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A PRACTICAL GUIDE

second ed ition
Kathleen McDonald
Edited by Robina Courtin
WISDOM P UBLICATIONS . BOSTON
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?
Stabii!in" meditation
Anayti#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 pa#e
Choosin" a pra#ti#e
Short sessions
%e rea-ed b,t aert
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 Probems
)estessness and distra#tions
Seepiness 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 Carity 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 Anayti#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$areness Meditation
The pra#ti#e
The ine*itabiity o+ death
The ,n#ertainty o+ the time o+ death
The +a#t that ony spirit,a insi"ht #an hep yo, at the time o+ death
Chapter 6 - Meditation on 7arma
Some #ommon 8,estions and mis#on#eptions abo,t 1arma
The pra#ti#e
Chapter 9 - P,ri+yin" Ne"ati*e 7arma
1: The po$er o+ re"ret
2: The po$er o+ reian#e
0: The po$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 appi#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 - Deain" $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,ai!ation
Chapter 1 - %ody o+ &i"ht Meditation
Chapter 2 - Simpe P,ri+i#ation Meditation
The pra#ti#e
Chapter 0 - Meditation on TaraD the %,ddha o+ Eni"htened A#ti*ity
The pra#ti#e
Chapter 3 - Meditation on A*ao1itesh*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-panation o+ the Prayers
1: Prayer o+ re+,"e and bodhi#hitta
2: The +o,r immeas,rabe tho,"hts
0: )e+,"e in the ",r,
3: The se*en imbs
6: Mandaa o++erin"
9: Dedi#ation o+ merit and ;: The bodhi#hitta prayer
Chapter 0 - A Short Meditation on the (rad,ated Path to Eni"htenment
Chapter 3 - Meditation on the %,ddha
The pra#ti#e
E-panation o+ the mantra
Chapter 6 - Meditation on the 'eain" %,ddha
The pra#ti#e
E-panation 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-panation o+ the mantra
Chapter < - AaErasatt*a P,ri+i#ation
The pra#ti#e $hie sittin"
The pra#ti#e $hie prostratin"
E-panation 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 $as +irst p,bished more than t$enty years a"oD meditation $as
not $idey 1no$n or pra#ti#ed in the WestD and there $ere +e$ boo1s abo,t it: Thin"s are
di++erent no$: Miions o+ Western peope pra#ti#e meditation re",aryF do#tors
pres#ribe it to their patients as a $ay to dea $ith painD heart diseaseD #an#erD depressionD
and other probemsF 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*aiabe in most #ities:

This boo1 has been s,rprisin"y s,##ess+,G reprinted se*enteen timesD transated into
nine +orei"n an",a"es: And I #ontin,e to meet peope $ho te me ho$ it has heped
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 peope in the $ord
today a brid"e into the art o+ meditation ta,"ht by the %,ddha and de*eoped in Asia o*er
the ast 26>> years: Despite ad*an#es in te#hnoo"yD the %,ddha.s toos +or openin" ,p
o,r inner #apa#ities +or "en,ine and astin" $e-bein" retain their po$er and ree*an#e:

Most o+ the meditations e-pained 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-pain them simpy and #earyD $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 phiosophy or an e-oti# #,t: Thro,"ho,tD the emphasis is on
ex!erience" ,sin" meditation to a#t,ay brin" abo,t #han"es in o,r tho,"htsD +eein"sD
and a#tions:

Part 1D Mind and Meditation" ays the +o,ndationD e-painin" $hy peope meditate and
ho$ 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" $isuali%ation Meditations" and Prayers and &ther Devotional Practices'
Ea#h te#hni8,e has a preambe that "i*es some ba#1"ro,nd to the meditationD sho$s its
bene+its and ho$ best to do itD and e-pains its pra#ti#a appi#ation: 4inayD there is a
"ossary o+ terms and a ist o+ tites +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 'eain" %,ddha: The re*isions do not mean that the meditations in
the ori"ina edition are in#orre#tF I simpy +et 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#iay &ama Th,bten 5esheD Copa )inpo#heD 'is 'oiness
the Daai &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#erey that their $or1 may #ontin,e +or a on" time to #ome:

Many peope ha*e $or1ed to ma1e this boo1 possibe: I e-tend than1s to Wendy 4inster
+or her Handboo( of Mahayana Practices" +rom $hi#h this boo1 de*eopedF to Th,bten
Won"moD 2on &anda$D and T: 5eshe +or their initia editin" and transatin" $or1F to Ni#1
)ib,shD 5eshe 7hadroD Th,bten PendeD Ste*e CarierD &orraine )eesD Peter )eesD 2ames
PayneD Tim 5o,n"D 2an Co,rtinD Marsha 'arrisD Sarah ThresherD 7arin Ceit*o"eD and
the n,ns o+ DorEe Pamo Monastery +or their in*a,abe s,""estionsF to Da*id 7ittestromD
Tim M#NeiD and e*eryone at Wisdom P,bi#ationsF and +inay 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 possibe:

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 Medtate!

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 reationship to anotherD one Eob to anotherD one #o,ntry to another: We st,dy
art and medi#ineD train to be tennis payers and typistsF ha*e babiesD ra#e #arsD $rite
boo1sD and "ro$ +o$ers: We spend o,r money on home entertainment systemsD mobie
phonesD iPodsD handhed #omp,tersD #om+ortabe +,rnit,reD and *a#ations in the s,n: Or
$e try to "et ba#1 to nat,reD eat $hoe +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 probem is that $e see thin"s i1e reationshipsD possessionsD and
ad*ent,res as ha*in" some intrinsi# abiity to satis+y ,sD as bein" the #a,se o+ happiness:
%,t they #annot beJsimpy be#a,se they do not ast: E*erythin" by nat,re #onstanty
#han"es and e*ent,ay disappearsG o,r bodyD o,r +riendsD a o,r beon"in"sD the
en*ironment: O,r dependen#e on impermanent thin"s and o,r #in"in" to the rainbo$-
i1e happiness they brin" #a,se ony 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 probems: It is poor-8,aity happinessD ,nreiabe 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 ,nreaisti#
e-pe#tations o+ $hat they #an do +or ,s:

Not ony do $e see them as permanent and abe to satis+y ,sF at the root o+ o,r probems
is o,r +,ndamentay mista1en *ie$ o+ reaity: We beie*e instin#ti*ey that peope 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,aities abidin"
nat,ray $ithin themF $e thin1 that they areD +rom their o$n sideD "ood or badD attra#ti*e
or ,nattra#ti*e: These 8,aities seem to be o,t thereD in the obEe#ts themse*esD 8,ite
independent o+ o,r *ie$point and e*erythin" ese: We thin1D +or e-ampeD that #ho#oate
is inherenty dei#io,s or that s,##ess is inherenty satis+yin": %,t s,reyD i+ they $ereD
they $o,d ne*er +ai to "i*e peas,re or to satis+yD and e*eryone $o,d e-perien#e them
in the same $ay:

O,r mista1en idea is deepy in"rained and habit,aF it #oors a o,r reationships and
deain"s $ith the $ord: We probaby rarey 8,estion $hether the $ay $e see thin"s is
the $ay they a#t,ay e-istD b,t on#e $e do it $i be ob*io,s that o,r pi#t,re o+ reaity is
e-a""erated and one-sidedF that the "ood and bad 8,aities $e see in thin"s are a#t,ay
#reated and proEe#ted by o,r o$n mind:

A##ordin" to %,ddhism there is astin"D stabe 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+estyeJi*in" in the #ityD
$or1in" an ei"ht-ho,r EobD raisin" a +amiyD payin" 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,ay $e #an +ree o,rse*es o+ probems
i1e dissatis+a#tionD an"erD and an-iety andD +inayD by reai!in" the a#t,a $ay that thin"s
e-istD $e $i eiminate #ompetey the *ery so,r#e o+ a dist,rbin" states o+ mind so that
they $i ne*er arise a"ain:

What s the mnd!

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,bimeD 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 totaity o+ o,r
#ons#io,s and ,n#ons#io,s e-perien#esG ea#h o+ ,s is the #enter o+ a $ord o+ tho,"htsD
per#eptionsD +eein"sD memoriesD and dreamsJa o+ these are mind:

Mind is not a physi#a thin" that has tho,"hts and +eein"sF it is those *ery e-perien#es:
%ein" nonphysi#aD it is di++erent +rom the bodyD atho,"h mind and body are
inter#onne#ted and interdependent: MindJ#ons#io,snessJis #arried thro,"h o,r body
by s,bte physi#a ener"ies ?see pa"e 191@D $hi#h aso #ontro o,r mo*ement and *ita
+,n#tions: This reationship e-pains $hyD +or e-ampeD 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 probems:

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 stiness o+ the o#ean.s depthsD so too is it possibe to
#am the t,rb,en#e o+ o,r mind to re*ea its nat,ra pristine #arity:

The abiity to do this ies $ithin the mind itse+D and the 1ey to the mind is meditation:

"

What Is Medtaton!

#,bd,in" the mind and brin"in" it to the ri"ht ,nderstandin" o+ reaity is no easy tas1: It
re8,ires a so$ and "rad,a pro#ess o+ listening to and readin" e-panations o+ the mind
and the nat,re o+ thin"sF thin(ing abo,t and #are+,y anay!in" this in+ormationF and
+inay trans+ormin" the mind thro,"h )editation'

The mind #an be di*ided into sense consciousness*si"ht" hearin"D smeD 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-ampeD to the s,btest e*e o+ #ompete stiness and #arity: It
in#,des o,r intee#t,a pro#essesD o,r +eein"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 anay!in"D and deain" $ith the rest o+ the mind: Meditation #an ta1e many
+ormsG #on#entratin" sin"e-pointedy on an ?interna@ obEe#tD tryin" to ,nderstand some
persona probemD "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,bte e*e o+ #ons#io,sness and to ,se it to dis#o*er reaityD dire#ty and
int,iti*ey:

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 eni"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 hep
others rea#h it too:

The Tibetan term +or meditationD go)" meansD iterayD Hto be#ome +amiiar:I What arises
in o,r mind is $hat $e are most +amiiar $ith: I+D $hen someone treats ,s ,n1indy or
disrespe#t+,yD $e immediatey +ee h,rt or an"ryD it is be#a,se these are the rea#tions
that $e are most +amiiar $ithD or habit,ated to: %,ddhist meditation in*o*es ma1in" o,r
mind +amiiar $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 hostie personD $e. be more i1ey to remain #am 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$or1 +or brin"in" o,r mind to a more reaisti#
*ie$ o+ the $ord:

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 simpy 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" peasant bodiy 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: Atho,"h the best res,ts ,s,ay #ome $hen $e meditate sittin" in a 8,iet
pa#eD $e #an aso meditate in a noisy en*ironmentD and $hie $or1in"D $a1in"D ridin"
on a b,sD or #oo1in" dinner: One Tibetan meditator reai!ed emptiness $hie #hoppin"
$oodD and another attained sin"e-pointed #on#entration $hie #eanin" his tea#her.s
room:

4irstD $e earn to de*eop the meditati*e state o+ mind in +ormaD sittin" pra#ti#eD b,t on#e
$e are "ood at itD $e #an be more +reestye 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,itabe +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#ipe
o+ the mind simpy be#omin" +amiiar $ith positi*eD bene+i#ia states: And the mind o+
e*ery personD Eastern or WesternD has the same basi# eements and e-perien#esD the same
basi# probemsJand the same potentia:

Meditation is not spa#in"-o,t or r,nnin" a$ay: In +a#tD it is bein" totay 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 iterayD
de,sionsJin#,de Eeao,syD an"erD desireD prideD and the i1e: These arise +rom o,r
mis,nderstandin" o+ reaity 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
reaisti#ayD more honesty:

The +ina "oaD eni"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+ reaity
so+tensD $e de*eop a more positi*e and reaisti# se+-ima"e and are th,s more rea-ed
and ess an-io,s: We earn to ha*e +e$er ,nreaisti# e-pe#tations o+ the peope and thin"s
aro,nd ,s and there+ore meet $ith ess disappointmentF reationships impro*e and i+e
be#omes more stabe and satis+yin":

%,t rememberD i+eon" habits die hard: It is di++i#,t eno,"h simpy to re#o"ni!e o,r
an"er and Eeao,syD m,#h ess ma1e an e++ort to hod ba#1 the od +amiiar tide o+ +eein"
or anay!e its #a,ses and res,ts: Trans+ormin" the mind is a so$ 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" +amiiarI $ith habits that ne#essariy 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'

#tabl$ng medtaton

In "eneraD this type o+ meditation is ,sed to de*eop #on#entrationD and e*ent,ay to
attain #am abidin" ?Sans1ritG sha)ata@D a spe#ia 1ind o+ #on#entration that enabes one
to remain +o#,sed on $hate*er obEe#t one $ishesD +or as on" as one $ishesD $hie
e-perien#in" bissD #arityD and pea#e: Con#entration and #am abidin" are ne#essary +or
any reaD astin" insi"ht and menta trans+ormation: In stabii!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,ai!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, $i do aterD a so,nd o,tsideD a +riendD somethin"
that happened earierD a physi#a sensationD a #,p o+ #o++ee: We ne*er need to say to the
mindD HThin1/I or H4ee/I It is a$ays b,sy doin" somethin"D speedin" aon"D $ith an
ener"y o+ its o$n:

With s,#h a s#attered and ,n#ontroed mind there is itte #han#e o+ s,##ess in anythin"
$e doD $hether it is rememberin" a teephone n,mberD #oo1in" a meaD or r,nnin" a
b,siness: And #ertainyD $itho,t #on#entration s,##ess+, meditation is impossibe:

Stabii!in" meditation is not easyD b,t it is essentia +or brin"in" the mind ,nder #ontro:
Atho,"h the de*eopment o+ a#t,a sin"e-pointed #on#entration and #am 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 $e #an de*eop "ood
#on#entration by re",ary doin" ten or +i+teen min,tes a day o+ stabii!in" meditation
?+or e-ampeD the meditation on the breathD pa"e 0;@: It #an brin" an immediate sense o+
spa#io,sness and ao$ ,s to see the $or1in"s o+ o,r mind more #earyD both d,rin" the
meditation and thro,"ho,t the rest o+ the day:

Analytcal medtaton

This type o+ meditation is +or the p,rpose o+ de*eopin" insi"htD or #orre#t ,nderstandin"
o+ the $ay thin"s areD and e*ent,ay to attain spe#ia insi"ht ?Sans1ritG vi!ashyana@ that
sees the ,timate nat,re o+ a thin"s: Anayti#a meditation brin"s into pay #reati*eD
intee#t,a tho,"ht and is #r,#ia to o,r de*eopmentG the +irst step in "ainin" any rea
insi"ht is to ,nderstand conce!tually ho$ thin"s are: This #on#ept,a #arity de*eops
into +irm #on*i#tion $hi#hD $hen #ombined $ith stabii!in" meditationD brin"s dire#t and
int,iti*e 1no$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 anayti#a tho,"ht $e ,nra*e the #ompe-ities o+
o,r attit,des and beha*ior patterns: (rad,ayD $e #an eiminate those tho,"htsD +eein"sD
and ideas that #a,se o,rse*es and others ,nhappinessD and in their pa#e #,ti*ate
tho,"htsD +eein"sD and ideas that brin" happiness and pea#e:

In this $ay $e be#ome +amiiar $ith the reaity o+D +or e-ampeD #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*eopin" #ompassionF on the 1indness o+ others:

In one senseD an anayti#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,bte 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 abe to #on#entrate more stron"y
and de*eop a +iney-t,ned sensiti*ity to the $or1in"s o+ o,r mind:

Anayti#a meditation #an aso 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#hoo"ist:I When $e ha*e
a probem or $e +ee emotionay ,psetD $e #an sit do$n and ma1e o,r mind #amer $ith
a +e$ 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 #amD #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 reaisti# and bene+i#ia ideas that $e ha*e earned +rom o,r spirit,a
st,dy and pra#ti#e:

Some peope thin1 that meditation is ne#essariy stabii!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 ony 1ind o+ meditation
there isD and tho,"hts and #on#eptsD $hen ,sed s1i+,yD pay a #r,#ia roe in the
positi*e trans+ormation o+ o,r mind: At the root o+ o,r probems and #on+,sion are
mista1en #on#epts abo,t reaityD and the ony $ay to be +ree +rom these is to +irst identi+y
and trans+orm them by ,sin" anayti#a meditation: Stayin" +o#,sed on these ne$ insi"hts
$ith sin"e-pointedness enabes the mind to be#ome thoro,"hy and deepy +amiiar $ith
them: This is ho$ reaD astin" trans+ormation o+ the mind ta1es pa#e:

Stabii!in" and anayti#a meditationsD thenD are #ompementary and #an be ,sed to"ether
in one session: When doin" a meditation on emptinessD +or e-ampeD $e anay!e the
obEe#t ?emptiness@ ,sin" in+ormation $e ha*e heard or readD as $e as o,r o$n tho,"htsD
+eein"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-pointedy on
the +eein" +or as on" as possibe: We sho,d soa1 o,r mind in the e-perien#e: When the
+eein" +ades $e #an either #ontin,e anay!in" or #on#,de the session:

This method o+ #ombinin" the t$o 1inds o+ meditation #a,ses the mind iteray 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:

Stabii!in" meditations s,#h as the meditation on the breath $i aso "o better i+ some
s1i+, anaysis 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
anayti#a tho,"ht: D,rin" the meditation itse+ $e mi"ht +ind #on#entration espe#iay
di++i#,tF at s,#h times it is "ood to anay!e the probem +or a +e$ momentsD then to re-
pa#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 hep de*eop a$areness o+ the
mind itse+: The meditation on the breath ?o+ten #aed )indfulness )editation@ is
primariy a stabii!in" pra#ti#e that ,ses the breath as the obEe#t o+ #on#entration:
%e"inners are ad*ised to start $ith this pra#ti#eD as it #ams the mindD enabin" ,s to see
more #eary ho$ it $or1s:

The other meditations in this se#tion are +or de*eopin" 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 stabii!ation and anaysis:

The ne-t se#tionD Analytical Meditations" o++ers ee*en te#hni8,es +or oo1in" into and
anay!in" o,r ass,mptions abo,t ho$ thin"s e-istD abo,t i+eD deathD s,++erin"D and
#ompassionF andD +inayD ad*i#e on deain" $ith o,r ne"ati*e ener"y in e*eryday i+e: I+
yo, are E,st earnin" to so$ the mind do$n $ithD sayD the breathin" meditationD yo,
mi"ht not +ee ready to ta#1e any o+ these s,bEe#ts in +orma meditationF ho$e*erD simpy
readin" thro,"h this se#tion pro*ides penty o+ +ood +or tho,"ht:

Ne-t is $isuali%ation Meditations+ +i*e te#hni8,es introd,#e *is,ai!ation as ,sed in
tantri# AaErayana pra#ti#eF a #ombine stabii!ation and anaysis:

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 so$y and to adopt ne$ methods ony $hen yo, are ready: There is
no point in tryin" to do meditations that seem stran"e or #ompi#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 reay
e-perien#e:

'o$e*erD e*erythin" in this boo1 is an inte"ra part o+ baan#ed spirit,a "ro$th and a
step on a path that is *ast and pro+o,nd: 4or e-ampeD most o+ the anayti#a meditations
are +rom the "rad,ated path ?TibetanG la)ri)@ traditionD a $e-or"ani!ed series o+ topi#s
to be earnedD #ontempatedD and inte"rated e-perientiayD a pro#ess that "ets ,s +rom o,r
present ,neni"htened state to the +,+iment o+ o,r potentia +or per+e#tionG
eni"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
reationship 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 %egnners

)eg+lar ,ractce

In order to e-perien#e the bene+its o+ meditation it is ne#essary to pra#ti#e re",aryF as
$ith any a#ti*ityD it is not possibe to s,##eed ,ness $e dedi#ate o,r ener"y
$hoeheartedy 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*itaby there $i be times $hen the ast thin" yo,
$ant to do is meditateD b,t meditate any$ayD e*en +or ony a +e$ min,tesF o+ten these
sessions are the most prod,#ti*e:

The medtaton ,lace

I+ possibeD it is best to reser*e a room or #orner espe#iay +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
$ith a tabe or o$ 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 atar nearby +or stat,es or pi#t,res that inspire
yo,D and +or o++erin"s to the %,ddhas s,#h as #andesD in#enseD +o$ersD and +r,it:

IdeayD the pa#e sho,d be #ean and 8,ietD $here yo, $on.t be dist,rbed: 'o$e*erD
$ith dis#ipine it is possibe to meditate in a #ro$dedD noisy en*ironmentF peope in
prisonD +or e-ampeD o+ten #annot +ind a 8,iet pa#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 pa#e as
peasin" and #om+ortabe as possibeD so that yo, are happy to be there and #an.t $ait to
ret,rn/

