !oison that has entered the body' #ven s)all )eritorious acts -ring ha!!iness to future lives" Acco)!lishing a great !ur!ose 4i(e seeds beco)ing bounteous cro!s' In "enera D there are +o,r res, ts o+ any a#tion $e doG 1: the +, y ripened res, t 2: the res, t simi ar to the #a,se in terms o+ e-perien#e 0: the res, t simi ar to the #a,se in terms o+ a#tion 3: the en*ironmenta res, t To i ,strate theseD et.s ta1e the ne"ati*e a#tion o+ 1i in": The fully ri!ened result o+ 1i in" is a rebirth in an ,n+ort,nate sit,ationD $ith #ontin,o,s prob ems and s,++erin": The results si)ilar to the cause in ter)s of ex!erience are ,np easant e-perien#es that $o, d o##,r in aterD h,man i*esD s,#h as ha*in" a short i+e ?+or e-amp eD yo, mi"ht be 1i ed or die o+ i ness at a yo,n" a"e@D many hea th prob emsD and #onstant +ai ,re: The result si)ilar to the cause in ter)s of action is ha*in" the instin#ti*e tenden#y to 1i : This is a#t,a y the $orst res, tD be#a,se it eads ,s to #ontin,e #reatin" the same 1arma a"ain and a"ainD and th,s $e $i e-perien#e the same res, ts a"ain and a"ain: We #an see this res, t e*en in o,r present i+eJthe more $e do a #ertain a#tionD the easier it be#omes to do it a"ainD and soon it be#omes habit,a and e*en a,tomati#: The environ)ental result o+ 1i in" is bein" born or i*in" in a *io entD $ar-tornD or ,nhea thy en*ironment: Con*erse yD i+ $e re+rain +rom 1i in" $e $i e-perien#e the opposite res, tsG rebirth in "ood #onditionsD ha*in" "ood hea th and a on" i+eD s,##ess in o,r a#ti*ities and endea*orsD i*in" in pea#e+, D hea thy en*ironmentsD and ha*in" the nat,ra tenden#y to #herish and prote#t the i*es o+ others: Contemp ate these points and see i+ yo, #an #ome to the #on# ,sion that it is important to re+rain +rom e*en sma ne"ati*e a#tions i1e te in" H itt e $hite iesDI and to not o*er oo1 opport,nities to do e*en sma positi*e a#tionsD i1e "i*in" ten #ents to a home ess person or bread #r,mbs to some birds:

3. +f )e do not do an action, )e )ill not e!perience its result This means that i+ $e don.t do ne"ati*e a#tionsD $e $i not ha*e bad e-perien#es in the +,t,re: This prin#ip e e-p ains $hy it is that some are 1i ed or inE,red in a #ar a##ident

$hi e others $a 1 a$ay $itho,t a s#rat#hF or $hy some +ai in startin" a b,siness e*en tho,"h they ha*e an M%A $hi e others are s,##ess+, e*en tho,"h they ne*er set +oot in a b,siness s#hoo : On the other handD i+ $e do not do any positi*e a#tionsD $e $i not e-perien#e any "ood res, ts in the +,t,re: Wishin" to be happy and s,##ess+, b,t not #reatin" the ri"ht #a,ses $o, d be i1e $ishin" +or + o$ers or *e"etab es to "ro$ in o,r "arden b,t not doin" the $or1 o+ p antin" the seedsD $aterin" the sma shootsD remo*in" the $eedsD and so on: This prin#ip e #an a so be ,nderstood in terms o+ o,r present e-perien#es: Any time $e e-perien#e a prob em or any ,nhappy state o+ mindD this is ne#essari y d,e to ne"ati*e 1arma $e #reated in the past: I+ $e #an ,nderstand and a##ept thisD $e $i stop +ee in" i1e a *i#tim and b amin" others $hen prob ems happen to ,s: And a the "ood e-perien#es in o,r i+eJbein" born h,manD enEoyin" "ood hea thD ha*in" eno,"h +ood to eatD peop e bein" 1ind to ,sD and so +orthJare the res, ts o+ positi*e 1arma $e #reated in the past: It.s $ise to +ee Eoy+, abo,t thisD and aspire to #ontin,e doin" the same in this i+e: %y #ontemp atin" this pointD rea i!e that i+ yo, $ish +or happiness and "ood e-perien#es in the +,t,reD yo, m,st do positi*e a#tionsD and i+ yo, $ish to a*oid prob ems and ,nhappinessD yo, m,st a*oid doin" ne"ati*e a#tions:

4. *arma is never lost When $e do an a#tionJphysi#a D *erba D or menta Jan imprintD i1e a seedD is p anted in o,r mind: Bn ess $e do somethin" to #o,ntera#t that 1armi# seedD it $i remain in the mindD e*en +or many i+etimesD ,nti $e en#o,nter the ri"ht #a,ses and #onditions +or it to ripen in the +orm o+ e-perien#esD "ood or bad: The %,ddha said in the Dha))a!ada+ If you have done so)ething rong &r are involved in rong And run a ay ho!ing to hide the fact" It is no use2 there is no esca!e' There exists no !lace at all" -ut hat you have done ill follo you" In the oceans" through the s(ies" &r far off in )ountain caves6' 7hether it as good or bad" The !o er of any action &nce !erfor)ed is never lost2 The results arise accordingly' 'o$ #an 1armi# seeds be #o,ntera#ted? We #an # ear a$ay ne"ati*e 1arma by doin" a p,ri+i#ation pra#ti#e ,sin" the +o,r opponent po$ers ?see pa"es => and 21=@G +ee in" re"retD re yin" on he p+, obEe#ts o+ re+,"e s,#h as the %,ddhaD DharmaD and San"haD doin" positi*e a#tions to ba an#e thin"s o,tD and reso *in" to not do the a#tion a"ain: It is

re#ommended that $e do a p,ri+i#ation pra#ti#e e*ery dayD be+ore "oin" to s eepD to p,ri+y $hate*er ne"ati*e a#tions $e did d,rin" the day: %,t $e #an a so p,ri+y ne"ati*e 1arma #reated daysD monthsD or years a"oD in o,r #hi dhoodD or e*en in past i*esJit.s ne*er too ate/ (ood 1armi# seeds #an be ost by "ettin" an"ry or "eneratin" in#orre#t *ie$s ?s,#h as reEe#tin" 1arma or the possibi ity o+ attainin" en i"htenment@D so it.s $ise to ",ard o,r mind +rom s,#h attit,des: %,t sin#e it is di++i#, t to #omp ete y a*oid themJespe#ia y an"erJ$e #an prote#t the positi*e 1arma $e ha*e #reated by dedi#atin" it to a bene+i#ia "oa D espe#ia y to the en i"htenment o+ a bein"s: Con# ,de yo,r #ontemp ation o+ this prin#ip e by reso *in" to # ear ,p past and present ne"ati*e 1arma by doin" p,ri+i#ation pra#ti#eD and to prote#t the "ood 1arma yo, #reate by dedi#atin" it to the en i"htenment o+ a bein"s: When +irst #ontemp atin" 1armaD $e may +ee a sense o+ hea*iness and e*en +earF simi ar to the $ay $e $o, d +ee i+ o,r do#tor to d ,s $e ha*e a serio,s i ness: %,t E,st as there are methods +or dea in" $ith i nessJmedi#ineD treatmentsD dietary and i+esty e #han"esD and $or1in" on o,r mind to earn to a##ept itJthere are methods +or $or1in" on 1arma: )ememberD it is not i1e +ateD +i-ed and ,n#han"eab eD so it #an be #han"ed: There is no ne"ati*e 1arma that #annot be p,ri+ied: An", ima aD $ho i*ed at the time o+ the %,ddhaD 1i ed === peop e b,t $as ab e to # ear ,p that 1arma and attain nir*anaD and the "reat Tibetan saint and poet Mi arepa $as responsib e +or the deaths o+ thirty-+i*e peop e and many anima sD b,t $as ab e to p,ri+y that 1arma and attain en i"htenment in that *ery i+etime: So $hate*er $e ha*e done in this or past i*es #an de+inite y be repaired and # eared o,t o+ the $ay o+ o,r spirit,a pro"ress: Dedication End the session $ith this optimisti# tho,"htD and dedi#ate the positi*e ener"y o+ yo,r meditation to a bein"sG may yo, and e*eryone e se be#ome +ree +rom s,++erin" and its #a,sesD 1arma and de ,sionsD and attain en i"htenment as soon as possib e:

8
P+r fy ng Negat *e 6arma
A+ter meditatin" on 1arma ?pre*io,s #hapter@ $e. probab y +ee ,n#om+ortab e abo,t the ne"ati*e a#tions $e ha*e done and the #onse8,en#es $e are i1e y to +a#e in the +,t,re: %,t there is a so ,tion to thisJthe pra#ti#e o+ p,ri+i#ation: Ne"ati*e 1arma is not somethin" +i-edD permanentD and irreparab e: The imprints e+t on o,r mind +rom o,r ne"ati*e a#tions #an be p,ri+ied so that $e don.t ha*e to e-perien#e the s,++erin" res, ts that $o, d other$ise #omeD and so $e #an # ear this ne"ati*e ener"y o,t o+ the $ay o+ o,r spirit,a de*e opment: That is the reason +or the pra#ti#e o+ p,ri+i#ation: There is no ne"ati*ity that #annot be p,ri+ied: The p,ri+i#ation pro#ess is basi#a y a psy#ho o"i#a one: As &ama 5eshe saysD it is o,r mind ?and on the basis o+ thatD o,r a#tions@ that #reates the ne"ati*ityD and it is o,r mind that trans+orms it by #reatin" positi*e ener"y: A tho,"h in %,ddhism $e re y on %,ddha.s methods +or p,ri+i#ationD it is not the %,ddha $ho p,ri+ies ,sF $e o,rse *esD as &ama saysD do the $or1: We #reated the 1armaD and on y $e #an # ean it ,p: The pra#ti#e o+ p,ri+i#ation in*o *es #ontemp atin" the +o,r opponent po$ersG re"retD re ian#eD remedyD and reso *e: It is best to do a pra#ti#e o+ p,ri+i#ation e*ery dayJ+or e-amp eD at the end o+ the dayJto # ear ,p $hate*er ne"ati*e 1arma $e #reated that dayD as $e as ne"ati*ities +rom the past:

19 The ,ower of regret


)e"ret in*o *es re#o"ni!in" that #ertain a#tions $e ha*e done are ne"ati*e be#a,se they harmed others andNor o,rse *esD be#a,se they $i brin" more prob ems ater onD and a so be#a,se $e $ere a#tin" in an e"o-#enteredD de ,ded $ay: )e"ret is not the same as ",i t: (,i t #omes +rom not ,nderstandin" the tr,e nat,re o+ thin"sD and be ie*in" that $e ha*e a rea D permanent se + or HI:I We +o#,s on thin"s $e ha*e done $ron"D or thin"s $e +ee $e sho, d ha*e done b,t didn.t doD and $e +ee HI.m badD and I $i a $ays be this $ay:I (,i t may a so #a,se ,s to +ee that $e don.t deser*e to be happy: It tends to be emotiona rather than rationa and inte i"ent: It.s not he p+, to +ee ",i tyJit doesn.t brin" any positi*e res, tsD b,t on y ma1es ,s miserab e and b o#1s o,r spirit,a de*e opment: )e"ret on the other hand is inte i"ent and #onstr,#ti*e: It is based on the ,nderstandin" o+ 1armaG that ne"ati*e a#tions s,#h as 1i in" or h,rtin" others #a,se s,++erin" to them as $e as to o,rse *esD both no$ and in the +,t,re: 'armin" others dist,rbs o,r mindJ $e.re "oin" a"ainst o,r tr,eD p,re nat,reJand ea*es imprints that $i ripen as more prob ems and s,++erin" in the +,t,re: Whate*er prob ems and ,n$anted e-perien#es $e.*e had in this i+e are the res, ts o+ ne"ati*e a#tions $e did in the pastD and the ne"ati*e a#tions $e do no$ are the #a,se o+ +,t,re s,++erin": Who $ants that? So o"i#a yD $hat $e need to do is +ee re"ret and # ean ,p o,r 1arma/ )e"ret is i1ened to the $ay $e $o, d +ee i+ $e +o,nd o,t that somethin" $e had s$a o$ed $as poisono,s: 4ear+, o+ "ettin" si#1 or osin" o,r i+eD $e $o, d drop e*erythin" and r,sh to o,r do#tor or the emer"en#y room to rid o,rse *es o+ the poison:

In the same $ayD ne"ati*e 1arma is hi"h y to-i#G it poisons o,r mind and o,r spirit,a de*e opmentD and brin"s ,n$anted tro,b es in the +,t,re: Bnderstandin" thisD $e re"ret o,r mista1es and do $hate*er $e #an to # ear ,p the 1arma:

"9 The ,ower of rel ance


When $e +a do$n on the "ro,ndD $e re y on the "ro,nd to "et ,p a"ain: Simi ar yD $hen $e do somethin" ne"ati*eD it.s either in re ation to p,re bein"s s,#h as the %,ddha or o,r spirit,a tea#her ?Sans1ritG ",r,@D or in re ation to ordinary sentient bein"sD so in order to p,ri+y o,r ne"ati*e 1armaD $e need to re#a and re y ,pon those t$o obEe#ts: 4irstD $e re y on the %,ddhaD $ho is i1e the do#tor $hose medi#ine $e ta1e to p,ri+y o,r de ,ded a#tions: It.s not that $e need %,ddha to +or"i*e ,s ?a tho,"h he a $ays does any$ay@F ratherD $e re y on him by ta1in" re+,"e in him ?see pa"e 19<@ and ,sin" the methods he ta,"ht to p,ri+y o,rse *es and to #han"e o,r i+e and o,r beha*ior to a more positi*e dire#tion: 4or someone $ho.s not a %,ddhistD this +irst step #o, d in*o *e rene$in" yo,r #ommitment to +o o$ the ",idan#e o+ $hoe*er is yo,r obEe#t o+ de*otionD or rededi#atin" yo,rse + to $hate*er positi*e "oa s yo, aspire to i*e by: It is a so *ery e++e#ti*e to #on+ess yo,r misdoin"s to someone yo, tr,stD s,#h as a spirit,a tea#her: Se#ondD $e re y on other bein"sJthe *ery bein"s $e ha*e harmedD in this i+e and in the pastJby de*e opin" #ompassion and o*e +or them: 5o, #an thin1 abo,t ho$ they are basi#a y E,st i1e yo,G they don.t $ant to e-perien#e the s i"htest s,++erin" or prob emD and they on y $ant to be happy and pea#e+, : ThenD "enerate the sin#ere determination to try yo,r best to a*oid harmin" othersD and instead do $hat yo, #an to he p them:

09 The ,ower of remedy


This means doin" somethin" positi*e in order to #o,ntera#t the ne"ati*e ener"y $e ha*e #reated: In "enera D any positi*e a#tion #an be ,sed to p,ri+y o,r ne"ati*e 1armaD b,t #ertain pra#ti#es are parti#, ar y po$er+, remedies: These in# ,de *is,a i!in" +i",res s,#h as Sha1yam,ni %,ddha ?pa"e 1<9@D AaErasatt*a ?pa"e 21=@D or the Thirty-+i*e %,ddhas ?pa"e 20<@ and re#itin" their names andNor mantras: The meditations on o*e ?pa"e 111@D #ompassion ?pa"e 119@D and emptiness ?pa"e 60@ #an a so be ,sedJthe atter is a#t,a y said to be the best antidote to ne"ati*ityD a tho,"h it is di++i#, t and may not be s,itab e +or be"inners: A simp er method is the p,ri+i#ation meditation ,sin" the breath on pa"e 0;: Choose one o+ these methods e*ery time yo, do a session o+ p,ri+i#ation pra#ti#e: 5o, #an a so do more en"a"ed a#ti*ities s,#h as *o ,nteer $or1 or ma1in" donations to #haritab e #a,ses: Sa*in" i*esJ+or e-amp eD res#,in" anima s or inse#ts $ho are in dan"er o+ dyin" or bein" 1i edD or #arin" +or the i Jis parti#, ar y e++e#ti*e to #o,ntera#t the 1arma o+ 1i in": It is a so "ood to apo o"i!e and ma1e amends to the peop e yo, ha*e harmedD i+ this is possib e:

29 The ,ower of resol*e


The +o,rth step is an e-treme y important oneG ma1in" the determination not to repeat the same ne"ati*e a#tions a"ain: Witho,t thisD it.s *ery hard to #han"eD to "i*e ,p o,r o d bad habits: Determination to not harm a"ain is i1e a bea#on that ",ides o,r bodyD spee#hD and mind in ne$ dire#tions: As &ama Copa )inpo#he saysD HWe #an mo d o,r minds into any shape $e i1e:I With the hea*ier ne"ati*e a#tionsD s,#h as 1i in" and stea in"D yo, may be ab e to reso *e ne*er to do them a"ain +or the rest o+ yo,r i+e: ?O+ #o,rseD this means reso *in" to "i*e ,p doin" s,#h a#tions intentionally: It.s impossib e to a*oid #ertain ,nintentiona a#tionsD s,#h as 1i in" inse#ts $e #an.t see $hi e $e are $a 1in" or dri*in":@ 'o$e*erD $ith those a#tions that are more habit,a and hard to stopD s,#h as yin" or osin" yo,r temperD yo, need to be rea isti#: It.s better to reso *e to not do them +or shorter periods o+ timeD i1e +i*e min,tes or an ho,r: 5o, #an then "rad,a y in#rease the en"th o+ time o+ s,#h promisesJa ha +-dayD then one dayD and so on: Then reso *e in "enera to ma1e the e++ort to a*oid the o d habits: This determination not to do ne"ati*e a#tions a"ain is $hat "i*es ,s the stren"th to t,rn o,rse *es aro,nd: We need to ha*e #on+iden#e in o,r abi ity to #han"eD one step at a time:

The ,ract ce
Sit #om+ortab y and re a-: Spend some time +o#,sin" on the breath to #a m yo,r mind and #enter it in the present: Motivation Then "enerate a positi*e moti*ation +or doin" the pra#ti#eD s,#h as HI am doin" this meditation not E,st +or myse +D b,t +or othersJto earn to be ess harm+, D and more he p+, D to them:I Ta1e as m,#h time as yo, need to #ontemp ate ea#h o+ the +o,r po$ers thoro,"h yD to "enerate the ri"ht state o+ mind +or ea#h point:

1. The po)er of regret Thin1 ba#1 o*er the dayD +rom the time yo, $o1e ,p this mornin"D and try to remember anythin" yo, did that $as ne"ati*e: Start $ith a#tions o+ the bodyD s,#h as 1i in" or #a,sin" physi#a s,++erin" to any bein"F ta1in" somethin" that did not be on" to yo,D or not payin" money yo, o$edD i1e a b,s +areF or en"a"in" in inappropriate se-,a beha*ior: Then #he#1 i+ yo, did anythin" ne"ati*e $ith yo,r spee#hD s,#h as yin"D e-a""eratin"D or

bein" de#eit+, D sayin" $ords that #a,sed bad +ee in"s bet$een peop eD sayin" thin"s that $ere h,rt+, or ,psettin" to someoneD or spendin" time "ossipin" or ta 1in" abo,t insi"ni+i#ant thin"s: Then see i+ yo, #an remember ne"ati*e tho,"hts yo, may ha*e ind, "ed inD s,#h as $ishin" harm on somebody or +ee in" happy at their mis+ort,neF ha*in" #riti#a D E,d"menta tho,"hts to$ard anyoneD in# ,din" yo,rse +F +ee in" dissatis+ied $ith $hat yo, ha*e and $ishin" +or more or betterD or +or $hat someone e se hasF in shortD any states o+ mind that in*o *ed hatredD an"erD "reedD Eea o,syD arro"an#eD se +ishnessD and so +orth: A so brin" to mind any ne"ati*e a#tions yo, re#a doin" in past daysD monthsD and yearsD "oin" as +ar ba#1 in yo,r i+e as yo, #an: (enerate sin#ere re"retD +rom the depths o+ yo,r heartD +or a these a#tionsD by ,nderstandin" that they are the #a,se o+ s,++erin"Jin some #ases to othersD and in a #ases to yo,rse +: These a#tions p anted imprints on yo,r mind that $i ripen as prob ems and mis+ort,ne in the +,t,re: They a so impede yo,r pro"ress on the spirit,a pathD and pro on" yo,r e-isten#e in an imper+e#tD ,nsatis+a#tory sit,ation: )ea i!e that no one $ants to s,++erD and these are the *ery thin"s that brin" s,++erin"D so a#1no$ ed"e yo,r mista1es and +ee a sin#ere $ish to re#ti+y them:

2. The po)er of reliance I+ there is a ho y bein" or hi"her po$er endo$ed $ith ,n#onditiona o*eD #ompassionD and $isdom to$ard $hom yo, +ee respe#t and #on+iden#eD then brin" them to mind: A#1no$ ed"e yo,r mista1es and the di++i#, ty yo, ha*e re+rainin" +rom ne"ati*e a#tions and attit,des on yo,r o$n: As1 +or he p and ",idan#e so that yo, #an #han"e yo,rse + and "i*e ,p these ne"ati*ities +rom no$ on: A ternati*e yD yo, #an brin" to mind the ethi#a prin#ip es that yo, be ie*e in b,t a#ted a"ainstD and rene$ yo,r #ommitment to +o o$ them: ThenD +or the ne"ati*e a#tions yo, did to othersD "enerate o*e and #ompassion: Contemp ate the +a#t thatD E,st i1e yo,D others do not $ant to s,++er and they $ish to e-perien#e on y happiness and pea#e: 4ee ho$ desirab e it $o, d be to stop harmin" them and instead be 1ind and he p+, to them: (enerate the a tr,isti# $ish to p,ri+y yo,r ne"ati*e a#tions and yo,r de ,sions s,#h as an"erD "reedD and se +ishnessD so that +rom no$ on yo, #an on y bene+it othersD not harm them:

3. The po)er of remedy No$ yo, need to do somethin" positi*e to #o,ntera#t the ne"ati*e ener"y yo, #reated: I+ yo, +ee #om+ortab e abo,t *is,a i!in" an en i"htened bein"D as mentioned abo*eD yo, #an *is,a i!e a +i",re s,#h as %,ddha or AaErasatt*a abo*e yo,r head: Whi e re#itin" the appropriate mantraD ima"ine i"ht + o$in" do$n +rom the +i",reD +i in" yo,r entire body and mind and p,ri+yin" a yo,r ne"ati*e 1arma and de ,sions:

I+ yo, do not +ee #om+ortab e *is,a i!in" s,#h a +i",reD yo, #an ima"ine a sphere o+ i"ht abo*e yo,r headD thin1in" that it represents a en i"htened 8,a ities and ener"iesD and *is,a i!e i"ht + o$in" do$n +rom it and +i in" yo, ?as abo*e@: I+ yo, $ishD yo, #o, d re#ite the short mantra o+ AaErasatt*a /o) va,rasattva hu)1 or the mantra o+ A*a o1itesh*ara /o) )ani !ad)e hu)1 $hi e *is,a i!in" the i"ht +i in" and p,ri+yin" yo,: A ternati*e yD yo, #an do one o+ the other meditations s,""ested abo*eD s,#h as that on o*eF or de#ide to a#t in more positi*e $ays in yo,r dai y i+eD s,#h as bein" more he p+, or "enero,s:

4. The po)er of resolve I+ yo, +ee #on+ident that yo, #an #omp ete y "i*e ,p some ne"ati*e a#tionsD s,#h as 1i in" and stea in"D ma1e the promise to do that: %,t +or those ne"ati*e a#tions yo, #annot #omp ete y "i*e ,pD either promise to "i*e them ,p +or a rea isti# period o+ timeD or promise that yo, $i do yo,r *ery best to be mind+, and a*oid doin" them: )eso *e to #han"e yo,r o d emotiona habits s,#h as an"erD Eea o,syD depressionD #riti#a nessD and atta#hment: 4ee #on+ident in yo,r abi ity to #han"eD b,t at the same time ,nderstand that it ta1es time to #han"eD so don.t ha*e ,nrea isti# e-pe#tations: Dedication At the end o+ the meditation session dedi#ate a the positi*e ener"y yo, ha*e #reated by doin" this p,ri+i#ation pra#ti#e to a i*in" bein"sD that they may be#ome +ree +rom a their s,++erin" and its #a,sesG ne"ati*e 1arma and de ,sions: ?There are t$o other p,ri+i#ation pra#ti#es ater in the boo1G a meditation on the %,ddha AaErasatt*aD a so pra#ti#ed in the #onte-t o+ the +o,r po$ersD on pa"e 21=F and a simp er meditation on pa"e 13;:@

:
Med tat on on #+ffer ng
The 8,estion o+ s,++erin" has a $ays perp e-ed phi osophers and theo o"iansJnot to mention ordinary s,++erin" h,man bein"s i1e ,s/ Why is there so m,#h +i"htin" in the $or d? Why so m,#h star*ationD si#1nessD ine8,a ityD and inE,sti#e? What are the #a,ses o+ s,++erin"? The %,ddhist *ie$ #an be s,mmari!ed as $hat are 1no$n as the +o,r nob e tr,ths: 4irstD suffering exists' E*ery sentient bein" s,++ers to some de"ree or other: HS,++erin"I does not re+er mere y to se*ere pain or prob emsF it re+ers to any e-perien#e that is ,np easant or ,nsatis+a#tory: Se#ondD suffering al ays has a cause' The prin#ipa #a,ses o+ s,++erin" are 1arma ?pre*io,s a#tions o+ o,r bodyD spee#hD or mind@ and de ,sions ?dist,rbin" states o+ mind s,#h as an"erD atta#hmentD and i"noran#e@: ThirdD there is an end to suffering' We a ha*e the potentia to rea#h a state o+ per+e#t pea#eD # arityD and #ompassionD in $hi#h $e no on"er e-perien#e the res, ts o+ past ne"ati*e a#ts or #reate the #a,ses +or +,t,re s,++erin": 4o,rthD there is a )eans to end suffering' The $ay to end s,++erin" is to "rad,a y abandon its #a,sesJan"erD se +ishnessD atta#hmentD and other ne"ati*e states o+ mindD and a#tions moti*ated by theseJand #, ti*ate the #a,ses o+ happinessJpatien#eD o*eD non-atta#hmentD "enerosityD and the other positi*e states o+ mind: And +ina yD by de*e opin" insi"ht into the tr,e nat,re o+ a thin"sD $e #an e iminate the *ery root o+ s,++erin"G the i"noran#e that sees e*erythin" in a mista1en $ay: HS,++erin"I re+ers to a de"rees o+ ,nsatis+a#tory physi#a and psy#ho o"i#a e-perien#es: There are many $ays to meditate on s,++erin" and a are +or the p,rpose o+ "eneratin" a deep sense o+ its e-tensi*enessF ho$D in *aryin" de"reesD it permeates o,r o$n i*es and the i*es o+ a others: The p,rpose o+ de*e opin" this a$areness is not to in#rease o,r misery: On the #ontraryD s,##ess+, meditation on s,++erin" brin"s ,s to a more rea isti# *ie$ o+ i+e: And by ,nderstandin" that the #a,ses o+ s,++erin" ie in o,r o$n attit,des and a#tionsD $e $i "rad,a y #ome to see that ,nra*e in" the #omp e-ities o+ o,r mind and th,s de*e opin" #ontro o*er o,r tho,"hts and a#tions is both desirab e and possib e: O,r ,s,a *ie$ o+ i+e is ,nrea isti#: Most o+ o,r p easant e-perien#es depend on e-terna obEe#ts and sit,ationsD $hose *ery nat,re is ephemera : When these thin"s #han"e or disappear $e # in" onD ,n$i in" to a##ept the rea ity o+ the sit,ation: We $ant p eas,re to ast and are disappointed $hen it doesn.t: And so $e "oD ,p and do$nD +rom p eas,re to painD happiness to ,nhappinessD a o,r i*es: A$areness o+ this rea ity is a step to$ard e iminatin" s,++erin": We $i stop e-pe#tin" peop e and thin"s to ma1e ,s happy and instead see that it is o,r attit,de to$ard them that determines happiness and satis+a#tion: Ironi#a yD $hen $e stop # in"in" ,nrea isti#a y to thin"sD $e enEoy them a the more/

Another maEor bene+it o+ this meditation is that $e #an see that others s,++er in the same $ayD and as a res, t $e ine*itab y de*e op more 1indness and #ompassion to$ard them: %,t the main p,rpose o+ re#o"ni!in" the s,++erin" o+ o,r i*es is to de*e op the stron" intention to do $hat is ne#essary to be +ina y +ree o+ it: A ,nhappyD pain+, e-perien#es are rooted in the i"noran#e that be ie*es e*erythin" e-ists inherent yD in and o+ itse +: Seein" the emptinessD the a#1D o+ this $ay o+ e-istin" #,ts thro,"h a #on+,sion and prob ems: (ainin" this ,nderstandin"D ho$e*erD is no simp e matter: It re8,ires tremendo,s ener"y to #on#entrate the mind on the nat,re o+ thin"sD to #,t thro,"h o,r habit,a per#eption o+ them to rea#h their , timateD p,re rea ity: The +,e that dri*es ,s in this tas1 is the desire to +ree o,rse *esD and othersD +rom a s,++erin":

The ,ract ce
Motivation Sit #om+ortab y and re a-: (enerate a positi*e moti*ation +or doin" the meditationD s,#h as $ishin" to better ,nderstand s,++erin" in order to do $hat is ne#essary to +ree e*eryoneJyo,rse + and othersJ+rom a prob emsD painD and ,nhappiness: There are three aspe#ts o+ s,++erin" to #ontemp ate: (o thro,"h ea#h one as s o$ y as yo, i1e: Don.t E,st ma1e a menta #he#1 ist o+ the points b,t brin" yo,r emotions and int,ition into the meditationF rea y +ee e*ery e-amp e o+ s,++erin" as i+ yo, $ere e-perien#in" it ri"ht no$:

1. The suffering of suffering This in# ,des a ob*io,s +orms o+ s,++erin"D physi#a and menta D s,#h as the se*ere s,++erin"s arisin" +rom $arD terrorismD nat,ra disastersD +amineD *io ent #rimeD rapeD ab,seD imprisonmentD po*ertyD inE,sti#eD ra#ismD addi#tionD inE,ryD and i ness: %,t it a so in# ,des a the norma D e*eryday prob ems yo,r body e-perien#esG a#hes and painsD heat and #o dD h,n"er and thirstD bad eyesi"htD eara#hesD #,ts and b,rnsD $ei"ht prob emsD m,s# e tensionD +ati",eJthe ist is end ess: )e#a these e-perien#es and ho$ $e are rare y $itho,t one or more o+ them: There may be more e-treme 1inds o+ physi#a s,++erin" that yo, e-perien#ed in the past Jbrin" these to mind and see the possibi ity that they #o, d happen a"ainF there is no ",arantee they $i not: Thin1 o+ the physi#a s,++erin" yo, $i e-perien#e $hen yo, are o d: Pi#t,re yo,rse + at the a"e o+ ei"hty or ninetyD yo,r body de"enerated and $rin1 ed and not +,n#tionin" proper y: 4ina yD there is death: Thin1 o+ the di++erent $ays yo, #o, d die and the s,++erin" o+ the body then:

Contemp ate the +a#t that it is the nat,re o+ the body to #han"eD meet $ith painD de"enerateD and e*ent,a y die: There+ore it is ,nrea isti# and ,n$ise to be atta#hed to itD and to # in" to it as Hme:I No$ oo1 at menta and emotiona s,++erin": %rin" to mind past or present e-perien#es o+ one inessD depressionD "rie+D +r,strationD Eea o,syD an"erD +earD #on+,sionD an-iety: (o ba#1 o*er yo,r i+e and see that rare y $as there a time $hen yo, $ere not e-perien#in" at east some o+ these emotions: No$ oo1 at yo,r state o+ mind at this moment: Are yo, an-io,s? Depressed? An"ry? Con+,sed? A"itated? Thin1 o+ the menta s,++erin" that is i1e y to #ome in the +,t,re $hen peop e # ose to yo, die or ea*e yo,D $hen yo, yo,rse + dieD or $hen the myriad other thin"s o##,r in o,r i*es that are i1e y to #a,se ,nhappiness to one de"ree or another: E-pand yo,r tho,"hts to in# ,de the e-perien#es o+ others: At this *ery moment a bein"s in e-isten#eD simp y be#a,se they ha*e a #on+,sed mind and a perishab e bodyD are "oin" thro,"h some +orm o+ menta or physi#a painJ+rom the s i"htest dis#om+ort to the "rossest s,++erin": Start $ith the peop e yo, 1no$Jyo,r +riendsD re ati*es and nei"hbors: Some are si#1D some o dF others are depressedD an-io,sD dissatis+iedD one y: Then thin1 abo,t the peop e yo, don.t 1no$D $hose i*es are p a",ed by $arD po*ertyD ,nemp oymentD ra#ismD diseaseD po iti#a oppression: We a so share this $or d $ith anima s and other #reat,res: Contemp ate their day-to-day s,++erin"G h,n"erD painD #o dD a#1 o+ +reedomD +ear o+ bein" 1i ed: %e#ome a$are that a o+ these #o,nt ess i*in" bein"s ha*e a stream o+ #ons#io,sness not so di++erent +rom yo,r o$nG $e a rea#t $ith Eoy to 1indness and bea,tyD $ith +ear to pain and harmD and $ith an"er to $hate*er threatens the pea#e o+ o,rse *es and o,r o*ed ones: We a try to be happy and to a*oid prob emsD b,t as on" as $e are ,nen i"htened $e meet $ith one s,++erin" sit,ation a+ter another:

2. The suffering of change This more s,bt e e*e o+ s,++erin" re+ers to the e-perien#es $e norma y thin1 o+ as p eas,re or happiness: They are #a ed Hs,++erin"I be#a,se they do not ast: E*ery ni#e e-perien#e #omes to an end $itho,t +, y satis+yin" ,s or re ie*in" o,r prob ems: It eadsD insteadD to the desire to repeat itD in the hope that $e $i +ind the satis+a#tion $e are oo1in" +or: Thin1 o+ any p easant e-perien#eG a ni#e mea D se-D a day at the bea#hD s1iin"D m,si#D a mo*ieD a #i"aretteD a bea,ti+, s,nsetJho$ on" does the p eas,re ast? Are any o+ these e-perien#es +, y satis+yin"? I+ yo, thin1 they are +, y satis+yin"D then $hy do yo, repeat them a"ain and a"ain? Another reason p easant e-perien#es are #onsidered Hs,++erin"I is be#a,se they are not tr,eD p,re p eas,re: I+ they $ereD the p eas,re $o, d #ontin,eD and e*en in#reaseD the more $e en"a"ed in them: Is this $hat happensD or does the p eas,re de#rease and e*en

t,rn into misery? 4or e-amp eD $hen yo, are h,n"ry and eat somethin"D at +irst yo, +ee "ood be#a,se the dis#om+ort o+ h,n"er diminishesD b,t $hat $o, d happen i+ yo, 1ept eatin" more and more? 5o, $o, d +ee in#reasin" y ,n#om+ortab eD and may e*en be#ome si#1/ And e*en i+ yo, eat E,st the ri"ht amo,nt to be #om+ortab y +, D that e-perien#e doesn.t astG a +e$ ho,rs ater the h,n"er #omes ba#1 and yo, need to eat a"ain: When $e "et to"ether $ith +riends or +ami yD at +irst $e are happyD ta 1in" and a,"hin"D enEoyin" ea#h other.s #ompany: %,t $hat $o, d happen i+ $e #ontin,ed to stay to"etherD ho,r a+ter ho,rD day a+ter dayD $itho,t a brea1? We $o, d probab y be#ome boredD irritatedD and mi"ht e*en start ar",in": E*en sittin" #om+ortab y in a #hairG e*ent,a y $e need to #han"e position be#a,se the #om+ort t,rns to dis#om+ort: Or sittin" by a +ire on a #hi y dayG at +irst it is s,#h a p eas,reD b,t soon $e m,st mo*e a$ay be#a,se it be#omes too hot: &oo1 #are+, y at yo,r i+e to see $hether or not this is tr,e: )e#a some "ood e-perien#esG did they ast? Did they tr, y satis+y yo,? I+ the p eas,re is tr,e p eas,reD $hy doesn.t it stay $ith yo, inde+inite y? Can yo, thin1 o+ any e-amp e o+ ,n#han"eab eD astin" happiness in yo,r i+e or in anyone e se.s? Contemp ate ho$ e*erythin" #han"esF ho$ p eas,rab e e-perien#es do not ast b,t ead ine*itab y to dissatis+a#tionD irritationD boredomD or one iness: 4rom one point o+ *ie$D #ompared to the s,++erin" o+ s,++erin"D these e-perien#es are p easant: %,t +rom another point o+ *ie$D #ompared to the p,reD astin" b iss o+ iberation and en i"htenmentD these e-perien#es are another 1ind o+ s,++erin": It is the *ery nat,re o+ a thin"s that they #han"e and e*ent,a y #ome to an end: E*en a b iss+, re ationship has its ,ps and do$ns and $i end $ith separation or death: %ea,ti+, peop e "ro$ o d and "rey and e*ent,a y die: Po$er does not ast and $ea th r,ns o,t: 4 o$ers $itherD s,nsets +adeD parties end: Con# ,de this part o+ the meditation by +irm y de#idin" that it is not reasonab e to # in" to any person or obEe#t as a means o+ +indin" astin" satis+a#tionD and that # in"in"D insteadD brin"s the *ery opposite res, t:

3. -ll pervading suffering This is e*en more s,bt e than the s,++erin" o+ #han"e: It re+ers to o,r *ery e-isten#e as ordinaryD ,nen i"htened bein"sD $ith o,r mind #a,"ht ,p ine-tri#ab y in de ,sions and 1arma: A tho,"h the nat,re o+ o,r mind is # ear and has the potentia to e-perien#e the p,reD end,rin" pea#e and b iss o+ en i"htenmentD $e are ,nab e to 1eep it +ree o+ dist,rbedD ,nhappy tho,"hts and +ee in"s e*en +or an ho,rD or a +e$ min,tes: And a tho,"h $e $ant nothin" b,t p easantD happy e-perien#esD it.s impossib e to "o thro,"h i+eD or e*en one dayD $itho,t e-perien#in" prob ems: Why is this? &a#1in" a dire#tD int,iti*e insi"ht into the tr,e nat,re o+ thin"sD $e thin1D spea1D and a#t ,nder the #ontro o+ de ,sionsD o,r habit,a ne"ati*e tenden#ies: We are th,s in a bindG on the one handD $e e-perien#e in e*ery moment the e++e#ts o+ pre*io,s 1arma and de ,sions andD on the otherD $e #reate e*ery moment the #a,ses +or +,t,re e++e#ts: This

*ery moment o+ e-isten#e is both the e++e#t o+ past s,++erin" and the #a,se o+ s,++erin" in the +,t,re: The sit,ation o+ bein" st,#1 in this #y# eD this #omp e- $eb o+ prob emsD is itse + a per*adin" s,++erin": It #an be #ompared to bein" in a prisonD o#1ed in by o,r 1arma and de ,sions: In prison there #an be terrib e e-perien#es i1e bein" atta#1ed by other prisoners or sadisti# ",ardsJthese are i1e the s,++erin"s o+ s,++erin": Sometimes there are p easant e-perien#esD s,#h as $at#hin" a "ood mo*ieD or "ettin" a *isit +rom a o*ed oneJthese are i1e the s,++erin" o+ #han"e: %,t no matter $hat one e-perien#esD p easant or ,np easantD one is st,#1 in prison and not +ree to "o $here one $ants or do as one i1esD and this is i1e a -per*adin" s,++erin": &et yo,r mind absorb this idea: (enerate a stron" +ee in" +or the se +-perpet,atin" di emma that is yo,r e-isten#e: Then #ontemp ate ho$ there are #o,nt ess i*in" bein"s #a,"ht ,p in this seemin" y end ess #y# eD E,st as yo, are: %,t don.t pani#: The sit,ation is not hope ess/ There is a $ay o,t o+ this #y# e: 2,st as there is a #a,se o+ s,++erin"Jo,r +a se *ie$ o+ the $ay thin"s e-istJthere is ne#essari y a #a,se o+ the end o+ this s,++erin"D an antidote: The +ina antidote is to de*e op the ri"ht ,nderstandin" o+ the nat,re o+ rea ity and th,s #,t thro,"h o,r #on+,sion and o,r habit o+ +o o$in" the e"o.s $hims: In the meantimeD $e #an ,se o,r i+e and ener"y in positi*e $aysG he pin" others $ith o*e and "enerosityD and in#reasin" the positi*e tho,"hts and attit,des in o,r mind: And by re+rainin" +rom ne"ati*e a#tions and #o,ntera#tin" harm+, attit,des in o,r mind as they ariseD $e a*oid #reatin" +,rther #a,ses o+ s,++erin": As o,r ,nderstandin" o+ rea ity "ro$sD so too does o,r deta#hment +rom ordinaryD transient thin"sD and o,r $eb o+ #on+,sion "rad,a y ,ntan" es: 4ina yD this ,nderstandin" be#omes a dire#tD int,iti*e per#eption o+ emptinessD $hi#h e iminatesD on#e and +or a D the *ery root o+ s,++erin": Dra$ #on# ,sions +rom any insi"hts yo, may ha*e had d,rin" this meditation: A#1no$ ed"in" the pain+, D dissatis+a#tory nat,re o+ i+e is 8,ite di++i#, tD b,t it is the on y $ay o,t: Bnti $e stop r,nnin" a$ay +rom the rea ity o+ s,++erin" and earn to dea honest y $ith the ro,"hD ,ns,bd,ed aspe#ts o+ o,r mindD $e $i #ontin,e to #ir# e in #on+,sion: A$areness o+ s,++erin" "i*es ,s the ener"y $e need to penetrate the nat,re o+ rea ity: Th,sD #on# ,de yo,r session optimisti#a yD $ith the determination to ,se yo,r i+e s1i +, y and do $hat yo, #an to o*er#ome s,++erin": Dedication Dedi#ate a yo,rse + and a others: yo,r "ood intentions and ener"y to the "ro$th o+ insi"ht in