Choosng a ,ractce

It is "ood to start $ith the meditation on the breath ?pa"e 0;@: This is idea +or #amin"
the mind and startin" to de*eop some insi"ht into yo,r tho,"hts and +eein"sJand both
#am and insi"ht are essentia in"redients +or s,##ess+, meditations o+ any 1ind:

On#e yo,.re +amiiar $ith meditationD #hoose the pra#ti#es that best s,it yo,r needsD
rememberin" that a the te#hni8,es here are either antidotes to parti#,ar probems or
methods +or enhan#in" parti#,ar 8,aities: I+D +or e-ampeD yo, are in#ined to$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 $e +ee that thin"s happen randomy or that i+e is ,n+airG i+ soD meditate on
1arma ?pa"e <>@: I+ yo, re"ret the harm yo, ha*e done to others or +ee hopeess and
don.t beie*e yo, #an #han"eD do one o+ the p,ri+i#ation pra#ti#es ?pa"es =>D 13<D or 21=@:
I+ yo,.re o*er$hemed by the s,++erin" o+ the $ord and $ant to de*eop the #o,ra"e to
hep othersD meditate on #ompassion and ton"en ?pa"e 119@:

When yo,r mind is tran8,iD it.s "ood to de*eop #on#entration $ith a *is,ai!ation
te#hni8,e that appeas to yo, ?pa"e 130@D or deepen yo,r insi"ht into the meanin" o+
reaity 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,ai!ation meditation:

A this is meant as a "enera ",ide onyF $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 sessons

In the be"innin" it is best to meditate +or short periodsJten to thirty min,tesJand end
yo,r session $hie mind and body are sti #om+ortabe 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*eops 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 rea-ed and #om+ortabe thro,"ho,t the session: 5o, #an rea-
mentay by +irmy de#idin" to ea*e behind a probemsD $orries and in*o*ements o+
the e-terna $ord and immerse yo,rse+ in yo,r inner $ord: It mi"ht hep to re#a a past
e-perien#e o+ +eein" at ease and #ontentedJand then "enerate that same +eein" on yo,r
meditation seat:

%reathin" meditation #an aso brin" the same res,t: Obser*in" the "enteD nat,ra rhythm
o+ the breath and a*oidin" distra#tin" tho,"htsD yo,r menta state "rad,ay be#omes
tran8,i and #ear: %,t don.t +a aseep/ Stay aert: Ta1e note o+ $hate*er tho,"htsD
ima"esD +eein"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 rea-ation #an be +a#iitated by the pra#ti#e o+ s,#h dis#ipines as yo"aD tai #hiD
1,m nyeD or other stress red,#tion and rea-ation methods: Any means yo, ,se to ease
physi#a tension and impro*e yo,r abiity to sit in meditation is a *a,abe addition to
yo,r pra#ti#e:

No e-,ectatons

Sin#e $e a $ant to enEoy happiness and pea#e o+ mind and a*oid probemsD it is nat,ra
to $ant "ood e-perien#es d,rin" meditation: %,t s,#h e-pe#tations are not ne#essariy
reaisti# and are i1ey to hinder yo,r pro"ress: The mind is #ompe- and e*er-#han"in":
One day yo, mi"ht ha*e a #amD 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 $hate*er happens: The most
tro,besome pain+, e-perien#es #an be the most *a,abe in terms o+ the "ro$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 $ithin a +e$ $ee1sF it is better to thin1 in terms o+ years: 'abits b,it ,p
o*er a i+etime are not eiminated instanty b,t by "rad,a #,ti*ation o+ ne$ habits: So be
easy on yo,rse+: )e#o"ni!e yo,r #apabiities 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 aready
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*eop a #earD enth,siasti#D and
o*in" mind $e need the ",idan#e o+ someone $ho thoro,"hy ,nderstands ho$ the
mind $or1s and ho$ it #an be trans+ormed:

'o$e*erD it is not easy to +ind a 8,ai+ied tea#her: The 8,aities to oo1 +or in#,de
#ompassionD 1no$ed"e and insi"htD moraityD sin#erityD and s1i in e-panation: 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-pained hereD and see1 the
ad*i#e o+ any pra#titioner $hose 8,aities yo, admireJe*en i+ the person has been
meditatin" +or ony a short time: 5o,r o$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*ertse/

Whene*er $e dis#o*er somethin" ne$ and interestin" $e +ee i1e tein" e*eryone abo,t
itD b,t it is not a "ood idea to ta1 too m,#h abo,t yo,r meditation: Bness someone is
sin#erey 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 ony $ith yo,r tea#her and a +e$ #ose +riends:

'a*in" ta1en ,p meditation there is no need to ma1e bi" #han"es in yo,r i+estyeD
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 internaD not e-ternaD a#ti*ity: 5o,r pra#ti#e $i trans+orm yo,r mind
on a s,bte e*eD 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 ,ni1ey to
impress anyoneD b,t the deepD nat,ra #han"es #reated by meditation are rea and
bene+i#iaD both +or yo,rse+ and others:

"

The Medtaton #esson

#t

Sit #om+ortaby in either the se*en-point post,re or some other re#ommended position
?see pa"e 23@: Spend a +e$ min,tes settin" 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" ese +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
probems to so*eD and a on" $ay to "o in o,r inner de*eopment: It is not ne#essariy an
a#t o+ s,bmission to somethin" e-ternaD b,t a re#o"nition that the potentia +or $hoeness
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 heps 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 +irmy $e set o,r "oaD the stron"er is
o,r moti*ation and the more i1ey $e are to s,##eed:

A short-term "oa o+ meditation is simpy to #am do$n and rea-: More +ar-rea#hin" is
the aim e*ent,ay to penetrate thro,"h to a #ompete ,nderstandin" o+ the nat,re o+
reaity as an antidote to ,nhappiness and dissatis+a#tion: 'o$e*erD the most atr,isti# and
th,s the hi"hest aim o+ meditation is to a#hie*e eni"htenment in order to hep 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*itaby the other "oas $i be rea#hed on
the $ay: I+ yo, are #om+ortabe $ith this ideaD yo, #an start yo,r meditation by thin1in"G
HI am "oin" to do this meditation in order to attain eni"htenment so that I #an hep 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
eni"htenmentJthis "oa may seem too *ast or +ar-distant +or yo, to reaisti#ay #onsider
Jb,t yo, may sti ha*e an atr,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,aities s,#h as o*eD #ompassionD patien#eD and
$isdom: In this $ayD I $i ha*e more bene+i#iaD positi*e ener"y to brin" into my
intera#tions $ith othersD and to send o,t into the $ord:I

Whi#he*er yo,r moti*ationD thin1 it thro,"h #eary be+ore pro#eedin" $ith yo,r
meditation:

I+ yo, +ee it $o,d hep yo,r pra#ti#e yo, #an say either a the preiminary prayers on
pa"es 1;1K;3 or E,st the prayer o+ re+,"e and bodhi#hitta: Some peope +ind that re#itin"
prayersD either mentay or *erbayD ind,#es a "ood +rame o+ mind +or meditation by
remindin" them o+ the $isdom and other 8,aities 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,ray +rom yo,r heart:

Medtate

No$D t,rn to the obEe#t o+ meditation and 1eep it +irmy in mind thro,"ho,t the period:
4oo$ the ad*i#e in the #hapter startin" on pa"e 2; i+ yo, #ome ,p a"ainst probems
d,rin" the session:

I+ yo, do a stabii!in" meditationJ+or e-ampeD +o#,sin" on the breathJaim to hod
yo,r mind ,n$a*erin"y on the obEe#t o+ #on#entration:

I+ yo, do an anayti#a meditationD in*esti"ate the topi# $ith +, attention ,nti an
int,iti*e +eein" o+ it arisesD then pa#e yo,r mind sin"e-pointedyJin other $ordsD do
stabii!in" meditationJon that insi"ht so that it be#omes iteray one $ith yo,r
e-perien#e: When the +eein" or yo,r #on#entration starts to +adeD ret,rn to the anayti#a
pro#ess:

%e+ore startin" the meditation it is important to read the preambe and then to inte"rate
into the meditationJespe#iay anayti#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:

IdeayD 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 detais 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+ortabe $ay to #ond,#t yo,r sessions:

It is *ery ,se+, to +oo$ the meditations on a CD or MP0 payerD or to ta1e it in t,rns
$ith a +eo$ meditator to read o,t the meditations to ea#h other:

Whi#he*er method yo, ,seD the important point is to be rea-ed and +ree o+ a ,nreaisti#
e-pe#tations abo,t the $ay yo, thin1 the session sho,d "o: 4oo$ the instr,#tionsJand
yo,r o$n $isdomJas $e as yo, #anD don.t pani#D and ha*e #on+iden#e/

Dedcate

E*ery time yo, meditateD e*en +or E,st a +e$ min,tesD yo, #reate positi*e ener"y and
de*eop 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#1yD m,#h o+ the
ener"y is i1ey 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 +,+iment o+
these obEe#ti*es: Cear dedi#ation in this $ay stabii!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 daiy
a#ti*ities: Instead o+ a#tin" and rea#tin" imp,si*ey and +oo$in" yo,r tho,"hts and
+eein"s here and thereD $at#h yo,r mind #are+,yD be a$areD and try to dea s1i+,y
$ith probems 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 #ross-
e""ed $ith ea#h +oot pa#edD soe ,p$ardD on the thi"h o+ the opposite e": This position
is di++i#,t +or many peopeD b,t pra#ti#in" yo"a or stret#hin" e-er#ises may oosen yo,r
e"s eno,"h to be abe to sit this $ay +or a short timeD and #ontin,ed pra#ti#e $i enabe
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 essentiaD so don.t $orry i+ yo, are ,nabe to do it:

An aternati*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 aso sit in a simpe #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 enabe
yo, to sit #om+ortaby +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 ,nabe to sit in any o+ these #ross-e""ed positionsD yo, #an meditate in a #hair
or on a o$D santed ben#h: The important thin" is to be #om+ortabe:

Arms

'od yo,r hands oosey on yo,r apD abo,t t$o in#hes beo$ the na*eD ri"ht hand on top
o+ the e+tD pams ,p$ardD $ith the +in"ers ai"ned: The t$o hands sho,d be si"hty
#,pped so that the tips o+ the th,mbs meet to +orm a trian"e: Sho,ders and arms sho,d
be rea-ed: 5o,r arms sho,d not be pressed a"ainst yo,r body b,t hed a +e$ in#hes
a$ay to ao$ #ir#,ation o+ airG this heps to pre*ent seepiness:

%ack

5o,r ba#1 is most important: It sho,d be strai"htD hed rea-ed and i"hty ,pri"htD as i+
the *ertebrae $ere a pie 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 +reey ?see
pa"e 191@D yo, $on.t +ee s,""ishD and yo, $i be abe to sit #om+ortaby in meditation
+or in#reasin"y on"er periods:

Eyes

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

1aw

5o,r Ea$ sho,d be rea-ed and teeth si"hty apartD not #en#hed: 5o,r mo,th sho,d
aso be rea-edD $ith the ips to"ether i"hty:

Tong+e

The tip o+ yo,r ton",e sho,d to,#h the paate E,st behind the ,pper teeth: This red,#es
the +o$ o+ sai*a and th,s the need to s$ao$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$ard a itte so that yo,r "a!e is dire#ted nat,ray to$ard
the +oor in +ront o+ yo,: I+ yo,r head is hed too hi"h yo, may ha*e probems $ith
menta $anderin" and a"itationD and i+ dropped too o$ yo, #o,d e-perien#e menta
hea*iness or seepiness:


This se*en-point post,re is most #ond,#i*e to #earD ,nobstr,#ted #ontempation: 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
+amiiarity 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#ipines #an be a "reat hep in oosenin"
ti"ht m,s#es and EointsD th,s enabin" yo, to sit more #om+ortaby: 'o$e*erD i+ yo, are
,nabe to adapt to sittin" #ross-e""ed yo, #an ma1e a #ompromise bet$een per+e#t
post,re and a rea-ed state: In other $ordsD 1eep yo,r body and mind happyD #om+ortabeD
and +ree o+ tension:

2

Common Problems

)estlessness and dstractons

At times d,rin" a meditation session the mind is *ery restess and o,r attention is
#ontin,ay distra#ted by other thin"s: These #an in#,de e-terna obEe#ts i1e so,ndsD b,t
aso 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 peasant
e-perien#es@F an"er or hatred ?obsessin" o*er $hat someone did that h,rt or irritated ,s@F
+earF do,btF Eeao,syF or depression: Normay $e E,st et the mind r,n i1e this $itho,t
tryin" to #ontro itD so menta $anderin" has be#ome a deepy 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 #aedJis 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*eop the #on#entration $e need +or per#ei*in" reaity:

There are a n,mber o+ methods +or #o,ntera#tin" menta e-#itement: One is to +o#,s
+irmy on the breath and et the mind be#ome as #am 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 +eein"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 +ain": %,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 #amin" 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 midde 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 $hie 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 nostris 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 nostris as the breath "oes in and o,t: Do not et yo,r mind be distra#ted by
tho,"hts or anythin" ese: 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 +amiiar $ith the anayti#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 heps to
ma1e yo,r mind more #am and baan#ed: It mi"ht aso hep to re#a yo,r moti*ationJ
$hy yo, sat do$n to meditate in the +irst pa#eJand th,s stren"then yo,r determination:

I+ menta restessness is a re#,rrin" probemD #he#1 yo,r post,re: The spine sho,d be
*ery strai"ht and the head tited si"hty +or$ard $ith the #hin t,#1ed si"hty inJthe
mind tends to be more restess $hen the head is raised too hi"h: )ed,#in" the amo,nt o+
i"ht in the room #o,d aso hepD as bri"ht i"ht #an stir ,p tho,"hts and +eein"s:

Patien#e is essentia in deain" $ith a b,sy mind: Don.t be ,pset $ith yo,rse+ i+ yo,
#an.t 1eep yo,r attention on the obEe#t o+ meditation: It ta1es time and persistent pra#ti#e
to earn to so$ 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 seepiness: This #an *ary +rom a d,D istess state o+
mind to near-,n#ons#io,sness: It is reated to another o+ o,r habitsG ,s,ayD $hen $e
#ose o,r eyes and rea- o,r mind and bodyD it.s time to "o to seep/

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 aso hep yo, to stay aert:

Another so,tion is to *is,ai!e yo,r mind en#osed $ithin a tiny seed in the #entra
#hanne at the e*e o+ yo,r na*eD as be+ore: This timeD ima"ine that the seed shoots ,p
the #entra #hanne and o,t thro,"h the #ro$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 $hieD then
ret,rn to the meditation:

It is possibe that seepiness d,rin" meditation is symptomati# o+ ,nderyin" depressionD
in $hi#h #ase e-perimentin" $ith some o+ the antidotes to depression on pa"e 103 mi"ht
hep:

I+ yo,r mind is sti d, and seepy a+ter ha*in" tried these remediesD it $o,d be best to
either ta1e a brea1Jyo, #an spash #od $ater on yo,r +a#eD "et some +resh airD or do
some stret#hin"Jor stop the meditation ato"ether and try a"ain ater:

Physcal dscomfort

5o,r meditations $i +o$ smoothy i+ yo,r body is rea-ed and #om+ortabeD 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-reatedD arisin"
+rom ,nreso*ed probemsD +earsD $orriesD or an"er: The most e++e#ti*e so,tion is to
re#o"ni!e these probems and sette them in meditation: A short-term method +or easin"
physi#a tensionJto be ,sed either at the be"innin" o+ a meditation session or d,rin" itJ
is to s$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,sy et it rea-: Ima"ine
that the tension simpy disso*es:

Another method is to breathe deepy and so$yD and $ith m,#h #on#entration ima"ine
that the tension or pain ea*es yo,r body $ith ea#h e-haation:

I+ neither o+ these methods $or1sD yo, #o,d try a more eaborate oneG *is,ai!in" yo,r
body as hoo$: Startin" at the #enter o+ yo,r #hestD ima"ine that a the internaD soid
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,ay 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 $hie
on this e-perien#e o+ yo,r body bein" hoo$D i1e a baoon:

I+ sittin" #a,ses dis#om+ort or painJin the 1nees or ba#1D +or e-ampeJit is a ri"ht to
#han"e to a more #om+ortabe 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+ortabe: '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 anaysis sho,d "i*e yo, more
insi"ht into the $or1in"s o+ yo,r mind and hep yo, de*eop more #ontro o*er yo,r
physi#a rea#tions:

An e-tension o+ this method o+ deain" $ith physi#a pain is mentay to in#rease it as
m,#h as possibe: Ima"ine it "ettin" $orse and $orse: A+ter a $hieD ret,rn to the ori"ina
painJ$hi#h no$ appears m,#h ess pain+, than be+ore/

Another method is to *is,ai!e the s,++erin" o+ a the bein"s o+ the ,ni*erse and thenD
$ith "reat #ompassionD brin" it mentay into the pain yo, are e-perien#in" no$: Thin1
that yo, ha*e ta1en on the pain o+ a bein"sD $ho are th,s +reed o+ a their s,++erin":
'od this tho,"ht and reEoi#e in it +or as on" as yo, #an:

It is "ood to e-periment $ith these methods +or deain" $ith painJb,t be #are+, not to
o*erdo them and #a,se yo,rse+ an inE,ry/

Nose

Atho,"h it is best to meditate in a 8,iet pa#eD it.s not a$ays possibe to +ind one: In the
#ity $e hear tra++i#D TAs and m,si#D 1ids payin"D peope ta1in" and yein"D airpanes
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 animasD the $ind bo$in"D a stream or ri*er: It.s ,nreaisti# to thin1 $e #an
+ind a per+e#ty so,nd-+ree pa#e to meditateD and it.s mista1en to thin1 that $e #an ony
meditate $hen there is no noiseF rather it.s a 8,estion o+ earnin" ho$ to dea $ith it:

The probem is not so m,#h the noise itse+D b,t rather ho$ o,r mind rea#ts to it: I+ the
noise is peasantD 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 ,npeasantD $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#ain" simiar e-perien#es in the pastD thin1in" o+
tryin" to ma1e it stopD and so on: It.s these tho,"hts and +eein"s that are the probem:

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:
)eai!e that yo, #an.t stop the $ord +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, $ere
st,dyin" +or an e-am or en"rossed in readin" a reay "ood boo1D and ho$ yo, $ere
obi*io,s to noise aro,nd yo,: 5o, #an earn to do the same $hie 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 aso ma1e menta notes o+ $hate*er rea#tions yo, noti#e in yo,r
mindG H+eein" attra#tedI or H+eein" 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 probems +or anyone: 5o, #an aso arran"e yo,r s#hed,e so that yo,
meditate $hen thin"s are more 8,ietD s,#h as eary in the mornin"D or $ear ear p,"s/

#trange mages and sensatons

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
ony distra#t yo, +rom the rea p,rpose o+ meditation: Simpy obser*e $hate*er ima"es or
+eein"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,enty and yo, are ,nabe 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:

Dsco+ragement

We o+ten hear peope #ompainD 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 probem is
,s,ay that they are e-pe#tin" too m,#h too 8,i#1y:

We need to be reaisti#: 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 +eein"s: Od habits are not easy to brea1: E*en i+ the res,ts
o+ daiy meditation don.t appear +or t$o or three yearsJatho,"h this is hi"hy ,ni1ey
Jit sho,d not be a #a,se +or $orry or despair:

Positi*e #han"es do not appear s,ddeny o,t o+ the b,eD b,t de*eop so$yD "rad,ayD
itte by itte 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 $orth$hie:

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 +ooish to bame the soapD
$ater and s#r,bbin" +or the dirtJthe pro#ess o+ $ashin" merey re*eas $hat is there
areadyD and is the ri"ht method +or #ompetey remo*in" the dirt:

SimiaryD meditation is the $ay to p,ri+y the mind o+ $hat is aready thereG at +irst $e
dis#o*er the "ross ne"ati*itiesD then the more s,bte ones:

So be patient and don.t $orry/

Part Three

MEDITATION# ON T'E MIND

1

Medtaton on the %reath

As mentioned earierD one 1ind o+ meditationD stabii!in" meditationD is +or the p,rpose o+
de*eopin" #on#entration: Con#entration is a nat,ra 8,aity o+ o,r mindJ$e ,se it $hen
$e st,dyD $or1D $at#h TAD or read a boo1: %,t o,r abiity to #on#entrate is imitedJo,r
mind is easiy distra#tedJand the thin"s $e #on#entrate on are not ne#essariy bene+i#ia
+or o,rse*es and others: Con#entration in itse+ is not positi*eJit depends on ho$ $e
,se it: A ban1 robberD +or e-ampeD 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:

Stabii!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*eopin" #on#entrationD the breath is one o+ the best: We are breathin" a the time
any$ayD so $e don.t ha*e to #onE,re ,p some obEe#t to +o#,s o,r mind on: AsoD as o,r
breathin" is happenin" ri"ht hereD ri"ht no$D +o#,sin" on it heps o,r mind stay in the
presentD the here-and-no$D rather than "ettin" ost in memories o+ the past or +antasies
abo,t the +,t,re: 4oo$in" the breath $ith o,r attention has a nat,ray #amin" e++e#t on
o,r mindD th,s 8,ietin" o,r normay 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+initey
meditate on the breath:

There are se*era 8,aities o+ the mind that are essentia in de*eopin" "ood
#on#entration: One o+ these is mind+,nessD or re#oe#tionD $hi#h enabes ,s to
remember a +amiiar obEe#t ?i1e o,r breath@ $itho,t +or"ettin" it or $anderin" to other
obEe#ts: Mind+,ness aso enabes ,s to 1eep in mind $hat $e.re s,pposed to be doin"
$hie $e are sittin" thereD and not to "et #ompetey spa#ed o,t/

Another essentia 8,aity is dis#riminatin" aertnessD $hi#hD i1e a sentryD $at#hes o,t +or
distra#tions: Aertness 1no$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" ese: It is
aso abe 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 probems +or o,rse*es and others: De*eopin" the
abiity to re#o"ni!e these $hen they arise in o,r mind and do somethin" abo,t them
be+ore they es#aate heps ,s to a*oid a ot o+ s,++erin":

Mind+,ness and aertness are th,s essentia +or s,##ess+, meditationF and in o,r day-to-
day i*es they 1eep ,s #enteredD aert and #ons#ientio,sD hepin" ,s to 1no$ $hat is
happenin" in o,r mind as it ha!!ens and th,s to dea s1i+,y $ith probems as they
arise:

5o, #an ,se the meditation on the breath either +or yo,r main pra#ti#e or as a preiminary
to other meditations: It is an in*a,abe te#hni8,eG re",ar pra#ti#e heps yo, "rad,ay
be#ome more a$are o+ yo,r inner $ordD and "ain more #ontro o*er yo,r mind: 5o, $i
+ee more rea-ed and more abe to enEoy i+eD ha*in" "reater sensiti*ity to yo,rse+ and
the peope and thin"s aro,nd yo,: And ,sin" yo,r in#reased mind+,ness in other
meditationsD yo, $i be abe to maintain yo,r #on#entration +or on"er periods:

Meditation on the breathD and stabii!in" meditation in "eneraD is there+ore important +or
both be"inners and ad*an#ed meditatorsG +or those $ho $ant a simpe te#hni8,e +or
rea-in" and #amin" the mind and +or serio,s meditators $ho de*ote their i*es to
spirit,a de*eopment:

The ,ractce

%e"in by sittin" in the se*en-point post,re ?pa"es 23@D or in $hate*er position is most
#om+ortabe +or yo,: )ea- a yo,r m,s#es and the other parts o+ yo,r bodyD $hie
1eepin" yo,r ba#1 strai"ht: I+ there is any tension in any part o+ yo,r bodyD et it disso*e
and disappear: &et yo,r breathin" be nat,ra so that yo,r breath +o$s in and o,t in a
nat,ra rhythm:

Motivation 'a*e a positi*e moti*ation +or doin" the meditationD +or e-ampeD 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 ese: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,ay 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 nostrisD $here yo, #an +ee s,bte 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 pa#esD and 1eep yo,r mindD yo,r attentionD on the sensations
yo, #an +ee at that pa#e d,rin" ea#h inhaation and e-haation o+ yo,r breath: %rin"
yo,r mind ba#1 to this pa#e e*ery time it $anders a$ay:

I+ yo, $ishD yo, #an #o,nt yo,r breaths: 5o, may +ind this hep+, to 1eep yo,r mind
#on#entrated: 5o, #o,nt ea#h +, inhaation and e-haation 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 midde 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 stabe and is abe 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 normay and "enty: Ine*itabyD tho,"hts
$i appearD and yo,r attention $i be distra#ted by themD b,t as soon as yo, reai!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 disi1eD $orryD e-#itementD or #in"in" to any
tho,"htD ima"eD or +eein" that arises: Merey 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,ay yo,r tho,"hts $i s,bside:

It may be hep+, to thin1 that yo,r mind is i1e the s1yD and tho,"hts are i1e #o,ds:
Co,ds #ome and "o in the s1yJthey do not stay on"D nor do they ater the nat,ra
stiness 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 simpy 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 eseD to be doin" somethin" eseD or e*en
to +ee some other $ay: %e #ontentD E,st as yo, are:

When yo,r s1i has de*eoped and yo,r abiity to a*oid distra#tions has in#reasedD yo,
#an ta1e yo,r aertness 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+eein" an"ryDI Hatta#hmentDI
Hhearin" a so,ndDI H+eein" boredDI or Hpain:I As soon as yo, ha*e noted the tho,"ht or
+eein"D et it "oD re#ain" its impermanent nat,re:

Another te#hni8,e is to ,se yo,r distra#tions to hep 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" aertnessD ta1es a oo1 at
another partD a distra#tion: The dist,rbin" obEe#t $i disappearD b,t hod yo,r attention
on the thin1er +or as on" as yo, #an: A"ainD $hen another tho,"ht #omesD +o#,s on the
thin1er and +oo$ the same pro#ed,re: )et,rn to $at#hin" the breath on#e the
distra#tions ha*e passed:

These methods +or handin" distra#tions #an be appied 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
persistenty:

I+ a tho,"ht or +eein" is parti#,ary dist,rbin" and yo, are ,nabe 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 deain" $ith ne"ati*e ener"y on pa"e 122: On#e the dist,rbin" emotion is
more ,nder #ontroD 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 pa#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 probems
and ,nhappinessD and be +ied instead $ith pea#e and Eoy:

"

Medtaton on the Clarty of the Mnd

The reaity 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 #onstanty in a state o+ +,-: Bn+ort,nateyD o,r
e"o is not satis+ied $ith s,#h a simpe e-panation: It #ompi#ates matters by +abri#atin" a
*ie$ o+ an I or se+ based on o,r #on#eptionsD i1esD and disi1es: 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 beie*e these proEe#tions and ass,me they are permanent and ,n#han"in":

We do the same $ith peope and obEe#ts in the $ord aro,nd ,s: We believe Hhe is ,"yDI
Hshe is "ood:I We b,id ,p o,r o$n eaborate and *ery soid pi#t,re o+ reaity and hod
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-materiaD transient nat,re o+ a
tho,"htsD +eein"sD and per#eptionsD th,s $ea1enin" the tenden#y to identi+y $ith them:
As the s,bEe#tJthe mindJso+tensD so too do its proEe#ted obEe#tsF they so$y ose their
#on#reteness: The +eein" o+ disi1e to$ard the Hbad personI may sti arise thro,"h habitD
b,t $e ha*e the spa#e to re#aD 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#iay e++e#ti*e +or so+tenin" o,r *ie$ o+ o,r o$n se+: Normay
o,r se+-esteem is o$D based on past mista1esD personaity +a,tsD bad habitsD and the i1e:
%,t an"erD Eeao,syD se+ishnessD depression and the other probems 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 beie+ 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 eiminated: Consistent pra#ti#e o+ this meditation $i e*ent,ay "enerate a
#ertainty abo,t this p,re nat,re to the point $here it be#omes o,r reaityD o,r a#t,a
e-perien#e: This is a nat,ra step to$ard ,nderstandin" the more s,bte nat,re o+ se+ and
a phenomenaG their emptiness o+ inherent e-isten#e ?see pa"e 60@:

The ,ractce

Motivation 'a*e a positi*e moti*ation +or doin" the meditation:


%e"in by breathin" in deepy thro,"h both nostrisD brin"in" the air do$n to the stoma#hD
hodin" it +or a moment and then e-hain" so$y and "enty thro,"h yo,r p,rsed ips:
)epeat this t$o more timesD then breathe normay in and o,t thro,"h yo,r nose: Obser*e
yo,r breathin" $itho,t thin1in"D $itho,t #on#ept,ai!in": On#e yo,r a$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 +eein"sD per#eptions o+ so,ndsD and so +orth: The nat,re o+ ea#h
o+ these e-perien#es is #arityD $itho,t +orm or #oorF spa#e-i1eD p,re a$areness: 4o#,s
yo,r attention on this #earD p,re nat,re o+ the mind:

Initiay 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 $ay to "enerate s,#h an ima"e is to *is,ai!e spa#e:
Ima"ine yin" on a hitop and starin" ,p at a s1y that is #ompetey #ear and +ree o+
#o,ds: Con#entrate on this *astD ,nobstr,#ted emptiness: Ima"ine that it +o$s do$n and
embra#es yo, and yo,r s,rro,ndin"sF e*erythin" be#omes empty i1e spa#e: 'od 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 $i ariseD b,t do not rea#t to themF neither +oo$ them nor
reEe#t them: )emember that they are #ear by nat,reD $itho,t s,bstan#e: Simpy $at#h
them #ome and "oD then ret,rn to the a$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 simpy 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 simpe and nat,raF it is nothin" spe#ia:

Con#entration means hodin" the mind on an obEe#t #ontin,o,syD $itho,t +or"ettin" it:
The a,tomati# res,t o+ #on#entration is a$arenessD $hi#h is +ree o+ #on#epts: A i"ht
does not need to thin1D HI am dispein" dar1nessIJit simpy i,minates: A$areness is
an inner i"ht that enabes ,s to see thin"s more #eary: It dispes 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" $eD yo, $i +ee i"ht and rea-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

Medtaton on the Contn+ty of the Mnd

The mind has been #ompared to a *ast o#eanD and o,r per #eptionsD tho,"htsD and
emotions to $a*es risin" and +ain" on its s,r+a#e: This anao"y heps ,s to ,nderstand
the e-perien#es that o##,r $hie $e are meditatin" or "oin" abo,t o,r daiy a#ti*ities:
%,t to "et a +eein" +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,ptedy to the ne-t: The mind +o$s aon"
#easeessyD day and ni"htD a stream o+ #o,ntess momentary e-perien#esD a$ays
#han"in": Tho,"hts and +eein"s arise and 8,i#1y disappearD b,t they ea*e imprints that
are #arried on the mindstream:

%,ddhism e-pains that the mind is $itho,t be"innin" or endD ,ni1e the bodyD $hi#h is
#on#ei*edD bornD diesD and disinte"rates: O,r personaity and e-perien#es o+ this i+e are
shaped by the imprints #arried on the mind +rom past i*es: &i1e$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 abe to re#a e-perien#es +rom past i*es yo, $i reai!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#ienty #am yo, $i be abe to see deepy into it and reai!e it as
an e*er-+o$in" stream "oin" +ar ba#1 in time: When yo, ha*e e-perien#ed the reaity 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 peope this is an aien idea: 'ere are se*era anayti#a approa#hes to
#onsiderin" the *aidity 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#essariy 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 possibe +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 possibe +or +ire
to be prod,#ed by $ater: AsoD as mind is a series o+ e*er-#han"in" momentsD ea#h
ne#essariy the res,t o+ a pre*io,s momentD ho$ #o,d it ha*e a be"innin" in time?