Pract cal a,,l cat on


We ha*e p enty o+ opport,nities in o,r day-to-day i*es to +ami iari!e o,rse *es $ith the

ideas presented in this meditation: E*ery day $e e-perien#e a m, tit,de o+ tro,b esG h,n"erD tirednessD a#hes and painsD irritationD boredomD +r,stration: O,r ,s,a rea#tion is to "et rid o+ or by-pass these prob ems as 8,i#1 y as possib e: %,t it is a "ood ideaJ be+ore rea#hin" +or a pain1i erD t,rnin" on the TAD #he#1in" $hat.s in the +rid"eD or see1in" o,t a +riendJto spend a +e$ min,tes E,st ex!eriencing the painG HSoD this is s,++erin"/I %e#a,se $e habit,a y a*oid #on+rontin" and dea in" $ith painD it is di++i#, t in meditation to ta1e a "oodD honest oo1 at the rea ity o+ s,++erin": There+oreD $e sho, d earn to ,se o,r a#t,a e-perien#esD as they o##,rD to deepen o,r ,nderstandin" o+ the s,bEe#t: This does not mean that $e sho, d re"ard i+e as one bi" tra"edy or "o aro,nd a $ays miserab e and tense: We #an be a$are o+ s,++erin" and sti 1eep a sense o+ h,mor: 'appiness and s,++erin" are both impermanentD transitory e-perien#es: We sho, d not emphasi!e one o*er the otherD b,t a#1no$ ed"e the #han"eab e nat,re o+ both: SoD $hen $e +ind o,rse *es "raspin" ,nrea isti#a y at a ne$ person in o,r i+eD sayD $e sho, d remind o,rse *es that the happiness $e.re e-perien#in" is transitory and #annot e iminate a o,r prob emsD any$ay: With this attit,deD $hi#h is more rea isti# and ess e-a""eratedD $e $i probab y enEoy the e-perien#e a the more/ When there is a prob emD physi#a or psy#ho o"i#a D $e #an thin1D HIt.s transitoryJat some point it $i be "one: %,t prob ems and s,++erin" $i #ontin,e to happen to me ,nti I $or1 on my mind and e iminate a #a,ses o+ s,++erin": This prob em reminds me o+ the need to oo1 a+ter my a#tionsJre+rainin" +rom ne"ati*e 1arma and #reatin" positi*e 1arma as m,#h as I #an:I %y doin" thisD the prob em be#omes a tea#hin": When peop e aro,nd ,s are s,++erin"D $e sho, d be sensiti*e and #ompassionate and he p them to the best o+ o,r abi ity: %,t $e sho, d not "et so in*o *ed that their prob em be#omes o,r prob em and $e "ro$ tense and $orried o*er it: We #an a*oid this by re#a in" that the #a,seD and the so ,tionD o+ any prob em ie in the mind o+ the person e-perien#in" it: It.s ,p to them to $or1 their $ay o,t o+ it: As on" as $e are o*in" and 1ind and do $hate*er $e #an to ease their painD $e sho, d not +ee ",i ty or inade8,ate and thin1 $e m,st do more: In shortD s,++erin" and prob ems are not ne#essari y badF it depends on o,r attit,de: I+ $e +ee a*erse to them and see them as #omp ete y ,se ess and ,n$antedD then $e. s,++er more: %,t i+ $e ha*e a more rea isti# *ie$D seein" them as a nat,ra part o+ i+eD then $e #an a##ept them #a m y: In additionD by earnin" to ,se them in o,r path o+ spirit,a "ro$thD $e #an e*en +ee " ad $hen they o##,r:

;
E7+an m ty Med tat on
The "oa o+ Mahayana pra#ti#e is to rea#h the state o+ per+e#t $ho enessD en i"htenmentD in order to a e*iate the s,++erin" o+ othersD brin" them happinessD and +ina y ead them to their o$n en i"htenment: The aspiration to do this is 1no$n as Hthe mind o+ en i"htenmentI ?Sans1ritG bodhichitta@D and is the e-perien#e o+ openin" o,r heart to a

bein"sD a o$in" o*e and #ompassion to + o$ to e*eryoneD $itho,t imitation: A person $ho possesses bodhi#hitta a#t,a y +ee s responsib e +or easin" the s,++erin" o+ a i*in" bein"s and eadin" them to happiness: We #an start to #, ti*ate the mind o+ en i"htenment no$D in o,r day-to-day i*esD by bein" 1ind and open to the peop e $e meetG bein" patient $ith them and a$are o+ their needs: It is easyD ho$e*erD to de#ei*e o,rse *esD to p ay the ro e o+ a +riend yD open person $hi e hidin" o,r +ee in"s o+ irritation and into eran#e: So it is important to "et in to,#h $ith o,r +ee in"s $hi e a so ma1in" an e++ort to e-tend o,rse *es to othersD and this is done most e++e#ti*ey in the #on#entration o+ meditation: Norma yD $e dis#riminateG $e either i1eD dis i1eD or are indi++erent to e*eryone $e meet: These rea#tions are most y se +-#enteredD based on $hether the person appears a"reeab eD disa"reeab eD or ,ninterestin" to )e' At the root o+ this dis#rimination is o,r instin#ti*e mis,nderstandin" o+ the $ay thin"s e-istD espe#ia y o,r o$n se +: This prob em has a $ays been $ith ,s and $e b,i d on it e aborate y thro,"ho,t i+eD thin1in"D and be ie*in"D HI am this $ay and $i a $ays beF this is "ood +or me and that brin"s me do$n:I O,r be ie+ in this I "i*es rise to the desire to prote#t and no,rish it: E*erythin" $e do is +or the sa1e o+ this se +: It has needs that m,st be +, +i edF it m,st +ind happiness and a*oid pain: The I i1es this person be#a,se she ma1es it happy and dis i1es that person be#a,se he #a,ses it pain: E*erythin" is seen +rom the perspe#ti*e o+ this I.s needs: O,r basi# misapprehension o+ the I ma1es o,r per#eption +a, ty: I+ $e ana y!e and sear#h +or the permanentD +i-ed se + that seems to be thereD $e #annot +ind itF it is an i ,sion: There is on y a + ,#t,atin" stream o+ mind and body tra*e in" thro,"h i+eD e-perien#in" EoyD prob emsD o*eD +r,stration: We meet peop eD intera#t $ith them brie+ y in positi*e or ne"ati*e $aysD and then separate: Nothin" astsD nothin" is stab e: The more $e # in" to this ,nrea I and try to +, +i its demandsD the deeper $e b,ry o,rse *es in prob ems and #on+,sion: O,r # assi+i#ation o+ peop e into H+riendsDI HenemiesDI and Hstran"ersI is probab y the best e-amp e o+ this: We ass,me that the person $e i1e has inherent y "ood 8,a ities and the person $e dis i1e is inherent y bad: We beha*e as tho,"h these 8,a ities are permanent and ,n#han"in"F as tho,"h $e $i a $ays be # ose to the person $e ha*e abe ed H+riendI and ne*er # ose to the person $e dis i1e: And it is hard to ima"ine that an ,ninterestin" person in the street #o, d e*er be#ome a +riend: %,t these ass,mptions are mista1enD as o,r o$n e-perien#es te ,s: )e ationships #an and do #han"e: Peop e $e $ere on#e # ose to are no$ impossib e to #omm,ni#ate $ithD and others $hom $e #o, dn.t bear the si"ht o+ are no$ dear +riends: Peop e #han"eD o,r tho,"hts and +ee in"s #han"eD sit,ations #han"e: The #han"es that ma1e ,s see a +riend as an enemy #an o##,r +rom one min,te to the ne-tD one year to the ne-tD one i+etime to the ne-t: The reasons +or seein" someone as +riendD enemyD or stran"er are not so id and in#ontro*ertib e: %,t ho din" onto them as i+ they $ere pre*ents ,s +rom seein" thin"s as they rea y are and ma1es it di++i#, t +or ,s to dea $ith #han"e $hen it o##,rs:

The +o o$in" meditation has ,s e-amine o,r attit,des and +ee in"s to$ard others in order to re#o"ni!e $here they are mista1en: This #an ead ,s "rad,a y to a state o+ e8,animityD in $hi#h o,r mind is more ba an#ed and ess ,nder the #ontro o+ atta#hment to o*ed onesD a*ersion and hatred to$ard enemiesD and indi++eren#e to$ard stran"ers:

The ,ract ce
Motivation Sit #om+ortab y and "enerate the stron" intention to do this meditation in order to de*e op per+e#t e8,animity +or the bene+it o+ yo,rse + and others: Perhaps yo, $o, d i1e to say some o+ the prayers on pa"e 1;1K;3: Ima"ine in the spa#e in +ront o+ yo, three peop eG someone yo, i1eD someone yo, dis i1eD and someone yo, +ee indi++erent to: )etain the ima"es o+ the +riendD enemyD and stran"er thro,"ho,t the meditation: 4irstD +o#,s on yo,r +riendD and as1 yo,rse + $hy yo, i1e this person: See i+ yo, #an re#o"ni!e that yo,r reasons are main y be#a,se o+ $hat she or he does +or you6' Are those "ood reasons +or i1in" someone and ho din" them dear? Then oo1 at the person yo, dis i1e and e-amine yo,r reasons +or +ee in" that $ay: A"ainD #he#1 i+ yo,r e"o is in*o *edJ+or e-amp eD the person may ha*e harmed youD or may beha*e in $ays that you +ind ,na##eptab e: Are those "ood reasons +or dis i1in" someoneD and treatin" them bad y or $ishin" them harm? Then oo1 at the person yo, +ee indi++erent toJ$hy do yo, +ee this $ay? Is yo,r e"o in*o *ed here as $e ? Is it be#a,se this person has neither he ped nor harmed you? A soD as1 yo,rse + i+ yo, re"ard these re ationships as permanentG do yo, be ie*e that yo, $i a $ays "et a on" $ith yo,r +riendD that yo, $i ne*er "et a on" $ith yo,r enemyD and that yo, $i a $ays be distant +rom the stran"er? )e#a re ationships yo, had in the past that #han"edG a +riend be#omin" an enemy or a stran"erD or *i#e *ersa: No$ ima"ine the +riend *is,a i!ed in +ront o+ yo, doin" somethin" h,rt+, or ,na##eptab eL: Wo, d yo,r +ee in"s to$ard this person #han"e? )e#a that this person $as not yo,r +riend be+ore yo, be#ame a#8,aintedD and #o, d *ery easi y #ease to be yo,r +riend in the +,t,re: )ea i!e that there is no so,nd reason +or +ee in" 1ind and o*in" to$ard on y the +riend o+ this moment: )e ationships #han"ed in the past and $i #ontin,e to #han"e: Today.s +riend #an be#ome tomorro$.s enemy: No$ t,rn yo,r attention to yo,r enemyD and ima"ine this person doin" somethin" 1ind or he p+, D s,#h as praisin" yo, +or somethin" yo, didD or he pin" yo, +i- yo,r #ar $hi#h has bro1en do$nL: &oo1 #are+, y at yo,r +ee in"s +or this personG are they so+tenin"? 5o, can earn to +ee $arm y to$ard yo,r enemy: This has happened be+ore and $i happen a"ain: Why ho d so stron" y to the #on#eption that this person is de+inite y Henemy?I

And $hat o+ the stran"er? This re ationship #o, d "o either $ayD b,t sin#e $e are tryin" to de*e op more positi*e +ee in"s +or othersD ima"ine the stran"er doin" somethin" he p+, D s,#h as "i*in" yo, the ri"ht dire#tions $hen yo, are ostD or ret,rnin" yo,r $a et $hi#h yo, dropped absent-minded yL: 'o$ $o, d this a++e#t yo,r +ee in"s to$ard this person? I+ yo, are ab e to a##ept the e-isten#e o+ past and +,t,re i+etimesD #onsider the idea that yo, ha*e 1no$n these three peop e be+oreD in other i+etimesD b,t in *ery di++erent re ationships: Consider that the +riend o+ this i+etime may ha*e been yo,r enemy in another i+etimeL: 5o,r present enemy may ha*e been someone *ery dear to yo,D a parent or sib in"D or a # ose +riendL: And the present stran"er may ha*e been both +riend and enemyL: See ho$ this a++e#ts yo,r +ee in"s to$ard these three peop e: Bnderstand that re ationships are not permanentD b,t a o*ed one #an be#ome an enemy and *i#e *ersaD and a stran"er #an be#ome either a +riend or an enemy: A soD no one is a +riendD enemyD or stran"er +rom their o$n sideD independent yF ratherD they be#ome so in dependen#e on ho$ o,r mind abe s them: Someone yo, re"ard as a +riend is seen by others as an enemyD and there are peop e $ho o*e the person yo, re"ard as an enemy: There+oreD it is ,n$ise to # in" to these three types o+ peop e as i+ they $ere permanent and independent y-e-istin": It is a so *ery he p+, to re#o"ni!e that in some $aysD e*eryone is e8,a D e-a#t y the same: One o+ these $ays is that e*eryone $ants to be happy and does not $ant any prob ems or pain: Contemp ate thisG yo,r +riendD enemyD and stran"er a $ant happiness as m,#h as yo, doD andD E,st i1e yo,D they do not $ant to e-perien#e e*en the sma est prob em: And e*eryoneD yo,rse + and othersD deserves to be happy and pea#e+, D and +ree +rom a s,++erin": Try to rea y +ee thisL: Another $ay in $hi#h a bein"s are e8,a is that $e a ha*e the potentia to +ree o,r minds +rom a ne"ati*itiesD de*e op o,rse *es to the +, estD and a#hie*e , timate # arity and #ompassion: E*eryone #anD and illD be#ome en i"htened one day: )e#o"ni!e that the di++eren#es $e see in peop e are s,per+i#ia D based on o,r mista1en and narro$ se +#entered *ie$point: I+ o,r tho,"hts and +ee in"s $ere more in ine $ith rea ityD $e $o, d see that e*eryone e8,a y deser*es o,r #are and #ompassion: None o+ this means that $e sho, d not dis#riminateF on a pra#ti#a e*e it is ne#essary: Nat,ra y $e +ee # oser to some peop e and are $ise to 1eep o,r distan#e +rom others: This is not a #ontradi#tion: The point o+ the meditation is to de*e op e8,a #on#ernD e8,a re"ardD +or e*eryoneD $hether they he p or harm ,s at this point in timeF and to see that o,r present dis#rimination is based on arbitraryD mista1enD and *ery #han"eab e abe s: Dedication 4ina yD dedi#ate yo,r positi*e ener"y and insi"ht to the $e -bein" and happiness o+ a :

<
Med tat on on &o*e
&o*eD a so #a ed H o*in"-1indnessDI is $antin" others to be happy: It is a nat,ra 8,a ity o+ mindD b,t ,nti $e de*e op it thro,"h meditation and other pra#ti#es it remains imitedD reser*ed +or a +e$ se e#t indi*id,a sJ,s,a y those $e are atta#hed to: (en,ine o*e is ,ni*ersa in s#opeD e-tendin" to e*eryoneD $itho,t e-#eption: A tho,"h $e mi"ht a"ree $ith this idea in prin#ip eD $e probab y +ind it di++i#, t to a#t,a i!e: Does o*e arise spontaneo,s y +or a the peop e in the street and the s,permar1et? Do $e +ee o*e +or the po iti#ians $e don.t i1eD ra#istsD parents $ho ab,se their #hi drenD the peop e $ho harm ,sD $ho ma1e o,r i*es di++i#, t? I+ notD $e ha*e $or1 to do/ We sho, d be"in $ith mind+, nessG obser*in" o,r rea#tions to the peop e $e en#o,nterD oo1in" o,t +or +ee in"s o+ attra#tionD a*ersionD and indi++eren#e: As on" as $e #ontin,e to dis#riminate bet$een those $e i1eD those $e dis i1eD and those $e do not #are abo,t $e #an ne*er e*en ta1e the +irst step: To #o,ntera#t this mista1en dis#riminationD $e #an pra#ti#e the e8,animity meditation ?pa"e 1>9@ and the methods +or dea in" $ith atta#hment and an"er ?pa"es 123K03@ ' The +o o$in" meditation is a "ood #omp ement to theseF it he ps ,s tap o,r nat,ra reso,r#e o+ o*e and #hanne it to a i*in" bein"s: I+ $e pra#ti#e it $ith #on#entration and sin#erityD rea y "ettin" in to,#h $ith o,r heartD $e $i +ind that it is possib e to tr, y $ant others to be happyD re"ard ess o+ their re ationship to ,s: The meditation has ,s start by *is,a i!in" o,r parents and other re ati*es beside ,sD and a other bein"s aro,nd ,s: This is a traditiona Tibetan method +or enhan#in" o,r bodhi#hitta moti*ationJit ass,mes that pra#titioners are on "ood terms $ith the peop e in their +ami y: This is not tr,e +or e*eryoneD ho$e*erD so thin1in" o+ yo,r motherD +atherD or other +ami y members may "i*e rise to an"er or an-iety rather than o*e and #ompassion: I+ this is the #aseD it.s not ne#essary to +or#e yo,rse + to *is,a i!e those indi*id,a sJyo, #an either ea*e them o,t +or no$D or p a#e them in +ront o+ yo, amon" yo,r Henemies:I 'o$e*erD it is important to e*ent,a y reso *e any prob ems $e ha*e $ith othersD espe#ia y o,r immediate +ami yD in order to +, y pro"ress on the path o+ spirit,a de*e opment: So $hen yo, +ee s,++i#ient #o,ra"e and stren"th to start $or1in" on those prob emsD yo, #an do so ,sin" s,#h meditations as e8,animityD #ompassionD and dea in" $ith ne"ati*e ener"y: %,t be patientJit #an sometimes ta1e years o+ pra#ti#e to reso *e s,#h prob emsD and i+ the emotions in*o *ed are *ery deep and pain+, D yo, may a so need pro+essiona he p: Some meditationsD s,#h as those on the breath and emptinessD in*o *e meditatin" on an obEe#t: Other meditationsD s,#h as those on o*e and #ompassionD in*o *e trans+ormin" the mind into the obEe#t $e.re meditatin" on: So idea y $hen $e do this meditation o,r mind tr, y e-perien#es o*e: 'o$e*erD this is somethin" that norma y ta1es time and pra#ti#eD so don.t be +r,strated i+ yo, don.t +ee anythin" initia y: It.s eno,"h to simp y thin1 the tho,"hts and say the $ords HMay yo, be happyD et#:I %y ma1in" yo,r mind +ami iar $ith theseD in time the +ee in" o+ o*e $i arise nat,ra y:

The ,ract ce
Sit #om+ortab y: )e a- yo,r body and mind and et a tho,"hts and $orries s,bside: Mind+, y obser*e yo,r breath ,nti yo, are #a m and yo,r a$areness is +o#,sed in the here-and-no$: Motivation Thin1 that yo, are doin" this meditation +or the bene+it o+ yo,rse + and othersG to "enerate more positi*eD o*in" ener"y in yo,r mind and to send it o,t to othersD to the $or d: Start by ima"inin" a i*in" bein"s aro,nd yo,G yo,r mother is on yo,r e+tD yo,r +ather on yo,r ri"htD and other re ati*es and +riends are aro,nd and behind yo,: Ais,a i!e in +ront o+ yo, those yo, dis i1e or $ho ha*e h,rt yo,: And e-tendin" in e*ery dire#tionD ri"ht to the hori!onD are a other bein"s: 4ee that they are thereD a in h,man +ormD sittin" 8,iet yD i1e yo,: I+ it is di++i#, t to *is,a i!e all bein"sD thin1 o+ as many as yo, #anD #om+ortab y: Stay re a-edJdon.t +ee #ro$ded or tenseD b,t ima"ine that a sense o+ harmony and pea#e per*ades e*eryone: Consider ho$ ni#e it $o, d beD +or yo,rse + and othersD i+ yo, $ere ab e to o*e a these bein"s: Contemp ate that e*eryone $ants to be happy and to a*oid s,++erin"D E,st as yo, do: They are a tryin" to ma1e the best o+ their i*esD e*en those $ho are an"ry and *io ent: No$ "enerate a +ee in" o+ o*e in yo,r heart: 5o, #an do this by thin1in" o+ someone yo, o*e and ettin" yo,r nat,ra "ood +ee in"s +or this person arise: 5o, mi"ht i1e to ima"ine yo,r o*e as a $armD bri"ht i"htF not physi#a D b,t p,reD positi*e ener"y " o$in" in yo,r heart: %e+ore yo, #an tr, y o*e others yo, need to o*e yo,rse +: &o*in" yo,rse + means a##eptin" yo,rse + as yo, areD $ith yo,r present +a, ts and short#omin"sD and re#o"ni!in" yo, ha*e the potentia to +ree yo,rse + +rom a yo,r prob ems: SoD rea y $ish yo,rse + a the happiness and "oodness there is: Ima"ine that the $arm ener"y in yo,r heart e-pands ,nti it #omp ete y +i s yo,r body and mind: I+ yo, ha*e a habit o+ bein" #riti#a D E,d"menta D and e*en an"ry to$ard yo,rse +D it $i ta1e time to #han"e thisD so yo, probab y $i not s,dden y +ee o*e +or yo,rse +: %,t i+ yo, say to yo,rse + HMay I be happyF may I ha*e $hat I need to +ee happyD sa+eD o*edD and satis+iedDI and so +orthD then "rad,a y these tho,"hts and +ee in"s $i "ro$ and be#ome "en,ine: It.s eno,"h +or no$ to E,st thin1 this $ay and say these $ords to yo,rse +L: No$ meditate on o*e +or others: Start $ith yo,r +ami y and # ose +riends sittin" near yo,: Say in yo,r mind $ords s,#h asG HMay yo, be happy: May yo, ha*e $hat yo, need to +ee happyD sa+eD o*edD and satis+ied: May a yo,r tho,"hts be positi*e and a yo,r e-perien#es "ood: May yo, be +ree o+ prob emsD si#1nessD and sadness: May yo,r i*es be on" and pea#e+, and may yo, 8,i#1 y rea#h en i"htenment:I Ima"ine the $armD ,mino,s ener"y radiatin" +rom yo,r bodyD to,#hin" them and +i in" their bodies and

mindsD brin"in" them the happiness they $ish +or: A"ainD don.t $orry i+ yo, don.t a#t,a y +ee o*eF it.s eno,"h to say these $ords and thin1 these tho,"hts: In time the +ee in" $i #ome: Thin1 ne-t o+ some peop e yo, are not so # ose to: They #o, d be peop e yo, $or1 $ithD nei"hborsD +e o$ shoppers in the s,permar1etD +e o$ dri*ers on the road: )e+ e#t that theyD E,st i1e yo,D $ant to be happyD and deser*e to be happy: See i+ yo, #an +ee the $ish +or them to be happy by thin1in"D HMay yo, be happy: May yo, ha*e $hat yo, need to +ee happyD sa+eD o*edD and satis+ied: May a yo,r tho,"hts be positi*e and a yo,r e-perien#es "ood: May yo, be +ree o+ prob emsD si#1nessD and sadness: May yo,r i*es be on" and pea#e+, and may yo, 8,i#1 y rea#h en i"htenment:I Then send the radiant ener"y o+ o*e +rom yo,r heart to them and ima"ine that they e-perien#e the happiness they $ish +or: &ast yD t,rn yo,r attention to the peop e in +ront o+ yo,D those yo, ha*e di++i#, ty $ith: Contemp ate that they a so need and deser*e yo,r o*e: Wish them to be +ree o+ the #on+,sionD an"erD and se +-#enteredness that dri*e them to a#t the $ay they do: )ea y $ant them to +ind pea#e o+ mindD happinessD and +ina y en i"htenment: Thin1D and try to +ee sin#ere yD HMay yo, be happy: May yo, ha*e $hat yo, need to +ee happyD sa+eD o*edD and satis+ied: May a yo,r tho,"hts be positi*e and a yo,r e-perien#es "ood: May yo, be +ree o+ prob emsD si#1nessD and sadness: May yo,r i*es be on" and pea#e+, and may yo, 8,i#1 y rea#h en i"htenment:I Ima"ine that the radiant ener"y o+ o*e + o$s +rom yo,r heart to them and that they e-perien#e the happiness they $ish +or: Contin,e to send yo,r positi*eD $arm +ee in"s o,t to a the other peop e aro,nd yo,: &o*e is an ,n imited sprin" o+ "ood ener"yD so yo, sho, dn.t $orry that it $i r,n o,t/ Comp ete y open yo,r heart and ima"ine yo,r o*e + o$in" to e*ery dire#tionD rea#hin" a the bein"s $ho are one yD si#1D h,n"ryD #on+,sedD oppressedD +r,stratedD +ri"htened: Their s,++erin" disappears and their minds be#ome pea#e+, D # earD and +, o+ p,re happiness: Wish them to ha*e e*ery "ood e-perien#eD +rom the satis+a#tion o+ ordinary needs and desires a the $ay to en i"htenment: Con#entrate on this +ee in" o+ o*e as on" as possib e: Con# ,de the session by thin1in" that yo, de+inite y ha*e the potentia to o*e e*eryoneD e*en those $ho annoy or h,rt yo,D and those yo, don.t e*en 1no$: (enerate a stron" $ish to $or1 on yo,r o$n an"erD impatien#eD se +ishness and the other prob ems that pre*ent yo, +rom ha*in" s,#h o*e: 7eepin" yo,r mind open and tryin" to o*er#ome e"o.s preE,di#ed attit,des $i ea*e m,#h spa#e in yo,r heart +or p,reD ,ni*ersa o*eJ and th,s happiness +or yo,rse + and othersJto de*e op: Dedication 4ina yD dedi#ate the positi*e ener"y o+ yo,r meditation to a bein"sD $ith the $ish that they +ind happiness and en i"htenment:

1=
Med tat on on Com,ass on and Tonglen >( * ng and Tak ng?
Tonglen" $hi#h is Tibetan +or H"i*in" and ta1in"DI is a meditation +or de*e opin" o*e and #ompassion: It is +o,nd in a series o+ tea#hin"s and pra#ti#es 1no$n as tho,"ht trans+ormationD or mind trainin" ?TibetanG lo,ong@: The idea behind these tea#hin"s is that $e #an trans+orm o,r tho,"hts +rom bein" se +-#enteredD de ,dedD and destr,#ti*e to bein" o*in"D #ompassionateD and bene+i#ia to others: Doin" this is nat,ra y "ood +or othersD b,t a so +or o,rse *esJ$e $i +ee more pea#e+, D happyD satis+iedD and positi*e abo,t o,rse *es: The , timate "oa o+ the pra#ti#e is be#omin" en i"htenedD at $hi#h point $e #an ma1e o,r e-isten#e as bene+i#ia as possib e +or others: One aspe#t o+ the tho,"ht trans+ormation tea#hin"s is earnin" ho$ to trans+orm prob ems and di++i#, ties into the spirit,a path: Bs,a y $e dis i1e prob ems and do $hate*er $e #an to "et rid o+ them as 8,i#1 y as possib e: %,t prob ems are not rea y prob emati# +rom their o$n sideF it depends on ho$ $e *ie$ and dea $ith them: With the ri"ht ,nderstandin" and methods $e #an ma1e prob ems ,se+, D in the same $ay that $e re#y# e "arba"e or t,rn it into +erti i!er +or o,r "arden: 4or e-amp eD bein" st,#1 in a tra++i# Eam is a prob em i+ $e et o,rse *es be#ome impatientD thin1in" o+ a the thin"s $e.d rather be doin": %,t i+ $e re#o"ni!e the +,ti ity o+ s,#h tho,"htsD and instead ,se the time to #ontemp ate positi*e thin"sD re#ite mantrasD or isten to a spirit,a tea#hin"D then the sit,ation be#omes spirit,a pra#ti#e: Ton" en is one s,#h method +or trans+ormin" prob ems: The basi# idea o+ ton" en is that $e meditate on o*e and #ompassionD "eneratin" the $ish +or others to be happy and +ree +rom s,++erin"D and then $e ima"ine ta(ing on the s,++erin" o+ others and giving them o,r happiness: Peop e sometimes +ee this $ay nat,ra yJparentsD +or e-amp eD $hen they see their #hi d s,++erin" +rom i nessD or res#,e $or1ers $ho are $i in" to ris1 their o$n i*es to sa*e those o+ others: %,t a o+ ,s #an "enerate s,#h #o,ra"eo,s +ee in"s by +ami iari!in" o,rse *es $ith the meditations on o*e and #ompassion: It $o, d a so be he p+, to ha*e some +ami iarity $ith the meditation on emptinessD to essen o,r habit,a "raspin" at a rea D permanentD independent y-e-istin" se +: In the +, +orm o+ this meditationD $e ima"ine ta1in" on the s,++erin" and #a,ses o+ s,++erin"Jde ,sions and 1armaJo+ a i*in" bein"sD and "i*in" them a o,r happinessD $ea thD "ood 1armaD et#: The pra#ti#e is norma y done in #onE,n#tion $ith breathin"G $hi e inha in"D $e ima"ine ta1in" in s,++erin" and its #a,sesD and these annihi ate o,r se +ishness and other de ,sionsF and $hi e e-ha in"D $e ima"ine "i*in" o,r happiness and "oodnessD and these be#ome $hate*er others need to be happy and $ho e: Initia yD ho$e*erD many peop e do not +ee ready or ab e to ta1e on the s,++erin" o+ others: HI #an.t e*en hand e my o$n prob emsF ho$ #an I ta1e on e*eryone e se.s?I So it is ad*ised that $e +irst pra#ti#e ta1in" on o,r o$n s,++erin": When $e be#ome +ami iar and #om+ortab e $ith thatD $e #an then "rad,a y ta1e on the prob ems and s,++erin" o+ othersD startin" $ith peop e $e a ready o*e and #are abo,tD then stran"ersJpeop e $e are more distant +romJand e*ent,a y e*en o,r Henemies:I The point o+ ton" en is not to +o#,s on the +ee in" o+ )e ta1in" on s,++erin"D and )e "i*in" a$ay my happiness: InsteadD $e sho, d +o#,s on the other !eo!le be#omin" +ree

o+ their s,++erin"D and re#ei*in" a the happiness they need and $ish +orF and +ee "reat Eoy and satis+a#tion that $e ha*e been ab e to brin" this abo,t: A soD the meditation in*o *es i)agining ta1in" a$ay others. s,++erin" and "i*in" them happinessF it.s not possib e to a#t,a y do thatD e-#ept in *ery rare #ases: So the p,rpose o+ the meditation is to train o,r mind in o*eD #ompassionD and bodhi#hittaD and to #reate the #a,ses to be#ome en i"htenedD at $hi#h point $e $i tr, y be ab e to he p others be +ree o+ s,++erin" and attain astin" pea#e and happiness: Presented here are t$o simp e *ersions o+ ton" en: The +irst in*o *es ta1in" on one o+ yo,r o$n prob ems +or the bene+it o+ othersD and is parti#, ar y he p+, +or those $ho do not +ee ready to ta1e on others. s,++erin": This meditation is *ery e++e#ti*e be#a,se a mista1e $e norma y ma1e is that $hen $e ha*e a prob em $e be#ome obsessed $ith itD as i+ $e $ere the on y person in the $or d $ith s,#h a prob emF as i+ there $as nothin" e se in the $or dD nothin" positi*eD other than o,r prob em: S,#h obsessi*e thin1in" ma1es a mo,ntain o,t o+ a mo ehi : The prob em may not be so badD b,t o,r $ay o+ oo1in" at it ma1es it seem immenseD so idD and permanentD as i+ it $i be there +ore*er: %y re#o"ni!in" that others ha*e prob ems tooD and that some ha*e $orse prob ems than o,rsD o,r prob em $i appear more i1e a mo ehi D more mana"eab e: That itse + "i*es a sense o+ re ie+D and the prob em mi"ht e*en disappear a to"ether: %,t don.t e-pe#t that/ E-pe#tations are obsta# es to s,##ess in meditation: I+ nothin" e seD the meditation $i open o,r heart and in#rease o,r #ompassionD o,r o*eD and o,r $i in"ness to be more he p+, to others: The se#ond *ersion o+ ton" en in*o *es ta1in" on someone e se.s prob em or s,++erin": 5o, may $ish to "et a##,stomed to the +irst *ersion be+ore tryin" the se#ondF yo, may +ee #om+ortab e to do both one a+ter the otherF or yo, may pre+er to s1ip the +irst one and "o strai"ht to the se#ond: There are no hard and +ast r, esJdo $hate*er $or1s best +or yo,:

The ,ract ce
Sit #om+ortab y $ith yo,r ba#1 strai"htD and re a- yo,r body: )e a- yo,r mind by stayin" in the presentD ettin" "o o+ tho,"hts o+ the pastD the +,t,reD other p a#esD peop eD and so +orth: Payin" attention to the breath +or se*era min,tes $i he p yo,r mind to sett e in the here and no$L: Motivation When yo,r mind is more #a mD "enerate a positi*eD a tr,isti# moti*ation +or doin" the meditation: 5o, #an thin1D +or e-amp eD HI am "oin" to do this meditation in order to in#rease my positi*e +ee in"sJ#ompassionD o*eD and $antin" to he p othersJso that my i+e and a the thin"s I do $i be on y bene+i#ia and ne*er harm+, to others:I Spend some time #ontemp atin" the +o o$in" points to prepare yo,r mind +or the ton" en meditationG A bein"s $ant to be happy: They ha*e basi# needsJ+or +oodD she terD bein" #om+ortab eD +ee in" sa+e and o*edJand they ha*e thin"s they $ish +orJ+riendsD possessionsD a satis+yin" EobD et#L: A bein"s a so $ish to be +ree o+ e*ery 1ind o+ pain

and prob emL: (o into yo,r heartD and "et in to,#h $ith these basi# +ee in"s that $e share $ith e*eryone e se: )e#o"ni!e that e*erythin" yo, do in yo,r i+e is moti*ated by the $ish to be happy and to a*oid prob ems: The same is tr,e +or a other bein"sL: And don.t +ee that there is anythin" rong $ith +ee in" this $ayJ$e a deserve to be happy and +ree +rom painL: Then as1 yo,rse +G HI+ $e are a the same in $antin" to be pea#e+, D happyD and satis+iedD and to not e-perien#e any ,nhappinessD painD or prob emD then is it ri"ht +or me to #are on y +or )y happiness and )y prob ems?IL And #he#1G $hat is the res, t o+ s,#h a se +#entered attit,de? Does it brin" yo, the happiness yo, $antD and pre*ent yo, +rom e-perien#in" the prob ems yo, don.t $ant? Try to re#o"ni!e that se +-#enteredness is #o,nterprod,#ti*eD and +ee the $ish to be#ome ess +o#,sed on yo,rse +D and more o*in" and #arin" to$ard others: It is possib e to trans+orm yo,r mind in this $ayD and one method that #an he p yo, to do this is the pra#ti#e o+ ton" enL:

Tonglen using one.s o)n pro$lem %e"in the ton" en pra#ti#e by brin"in" to mind a prob em that is #,rrent y tro,b in" yo,: I+ yo, are not so +ami iar $ith this pra#ti#eD it mi"ht be best to start $ith a sma or medi,m-si!ed prob em rather than yo,r bi""est one: It #o, d be a physi#a prob emJa pain+, or ,n#om+ortab e +ee in"D or an i nessJor it #o, d be somethin" emotiona D s,#h as sadnessD h,rtD or one iness: A o$ the prob em to arise in yo,r mindD and +ee ho$ pain+, it isD ho$ yo,r mind $ants to p,sh it a$ay:::: Then thin1G HI am not the on y person in the $or d e-perien#in" a prob em i1e this: There are many others::::I Thin1 o+ other peop e $ho may be e-perien#in" the same or a simi ar prob emD some to an e*en "reater de"ree than yo,rse +: ?4or e-amp eD i+ yo, ha*e ost a o*ed oneD thin1 o+ peop e $ho ha*e ost many o*ed onesD in a $ar or nat,ra disaster:@ (enerate #ompassion +or themD thin1in"D and rea y feeling+ H'o$ $onder+, it $o, d be i+ a those peop e #o, d be +ree +rom their s,++erin":I Then de#ide that yo, $i a##ept or ta1e on yo,r o$n e-perien#e o+ this prob em $ith the #ompassionate $ish that by doin" soD a those other peop e $i be +ree +rom their s,++erin": &et "o o+ yo,r resistan#eD +earD and a*ersion to$ard yo,r prob emD and a o$ yo,r mind to rest in a "ent eD pea#e+, a##eptan#e o+ itL: When yo, are more +ami iar and #om+ortab e $ith this pra#ti#eD yo, #an ,se it to ta1e on bi""er prob ems yo, ha*e at presentD and a so the prob ems yo, $i probab y e-perien#e in the +,t,re:

Tonglen for another person.s pro$lem Ima"ine in +ront o+ yo, someone yo, 1no$ and o*e $ho is s,++erin": P,t yo,rse + in their sit,ationD and try to rea y +ee the s,++erin" they are e-perien#in" and ho$ they $ish to be +ree o+ itL: 4ee ho$ $onder+, it $o, d be i+ they could be +ree +rom a their s,++erin" and prob ems: Then "enerate the #o,ra"e to ta1e their s,++erin" ,pon yo,rse +: Ais,a i!e that yo,r de ,sions s,#h as se +-#enterednessD an"erD atta#hmentD and Eea o,sy are in the +orm o+ a so idD dar1 ro#1 in yo,r heart: Then *is,a i!e yo,r o*ed one.s s,++erin" in the +orm o+ thi#1D dar1 smo1e + oatin" o,t o+ their body: As yo, inha eD ima"ine ta1in" this dar1 smo1e o+ s,++erin" into yo,rse +: It #omes to yo,r heartD absorbs into the ro#1 o+ se +-#enteredness and de ,sionsD and destroys it: %oth the ro#1 and the s,++erin"D yo,r o$n and that o+ the other personD be#ome ,tter y non-e-istent: 4ee a sense o+ Eoy that this person is no$ +ree +rom his or her s,++erin" and prob emsL: When yo, e-ha eD breathe o,t yo,r happinessD positi*e 8,a itiesD and merit in the +orm o+ bri"ht i"ht: Ima"ine that it trans+orms into $hate*er $i brin" Eoy and pea#e o+ mind to this personG materia thin"sD o*e and +riendshipD inner 8,a ities s,#h as o*eD #ompassionD #o,ra"eD and e8,animity: Ima"ine that their needs and $ishes are +, +i edD their mind is +i ed $ith pea#eD happinessD and a the 1no$ ed"e and 8,a ities o+ the spirit,a path: &et yo,r mind rest +or some time in a +ee in" o+ Eoy+, ness that yo, ha*e been ab e to he p yo,r o*ed one in this $ay: As yo, be#ome more +ami iar $ith this meditationD yo, #an pra#ti#e it "rad,a y $ith more o+ yo,r +riends and re ati*esD then stran"ersD and e*ent,a y e*en $ith those yo, dis i1e: Dedication When yo, $ish to #on# ,de the meditationD remember the moti*ation yo, started $ithD and dedi#ate the positi*e ener"y o+ doin" the meditation to the happiness and en i"htenment o+ a bein"s: ?4or another meditation on tho,"ht trans+ormationD see pa"e 2>>:@

11
Deal ng w th Negat *e Energy
As mind+, ness de*e ops $e be#ome in#reasin" y sensiti*e to o,r tho,"hts and +ee in"sD in# ,din" ne"ati*e states o+ mind s,#h as an"erD irritationD prideD depressionD desireD and so +orth: Why are these #onsidered Hne"ati*eI? It is not that an"er or desire are inherent y e*i or that $e sho, d +ee ashamed $hen they arise: They are ne"ati*e be#a,se they are de ,sionsJdistorted #on#eptions that paint a +a se pi#t,re o+ rea ityJand be#a,se they ead to ,nhappinessD #on+,sionD and prob ems: %,t $ith the ri"ht ,nderstandin" and the ri"ht too sD e*ery e-perien#e that arises in o,r mindD ne"ati*e as $e as positi*eD #an be a #onstr,#ti*e step on the path:

The root #a,se o+ ne"ati*e emotions is the +a se notion o+ inherentD "raspab eD so id e-isten#e that $e imp,te onto e*erythin": This mis#on#eption "i*es rise to attach)ent to $hate*er appears p easantD aversion or anger to$ard $hate*er is ,np easant or pain+, D and an ,n#arin" ignorance abo,t e*erythin" e se: Th,s o,r mind di*ides e*eryone and e*erythin" in the $or d aro,nd ,s into friend" ene)y" and stranger' And these three menta to-ins in t,rn bran#h o,t into a o,r other ne"ati*e states o+ mind: 'o$e*erD i1e a yo,r e-perien#esD ne"ati*e emotions are impermanentD neither +i-ed nor #on#rete: They are simp y menta ener"yD i1e o*e and EoyD $hose nat,re is # ear and nonmateria : Sometimes yo, mi"ht +ee o*er$he med by them and do,bt $hether yo, #an e*er #ontro yo,r mind at a : %,t don.t $orry: De ,sions #ome and "o in yo,r mindF they are not you: Bs,a y $e either #omp ete y identi+y $ith o,r an"erD +or e-amp eD $itho,t any # arity or ,nderstandin" at a D or s,ppress it a to"etherD re+,sin" to a#1no$ ed"e $hat is "oin" on: %oth approa#hesJ"ettin" #a,"ht ,p in the emotionD or s,ppressin" itJare ,ns1i +, and on y ma1e matters $orse: A more s1i +, approa#h is to honest y a#1no$ ed"e the presen#e o+ the emotionD b,t step ba#1 and obser*e it in a deta#hed $ay $ithin the #a m spa#io,sness o+ meditation: With mind+, ness and a$areness o+ its nat,reJho$ it is E,st a momentary e-perien#e in o,r mindD not somethin" so id and +i-edD and not )eJ$e may be ab e to E,st et "o o+ itD and et it pass o,t o+ o,r mind: %,t H ettin" "oI is not a $ays easyD espe#ia y i+ the emotion is habit,a or *ery stron": I+ that is the #aseD then $e #an ,se one or more o+ the methods e-p ained be o$ to ana y!e the emotion to see ho$ it is mista1enD and to trans+orm o,r menta state into one that is more rea isti# and positi*e: Dea in" $ith an"er or any other ne"ati*e emotion in this $ay be#omes a bene+i#ia D earnin" e-perien#e: %,t +or some peop eD or +or some prob emsD it may be di++i#, t to Hbe yo,r o$n therapist:I Ana y!in" and trans+ormin" a po$er+, emotion s,#h as an"er re8,ires a +air amo,nt o+ s1i and $isdom: So i+ yo, +ind this di++i#, t to do on yo,r o$nD yo, may $ant to see1 he p +rom a spirit,a tea#herD a "ood therapistD or a $iseD #arin" +riend: No one e se #an #han"e yo,r mindJthat is somethin" on y yo, #an doJb,t ta 1in" $ith others #an "i*e yo, some ne$D he p+, ideas and perspe#ti*es to $or1 $ith: The methods e-p ained in this #hapter are pra#ti#a $ays o+ dea in" $ith attach)ent" anger" de!ression" and fear: An important +irst step in $or1in" $ith emotions is re#o"ni!in" and identi+yin" them: Sometimes o,r mind is i1e a thi#1 E,n" e o+ dist,rbin" tho,"hts and emotionsF it.s hard to rea y see $hat.s "oin" on: With mind+, nessD honestyD and dis#riminatin" inte i"en#e $e #an start to identi+y $hat.s $hatG HThat.s an"erF that.s desireF that.s +earFI and so on: On#e $e 1no$ $hat $e.re ,p a"ainstD $e #an #hoose the appropriate methods: The se#ond step is ha*in" a hea thyD ba an#ed attit,de to$ard the ne"ati*e emotions: Attit,des to a*oid in# ,de ",i tF se +-hatred or se +-E,d"mentF and identi+yin" $ith the emotionD +or e-amp e HI a) my an"erDI $hi#h eads ,s to be obsessed and a#t it o,t: We #an a*oid these by rememberin" that de ,sions are impermanentD #omin" and "oin" in o,r mind i1e # o,ds in the s1yD and that they are not o,r tr,e nat,re: The rea nat,re o+ the mind is p,reD +ree o+ de ,sionsD i1e a # earD # o,d ess s1y:

The ne-t step is to $or1 on the de ,sions in meditationD ,sin" one or more antidotes: I+ there are a n,mber o+ di++erent emotions dist,rbin" yo,r mind at the same timeD it.s best to start $ith the one that is stron"est and most tro,b esomeJdon.t try to ta1e them a on at on#e/ On#e yo,.*e mana"ed to "et the bi""est one a bit more ,nder #ontro D then yo, #an mo*e on to the ne-t bi""est: Some o+ the methods e-p ained here pro*ide ne$ $ays o+ oo1in" at these emotionsD $hi e others present ne$ $ays o+ oo1in" at the obEe#t or sit,ation $e.re +ee in" emotiona abo,t: They are not ma"i#a so ,tions to $hat areD a+ter a D di++i#, t prob ems: Dea in" $ith ne"ati*e ener"y is hard $or1D b,t $ith pra#ti#e and patien#e it is possib e to "rad,a y #han"e o,r attit,des as a +irst step to #han"in" o,r a#t,a e-perien#e o+ peop e and sit,ations: I+ $e be#ome +ami iar $ith these methods in meditation it $i be easier to app y them spontaneo,s y $hen the need arises: %e"in e*ery meditation session $ith a positi*eD a tr,isti# moti*ationD then spend some time obser*in" yo,r breath to brin" yo,r mind to a #a m state $ithin $hi#h yo, #an re+ e#t obEe#ti*e y on yo,r ne"ati*e emotions and the antidotes to them:

Attachment
To $ant somethin" and not $ant to be separated +rom itG *ery broad yD this is atta#hmentD a so 1no$n as desire: Attendant to it is the +a se ass,mption that ha*in" $hate*er it is $e $ant $i brin" satis+a#tionG this is $hy atta#hment #a,ses prob ems: Atta#hment is di++i#, t to dete#t and e*en more di++i#, t to +ind +a, t $ithF $e thin1 it is the road to happiness and satis+a#tion: %,t +, +i ment o+ desire is an i ,sionF desire eads to more desireD not satis+a#tion: We may be ab e to see ho$ atta#hment to a #oho D dr,"sD or money eads to prob ems rather than happinessD b,t $e may $onder $hat is $ron" $ith atta#hment to peop e: Wo, dn.t i+e be empty and meanin" ess $itho,t +ami y and +riends? This 8,estion arises be#a,se $e #on+,se atta#hment $ith o*e: Atta#hment is #on#erned $ith )y needsD )y happinessD $hi e o*e is an ,nse +ish attit,deD #on#erned $ith the needs and happiness o+ others: Most o+ the time o,r o*e is mi-ed $ith atta#hment be#a,se $e do not +ee ade8,ate or se#,re on o,r o$nD and try to +ind $ho eness thro,"h another: %,t $hen a re ationship in*o *es atta#hmentD prob ems ine*itab y arise: We be#ome dependent on the "ood +ee in"s and #om+ort o+ the re ationship and then s,++er $hen it #han"es: )ea D astin" happiness #an on y be +o,nd $ithin o,rse *esD and $e $i ne*er +ind it as on" as $e ean he p ess y on others: A re ationship +ree o+ ,nrea isti# "raspin" is +ree o+ disappointmentD #on+ i#tD Eea o,syD and other prob emsD and is +erti e "ro,nd +or the "ro$th o+ o*e and $isdom: O*er#omin" atta#hment does not mean be#omin" #o d and indi++erent: On the #ontraryD deta#hment means earnin" to ha*e re a-ed #ontro o*er o,r mind thro,"h ,nderstandin" the rea #a,ses o+ happiness and +, +i mentD and this enab es ,s to enEoy i+e more and s,++er ess:

Ways to deal w th attachment


1: Contemp ate the +a, ts o+ atta#hment: E-amine #are+, y the mind that e-perien#es it: It is e-#ited and +, o+ ,nrea isti# e-pe#tations: It " osses o*er the +a#ts and dea s $ith proEe#ted +antasies: It #annot see thin"s # ear y and is ,nab e to ma1e inte i"ent E,d"ments: Is this happiness? A soD the #onse8,en#es o+ atta#hment are not pea#e and satis+a#tionD b,t disappointment and desire +or more o+ the same: Thin1 o+ the s,++erin" yo, e-perien#e $hen yo, separate +rom an obEe#t o+ atta#hment: We a 1no$ the pain o+ re ationships that did not $or1 and the "rie+ o*er a o*ed one.s death: )e#o"ni!e that atta#hment is not a pea#e+, D # ear state o+ mindD and that it eads to dissatis+a#tion and ,nhappiness: And ma1in" a habit o+ it ea*es on o,r mindstream imprints to e-perien#e more prob ems in the +,t,re: Atta#hment # o,ds the mind and pre*ents ,s +rom re#o"ni!in" its +a, ts: It is *ery important to be honest $ith o,rse *esD to penetrate atta#hment.s +a#ade and ana y!e its rea nat,re: 2: )e#a that a thin"s are impermanent: %y their nat,re they #han"e +rom moment to moment and $i ine*itab y perish: The obEe#t o+ yo,r atta#hment $i not a $ays be attra#ti*e and p easin"F *is,a i!e it as o dD +adedD and $orn and then #he#1 i+ yo,r +ee in"s abo,t it remain the same: And ho$ $o, d yo, +ee i+ yo, ost it a to"ether? The p eas,re yo, e-perien#e is impermanentD too: 4or ho$ on" do yo, rea y +ee p eased and satis+ied $ith any one obEe#t? When $e re#o"ni!e that e-terna thin"s #annot "i*e ,s astin" happiness and satis+a#tionD o,r atta#hment to them $i essenJand $e. probab y enEoy them a the more/ 0: Meditate on death: )emember the ine*itabi ity o+ death and that it #o, d #ome at any time: Ima"ine ho$ yo, $i +ee abo,t separatin" +ore*er +rom yo,r obEe#ts o+ atta#hmentG o*ed onesD enEoymentsD possessions: Not on y are they ,nab e to he p yo, as yo, dieD b,t yo,r atta#hment to them $i ,pset yo,r mind and hinder a pea#e+, death: 3: The best remedy to atta#hment and a other de ,sions is to thin1 abo,t emptiness: In*esti"ate the I that e-perien#es the atta#hment: What is its nat,re? Try to o#ate this seemin" y rea D so id I in yo,r body or mind: E-amine a so the obEe#t o+ atta#hment: Is this person or thin" inherent y $onder+, and p easin"? I+ soD $hy doesn.t e*eryone appre#iate it? Can yo, see ho$ yo,r mind e-a""erates and "ets e-#ited abo,t the obEe#t? Try to see that both the I and its obEe#t are empty o+ inherent e-isten#eF they do not e-ist in the $ay they appearG in and o+ themse *es: This mi"ht so,nd pretty ,n#on*in#in"J espe#ia y $hen atta#hment is stron"Jb,t #onsider it #are+, y: 2,st thin1in" abo,t

emptiness is ,se+, and he ps ,s to "rad,a y ,nderstand $hat it meansD and to oosen the "rasp o+ o,r atta#hment: 6: I+ yo, +ee stron" y atta#hed to an attra#ti*e body ?in# ,din" yo,r o$n@D thin1 abo,t it in the +o o$in" $ay: 4irstD ana y!e E,st $hat it is yo, +ind so attra#ti*e: Then menta y penetrate the s,r+a#e and e-amine $hat ies beneath the s1inG the + eshD bonesD b ood *esse sD and or"ans: Ais,a i!e the m,#,sD p,sD b oodD e-#rementD and ,rine: Ima"ine it a in *i*id detai : What is it yo, +ind so attra#ti*e here? Ima"ine the body o dD bentD and $rin1 edG $here is the bea,ti+, body no$? The point o+ this e-er#ise is not to "o to the other e-treme and dis i1e yo,rse + or the person yo,.re attra#ted to: )ather it is to see ho$ atta#hment distorts o,r per#eption and e-a""erates the 8,a ities o+ a person or thin": We simp y don.t see rea ity as it is: This ana ysisD there+oreD brin"s ,s do$n to earth and he ps ,s penetrate be o$ the s,r+a#e o+ o,r " ossy +antasy ima"e: 9: A remedy +or atta#hment to +ood is to #ontemp ate the s,++erin" e-perien#ed by a the bein"s in*o *ed in its preparation: Anima s are 1i ed to pro*ide ,s $ith meat and +ishF inn,merab e sma anima s and inse#ts are 1i ed in the #, ti*ationD +erti i!ationD and sprayin" o+ the "rainsD +r,itD and *e"etab es that $e eat: )e#a the hard $or1 o+ the +armersD +ishermenD +r,itpi#1ersD +a#tory $or1ersD tr,#1 dri*ersD shop assistantsD and #oo1s: Try to eat mind+, yD $ith appre#iation +or a these bein"s. 1indness and sa#ri+i#e:

Anger
As opposed to atta#hmentJ$antin" not to be separated +rom somethin" or someoneJ an"er is the attit,de o+ $antin" to be separatedF o+ $antin" to harm: Most o+ o,r an"er is dire#ted to$ard other peop eD b,t $e #an a so be an"ry at o,rse *es or at inanimate obEe#ts: An"er ran"es +rom a +ee in" o+ irritation abo,t the $ay someone drin1s teaD +or e-amp eD to the po$er+, hatred that eads to physi#a *io en#e or m,rder: It is ,s,a y re ated to atta#hment: As one tea#her has pointed o,tD an"er is the response $hen atta#hment doesn.t "et $hat it $ants: An"er is the *ery opposite o+ patien#eD to eran#eD #ompassionD and o*e: It is a distorted #on#eptionD a mista1en $ay o+ rea#tin" to thin"sD a de ,sionD and brin"s on y prob ems and ,nhappinessD not the res, ts $e $ant: It dist,rbs o,r mind and #a,ses ,s to h,rt others thro,"h o,r a#tions and $ordsD and is not an inte i"entD s1i +, $ay to rea#tD in any sit,ation: Patien#eD the opposite o+ an"erD is a *ery bene+i#ia state o+ mind be#a,se it enab es ,s to a##ept di++i#, ties $ith a minim,m o+ s,++erin": %,t patien#e has to be earnedD and the $ay to de*e op it is by pra#ti#in" the remedies to an"er:

The +a, ts o+ an"er are m,#h easier to re#o"ni!e than those o+ atta#hmentF ne*erthe essD an"er is *ery di++i#, t to dea $ith: Part o+ the prob em is o,r ,n$i in"ness e*en to admit that $e ha*e itD orD i+ $e do re#o"ni!e o,r an"erD to admit that it is a +a, t: We may $ant to be pea#e+, and 1indD b,t in o,r e++orts $e probab y s,ppress +ee in"s o+ dis i1eD annoyan#eD and resentmentD the more s,bt e aspe#ts o+ an"er: This is no so ,tion: The emotions are sti thereD bre$in" be o$ the s,r+a#e o+ o,r mindD ma1in" ,s tense and ner*o,sD and a++e#tin" other peop e: Another mista1en approa#h is to see an"er as a nat,ra ener"y that sho, d not be restrained b,t e-pressed $hene*er it arises: This may $e re ie*e ,s o+ the immediate tension o+ o,r emotions and th,s appear to be a s1i +, $ay o+ hand in" an"erD b,t a"ain it is no so ,tion: We need on y oo1 at the short-term e++e#tsJho$ it dist,rbs o,rse *es and othersJand the on"-termJbe#omin" habit,a y an"ryJto see that it is not at a ,se+, or inte i"ent to "i*e in to an"er: The tr, y s1i +, approa#h is to re#o"ni!e the an"er or irritation as it arisesD 1eep it $ithin o,r mind and dea $ith it there: Cat#hin" itD $hen $e +irst +ee itD is itse + eno,"h to de+,se m,#h o+ the an"er-ener"y: Then $e sho, d e-amine the emotion +rom many an" esG $hat are its #a,ses? What do $e hope to a#hie*e by it? 'o$ do $e *ie$ the sit,ation? 'a*in" a # ear ,nderstandin" o+ an"er "i*es ,s a +irmer ho d on itD be#a,se $hen $e see ho$ ,nreasonab e it isD $e are ess i1e y to "et in*o *ed in it: An"er distorts o,r *ie$ o+ thin"s: So a+ter e-aminin" it $e sho, d app y an antidoteD s,#h as one o+ the methods be o$D in order to brin" o,r mind aro,nd to a more #orre#tD rea isti# *ie$: 'o$e*erD this is not easy: The ener"y o+ an"er is *ery po$er+, D and $e are not in the habit o+ tryin" to #ontro or trans+orm it: It is ,se+, to ,se these methods o*er and o*er a"ain in meditationD $or1in" $ith past e-perien#es o+ an"er or ima"ined sit,ationsF thenD $hen an"er o##,rs in o,r day-to-day re ationshipsD $e #an brin" to mind $hate*er insi"hts $e ha*e de*e oped in o,r pra#ti#e sessions and try to a*oid +o o$in" the o d +ami iar ro,te o+ "ettin" an"ry: We $on.t a $ays be s,##ess+, D o+ #o,rse: Sometimes min,tesD ho,rsD or days "o by be+ore $e e*en rea i!e that $e "ot an"ry and h,rt someone/ %,t it is ne*er too ate to do somethin" abo,t it: Sit do$nD re#a the sit,ationD re#o"ni!e $hat $ent $ron" and +i",re o,t ho$ to a*oid the same mista1es a"ain: We #an a so do a p,ri+i#ation pra#ti#e to remedy the 1arma #reatedD and apo o"i!e to the person $e h,rt: The same pra#ti#es #an be done to reso *e prob ems $e had years be+ore: There is no reason to +ee dis#o,ra"ed i+ an"er #ontin,es to arise stron" yF it ta1es time to brea1 po$er+, habits: The important thin" is to ant and try to $or1 on it:

Ways to deal w th anger


1: Contemp ate the +a, ts or disad*anta"es o+ an"erD so that yo, be#ome #on*in#ed that it.s harm+, rather than he p+, D and there+ore not somethin" yo, $ant to ind, "e in: 4irst o+ a D oo1 at the immediate e++e#ts o+ an"er on yo,r mind and body: What is it i1e bein" an"ry? Is yo,r mind pea#e+, and happyD or dist,rbed and dis#ontented? Are yo, ab e to thin1 # ear y and ma1e inte i"ent de#isionsD or does yo,r thin1in" be#ome #on+,sed and

irrationa ? And ho$ does it a++e#t yo,r body? Do yo, +ee #a m and re a-edD or a"itated and tense? S#ienti+i# st,dies ha*e sho$n that an"er is a si"ni+i#ant #a,se o+ #ertain hea th prob emsD s,#h as heart disease and #an#erD as $e as o+ premat,re death: 'o$ does yo,r an"er a++e#t the peop e aro,nd yo,? I+ yo, e-press yo,r an"er in $ords and a#tionsD $hat is the res, t? It may #a,se yo, to h,rt peop e yo, o*e and dama"e #herished re ationships: %,t e*en the an"er dire#ted at yo,r HenemiesIJthose $ho yo, thin1 deser*e to be h,rtJmay #ome ba#1 at yo, ater: So is that the $isest $ay o+ dea in" $ith them? There are more s,bt eD ess ob*io,sD e++e#ts o+ an"er on o,r psy#he: In terms o+ 1armaD "ettin" an"ry ea*es imprints on o,r mind that $i brin" pain+, e-perien#es in the +,t,re Jmore s,++erin": And it destroys m,#h o+ the "ood 1arma that $e ha*e $or1ed so hard to a##,m, ate: It is a maEor obsta# e to the #, ti*ation o+ positi*e 8,a ities s,#h as o*eD #ompassionD and $isdomD and to ma1in" pro"ress on the spirit,a pathL: )e#o"ni!e the harm+, res, ts o+ an"erD reso *e not to et yo,r mind be ta1en o*er by itD and instead earn $ays o+ de+,sin" it: 2: )emember 1armaD #a,se and e++e#t ?see pa"e <>@: I+ someone harms yo, in some $ay Jby bein" ab,si*e or ,n+riend yD #heatin" or stea in" +rom yo,D or $re#1in" yo,r be on"in"sJand it seems yo, ha*e done nothin" to deser*e itD #he#1 a"ain: A##ordin" to %,ddhismD any mis+ort,ne that #omes o,r $ay is the res, t o+ harm+, a#tions $e #reated in the pastJin this or other i*es: We reap $hat $e ha*e so$n: When $e #an see o,r prob ems in this i"htD $e $i be better ab e to a##ept and ta1e responsibi ity +or them rather than d,mp the b ame on others: A soD i+ $e ,nderstand that "ettin" an"ry and reta iatin" $i E,st brin" ,s more prob ems in the +,t,reD $e. reso *e to be more patientD and more #are+, abo,t the 1arma $e #reate: 0: Another method +or dea in" $ith peop e $ho h,rt or annoy yo, is to p,t yo,rse + in their p a#e and try to see the sit,ation +rom their point o+ *ie$: What is dri*in" them to beha*e in this $ay? Is their state o+ mind pea#e+, and happyD or #on+,sedD miserab eD and ,n#ontro ed? They are h,man E,st i1e yo,D $ith prob ems and $orriesD tryin" to be happy and ma1e the best o+ i+e: )e#a yo,r o$n e-perien#es o+ bein" an"ry and ,n1ind to "et a better idea o+ $hat they are "oin" thro,"h: A soD #onsider $hat the o,t#ome $i be i+ they #ontin,e to a#t in de ,ded $ays: Wi they be happy and satis+iedD or are they E,st #reatin" more tro,b e and s,++erin" +or themse *es? I+ $e rea y ,nderstand others. #on+,sion and painD $e. be ess i1e y to rea#t $ith an"erJ$hi#h $o, d E,st "i*e them e*en more s,++erin"Jand more i1e y to re"ard them $ith #ompassion: 3: The %,ddhist tea#hin"s say that $e $o, d not see +a, ts in others i+ $e did not ha*e those +a, ts in o,rse *esJas the sayin" "oesD Hit ta1es one to 1no$ one:I Other peop e are there+ore i1e mirrorsD sho$in" ,s $hat $e need to $or1 on in o,rse *es:

Che#1 e-a#t y $hat it is that yo, dis i1e or are an"ry at in the other person: Then oo1 into yo,rse + and see i+ yo, #an +ind the same thin"D or somethin" simi ar: It may be ob*io,sG yo, mi"ht easi y remember ha*in" done the same thin" yo,rse +D or rea i!e yo, ha*e the same bad habit: %,t in some #ases yo, may need to oo1 deeperJit #o, d be a 8,a ity yo, ha*e on" s,ppressedD re"ardin" it as $ron" and ,na##eptab e: And that is $here the prob em iesG be#a,se yo, don.t a##ept that part o+ yo,rse +D yo, #annot a##ept it in others and so yo, +ee an"ry $hen yo, see it: The so ,tion is to earn to a##ept that beha*ior or 8,a ity in yo,rse +: HA##eptin"I doesn.t mean #ondonin" itD and thin1in" yo, #an be that $ay a yo, $ant: It means bein" honest and a#1no$ ed"in" the e-isten#e o+ that +a, tD b,t at the same time 1no$in" yo, #an $or1 on de#reasin" and e*ent,a y o*er#omin" it: %ein" more a##eptin" and #ompassionate abo,t o,r o$n short#omin"s $i enab e ,s to be more a##eptin" and #ompassionate to$ard others: 6: An"er is more i1e y to arise in o,r mind $hen $e are ,nhappy or dissatis+ied: I+ yo, noti#e yo,rse + "ettin" irritated and an"ry abo,t e*en sma thin"sD sit do$n and #he#1 $hat.s "oin" on in the deeper e*e s o+ yo,r mind: Are yo, +ee in" dissatis+ied abo,t somethin"? Are there ,nhappyD #riti#a tho,"hts abo,t yo,rse + or aspe#ts o+ yo,r i+e? Are yo, +o#,sin" more on the ne"ati*e side o+ thin"s rather than the positi*e side? I+ this is the #aseD the meditation on appre#iatin" yo,r h,man i+e ?pa"e 6=@ is a "ood remedy +or this: There are "ood thin"s abo,t yo,rse + and yo,r i+eD and i+ yo, pay more attention to theseD yo,r mind $i be happier and more satis+iedD and yo, $i be ess i1e y to rea#t $ith an"erD e*en $hen bi""er prob ems o##,r: 9: When an"er arisesD t,rn yo,r attention $ithin and in*esti"ate the I that is an"ry: Ana y!e $here and ho$ it e-ists: App y $hate*er ,nderstandin" o+ emptiness yo, ha*e: In*esti"ate the obEe#t o+ yo,r an"er a so: Does it e-ist in the so id and de+inite $ay that it appears to yo,? I+ the person yo, are an"ry at is rea y so bad and ,n i1ab e +rom their o$n sideD independent o+ ho$ yo,r mind per#ei*es themD then they $o, d appear that $ay to e*eryone: Is that tr,eD or are there peop e $ho i1e and admire that person? Try to see that the sit,ation is i1e a dreamG a tho,"h it seems *ery rea at the momentD +rom yo,r point o+ *ie$ at a ater timeD e*en tomorro$D it $i appear distant and +adedD a mere memory: ;' Di++i#, t sit,ations are ,s,a y the most prod,#ti*e in terms o+ spirit,a "ro$th: Th,s someone $ho aro,ses o,r an"er is "i*in" ,s a #han#e to earn that $e sti ha*e $or1 to do: We mi"ht thin1 $e.*e #ome a on" $ay in ,nderstandin" and #ontro in" o,r mind and that $e are +air y pea#e+, no$Jb,tD a o+ a s,ddenD an"er arises/ It +o o$sD thenD that $hen peop e ma1e ,s an"ryD they are "i*in" ,s the #han#e to see $here $e are atD and to p,t o,r 1no$ ed"e to ,se and in#rease o,r patien#e: Contemp ate this and stren"then yo,r determination to ,nderstand yo,r an"erD brin" it ,nder #ontro and earn to rea#t instead $ith patien#e: It $i bene+it yo,rse + and others:

<: Contemp ate the points o+ the death meditation: Death #o, d happen at any timeD so rea i!e that it is sense ess to # in" to di++eren#es $ith peop e: Dyin" $ith ,nreso *ed an"er #reates ha*o# in yo,r mind and ma1es a pea#e+, death impossib e: The other person #o, d die at any time too: 'o$ $o, d yo, +ee i+ this happened be+ore yo, $ere ab e to # ear ,p the prob ems bet$een yo,? 5o,D the other personD and yo,r intera#tion $i a de+inite y #ome to an end: Seen in this i"htD are the prob ems rea y so important? Are they $orth the an",ish and ,nhappiness they #a,se? =: 'a*in" "ained some #ontro o*er yo,r an"er thro,"h one o+ these methodsD yo, mi"ht i1e to $or1 on de*e opin" o*e: 5o, #an do this by pra#ti#in" the meditation on o*eD *is,a i!in" in +ront o+ yo, the person $ho ma1es yo, an"ry and ma1in" a spe#ia e++ort to a#t,a y re*erse yo,r +ee in"s +or them: 1>: A the methods e-p ained abo*e in*o *e meditatin" to try to dea $ith an"er on o,r o$nF it is a so possib e to reso *e a #on+ i#t by #omm,ni#atin" $ith the other person: %,t here $e ha*e to be #are+, : 4irst o+ a $e ha*e to #onsider $hether or not the other person $o, d be open to s,#h #omm,ni#ation and i+ it $o, d brin" positi*e res, ts: Se#ond $e sho, d #he#1 o,r moti*ation *ery #are+, yG do $e rea y $ant to strai"hten o,t o,r di++eren#es $ith this person and #ome to a better m,t,a ,nderstandin"D or do $e E,st $ant to e-press ho$ irritated $e are or $in a *i#tory? I+ $e start dis#,ssin" the prob em $ith the desire to h,rt or $ith e-pe#tations and demandsD the #omm,ni#ation $i not $or1: So $e need to be *ery # ear abo,t o,r intentions and *ery sin#ere and honest in e-p ainin" o,r +ee in"s: This 1ind o+ open #omm,ni#ation is *ery po$er+, and #an trans+orm enemies into +riends: O+ #o,rseD sometimes an"er is *ery stron" and the ast thin" yo, +ee i1e doin" is sittin" do$n to meditate/ At east yo, sho, d try to a*oid "ettin" tota y in*o *ed and spea1in" an"ri y or be#omin" *io ent: 5o, #an try some method +or re easin" yo,r ener"y $itho,t harmin" the personD or be#ome #omp ete y ,nresponsi*eD i1e stone or $oodD ,nti yo,r an"er has #oo ed do$n: &aterD $hen yo,r mind is more #a mD yo, #an meditate on the prob em and app y one o+ the antidotes: A +re8,ent y re#,rrin" prob emD i1e "ettin" an"ry at someone yo, i*e or $or1 $ithD #an be hand ed more e++e#ti*e y i+ yo, thin1 abo,t the sit,ation in meditation and p an $hat to say and do $hen it ne-t o##,rs: Then yo, $i be better prepared and ess i1e y to be #a,"ht o++-",ard:

De,ress on
There are *ario,s +orms o+ depression: Some are short-term and o##,r d,e to prob ems

s,#h as ossD i nessD or not "ettin" somethin" $e $antF others are on"-term and may be #a,sed by "eneti# or bio o"i#a +a#tors: Meditation #an be he p+, +or at east some #ases o+ depressionF ho$e*erD those that are se*ere or on"-term may re8,ire medi#a or therape,ti# treatment: Depression is a dar1D hea*yD ,nhappy state o+ mindD se +-#entered and a#1in" in positi*e ener"y: It +re8,ent y in*o *es se +-hatredD se +-#riti#ismD or other ne"ati*e tho,"htpatterns: It is ,nrea isti#D e-a""eratin" the ne"ati*e side o+ thin"s and i"norin" the positi*e sideF seein" the " ass as ha + empty rather than ha + +, : Depression ,s,a y +o#,ses on )y prob em and b o$s it ,p o,t o+ proportion: O,r tho,"hts spira do$n$ardF $e +ee the sit,ation is hope ess $ith no possibi ity o+ impro*in": We +ee sorry +or o,rse *esD seein" o,r e"o at the #enter o+ a sad storyD and $e ha*e itt e or no ener"y to share $ith others: We +ind it di++i#, t to ta1e #are o+ o,rse *esD and $e may brin" others do$n $ith ,s: We a ha*e the tenden#y to be depressed at times: We are not per+e#tD and i+e doesn.t a $ays "o smooth y: We ma1e mista1esD and $e don.t ha*e #ontro o*er $hat #omes o,r $ay: When $e are ,nab e to a##ept these prob ems #heer+, y as nat,ra aspe#ts o+ i+e or to dea $ith them s1i +, yD $e be#ome depressed: O+ #o,rseD the pain $e e-perien#e is rea and the prob ems need to be ta1en #are o+: %,t sin1in" into depression is not the ans$erJit on y deepens and #omp i#ates o,r ,nhappiness: The best so ,tion is to ana y!e o,r tho,"ht patterns to see ho$ $e interpret the sit,ation and try to re#o"ni!e $here $e "o $ron": (rad,a y $e #an earn to #at#h o,rse *es in timeF to oo1 at thin"s more positi*e y and to ,se o,r nat,ra $isdom:

Ways to deal w th de,ress on


1: Ta1e a step ba#1 +rom yo,r tho,"hts and +ee in"s and #he#1 $hat they are sayin": Depression o+ten in*o *es repetiti*eD se +-#riti#a tho,"hts s,#h as HI.m $orth essFI HNobody #ares abo,t meFI HI ne*er do anythin" ri"ht:I I+ $e are honest $ith o,rse *esD $e. re#o"ni!e that these tho,"hts are mista1en or e-a""eratedD +o#,sin" on the ne"ati*e and i"norin" the positi*e: I+ yo, #anD then do the meditation on appre#iatin" yo,r h,man i+e: E*en i+ yo,r prob em is a *ery serio,s oneD it is important to remember that yo, ha*e m,#h positi*e ener"y and "reat potentia : It is a $ays possib e to o*er#ome ?or at east i"hten@ depression by #han"in" yo,r $ay o+ thin1in"D by emphasi!in" the positi*e rather than the ne"ati*e aspe#ts o+ yo,r persona ity and yo,r i+eF they do e-ist/ It.s a a matter o+ yo, seein" and identi+yin" $ith them rather than $ith yo,r depressedD o$ *ie$ o+ yo,rse +: 5o, #an then H#han"e the tapeI by brin"in" into yo,r mind more rea isti#D positi*e tho,"hts s,#h as HI ha*e s,#h-and-s,#h "ood 8,a itiesFI HThere are peop e $ho o*e and #are abo,t meFI HI can do this-and-that $e :I 5o, #an e*en +ee "ood abo,t the +a#t that yo, are sti a i*eJyo, ha*en.t yet died +rom i nessD an a##identD or a nat,ra disasterJ and abo,t a the thin"s yo, #an do $ith yo,r body and mind: 2: Meditate on the # arity o+ yo,r mind: 5o,r ,nhappinessD $orryD and +r,strationD as $e

as yo,r "ood +ee in"sD are a E,st menta ener"yJ# earD non-physi#a D and transitory: Simp y obser*e the di++erent tho,"hts and e-perien#es that pass thro,"h yo,r mindD $itho,t E,d"in" them or "ettin" in*o *ed in them: )emember that a e-perien#es are impermanent: 5o, may ha*e +e t depressed in the pastD b,t $here is that e-perien#e no$? It.s "one: The same $i happen $ith yo,r present depression: It may ast a +e$ ho,rs or daysD b,t e*ent,a y it $i disappear: And e*en $ithin that time it is not #onstant: I+ yo, obser*e yo,r mind #are+, yD yo, $i noti#e moments o+ i"htness or Eoy interspersed $ith moments o+ sadness: Do not # in" to any o+ these b,t et them "o: )emember that yo,r mind is a stream o+ di++erent e-perien#esJEoy+, D ,nhappyD positi*eD ne"ati*eJa o+ the same # earD immateria nat,re: These e-perien#es appear and disso *e i1e $a*es on the o#eanD astin" on y a short time: 5o,r depression is i1e a $a*eG a transientD ephemera e-perien#eD so it is not appropriate to # in" to itD thin1in"D HThis is me:I 0: In*esti"ate the I ?see pa"e 60@D yo,r sense o+ se + that identi+ies stron" y $ith ,nhappy tho,"hts and +ee in"s: Try to +ind this I: What is its nat,re? Is it part o+ yo,r body or yo,r mindD or is it some$here e se? Is this depressed I somethin" permanentD so idD ,n#han"in"? 3: Meditate on o*e ?pa"e 111@D or #ompassion and ton" en ?pa"e 119@: T,rnin" o,t$ard to$ard others and #ontemp atin" their needs and s,++erin" $i he p yo, be ess se +#entered and th,s see yo,r prob ems more rea isti#a y: 'o$e*erD ta1e #are $hen #ontemp atin" s,++erin"Ji+ it #a,ses yo, to +ee more depressedD then ba#1 o++ and s$it#h to somethin" positi*e and ,p i+tin": 6: Do one o+ the *is,a i!ation meditations ?part 6@D +or e-amp eD the body o+ i"htD TaraD or p,ri+i#ation meditations: These #an be *ery 8,i#1 $ays to #,t thro,"h yo,r depressed *ie$ o+ thin"s: 9: A *ery e++e#ti*e remedy +or depression is to "et o,t and he p othersG do some *o ,nteer or ser*i#e $or1: This has been +o,nd to #a,se the re ease o+ endorphinsJthe Hhappy hormonesIJin o,r ner*o,s systemD so $e nat,ra y +ee better: Doin" physi#a e-er#ise has the same e++e#t: These methods #an be ,se+, at times $hen $e.re too depressed to meditate/

3ear
In traditiona %,ddhist e-p anations o+ the de ,sionsD or dist,rbin" emotionsD +ear is not ,s,a y mentionedD b,t it is a #ommon #a,se o+ ,nhappiness and stress: 4ear is not ne#essari y ne"ati*eF it depends on $hat $e.re a+raid o+ and ho$ $e hand e o,r +ears: It #an in +a#t be ,se+, in o,r e*eryday i+e as $e as in o,r spirit,a pra#ti#e: 4ear o+ h,rtin" o,rse *es and others in a #ar a##ident moti*ates ,s to dri*e #are+, y and obser*e

the r, es o+ the roadF +ear o+ disease and an ear y death moti*ates ,s to eat $ise y and ta1e #are o+ o,r hea thF +ear o+ a ne"ati*eD o,t-o+-#ontro state o+ mind at the time o+ death moti*ates ,s to prepare o,rse *es +or death by de*e opin" a spirit,a pra#ti#eF +ear o+ the pain+, #onse8,en#es o+ ne"ati*e a#tions moti*ates ,s to re+rain +rom #reatin" bad 1arma and a#t #ompassionate y: Ne*erthe essD +ear #an brin" ne"ati*e res, ts: It dist,rbs o,r pea#e o+ mindD it #an harm o,r hea thD it #a,ses ,s to see thin"s in a mista1en $ayD and it #an moti*ate ,s to a#t irrationa y or destr,#ti*e yD so it is somethin" $e sho, d aim to o*er#ome: One o+ the 8,a ities o+ an en i"htened mind is bein" +ree o+ a +ears: The root #a,se o+ +ear and an-iety is o,r mis#on#eption o+ o,r HII and a other thin"sD seein" them as so idD rea D and permanent: 4rom this arises atta#hment to $hoe*er or $hate*er appears p easant and he p+, D and +ear o+ separatin" +rom or osin" them: To$ard the peop eD thin"sD and e-perien#es $e see as ,np easant or ,n$antedD $e +ee a*ersion and +ear o+ not separatin" +rom them: We rare y +a#e o,r +ears to try to ,nderstand and dea $ith them s1i +, y: We may +ee o*er$he med by themD or he p essD not 1no$in" ho$ to dea $ith them: Or $e may s,ppress themD thin1in"D H4ear is badF I sho, dn.t be a+raidDI or HI+ I i"nore itD it $i "o a$ay:I %,t this is not the $ay to be#ome +ree o+ +earF insteadD o,r +ears remain in o,r s,b#ons#io,sD s,bt y a++e#tin" o,r tho,"hts and +ee in"sD and o,r i+e: The methods be o$ sho$ ,s ho$ $e #an start to +a#e o,r +earsD ana y!e them to ,nderstand $hat they.re abo,tD and #han"e o,r attit,des:

Ways to deal w th fear


1: &oo1 at yo,r +ear: Sit do$n and ma1e yo,r mind #a m $ith some breathin" meditation: Then a o$ the +ear to #ome into the # ear spa#io,sness o+ yo,r mind: Don.t et yo,rse + "et #a,"ht ,p in itD b,t stand ba#1 and e-amine it obEe#ti*e y: As1 yo,rse +D $hat e-a#t y is it that I.m a+raid o+? Then as1 yo,rse +G Is it reasonab e +or me to ha*e this +ear? Is it i1e y that $hat I.m a+raid o+ $i a#t,a y happenD or is my mind "ettin" #arried a$ay $ith hi"h y ,nrea isti# +antasies? I+ it is possib e that it $i happenD then is there anythin" yo, #an do to pre*ent or a*oid it? I+ soD de#ide to do itD and stop $orryin"/ I+ there.s nothin" yo, #an doD or e*en i+ yo, try to pre*ent itD it mi"ht happen any$ayD then are there thin"s yo, #an do to prepare yo,rse + +or that? Thin1 o+ other peop e $ho ha*e been thro,"h that e-perien#e: See i+ yo, #an dra$ stren"th +rom that a$arenessG i+ they #o, d do itD so #an I: It.s "ood to 1eep in mind the ad*i#e o+ the "reat Indian master Santide*aG HWhy be ,nhappy ?or $orried@ abo,t somethin" i+ it #an be remedied? And $hat is the ,se o+ bein" ,nhappy ?or $orried@ abo,t somethin" i+ it #annot be remedied?I In other $ordsD i+ there.s somethin" that #an be done to pre*ent or remedy an ,n$anted sit,ationD $e

sho, d do itD b,t i+ there.s nothin" that #an be doneD it.s ,se ess to $orryF better to E,st a##ept it/ 2: I+ yo, are a+raid o+ #han"eD ossD or deathD yo, #an meditate on impermanen#e and death: 4ami iari!in" o,rse *es $ith the rea ity o+ ho$ $eD othersD and the thin"s in the $or d aro,nd ,s are #han"in" a the time and $i e*ent,a y disappear enab es ,s to "rad,a y be#ome more a##eptin" and ess +ear+, : 0: Contemp ate ho$ it.s in the nat,re o+ ,nen i"htened e-isten#e to en#o,nter prob ems and pain+, D ,ndesirab e e-perien#es ?see the meditation on s,++erin"D pa"e =;@: This is tr,e +or yo,D and it.s tr,e +or a other ,nen i"htened bein"sJyo, are not a one/ %,t this sit,ation $i not ast +ore*er: 5o, and e*eryone e se ha*e the potentia to be +ree o+ a s,++erin"D and to e-perien#e per+e#t pea#e and happiness +ore*er: Prob ems o##,r be#a,se o+ #a,ses and #onditionsJprimari y 1arma and de ,sionsJand these #an de+inite y be e iminated: )eso *e to app y yo,r ener"y to the $or1 o+ re+rainin" +rom ne"ati*e a#tionsD p,ri+yin" those yo, ha*e a ready #reatedD doin" as many positi*e a#tions as possib eD and $or1in" on yo,r mind to o*er#ome the de ,sions $hi#h are the main #a,se o+ s,++erin": 3: The Da ai &ama o+ten says that a *ery e++e#ti*e $ay to insti #o,ra"e and #on+iden#e in yo,rse + is to "enerate an a tr,isti# moti*ation +or the thin"s yo, do: 4or e-amp eD i+ yo,.re +ee in" ner*o,s abo,t ta 1in" to a ar"e "ro,p o+ peop eJor e*en to one person/ Jspend some time be+orehand #ontemp atin" o*eD #ompassionD and the sin#ere $ish to bene+it others: 4i in" yo,r mind $ith #on#ern +or others ea*es itt e or no spa#e +or e"otisti#a $orries i1e H$i they i1e )e?I or H$hat $i happen to )e?I so the #omm,ni#ation $i probab y be more s,##ess+, and satis+yin": And e*en i+ the o,t#ome is not 8,ite $hat $e hoped +orD at east $e #an +ee "ood abo,t the +a#t that $e a#ted $ith an a tr,isti# moti*ation rather than a se +-#entered one: 6: Sin#e the root o+ +ear is o,r mista1en #on#eption o+ the $ay $e and e*eryone and e*erythin" e se e-istsD it.s ,se+, to meditate on emptiness: When yo, +ee +earD "o $ithin and e-amine the I that is +ri"htened: Is it somethin" rea D e-istin" +rom its o$n side? I+ soD $here and ho$ does it e-istJin my body? In my mind? 5o, #an a so do the same ana ysis on the thin" yo, are +ri"htened o+D to see i+ it e-ists in the so idD rea $ay that it appears to yo,r mind: 9: Some peop e +ind it he p+, to brin" to mind an obEe#t o+ re+,"e $hen they +ee +ri"htened: 4or %,ddhistsD this #o, d be the %,ddhaD or another en i"htened bein" s,#h as A*a o1itesh*ara ?pa"e 166@D or Tara ?pa"e 161@D $ho is a#t,a y reno$ned +or re ie*in" peop e o+ a 1inds o+ +ears: There are many stories o+ peop e e-perien#in" ama!in" res, ts by prayin" to or re#itin" the mantras o+ these ho y bein"s: %,t e*en i+ nothin" ama!in" happens o,tside o+ ,sD ta1in" re+,"e and prayin" he ps ,s to +ee more #a m and #o,ra"eo,s insideD and better ab e to hand e the di++i#, t sit,ation $e are in:

Part 3 *e
@I#AA&IBATION MEDITATION#

Abo+t @ s+al $at on


In yo,r attempts to #a m and #on#entrate yo,r mindD yo, ha*e probab y noti#ed *is,a ima"es amon" the many thin"s that distra#t yo,r attention +rom the obEe#t o+ meditationG +a#es o+ o*ed onesD yo,r homeD other +ami iar p a#esD appeti!in" +oodD or memories o+ +i ms yo, ha*e seen: S,#h ima"es arise spontaneo,s y thro,"ho,t the day b,t $e are o+ten too en"rossed in e-terna sensations to noti#e them: And e*ery ni"ht o,r mind #reates *i*id s#enes in $hi#h $e intera#t $ith dream-peop e and dream-e*ents: Ais,a i!ationD or ima"inationD is th,s a menta te#hni8,e $e are a +ami iar $ithJin +a#tD $e probab y *is,a i!e a the timeJb,t ,n ess o,r $or1 ies inD sayD artD desi"nD or +i mD $e do itt e or nothin" to de*e op and ,ti i!e it: This nat,ra #apa#ity to thin1 in pi#t,res #an be ,sed to deepen o,r meditati*e e-perien#es: Ais,a i!ation is ,sed in se*era $ays in the Tibetan tradition o+ spirit,a de*e opment: It adds another dimension to ana yti#a meditationsJ+or e-amp eD *is,a i!in" o,rse *es dyin" sharpens the a$areness o+ o,r morta ityD and *is,a i!in" a#t,a peop e $hi e meditatin" on o*e and #ompassion ma1es the #, ti*ation o+ those 8,a ities more a,thenti# and heart+e t: A menta ima"e o+ the %,ddha is re#ommended as the +o#,s o+ attention in the de*e opment o+ sin" e-pointed #on#entrationD and *is,a i!in" en i"htened bein"s $hi e prayin" he ps to enhan#e o,r +aith and #on*i#tion: %,t the art o+ *is,a i!ation is ,sed to the +, est in AaErayana or tantraD the most pro+o,nd and rapid means o+ rea#hin" en i"htenment: The pra#ti#es o+ this path in*o *e identi+yin" onese + #omp ete yD body and mindD $ith an en i"htened bein" and seein" one.s en*ironment as a p,re rea m: The ordinaryD mista1en per#eptions o+ onese + and a other phenomena are th,s "rad,a y abandoned as one.s potentia +or en i"htenment is a o$ed to e-press itse +: The b,ddhas *is,a i!ed in AaErayana pra#ti#eD s,#h as Tara and A*a o1itesh*araD are symbo s o+ the en i"htened state: Ea#h is a mani+estation o+ a spe#i+i# 8,a ityJ A*a o1itesh*araD +or e-amp eD is the b,ddha o+ #ompassionJb,t ea#h a so represents the tota e-perien#e o+ en i"htenment: The detai s o+ the *is,a i!ationD s,#h as #o orsD imp ementsD hand "est,resD post,reD and so +orthD symbo i!e di++erent aspe#ts o+ the path to spirit,a +, +i ment: Meditation on these b,ddhas ?or ima"es +rom other traditions that yo, are more #om+ortab e $ithD +or e-amp e Christ or Mary@ he ps ,s to open o,r hearts to the p,re ener"ies o+ o*eD #ompassionD $isdomD and stren"th that are e*er-presentD a aro,nd ,sD $here*er $e may be: AndD as the potentia +or these en i"htened 8,a ities ies $ithin ,sD $e sho, d #onsider the ima"es $e #ontemp ate to be re+ e#tions o+ o,r o$n tr,e nat,re: A tho,"h , timate rea ity is ine-pressib eD $ords ead ,s to dis#o*er itF so too #an ima"es remind ,s o+ the e-perien#e o+ en i"htenment ,nti it be#omes a i*in" rea ity: The t$o 1inds o+ meditationJana yti#a and stabi i!in"Jare ,sed to"ether in *is,a i!ation te#hni8,es: We need ana yti#a tho,"ht to #onstr,#t the ima"e at the

be"innin" o+ the meditation and to re#a it $hene*er it is ost d,rin" the session: Ana ysis is a so ,sed to dea $ith other prob ems that mi"ht o##,rD s,#h as distra#tion or ne"ati*e tho,"hts: %,t de*e opin" a # ear *is,a i!ation depends primari y on stabi i!in" meditation: On#e the ima"e has been estab ished and $e +ee #om+ortab e $ith itD $e sho, d ho d it $ith sin" e-pointed attentionD not ettin" o,r mind be distra#ted by other obEe#ts: Initia yD o,r #on#entration $i ast on y a +e$ se#ondsD b,t $ith #ontin,a pra#ti#e $e $i be ab e to maintain it +or in#reasin" y on"er periods o+ time: E*ery time o,r attention $anders or $e ose the obEe#tD $e sho, d a"ain brin" it to mind: This $ay o+ meditatin" both in#reases o,r +ami iarity $ith positi*e ima"es and stren"thens o,r abi ity to #ontro and #on#entrate the mind: It is #ommon to +ind *is,a i!ation di++i#, t: I+ yo, are ha*in" prob emsD it #o, d be that yo, are tryin" too hard or e-pe#tin" too m,#h: The mind needs to be in the ri"ht stateJ re a-edD # earD and open: Too m,#h e++ort #reates tensionD and then the on y *ision that #an appear is dar1ness: Too itt e #on#entration means the mind is #ro$ded $ith distra#tionsD ea*in" no spa#e +or a *is,a i!ed ima"e: We sho, d earn to adE,st o,r #on#entration as $e $o, d t,ne a m,si#a instr,mentJ$ith sensiti*ity and patien#eJ ,nti $e ha*e +o,nd the proper menta state in $hi#h the obEe#t #an appear # ear y: )emember too that *is,a i!ation ,ti i!es on y the )ental +a#, tyD not the eyes: I+ yo, +ind that yo, are strainin" to see somethin"D yo, mis,nderstand the te#hni8,e: )e a- and et the ima"e appear +rom $ithin yo,r mind: 4,rthermoreD $e sho, d be satis+ied $ith $hate*er does appearD e*en i+ it is E,st a partia ima"eD or a b ,r o+ #o orD or nothin" at a / The important thin" is +ee in" the !resence o+ an en i"htened bein"D rather than bein" #on#erned abo,t ha*in" a per+e#t *is,a i!ation: Th,s it is *ery important to be re a-ed and +ree o+ e-pe#tationsD and +ee #on+ident that the b,ddha is there: It is se +-de+eatin" to e-pe#t a #omp eteD per+e#t *is,a i!ation a+ter one or t$o attemptsF it may ta1e years o+ pra#ti#e be+ore yo, #an rea y see the ima"e: A"ainD it is a matter o+ t,nin" the mind to the ri"ht ba an#eF earnin" to $or1 $ith the ener"ies and e ements o+ the mind to prod,#e a positi*eD Eoy+, meditati*e e-perien#e: 5o, mi"ht +ind it ,se+, to pra#ti#e *is,a i!ation $ith +ami iar obEe#ts: Sit 8,iet y $ith yo,r eyes # osed and brin" to mind the ima"e o+ a +riendD +or e-amp e: Try to see the detai sG the #o or and shape o+ the eyesD noseD and mo,thD the sty e o+ the hairD the shape o+ the bodyD and so +orth: E-periment $ith other obEe#tsG yo,r ho,seD the *ie$ +rom yo,r $indo$D e*en yo,r o$n +a#e: Ais,a i!in" b,ddhas is made easier by "a!in" at a pi#t,re or stat,eD then # osin" yo,r eyes and tryin" to re#a the ima"e in detai : 'o$e*erD this he ps yo, $ith the detai s on yF don.t thin1 yo,r *is,a i!ed +i",re sho, d be + at i1e a dra$in" or #o d and i+e ess i1e a stat,e: It sho, d be $armD +, o+ i+e and +ee in"D three-dimensiona D and made o+ p,reD radiant i"ht: 4ee that yo, are a#t,a y in the presen#e o+ a b iss+, D #ompassionateD en i"htened bein": 4ina yD it mi"ht be ,se+, to pra#ti#e the +o o$in" simp e *is,a i!ation be+ore attemptin" more #omp i#ated te#hni8,es:

1
%ody of & ght Med tat on
Motivation Sit #om+ortab yD $ith yo,r ba#1 strai"htD and breathe nat,ra y: (enerate a positi*eD bene+i#ia moti*ation +or doin" the meditationD then spend some time obser*in" the nat,ra rhythm o+ yo,r breathin" to sett e yo,r mind: When yo,r mind is #a m and # earD *is,a i!e in the spa#e abo*e yo,r head a sphere o+ $hite i"htD some$hat sma er than the si!e o+ yo,r headD and p,reD transparentD nonmateria : Spend se*era min,tes #on#entratin" on the presen#e o+ the i"ht: Don.t $orry i+ it does not appear sharp yF it is eno,"h E,st to +ee it is there: Thin1 that the sphere o+ i"ht represents a ,ni*ersa "oodnessD o*eD and $isdomG the +, +i ment o+ yo,r o$n hi"hest potentia : Then *is,a i!e that it de#reases in si!e ,nti it is abo,t one in#h in diameter and des#ends thro,"h the top o+ yo,r head to yo,r heart#enter: 4rom there it be"ins to e-pand on#e moreD s o$ y spreadin" to +i yo,r entire body: As it doesD a the so id parts o+ yo,r body disso *e and be#ome i"htJyo,r or"ansD bonesD b ood *esse sD tiss,esD and s1in a be#ome p,reD trans ,#ent $hite i"ht: Con#entrate on the e-perien#e o+ yo,r body as a body o+ i"ht: Thin1 that a prob emsD ne"ati*itiesD and hindran#es ha*e #omp ete y *anishedD and that yo, ha*e rea#hed a state o+ $ho eness and per+e#tion: 4ee serene and Eoy+, : I+ any tho,"ht or distra#tin" obEe#t sho, d appear in yo,r mindD et it a so disso *e into $hite i"ht: Meditate in this $ay +or as on" as yo, #an: Dedication 4inish by dedi#atin" the positi*e ener"y o+ the meditation to the bene+it o+ a bein"s:

"
# m,le P+r f cat on Med tat on
There are both positi*e and ne"ati*e aspe#ts to o,r persona ity: On the one hand $e ha*e o*eD $isdomD EoyD and "enerosityD b,t on the other $e ha*e an"erD se +ishnessD a!inessD and a on" ist o+ other prob ems: A these traits are E,st menta e-perien#esD $a*es on the o#ean o+ o,r #ons#io,snessF a ha*e the same basi#D # ear nat,re: They are not stati# and permanent b,t #onstant y in + ,-D #omin" and "oin": There areD ho$e*erD t$o important distin#tions to be madeG positi*e states o+ mind are prod,#ti*eD bene+i#ia +or o,rse *es and othersD $hereas ne"ati*e states are harm+, and brin" on y #on+,sion and pain: Pea#e o+ mind is a#hie*ed by #, ti*atin" $hat is positi*e and abandonin" $hat is ne"ati*e: The se#ond point is that an"er and the other menta disorders arise +rom o,r mis#on#eptions abo,t the $ay thin"s e-istD $hi e positi*e states o+ mind are rea isti# and arise +rom ri"ht ,nderstandin": When $e re#o"ni!e this and de*e op a #orre#t *ie$ o+ rea ityD o,r ne"ati*ities "rad,a y essen and e*ent,a y disappear a to"ether: As o,r $isdom de*e opsD o,r spontaneo,s "ood +ee in"s "ro$ and o,r persona ity "rad,a y trans+orms: At the end o+ this path is en i"htenmentD the per+e#tion o+ a bene+i#ia 8,a itiesJa state o+ "reat # arity and o*in" #ompassion: O+ten $e identi+y o,rse *es more $ith o,r ne"ati*e side than o,r positi*e sideD and +ee ",i ty abo,t mista1es $e ha*e made: We be ie*eD HI am hope essF I #an.t #ontro my an"erF I don.t do anythin" ri"htF I.m #omp ete y #o d and ,nab e to o*e anyone:I A tho,"h $e may ha*e +a, ts and prob emsD it is $ron" to thin1 that they are permanent: We can +ree o,rse *es +rom ne"ati*e ener"y and the b,rden o+ ",i tD as on" as $e are $i in" to $or1: One $ay o+ doin" this is thro,"h the pro#ess o+ p,ri+i#ation: P,ri+i#ation is a re#,rrin" theme in %,ddhist meditation: It is #hie+ y a 8,estion o+ #han"in" o,r $ay o+ thin1in": When $e thin1 $e are imp,re and ne"ati*eD $e be#ome E,st that: A o$D depressed se +-ima"e "rad,a y permeates o,r beha*ior and o,t oo1 on i+e: We +ee imited and inade8,ate and don.t e*en "i*e o,rse *es a #han#e to #han"e: %,tD by re#o"ni!in" o,r potentia +or per+e#tion and sin#ere y p,ttin" ener"y into de*e opin" itD $e #, ti*ate a more positi*e se +-ima"e: %e ie*in" that $e are basi#a y p,re is the +irst step in beco)ing p,re: What needs to be p,ri+iedD there+oreD is o,r a#1 o+ se +-#on+iden#e and tenden#y to identi+y $ith o,r ne"ati*e ener"yD as $e as the ne"ati*e ener"y itse +: This simp i+ied meditation #ontains the essen#e o+ p,ri+i#ationG ettin" "o o+ prob ems and mista1esD and seein" them as temporary obs#,rations rather than an intrinsi# part o+ o,r nat,re: It he ps ,s to "et in to,#h $ith and de*e op o,r nat,ra "ood ener"y:

The ,ract ce
%e #om+ortab e and re a-ed: Ta1e a +e$ min,tes to sett e yo,r mind in the here and no$:

Motivation %rin" to mind a bene+i#ia reason as yo,r moti*ation +or doin" the meditationD s,#h as $ishin" to be#ome more +ree +rom ne"ati*e ener"y so that yo, #an be more he p+, and ess harm+, to others: T,rn yo,r attention to yo,r breath: %reathe norma y and obser*e the +, d,ration o+ e*ery inha ation and e-ha ation: When yo,r mind is #a mD ima"ine that $hen yo, inha eD a the positi*e ener"y in the ,ni*erse enters yo,r body in the +orm o+ p,reD b iss+, D radiant $hite i"ht: Ais,a i!e this i"ht + o$in" to e*ery part o+ yo,r bodyD +i in" e*ery #e and atomD and ma1in" yo, re a-edD i"htD and b iss+, : Do this *is,a i!ation $ith e*ery inha ation: On#e yo, are +ami iar and #om+ortab e $ith breathin" in the $hite i"htD then be"in to breathe o,t dar1 smo1e $ith e*ery e-ha ation: Ima"ine that a yo,r ne"ati*e ener"yD past mista1esD distorted #on#eptionsD and dist,rbin" emotions ea*e yo,r body $ith the breath in the +orm o+ dar1 smo1e or +o": This smo1e "oes o,t into spa#eD $here it disappears #omp ete y: Don.t $orry that yo, are po ,tin" the en*ironmentJE,st ima"ine that the smo1e be#omes non-e-istent: 4ee #on+ident that yo, ha*e +reed yo,rse + o+ e*ery tra#e o+ +a, ts and ne"ati*ity: Con#entrate on this e-perien#eJbreathin" o,t the dar1 smo1e o+ yo,r prob ems and breathin" in the $hite i"ht o+ "ood ener"yJ+or as on" as yo, $ish: When yo, are distra#ted by tho,"hts or other e-perien#esD simp y obser*e them $itho,t rea#tin" or "ettin" in*o *ed: 5o, #an a so trans+orm these distra#tions into dar1 smo1e and breathe them o,t into ob i*ion: Dedication Con# ,de the meditation by dedi#atin" yo,r positi*e ener"y to a bein"s +indin" e*er astin" happiness and pea#e o+ mind:

0
Med tat on on TaraC the %+ddha of Enl ghtened Act * ty
Tara is a b,ddha $ho represents in parti#, ar a en i"htened bein"s. s1i +, a#ti*itiesD or the means by $hi#h they #omm,ni#ate $ith and ",ide ,s a##ordin" to o,r abi ity: &ama Copa )inpo#he e-p ainedG HA a#tions o+ the %,ddha mani+est in the +ema e +ormD TaraD to he p sentient bein"s s,##ess+, y a##omp ish both tempora and , timate happiness:I %e#a,se she represents a#tionJthe #apa#ity to a#tD to #,t thro,"h obsta# esD and to be s,##ess+, Jshe a so represents #o,ra"e and po$er: Contemp atin" Tara brin"s 8,i#1 res, ts in $hate*er $e $ant and need: The story o+ Tara be"ins on" a"oD $hen she $as born as a prin#ess named Wisdom MoonD $ho $as *ery de*oted to the %,ddha and his +o o$ers: She "enerated bodhi#hittaD the aspiration to be#ome a b,ddha herse + in order to he p a bein"sD and a so made the +o o$in" *o$G HThere are many $ho desire en i"htenment in a man.s bodyD b,t none $ho $or1 +or the bene+it o+ sentient bein"s in the body o+ a $oman: There+oreD ,nti samsara is emptyD I sha $or1 +or the bene+it o+ sentient bein"s in a $oman.s body:I 4rom then on the prin#ess dedi#ated herse + to attainin" #omp ete en i"htenmentD and $hen she a##omp ished that "oa D she #ame to be 1no$n as TaraD Hthe &iberator:I Tara is a so 1no$n as HThe Mother o+ a %,ddhas:I &ama 5eshe e-p ained this as +o o$sG HThis is be#a,se she is the $isdom o+ rea ityD and a b,ddhas and bodhisatt*as are born +rom this $isdom: This $isdom is a so the +,ndamenta #a,se o+ happinessD and o+ o,r o$n spirit,a "ro$th: That is $hy Tara is #a ed the Mother:I

(reen Tara
She is o,r mother tooD be#a,se she a$a1ensJand he ps +, +i Jo,r potentia to attain en i"htenment:

The ,ract ce
Motivation )e a- yo,r body and sti yo,r tho,"hts: Thin1 that yo, $i meditation +or the bene+it o+ a i*in" bein"s: do this

Ais,a i!e in the spa#e be+ore yo, TaraD mani+estation o+ a that is positi*e: 'er body is o+ emera d-"reen i"htD trans ,#ent and radiant: ?5o, #an *is,a i!e her any si!e yo, i1e:@ 'er e+t e" is dra$n ,pD si"ni+yin" #omp ete #ontro o*er se-,a ener"yD and her ri"ht e" is e-tendedD indi#atin" that she is ready to rise to the aid o+ a bein"s: 'er e+t hand is at

her heart in the re+,"e "est,reG pa m +a#in" o,t$ardD th,mb and rin" +in"er to,#hin"D and the remainin" three +in"ers raised: 'er ri"ht hand is on her ri"ht 1nee in the "est,re o+ "rantin" s,b ime rea i!ationsG pa m +a#in" o,t$ardD $ith the +in"ers oose y pointin" do$n: In ea#h hand she ho ds the stem o+ a b ,e ,tpa a + o$erD symbo o+ the ,nb o#1in" o+ the #entra #hanne : She is e-8,isite y bea,ti+, and smi es o*in" y at yo,: 'er # othin" is o+ #e estia si 1 and her ornaments o+ pre#io,s "ems: Con#entrate +or some time on the *is,a i!ationD openin" yo,r heart to the ener"y o+ Tara.s ine-ha,stib e o*in"-1indness: Ne-tD thin1 o+ yo,r prob emsD yo,r needs and aimsD and ma1e a prayer to Tara +rom yo,r heartD as1in" her +or he p: She responds at on#e by sendin" streams o+ i"ht into yo,G $hite i"ht + o$s +rom her +orehead into yo,rsD e iminatin" a obsta# es and ne"ati*ities o+ bodyF red i"ht + o$s +rom her throat into yo,rsD e iminatin" a obsta# es and ne"ati*ities o+ spee#hF and b ,e i"ht + o$s +rom her heart into yo,rsD e iminatin" a obsta# es and ne"ati*ities o+ mind: Ais,a i!e ea#h o+ these in t,rnF rea y +ee that yo, are no$ #omp ete y +ree o+ a prob ems and that yo, ha*e re#ei*ed the inspiration and ener"y to a##omp ish yo,r obEe#ti*es: I+ yo, $ishD yo, #an re#ite Tara.s mantra $hi e doin" these *is,a i!ationsD and +or some time a+ter$ardsG o) tare tuttare ture svaha ?prono,n#ed o) ta3ray too3ta3ray too3ray so3 ha' 4or an e-p anation o+ the mantraD see pa"e 219@: ThenD Tara #omes to the spa#e abo*e yo,r headD +a#in" the same $ay as yo,: She disso *es into "reen i"htD $hi#h des#ends thro,"h the #ro$n o+ yo,r head to yo,r heart#enterD the seat o+ yo,r #ons#io,sness: 5o,r mind mer"es indistin",ishab y $ith Tara.s mind and yo, e-perien#e # arityD tran8,i ityD and b iss: )emain in this state as on" as possib e: When tho,"hts ariseD simp y obser*e them $ith deta#hmentD E,d"in" them as neither "ood nor badD and ret,rn yo,r attention to the e-perien#e o+ # arity and b iss: Dedication At the end o+ the sessionD dedi#ate the positi*e ener"y yo, "enerated to a i*in" bein"sD that they mi"ht attain the "reat Eoy o+ iberation +rom #on+,sion and s,++erin": ?4or another meditation on Tara and her mantraD see pa"e 211:@

2
Med tat on on A*alok tesh*araC the %+ddha of Com,ass on
Whereas o*e is $antin" others to be happyD #ompas sion is $antin" them to be +ree +rom s,++erin"D and doin" $hat $e #an to brin" this abo,t: Compassion needs to be distin",ished +rom pityD the sadD an-io,s +ee in" $e o+ten e-perien#e $hen $e see or hear abo,t peop e.s pain: Pity is +ear- and e"o-basedD and $ants to 1eep a distan#e +rom the person $ho is s,++erin": CompassionD on the other handD is based on o*eG it empathi!esD or +ee s ithD others.s,++erin"D and is $i in" to "et # ose and he p them: Compassion is a so not the emotiona o*er-in*o *ement in others. prob ems that #a,ses ,s to +ee depressed and he p essJthat is Hidiot #ompassion:I Tr,e #ompassion in*o *es $isdom that ,nderstands ho$ and $hy s,++erin" o##,rsD and enab es ,s to dea #a m y and rea isti#a y $ith peop e and their prob ems: We do $hat $e #an to he pD b,t $e a so ,nderstand o,r imitations and don.t +ee ,pset abo,t $hat $e #annot do: An attitude o+ #ompassion is $hat rea y #o,ntsF it.s not possib e +or anyoneD e*en an en i"htened bein"D to a#t,a y e iminate someone e se.s s,++erin": Ea#h person m,st do that +or themse *es: A soD o,r abi ity to he p others is imited as on" as o,r o$n mind is sti tro,b ed by mis#on#eptions and #on+,sed emotions: We sho, dD there+oreD $or1 sim, taneo,s y on de*e opin" the $isdom to see # ear y ho$ thin"s are and the #ompassionate $ish to a e*iate others. s,++erin"Jthen o,r a#tions $i be tr, y s1i +, :

A*a o1itesh*araD the %,ddha o+ Compassion


Compassion bene+its not on y others b,t o,rse *es as $e : As the Da ai &ama has saidD HI+ yo, $ant others to be happyD pra#ti#e o*in"-#ompassionF i+ yo, $ant yo,rse + to be happyD pra#ti#e o*in"-#ompassion:I We a possess the potentia to be imit ess y #ompassionate: A po$er+, $ay o+ a$a1enin" and de*e opin" this potentia is by *is,a i!in" A*a o1itesh*ara ?TibetanG Chenre!i"@D the embodiment o+ #ompassionD and #ontemp atin" his mantra: A mantra is a series o+ sy ab es that #orresponds to #ertain s,bt e *ibrations $ithin ,s: Ori"inatin" +rom en i"htened mindsD a mantra has b,i t ,p its ener"y +or "ood by bein" ,sed by mi ions o+ peop e +or tho,sands o+ years: Its e++e#ti*eness does not ie in o,r ,nderstandin" its itera meanin" b,t in #on#entratin" on its so,nd as $e re#ite it a o,d or si ent y:

A*a o1itesh*ara.s mantraD o) )ani !ad)e hu) ?prono,n#ed o) )ah3nee !ed3)ay hoo)@D e-presses the p,re ener"y o+ #ompassion that e-ists in e*ery bein": &) symbo i!es the en i"htened state $e $ish to attain: Mani means Ee$e D and symbo i!es #ompassionD o*eD and bodhi#hitta: Pad)e means ot,sD $hi#h symbo i!es $isdom: Hu) indi#ates indi*isibi ity: So a to"etherD the sy ab es mean that by pra#ti#in" #ompassion and $isdom indi*isib yD $e #an trans+orm o,rse *es into en i"htened bein"s and be o+ bene+it to e*eryone: )e#itin" o) )ani !ad)e hu)D either in meditation or $hi e "oin" abo,t o,r dai y a#ti*itiesD not on y a$a1ens o,r o$n #ompassion b,tD by Eoinin" $ith the mi ions o+ other peop e sayin" it tooD adds to the "ro$th o+ pea#e+, D o*in" ener"y in the $or d: At the *ery eastD #on#entratin" on the #ompassion-mantra he ps o,r mind stay a ert and positi*e rather than s#attered and ne"ati*e: This pra#ti#e #ombines an ana yti#a meditation +or "eneratin" #ompassion $ith a stabi i!in" meditation on the ima"e and mantra o+ A*a o1itesh*ara:

The ,ract ce
Motivation )e a- yo,r body and mind and brin" yo,r a$areness to the present by mind+, y $at#hin" yo,r breath: Che#1 yo,r tho,"hts and +ee in"s and "enerate a positi*e moti*ation +or doin" the meditation: Ima"ine that a o+ spa#e is +i ed $ith bein"sD sittin" aro,nd yo, and e-tendin" beyond the hori!on: I+ yo, +ind it di++i#, t to thin1 o+ a bein"sD thin1 o+ as many as yo, #anD #om+ortab y: 5o,r parents and other +ami y members are beside yo,D +riends behind yo,D peop e yo, don.t "et a on" $ith in +ront o+ yo,D and others a aro,nd: Contemp ate the s,++erin" o+ these peop e and bein"s: 4irstD thin1 o+ the s,++erin" o+ yo,r parents and the other peop e yo, are # ose to: Open yo,r heart to the physi#a and psy#ho o"i#a prob ems they are e-perien#in" and thin1 thatD E,st i1e yo,D they $ant to be +ree o+ a s,++erin": 4ee ho$ $onder+, it $o, d be i+ they ere +ree and #o, d enEoy the pea#e and b iss o+ en i"htenment: Then thin1 o+ the peop e yo, do not i1e or $ho ha*e h,rt yo,: Ima"ine their s,++erin"G physi#a pain and dis#om+ortD +ee in"s o+ one inessD inse#,rityD +earD dissatis+a#tion: 2,st i1e yo,D they don.t $ant prob ems b,t they ha*e no #hoi#eG as on" as the mind is #on+,sed and i"norant o+ rea ityD it #annot +ind pea#e: Open yo,r heart to these peop e +or $hom norma y yo, +ee irritation or an"er: E-pand yo,r a$areness to ta1e in the tro,b es and pain o+ other h,man bein"s and o+ anima sF $hoe*er has an ,n#ontro ed mind ne#essari y has s,++erin": %,t don.t be o*er$he med by a o+ this/ )emember that s,++erin"D ,nhappinessD and pain are menta e-perien#esD impermanent and #han"eab e: They arise be#a,se o+ mis,nderstandin" and #on+,sed emotionsD and on#e their #a,ses ha*e been e iminated they disappear: It is a matter o+ ea#h one o+ ,s $or1in" on o,r o$n mindD dea in" $ith o,r mis#on#eptions and ne"ati*e ener"y and "rad,a y de*e opin" a #orre#t

,nderstandin" o+ the $ay thin"s a#t,a y e-ist: 4ee stron" y the aspiration to do this yo,rse +D so that yo, #an he p others to be +ree o+ their s,++erin": No$D *is,a i!e E,st abo*e yo,r head and +a#in" the same $ay as yo, A*a o1itesh*araD the mani+estation o+ p,re ,nobstr,#ted #ompassionD o*eD and $isdom: 'is body is o+ $hite i"htD transparent and radiant: Try to +ee his i*in" presen#e: 'is +a#e is pea#e+, and smi in"D and he radiates his o*e to yo, and a the bein"s s,rro,ndin" yo,: 'e has +o,r arms: 'is +irst t$o hands are to"ether at his heart and ho d a Ee$e that +, +i s a $ishesF his se#ond t$o are raised to the e*e o+ his sho, dersD the ri"ht ho din" a #rysta rosary and the e+t a $hite ot,s: 'e is sittin" on a $hite moon dis1 ,pon an open ot,sD his e"s #rossed in the +, - ot,s post,re: 'e $ears e-8,isite si 1 and pre#io,s Ee$e s: 'o d yo,r a$areness on this *is,a i!ation ,nti it is stab e: Stay re a-ed and #om+ortab e and open to A*a o1itesh*ara.s serene and o*in" ener"y: No$D ma1e a prayer +rom yo,r heartD to o*er#ome yo,r mis#on#eptions and ne"ati*e ener"y and to de*e op p,re o*e and #ompassion +or a bein"s: 4ee that yo, are #onne#tin" $ith yo,r o$n tr,e nat,reD yo,r hi"hest potentia : In response to yo,r re8,estD A*a o1itesh*ara o*in" y sends streams o+ $hite i"htD +i in" e*ery #e and atom o+ yo,r body: It p,ri+ies a yo,r ne"ati*ities and prob emsD a yo,r past harm+, a#tions and yo,r potentia to "i*e harm in the +,t,reD and #omp ete y +i s yo, $ith his imit ess o*e and #ompassion: 5o,r body +ee s i"ht and b iss+, D yo,r mind pea#e+, and # ear: The i"ht +rom A*a o1itesh*ara radiates o,t to e*ery i*in" bein"D p,ri+yin" their ne"ati*e ener"y and +i in" them $ith b iss: No$D $hi e #on#entratin" on this *is,a i!ationD re#ite the mantraD o) )ani !ad)e hu)" a o,d +or a $hi e and then si ent yD as many times as yo, i1e: When yo, ha*e +inished the re#itationD *is,a i!e A*a o1itesh*ara disso *in" into $hite i"htD $hi#h + o$s do$n thro,"h the #ro$n o+ yo,r head and rea#hes yo,r heart-#enter: 5o,r mind mer"es indistin",ishab y $ith A*a o1itesh*ara.s mind and yo, e-perien#e #omp ete tran8,i ity and b iss: 'o d this +ee in" as on" as possib e: Whene*er yo,r ,s,a sense o+ I starts to ariseJan I that is boredD rest essD h,n"ryD $hate*erJthin1 that this is not yo,r rea se +: Simp y brin" yo,r attention ba#1 a"ain and a"ain to the e-perien#e o+ oneness $ith the 8,a ities o+ A*a o1itesh*ara.s mindG in+inite o*e and #ompassion: Dedication 4ina yD dedi#ate the positi*e ener"y yo, ha*e #reated by doin" this meditation to the happiness o+ a i*in" bein"s: ?4or another meditation on A*a o1itesh*araD see pa"e 2>>:@

5
Inner 'eat Med tat on
This meditation is an espe#ia y po$er+, AaErayana method +or tappin" and s1i +, y ,ti i!in" o,r innate b iss+, menta ener"y: There is an intimate re ationship bet$een o,r mind and s,bt e ner*o,s system: Menta ener"y + o$s thro,"h the body $ithin a psy#hi# ner*o,s system #omposed o+ tho,sands o+ thinD transparentD s,bt e #hanne s: The prin#ipa onesJ1no$n as the #entra D ri"htD and e+t #hanne sJr,n para e to and E,st in +ront o+ the spina #o ,mn: P,re menta ener"y #an +,n#tion on y $ithin the #entra #hanne D $hereas de ,ded ener"y + o$s thro,"h a the others: At presentD o,r #entra #hanne is b o#1ed by 1nots o+ ne"ati*e ener"yJan"erD Eea o,syD desireD prideD and so +orthJat points /cha(ras1 #orrespondin" to the base o+ the spineD na*e D heartD throatD and #ro$n: To the e-tent that this de ,ded ener"y is a#ti*eD the p,re ener"y o+ mind is b o#1ed and ,nab e to +,n#tion: )e#a D +or e-amp eD the enormo,s physi#a and menta tension #reated by stron" desire or an"erF there is no spa#e at a +or #a mness and # arity: The inner heat meditation is an e-#e ent method +or trans+ormin" this po$er+, ener"y and de*e opin" spontaneo,s #ontro o*er a o,r a#tions o+ bodyD spee#hD and mind: Mere s,ppression o+ atta#hmentD an"erD and other emotions does not e iminate themF it #ompo,nds them: The so ,tion is itera y to trans+orm this ener"yJ$hi#h by its nat,re is neither "ood nor badJinto b iss+, D +ree-+ o$in" ener"y: S1i +, pra#ti#e o+ the meditation $i sho$ ,s that $e are #apab e o+ happiness and satis+a#tion $itho,t needin" to re y ,pon e-terna obEe#tsJan idea that is in#on#ei*ab e +or most o+ ,s: This pra#ti#e a so he ps ,s in o,r de*e opment o+ sin" e-pointed #on#entration: Norma yD o,r dissatis+ied mind $anders ,n#ontro ab yD b o$n here and there by the +or#e o+ de ,ded ener"y in the psy#hi# #hanne sF yet i+ $e #o, d ha*e an e-perien#e o+ b iss p eas,rab e eno,"h to #on#entrate onD $e simp y $o, d not ant to $ander e se$here:

The ,ract ce
Motivation Sit #om+ortab y in yo,r meditation p a#e and "enerate a stron" positi*e moti*ation +or doin" this inner heat pra#ti#e: Determine to 1eep yo,r mind re a-edD #on#entratedD and +ree o+ e-pe#tations +or the entire session: Start by *is,a i!in" the #entra #hanne as a transparentD ho o$ t,beD a +in"er .s breadth in diameter: It r,ns strai"ht do$n thro,"h the #enter o+ the bodyD E,st in +ront o+ the spina #o ,mnD +rom the #ro$n o+ yo,r head to the base o+ yo,r spine: Ne-tD *is,a i!e the ri"ht and e+t atera #hanne sD s i"ht y thinner than the #entra one:

They start +rom the ri"ht and e+t nostri s respe#ti*e yD tra*e ,p$ard to the top o+ the head and then #,r*e o*er to r,n do$n$ard on either side o+ the #entra #hanne : They #,r*e in$ard and Eoin the #entra #hanne at a point appro-imate y +o,r +in"ers.breadth be o$ the e*e o+ the na*e : Ta1e as on" as yo, i1e to #onstr,#t this *is,a i!ation: On#e it is stab eD ima"ine a redhot ember the si!e o+ a tiny seed inside the #entra #hanne at the e*e o+ the na*e : To stren"then this *is,a i!ationD ima"ine rea#hin" into a +ireD ta1in" o,t a tiny " o$in" ember and p a#in" it in yo,r #entra #hanne : On#e it is thereD rea y +ee its intense heat: No$D in order to in#rease the heatD "ent y #ontra#t the m,s# es o+ the pe *i# + oorD #on#entratin" on the interna rather than the e-terna m,s# esD and in this $ay brin" air ener"y ,p +rom the o$est #ha1ra to the ember: Ne-tD "ent y ta1e a +, breath thro,"h both nostri s: The air tra*e s +rom the nostri s do$n thro,"h the ri"ht and e+t #hanne s to $here they enter the #entra #hanne E,st be o$ the e*e o+ the na*e : The air Eoins $ith the heat there and $ith the ener"y bro,"ht ,p +rom be o$: As yo, stop inha in"D immediate y s$a o$ and p,sh do$n "ent y $ith yo,r diaphra"m in order to +irm y #ompress the ener"y bro,"ht do$n +rom abo*eG no$ the air ener"y is #omp ete y o#1ed inD #ompressed +rom abo*e and be o$: No$D ho d yo,r breath as on" as it is #om+ortab e to do so: Con#entrate #omp ete y on the ember in the na*e areaD $hose heat is in#reasin" and spreadin" as a res, t o+ the #ompressed air ener"y: When yo, are readyD re a- yo,r i"ht y tensed m,s# es and e-ha e "ent y and #omp ete y: A tho,"h the air ea*es thro,"h the nostri sD *is,a i!e that it rises ,p thro,"h the #entra #hanne and disso *es there: The heat emanatin" +rom the b,rnin" ember at the na*e #ontin,a y in#reases and spreads and starts to b,rn a$ay the b o#1a"es at ea#h #ha1ra and to $arm the #on#entration o+ si *ery b iss+, ener"y +o,nd at the #ro$n #ha1ra: 'o$e*erD the +o#a point o+ yo,r #on#entration is a $ays the heat o+ the b,rnin" ember in the na*e area: On#e yo,r +irst e-ha ation is #omp eteD a"ain ti"hten the o$er m,s# esD inha e a se#ond timeD s$a o$ and p,sh do$n $ith the diaphra"mD th,s a"ain #ompressin" the air and intensi+yin" the heat: 'o d yo,r breath and #on#entrate on the heatD then e-ha eD re easin" the air ,p the #entra #hanne on#e a"ain: )epeat the entire #y# e rhythmi#a y se*en times a to"etherD the intensity o+ the heat "ro$in" $ith e*ery breath: At the se*enth e-ha ationD ima"ine that the no$ b,rnin" hot ember e-p odes into + ames: They shoot ,p the #entra #hanne D #omp ete y #ons,min" and p,ri+yin" the de ,ded ener"y at ea#h #ha1ra: At the #ro$nD the + ames +ina y me t and re ease the si *ery b iss+, ener"yD $hi#h po,rs do$n the p,ri+ied #entra #hanne "i*in" in#reasin" p eas,re at ea#h #ha1ra it passes: 4ina yD $hen it meets the b a!in" ember at the na*e #ha1raD there is an e-p osion o+ b iss: This b iss+, heat + o$s o,t to e*ery atom and #e o+ yo,r bodyD #omp ete y +i in" yo,D ma1in" yo,r mind *ery happy:

Con#entrate on this p eas,re $itho,t tension or e-pe#tationF $itho,t # in"in" to it or ana y!in" it: 2,st re a- and enEoy it: 5o, $i noti#e thatD no matter ho$ stron" the p eas,re isD yo,r mind and body are #a m and #ontro edD ,n i1e o,r ,s,a e-perien#es o+ physi#a p eas,re $hen the mind is e-#ited and ,n#ontro ed: I+ yo,r mind sho, d $ander +rom its #on#entration to other obEe#tsJthe past or +,t,reD obEe#ts o+ atta#hment or a*ersionJ+o#,s yo,r attention on the sub,ect o+ the tho,"htD the mind that per#ei*es the distra#tin" obEe#tD the thin1er: Wat#h the s,bEe#t ,nti the distra#tin" tho,"ht disappearsD then #on#entrate a"ain on the b iss+, +ee in": Analysis of feeling+ 'a*in" rea#hed a state o+ # arityD it is "ood to ,se it to dis#o*er the nat,re o+ yo,r mind: A+ter #on#entratin" on yo,r +ee in"D bein" absorbed in it +or some timeD ana y!e it by #ontemp atin" ea#h o+ the +o o$in" 8,estions: Ta1e as on" as yo, i1e: Is the +ee in" permanent or impermanent? 'o$? Why? Is the +ee in" b iss+, or s,++erin"? 'o$? Why? Is the +ee in" re ated or ,nre ated to the ner*o,s system and the mind? 'o$? Why? Does the +ee in" e-ist inherent yD +rom its o$n sideD $itho,t dependin" on anythin" e seD or not? 'o$? Why? E-amine ea#h point +rom e*ery an" e:

Dedication 4inish the session by s,mmin" ,p yo,r #on# ,sionD then dedi#ate any positi*e ener"y and insi"ht "ained d,rin" the meditation to yo,r speedy en i"htenment +or the sa1e o+ a i*in" bein"s:

Part # P)A4E)# AND OT'E) DE@OTIONA& P)ACTICE#

Abo+t De*ot on
3a th
The idea o+ de*otion ma1es some peop e ,neasy be#a,se they e8,ate it $ith b ind +aith and mind ess s,bmissi*eness: %,t proper de*otion is not i1e that: It isD in +a#tD a *ery positi*e attit,deG to be de*oted to one.s +ami yD +riendsD or $or1 is to ha*e o*eD #areD and responsibi ity: In this sense it means "oin" beyond o,r ,s,a narro$D se +-#entered tho,"hts and #on#ernsD and dedi#atin" o,r ener"y to others: In a re i"io,s or spirit,a senseD de*otion in*o *es +aith: In %,ddhism +aith is a positi*e menta stateD and is e-p ained as # arityD #on*i#tionD and aspiration $ith re"ard to someone or somethin" that e-ists ?as opposed to somethin" ima"inary@ and has e-#e ent 8,a ities and abi ities: There are three 1inds o+ +aithG one is re#o"ni!in" and appre#iatin" the "ood 8,a ities o+ a person or obEe#tD another is aspirin" to em, ate those 8,a itiesD and the third is #on*i#tion based on ha*in" st,died and #ontemp ated the tea#hin" "i*en by someone s,#h as the %,ddha: This third 1ind o+ +aith is the best as it is rationa and stab eD and it is said to be the so,r#e o+ a happiness and "oodness: O+ #o,rseD i+ o,r +aith and de*otion are not $e -+o,nded or their obEe#t is ,nre iab eD $e $i on y be disappointed and +ee do,bt and resentment: %,t i+ it is based on # earD #orre#t ,nderstandin" and its obEe#t is one that $i not et ,s do$nD the e-perien#e $i be ri#h and prod,#ti*e:

)ef+ge
In %,ddhismD de*otion is asso#iated $ith re+,"eD the +irst step on the path to iberation and a$a1enin": )e+,"e is the attit,de o+ re yin" ,ponD or t,rnin" toD somethin" +or ",idan#e and he p: In an ordinary sense $e ta1e re+,"e in +riends +or o*e and se#,rityD in +ood and entertainment $hen $e are h,n"ry and boredD and so +orth: %,t s,#h e-terna so,r#es o+ re+,"e #an satis+y o,r needs on y temporari y be#a,se theyD as $e as the happiness they brin"D are impermanent and ,nre iab e: %,ddhist re+,"eD on the other handD in*o *es dis#o*erin" and ,ti i!in" the ,n imited potentia that ies $ithin ea#h o+ ,s: There are t$o aspe#ts o+ re+,"eD o,ter and inner: O,ter re+,"e is appre#iatin" and re yin" ,pon the Three 2e$e sG %,ddhaD DharmaD and San"ha' /uddha re+ers both to the en i"htened state itse +Jthe remo*a o+ a ne"ati*e 8,a ities

and the per+e#tion o+ a positi*eJand to those $ho ha*e attained en i"htenment: )e+,"e in %,ddha means openin" o,r heart to the o*e and $isdom o++ered by these bein"s and a##eptin" their ",idan#e on the spirit,a path: Dharma re+ers to $isdomD the rea i!ations that #omprise the pro"ressi*e sta"es o+ the path to en i"htenment: The itera meanin" o+ the Sans1rit term Dhar)a is Hto ho dIJit in# ,des any method that ho ds or prote#ts ,s +rom prob ems: %,ddha.s tea#hin"s are 1no$n as Dharma be#a,se they #ome +rom his a#t,a e-perien#e o+ e iminatin" e*ery tra#e o+ #on+,sion and ne"ati*e ener"y +rom his mind: )e+,"e in Dharma means pra#ti#in" the pres#ribed methodsD aspirin" to a$a1en $ithin o,rse *es the $isdom that e*ery en i"htened bein" has dis#o*ered: 0angha re+ers to the spirit,a #omm,nityD those $ho ha*e $isdom and "i*e ,s inspiration and s,pport: %,ddha and Dharma pro*ide ,s $ith the basis o+ o,r pra#ti#e b,t San"ha pro*ide the he p $e need to ma1e the pra#ti#e a#t,a y $or1: Ta 1in" $ith i1e-minded +riendsD +or e-amp eD #an "i*e ,s ans$ers to 8,estions and so ,tions to prob emsF meditatin" to"ether "i*es ,s stren"th and en#o,ra"ementF a #omm,nity o+ meditators o++ers a pea#e+, ha*en +rom the #ra!iness o+ #ity i+e: )e+,"e in San"ha means respe#tin" s,#h +riends and a##eptin" their he p: Inner re+,"e is re+,"e in o,rse *esD in o,r , timate potentia : The three re+,"e obEe#ts ha*e their interna #o,nterpartsG the inner b,ddha is the seed o+ en i"htenment that ies in the mind o+ e*ery sentient bein"D $itho,t e-#eptionF the inner dharma is o,r nat,ra $isdom that #an distin",ish rea +rom +a seF the inner san"ha is the ",idan#e and inspiration that $e #an "i*e others: As h,man bein"sD $e ha*e the potentia to de*e op ,n imited o*eD #ompassionD and $isdom and to +ree o,rse *es +rom a ne"ati*e ener"yJ in other $ordsD to rea#h the same e*e as a b,ddha: Bs,a y $e +ind it di++i#, t to +ee "ood abo,t o,rse *es and to ha*e #on+iden#e in o,r o$n potentia Jinstead $e ta1e re+,"e in o,tside thin"s: 2,st ima"ine the boredomD the ,neasinessD and the "ames the mind $o, d p ay i+ $e $ere #omp ete y a one +or a dayD or e*en an ho,rD #,t o++ +rom peop eD boo1sD te e*ision and a e-terna means o+ o##,pyin" o,rse *es/ We #an.t #on#ei*e o+ i*in" $itho,t sense obEe#tsJthe e-terna $or d: 'o$e*erD it is possib e to be #omp ete y satis+ied and happyD $hate*er the sit,ationD by re yin" so e y on o,r inner reso,r#es: The e-terna re+,"e obEe#ts e-ist to a$a1en ,s to these reso,r#esD to o,r inner b,ddhaD dharmaD and san"ha: When $e re#o"ni!e and no,rish this potentia D $e ha*e +o,nd the rea meanin" o+ re+,"e: )e+,"e is a +,ndamenta step on the spirit,a pathD and de*otion is an essentia #omponent o+ it: It sho, d not be an i"norantD emotiona attit,deD b,t one that is so,nd and inte i"entD based on # ear ,nderstandin" o+ $hat %,ddhaD DharmaD and San"ha rea y are and $hat they #an do +or ,s: We do need he p to tra*e the path to inner a$a1enin"D b,t $e need to #he#1 #are+, y the 8,a i+i#ations o+ the tea#hers $e meet and the e++e#ti*eness o+ their methodsD not E,st +o o$ the ad*i#e o+ anyone $ith a ni#e *ibration or a #harismati# persona ity: It.s a 8,estion o+ "ettin" to 1no$ a tea#her or a pathD e-aminin"D re+ e#tin"D e-perimentin"D bein" honest and sin#ere: A this may ta1e some timeD b,t it is *ery important to ma1e s,re that any de*otion $e do #, ti*ate $i be appropriate and prod,#ti*eD not a $aste o+ ener"y: I+ yo, don.t +ee s,#h +aithD yo, #an simp y read thro,"h this se#tionD or e-periment $ith the methods i+ yo, i1e:

The p,rpose and psy#ho o"i#a e++e#ts o+ the pra#ti#es are e-p ained here as # ear y as possib eD b,t the rea taste #omes on y by doin" themD $ith ,nderstandin" and de*otion:

1
Prayers
The s,##ess o+ any proEe#tJ# imbin" a mo,ntainD $ritin" a boo1D or ba1in" a #a1eJ hin"es on the #are $e ta1e in the preparatory $or1: The same is tr,e +or meditation: A s,##ess+, meditation session depends primari y on o,r state o+ mindD and the appropriate inner state #an be ind,#ed thro,"h re#itin" #ertain prayersD *erba y or menta yD $ith ,nderstandin" and sin#erity: Prayer is not the me#hani#a repetition o+ $ords b,t an openin" o+ the heart to #omm,ni#ate $ith o,r tr,e nat,re: The $ords ser*e as a reminder o+ $hat $e are tryin" to a#hie*eD and a#t,a y he p #reate the #a,se +or $hate*er $e re prayin" +or to o##,r in the +,t,re:

Prayers to be sa d at the start of a med tat on sess on


1. 1rayer of refuge and $odhichitta I "o +or re+,"e ,nti I am en i"htened To the %,ddhaD the DharmaD and the S,preme Assemb y: %y my pra#ti#e o+ "i*in" and other per+e#tionsD May I be#ome a %,ddha to bene+it a sentient bein"s: ?0 times@

2. The four immeasura$le thoughts May a sentient bein"s ha*e happiness and the #a,ses o+ happinessF May a sentient bein"s be +ree +rom s,++erin" and the #a,ses o+ s,++erin"F May a sentient bein"s be inseparab e +rom the happiness that is +ree +rom s,++erin"F May a sentient bein"s abide in e8,animityD +ree +rom atta#hment and an"er that ho d some # ose and others distant:

3. 2efuge in the guru The ",r, is %,ddhaD the ",r, is DharmaD The ",r, is San"haD a soF The ",r, is the #reator o+ a ?happiness@F To a ",r,s I "o +or re+,"e: ?0 times@

4. The seven lim$s )e*erent yD I prostrate $ith my bodyD spee#h and mindF I present # o,ds o+ e*ery type o+ o++erin"D a#t,a and ima"inedF I de# are a my ne"ati*e a#tions a##,m, ated sin#e be"innin" ess time And reEoi#e in the merit o+ a ho y and ordinary bein"s: P easeD remain ,nti the end o+ #y# i# e-isten#e And t,rn the $hee o+ Dharma +or i*in" bein"s: I dedi#ate my o$n merits and those o+ a others to the "reat en i"htenment:

". Mandala offering &) *aEra "ro,nd ah hu): Mi"hty "o den "ro,nd: &) *aEra +en#e ah hu): O,tside it is en#ir# ed by the s,rro,ndin" $a D In the #enter o+ $hi#h are S,mer,D 7in" o+ Mo,ntainsF The eastern #ontinent AidehaD The so,thernD 2amb,d*ipaD The $esternD (odaniyaD The northernD 7,r,D OThe eastern minor #ontinentsP Deha and AidehaD Othe so,thernP Chamara and Apara#hamaraD Othe $esternP Satha and BttaramantrinD Oand the northernP 7,r, and 7a,ra*a: OIn the +o,r #ontinents areGP OEastP the pre#io,s mo,ntainD OSo,thP the $ish"rantin" treeD OWestP the $ish-+, +i in" #o$D ONorthP the ,np o,"hed har*est: OOn the +irst e*e areGP the pre#io,s $hee D the pre#io,s Ee$e D the pre#io,s 8,eenD the pre#io,s ministerD the pre#io,s e ephantD the pre#io,s horseD the pre#io,s "enera D and the "reat treas,re *ase:

OOn the se#ond e*e D the ei"ht "oddessesGP &ady o+ "ra#eD ady o+ "ar andsD ady o+ son"D ady o+ dan#eD ady o+ + o$ersD ady o+ in#enseD ady o+ ampsD ady o+ per+,me: OOn the third e*e GP The s,n and the moonF the pre#io,s paraso F and the banner o+ *i#tory in a 8,arters: In the #enterD the most per+e#t ri#hes o+ "ods and h,man bein"sD $ith nothin" missin"D p,re and de i"ht+, : To my " orio,sD ho y and most 1ind root and inea"e ",r,sD and in parti#, ar to the deity host o+ &ama Tson"1hapaD 7in" o+ Sa"esD Maha-AaEradharaD and their di*ine retin,eD I sha o++er these as a b,ddha+ie d: P ease a##ept them $ith #ompassion +or the sa1e o+ mi"ratin" bein"s: 'a*in" a##epted themD to me and a mi"ratin" mother sentient bein"s as +ar as the imits o+ spa#eD o,t o+ yo,r "reat #ompassionD p ease "rant yo,r inspiration/

0hort outer mandala This "ro,ndD anointed $ith per+,meD stre$n $ith + o$ersD Adorned $ith Mo,nt Mer,D +o,r #ontinentsD the s,n and the moonG I ima"ine this as a b,ddha+ie d and o++er it: May a i*in" bein"s enEoy this p,re and/

+nner mandala The obEe#ts o+ my atta#hmentD a*ersionD and i"noran#eJ+riendsD enemiesD and stran"ersJ And my bodyD $ea thD and enEoymentsF Witho,t any sense o+ ossD I o++er this #o e#tion: P ease a##ept it $ith p eas,re And b ess me $ith +reedom +rom the three poisons: Ida) guru ratna )andala(a) niryataya)i ?I send +orth this Ee$e ed manda a to yo,D pre#io,s ",r,s:@

Prayers to be sa d at the concl+s on of a med tat on sess on


#. Dedication of merit D,e to the merits o+ these *irt,o,s a#tions May I 8,i#1 y attain the state o+ a ",r,-b,ddha And ead a i*in" bein"sD $itho,t e-#eptionD Into that en i"htened state:

%. /odhichitta prayer May the s,preme Ee$e bodhi#hitta That has not arisenD arise and "ro$F And may that $hi#h has arisen not diminish %,t in#rease more and more:

"
E-,lanat on of the Prayers

19 Prayer of ref+ge and bodh ch tta


This prayer e-presses the most positi*eD bene+i#ia intention $e #o, d ha*e +or en"a"in" in st,dy or meditation on the path to en i"htenment: The +irst part o+ the prayer dea s $ith refuge" the attit,de o+ t,rnin" to the %,ddhaD DharmaD and San"ha ?the atter bein" a so #a ed the HS,preme Assemb yI@ +or ",idan#e and he p ?see pa"e 19<@: )emember the t$o aspe#ts o+ re+,"eD o,ter and innerD and +ee #on+ident that the seed o+ en i"htenment ies $ithin yo,r o$n mind: The se#ond part o+ the prayer is the "eneration o+ bodhichitta" the mind set on en i"htenment: %odhi#hittaD +o,nded on p,re o*e and #ompassion +or e*ery i*in" bein"D is the dedi#ated determination to be#ome a b,ddha so e y to he p others a#hie*e en i"htenment too: The path o+ an en i"htenment-bo,nd personJa bodhisatt*aJin*o *es the de*e opment o+ the six !erfections ?Sans1ritG !ara)ita@G "i*in"D mora dis#ip ineD patien#eD Eoyo,s e++ortD #on#entrationD and $isdom: These si-D pra#ti#ed $ith the moti*e o+ he pin" others a#hie*e en i"htenmentD pro*ide no,rishment +or the seed o+ en i"htenment to "ro$ in o,r o$n mind: The "rad,a de*e opment o+ ea#h per+e#tion pro"ressi*e y erodes o,r de ,sionsD ma1in" spa#e +or the $isdom that ,nderstands rea ity: Anythin" $e doJmeditationD eatin"D s eepin"D or $or1in"D a,tomati#a y be#omes a #a,se +or en i"htenment i+ it is done $ith the tho,"ht o+ bodhi#hitta: )e+,"e and bodhi#hitta "i*e i+e and meanin" to o,r meditations: 5o, #an re#ite the prayer three times be+ore e*ery sessionD and it is best i+ yo, #an a so *is,a i!e the %,ddha in +ront o+ yo, ?see pa"e 1<9@D seein" him as the embodiment o+ the 8,a ities yo, are tryin" to de*e op $ithin yo,rse +:

"9 The fo+r mmeas+rable tho+ghts


The +o,r tho,"hts e-pressed in this prayer are #a ed immeas,rab e be#a,se they e-tend to a bein"s thro,"ho,t the in+inite ,ni*erse: The +irst is i))easurable love+ the $ish +or a bein"s to be happy: The se#ond is i))easurable co)!assion+ the $ish +or a bein"s to be +ree o+ s,++erin": The third is i))easurable ,oy+ the $ish +or a bein"s to e-perien#e the , timate happiness that asts +ore*er: The +o,rth is i))easurable e8uani)ity+ the $ish +or a bein"s to be +ree o+ the atta#hment and a*ersion that #a,se ,s to distin",ish bet$een +riendD enemyD and stran"er: Ea#h ine o+ the prayer is a meditation in itse + and its heart+e t re#itation #reates the #a,se

+or o,r de*e opment o+ ,ni*ersa a$areness and #on#ern +or others:

09 )ef+ge n the g+r+


There are #o,nt ess bein"s $ho ha*e rea#hed en i"htenmentD and these b,ddhas a#ti*e y he p a sentient bein"s: The most e++e#ti*e $ay they he p is by instr,#tin" ,s in the 1no$ ed"e and te#hni8,es o+ the path to en i"htenment: %e#a,se o+ o,r obs#,rations $e are ,nab e to per#ei*e en i"htened bein"s dire#t yD so they rea#h ,s thro,"h spirit,a tea#hers ?Sans1ritG guru2 TibetanG la)a@' %y re#o"ni!in" o,r tea#hers as one $ith the b,ddhasD $e are ab e to ma1e dire#t #onta#t $ith the en i"htened state and e*ent,a y to a#t,a i!e it o,rse *es: This pra#ti#eD 1no$n as ",r,-yo"aD is the essentia method +or rea i!in" the entire path to en i"htenment: In this prayer $e identi+y the ",r, $ith the three obEe#ts o+ re+,"eD re#o"ni!in" that $itho,t the ",r, there $o, d be no %,ddhaD DharmaD or San"ha andD #onse8,ent yD no tr,e happiness:

29 The se*en l mbs


ManE,shriD the b,ddha o+ $isdomD on#e "a*e ad*i#e to 2e Tson"1hapa on ho$ to attain rea i!ations: 'e said three thin"s sho, d be pra#ti#ed to"etherG ?1@ prayin" sin#ere y to the ",r,D seein" him or her as one $ith the b,ddhaF ?2@ p,ri+yin" the mind o+ ne"ati*e imprints and a##,m, atin" meritD that isD positi*e ener"y and insi"htsF and ?0@ meditatin" ,pon the s,bEe#ts one $ants to rea i!e: C, ti*atin" these three #reates the #orre#t #a,ses and #onditions +or a#t,a i!in" in o,r minds the *ario,s sta"es o+ the path to en i"htenment: The se#ondJp,ri+yin" ne"ati*e imprints and a##,m, atin" positi*e ener"y and insi"htJ is most s,##ess+, y a#hie*ed by the pra#ti#e o+ the se*en imbs: As the body needs its +o,r imbs to be a $ho e bodyD so too does any meditation pra#ti#e need its se*en imbs in order to be #omp ete: Ea#h imb #an be pra#ti#ed e-tensi*e yF they are en#aps, atedD ho$e*erD in the prayer o+ the se*en imbs: i' Prostration+ Prostratin" is a means o+ sho$in" appre#iation and respe#t +or the %,ddhaD DharmaD and San"haD and is a po$er+, $ay to p,ri+y ne"ati*itiesD espe#ia y prideD $hi#h dire#t y pre*ents o,r "ro$th o+ $isdom: There are three $ays o+ ma1in" prostrationsG physi#a D *erba D and menta : Physical !rostrations #an be per+ormed in *ario,s $ays: The most #ommon method amon" Tibetan %,ddhists is as +o o$s: %e"in in a standin" positionD to,#h yo,r Eoined hands to the #ro$n o+ yo,r headD +oreheadD throatD and heartD then +a to yo,r hands and 1neesD to,#h yo,r +orehead to the + oor and rise: To do a +, - en"th prostrationJmore e++e#ti*e in p,ri+yin" ne"ati*e ener"yJto,#h yo,r

Eoined hands to the #ro$n o+ yo,r headD +oreheadD throatD and heartD +a to yo,r hands and 1neesD then stret#h yo,r entire body on the + oorD +a#e do$nD $ith yo,r arms strai"ht o,t in +ront o+ yo,: ?It $o, d be best to ha*e someone demonstrate these +or yo,D so yo, #an see the #orre#t $ay to do them:@ $erbal !rostration is e-pressin" the "ood 8,a ities o+ the re+,"e obEe#ts: Mental !rostration is the respe#tD +aithD and #on+iden#e in the three obEe#ts o+ re+,"e that a##ompany physi#a and *erba prostration: This menta attit,de is the essen#e o+ the pra#ti#e and its depth and sin#erity determine the po$er o+ prostrations: ii: &ffering+ We de i"ht in "i*in" "i+ts to +riends and sharin" p easant e-perien#es $ith them: In a spirit,a sense $e o++er bea,ti+, obEe#tsD positi*e tho,"hts and a#tionsD and the p,re e-perien#e o+ b iss to o,r obEe#ts o+ re+,"e: Ma1in" o++erin"s is a po$er+, antidote to se +ishness and atta#hment and a prin#ipa means o+ a##,m, atin" the positi*e ener"y #r,#ia to o,r de*e opment o+ $isdom: Actual offerings" mentioned in the prayerD are those physi#a y o++ered ?on an a tarD +or e-amp e@ to the obEe#ts o+ re+,"eD $hi e i)agined offerings are those $e *is,a i!e: The essen#e o+ any a#tionD and $hat determines its $orthD is the state o+ one.s mind at the time it is done: Simp eD insi"ni+i#ant obEe#ts #an be *is,a i!ed and o++ered as the most bea,ti+, si"htsD so,ndsD tastesD sme sD and tan"ib e thin"s ima"inab eF the bene+it o+ s,#h an o++erin" is enormo,s: It is said that a yo,n" boy $ho re*erent y o++ered a hand+, o+ sand to the %,ddhaD *is,a i!in" it as "o dD $as ater reborn as the "reat Indian 7in" Asho1aD ar"e y as a res, t o+ the merit o+ this o++erin": Ima"ined o++erin"s #an be made at any timeG $hate*er bea,ti+, and p easin" obEe#t $e en#o,nter #an be o++ered in o,r heart to the obEe#ts o+ re+,"eD and the merit o+ the o++erin" dedi#ated to o,r attainment o+ en i"htenment +or the bene+it o+ a bein"s: In this $ay $e #an be a##,m, atin" the #a,ses o+ en i"htenment #ontin,a y $hi e "oin" abo,t o,r dai y i+e: iii' 0onfession+ As dis#,ssed in the meditation on 1arma ?pa"e <>@D a#tions o+ bodyD spee#hD and mind that are moti*ated by de ,sionJatta#hmentD a*ersionD #on+,sionD Eea o,syD prideD and the i1eJare ne"ati*eD or ,ns1i +, D a#tions be#a,se they res, t in +,t,re mis+ort,ne and #a,se ,s to remain in #y# i# e-isten#e: 'o$e*erD they #an be re#ti+iedD and their res, tant imprints on the mind p,ri+iedD thro,"h the pra#ti#e o+ #on+ession: There are +o,r steps in this ar"e y interna pra#ti#eJthe +o,r opponent po$ersJand the s,##ess o+ o,r p,ri+i#ation is meas,red by the stren"th and sin#erity o+ o,r pra#ti#e o+ these +o,r: ?See +,rther dis#,ssion o+ these +o,r in the p,ri+i#ation pra#ti#es on pa"es => and 21=:@ The !o er of regret' This is the attit,de o+ +irst a#1no$ ed"in" and then re"rettin" o,r ne"ati*e or ,ns1i +, a#tionsD be#a,se $e ,nderstand that they $i #a,se s,++erin" to o,rse *es and others in the +,t,re: )e"ret is not i1e ",i tD $hi#h in*o *es ne"ati*e +ear and an-ietyF ratherD it is an inte i"ent and honest re#o"nition o+ the nat,re o+ o,r a#tions and their res, ts:

The !o er of reliance' When $e +a on the "ro,nd it h,rts ,sD b,t $e a so need to re y on the "ro,nd to "et ba#1 ,p: Simi ar yD sin#e $e #reate most ne"ati*e a#tions in re ation either to the Three 2e$e s or other sentient bein"sD $e re y on these obEe#ts to a*ert the s,++erin" $hi#h res, ts +rom s,#h a#tions: 'en#e the po$er o+ re ian#e is ta1in" re+,"e in %,ddhaD DharmaD and San"ha and re"eneratin" o,r bodhi#hitta: 4or those $ho are not %,ddhistD this po$er #an in*o *e rene$in" yo,r #ommitment to $hate*er obEe#ts o+ de*otion or spirit,a "oa s yo, ho d in yo,r heartD and "eneratin" the $ish to he p and not harm others: The !o er of re)edy' The third step in the pro#ess o+ p,ri+i#ation is the pra#ti#e o+ positi*e a#tions s,#h as o++erin"D prostrationD mantra re#itationD and meditationD espe#ia y on emptinessD $hi#h #o,ntera#t the +or#e o+ pre*io,s ne"ati*e a#tions: The !o er of resolve' The +ina step is the +irm determination to a*oid doin" the same ne"ati*e a#tions a"ain: O+ #o,rseD some a#tions are easier to a*oid than othersF it mi"ht be rea isti# to promise ne*er to 1i a"ainD b,t it $o, d be ,nrea isti# to promise ne*er to ose o,r temper a"ainD +or e-amp e: In #ases i1e this it $o, d be pra#ti#a to promise not to do the a#tion +or an ho,r or a dayD then "rad,a y e-tend the period o+ time as $e earn to "ain more #ontro o*er o,r mind: Determination is #r,#ia to o,r s,##ess in any *ent,reD espe#ia y in o,r e++orts to s,bd,e the mind: i*' Re,oicing+ )eEoi#in" in the $e -bein" o+ others is a po$er+, antidote to Eea o,sy and resentmentJ+re8,ent responses $hen someone e se s,##eeds or is happy: 2ea o,sy is a tenseD ,nhappy state o+ mind that #annot bear the happiness o+ othersF reEoi#in" is i"ht and openD a o*in" response that a o$s ,s to share in their happiness: The bene+itD thenD is immediateD and $e a so #reate the #a,se to e-perien#e happiness o,rse *es in the +,t,re: We reEoi#e a so in the causes o+ happinessG the positi*e a#tions o+ a bein"sD ho y and ordinaryF and $ish that they $i #ontin,e to be #reated as m,#h as possib e: We #an reEoi#e at any timeD in any p a#eJ$e don.t need to be sittin" in meditation: It is one o+ the easiestD and most ne#essaryD methods o+ trans+ormin" o,r mind: *' Re8uesting the buddhas not to !ass a ay+ A tho,"h the b,ddhas a $ays e-ist and $or1 #ontin,o,s y to he p sentient bein"sD $e #an #onne#t $ith them on y i+ $e #reate the appropriate #a,ses: )e8,estin" them to remain in the $or d and ",ide ,s is primari y +or o,r o$n bene+itG it p,ri+ies o,r mind o+ ne"ati*e a#tions done in the past in re ation to ",r,s and b,ddhas and he ps ,s to open o,r mind and tr, y appre#iate their he p and inspiration: )e8,estin" the b,ddhas to stay a so #reates the #a,se +or o,r o$n on" i+e: *i' Re8uesting the buddhas to turn the heel of Dhar)a+ )e8,estin" the b,ddhas to tea#h the $ay to en i"htenment enhan#es o,r appre#iation o+ the Dharma and #o,ntera#ts past attit,des o+ disrespe#t to$ard spirit,a tea#hin"s: Espe#ia yD it ays the +o,ndation +or ne*er bein" separated +rom tea#hers $ho #an ",ide ,s spirit,a y and +or a $ays ha*in" the tea#hin"s a*ai ab e: *ii' Dedication+ It is *ery important at the be"innin" o+ any meditation or other positi*e a#tion to ha*e a # ear ,nderstandin" o+ o,r moti*ationF it is e8,a y important to #on# ,de the a#tion by dedi#atin" the meritJthe "ood ener"y and insi"htJ$e ha*e #reated by doin" it: We do this by re#a in" o,r initia moti*atin" tho,"htD rene$in" o,r aspiration to

rea#h a #ertain "oa D and sendin" o,r merit in that dire#tion: Moti*ation and dedi#ation ens,re that o,r positi*e ener"y is not ost and that the res, ts $i #ome: Other$iseD there is no +irm imprint p,t onto the mindD and any "ood done #an easi y be destroyed by an"er or other ne"ati*e a#tions: The best dedi#ation is to pray that the meditation or a#tion $e ha*e E,st done $i be#ome a #a,se +or o,r en i"htenment +or the sa1e o+ a sentient bein"s:

59 Mandala offer ng
The manda a o++erin" in*o *es menta y trans+ormin" the entire ,ni*erseJe*erythin" that e-istsJinto a p,re rea m and o++erin" it to the obEe#ts o+ re+,"e: The main p,rpose o+ doin" this pra#ti#e is to a##,m, ate meritD $hi#h is needed in the #, ti*ation o+ insi"ht and $isdom: Seeds +or o,r "ro$th on the path to en i"htenment are p anted in o,r mind thro,"h hearin" or readin" the tea#hin"s: These seeds need the no,rishment o+ meritJstron"D positi*e ener"yJin order to "ro$ and prod,#e insi"hts and rea i!ations: O++erin" the manda a is said to be one o+ the best means o+ pro*idin" this no,rishment: It a so has immediate bene+itsG "i*in" +rom the heart in this $ay is a remedy +or atta#hment and miser iness: The prayer is $ritten in terms o+ %,ddhist #osmo o"yD in $hi#h Mo,nt Mer, is a Ee$e ed mo,ntain in the #enter o+ the ,ni*erse and the +o,r #ontinents are di++erent rea ms o+ h,man i+e: The manda a yo, o++er #an a##ord $ith either Eastern or Western #osmo o"yD $hi#he*er yo, +ee most #om+ortab e $ithD b,t the point is to o++er everything*a the *ario,s $or ds and rea ms o+ i*in" bein"s and a the bea,ti+, thin"s $e enEoy: Ais,a i!e a miniat,re *ersion o+ the entire ,ni*erse in the spa#e in +ront o+ yo, and then trans+orm it into a p,re rea m: The en*ironment and bein"s o+ a p,re rea m are #omp ete yD per+e#t y bea,ti+, and ma1e the mind pea#e+, and happyF ,se yo,r ima"ination to #reate a b iss+, paradise: Imp,re obEe#ts "i*e rise to atta#hmentD irritationD and #on+,sionD $hi e p,re obEe#ts "i*e rise to # earD positi*e states o+ mindD espe#ia y the $isdom ,nderstandin" rea ity and the e-perien#e o+ "reat b iss: O++er this p,re and to the re+,"e obEe#tsD $itho,t # in"in" to any part o+ itD and +ee that yo,r "i+t is a##epted $ith o*e and the hi"hest appre#iation: The inner )andala adds another dimension: 'ere yo, brin" to mind the peop e and thin"sJin# ,din" yo,r body and be on"in"sJ+or $hi#h yo, ha*e atta#hmentD a*ersionD and indi++eren#e: Ais,a i!e these obEe#tsD trans+ormed into p,re obEe#ts in the manda aD and o++er them a to the b,ddhas: 'a*in" #omp ete y "i*en them ,pD there is no$ no need to ha*e atta#hmentD dis i1eD or i"noran#eJthe three poisonsJto$ard any person or thin":

89 Ded cat on of mer t and :9 The bodh ch tta ,rayer


See the e-p anation o+ dedication ,nder The seven li)bs on pa"e 1;;: At the #on# ,sion o+ a session o+ meditation or instr,#tionD the merit "enerated d,rin" the session sho, d be dire#ted to a $orth$hi e "oa Jin this #aseD en i"htenment: )e#itin" these t$o *erses reminds ,s o+ the bodhi#hitta moti*ationG the aspiration to de*e op o*e and #ompassion +or a bein"s and to attain en i"htenment in order to he p them: O,r merit is th,s dedi#ated to the $e +are o+ othersF this is the best dedi#ation $e #o, d ma1e:

0
A #hort Med tat on on the (rad+ated Path to Enl ghtenment
This prayerD #omposed by 2e Tson"1hapaD s,mmari!es the sta"es o+ the "rad,ated path to en i"htenment as ta,"ht by Sha1yam,ni %,ddha and e ,#idated by AtishaD the e e*enth#ent,ry Indian pandit: The +o,ndation o+ a "ood 8,a ities is the 1ind and *enerab e ",r,F Corre#t de*otion to him is the root o+ the path: %y # ear y seein" this and app yin" "reat e++ortD P ease b ess me to re y ,pon him $ith "reat respe#t: Bnderstandin" that the pre#io,s +reedom o+ this rebirth is +o,nd on y on#eD Is "reat y meanin"+, D and is di++i#, t to +ind a"ainD P ease b ess me to "enerate the mind that ,n#easin" yD Day and ni"htD ta1es its essen#e: This i+e is as impermanent as a $ater b,bb eF )emember ho$ 8,i#1 y it de#ays and death #omes: A+ter deathD E,st i1e a shado$ +o o$s the bodyD The res, ts o+ b a#1 and $hite 1arma +o o$: 4indin" +irm and de+inite #on*i#tion in thisD P ease b ess me a $ays to be #are+, To abandon e*en the s i"htest ne"ati*ities And a##omp ish a *irt,o,s deeds: See1in" samsari# p eas,res is the door to a s,++erin"G They are ,n#ertain and #annot be re ied ,pon: )e#o"ni!in" these short#omin"sD P ease b ess me to "enerate the stron" $ish +or the b iss o+ iberation: &ed by this p,re tho,"htD Mind+, nessD a ertness and "reat #a,tion arise: The root o+ the tea#hin"s is 1eepin" the pratimo1sha *o$sG P ease b ess me to a##omp ish this essentia pra#ti#e: 2,st as I ha*e +a en into the sea o+ samsaraD So ha*e a mother mi"ratory bein"s: P ease b ess me to see thisD train in s,preme bodhi#hittaD And bear the responsibi ity o+ +reein" mi"ratory bein"s: E*en i+ I de*e op on y bodhi#hittaD b,t I don.t pra#ti#e the three types o+ mora ityD I $i not a#hie*e en i"htenment: With my # ear re#o"nition o+ thisD P ease b ess me to pra#ti#e the bodhisatt*a *o$s $ith "reat ener"y:

On#e I ha*e pa#i+ied distra#tions to $ron" obEe#ts And #orre#t y ana y!ed the meanin" o+ rea ityD P ease b ess me to "enerate 8,i#1 y $ithin my mindstream The ,ni+ied path o+ #a m abidin" and spe#ia insi"ht: 'a*in" be#ome a p,re *esse by trainin" in the "enera pathD P ease b ess me to enter The ho y "ate$ay o+ the +ort,nate onesG The s,preme *aEra *ehi# e: At that timeD the basis o+ a##omp ishin" the t$o attainments Is 1eepin" p,re *o$s and samaya: As I ha*e be#ome +irm y #on*in#ed o+ thisD P ease b ess me to prote#t these *o$s and p ed"es i1e my i+e: ThenD ha*in" rea i!ed the importan#e o+ the t$o sta"esD The essen#e o+ the AaErayanaD %y pra#ti#in" $ith "reat ener"yD ne*er "i*in" ,p the +o,r sessionsD P ease b ess me to rea i!e the tea#hin"s o+ the ho y ",r,: &i1e thatD may the ",r,s $ho sho$ the nob e path And the spirit,a +riends $ho pra#ti#e it ha*e on" i*es: P ease b ess me to pa#i+y #omp ete y A o,ter and inner hindran#es: In a my i*esD ne*er separated +rom per+e#t ",r,sD May I enEoy the ma"ni+i#ent Dharma: %y #omp etin" the 8,a ities o+ the sta"es and pathsD May I 8,i#1 y attain the state o+ AaEradhara:

2
Med tat on on the %+ddha
%uddha is a Sans1rit $ord that means H+, y a$a1ened:I It re+ers not on y to Sha1yam,niD or (a,tamaD the +o,nder o+ the tea#hin"s that #ame to be 1no$n as %,ddhismD b,t a so to any person $ho attains en i"htenment: There are n,mber ess en i"htened bein"sJbein"s $ho ha*e #omp ete y trans+ormed their mindsD e iminated a ne"ati*e ener"yD and be#ome $ho eD per+e#t: They are not #on+ined to a transientD physi#a body as $e areD b,t are +ree +rom death and rebirth: They #an abide in a state o+ p,re #ons#io,snessD or appear in di++erent +ormsJa s,nsetD m,si#D a be""arD a tea#herJ in order to #omm,ni#ate their $isdom and o*e to ordinary bein"s: They are the *ery essen#e o+ #ompassion and $isdomD and their ener"y is a aro,nd ,sD a the time: E*ery i*in" bein"D by *irt,e o+ ha*in" a mindD is ab e to be#ome a b,ddha: The +,ndamenta nat,re o+ the mind is p,reD # earD and +ree o+ the # o,ds o+ dist,rbin" #on#eptions and emotions that no$ obs#,re it: As on" as $e identi+y $ith #on+,sed states o+ mindD be ie*in"D HI am an an"ry personF I am depressedF I ha*e so many prob emsDI $e don.t e*en "i*e o,rse *es the #han#e to #han"e: O+ #o,rseD o,r prob ems are *ery deep and #omp e-D b,t they are not as rea or as so id as $e thin1: We a so ha*e the $isdom that #an re#o"ni!e o,r mista1en thin1in"D and the #apa#ity to "i*e and to o*e: It is a matter o+ identi+yin" $ith and "rad,a y de*e opin" these 8,a ities to the point $here they arise spontaneo,s y and e++ort ess y: It is not easy to be#ome en i"htenedD b,t it is possib e: In this meditationD $e *is,a i!e the +orm o+ Sha1yam,ni %,ddha and re#ite his mantra: Sha1yam,ni $as born a prin#eD SiddharthaD into a *ast y $ea thy +ami y t$o-and-a-ha + tho,sand years a"o in the north o+ India: 'e i*ed in his 1in"dom +or t$enty-nine yearsD she tered +rom the more ,np easant rea ities o+ h,man e-isten#e: 'e e*ent,a y en#o,ntered themD ho$e*erD in the +orm o+ a si#1 personD an o dD seni e personD and a #orpse: These e-perien#es a++e#ted him pro+o,nd y: 'is ne-t si"ni+i#ant en#o,nter $as $ith a $anderin" meditator $ho had trans#ended the #on#erns o+ ordinary i+e and rea#hed a state o+ ba an#e and serenity: )ea i!in" that his $ay o+ i+e ed on y to death and had no rea D astin" *a ,eD Prin#e Siddhartha de#ided to ea*e his home and +ami y and "o to the +orest to meditate: A+ter many years o+ persistentD sin" e-minded e++ortD meetin" and o*er#omin" one di++i#, ty a+ter anotherD he attained en i"htenmentJthat isD he be#ame a b,ddha: 'a*in" th,s +reed himse + +rom a de ,sions and s,++erin"D he aspired to he p others rea#h en i"htenment tooF his #ompassion $as imit ess: 'e $as no$ thirty-+i*e years o d: 'e spent the remainin" +orty-+i*e years o+ his i+e e-p ainin" the $ay to ,nderstand the mindD dea $ith prob emsD de*e op o*e and #ompassionD and th,s be#ome en i"htened: 'is tea#hin"s $ere remar1ab y + ,idD *aryin" a##ordin" to the needsD #apabi itiesD and persona ities o+ his isteners: 'e ed them s1i +, y to$ard ,nderstandin" the , timate nat,re o+ rea ity: The %,ddha.s i+e itse + $as a tea#hin"D an e-amp e o+ the path to en i"htenmentD and his death a tea#hin" on impermanen#e:

A po$er+, $ay to dis#o*er o,r o$n b,ddha-nat,re is to open o,rse *es to the e-terna b,ddha: With #ontin,a pra#ti#eD o,r ordinary se +-ima"e "rad,a y +a s a$ay and $e earn instead to identi+y $ith o,r innate $isdom and #ompassionG o,r o$n b,ddhahood:

The ,ract ce
2efuge and motivation Ca m yo,r mind by doin" a +e$ moments o+ meditation on the breath: ThenD #ontemp ate the prayer o+ ta1in" re+,"e and "eneratin" a bodhi#hitta moti*ationG