Some peope hod 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 +eein"s be physi#a?
I+ they $ereD s#ientists st,dyin" someone.s brain sho,d be abe to see themD b,t that is
not the #ase: They #an 1no$ 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 #ompetey di++erent $ay: It.s not possibe +or a part o+ one
mind to brea1 o++ and be#ome a ne$ mind: AsoD 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 #eary not the #ase: O,r present personaityD 1no$ed"eD and e-perien#es are
ne#essariy the res,t o+ o,r o$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 hep+, +or e-perien#in" o,r o$n mind as a #ontin,o,sy-
+o$in"D e*er-#han"in" stream o+ e*ents:

The ,ractce

Motivation Sit #om+ortaby and rea-: Contempate 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 probaby dreamin": Try to re#a ast ni"ht.s dreams:::: Do
they aso beon" to this same mindstream?

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#oe#tions: The p,rpose o+ the meditation is not
to rei*e "ood times or sort o,t probems +rom the pastD b,t to "et a +eein" +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
adoes#en#e and #hidhood:::: Peope are sometimes abe to remember their in+an#yD or
e*en the time o+ birth: )ea- and open yo,r mind to ao$ s,#h memories to ariseL:

I+ yo, ha*e di++i#,ty a##essin" memories +rom the eary part o+ yo,r i+eD don.t $orry:
)eai!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+ earier 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 possibiitiesG 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 aready e-isted be+ore yo, $ere #on#ei*edD in another i+e?
L See i+ yo, #an open yo,r mind to that possibiity: 5o, mi"ht e*en be abe to "impse a
memory +rom another i+eL:

'a*in" rea#hed ba#1 into yo,r memory as +ar as yo, #anD no$ "enty brin" yo,r
a$areness into the present and a"ain obser*e the tho,"hts and +eein"s that arise: Simpy
e-perien#e yo,r stream o+ #ons#io,sness as it #ontin,es to +o$F +ee its moment,mG one
tho,"ht or +eein" eadin" to the ne-tD $hi#h eads to the ne-tD $hi#h eads to the ne-tD on
and on:

4inayD try to "et some idea o+ $here it "oes +rom here: Contempate yo,r mindstream
+o$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 possibiitiesG does the stream o+ #ons#io,sness s,ddeny #ease to
e-ist? Does it trans+orm into somethin" ese? Does it #ontin,e onD en#o,nterin" ne$
e-perien#es?

Consider these possibiities #are+,yD ,sin" the reasons "i*en earier: Atho,"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 4inayD 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 Analytcal Medtaton

The meditations presented here are so,tions to a $ide *ariety o+ probems and $i hep
yo, de*eop a more reaisti# *ie$ o+ yo,r inner and o,ter $ords:

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 soidD permanentD independent HIDI $hi#h
ies at the root o+ a o,r probems: 'o$e*erD emptiness is a *ery di++i#,t #on#ept and
yo, may +ind this meditation too #haen"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 beie*ed to be tr,e abo,t
o,r e-isten#e is *ery $orth$hie:

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 reationships 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 deain" $ith ne"ati*e ener"y "i*es ad*i#e on ho$ to hande probems 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 so$in" do$n the mind and obser*in" its present state:

ThenD start the anaysis: Do not et yo,r mind $ander +rom the s,bEe#t yo, are anay!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 $ith intee#t,a tho,"htD 8,estionsD ima"esD and
i,strations +rom yo,r o$n e-perien#e: 5o,r meditation mi"ht ta1e the +orm o+ an
interna e#t,reD as tho,"h yo, $ere e-painin" a point to yo,rse+F a debateD $ith yo,rse+
ta1in" both sidesF or a +reestye 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 $hy: Either #ome to a #on#,sion abo,t
the point in 8,estion or ea*e it aside +or the moment and ta#1e it a"ain ater: I+ yo, are
,nabe to reso*e yo,r do,bts on yo,r o$nD it.s best to #ons,t a tea#her or more
e-perien#ed st,dent o+ this tradition:

I+ d,rin" the anaysis yo, sho,d de*eop an int,iti*e e-perien#e o+ the s,bEe#tD stop
anay!in" and hod the +eein" $ith sin"e-pointed #on#entration +or as on" as possibe:
When the +eein" +adesD res,me the in*esti"ation or #on#,de the session: This ,nion o+
anayti#a and stabii!in" meditations is essentia i+ $e are to a#hie*e tr,e mind-
trans+ormation: In anayti#a meditation $e thin1 abo,t and ,nderstand intee#t,ay a
parti#,ar pointD and thro,"h stabii!in" meditation $e "rad,ay ma1e it a part o+ o,r
*ery e-perien#e o+ i+e:

1

Medtaton on Em,tness

A %,ddhist tea#hin"s are +or the p,rpose o+ eadin" one "rad,ay to the reai!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 +ase $ay o+ seein" thin"s mar1s o,r a#hie*ement
o+ eni"htenmentD b,ddhahood:

What is Hemptiness o+ inherent e-isten#eI? In pra#ti#a termsD $hat does it mean? So-
#aed inherent e-isten#eJ$hi#h a thin"s are said to a#1D to be empty o+Jis a 8,aity
that $e instin#ti*ey proEe#t onto e*ery person and e*erythin" $e e-perien#e: We see
thin"s as +,yD soidy e-istin" in and o+ themse*esD +rom their o$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 tabeD +or e-ampe: We see a soidD independent tabe standin" thereD and it.s so
ob*io,sy a tabe that it seems ridi#,o,s to e*en 8,estion it: %,t $here is the tabe?
Ima"ine ta1in" it apart and ayin" the pie#es o,t on the "ro,nd: No$ see i+ yo, #an +ind
the tabeG is it one o+ the e"s? Or its top? Is it the ",e or nais that hod it to"ether? Or
e*en one o+ its atoms?

I+ yo, in*esti"ate thoro,"hyD yo, $i dis#o*er that yo, simpy #annot +ind the tabe yo,
thin1 is there: That does not mean there is no tabe at a: There is a dependenty-e-istin"D
#han"in"-+rom-moment-to-moment tabeJthe HtabeI that $e merey abe onto its parts
Jb,t this is not $hat $e see: This is the #r,- o+ the probem: We e-perien#e not the bare
reaity o+ ea#h thin" and ea#h person b,t an e-a""eratedD +ied-o,t ima"e o+ it proEe#ted
by o,r o$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 probems:

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 #esD and atomsJand mindJa stream
o+ tho,"htsD +eein"sD and per#eptions: This #omposite is #on*enienty 1no$n as HMaryDI
H'arodDI H$omanDI or Hman:I It is a temporary aian#e that ends $ith the death o+ the
body and the +o$in" on o+ the mind to other e-perien#es:

These star1D ,nembeished +a#ts #an be rather dis8,ietin": A part o+ ,sD the e"oD #ra*in"
se#,rity and immortaityD in*ents an inherentD independentD permanent se+: This is not a
deiberateD #ons#io,s pro#ess b,t one that ta1es pa#e deep in o,r s,b#ons#io,s mind:

This +antasi!ed se+ appears espe#iay stron"y at times o+ stressD e-#itement or +ear: 4or
e-ampeD $hen $e narro$y es#ape an a##ident there is a po$er+, sense o+ an I that
neary 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 +ase IJ1no$n as se+-"raspin" i"noran#eJtaints a o,r deain"s
$ith the $ord: We are attra#ted to peopeD pa#esD and sit,ations that "rati+y and ,phod
o,r se+-ima"eD and rea#t $ith +ear or animosity to $hate*er threatens it: We *ie$ a
peope and thin"s as de+initey this $ay or that: Th,s this rootD se+-"raspin"D bran#hes
o,t into atta#hmentD Eeao,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 eiminate this root i"noran#eJ$ith the $isdom that reai!es the
emptinessD in e*erythin" $e e-perien#eD o+ the +ase 8,aities $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 ree*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-ampeD the I that $e beie*e in so stron"y and thenD by ,sin" #ear
reasonin" in anayti#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 pa#e:

%,t don.t thro$ o,t too m,#h/ 5o, de+initey e-ist/ There is a #on*entionaD
interdependent se+ that e-perien#es happiness and s,++erin"D that $or1sD st,diesD eatsD
seepsD meditatesD and be#omes eni"htened: The +irstD most di++i#,t tas1 is to distin",ish
bet$een this *aid I and the +abri#ated oneF ,s,ay $e #annot te them apart: In the
#on#entration o+ meditation it is possibe to see the di++eren#eF to re#o"ni!e the i,sory I
and eradi#ate o,r on"-habit,ated beie+ in it: The meditation here is a pra#ti#a +irst step
in that dire#tion:

The ,ractce

Motivation %e"in $ith a meditation on the breath to rea- and #am yo,r mind: Moti*ate
yo,rse+ stron"y to do this meditation in order to +inay be#ome eni"htened +or the sa1e
o+ a bein"s:


No$D $ith the aertness o+ a spyD so$y and #are+,y be#ome a$are o+ the I: Who or
$hat is it that thin1sD +eesD and meditates? 'o$ does it appear to yo,? Is yo,r I a #reation
o+ yo,r mind? Or is it somethin" that e-ists #on#retey and independentyD 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 bood *essesD and ner*es: Can yo, +ind yo,r I? It mi"ht be
*ery sma and s,bteD so #onsider the #esD 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 #onstanty #han"in" stream o+
tho,"htsD +eein"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 +eein" ::: a depressed +eein"?

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-ampeD then $hen
yo,r mind is +ied ony $ith an"erD does the I "o some$here eseD or disappear
ato"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" ese? Is
there some e-tra part o+ yo, other than yo,r body and mind? A+ter aD $e say Hmy bodyI
and Hmy mindDI impyin" the e-isten#e o+ somethin" ese that o$ns these t$o: I+ soD $hat
is it? Where is it +o,nd? What 1ind o+ phenomenon is it? E-amine e*ery possibiity yo,
#an thin1 o+:

A"ainD oo1 at the $ay yo,r I a#t,ay appearsD ho$ it +ees to yo,: A+ter this sear#h +or
the ID do yo, noti#e any #han"e? Do yo, sti beie*e that it is as soid and rea as yo, +et
be+ore? Does it sti appear to e-ist independentyD in and o+ itse+?

Ne-tD mentay disinte"rate yo,r body: Ima"ine a the atoms separatin" and +oatin"
apart: %iions and biions o+ min,te parti#es s#atter thro,"ho,t spa#e: Ima"ine that yo,
#an a#t,ay see this:

No$D disinte"rate yo,r mind: &et e*ery tho,"htD +eein"D sensation and per#eption +oat
a$ayL: Then #he#1 yo,r +eein" 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*ey +eeG as
somethin" independent and inherent: Con*entionayD 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'arod:I This is the yo, that is sittin" and
meditatin" and $onderin"D HDo I e-ist?I

Whate*er e-ists is ne#essariy dependent ,pon #a,ses and #onditionsD or parts and namesD
+or its e-isten#e: A #arD +or e-ampeD is a #oe#tion o+ pie#es o+ steeD "assD pasti#D
r,bberD an en"ineD et#:D p,t to"ether by peope in a +a#tory: We "i*e the name H#arI to this
#oe#tionD b,t i+ $e oo1 +or a reaD #on#reteD independenty e-istin" #arD it #annot be
+o,nd:

So #on*entionay thin"s e-ist dependentyD 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*entionayG in de!endence u!on s1inD boodD
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 #esD atomsD and s,b-atomi# parti#es:

Thin1 abo,t yo,r mindD ho$ it e-ists in de!endence u!on tho,"htsD +eein"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$D "o ba#1 to yo,r +eein" o+ se+ or I: Thin1 abo,t ho$ yo, e-ist #on*entionayD in
de!endence u!on mind and body and nameJthe se+.s parts:

When the body +ees h,n"ry or #odD +or e-ampeD yo, thin1 HI am h,n"ryDI HI am #od: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 soidD ,n#han"in"D and independent?

The mere absen#e o+ s,#h an inherenty-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#erey any positi*e ener"y and insi"ht yo, ha*e "ained to the
eni"htenment o+ a bein"s: Thin1 that this meditation is E,st one step aon" the path to
+inay a#hie*in" dire#t insi"ht into emptiness and th,s #,ttin" the root o+ s,++erin" and
dissatis+a#tion:

"

A,,recatng o+r '+man &fe

The +,n#tion o+ anayti#a meditation is to hep ,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 reay areD $e en#o,nter one +r,stratin" sit,ation a+ter
another:

As on" as $e bame o,r parentsD so#ietyD or other e-terna +a#torsD $e $i ne*er +ind any
satis+yin" so,tions to o,r probems: Their main #a,se ies $ithin o,r o$n mindD so $e
need to ta1e responsibiity +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,ay be#omin" a$are o+ ho$ $e thin1 and
+eeD distin",ishin" #orre#t +rom in#orre#t attit,desD and +inay #o,ntera#tin" harm+,
attit,des by the appropriate means:

The startin" point +or many probems 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 normay $e +ai to appre#iate it: We ha*e so m,#h
potentiaD so m,#h atent $isdom and o*in" 1indnessD so m,#h to o++er the $ordD 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 +aiin"s in o,r deain"s $ith peope and
$or1D +or e-ampeD or the harm $e may ha*e done to othersD $e de*eop an ,n+airD o$
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#apabe and inade8,ate and +ee hopeess and depressed: Or $e
t,rn to other peope in an attempt to +ind happiness and +,+iment: 'o$e*erD as o,r
+riends are i1ey to +ee the same $ay abo,t themse*esD s,#h reationships o+ten brin"
ony more +r,stration:

We #an ,no#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 appyin" dis#riminatin" $isdom to
a o,r a#tions o+ bodyD spee#hD and mind: %,t to hope to be abe to a#hie*e thisD andD
thro,"h itD +,+imentD $itho,t +irst #ompetin" the ne#essary "ro,nd$or1 is to in*ite
+r,stration: We m,st start by b,idin" a +irm +o,ndationD based on a reaisti# *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 eiminate the bad aspe#ts o+ o,r #hara#ter: E*ent,ay
$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 eni"htenment:

When $e oo1 at o,rse*es deepyD #are+,yD $e +ind that most o+ o,r day-to-day
probems are 8,ite tri*ia: It is ony o,r proEe#tions and #on#eptions that #ompi#ate them
and ao$ them to "ro$ o,t o+ a proportion: As $e se+-ind,"enty be#ome #a,"ht ,p in
o,r probemsD they appear to "ro$ ar"er and ar"erD and $e disappear into deep states o+
depression and hopeessness: Wao$in" in se+-pityD $e are ,nabe to see thatD in +a#tD $e
ha*e #reated o,r probems 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
hopeessness: It heps ,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,ray +is ,s $ith Eoy and enth,siasm +or i+eJ$ho
$o,dn.t +ee eated at the reai!ation that they hod the 1ey to their o$n +,+iment? At
the same timeD re#o"ni!in" o,r "ood +ort,ne heps ,s to see #eary that there are many
$ho are in+initey ess +ort,nate than $e are: We +ee tr,e #ompassion +or them and ta1e
an a#ti*e #on#ern in their pi"ht:

The ,ractce

Sit #om+ortaby $ith yo,r ba#1 strai"ht: )ea- yo,r body and et any tension disso*e and
+o$ a$ayL: Spend a +e$ min,tes #amin" and settin" 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 #am and setted in the here-and-no$D "enerate a positi*eD
atr,isti# moti*ation +or doin" the meditation: 5o, #an thin1D +or e-ampeD HMay this
meditation brin" "reater pea#e and happiness to myse+ and othersD to the $hoe $ordDI
or HMay this meditation brin" me #oser to eni"htenment so that I #an hep a other
bein"s attain eni"htenment as $e:I


%e"in the meditation by #ontempatin" that the nat,re o+ yo,r mind is #ear and p,reD and
has the potentia to be#ome eni"htenedG the state o+ #ompete p,rityD "oodnessD and
per+e#tion: This is tr,e +or yo,rse+ and a other bein"s: 5o, #an thin1D +or e-ampeD
HThe nat,re o+ e*ery bein".s mind is #ear i1e spa#eD *astD and ,nimited: 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*eoped to a state that is
#ompetey p,re and positi*e:I

Aternati*eyD i+ yo, +ind it di++i#,t to a##ept that the mind has the potentia to be#ome
eni"htenedD yo, #an thin1 o+ the positi*e 8,aities that yo, ha*eJintei"en#eD o*in"-
1indnessD #ompassionD "enerosityD #o,ra"eD et#:Jand remind yo,rse+ that these #an be
de*eoped e*en +,rtherD and that yo, #an ,se yo,r i+e to brin" bene+it and happiness to
others:

Spend some time #ontempatin" thisD and +ee Eoy+, abo,t the potentia that ies $ithin
yo,:

Atho,"h a bein"s ha*e the potentia to trans+orm their mind and be#ome eni"htenedD
not a bein"s are in the most idea sit,ation in $hi#h they #an re#o"ni!e and de*eop this
potentia: ',man bein"s are "eneray in the best sit,ation: Non-h,man bein"s either
ha*e too m,#h s,++erin" or are in#apabe o+ de*eopin" their potentia d,e to i"noran#e
and other de,sions:

Ima"ine $hat it $o,d be i1e as an animaD +or e-ampe: Animas in the $id ha*e no
one to #are +or them $hen they e-perien#e h,n"erD thirstD heatD #odD si#1nessD or inE,riesD
and are in amost #onstant +ear +or their i*es: Domesti# animas are sometimes better o++D
b,t a#1 +reedom and are o+ten 1ied +or meatD +,rD or other prod,#ts: And a animasD
e*en the most intei"entD ha*e e-tremey imited menta #apa#ities and are ,nabe to
de*eop themse*es intee#t,ay or spirit,ay: Contempate this to "et a sense o+ ho$
+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*eop their
potentia: Ima"ineD +or e-ampeD 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 simpy tryin" to 1eep yo,rse+ and yo,r +amiy
ai*eF yo, $o,d ha*e itte or no time to thin1 o+ anythin" ese s,#h as spirit,a pra#ti#e:

Ima"ine s,++erin" +rom a se*ere menta disabiity or inessD $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*eop
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 abiity to earn and pra#ti#e spirit,a tea#hin"s:

Some peope do not ha*e a##ess to spirit,a tea#hin"s that e-pain the mind.s potentia
and ho$ to de*eop it: Ima"ine spendin" yo,r entire i+e in a smaD remote *ia"e $here
no one has e*en heard abo,t eni"htenmentD so there.s no opport,nity to earn ho$ to
attain it:

Other peope may be a$are o+ their potentia and sin#erey $ish to pra#ti#e the tea#hin"s
on ho$ to de*eop itD b,t are pre*ented +rom doin" so by others: 4or e-ampeD peope in
some #o,ntries do not ha*e +reedom o+ rei"ionF others +a#e stron" obEe#tions +rom their
parentsD spo,seD or #hidren: 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 peope $ho are physi#ay and mentay heathyD are materiay
$e-o++ and ha*e the +reedom and opport,nity to earn spirit,a tea#hin"sD b,t are simpy
not interested: Their interests ie ese$hereG a##,m,atin" $eathD propertyD and
possessionsD a#8,irin" $ordy 1no$ed"e or s1isD or in simpy e-perien#in" as m,#h
peas,re as they #an: They ne*er #onsider that a these thin"s $i be e+t behind $hen
they dieJi1e a dream that *anishes as soon as $e $a1e ,pJand that ony their mind
$i #ontin,e to the ne-t i+e:

Some peope en"a"e in harm+, a#tions s,#h as 1iin"D steain"D bein" ab,si*e or
dishonestD not reai!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 eni"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,aities and ad*anta"es yo, ha*e: 5o, are a h,man
bein" $ith an intei"ent mindD a o*in" heartD and a body yo, #an p,t to "ood ,se: There
are peope $ho #are abo,t and s,pport yo,J+amiyD +riendsD a spirit,a tea#her: 5o,
ha*e opport,nities to p,rs,e yo,r #reati*eD intee#t,aD and so#ia interests: 5o, enEoy a
"ood standard o+ i*in"Jat eastD yo, ha*e eno,"h to stay ai*e/ And most o+ aD yo,
ha*e the potentia and opport,nityJbecause 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 probems and #haen"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$ peope or #reat,res on earth share these +reedoms and #han#es $ith
yo,: When yo, ha*e #onsidered this deepyD yo, $i reai!e ho$ rare and pre#io,s a i+e
i1e yo,rs is: )eay 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 possibiities open to
yo,J$or1D tra*eD enEoymentD st,dy: I+ yo, $ish to o++er ser*i#e to othersD there are
#o,ntess opport,nities to hep 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*eop yo,rse+
spirit,ayG o*er#omin" the ne"ati*e aspe#ts o+ yo,r mind and in#reasin" the positi*eD and
a#t,ai!in" yo,r potentia +or eni"htenment:

Try to see the imitations o+ a i+estye "eared soey to materiaisti# "ain: Thin1 o+ the
insi"ni+i#an#e o+ +ameD $eathD rep,tationD and sens,a ind,"en#e $hen #ompared to the
"oa o+ eni"htenment: Why aspire to ony tempora a#hie*ements $hen $e are #apabe
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 $iseyJdoin" yo,r best to a*oid harmin" othersD and instead
hepin" them as m,#h as yo, #anD and de*eopin" yo,r o*eD #ompassionD $isdomD and
other positi*e 8,aities that $i enabe yo, to a#t,ai!e yo,r hi"hest potentia:


Dedication 4inayD dedi#ate the ener"y and inspiration yo, ha*e "ained +rom doin" this
meditation to the ,timate happiness o+ a bein"s:

0

Medtaton on Im,ermanence

E*erythin" in the physi#a $ord is impermanentD #han"in" a the time: Some #han"es
are ob*io,sG peope "ro$ ,pD "et odD and dieF b,idin"s and brid"es $ear o,t and +a
apart: The en*ironment "oes thro,"h a #ompete trans+ormation +rom one season to the
ne-tF +o$ers $itD paint #ra#1s and peesD #ars brea1 do$n:

The so,r#e o+ this e-terna trans+ormation #an be tra#ed to the #e,ar and moe#,ar
#omposition o+ matterD $here #han"e is not so ob*io,s: At this in*isibe e*eD min,te
parti#es are #onstanty #omin" into or "oin" o,t o+ e-isten#eD "atherin" and dispersin"D
e-pandin" and #ontra#tin"Ja$ays in motionD a$ays +,#t,atin":

O,r #ons#io,s $ord is aso #han"in" #onstanty: 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#1y the mind
is #han"in"G it.s i1e a rai$ay station at r,sh ho,r/ Streams o+ tho,"htsD +eein"sD and
per#eptions +ash byD in e*ery dire#tionD $itho,t #easin":

This #onstant #han"e is the reaity o+ thin"sD b,t $e +ind it *ery di++i#,t to a##ept:
Intee#t,ayD it is not a probemF b,t rea a##eptan#e o+ impermanen#e rareyD i+ e*erD
enters o,r e*eryday beha*ior and e-perien#e: Instin#ti*eyD $e #in" to peope 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 +irmy beie*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#iay stron"y to o,r *ie$ o+ o,r o$n personaityG HI am a depressed
personDI HI am an an"ry personDI HI am not *ery intei"ent:I We mi"ht indeed be this or
thatD b,t it is not the $hoe 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 oneinessD
and #o,ntess other probems: We #an a*oid e-perien#in" them by be#omin" +amiiar
$ith the transitory nat,re o+ thin"sD re#o"ni!in" that they are in a #onstant state o+ +,-:
(rad,ay $e $i earn to e-pe#tD and a##eptD #han"e as the nat,re o+ i+e:

We $i ,nderstand not ony that #han"e simpy happens b,t aso that $e #an brin" abo,t
#han"e: We ha*e the po$er to #han"e $hat $e areD to de*eop and trans+orm o,r minds
and i*es:

The ,ractce

Motivation Sit #om+ortaby and rea- #ompetey: Ta1e time to #am and #on#entrate
yo,r tho,"hts by mind+,y obser*in" the breath: When yo,r mind is #am and setted in
the presentD "enerate a positi*e moti*ation +or doin" the meditation: 4or e-ampeD yo,
#an thin1G HMay this meditation hep 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 eni"htened so that I #an
hep a bein"s be#ome +ree o+ s,++erin" and be#ome eni"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 boodD bonesD ner*esD and m,s#es: E-amine themD one by oneF !robe them
$ith yo,r +eein"s: Contempate 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 boodD and the ener"y o+ yo,r ner*e imp,ses:

%e a$are o+ yo,r body at the e*en more s,bte e*e o+ its #e,ar str,#t,reD that it is
entirey #omposed o+ i*in" #es #omin" into e-isten#eD mo*in" abo,tD reprod,#in"D
dyin"D and disinte"ratin":

On an e*en s,bter e*eD a the parts o+ yo,r body are made o+ moe#,esD atomsD and
s,b-atomi# parti#esD and these are in #onstant motion: Try to reay "et a +eein" +or the
#han"e that is ta1in" pa#e e*ery moment in yo,r bodyL:

No$D t,rn yo,r attention to yo,r mind: ItD tooD is #omposed o+ many partsG tho,"htsD
per#eptionsD +eein"sD memoriesD and ima"es +oo$in" one a+ter the otherD #easeessy:
Spend a +e$ min,tes simpy 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 $ordJyo,r o$n body and mindJ
e-tend yo,r a$areness to the o,ter $ord: Thin1 abo,t yo,r immediate s,rro,ndin"sG the
#,shionD matD or bed yo, are sittin" onD the +oorD $asD $indo$sD and #eiin" o+ yo,r
roomD the +,rnit,re and other obEe#ts in the room: Consider that ea#h o+ theseD atho,"h
appearin" soid and stati#D is a#t,ay a mass o+ tiny parti#es $hi!!in" aro,nd: Stay $ith
that e-perien#e +or a $hie:

Then et yo,r a$areness tra*e +,rther o,tD beyond the $as o+ yo,r room: Thin1 o+ other
peopeG their bodies and minds are aso #onstanty #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 animasD birdsD and
inse#ts:

Thin1 o+ a the inanimate obEe#ts in the $ord and in the ,ni*erseG ho,sesD b,idin"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 #onstanty
#han"in"D e*ery momentD e*ery miise#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" +eein" o+ the e*er-#han"in"
nat,re o+ thin"sD hod yo,r attention +irmy on it +or as on" as possibe $itho,t ettin"
yo,r mind be distra#ted ?in other $ordsD do stabii!in" meditation@: Soa1 yo,r mind in the
e-perien#e: When the +eein" +ades or yo,r attention starts to $anderD a"ain anay!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 ,nreaisti# and se+-de+eatin" to #in"
to thin"s as tho,"h they $ere permanent: Whate*er is bea,ti+, and peasin" $i #han"e
and e*ent,ay disappearD so $e #an.t e-pe#t it to "i*e ,s astin" happiness: AsoD
$hate*er is ,npeasant 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 i*in"
bein"s:

2

Death Awareness Medtaton

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 ba#1 #othin"D s1eetonsD and #emeteriesJ
e*o1e +eein"s o+ +ear and pani#: We see death as the #ontradi#tion o+ i+eD bea,tyD and
happinessF it beon"s to the ream o+ the ,nmentionabeD the ,nthin1abe:

%,t $hy do $e ha*e s,#h ,nreaisti# attit,des? Why are $e ,nabe to a##ept death as
#amy as $e a##ept yesterday.s +resh +o$ers $itin" today? Chan"eD disinte"rationD and
death are nat,raD ine*itabe aspe#ts o+ e-isten#e:

%,ddhism e-pains 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-pressibe in tho,"hts or $ordsD b,t it is de+initey thereF it a##o,nts +or $hy
$e instin#ti*ey +eeD str,""eD or shied o,rse*es $hen o,r i+e is threatened:

This is not to impy that there is somethin" $ron" $ith tryin" to stay ai*eJi+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 proon" i+e b,t in the +,ndamenta idea o+ $ho or $hat
$e reay are: HAm I the bodyD or any part o+ this #oe#tion o+ bonesD boodD 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 $orth$hie: ',man i+e is hi"hy si"ni+i#ant be#a,se o+
the opport,nities it pro*ides +or o,r spirit,a "ro$thG de*eopin" o*e and #ompassionD
#arity and $isdomD and +inay a#hie*in" eni"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
ony $or1 that has any astin" bene+itD either to o,rse*es or to othersD $o,d be hi"hy
re"rettabe: The present i+e and a its e-perien#es are +eetin"F #in"in" to anythin" in
this $ord is i1e #hasin" a rainbo$: I+ $e 1eep this in mind #onstanty $e $i not $aste
time on m,ndane p,rs,its b,t spend it $iseyD 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$ $e i*e o,r i+e ine*itaby a++e#ts ho$ $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 i1ey to die $ith +ear and re"retJstates o+ mind that $i ony #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
eni"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 heps ,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 stabe
and #ontent and $i enth,siasti#ay ma1e the most o+ o,r i+e:

There are *ario,s $ays o+ meditatin" on deathF the one e-pained here in*o*es
#ontempatin" nine points: The nine points are s,bs,med ,nder three main pointsG
M The ine*itabiity o+ death
M The ,n#ertainty o+ the time o+ death
M The +a#t that ony spirit,a insi"ht #an hep 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 #ompete a the points: A third aternati*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 hep+,:

The ,ractce

As preparationD sit in a #om+ortabe positionD $ith yo,r ba#1 strai"htD and et yo,r body
rea-: Spend some time ettin" yo,r mind sette do$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 #am and setted in the presentD "enerate a positi*e
moti*ation +or doin" the meditation: 4or e-ampeD yo, #an thin1G HMay this meditation
hep 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 eni"htened so that I #an hep a bein"s be#ome +ree o+
s,++erin" and be#ome eni"htened as $e:I 5o, mi"ht i1e to re#ite some o+ the prayers
on pa"es 1;1K;3:


ThenD $ith yo,r mind rea-ed b,t +,y #on#entratedD #ontempate the +oo$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 deepy: )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 hod the +eein" $ith yo,r
attention as on" as possibe:

The ne*tablty of death

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

1. Everyone has to die

To "enerate an e-perien#e o+ death.s ine*itabiityD +irst brin" to mind peope +rom the
pastG +amo,s r,ers and $ritersD m,si#iansD phiosophersD saintsD s#ientistsD #riminasD and
ordinary peope: These peope $ere on#e ai*eJthey $or1edD tho,"htD and $roteF they
o*ed and +o,"htD enEoyed i+e and s,++ered: And +inay they died:

Is there anyone $ho e*er i*ed $ho did not ha*e to die? No matter ho$ $iseD $eathyD
po$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 peope yo, 1no$ $ho ha*e aready diedL: And thin1 o+ the peope
yo, 1no$ $ho are sti ai*e: Contempate that e*ery one o+ these peope $i die: And so
$i yo,:

There are se*era biion peope on the panet ri"ht no$D b,t one h,