Sha1yam,ni %,ddha

I "o +or re+,"e ,nti I am en i"htened To the %,ddhaD the DharmaD and the S,preme Assemb y: %y my pra#ti#e o+ "i*in" and other per+e#tionsD May I be#ome a %,ddha to bene+it a sentient bein"s: ?0 times@ (enerate o*e and #ompassion by re+ e#tin" brie+ y on the predi#ament o+ a bein"sG their $ish to e-perien#e tr,e happiness and their inabi ity to obtain itD and their $ish to a*oid s,++erin" and their #ontin,a en#o,nters $ith it: Then thin1G HIn order to he p a bein"s and ead them to the per+e#t pea#e and happiness o+ en i"htenment I myse + m,st attain en i"htenment: 4or this p,rpose I sha pra#ti#e this meditation:I 3isuali4ation of the /uddha E*ery aspe#t o+ the *is,a i!ation is made o+ i"htG transparentD intan"ib eD and radiant: At the e*e o+ yo,r +orehead and bet$een si- and ei"ht +eet a$ay is a ar"e "o den throne adorned $ith Ee$e s and s,pported at ea#h o+ its +o,r #orners by a pair o+ sno$ ions: These anima sD in rea ity mani+estations o+ bodhisatt*asD ha*e $hite +,r and a "reen mane and tai : On the + at s,r+a#e o+ the throne is a seat #onsistin" o+ a ar"e open ot,s and t$o radiant dis#s representin" the s,n and the moonD one on top o+ the other: These three obEe#ts symbo i!e the three prin#ipa rea i!ations o+ the path to en i"htenmentG the ot,sD ren,n#iationF the s,nD emptinessF and the moonD bodhi#hitta: Seated ,pon this is the %,ddhaD $ho has attained these rea i!ations and is the embodiment o+ a en i"htened bein"s: 'is body is o+ "o den i"ht and he $ears the sa++ron robes o+ a mon1: 'is robes do not a#t,a y to,#h his body b,t are separated +rom it by abo,t an in#h: 'e is seated in the *aEraD or +, - ot,sD post,re: The pa m o+ his ri"ht hand rests on his ri"ht 1neeD the +in"ers to,#hin" the moon #,shionD si"ni+yin" his "reat #ontro : 'is e+t hand rests in his ap in the meditation poseD ho din" a bo$ +i ed $ith ne#tarD $hi#h is medi#ine +or #,rin" o,r dist,rbin" states o+ mind and other hindran#es: %,ddha.s +a#e is *ery bea,ti+, : 'is smi in"D #ompassionate "a!e is dire#ted at yo, andD sim, taneo,s yD to$ard e*ery other i*in" bein": 4ee that he is +ree o+ a E,d"in"D #riti#a tho,"hts and that he a##epts yo, E,st as yo, are: 'is eyes are on" and narro$: 'is ips are #herry red and the obes o+ his ears are on": 'is hair is b ,e-b a#1 and ea#h hair is indi*id,a y #,r ed to the ri"ht and not mi-ed $ith the others: E*ery +eat,re o+ his appearan#e represents an attrib,te o+ his omnis#ient mind: )ays o+ i"ht emanate +rom e*ery pore o+ %,ddha.s p,re body and rea#h e*ery #orner o+ the ,ni*erse: These rays are a#t,a y #omposed o+ #o,nt ess miniat,re b,ddhasD some "oin" o,t to he p i*in" bein"sD others disso *in" ba#1 into his bodyD ha*in" +inished their $or1: 1urification 4ee the i*in" presen#e o+ %,ddha and ta1e re+,"e in himD re#a in" his per+e#t 8,a ities and his $i in"ness and abi ity to he p yo,: Ma1e a re8,est +rom yo,r heart to re#ei*e his b essin"s to he p yo, to be#ome +ree +rom a yo,r ne"ati*e ener"yD

mis#on#eptionsD and other prob emsF and to re#ei*e a the rea i!ations o+ the path to en i"htenment: 5o,r re8,est is a##epted: A stream o+ p,ri+yin" $hite i"htD $hi#h is in the nat,re o+ the en i"htened mindD + o$s +rom %,ddha.s heart and enters yo,r body thro,"h the #ro$n o+ yo,r head: 2,st as the dar1ness in a room is instant y dispe ed the moment a i"ht is s$it#hed onD so too is the dar1ness o+ yo,r ne"ati*e ener"y dispe ed ,pon #onta#t $ith this radiant $hite i"ht: As it + o$s into yo,D +i in" yo,r body #omp ete yD re#ite the +o o$in" prayer three times: To the ",r,D +o,nderD %ha"a*anD tatha"ataD arhatD Per+e#t y #omp eted b,ddhaD ( orio,s #on8,eror Sha1yam,ni %,ddhaD I prostrateD ma1e o++erin"sD and "o +or re+,"e: P ease "rant me yo,r b essin"s: No$D re#ite %,ddha.s mantraD tadyatha o) )uni )uni )aha )uniye svaha ?prono,n#ed ta3ya3ta o) )oo3nee )oo3nee )a3ha )oo3na3yay so3ha @' )epeat it o,t o,dD or #hant itD at east se*en timesD then say it 8,iet y to yo,rse + +or a +e$ min,tes: When yo, ha*e +inished re#itin"D +ee that a yo,r ne"ati*e ener"yD prob ems and s,bt e obs#,rations ha*e been #omp ete y p,ri+ied: 5o,r body +ee s b iss+, and i"ht: Con#entrate on this +or a $hi e: 2eceiving inspiring strength Ais,a i!e that a stream o+ "o den i"ht des#ends +rom the %,ddha.s heart and + o$s into yo,r body thro,"h the #ro$n o+ yo,r head: The essen#e o+ this i"ht is the e-#e ent 8,a ities o+ his p,re bodyD spee#hD and mind: 'e #an trans+orm his body into di++erent +ormsD animate and inanimateD to he p i*in" bein"s a##ordin" to their indi*id,a needs and parti#, ar states o+ mind: With his spee#h he #an #omm,ni#ate di++erent aspe#ts o+ the Dharma sim, taneo,s y to bein"s o+ *ario,s e*e s o+ de*e opment and be ,nderstood by them in their respe#ti*e an",a"es: 'is omnis#ient mind sees # ear y e*ery atom o+ e-isten#e and e*ery o##,rren#eJpastD presentD and +,t,reJand 1no$s the tho,"hts o+ e*ery i*in" bein"G s,#h is his a$areness in e*ery moment: These in+inite "ood 8,a ities + o$ into e*ery part o+ yo,r body: Con#entrate on this b iss+, e-perien#e $hi e a"ain repeatin" the mantraD tadyatha o) )uni )uni )aha )uniye svaha' When yo, ha*e +inished the re#itation +ee that yo, ha*e re#ei*ed the in+inite e-#e ent 8,a ities o+ %,ddha.s bodyD spee#hD and mind: 5o,r body +ee s i"ht and b iss+, : Con#entrate on this +or some time:

-$sorption of the visuali4ation No$D *is,a i!e that the ei"ht sno$ ions absorb into the throneD the throne into the ot,s and the ot,s into the s,n and moon: TheyD in t,rnD absorb into the %,ddhaD $ho no$ #omes to the spa#e abo*e yo,r headD me ts into i"htD and disso *es into yo,r body: 5o,r ordinary sense o+ IJ,n$orthy and b,rdened $ith +a, tsJand a yo,r other $ron" #on#eptions disappear #omp ete y: In that instant yo, be#ome one $ith the %,ddha.s b iss+, D omnis#ient mind in the aspe#t o+ *ast empty spa#e: Con#entrate on this e-perien#e +or as on" as possib eD a o$in" no other tho,"hts to distra#t yo,: Enlightening all sentient $eings ThenD ima"ine that +rom this empty state there appear in the p a#e $here yo, are sittin" the throneD ot,sD s,nD and moonD and ,pon these yo,rse + as the %,ddha: E*erythin" is o+ the nat,re o+ i"htD e-a#t y as yo, had *is,a i!ed be+ore in +ront o+ yo,: 4ee that yo, are %,ddha: Identi+y $ith his en i"htened $isdom and #ompassion instead o+ $ith yo,r ,s,a in#orre#t se +-*ie$: S,rro,ndin" yo, in e*ery dire#tion and +i in" a o+ spa#e are a i*in" bein"s: (enerate o*e and #ompassion +or them by re#a in" that they too $ant to a#hie*e happiness and pea#e o+ mind and +reedom +rom a prob ems: No$ that yo, are en i"htened yo, #an he p them: At yo,r heart are a ot,s and a moon: Standin" ,pri"ht aro,nd the #ir#,m+eren#e o+ the moonD readin" # o#1$iseD are the sy ab es o+ the mantraD tadyatha o) )uni )uni )aha )uniye svaha' The seed-sy ab e )u) ?prono,n#ed )oo)@ stands at the moon.s #enter: Ais,a i!e that rays o+ i"htJa#t,a y yo,r $isdom and #ompassionJemanate +rom e*ery etter and spread in a dire#tions: They rea#h the #o,nt ess sentient bein"s s,rro,ndin" yo, and #omp ete y p,ri+y them o+ their obs#,rations and de ,sions and +i them $ith inspiration and stren"th: Whi e ima"inin" thisD a"ain re#ite the mantraD tadyatha o) )uni )uni )aha )uniye svaha' When yo, ha*e +inished re#itin"D thin1G HNo$ I ha*e ed a sentient bein"s to en i"htenmentD th,s +, +i in" my intention +or doin" this meditation:I Ais,a i!e that e*eryone s,rro,ndin" yo, is no$ in the +orm o+ %,ddha and is e-perien#in" #omp ete b iss and the $isdom o+ emptiness: 5o, sho, d not $orry that yo,r meditation is a sham and that yo, ha*e not he ped e*en one person a#hie*e en i"htenment: This pra#ti#e is 1no$n as Hbrin"in" the +,t,re res, t into the present pathI and is a po$er+, #a,se +or o,r o$n en i"htenment: It he ps ,s de*e op +irm #on*i#tion in o,r innate per+e#tionJo,r b,ddha-potentia F that $hat $e ha*e E,st done in meditation $e $i de+inite y a##omp ish one day: Dedication Con# ,de the session by dedi#atin" a the positi*e ener"y and insi"ht yo, ha*e "ained by doin" this meditation to yo,r e*ent,a attainment o+ en i"htenment +or the bene+it o+ a i*in" bein"s:

E-,lanat on of the mantra


Tadyatha Th,s &) The en i"htened stateF the positi*e 8,a ities o+ the b,ddhas. bodiesD spee#hD and minds: Muni Contro Jo*er ,n+ort,nate rebirths and se +-"raspin" i"noran#e: Muni Contro Jo*er the s,++erin"s o+ #y# i# e-isten#e and the se +-#herishin" attit,de: Maha )uniye (reat #ontro Jo*er the s,++erin"s o+ s,bt e i ,sions and d,a isti# thin1in": Svaha May my mind re#ei*eD absorbD and 1eep the b essin"s o+ the mantraD and may they ta1e root in my mind:

5
Med tat on on the 'eal ng %+ddha
%,ddhism p a#es a "reat dea o+ emphasis on the interre ationship bet$een o,r mindD o,r bodyD and o,r hea th: %,ddha e-p ained that ne"ati*e aspe#ts o+ the mind ead to si#1ness and ,nhappinessD $hereas positi*e aspe#ts o+ the mind ead to "ood hea th and happiness: A##ordin" to the Tibetan medi#a systemD based on tea#hin"s o+ the %,ddhaD the three Hpoisono,sI states o+ mindJatta#hmentD an"er and i"noran#eJare at the root o+ a disease: In re#ent timesD Western do#tors and s#ientists ha*e #on+irmed this: St,dies sho$ that peop e s,++erin" +rom #hroni# emotiona stress s,#h as an-ietyD depressionD or an"er and hosti ity ha*e do,b e the a*era"e ris1 o+ be#omin" serio,s y i : A soD many do#tors and psy#ho o"ists +ind that the so,r#e o+ #an#er ies in ne"ati*e attit,des and that it #an be #,red by "eneratin" positi*e attit,des: %,ddhism o++ers a n,mber o+ spirit,a methods that #an be ,ti i!ed in #onE,n#tion $ith medi#ine and other treatments to o*er#ome i ness: These in# ,de i*in" ethi#a yD meditation pra#ti#e to red,#e stressD and $or1in" on dist,rbin" emotions s,#h as an"erD +earD and depression: There are a so a n,mber o+ hea in" pra#ti#es that in*o *e *is,a i!in" %,ddha-ima"es and re#itin" their mantras: One o+ the most $e -1no$n and e++e#ti*e o+ these pra#ti#es is that o+ the 'ea in" %,ddhaD ,s,a y re+erred to as the Medi#ine %,ddha: Whi e on the path to en i"htenmentD the Medi#ine %,ddha made a series o+ *o$s to he p sentient bein"s d,rin" di++i#, t times s,#h as o,r o$nD $hen there is an in#rease in de ,sionsD so#ia prob emsD $arsD nat,ra disastersD and menta and physi#a diseases: The pra#ti#e o+ Medi#ine %,ddha is parti#, ar y bene+i#ia +or peop e $ho are i D in a #omaD or dyin": %,t the pra#ti#e is a so e++e#ti*e in # earin" a$ay obsta# esD and th,s #an ead to s,##ess in $hate*er endea*ors $e en"a"e inD spirit,a or ordinary:

Medi#ine %,ddha
This pra#ti#e #an be done +or yo,rse +D or +or another person $ho is i or in need o+ he pD in $hi#h #ase yo, $o, d *is,a i!e the Medi#ine %,ddha abo*e that person.s head:

The ,ract ce
Sit #om+ortab y $ith yo,r ba#1 strai"ht: Ta1e a +e$ min,tes to sett e yo,r mind into the present moment by +o#,sin" on yo,r breathin"D and ettin" "o o+ a other tho,"htsL: Motivation Then "enerate a positi*e moti*ation +or doin" the pra#ti#e: &ama Copa )inpo#he says that hea in" pra#ti#e is most e++e#ti*e $hen done $ith an a tr,isti# moti*ation: 5o, #an "enerate s,#h a moti*ation by thin1in" HI am "oin" to do this pra#ti#e in order to he p a bein"s be#ome +ree +rom s,++erin"s s,#h as diseaseD as $e as

+rom the #a,ses o+ s,++erin"sG de ,sions and 1arma:I 3isuali4ation Ais,a i!e the Medi#ine %,ddha a +e$ in#hes abo*e the top o+ yo,r head: 'e is sittin" on a moon dis1D $hi#h rests in the #enter o+ an opened ot,sD $ith his e"s #rossed in the *aEraD or +, - ot,sD positionD and +a#es the same $ay as yo,: 'is body is made o+ bri"ht roya -b ,e i"htD the #o or o+ apis a!, i: E*ery aspe#t o+ the *is,a i!ation is made o+ i"ht and radiates i"ht: 'is ri"ht hand rests on his ri"ht 1nee in the "est,re o+ "rantin" s,b ime rea i!ations and ho ds the stem o+ an arura ?myroba an@ p ant bet$een his th,mb and +irst +in"er: 'is e+t handD in his apD is in the "est,re o+ #on#entration and ho ds a apis a!, i bo$ +i ed $ith ne#tar: 'e $ears the three sa++ron robes o+ a mon1D and has a the si"ns and mar1s o+ a +, y-en i"htened %,ddha: 'is +a#e is pea#e+, and smi in"D oo1in" at a i*in" bein"s in the ,ni*erse $ith #ompassion and o*in"-1indness: Spend some time #ontemp atin" the *is,a i!ation o+ the Medi#ine %,ddha: Bnderstand that he is the embodiment o+ a en i"htened bein"s and their s,b ime 8,a ities: 4ee the pea#e and #ompassion emanatin" +rom him: I+ yo, $ishD yo, #an re#ite the +o o$in" prayers to "enerate de*otion to the Medi#ine %,ddha and the $ish to be#ome a %,ddha yo,rse + to bene+it a bein"sG 2efuge and $odhichitta I "o +or re+,"e ,nti I am en i"htened To the %,ddhaD the DharmaD and the S,preme Assemb y: %y my pra#ti#e o+ "i*in" and other per+e#tionsD May I be#ome a %,ddha to bene+it a sentient bein"s: ?0 times@

The four immeasura$le thoughts May a sentient bein"s ha*e happiness and the #a,ses o+ happinessF May a sentient bein"s be +ree +rom s,++erin" and the #a,ses o+ s,++erin"F May a sentient bein"s be inseparab e +rom the happiness that is +ree +rom s,++erin"F May a sentient bein"s abide in e8,animityD +ree +rom atta#hment and an"er that ho d some # ose and others distant:

1rayer to the Medicine /uddha

To the bha"a*anD tatha"ataD arhatD +, y en i"htened %,ddha Medi#ine (,r,D 7in" o+ &apis &i"htD I prostrateD "o +or re+,"eD and ma1e o++erin"s: May yo,r *o$ to bene+it sentient bein"s no$ ripen +or myse + and others: ?; times@ Then *is,a i!e in+inite rays o+ radiant $hite i"ht + o$in" do$n +rom the heart and body o+ the Medi#ine %,ddha: This i"ht +i s yo,r body and p,ri+ies a diseaseD a++ i#tions d,e to spirits or b a#1 ma"i#D as $e as the #a,se o+ these prob emsG yo,r ne"ati*e 1armaD de ,sionsD and menta obs#,rations: A these ne"ati*ities ea*e yo,r body in the +orm o+ thi#1 b a#1 i8,idD i1e en"ine oi : 5o,r body be#omes as # ean and # ear as #rysta : 5o, #an a so ima"ine that a other bein"s are bein" p,ri+ied in the same $ay: 2icitation of Mantra Do this *is,a i!ation $hi e re#itin" the mantra o+ the Medi#ine %,ddhaG tadyatha o) bhaisha,ye bhaisha,ye )aha bhaisha,ye ra,a sa)udgate svaha ?Whi#h Tibetans prono,n#eG tayata o) be(an%ey be(an%ey )aha be(an%ey rad%a sa)ungatey soha@: )e#ite se*en timesD t$enty-one timesD or more: Then re#ite the mantra a"ainD as many times as yo, $ishD and *is,a i!e that the i"ht + o$in" +rom the Medi#ine %,ddha +i s yo,r body a"ainD brin"in" a the rea i!ations o+ the path to en i"htenmentD and a the 8,a ities o+ the b,ddhas and bodhisatt*as: 5o, #an ima"ine that the same happens to a other bein"s: 4ee that yo, and a other bein"s ha*e a#t,a y re#ei*ed a these e-#e ent 8,a itiesG that yo, ha*e re#ei*ed the b essin"s and inspiration o+ the Medi#ine %,ddha: -$sorption 4ina yD *is,a i!e that the Medi#ine %,ddha me ts into i"htD $hi#h absorbs into yo,r heart: 5o,r mind be#omes one $ith the en i"htened mind o+ a b,ddhas: &et yo,r mind rest +or a $hi e in a state that is #omp ete y # earD pea#e+, D and +ree +rom its ,s,a b,sy tho,"hts and #on#eptions: 4ee that this is yo,r tr,e nat,reL: Dedication To #on# ,deD dedi#ate the meritD or positi*e ener"yD o+ the meditation that it may brin" tr,e physi#a and menta hea th and happiness to a sentient bein"sD and may be the #a,se +or their e*ent,a attainment o+ en i"htenment: I+ yo, $ishD yo, #an a so re#ite the +o o$in" dedi#ation prayersG Thro,"h these merits May I 8,i#1 y attain the state o+ Medi#ine %,ddhaD And ead a i*in" bein"sD $itho,t e-#eptionD Into that en i"htened state: May the s,preme Ee$e bodhi#hitta That has not arisenD arise and "ro$F And may that $hi#h has arisen not diminish %,t in#rease more and more:

E-,lanat on of the mantra


Tadyatha Th,s &) Si"ni+ies the en i"htened stateF the positi*e 8,a ities o+ the b,ddhas. bodiesD spee#h and minds: -haisha,ye Medi#ineF hea in"F e imination o+ pain: 'ere it si"ni+ies hea in" the pain o+ o,r physi#a and menta s,++erin"s: -haisha,ye 'ea in": 'ere it si"ni+ies hea in" the pain o+ the #a,ses o+ s,++erin"G de ,sions and 1arma: Maha bhaisha,ye (reat hea in": This si"ni+ies hea in" e*en the s,bt e imprints o+ dist,rbin" tho,"hts and emotions: Ra,a 7in" Sa)udgate S,preme Svaha May my mind re#ei*eD absorbD and 1eep the b essin"s o+ the mantraD and may they ta1e root in my mind:

8
Med tat on on the E ght @erses of Tho+ght Transformat on
A good )ind" a good heart" and ar) feelings are )ost i)!ortant' If you do not have such a good heart" you yourself cannot function" you cannot be ha!!y" and conse8uently your fa)ily" children" and neighbors ill not be ha!!y either' Thus fro) nation to nation and continent to continent" everyone5s )ind ill beco)e disturbed and !eo!le ill not be ha!!y' -ut if you do have a good attitude" a good )ind" a good heart" the o!!osite is true' So" in hu)an society" love" co)!assion" and (indness are the )ost i)!ortant things2 they are truly !recious' It is orth hile )a(ing an effort to develo! a good" good heart' JHis Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai 4a)a 'a*in" a "ood heart means ha*in" o*eJ$antin" others to be happyJand #ompassion J$antin" them to be +ree o+ s,++erin": To thin1 in this $ay is the method +or a#hie*in" o,r o$n happiness and the happiness o+ others: We mi"ht 1no$ thisD b,t $hy is it so di++i#, t? The #hie+ obsta# e is o,r habit o+ thin1in" o+ o,rse *es +irstJo,r se +-#herishin" attit,de: Most o+ the time $e are preo##,pied $ith 1eepin" o,rse *es happy and #om+ortab eD tryin" to +, +i o,r desiresD and $orryin" abo,t o,r prob emsD on y o##asiona y +indin" the ener"y and the spa#e to rea y open o,r hearts to the needs o+ another: It is se +-#herishin" that moti*ates ,s to ta1e the bi""est pie#e o+ #a1e or the most #om+ortab e #hair in the roomF to p,sh to the head o+ the 8,e,e or dri*e as i+ o,rs $ere the on y #ar on the roadF to do $hat $e +ee i1e doin" $itho,t #onsiderin" ho$ it mi"ht a++e#t others: Se +-#herishin" operates more s,bt yD tooF it ies behind o,r irritationD prideD Eea o,syD an-ietyD and depression: In +a#tD E,st abo,t e*ery time $e are ,nhappy or ,neasy it is be#a,se $e are o*er y #on#erned $ith )e' We +ee that ,n ess $e ta1e #are o+ o,rse *es $e $i not be happy: In +a#tD the *ery opposite is tr,e: E"o.s appetite is insatiab eJtryin" to +, +i its $ishes is a ne*er-endin" Eob: No matter ho$ m,#h $e ha*eD e"o #ontin,o,s y "ro$s rest ess and oo1s +or more: We ne*er rea#h a point $here $e +ee , timate y satis+iedD $hen $e #an sayD HNo$ I.*e had eno,"h:I I+D on the other handD $e #an t,rn o,r mind aro,nd to thin1 o+ others and p,t their needs and desires +irstD $e $i +ind pea#e: There is a serenity that #omes +rom tr, y #herishin" others: %y a#tin" a $ays a##ordin" to $hat is east dist,rbin" +or othersD e"o is "rad,a y s,bd,ed and o,r i+e and re ationships ta1e on a ne$ dimension: %,t the attit,de o+ #herishin" others is not based on dis i1in" onese + or s,ppressin" one.s +ee in"s: It is de*e oped by "rad,a y #omin" to re#o"ni!e that e*eryone needs o*e and $ants happinessD E,st as $e doF that e*ery bein" in the ,ni*erse is part o+ one bi" +ami yD that $e a depend on ea#h otherD and there is no s,#h thin" as an o,tsiderF that se +#herishin" brin"s prob ems and #herishin" others brin"s pea#e o+ mind:

It is not easy to de*e op ,ni*ersa o*e and #ompassionD b,t as soon as $e start tryin" to do so $e $i see the #han"es in o,r i+e: We need to perse*ereD and to be 1ind to o,rse *es: At times it may seem that $e are not "ettin" any betterD b,t this is on y be#a,seD $ith deeper #ons#ientio,snessD $e are no$ more a$are o+ o,r mindD o+ $hat has been there a the time: We m,st remember that it ta1es time and e++ort to o*er#ome habits b,i t ,p o*er a i+etimeJo*er many i+etimesD in +a#t/ The Tibetan %,ddhist tradition #ontains many pra#ti#es +or impro*in" o,r attit,des to$ard others: This meditation be on"s to the tho,"ht trans+ormation tea#hin"s and pra#ti#esD $hi#h ?as dis#,ssed in the meditation on ton" en on pa"e 119@ are #on#erned $ith trans+ormin" the attit,de o+ se +-#herishin" into one o+ #herishin" others: The +ina aim is the de*e opment o+ bodhi#hittaD the mind aspirin" to rea#h en i"htenment +or the sa1e o+ a bein"s: This pra#ti#eD #omposed by &ama Copa )inpo#heD #ombines a meditation on A*a o1itesh*araD the b,ddha o+ #ompassionD $ith an ei"ht-*erse prayer #ontainin" the essen#e o+ tho,"ht trans+ormationD $ritten by an e e*enth #ent,ry meditation masterD &an"ri Tan"pa:

The ,ract ce
Motivation Seated #om+ortab y $ith a 8,ietD re a-ed mindD "enerate a stron" and positi*e moti*ation +or doin" this meditation: )e+ e#t ,pon the points o+ the "rad,ated path to en i"htenment ?pa"e 1<0@ or ,pon the +o o$in"G It is not eno,"h mere y to ens,re that I a*oid s,++erin" in this and +,t,re i+etimes: I m,st be#ome #omp ete y +ree +rom #y# i# e-isten#eD the end ess ro,nd o+ death and rebirth: %,t this too is inade8,ate: 'o$ #an I attain the b iss o+ iberationD ea*in" behind a other i*in" bein"s? E*ery sentient bein" has been my motherD not E,st on#e b,t many times in my pre*io,s i*esD and ea#h has #ared +or me E,st i1e my present mother: ?Thin1 o+ the 1indness o+ yo,r present motherD a that she has done +or yo, +rom the time yo, $ere born: Thin1 that a bein"s ha*e been as 1ind as this:@ I ha*e depended ,pon them +or a the happiness I ha*e e*er e-perien#ed: A the +ood I eatD the # othes I $earD the boo1s I readD the she ter I ha*eF a the m,si#D mo*ies and other p eas,res I enEoy #ome to me thro,"h the 1indness o+ others: At the momentD these 1ind sentient bein"s are e-perien#in" s,++erin"D andD o,t o+ i"noran#eD are #reatin" the #a,ses +or +,t,re misery:

)e#a the i*es o+ peop e yo, 1no$Jre ati*esD +riendsD and nei"hbors: What prob emsD physi#a and menta D are they e-perien#in"? 2,st as yo, do not $ant prob ems and painD neither do they: 2,st as yo, $ant happiness and pea#e o+ mindD so do they: %,t do they ha*e any so ,tions? Do they ha*e any methods to a#hie*e the happiness they $ant and a*oid the s,++erin" they do not $ant? (enerate the determination to ta1e responsibi ity +or +reein" all sentient bein"s +rom their s,++erin" and eadin" them to the b iss o+ en i"htenment: %,t to a##omp ish this yo, yo,rse + m,st be en i"htened: En i"htenment is not $itho,t #a,ses and #onditions: The prin#ipa #a,se is the o*in" and #ompassionate mind o+ bodhi#hitta: There+ore I sha pra#ti#e the pro+o,nd tea#hin" on trainin" the mind in bodhi#hitta: 3isuali4ation Ais,a i!e at the e*e o+ yo,r +oreheadD a body.s en"th a$ayD A*a o1itesh*araD the b,ddha o+ #ompassion ?see pi#t,reD pa"e 169@: I+ yo, ha*e a spirit,a tea#herD thin1 that A*a o1itesh*ara is the mani+estation o+ and inseparab e +rom him or her: 'is body is o+ p,re $hite i"ht and radiates rainbo$ i"ht o+ +i*e #o orsG $hiteD redD b ,eD "reenD and ye o$: 'e has a "ent e smi e and oo1s at yo, and a other bein"s $ith eyes o+ the "reatest #ompassion: 'e has +o,r arms: The hands o+ the +irst t$o are to"ether at his heart and ho d a pre#io,s Ee$e that is #apab e o+ +, +i in" the $ishes o+ e*ery i*in" bein": 'is other ri"ht hand ho ds a #rysta rosary and his other e+t a $hite ot,s: 'e is seated in the *aEra post,re on a ot,s and a moon dis1 and is s,rro,nded by the +, moon as his a,ra: 'e $ears e-8,isite si 1 # othes and pre#io,s Ee$e ed ornaments: An ante ope s1in #o*ers his e+t sho, der and breast: The entire *is,a i!ation is o+ radiant i"ht: ?See pa"e 1;6 +or an e-p anation o+ the +o o$in" prayers:@ The seven lim$s )e*erent yD I prostrate to (,r, A*a o1itesh*ara $ith my bodyD spee#h and mindF I present # o,ds o+ e*ery type o+ o++erin"D a#t,a and ima"inedF I de# are a my ne"ati*e a#tions a##,m, ated sin#e be"innin" ess time And reEoi#e in the merit o+ a ho y and ordinary bein"s: P easeD remain ,nti the end o+ #y# i# e-isten#e And t,rn the $hee o+ Dharma +or i*in" bein"s: %e#a,se o+ the merits o+ myse + and othersD may the t$o bodhi#hittas ripenD And may I re#ei*e the "reat en i"htenment +or the sa1e o+ a sentient bein"s:

Mandala offering

This "ro,ndD anointed $ith per+,meD stre$n $ith + o$ersD Adorned $ith Mo,nt Mer,D +o,r #ontinentsD the s,n and the moonG I ima"ine this as a b,ddha+ie d and o++er it: May a i*in" bein"s enEoy this p,re and:

1rayer of re5uest May the ",r,.s i+e be on": May a bein"s thro,"ho,t in+inite spa#e re#ei*e happiness and #om+ort: May I and a othersD $itho,t e-#eptionD a##,m, ate meritD P,ri+y a obs#,rationsD and 8,i#1 y attain en i"htenment: Pre#io,s ",r,D p ease "rant me b essin"s that my mind $i be#ome DharmaD That Dharma $i be#ome the pathD That hindran#es in the path may not o##,rD That I may #ease a $ron" #on#eptions And re#ei*e immediate y the t$o pre#io,s bodhi#hittas: Ida) guru ratna )andala(a) niryataya)i I send +orth this Ee$e ed manda a to yo, pre#io,s ",r,s: A*a o1itesh*ara is e-treme y p eased $ith yo,r re8,est and ,pon his ot,s and moon seat des#ends to the #ro$n o+ yo,r head:

The Eight 3erses of Thought Transformation )e#ite the *ersesD #on#entratin" on their meanin": Spend as on" as yo, i1e on ea#h one: With ea#h *erseD *is,a i!e a stream o+ b iss+, $hite ne#tar po,rin" o,t +rom the sy ab e hri at A*a o1itesh*ara.s heartD + o$in" into yo,r body thro,"h the #ro$n o+ yo,r head: It +i s yo, #omp ete yD p,ri+yin" a yo,r ne"ati*ities and obs#,rations and brin"in" a rea i!ationsJin parti#, ar the obs#,rations and rea i!ations mentioned in the *erse yo, are meditatin" ,pon: 1: With the tho,"ht o+ attainin" en i"htenment 4or the $e +are o+ a bein"sD Who are more pre#io,s than $ish-+, +i in" Ee$e sD I $i #onstant y pra#ti#e ho din" them dear:

&i*in" bein"s are pre#io,s be#a,se $itho,t them $e $o, d ha*e no opport,nity to de*e op "enerosityD o*eD patien#eD and other a tr,isti# 8,a ities or to o*er#ome o,r se +ishness: The ne#tar +rom A*a o1itesh*ara p,ri+ies the se +-#herishin" tho,"ht that pre*ents me +rom ho din" others more dear and besto$s the rea i!ation o+ #herishin" others more than myse +: 2: Whene*er I am $ith others I $i pra#ti#e seein" myse + as the o$est o+ a D And +rom the *ery depths o+ my heart I $i ho d others dear and s,preme: This is a po$er+, $ay to #o,ntera#t o,r habit,a tenden#y to$ard +indin" +a, t in others and #riti#i!in" them: InsteadD $e sho, d #ontin,a y re#o"ni!e their "ood 8,a ities and potentia D and re#a o,r o$n +a, ts and short#omin"s: The ne#tar p,ri+ies pride and se +-#herishin" and brin"s the rea i!ation o+ bodhi#hittaD $hi#h re"ards others as dear and s,preme: 0: In a a#tions I $i e-amine my mind and The moment a de ,sion arisesD Endan"erin" myse + and othersD I $i #on+ront and a*ert it $itho,t de ay: This *erse stresses the importan#e o+ mind+, ness: Thro,"ho,t the dayD in e*erythin" $e doJ$or1in"D ta 1in"D $at#hin" te e*isionD meditatin"J$e sho, d be a$are o+ $hat is happenin" in o,r mind: Whene*er a ne"ati*e tho,"ht i1e an"erD Eea o,syD or pride arisesD $e sho, d ta1e note o+ it and dea $ith it as soon as possib e: I+ $e do not pra#ti#e i1e thisD de ,sions remain in the mindD "ro$ stron"erD and po ,te o,r e*ery +ee in" and per#eption: The ne#tar p,ri+ies the obs#,rations that pre*ent me +rom #on+rontin" and dea in" $ith ,ns,bd,ed tho,"hts and brin"s the rea i!ation o+ bodhi#hitta and the $isdom o+ emptinessD $hi#h e-tin",ish s,#h tho,"hts: 3: Whene*er I meet a person o+ bad nat,re Who is o*er$he med by ne"ati*e ener"y and intense s,++erin"D I $i ho d s,#h a rare one dearD As i+ I had +o,nd a pre#io,s treas,re: It is not *ery di++i#, t to ha*e positi*e +ee in"s to$ard peop e $ho are 1ind and "oodnat,redD b,t o,r o*e is rea y p,t to the test $hen $e meet peop e $ith m,#h ne"ati*e

ener"y: %e#a,se they "i*e ,s the #han#e to see ho$ stron" o,r patien#e and #ompassion areJand th,s brin" ,s do$n to earth as +ar as o,r spirit,a de*e opment is #on#ernedJ $e sho, d re"ard them as rare and pre#io,s: The ne#tar p,ri+ies the se +-#herishin" tho,"ht that pre*ents me +rom re"ardin" harm+, bein"s as pre#io,s and dearD and brin"s the rea i!ation o+ bodhi#hittaD $hi#h ho ds e*en harm+, bein"s dear: 6: When othersD o,t o+ Eea o,syD Mistreat me $ith ab,seD s anderD and s#ornD I $i pra#ti#e a##eptin" de+eat And o++erin" the *i#tory to them: When someone #riti#i!es ,sD to o,r +a#e or behind o,r ba#1D $e sho, d not an"ri y try to de+end o,rse *es or h,r ab,se in ret,rn: Instead $e sho, d remember that any bad e-perien#e is the nat,ra o,t#ome o+ o,r o$n past a#tionsJ$e #an probab y thin1 o+ many instan#es $hen $e #riti#i!ed others: We #an try to ta 1 $ith the person $ho is #omp ainin"Jnot $ith an"er b,t #ompassionJ to "et them to #a m do$n and thin1 more positi*e yD b,t i+ they re+,se to be reasonab e $e sho, d E,st et "o and a##ept the sit,ation: Any$ayD it is "ood to isten $ith an open mind to #riti#ismJit is o+ten #orre#t and it #an a $ays tea#h ,s somethin" abo,t o,rse *es: The ne#tar p,ri+ies the se +-#herishin" tho,"ht that pre*ents me +rom a##eptin" de+eat and "i*in" the *i#tory to othersD and brin"s the rea i!ations that enab e me to do this: 9: When someone I ha*e bene+ited And in $hom I ha*e p a#ed "reat tr,st ',rts me *ery bad yD I $i pra#ti#e seein" that person as my s,preme tea#her: E*ery "ood or bad e-perien#e that o##,rs in o,r i+e is the res, t o+ o,r past a#tionsD so there is rea y no s,#h thin" as ,ndeser*ed harm: This idea may be di++i#, t to a##eptD espe#ia y $hen the harm #omes +rom someone $e ha*e he ped and +rom $hom $e e-pe#t at east "ratit,de: %,t it is a 8,estion o+ be#omin" +ami iar $ith the a$ o+ #a,se and e++e#tJ$e m,st ne#essari y ha*e #reated the #a,se to be harmed: A soD i+ $e ha*e "ood ,nderstandin" o+ the importan#e o+ de*e opin" patien#eD $e $i be ab e to see that someone $ho harms ,s is "i*in" ,s a *a ,ab e tea#hin" on the spirit,a path: The ne#tar p,ri+ies the se +-#herishin" tho,"ht that pre*ents me +rom re"ardin" harm+, bein"s as my spirit,a tea#hersD and brin"s the attainment o+ the bodhisatt*a.s per+e#tion o+ patien#eD $hi#h enab es me to do this:

;: In shortD I $i o++er dire#t y and indire#t y E*ery bene+it and happiness to a bein"sD my mothers: I $i pra#ti#e in se#ret ta1in" ,pon myse + A their harm+, a#tions and s,++erin": The essen#e o+ tho,"ht trans+ormation is e-#han"in" se + +or othersJrep a#in" the attit,de o+ #herishin" onese + $ith that o+ #herishin" others: Norma y $e $or1 on ma1in" o,rse *es happy and a*oidin" prob emsD e*en i+ it means h,rtin" othersD b,t here $e re*erse o,r prioritiesF $e aspire to "i*e happiness to others and to ta1e on their prob emsD indi++erent to o,r o$n $e +are: This meditation is an interna oneD in*o *in" a #han"e in o,r state o+ mindF it is there+ore Hse#retDI not somethin" that e*eryone #an see ,s pra#ti#in": The ne#tar p,ri+ies the se +-#herishin" tho,"ht that pre*ents me +rom ta1in" ,pon myse + a bein"s. harm+, a#tions and s,++erin"sD and brin"s the rea i!ation o+ bodhi#hittaD $hi#h o++ers happiness to them and ta1es on their s,++erin": <: Thro,"h per#ei*in" a phenomena as i ,sory I $i 1eep these pra#ti#es Bnde+i ed by the stains o+ the ei"ht $or d y #on#ernsD AndD +ree +rom # in"in"D I $i re ease a bein"s 4rom the bonda"e o+ the dist,rbin" ,ns,bd,ed mind and 1arma: When o,r moti*ation +or doin" somethin" in*o *es any o+ the ei"ht $or d y #on#ernsJ atta#hment to p eas,reD praiseD "ainD and +ameD and a*ersion to painD b ameD ossD and notorietyJthe a#tion is non-dharmaD non-spirit,a : %y rea i!in" the i ,soryD dream- i1e nat,re o+ a thin"s and a sit,ationsD $e nat,ra y earn to et "o and # in" ess ti"ht y to s,#h #on#erns: The +ina aim o+ this pra#ti#e is to +ree o,rse *es +rom i"noran#eD se +-#herishin"D and a ne"ati*e ener"y in order to he p others be#ome +reeD too: The ne#tar p,ri+ies the se +-#herishin" tho,"ht and se +-"raspin" i"noran#e that pre*ent me +rom seein" a thin"s as i ,soryD and brin"s the rea i!ation o+ emptinessD $hi#h +rees me +rom the bonda"e o+ the ,ns,bd,ed mind and 1arma: 6ompletion Ma1e the +o o$in" re8,est +rom the depths o+ yo,r heart: To yo,D "reat y #ompassionate oneD I re8,estG P ease e-tend yo,r ho y hand and ead me and a bein"s To the b iss+, p,re rea m a+ter this i+e: P ease be o,r spirit,a +riend in a i*es And ead ,s 8,i#1 y to en i"htenment:

A*a o1itesh*ara a##epts yo,r re8,est: A stream o+ ne#tar + o$s +rom his heart into yo,D #omp ete y +i in" yo,r body and mind: A obs#,rationsD ne"ati*e imprintsD and diseases are p,ri+ied instant y: 5o,r body be#omes #rysta -# ear: Then A*a o1itesh*ara me ts into i"ht and absorbs into yo,: Ima"ine yo, are no$ one $ith A*a o1itesh*araF yo,r bodyD spee#hD and mind indistin",ishab y one $ith his ho y bodyD spee#hD and mind: 5o, are s,rro,nded in a dire#tions by a sentient bein"s: -valo7iteshvara.s mantra No$D $hi e re#itin" the mantra o) )ani !ad)e hu)" *is,a i!e #o,nt ess rays o+ i"ht radiatin" +rom yo,r heartD ea#h $ith a tiny A*a o1itesh*ara at its tip: These #ompassionate b,ddhas sett e abo*e the heads o+ a sentient bein"s and $ith streams o+ ne#tar p,ri+y their ne"ati*ities and obs#,rations: 4ina yD they absorb into the sentient bein"sD $ho a be#ome one $ith A*a o1itesh*ara:

Dedication

May a the s,++erin" and #a,ses o+ s,++erin" O+ a sentient bein"s ripen on me no$D And may a sentient bein"s re#ei*e A my happiness and *irt,e: May the s,preme Ee$e bodhi#hitta That has not arisenD arise and "ro$F And may that $hi#h has arisen not diminish %,t in#rease more and more: May I ne*er be dis#o,ra"edD e*en +or a momentD 4rom pra#ti#in" the deeds o+ the bodhisatt*as +or the sa1e o+ othersD %y #omp ete y reno,n#in" anythin" done +or my o$n sa1e And by en"a"in" in the ho y a#tions o+ the 1ind +o,nderD Sha1yam,ni %,ddha: Thro,"h these merits May I 8,i#1 y attain the state o+ the (reat Compassionate OneD AndD $itho,t e-#eptionD ead a mother sentient bein"sD Who are most hi"h and nob eD to that en i"htened state:

:
Prayer to Tara
Why is it that some peop e s,##eed in near y e*ery thin" they set o,t to do $hi e others +ai #onstant y? We say that those $ho s,##eed are H ,#1yDI b,t %,ddhism e-p ains that in the past they ha*e #reated the #a,ses to e-perien#e their s,##essJother$ise they $o, d not be e-perien#in" it no$ ?see the meditation on 1arma on pa"e <>@: I+ $e $ant to meet $ith +ort,nateD satis+yin" e-perien#es $e m,st #reate the ne#essary #a,ses: This is tr,e +or any a#ti*ityJ$hether it be a b,siness *ent,reD sportD or spirit,a pra#ti#e: We tend to +ind that the more di++i#, t the "oa D the "reater the obsta# es: An e++e#ti*e method +or o*er#omin" these prob ems and a#hie*in" s,##ess is ma1in" prayers and re8,ests to TaraD the &iberator: Tara is a mani+estation o+ the $isdomD #ompassionD o*e andD in parti#, arD the s1i +, a#ti*ity o+ a en i"htened bein"s: Ea#h detai o+ her ima"e represents a di++erent aspe#t o+ the pathG +or e-amp eD her "reen #o or symbo i!es her abi ity to a#t: 'er ri"ht hand is in the "est,re o+ "rantin" s,b ime rea i!ations and her e+t in the "est,re o+ re+,"e: 'er +ema e +orm demonstrates that en i"htenment is attainab e by a J$omen and men a i1e: The pra#ti#e "i*en here in*o *es repetition o+ a +i*e- ine prayerD $hi#h is the essen#e o+ the prayer 1no$n as the T$enty-one Aerses in Praise o+ TaraD and #ontains her mantraD o) tare tuttare ture svaha ?prono,n#ed o) ta3ray too3ta3ray too3ray so3ha@F see e-p anation on pa"e 219' There is a story abo,t ho$ this +i*e- ine prayer ori"inated: In the tenth #ent,ryD the trans ator +or AtishaD the "reat Indian tea#her $ho i*ed in TibetD be#ame i : DromtonpaD Atisha.s dis#ip eD predi#ted that i+ the trans ator re#ited the T$enty-one Aerses in Praise o+ Tara ten tho,sand timesD he $o, d re#o*er +rom his i ness: The man $as too si#1 to re#ite this on" prayerD so AtishaD $ho had dire#t #omm,ni#ation $ith TaraD re8,ested her ad*i#e: She "a*e him the +i*e- ine prayerD a sin" e repetition o+ $hi#h is e8,i*a ent to re#itation o+ the t$enty-one *erses: The trans ator #omp eted the ten tho,sand repetitions and soon a+ter re#o*ered +, y +rom his i ness:

Tara the &iberator


This pra#ti#e has been #ompi ed by &ama Copa )inpo#he as a $ay +or ,s to open o,r hearts to Tara.s in#redib y 1indD inspirin" ener"y:

The ,ract ce
Ais,a i!e Tara in the spa#e be+ore yo,D emera d "reen in #o orD seated on a ot,s and moon: She is a mani+estation o+ a the b,ddhas. omnis#ien#eD o*eD and #ompassionD and is o+ the nat,re o+ i"htD not so id or #on#rete: 'er e+t e" is dra$n ,pD si"ni+yin" her #omp ete #ontro o*er desireD and her ri"ht e" is e-tendedD indi#atin" that she is ready to rise to the aid o+ a bein"s: 'er e+t hand is at her heart in the re+,"e "est,reG pa m +a#in" o,t$ardD th,mb and rin" +in"er EoinedD and the remainin" three +in"ers raised: 'er ri"ht hand is on her ri"ht 1nee in the "est,re o+ "rantin" s,b ime rea i!ationsG pa m +a#in" o,t$ardD $ith the +in"ers oose y pointin" do$n: In ea#h hand she ho ds the stem o+ a

b ,e ,tpa a + o$erD symbo o+ the ,nb o#1in" o+ the #entra #hanne : She is bea,ti+, y adorned $ith si 1 "arments and Ee$e ornamentsD and her smi in" +a#e radiates o*e and #ompassion: A sentient bein"sD in h,man +ormD s,rro,nd yo,G the peop e yo, are # ose to are behind yo,D those yo, do not i1e are in +ront o+ yo,D and a the rest are on either side o+ yo,: 5o, are #omp ete y s,rro,nded by a sentient bein"sD as +ar as the eye #an see: E*eryone Eoins yo, in re#itin" the +o o$in" prayers: 2efuge and $odhichitta motivation I "o +or re+,"e ,nti I am en i"htened To the %,ddhaD the Dharma and the S,preme Assemb y: %y my pra#ti#e o+ "i*in" and other per+e#tionsD May I be#ome a %,ddha to bene+it a sentient bein"s: ?0 times@

The four immeasura$le thoughts May a sentient bein"s ha*e happiness and the #a,ses o+ happinessF May a sentient bein"s be +ree +rom s,++erin" and the #a,ses o+ s,++erin"F May a sentient bein"s be inseparab e +rom the happiness that is +ree +rom s,++erin"F May a sentient bein"s abide in e8,animityD +ree +rom atta#hment and an"er that ho d some # ose and others distant:

The seven lim$s )e*erent yD I prostrate $ith my bodyD spee#h and mindF I present # o,ds o+ e*ery type o+ o++erin"D a#t,a and ima"inedF I de# are a my ne"ati*e a#tions a##,m, ated sin#e be"innin" ess time And reEoi#e in the merit o+ a ho y and ordinary bein"s: P easeD remain ,nti the end o+ #y# i# e-isten#e And t,rn the $hee o+ Dharma +or i*in" bein"s: I dedi#ate my o$n merits and those o+ a others to the "reat en i"htenment:

Mandala offering This "ro,ndD anointed $ith per+,meD stre$n $ith + o$ersD Adorned $ith Mo,nt Mer,D +o,r #ontinentsD the s,n and the moonG I ima"ine this as a b,ddha+ie d and o++er it: May a i*in" bein"s enEoy this p,re and/ Ida) guru ratna )andala(a) niryataya)i I send +orth this Ee$e ed manda a to yo, pre#io,s ",r,s: 1rayer to Tara No$ re#a any spe#ia re8,est yo, $ant to ma1eJs,##ess in yo,r spirit,a or $or d y a#ti*itiesD the hea th and on" i+e o+ yo,r re ati*esD +riendsD or yo,rse +D or anythin" at a that yo, $ant: With these needs in mindD re#ite the short prayer to Tara as many times as yo, #anD $hi e either remainin" seated or ma1in" prostrations: &) I prostrate to the "oddess +oe destroyerD iberatin" ady TaraD 'oma"e to tareD sa*ioressD heroineD With tuttare dispe in" a +earsD (rantin" a bene+its $ith tureD To her $ith so,nd svahaD I bo$: As yo, re#ite the prayer *is,a i!e rays o+ i"ht $ith ne#tar r,nnin" do$n them ? i1e raindrops r,nnin" do$n a $ire@ emanatin" +rom the point $here Tara.s e+t th,mb and rin" +in"er to,#h: The rays and ne#tar + o$ #ontin,o,s yD rea#hin" yo, and a the bein"s s,rro,ndin" yo,D p,ri+yin" yo,r hindran#es to Dharma pra#ti#e and the obs#,rations to iberation and en i"htenment: )emember the prob ems o+ a the peop e yo, are prayin" +or: Thin1 a so o+ the s,++erin"s and tro,b es bein" e-perien#ed by the sentient bein"s s,rro,ndin" yo,G peop e +i"htin" $arsD +ee in" i or one yF those +, o+ an"erD prideD or Eea o,sy: As the rays and ne#tar enter their bodies and mindsD their s,++erin" and the #a,ses o+ their s,++erin" are #omp ete y e-tin",ished: A sentient bein"s be#ome tota y iberated: Thin1 $ith deep #on*i#tion that Tara has a##epted yo,r re8,ests and ans$ered yo,r prayers: D,rin" the +irst ha + o+ yo,r re#itation yo, #an *is,a i!e the p,ri+i#ation des#ribed abo*eD and d,rin" the se#ond ha + yo, #an *is,a i!e that yo, and a bein"s be#ome one $ith TaraG $ith ea#h prayer an identi#a Tara emanates +rom the Tara *is,a i!ed in +ront o+ yo, and disso *es into yo, and e*eryone e se: 5o, a be#ome #omp ete y one $ith Tara.s ho y bodyD spee#hD and mind: Dedication D,e to the merits o+ these *irt,o,s a#tions

May I 8,i#1 y attain the state o+ Tara And ead a i*in" bein"sD $itho,t e-#eptionD Into that en i"htened state: May the s,preme Ee$e bodhi#hitta That has not arisenD arise and "ro$F And may that $hi#h has arisen not diminishD %,t in#rease more and more:

E-,lanat on of the mantra


&) #ontains three so,ndsG ah" oh" and ))" and si"ni+ies the immeas,rab e 8,a ities o+ the en i"htened bein"s. ho y bodiesD spee#hD and minds: A##ordin" to the tantri# tea#hin"s o+ %,ddhaD the paths in# ,ded in the mantra o) tare tuttare ture svaha ead to the omnis#ient state o+ mind: %y a#t,a i!in" these paths in o,r mind $e p,ri+y o,r bodyD spee#hD and mind and trans+orm them into Tara.s ho y bodyD spee#hD and mind: 'ereD o) is the "oa and tare tuttare ture is the path: Tare+ HShe $ho iberates:I Bs,a yD HTaraI means to iberate +rom ,n+ort,nate rebirthsD the s,++erin"s o+ #y# i# e-isten#eD and the s,bt e trap o+ nir*ana: A tho,"h one mi"ht be#ome +ree +rom #y# i# e-isten#e and attain nir*anaD it ta1es a on" time to ro,se onese + +rom this b iss+, state o+ pea#e and be"in to $or1 +or sentient bein"s: Compared $ith the moti*ation o+ attainin" en i"htenment in order to $or1 +or othersD the "oa o+ attainin" nir*ana +or onese + a one is imited: Th,s Tara +rees ,s not on y +rom #y# i# e-isten#e b,t a so +rom the b iss+, state o+ pea#e and eads ,s to en i"htenment: This is the ,s,a meanin" o+ the +irst tare in the mantra: It represents e*erythin" +rom $hi#h $e sho, d be iberatedD the path that iberatesD and the "oa to $hi#h Tara eads ,sG the omnis#ient state o+ en i"htenment: 'ereD ho$e*erD the meanin" o+ tare is e-p ained as bein" iberation +rom #y# i# e-isten#eD the +irst o+ the +o,r tr,thsJs,++erin": Tuttare+ HWho e iminates a +ears:I Tara is said to +ree ,s +rom ei"ht H+earsDI or the s,++erin"s o+ ei"ht 1inds o+ de ,sionD ea#h o+ $hi#h is #ompared to an e-terna #a,se o+ +earG the s,++erin" o+ atta#hmentD $hi#h is i1e a "reat + oodF the s,++erin" o+ an"erD $hi#h is i1e +ireF the s,++erin" o+ i"noran#eD $hi#h is i1e an e ephantF the s,++erin" o+ Eea o,syD $hi#h is i1e a sna1eF the s,++erin" o+ prideD $hi#h is i1e a ionF the s,++erin" o+ miser inessD $hi#h is i1e imprisonin" #hainsF the s,++erin" o+ $ron" *ie$sD $hi#h is i1e a thie+F and the s,++erin" o+ do,btD $hi#h is i1e a "host: I+ $e ta1e re+,"e in TaraD re#ite her mantraD and pra#ti#e her methodD she $i re ease ,s +rom not on y the interna s,++erin"s o+ the de ,sions b,t a so +rom e-terna dan"ers s,#h as + oodsD +iresD and thie*es: Th,sD $ith tuttare Tara iberates ,s +rom the tr,e #a,ses o+ s,++erin" ?the se#ond o+ the +o,r nob e tr,ths@J1armaD and the de ,sions that "i*e rise to 1arma: %y re#itin" itD o,r

+ears #an be dispe edD $hi#h indi#ates that Tara eads ,s to the tr,e pathD the abso ,te DharmaJthe a#t,a remedy +or the #a,ses o+ s,++erin": Ture+ HWho "rants a s,##ess:I 'ereD s,##ess re+ers to the "oa s o+ pra#titioners ha*in" the three e*e s o+ moti*ationG a +ort,nate birthD the "oa o+ the initia e*e o+ moti*ationF nir*anaD the "oa o+ the intermediate e*e o+ moti*ationF and en i"htenmentD the "oa o+ the hi"hest e*e o+ moti*ation: HA s,##essI a so re+ers to s,##ess in a p,rs,its o+ this i+eJin re ationshipsD in b,sinessD in +indin" per+e#t #onditions +or o,r Dharma pra#ti#eD and in a##omp ishin" o,r Dharma "oa s: Svaha+ Ea#h $ord o+ the mantra +rom o) to svaha per+orms a parti#, ar +,n#tionD as e-p ained abo*eF ea#h brin"s "reat bene+it: Th,s Hto svaha and the other sy ab es $e o++er the "reatest homa"e:I Svaha itse + means HMay the b essin"s o+ Tara that are #ontained in the mantra o) tare tuttare ture ta1e root in o,r hearts:I I+ $e $ant to "ro$ app es in o,r "ardenD $e sho, d p ant the root o+ an app e tree: Simi ar yD i+ $e $ant to attain en i"htenment $e sho, d p ant in o,r heart the root o+ the #omp ete pathD $hi#h is #ontained in the mantra o) tare tuttare ture svaha: %y prayin" to Tara and re#itin" her mantra $e re#ei*e her b essin"sF thro,"h Tara.s b essin"s enterin" o,r heart $e are ab e to "enerate the entire path to en i"htenment: %y "eneratin" the pathJmethod and $isdomJin o,r mindsD o,r imp,re bodyD spee#hD and mind are p,ri+ied and trans+ormed into Tara.s ho y bodyD spee#hD and mind:

;
@aDrasatt*a P+r f cat on
WhyD $hen $e sit do$n to meditateD does o,r mind $ander he p ess y here and there? Why is it so di++i#, t to #ontro the mind and attain rea i!ations? Perhaps $e ima"ine that thin"s $ere easier be+ore $e started to meditate/ Trans+ormin" the mind is not easyD so it is not s,rprisin" that $e e-perien#e obsta# es and prob ems: It is not that $e a#1 $isdom or the abi ity to meditate proper yD to penetrate deep into the mindF ratherD $e are distra#ted be#a,se o+ the ne"ati*e ener"y o+ o,r de ,sionsD o,r distorted #on#eptions and emotionsD $hi#h ha*e been a##,m, atin" sin#e be"innin" ess time: When $e sit do$n to meditateD this ener"y mani+ests physi#a y as dis#om+ort or rest essness and menta y as s eepinessD a"itationD tensionD or do,bt: O,r $ea1 $isdom+ ame e-ists b,t is no mat#h +or this dar1 storm o+ ne"ati*e ener"y: It is possib e to sti the stormD to p,ri+y the ne"ati*e ener"y that pre*ents ,s +rom a#t,a i!in" the path to en i"htenment: An espe#ia y po$er+, AaErayana method is the pra#ti#e asso#iated $ith the b,ddha AaErasatt*a ?TibetanG DorEe Sempa@: It is said to be as e++e#ti*e in b,rnin" a$ay de ,sions and ne"ati*e ener"y as is a "reat +ire in b,rnin" a$ay tho,sands o+ a#res o+ +orest: One o+ the #hara#teristi#s o+ 1arma ?see pa"e <>@D is that it in#reases $ith timeD in the same $ay that one +r,it seed res, ts in many +r,its: It is ob*io,sD thenD that to pre*ent the res, ts o+ ne"ati*e a#tions in#reasin" it is ne#essary to p,ri+y o,r minds o+ imprints e+t by ne"ati*e a#tions o+ bodyD spee#hD and mind:

AaErasatt*aD the %,ddha o+ P,ri+i#ation


)e#itation o+ the AaErasatt*a mantra at east t$enty-one times at the end o+ e*ery day is said to pre*ent the po$er o+ that day.s ne"ati*e 1arma +rom in#reasin": )e#itation o+ the mantra one h,ndred-tho,sand timesD in the ri"ht #onditions and $ith the ri"ht state o+ mindD has the po$er to p,ri+y a ne"ati*e imprints #omp ete y: Comp ete p,ri+i#ation o+ o,r ne"ati*e 1armaJ$hi#h ens,res that $e $i ne*er need to e-perien#e the res, ts o+ o,r ne"ati*e a#tionsJdepends on stron"D p,re #on+ession: The +o,r steps in this ar"e y interna pra#ti#e are 1no$n as the +o,r opponent po$ers ?see a so pa"e =>@: The t$o meditations hereJby &ama Copa )inpo#heJ#ombine *is,a i!ation o+ AaErasatt*a $ith the +o,r po$ersF one is done $hi e sittin" and the other $hi e prostratin":

The ,ract ce wh le s tt ng

1. The po)er of reliance Ais,a i!e abo,t +o,r in#hes abo*e the #ro$n o+ yo,r headD an open $hite ot,s bearin" a moon dis1D ,pon $hi#h is seated AaErasatt*a: 'e is $hiteD trans ,#ent and adorned $ith bea,ti+, ornaments and # othes o+ #e estia si 1: E*ery aspe#t o+ this *is,a i!ation is in the nat,re o+ i"ht: 'e has t$o handsD #rossed at his heartG the ri"ht ho ds a *aEraD symbo i# o+ "reat b issF the e+t ho ds a be D symbo i# o+ the $isdom o+ emptiness: The *aEra and be to"ether si"ni+y his attainment o+ the en i"htened stateD the inseparab e ,nity o+ the $isdom and +orm bodies: At his heart is a moon dis1 $ith the seed sy ab e hu) at its #enter and the etters o+ the h,ndred-sy ab e mantra o+ AaErasatt*a standin" # o#1$ise aro,nd its ed"e: 'o din" this *is,a i!ation # ear y in yo,r mindD re#ite the +o o$in" prayer: 2efuge and $odhichitta I ta1e re+,"e in the s,b ime pre#io,s threeF I $i iberate a sentient bein"s And ead them to en i"htenmentF Th,s per+e#t y do I "enerate bodhi#hitta: ?0 times@

2. The po)er of regret )e#o e#t $ith deep re"ret the spe#i+i# ne"ati*ities yo, ha*e #reated: Then meditate deep y on the meanin" o+ the +o o$in"G The ne"ati*e 1arma I ha*e a##,m, ated thro,"ho,t be"innin" ess time is as e-tensi*e as the treas,ry o+ a "reat 1in": A tho,"h e*ery ne"ati*e a#tion eads to #o,nt ess eons o+ s,++erin"D it seems that I am #onstant y stri*in" to #reate nothin" b,t ne"ati*e a#tions: E*en tho,"h I am tryin" to a*oid non*irt,e and pra#ti#e positi*e a#tsD day and ni"ht $itho,t respite ne"ati*ities and mora do$n+a s #ome to me i1e rain+a : I a#1 the abi ity to p,ri+y these +a, ts so that no tra#e o+ them remainsF $ith these ne"ati*e imprints sti in my mindD I #o, d s,dden y die and +ind myse + +a in" to an ,n+ort,nate rebirth: What #an I do? P easeD AaErasatt*aD $ith yo,r "reat #ompassionD ",ide me +rom s,#h misery/

3. The po)er of remedy Ais,a i!e i"ht radiatin" in a dire#tions +rom the hu) at AaErasatt*a.s heartD re8,estin" the b,ddhas to besto$ their b essin"s: They a##ept the re8,est and send $hite rays o+ i"ht and ne#tarD the essen#e o+ $hi#h is the 1no$ ed"e o+ their bodyD spee#hD and mind: This i"ht and ne#tar +a i1e a rain o+ mi 1 and are absorbed into the hu) and mantra at AaErasatt*a.s heart: 4i in" his ho y body #omp ete yD they enhan#e the ma"ni+i#en#e o+ his appearan#eD and in#rease the bri ian#e o+ the mantra ,nti it shines $ith the i"ht o+ one h,ndred-tho,sand moons re+ e#tin" o++ sno$y mo,ntains: ThenD $hi e re#itin" AaErasatt*a.s mantraD *is,a i!e that $hite rays o+ i"ht and ne#tar stream do$n #ontin,o,s y +rom the hu) and mantra at AaErasatt*a.s heart: They penetrate the #ro$n o+ yo,r headD +i in" yo,r body and mind $ith in+inite b iss: It is +ine to re#ite the short mantraD o) va,rasattva hu)" b,t it is hi"h y re#ommended to ,se the h,ndred-sy ab e mantra' o) va,rasattva sa)aya )anu !alaya 9 va,rasattva deno !atitha dido )ay bha a 9 suto (ayo )ay bha a 9 su!o (ayo )ay bha a 9 anu ra(to )ay bha a 9 sar a siddhi )ay !ar ya tsa 9 sar a (ar)a su tsa )ay 9 tsi ta) shri ya) (uru hu) 9 ha ha ha ha ho 9 bhaga an 9 sar a tathagata 9 va,ra )a )ay )u tsa 9 va,ra bha a )aha sa)aya sattva 9 ah hu) !ay 9

Contin,e re#itin" the mantra and *is,a i!in" the + o$ o+ i"ht and ne#tarD $hi e a so per+ormin" the +o o$in" +o,r *is,a i!ations in t,rn: 1urification of $ody 5o,r de ,sions and ne"ati*ities in "enera D and parti#, ar y those o+ the bodyD ta1e the +orm o+ b a#1 in1D and si#1nesses and a++ i#tions #a,sed by spirits ta1e the +orm o+ s#orpionsD sna1esD +ro"sD and #rabs: 4 ,shed o,t by the i"ht and ne#tarD they a ea*e yo,r body thro,"h the o$er openin"sD i1e +i thy $ater + o$in" +rom a drainpipe: 5o, are no$ #omp ete y emptied o+ these prob emsF they no on"er e-ist any$here: 1urification of speech 5o,r de ,sions and the imprints o+ ne"ati*ities o+ spee#h ta1e the +orm o+ i8,id tar: The i"ht and ne#tar +i yo,r body as $ater +i s a dirty " assG the ne"ati*itiesD i1e the dirt in the " assD rise to the top and + o$ o,t thro,"h the ,pper openin"s o+ yo,r body: 5o, are #omp ete y emptied o+ these prob emsF they no on"er e-ist any$here: 1urification of the mind 5o,r de ,sions and imprints o+ menta ne"ati*ities appear as dar1ness at yo,r heart: When str,#1 by the +or#e+, stream o+ i"ht and ne#tarD the dar1ness instant y disappears: 5o, are #omp ete y emptied o+ these prob emsF they no on"er e-ist any$here: 0imultaneous purification 4ina yD *is,a i!e these three p,ri+i#ations sim, taneo,s yF they s$eep a$ay the s,bt e obs#,rations that pre*ent yo, +rom seein" #orre#t y a that e-ists: 5o, are #omp ete y emptied o+ these prob emsF they no on"er e-ist any$here:

I+ yo, are short o+ timeD or E,st a!yD and ,nab e to do the pre#edin" *is,a i!ationsD there is a simp i+iedD a ternati*e *is,a i!ationG A the de ,sions and ne"ati*ities that yo, ha*e #o e#ted o*er be"innin" ess i+etimes appear as dar1ness at yo,r heart: As yo, re#ite the mantraD immeas,rab eD po$er+, rays o+ $hite i"ht and ne#tar po,r do$n +rom AaErasatt*a.s heart and penetrate the #ro$n o+ yo,r head: Instant yD the dar1ness at yo,r heart is dispe edD E,st as the dar1ness in a room *anishes the moment a i"ht is s$it#hed on:

4. The po)er of resolve Ma1e the +o o$in" promise to AaErasatt*aD spe#i+yin" the period +or $hi#h yo, intend to 1eep itG HI $i not #reate these ne"ati*e a#tions +rom no$ ,nti L:I AaErasatt*a is e-treme y p eased and saysG HChi d o+ the essen#eD a yo,r ne"ati*itiesD obs#,rationsD and de"enerated *o$s ha*e no$ been #omp ete y p,ri+ied:I Then AaErasatt*a me ts into i"ht and disso *es into yo,: 5o,r bodyD spee#hD and mind be#ome inseparab y one $ith AaErasatt*a.s ho y bodyD spee#hD and mind: At the #on# ,sion o+ the meditationD re#ite the +o o$in" prayersG D,e to the merits o+ these *irt,o,s a#tions May I 8,i#1 y attain the state o+ AaErasatt*aD And ead a i*in" bein"sD $itho,t e-#eptionD Into that en i"htened state: May the s,preme Ee$e bodhi#hitta That has not arisenD arise and "ro$F And may that $hi#h has arisen not diminish %,t in#rease more and more:

The ,ract ce wh le ,rostrat ng


1. The po)er of reliance Ais,a i!e AaErasatt*a in +ront o+ yo,D and a sentient bein"s in h,man +orm s,rro,ndin" yo,: Ta1e re+,"e and thin1G

In order to trans+orm my bodyD spee#hD and mind into the ho y bodyD spee#hD and mind o+ AaErasatt*a +or the so e p,rpose o+ en i"htenin" a mother sentient bein"sD $ith "reat respe#t I $i no$ ma1e prostrations:

2. The po)er of regret )e#o e#t $ith deep re"ret the ne"ati*ities yo, ha*e #reated $ith bodyD spee#hD and mind:

3. The po)er of remedy Whi e yo, prostrateD re#ite the AaErasatt*a mantra: Ais,a i!e the mantra as a stream o+ $hite ettersD made o+ i"htD + o$in" +rom a $hite o) at AaErasatt*a.s bro$ and absorbin" into yo,r o$n bro$D #omp ete y p,ri+yin" the obs#,rations o+ yo,r body: At the same timeD *is,a i!e the mantra as a stream o+ red ettersD made o+ i"htD + o$in" +rom a red ah at AaErasatt*a.s throat and disso *in" into yo,r o$n throatD #omp ete y p,ri+yin" the obs#,rations o+ yo,r spee#h: Sim, taneo,s yD *is,a i!e the mantra as a stream o+ b ,e ettersD made o+ i"htD + o$in" +rom a b ,e hu) at AaErasatt*a.s heart and disso *in" into yo,r o$n heartD #omp ete y p,ri+yin" the obs#,rations o+ yo,r mind: As yo, p,ri+y yo,rse + in this $ayD *is,a i!e a sentient bein"s aro,nd yo, a so prostratin" and p,ri+yin" their o$n bodiesD spee#hD and minds: A+ter ea#h prostrationD a rep i#a o+ AaErasatt*a absorbs into yo, and e*ery other bein": Thin1 that yo,r bodyD spee#hD and mind and those o+ a bein"s ha*e been #omp ete y p,ri+ied and are one $ith AaErasatt*a.s ho y bodyD spee#hD and mind:

4. The po)er of resolve At the end o+ the sessionD ma1e the promise ne*er to en"a"e in these ne"ati*ities a"ainD *is,a i!e AaErasatt*a disso *in" into yo, and a sentient bein"sD and dedi#ate the merit o+ the pra#ti#e $ith the t$o dedi#ation prayersD as e-p ained abo*e ?pa"e 219@:

E-,lanat on of the mantra


&) Si"ni+ies the 8,a ities o+ the b,ddhas. bodiesD spee#hD and minds: It a so stands +or $hat is a,spi#io,s and o+ hi"hest *a ,e:

$a,rasattva ?TibetanG DorEe Sempa@ The #o,ra"eo,s one $ho has inseparab e trans#endent $isdom: Sa)aya A p ed"e that #annot be trans"ressed: Manu !alaya &ead me a on" the path yo, too1 to en i"htenment: $a,rasattva deno !a To be # oser to the *aEra ho y mind: Titha P ease ma1e me abide: Dido 4irmF stab e be#a,se o+ its re ations to the abso ,te nat,re: May bha a P ease "rant me the abi ity to rea i!e the nat,re o+ phenomena: Suto (ayo )ay bha a P ease ha*e the nat,re o+ bein" e-#eedin" y p eased $ith me: Su!o (ayo )ay bha a May I be in the nat,re o+ the hi"h y de*e oped "reat b iss: Anu ra(to )ay bha a P ease be in the nat,re o+ the o*e that eads me to yo,r state: Sar a siddhi )ay !ar ya tsa P ease "rant me a the a#t,a attainments: Sar a (ar)a su tsa )ay P ease "rant me a the *irt,o,s a#tions: Tsi ta) shri ya) (uru P ease "rant me a yo,r " orio,s 8,a ities: Hu) Seed sy ab e si"ni+yin" the *aEra ho y mind: Ha ha ha ha ho Si"ni+ies the +i*e trans#endent $isdoms: -haga an One $ho has destroyed e*ery obs#,rationD attained a rea i!ationsD and passed beyond a s,++erin": Sar a tathagata A those $ho ha*e "one into the spa#e o+ emptiness E,st as it is: $a,ra Inseparab e: Ma )ay )u tsa Do not abandon me: $a,ra -ha a The nat,re o+ inseparabi ity: Maha sa)aya sattva The "reat #o,ra"eo,s one ha*in" the p ed"eD the ho y mind: Ah Seed sy ab e si"ni+yin" the *aEra ho y spee#h: Hu) Si"ni+ies the trans#endent $isdom o+ "reat b iss: Pay C ari+ies o,r ,nderstandin" o+ the trans#endent $isdom o+ inseparab e b iss and emptiness: It a so destroys the d,a isti# mind that is opposite to that $isdom:

In s,mmaryD the mantra meansG O "reat #o,ra"eo,s one $hose ho y mind is in the *aEra nat,re o+ a b,ddhasD ha*in" destroyed e*ery obs#,rationD attained a rea i!ations and passed beyond a s,++erin"D "one E,st as it isJdo not +orsa1e me b,t iberate meD p easeD a##ordin" to yo,r p ed"e:

<
The E ght Mahayana Prece,ts
6eepin" *o$sD or pre#eptsD o+ mora ity is the most e++e#ti*e $ay to remo*e hindran#es to spirit,a rea i!ations: 'indran#es are the imprints e+t on o,r mindstream by ,ns1i +, a#tions o+ bodyD spee#hD and mind: %y #ons#io,s y a*oidin" ne"ati*e a#tions $e nat,ra y #ease #reatin" more hindran#es and p,ri+y those o+ the pastD th,s # earin" o,r mind +or the attainment o+ rea i!ations: There are *ario,s e*e s o+ *o$s in %,ddhismD s,#h as the *o$s o+ +, ordination ta1en +or i+e by mon1s and n,nsD the *o$s o+ no*i#e mon1s and n,nsD and *o$s ta1en by ay peop e: The ta1in" o+ *o$s in a +orma #eremony be+ore one.s tea#hers or the *is,a i!ed b,ddhas is #onsidered to ha*e more po$er and meanin" +or the mind than simp y a*oidin" #ertain a#tions in an in+orma $ay: 4,rthermoreD i+ the *o$s are ta1en $ith the Mahayana moti*ation o+ bodhi#hittaD that isD +or the $e +are o+ a i*in" bein"sD the bene+i#ia res, ts are in+inite: It is important to st,dy the bene+its o+ 1eepin" *o$s and the disad*anta"es o+ brea1in" them ?e-p ained be o$@ so that $hen yo, do ta1e *o$s yo, ha*e +, ,nderstandin" o+ $hat yo, are doin": The Ei"ht Mahayana Pre#epts are a set o+ *o$s that anyone #an ta1e +or a period o+ t$enty-+o,r ho,rs: They #an be ta1en any timeD b,t the days o+ the ne$D +, D and 8,arter moons are re#ommended: The #eremony sho, d be per+ormed ear y in the mornin"D be+ore da$n ?or H$hi e it is sti too dar1 to see the ines on the pa m o+ yo,r o,tstret#hed handI@D and the *o$s sho, d be maintained ,nti da$n the +o o$in" day: The +irst time yo, ta1e the pre#epts yo, sho, d do so +rom a person $ho has re#ei*ed the ora transmission o+ the pra#ti#eD re"ardin" that person as %,ddha and ima"inin" that yo, are ma1in" yo,r promises to him or her: Therea+terD yo, #an per+orm the #eremony yo,rse +D re#itin" the prayers be+ore an ima"e o+ yo,r tea#her or the %,ddhaD a"ain ima"inin" that yo, are ta1in" the *o$s +rom %,ddha himse +: I+ yo, brea1 any o+ the *o$s d,rin" the dayD yo, sho, d p,ri+y the trans"ression as soon as possib e $ith the +o,r opponent po$ers ?see pa"es => or 21=@: In#reased +ami iarity $ith 1eepin" pre#epts $i essen the #han#es o+ #are essD ,n#ons#io,s trans"ression: The $enefits of 7eeping precepts %,ddha has saidD H7eepin" pre#epts is m,#h more bene+i#ia than ma1in" many o++erin"s to a the b,ddhas o*er as many eons as there are "rains o+ sand in the (an"es:I AndD a##ordin" to one "reat Indian panditD H7eepin" the ei"ht pre#epts +or E,st one day brin"s "reater bene+it to per+ormin" a#ts o+ #harity +or one h,ndred years:I %y 1eepin" pre#epts $e $i de*e op a # earD ,n# ,ttered mind and th,s +ind it easier to meditateF a*oid ,n+ort,nate rebirths and obtain h,man rebirths $ith a the ne#essary #onditions +or Dharma pra#ti#eF and meet per+e#t tea#hers in +,t,re i*esD thereby "i*in" o,rse *es the opport,nity to re#ei*e +,rther tea#hin"s and attain spirit,a rea i!ations: MaitreyaD the +,t,re b,ddhaD saidD HAny +o o$er o+ Sha1yam,ni %,ddha $ho 1eeps the ei"ht pre#epts $i be reborn as one o+ those aro,nd me:I And $e $i attain iberation

+rom #y# i# e-isten#e and +ina y the "oa o+ en i"htenmentD a#t,a i!in" the 1no$ ed"e and per+e#tions o+ the %,ddha.s ho y bodyD spee#hD and mind: The disadvantages of $rea7ing precepts 'a*in" promised not to do a parti#, ar ne"ati*e a#tion and ater doin" it res, ts in "reater ne"ati*e 1arma than doin" it ,nder ordinary #ir#,mstan#es: This sho, d be # ear y ,nderstood be+ore $e #ommit o,rse *es to any *o$s: Ta1in" and then brea1in" pre#epts amo,nts to yin" to the b,ddhasF moreo*erD be#a,se they are ta1en in order to bene+it a sentient bein"sD brea1in" pre#epts is i1e yin" to a sentient bein"s as $e : S,#h ne" i"en#e ea*es deep ne"ati*e imprints on the mindstream that $i ead to +,t,re mis+ort,ne: I+ pre#epts are bro1enD $e $i not re#ei*e the bene+its mentioned abo*e: In additionD $e $i remain on"er in #y# i# e-isten#e and e-perien#e the s,++erin"s o+ ,n+ort,nate rebirths: I+ $e are # ose to attainin" rea i!ationsD brea1in" pre#epts $i #a,se ,s to ose the insi"ht $e ha*e a ready de*e oped: It is essentia D there+oreD to ta1e the pre#epts serio,s y and $ith proper ,nderstandin":

The e ght ,rece,ts

1: To a*oid 1i in"D that isD #a,sin" the death o+ another i*in" bein" dire#t y or indire#t y: 2: To a*oid stea in"D that isD ta1in" somethin" o+ *a ,e that be on"s to another $itho,t their permission: This in# ,des borro$in" $ith the # ear intention not to ret,rn the obEe#t: 0: To a*oid se-,a inter#o,rse and any other type o+ se-,a #onta#tD in# ,din" se +-stim, ation: 3: To a*oid te in" iesD that isD de#ei*in" another by yo,r a#tions o+ bodyD spee#hD and mindD or ha*in" someone ie on yo,r beha +: It in# ,des yin" by imp i#ationD +or e-amp eD remainin" si ent in ans$er to a 8,estionD th,s a o$in" someone to dra$ a +a se #on# ,sion: 6: To a*oid into-i#antsD that isD a #oho D toba##oD re#reationa dr,"sD and so +orth: 9: To a*oid eatin" more than one mea d,rin" the t$enty-+o,r-ho,r period: The mea sho, d be ta1en be+ore noon and on#e yo, ha*e stopped eatin" +or more than thirty min,tes the mea is #onsidered +inished: Therea+ter i"ht + ,ids s,#h as tea and #o++ee #an be ta1enD b,t not ,ndi ,ted $ho e mi 1 or +r,it E,i#e $ith p, p: 5o, sho, d a so a*oid eatin" #ertain Hb a#1I +oodsD s,#h as meatD +ishD e""sD onionsD "ar i#D and radishes: ;: To a*oid sittin" on a hi"hD e-pensi*e bed or seat $ith pride: Ornate or Ee$e ed seats and anima -s1in #o*ers sho, d a so be a*oided:

<: To a*oid $earin" Ee$e ryD per+,meD and simi ar adornmentsD and to a*oid sin"in"D dan#in"D or p ayin" m,si# $ith atta#hment: 4or a pre#ept to be bro1enD +o,r #onditions m,st be metG 1: The moti*ation +or the a#tion m,st be a ne"ati*e attit,de s,#h as atta#hmentD a*ersionD and so +orth: 2: There m,st be an obEe#t o+ the a#tionD +or e-amp eD a bein" that is 1i edD an obEe#t that is sto enD and so +orth: 0: One m,st #arry o,t the a#tion or te another to do it: 3: The a#tion m,st be #omp etedD +or e-amp eD the bein" yo, 1i m,st die be+ore yo, doD or yo, m,st ha*e the tho,"ht Hthis is mineI re"ardin" a sto en obEe#t: The hea*iness or i"htness o+ the a#tion is determined by the intensity o+ these +o,r +a#tors: 4or e-amp eD an a#tion moti*ated by intense an"er is more serio,s than the same a#tion per+ormed o,t o+ i"noran#eF 1i in" a h,man bein" is more serio,s than 1i in" an inse#t: In order to ,nderstand this s,bEe#t more +, yD one sho, d st,dy 1armaD the a$ o+ #a,se and e++e#t:

The ceremony
Preli)inary !rayers" said hile standing+ 2efuge in the guru The ",r, is %,ddhaF the ",r, is DharmaF The ",r, is San"ha a soF The ",r, is the #reator o+ a ?happiness@F To a ",r,s I "o +or re+,"e: ?0 times@

/odhichitta motivation To a##omp ish my o$n and others. aimsD I "enerate the mind see1in" en i"htenment: ?0 times@

1urifying the environment E*ery$here may the "ro,nd be p,reD 4ree o+ the ro,"hness o+ pebb es and so +orth: May it be in the nat,re o+ apis a!, i And as smooth as the pa m o+ one.s hand:

8ffering prayer May h,man and di*ine o++erin"sD A#t,a y arran"ed and menta y #reatedD C o,ds o+ +inest Samantabhadra o++erin"sD 4i the entire spa#e:

Mantra to $less and increase the offerings o) na)o bhagavate va,ra sara !ra)ardane 9 tathagataya 9 arhate sa)ya(sa) buddhaya 9 tadyatha 9 o) va,re va,re 9 )aha va,re 9 )aha te,a va,re 9 )aha vidya va,re 9 )aha bodhichitta va,re 9 )aha bodhi ):ndo !asa) (ra)ana va,re 9 sarva (ar)a 9 ava rana visho dhana va,re svaha 9 ?0 times@

E!pressing the po)er of truth %y the po$er o+ tr,th o+ the Three )are S,b ime OnesD the b essin"s o+ a the b,ddhas and bodhisatt*asD the "reat $ea th o+ the #omp eted t$o #o e#tionsD and the sphere o+ phenomena bein" p,re and in#on#ei*ab eF may these pi es o+ # o,ds o+ o++erin"s arisin" thro,"h trans+ormation by the bodhisatt*as Arya SamantabhadraD ManE,shriD and so +orthJ,nima"inab e and ine-ha,stib eD e8,a in" the s1yJarise andD in the eyes o+ the b,ddhas and bodhisatt*as o+ the ten dire#tionsD be re#ei*ed:

+nvocation Prote#tor o+ a bein"s $itho,t e-#eptionD Di*ine destroyer o+ the intra#tab e e"ions o+ MaraF Per+e#t 1no$er o+ a thin"sG %ha"a*an and retin,eD p ease #ome here:

No$ do three prostrations $hi e repeatin" the mantraG o) na)o )an,ushriye na)ah sushriye na)a utta)a shriye svaha ?trans ationD not to be re#itedG o) homa"e to the " orio,s o*e y oneF homa"e to the *ery " orio,sF homa"e to the most " orio,s svaha@

No$ repeat the +o o$in" three times $ith prostrationsD then sit do$nG To the ",r,D +o,nderD %ha"a*anD tatha"ataD arhatD Per+e#t y #omp eted b,ddhaD ( orio,s #on8,eror Sha1yam,ni %,ddha I prostrateD ma1e o++erin"sD and "o +or re+,"e: P ease "rant me yo,r b essin"s:

The seven lim$s )e*erent yD I prostrate $ith my bodyD spee#hD and mindF I present # o,ds o+ e*ery type o+ o++erin"D a#t,a and ima"inedF I de# are a my ne"ati*e a#tions a##,m, ated sin#e be"innin" ess time And reEoi#e in the merit o+ a ho y and ordinary bein"s: P easeD remain ,nti the end o+ #y# i# e-isten#e And t,rn the $hee o+ Dharma +or i*in" bein"s: I dedi#ate my o$n merits and those o+ a others to the "reat en i"htenment:

Mandala offering This "ro,ndD anointed $ith per+,meD stre$n $ith + o$ersD Adorned $ith Mo,nt Mer,D +o,r #ontinentsD the s,nD and the moonG I ima"ine this as a b,ddha+ie d and o++er it: May a i*in" bein"s enEoy this p,re and/ The obEe#ts o+ my atta#hmentD a*ersionD and i"noran#eJ+riendsD enemies and stran"ersJ And my bodyD $ea thD and enEoymentsF Witho,t any sense o+ ossD I o++er this #o e#tion: P ease a##ept it $ith p eas,re And b ess me $ith +reedom +rom the three poisons: Ida) guru ratna )andala(a) niryataya)i I send +orth this Ee$e ed manda a to yo, pre#io,s ",r,s:

Ta7ing the ordination No$ stand ,p and ma1e three prostrations: ThenD 1nee on yo,r ri"ht 1nee $ith yo,r hands to"ether in prostration and yo,r head bo$ed: Ais,a i!e (,r, A*a o1itesh*ara be+ore yo,D "enerate the pro+o,nd bodhi#hitta moti*ation +or ta1in" the pre#eptsD and repeat three timesG A b,ddhas and bodhisatt*as d$e in" in the ten dire#tionsD p ease pay attention to me: 2,st as the pre*io,s tatha"athasD +oe destroyersD per+e#t y #omp eted b,ddhasD $hoD i1e the di*ine $ise horse and the "reat e ephantD did $hat had to be doneD per+ormed a#tionsD aid do$n the b,rdenD s,bse8,ent y attained their o$n $e +areD #omp ete y e-ha,sted the +etters to e-isten#eD and had per+e#t spee#hD $e - iberated mindsD and $e - iberated $isdomD +or the $e +are o+ a sentient bein"sD in order to bene+itD in order to iberateD in order to e iminate +amineD in order to eli)inate ar" in order to sto! the har) of the four ele)ents"; in order to e iminate si#1nessD in order to +, y #omp ete the thirty-se*en pra#ti#es harmonio,s $ith en i"htenmentD and in order to de+inite y a#t,a i!e the ,ns,rpassed res, t o+ per+e#tD #omp ete en i"htenmentD per+e#t y per+ormed the restorin" and p,ri+yin" ordinationF simi ar yD a so ID $ho am #a ed Osay your na)ePD +rom this time ,nti s,nrise tomorro$D +or the $e +are o+ a sentient bein"sD in order to bene+itD in order to iberateD in order to e iminate +amineD in order to eli)inate ar" in order to sto! the har) of the four ele)ents" < in order to e iminate si#1nessD in order to +, y #omp ete the thirty-se*en pra#ti#es harmonio,s $ith en i"htenmentD and in order to de+inite y a#t,a i!e the ,ns,rpassed res, t o+ per+e#tD #omp ete en i"htenmentD sha per+e#t y ,nderta1e the restorin" and p,ri+yin" ordination: Bpon #omp etin" the third re#itationD thin1 that yo, ha*e re#ei*ed the *o$s in yo,r #ontin,,m and reEoi#e: Then re"enerate the tho,"ht o+ bodhi#hittaD the a tr,isti# aspiration to attain en i"htenment +or the sa1e o+ a sentient bein"sD by thin1in"G 2,st as the +oe destroyers o+ the past ha*e abandoned a mis#ond,#t o+ bodyD spee#hD and mindD s,#h as ta1in" the i*es o+ othersD so sha ID +or the sa1e o+ a bein"sD abandon +or one day these $ron" a#tions and de*ote myse + to the p,re pra#ti#e o+ the trainin": The commitment prayer to 7eep the precepts 4rom no$ on I sha not 1i D stea others. possessionsD en"a"e in se-,a a#ti*ityD or spea1 +a se $ords: I sha a*oid into-i#antsD +rom $hi#h many mista1es arise: I sha not sit on ar"eD hi"hD or e-pensi*e beds: I sha not eat +ood at the $ron" times: I sha a*oid sin"in"D dan#in"D and p ayin" m,si#D and I sha not $ear per+,mesD "ar andsD or ornaments: 2,st as the arhats ha*e a*oided $ron" a#tions s,#h as ta1in" the i*es o+ othersD so sha I a*oid $ron" a#tions s,#h as ta1in" the i*es o+ others: May I 8,i#1 y attain en i"htenmentD and may the i*in" bein"s $ho are e-perien#in" the *ario,s s,++erin"s be re eased +rom the o#ean o+ #y# i# e-isten#e:

The mantra of pure morality 9to purify $ro7en precepts: o) ah)ogha shila sa)bhara 9 bhara bhara 9 )aha shuddha sattva !ad)a bibhushita bud%a 9 dhara dhara 9 sa)anta 9 avalo(ite hu) !hat svaha ?21 times@

Dedication prayers May I maintain +a, t ess mora ity o+ the r, es And imma#, ate mora ity: May the per+e#tion o+ mora #ond,#t be #omp eted %y 1eepin" mora ity p,re y and ,ntainted by pride: May the s,preme Ee$e bodhi#hitta That has not arisenD arise and "ro$F And may that $hi#h has arisen not diminish %,t in#rease more and more: In a my i*esD ne*er separated +rom per+e#t ",r,sD May I enEoy the ma"ni+i#ent Dharma: %y #omp etin" the 8,a ities o+ the sta"es and pathsD May I 8,i#1 y attain the state o+ AaEradhara: %e#a,se o+ the merits o+ ta1in" the ordination and 1eepin" the pre#eptsD May I and a sentient bein"s a#hie*e the t$o en i"htened ho y bodies Created by the t$o *ast a##,m, ations o+ merit and trans#endenta $isdom: 2,st as the bra*e ManE,shri and SamantabhadraD tooD )ea i!ed thin"s as they areD ID tooD dedi#ate a these merits in the best $ayD That I may +o o$ their per+e#t e-amp e: I dedi#ate a these roots o+ *irt,e With the dedi#ation praised as the best %y the *i#torio,s ones th,s "one o+ the three timesD So I mi"ht per+orm "ood $or1s: Ma1e three prostrations to #on# ,de the #eremony: Then thin1G This is my #ontrib,tion to the pea#e and happiness o+ a sentient bein"s andD in parti#, arD to the pea#e and happiness o+ a the sentient bein"s o+ this $or d: /Fro) the instructions of 4a)a =o!a Rin!oche1

I+ yo, happen to brea1 any o+ the pre#epts d,rin" the dayD +ee re"retD andD as soon as possib eD do a p,ri+i#ation pra#ti#e $ith the +o,r opponent po$ers ?see pa"es => or 21=@: 5o, #an re#ite the mantra o+ p,re mora ity ?pa"e 209@ t$enty-one times +or the po$er o+ remedy: At the end o+ the dayD dedi#ate the merit o+ 1eepin" the pre#eptsG Thro,"h these meritsD may I 8,i#1 y attain en i"htenment by rea i!in" ren,n#iationD bodhi#hittaD and emptinessD +or the sa1e o+ a sentient bein"s:

1=
Prostrat ons to the Th rtyEf *e %+ddhas
P,re mora dis#ip ine is essentia +or the rea i!ation o+ the "rad,ated path to en i"htenment: Mora dis#ip ineD one o+ the si- per+e#tionsD or pra#ti#es o+ a bodhisatt*aD entai s #reatin" positi*e a#tions and re+rainin" +rom and p,ri+yin" ne"ati*e a#tions and bro1en *o$s: The pra#ti#e o+ #on+ession and prostrations to the Thirty-+i*e %,ddhas ?a so 1no$n as The -odhisattva5s 0onfession of Moral Do nfalls @ is one o+ the many methods ,sed +or p,ri+i#ation: Ne"ati*e a#tions #an be p,ri+ied +, y on y i+ the +o,r opponent po$ers are ,sed ?see pa"es => or 21=@: These +o,r po$ers are in# ,ded in the #on+ession prayerG the po$er o+ re ian#e in the e-p i#it e-pression o+ re+,"e in the ",r,sD b,ddhasD DharmaD and San"haF the po$er o+ the remedy in the re#itation o+ the names o+ the Thirty-+i*e %,ddhasF the po$er o+ re"ret in the re#o e#tion o+ the ne"ati*e a#tions $e #reated in the pastD and the po$er o+ reso *e in the ine H:::+rom no$ on I promise to re+rain +rom these a#tions:I To ma1e the +o,r po$ers #omp eteD $e sho, d be"in by "eneratin" p,re bodhi#hitta moti*ation +or doin" the pra#ti#e: This method is espe#ia y po$er+, i+ pra#ti#ed +irst thin" in the mornin" to p,ri+y any ne"ati*ities #reated d,rin" the ni"htD and ast thin" at ni"ht to p,ri+y ne"ati*ities #reated d,rin" the day: The most e++e#ti*e $ay to ,se the prayer is to re#ite it $hi e menta y *is,a i!in" the Thirty-+i*e %,ddhas and physi#a y ma1in" prostrations ?see pa"e 1;;@: In this $ay one.s mindD spee#hD and body a ta1e part in the p,ri+i#ation pro#ess:

The Thirty-+i*e %,ddhas o+ Con+ession

The ,ract ce
Ais,a i!e the Thirty-+i*e %,ddhas: Sha1yam,ni %,ddhaD the +irst b,ddhaD is *is,a i!ed in the spa#e be+ore yo, and s i"ht y abo*e yo,r head: 'e is seated on a throne de#orated

$ith pear s and s,pported by a $hite e ephant: Pear D bein" $hiteD symbo i!es the #omp ete p,ri+i#ation o+ ne"ati*itiesD and the e ephantD bein" a po$er+, anima D symbo i!es po$er+, p,ri+i#ation: %,ddha sits in the *aEra post,reD $earin" the robes o+ a mon1F his ri"ht hand is in the earth-to,#hin" "est,re $hi e his e+t is in his apD ho din" a bo$ +i ed $ith ne#tar: Thirty-+o,r rays o+ i"ht emanate o,t and do$n$ard +rom the heart o+ Sha1yam,ni %,ddha: At the tip o+ ea#h ray is a pear -de#orated throne s,pported by a $hite e ephant: These thrones are arran"ed in +i*e ro$s beneath Sha1yam,ni %,ddhaD and the thirty-+o,r remainin" b,ddhas are seated on them in the *aEra post,re: They are a in the aspe#t o+ mon1sD b,t the #o ors and hand-"est,res o+ the b,ddhas in ea#h ro$ are di++erent: In the +irst ro$ there are si- b,ddhasD dar1 b ,e in #o or ?e-#ept +or the third %,ddhaD 7in"D &ord o+ the Na"asD $ho has a $hite +a#e@D and their hand-"est,res are the same as Sha1yam,ni %,ddha.s: In the se#ond ro$ there are se*en b,ddhasD $hite in #o orD $ith their hands in +ront o+ their heartD in +istsD one abo*e the otherD $ith inde- +in"ers pointin" ,p$ardsD the ,pper +ist ho din" the inde- +in"er o+ the o$er: The se*en b,ddhas in the third ro$ are ye o$D $ith their e+t hands in their ap in the meditation poseD and their ri"ht hands in the "est,re o+ "rantin" s,b ime rea i!ations ? i1e that o+ TaraD pa"e 162@: The se*en b,ddhas in the +o,rth ro$ are redD $ith both hands in the meditation pose: The se*en b,ddhas in the +i+th ro$ are "reenD $ith their e+t hands in the meditation pose and ri"ht hands in the "est,re o+ "i*in" prote#tion ?in +ront o+ their heartD pa m open and +a#in" o,t$ards@: I+ it is di++i#, t to *is,a i!e the di++erent #o ors and hand-"est,res o+ a the b,ddhasD don.t $orryJE,st ima"ine that they are thereD smi in" at yo, #ompassionate y and radiatin" i"ht: Sayin" the names o+ the Thirty-+i*e %,ddhas p,ri+ies *ast amo,nts o+ ne"ati*e 1arma and obs#,rations: I+ yo, do not 1no$ the names by heartD yo, #an 1eep the boo1 open on a tab e ne-t to yo,D read the name o+ ea#h b,ddha and then ma1e a prostration: I+ yo, #anD repeat the name as many times as possib e $hi e prostratin" to that b,ddha: 5o, #an do as many prostrations as yo, $ish $hi e re#itin" the b,ddhas. names: ThenD $hen yo, ha*e +inished that part o+ the pra#ti#eD sit or 1nee and read the rest o+ the prayer: Whi e prostratin"D yo, #an *is,a i!e aro,nd yo, a the bodies yo, ha*e had in yo,r pre*io,s i*esD as $e as a other sentient bein"sF they are a prostratin" a on" $ith yo,: As yo, re#ite the prayerD rays o+ i"ht + o$ +rom the b,ddhasD p,ri+yin" a ne"ati*ities o+ yo,r bodyD spee#hD and mindD and those o+ a the bein"s aro,nd yo,: Immediate yD yo,r ne"ati*e imprints disappear #omp ete yD E,st as the dar1ness in a room *anishes the moment a i"ht is s$it#hed on: 4ee that yo,r body and mind be#omes #omp ete y empty and p,re in nat,re: 4irstD ma1e three prostrationsD ea#h time re#itin" the +o o$in" mantraD $hi#h in#reases the bene+it o+ a yo,r prostrationsG o) na)o )an,ushriye na)ah sushriye na)a utta)a shriye svaha

Contin,e to prostrate $hi e re#itin" the +o o$in" prayer o+ re+,"e three timesD and the names o+ the Thirty-+i*e %,ddhas on#e or three times ea#hG ID /say your na)e1 thro,"ho,t a timesD ta1e re+,"e in the ",r,F I ta1e re+,"e in the %,ddhaF I ta1e re+,"e in the DharmaF I ta1e re+,"e in the San"ha: ?0 times@ To the 4o,nderD %ha"a*anD Tatha"ataD ArhatD Per+e#t y Comp eted %,ddhaD ( orio,s Con8,eror Sha1yam,ni %,ddhaD I prostrate: To Tatha"ata Thoro,"h y Destroyin" $ith AaEra Essen#eD I prostrate: To Tatha"ata )adiant 2e$e D I prostrate: To Tatha"ata 7in"D &ord o+ the Na"asD I prostrate: To Tatha"ata Army o+ 'eroesD I prostrate: To Tatha"ata De i"hted 'eroD I prostrate: To Tatha"ata 2e$e 4ireD I prostrate: To Tatha"ata 2e$e Moon i"htD I prostrate: To Tatha"ata Meanin"+, to SeeD I prostrate: To Tatha"ata 2e$e MoonD I prostrate: To Tatha"ata Stain ess OneD I prostrate: To Tatha"ata %esto$ed $ith Co,ra"eD I prostrate: To Tatha"ata P,re OneD I prostrate: To Tatha"ata %esto$ed $ith P,rityD I prostrate: To Tatha"ata Water (odD I prostrate: To Tatha"ata Deity o+ the Water (odD I prostrate: To Tatha"ata ( orio,s (oodnessD I prostrate: To Tatha"ata ( orio,s Sanda $oodD I prostrate: To Tatha"ata In+inite Sp endorD I prostrate:

To Tatha"ata ( orio,s &i"htD I prostrate: To Tatha"ata Sorro$ ess ( oryD I prostrate: To Tatha"ata Son o+ Non-#ra*in"D I prostrate: To Tatha"ata ( orio,s 4 o$erD I prostrate: To Tatha"ata P,re &i"ht )ays C ear y 7no$in" by P ayD I prostrate: To Tatha"ata &ot,s &i"ht )ays C ear y 7no$in" by P ayD I prostrate: To Tatha"ata ( orio,s Wea thD I prostrate: To Tatha"ata ( orio,s Mind+, nessD I prostrate: To Tatha"ata ( orio,s Name Wide y )eno$nedD I prostrate: To Tatha"ata 7in" 'o din" the Ai#tory %anner o+ 4oremost Po$erD I prostrate: To Tatha"ata ( orio,s One Tota y S,bd,in"D I prostrate: To Tatha"ata Btter y Ai#torio,s in %att eD I prostrate: To Tatha"ata ( orio,s Trans#enden#e Thro,"h S,bd,in"D I prostrate: To Tatha"ata ( orio,s Mani+estations I ,minatin" A D I prostrate: To Tatha"ata A -S,bd,in" 2e$e &ot,sD I prostrate: To Tatha"ataD arhatD per+e#t y #omp eted b,ddhaD 7in" o+ the &ord o+ Mo,ntains 4irm y Seated on 2e$e and &ot,sD I prostrate: A those Oyo, Thirty-+i*e %,ddhasP and othersD as many tatha"atasD arhatsD per+e#t y #omp eted b,ddhas as there are e-istin"D s,stainin"D and residin" in a the $or d systems o+ the ten dire#tionsF a yo, b,ddha-bha"a*ansD p ease pay attention to me: In this i+e and in a the states o+ rebirth in $hi#h I ha*e #ir# ed in samsara thro,"ho,t be"innin" ess i*esD $hate*er ne"ati*e a#tions I ha*e #reatedD made others #reateD or reEoi#ed in the #reation o+F $hate*er possessions o+ st,pasD possessions o+ the San"haD or possessions o+ the San"ha o+ the ten dire#tions that I ha*e appropriatedD made others appropriateD or reEoi#ed in the appropriation o+F $hi#he*er amon" the +i*e a#tions o+ immediate ?retrib,tion@ I ha*e doneD #a,sed to be doneD or reEoi#ed in the doin" o+F $hi#he*er paths o+ the ten non*irt,o,s a#tions I ha*e en"a"ed inD #a,sed others to en"a"e inD or reEoi#ed in the en"a"in" inG $hate*er I ha*e #reatedD bein" obs#,red by these 1armas #a,ses me and sentient bein"s to be born in the he rea msD in the anima rea mD and in the preta rea mF in irre i"io,s #o,ntriesD as barbariansD or as on"- i+e "odsF $ith imper+e#t +a#, tiesD ho din" $ron" *ie$sD or not bein" p eased $ith %,ddha.s des#ent: In the presen#e o+ the b,ddha-bha"a*ansD $ho are trans#endenta $isdomD $ho are eyesD $ho are $itnessesD $ho are *a idD and $ho see $ith omnis#ient #ons#io,snessD I

am admittin" and #on+essin" a these ne"ati*itiesF I $i not #on#ea them nor hide themD and +rom no$ on in the +,t,re I $i abstain and re+rain +rom #ommittin" them a"ain: A b,ddha-bha"a*ansD p ease pay attention to me: In this i+e and in a other states o+ rebirth in $hi#h I ha*e #ir# ed in samsara thro,"ho,t be"innin" ess i*esD $hate*er roots o+ *irt,e I ha*e #reated by "enerosityD e*en as itt e as "i*in" E,st one mo,th+, o+ +ood to a bein" born in the anima rea mF $hate*er roots o+ *irt,e I ha*e #reated by ",ardin" mora ityF $hate*er roots o+ *irt,e I ha*e #reated by +o o$in" p,re #ond,#tF $hate*er roots o+ *irt,e I ha*e #reated by +, y ripenin" sentient bein"sF $hate*er roots o+ *irt,e I ha*e #reated by "eneratin" bodhi#hittaF and $hate*er roots o+ *irt,e I ha*e #reated by my ,ns,rpassed trans#endenta $isdomG a these assemb ed and "atheredD #ombined to"etherD I +, y dedi#ate to the ,ns,rpassedD the ,ne-#e edD that hi"her than the hi"hD that s,perior to the s,perior: Th,sD I #omp ete y dedi#ate to the hi"hestD per+e#t y #omp ete en i"htenment: 2,st as the pre*io,s b,ddha-bha"a*ans ha*e +, y dedi#atedD E,st as the +,t,re b,ddhabha"a*ans $i +, y dedi#ateD and E,st as the present y abidin" b,ddha-bha"a*ans are +, y dedi#atin"D i1e that I too dedi#ate +, y: I #on+ess a ne"ati*ities indi*id,a y: I reEoi#e in a the merits: I ,r"e and imp ore a b,ddhas to "rant my re8,estG may I re#ei*e the hi"hestD most s,b ime trans#endenta $isdom: To the #on8,erorsD the best o+ h,mansJthose $ho are i*in" in the present timeD those $ho ha*e i*ed in the pastD and those $ho $i i1e$ise #omeJto a those $ho ha*e 8,a ities as *ast as an in+inite o#eanD $ith hands +o dedD I approa#h +or re+,"e: Dedication To #on# ,de the pra#ti#eD dedi#ate the positi*e ener"y yo, ha*e #reated to the attainment o+ en i"htenment +or the bene+it o+ a i*in" bein"s: I+ yo, $ishD yo, #an re#ite the dedi#ation prayers on pa"e 1;3: Dedication To a bein"s: May their #on+,sion #easeD May o*e and $isdom "ro$ in them: May they be#ome $ho e and +ree:

(lossary

A
altar' )epresentationsD on a tab e or other s,r+a#eD o+ the bodyD spee#hD and mind o+ the %+ddhaC and the o++erin"s that a pra#titioner ma1es dai y to them: arhat ?Sans1rit@: 4oe destroyer: One $ho has attained l berat on9 arya ?Sans1rit@: Nob e oneF a s,perior bein"F one $ho has attained dire#t insi"ht into em,t ness and th,s #,t the root o+ cycl c e- stence9 attach)ent' DesireF # in"in": The dist,rbin" emotionD or del+s onC that is the main #a,se o+ s,++erin" in day-to-day i+eD $hi#h "i*es rise to an"erD Eea o,syD prideD depressionD and the other de ,sions9 Atisha' E e*enth-#ent,ry Indian s#ho ar and meditator $ho spent the ast se*enteen years o+ his i+e in TibetF a,thor o+ many $or1sD in# ,din" 4a)! for the Path" $hi#h "a*e rise to the tradition o+ la)ri)" the grad+ated ,ath to enl ghtenment:

%
beginningless lives9)ind9ti)e' A##ordin" to %,ddhaD there is no #reatorD and no be"innin" to the e-isten#e o+ thin"s: Wor ds and bein"s #ome in and "o o,t o+ e-isten#e a##ordin" to the nat,ra a$ o+ #a,se and e++e#t: There+oreD timeD o,r mindD and o,r rebirths are $itho,t be"innin": bhagavan ?Sans1rit@: Epithet o+ a b+ddhaC meanin" one $ho has destroyed a obsta# esD is endo$ed $ith rea i!ationsD and has trans#ended the $or d: bodhichitta ?Sans1rit@: The aspiration to be#ome a b+ddha in order to bene+it a bein"sD stemmin" +rom heart+e t lo*e and com,ass on9 bodhisattva ?Sans1rit@: A bein" $ho is stri*in" +or enl ghtenment $ith the moti*ation o+ bodh ch ttaC that isD in order to +ree a other bein"s +rom #on+,sion and s,++erin": buddha ?Sans1rit@: An a$a1ened oneF a +, y en i"htened bein"F one $ho has a#hie*ed per+e#tion and is +, y de*e oped in w sdom and com,ass on and th,s #apab e o+ per+e#t y bene+itin" e*ery bein": The b,ddha o+ this a"e is 1no$n as #hakyam+n 9 buddhafield: P,re and: A state o+ e-isten#e o,tside cycl c e- stence $here a #onditions are +a*orab e +or be#omin" en i"htened: buddhahood: See enlighten)ent

C
cause and effect: See (ar)a central channel: A##ordin" to tantraC the prin#ipa #hanne o+ the psy#hi# ner*o,s systemD $hi#h r,ns do$n +rom the #ro$n o+ the headD E,st in +ront o+ the spine: cha(ra ?Sans1rit@: &itera yD H$hee :I Within the psy#hi# ner*o,s systemD any one o+ the se*era p a#es a on" the central channel $here the ener"y is #onstri#ted: co)!assion: Empathy $ith the s,++erin" o+ othersF the heart+e t $ish that they be +ree o+ s,++erin"F on the Mahayana pathD eads to bodh ch tta9 conventional existence9reality' See de!endent arising cyclic existence: ?Sans1ritG sa)sara@ The #y# e o+ death and rebirthD +ra,"ht $ith s,++erin" and dissatis+a#tionD the main #a,se o+ $hi#h is gnorance9

D
Dalai 4a)a" His Holiness the' Tempora and spirit,a eader o+ the Tibetan peop eD re#o"ni!ed as the h,man mani+estation o+ A*a o1itesh*araD the b+ddha o+ com,ass on9 The #,rrent Da ai &amaD +o,rteenth in the inea"eD $as born in 1=06 and heads the Tibetan "o*ernment-in-e-i e in Dharamsa aD India: deity' In tantraC a term +or a b+ddha9 delusions' Dist,rbin" emotionsF ne"ati*e states o+ mindF ne"ati*e tho,"htsF ne"ati*e ener"yF non*irt,o,s states o+ mind: The states o+ mind s,#h as attachmentC an"erD prideD and depressionD arisin" +rom the root de ,sionD gnoranceD $hi#h #a,se one to s,++er and th,s to harm others: With karmaD the main #a,se o+ s,++erin": de!endent arising'Interdependen#e: The $ay that a thin"s and bein"s e-ist #on*entiona yG they #ome into bein" in dependen#e ,pon *ario,s +a#torsD not +rom their o$n sideF the proo+ o+ their em,t ness9 Dhar)a: Spirit,a tea#hin"sF any te#hni8,e or 1no$ ed"e that +rees one +rom s,++erin" and its #a,ses:

E
e)!tiness: The $ay that thin"s and bein"s e-ist , timate yG that isD they a#1 ?are empty o+@ inherent e-isten#eD e-isten#e +rom their o$n sideD or e-isten#e in and o+ themse *es: The w sdom de*e oped in meditation on emptiness is the dire#t opposite o+ the

gnorance in the mind that #a,ses ,s to be ie*e that a thin"s e-ist inherent y: enlighten)ent: %,ddhahoodF per+e#tionF the #omp ete e imination o+ a del+s onsD in# ,din" the root gnoranceD and the de*e opment o+ a positi*e 8,a itiesF the +, de*e opment o+ w sdom and com,ass on9 The innate potentia o+ e*ery i*in" bein":

3
faith: Con+iden#e in someone or somethin" that has e-#e ent 8,a ities or abi ities: foe destroyer: See arhat four noble truths' The tea#hin" o+ #hakyam+n %+ddha that asserts that ?1@ there is s,++erin"D ?2@ there are #a,sesD ?0@ there is an end to itD and ?3@ there are means to end it: four o!!onent !o ers' )e"retD re ian#eD remedyD reso *eG the +o,r attit,des #, ti*ated in the pro#ess o+ ,+r f cat on o+ ne"ati*e karma9 FPMT' 4o,ndation +or the Preser*ation o+ the Mahayana TraditionD a $or d$ide net$or1 o+ Tibetan %,ddhist #enters and a#ti*itiesD estab ished in 1=;6 by &ama Th+bten 4eshe and no$ ,nder the spirit,a ",idan#e o+ &ama Th+bten Bo,a ) n,oche9

(
graduated !ath to enlighten)ent' ?TibetanG la)ri)@: %,ddhist tea#hin"s o,t inin" the pro"ressi*e sta"es o+ de*e opment on the path to en i"htenmentD ori"ina y arti#, ated by the e e*enth-#ent,ry Indian master At sha9 guru ?TibetanG la)aD meanin" Hhea*y $ith 8,a itiesI@: Spirit,a tea#her: guru3yoga' The pra#ti#e o+ seein" one.s g+r+ as a b+ddha9

I
ignorance: Not seein" the rea ity o+ thin"s: There are *ario,s 1inds o+ i"noran#eD b,t the prin#ipa one is Hse +-"raspin" i"noran#eDI the instin#ti*e ass,mption that se + and a thin"s e-ist inherent yD independent yD +rom their o$n side: This i"noran#e is the root del+s onC the main #a,se o+ cycl c e- stence and there+ore o+ s,++erin"D and it is #o,ntera#ted by w sdom: inherent existence' See ignorance

inner heat )editation' In tantraC a meditation +or harnessin" attachment ener"y:

6
(ar)a ?Sans1rit@: &itera yD Ha#tion:I The a$ o+ #a,se and e++e#tG the nat,ra pro#ess $hereby *irt,o,s a#tions o+ bodyD spee#hD and mind ead to happiness and non*irt,o,s ones to s+ffer ng9

&
la)a ?Tibetan@: See guru la)ri)' See graduated !ath to enlighten)ent liberation: ?Sans1ritG nirvana@ 4reedom +rom s,++erin" and its #a,ses ? del+s on and karma@: lo,ong ?Tibetan@: See thought transfor)ation' lotus !osition' The #ross- e""ed position re#ommended +or sittin" d,rin" med tat on in $hi#h ea#h +ootD so e ,p$ardD is p a#ed on the thi"h o+ the opposite e": love: &o*in"-1indness: The heart+e t $ish that others be happy:

M
Mahayana ?Sans1rit@: &itera yD H(reat Aehi# e:I The tea#hin"s and pra#ti#es +or those see1in" b+ddhahoodC moti*ated by bodh ch tta9 Maitreya: The ne-t +o,nder-b,ddhaD a+ter Sha1yam,ni %,ddha.s Dharma has disappeared: )andala offering: Pra#ti#e o+ menta y o++erin" the entire ,ni*erse: Inner )andala+ the pra#ti#e o+ o++erin" one.s del+s ons and the peop e and thin"s that a#ti*ate them: )antra ?Sans1rit@: Words o+ po$erF sy ab esD ,s,a y Sans1ritD re#ited d,rin" #ertain meditation pra#ti#es: )editation ?TibetanG go)F itera yD Hto +ami iari!eI@: The pro#ess o+ be#omin" deep y a#8,ainted $ith ,os t *e states of m nd: )erit: Positi*e ener"y #reated in the mind by doin" *irt,o,s a#tions $ith bodyD spee#hD

and mind: )indfulness' The #apa#ity o+ the mind to not +or"etD +rom moment to momentD $hat it is doin"D de*e oped and ,ti i!ed espe#ia y in med tat on9 Mount Meru: A##ordin" to %,ddhist #osmo o"yD the #enter o+ the ,ni*erse:

N
negative state of )ind: See delusions nirvana ?Sans1rit@: See liberation nonvirtue' Ne"ati*e a#tionD or karmaC o+ bodyD spee#hD or mindD moti*ated by del+s ons9 Non*irt,e is the #a,se o+ s,++erin":

O
one gone beyondD one thus gone' See tathagata ordination' 4orma pro#ess o+ adoptin" *ario,s *ows9

P
!ositive state of )ind: Positi*e ener"yF bene+i#ia state o+ mind: !reta ?Sans1rit@: A type o+ spiritD a sent ent be ngC $ho s,++ers +rom e-treme h,n"er and thirst: !ure land: See buddhafield

)
refuge: The attit,de o+ re yin" ,pon someone or somethin" +or ",idan#e and he pF in %,ddhism one ta1es re+,"e in the Three 1ewelsG %+ddhaC DharmaC and #angha9 renunciation: The attit,de o+ #omp ete deta#hment +rom the e-perien#es o+ cycl c e- stenceC seein" that there is no tr,e p eas,re or satis+a#tion to be +o,nd $ithin it:

#
sa)sara ?Sans1rit@: See cyclic existence Sangha: The monasti# #omm,nity +o o$in" the tea#hin"s o+ %+ddha ?andD more broad yD spirit,a +riends $ho s,pport one.s pra#ti#e o+ Dharma@F the assemb y o+ arya bein"s on the path to l berat on and enl ghtenment9 sentient being ?TibetanG se)chenF itera yD Hmind-possessorI@: Any bein" in the *ario,s rea ms o+ cycl c e- stenceD s,#h as h,mansD spirits ?,retas@D and anima sD $ho has not yet attained l berat on or enl ghtenment9 seven li)bs: A se*en+o d pra#ti#eD done e-tensi*e y or e-pressed in a se*en- ine prayerD #onsistin" o+ prostrationD o++erin"D #on+essionD reEoi#in"D re8,estin" the b+ddhas to stay amon" sentient bein"sD re8,estin" the b,ddha to tea#h the DharmaC and dedi#ation o+ merit: Sha(ya)uni -uddha' %orn as a prin#e in the Sha1ya +ami y in India appro-imate y 2D6>> years a"oD HThe Sa"e o+ the Sha1yasI reno,n#ed his 1in"dom and a#hie*ed enl ghtenmentC tea#hin" the path ,nti he passed a$ay at a"e ei"hty:

T
tantra: AaErayanaF Mantrayana: Ad*an#ed tea#hin"s o+ Mahayana %,ddhism that ead the pra#titioner to the speedy attainment o+ enl ghtenment9 tathagata: One th,s "oneF one "one beyond: Epithet o+ a b+ddhaC meanin" "one beyond a s,++erin" and its #a,ses ?karma and del+s on@: thought transfor)ation ?TibetanG lo,ong@: A "enre o+ Mahayana tea#hin"s or a set o+ pra#ti#es that en#o,ra"es the pra#titioner to ,se s,++erin" to #ombat se +-#herishin"D or se +ishness: Three >e els: Three )are S,b ime Ones: The obEe#ts o+ %,ddhist ref+geF %+ddhaC DharmaC and #angha9 three !oisons' The three main del+s onsF attachmentC a*ersionD and gnorance9 tonglen ?Tibetan@: &itera yD H"i*in" and ta1in":I Meditation +or de*e opin" com,ass on and lo*e in $hi#h one ima"ines "i*in" others one.s happiness ? o*e@ and ta1in" ,pon onese + their s,++erin" ?#ompassion@: Tsong(ha!a: 4o,rteenth-#ent,ry Tibetan s#ho arD tea#herD and meditator:

A
ulti)ate nature' See e)!tiness

@
va,ra ?TibetanG dor,e@: In tantraD the Hdiamond-s#epterI he d by #ertain b+ddhas that represents bodh ch ttaG o+ten ,sed to mean Hindestr,#tib e:I va,ra !osture' See lotus !osition $a,rayana: The path o+ tantra9 virtue' Positi*e a#tionD or karmaC o+ bodyD spee#hD or mindF those a#tions not moti*ated by del+s ons9 vo s' Sets o+ #ommitments re atin" to the pra#ti#e o+ * rt+eC or ethi#s:

W
isdo)' Spe#i+i#a yD the rea i!ation o+ em,t nessC de*e oped in meditationD $hi#h #o,ntera#ts gnorance:

4
?eshe" 4a)a Thubten ?1=06K<3@: Tibetan amaD ed,#ated at Sera Monasti# Bni*ersity in &hasaF estab ished the 3PMT in 1=;6 in 7athmand,D Nepa :

B
=o!a Rin!oche" 4a)a Thubten' %orn in So , 7h,mb, in 1=36D )inpo#he is Spirit,a Dire#tor o+ the 3PMT9

#+ggested 3+rther )ead ng

Introd+ct on to %+ddh sm
%odhiD %hi11h,: +n the /uddha.s ;ords' Wisdom: ChodronD Th,bten: 8pen Heart, 6lear Mind' Sno$ &ion: Da ai &amaD The: The 6ompassionate <ife: Wisdom: 'ahnD Thi#h Nhat: /eing 1eace. Para a-: 7a , )inpo#he: <uminous Mind. Wisdom: 7hemaD Ayya ' /eing =o$ody, >oing =o)here. Wisdom: 7orn+ie dD 2a#1: - 1ath )ith Heart. %antam: )ah, aD Wa po a: ;hat the /uddha Taught. (ro*e Press: So"ya )inpo#he: The Ti$etan /oo7 of <iving and Dying. 'arper: S,!,1iD Sh,nry,: ?en Mind, /eginner.s Mind9 Weatherhi : Tr,n"pa )inpo#he: 6utting Through 0piritual Materialism. Shambha a: Wa a#eD %: A an: Ti$etan /uddhism from the >round @p. Wisdom: 5esheD &ama Th,bten and &ama Th,bten Copa )inpo#he: ;isdom Energy. Wisdom:

Med tat on
(o dsteinD 2oseph: The E!perience of +nsight. Shambha a: (,naratanaD %hante 'enepo a: Mindfulness in 1lain English. Wisdom: 'ahnD Thi#h Nhat: The Miracle of Mindfulness. Para a-: &amrimpaD (en: 0hamata Meditation9 Sno$ &ion: Sharp esD %ob: Meditation and 2ela!ation in 1lain English. Wisdom: Sa !ber"D Sharon: <oving7indnessA The 2evolutionary -rt of Happiness. Shambha a: Wa a#eD %: A an: The -ttention 2evolution. Wisdom:

& fe of the %+ddha


Armstron"D 7aren: /uddha. Ai1in": 'anhD Thi#h Nhat: 8ld 1ath, ;hite 6louds. )iderNPara a-: 7ohnD Sherab Chod!in: The -)a7ened 8neA - <ife of the /uddha. Shambha a:

The nat+re of m nd
)abtenD (eshe: The Mind and +ts Bunctions. )abten Choe in":

(rad+ated ,ath to enl ghtenment >lamr m?


Da ai &amaD The: The 1ath to Enlightenment. Sno$ &ion: &odenD (eshe Th,bten: 1ath to Enlightenment in Ti$etan /uddhism. T,shita: Pabon"1a )inpo#he: <i$eration in the 1alm of Your Hand. Wisdom: Tson"1hapa: 1rincipal Teachings of /uddhism: Mahayana S,tra and Tantra Press: Wan"#henD (eshe: -)a7ening the Mind. Wisdom: 5an"si )inpo#he: 1racticing the 1ath: Wisdom:

Tho+ght transformat on >loDong?


ChodronD Pema: 0tart ;here You -re9 Shambha a: Da ai &amaD The: Training the Mind. Thorsons: )abtenD (eshe and (eshe Dhar"yey: -dvice from a 0piritual Briend. Wisdom: )in#henD (eshe Sonam: The 3% 1ractices of /odhisattvas: Sno$ &ion: Copa )inpo#heD &ama Th,bten: Transforming 1ro$lems into Happiness9 Wisdom

%+ddh stH,sychothera,y d alog+e


C a-tonD (,yD et a : The 1sychology of -)a7ening. Weiser: EpsteinD Mar1: Thoughts ;ithout a Thin7er. %asi# %oo1s: (o emanD Danie : Destructive Emotions9 %antam: Moa#aninD )admi a: The Essence of Cung.s 1sychology and Ti$etan /uddhism. Wisdom: Sa+ranD 2eremy ?editor@: 1sychoanalysis and /uddhism9 Wisdom:

Other books of nterest


Da ai &amaD The: The ;orld of Ti$etan /uddhism. Wisdom: Ma#1en!ieD Ai#1i: 2eincarnation. WisdomN% oomsb,ry: Ma#1en!ieD Ai#1i: ;hy /uddhismD A en Q Bn$in: Thond,p T, 1,: The Healing 1o)er of Mind. Ar1ana: 5esheD &ama Th,bten: +ntroduction to Tantra9 Wisdom: Copa )inpo#heD &ama Th,bten: The Door to 0atisfaction. Wisdom: Copa )inpo#heD &ama Th,bten: @ltimate Healing. Wisdom:

The 3o+ndat on for the Preser*at on of the Mahayana Trad t on

The 4o,ndation +or the Preser*ation o+ the Mahayana Tradition ?4PMT@ is an internationa net$or1 o+ %,ddhist #enters and a#ti*ities dedi#ated to the transmission o+ Mahayana %,ddhism as a pra#ti#ed and i*in" tradition: The 4PMT $as +o,nded in 1=;6 by &ama Th,bten 5eshe and is no$ ,nder the spirit,a dire#tion o+ &ama Th,bten Copa )inpo#he: It is #omposed o+ Dharma tea#hin" #entersD monasteriesD retreat #entersD p,b ishin" ho,sesD hea in" #entersD hospi#esD and proEe#ts +or the #onstr,#tion o+ st,pasD stat,esD and other ho y obEe#ts: To re#ei*e a istin" o+ these #enters $or d$ideD most o+ $hi#h r,n meditation # asses and retreatsD as $e as ne$s abo,t their a#ti*itiesD p ease re8,est a #omp imentary #opy o+ Mandala ma"a!ine +romG 4PMT Internationa O++i#e 1902 SE 11th A*en,e Port andD O) =;213 BSA Te G ?6>0@ <><-16<< $$$:+pmt:or"

Abo+t the A+thor


.athleen McDonald /Sangye .hadro1 $as born in Ca i+ornia in 1=62: She too1 her +irst #o,rses in %,ddhist meditation in Dharamsa aD IndiaD in 1=;0 and $as ordained as a Tibetan %,ddhist n,n a year ater: She i*ed $ith the #omm,nity o+ Western mon1s and n,ns at 7opanD the monastery o+ her tea#hersD &ama Th,bten 5eshe and &ama Th,bten Copa )inpo#heD in 7athmand,D Nepa D $here she st,died and did meditation retreats: In 1=;< she mo*ed to En" and to #ontin,e her hi"her %,ddhist st,diesD and in 1=<2 he ped estab ish the 4PMT.s DorEe Pamo Monastery +or %,ddhist n,ns in 4ran#e: 4rom 1=<6 ,nti 1=<; she ta,"ht in A,stra iaD then +or a year in Nepa D +o o$ed by e e*en years as resident tea#her at 4PMT.s Amitabha %,ddhist Centre in Sin"apore: Sin#e 2>>> she has been tea#hin" aro,nd the $or dD ta1in" a brea1 in mid-2>>6 +or a year.s so itary retreat in Spain: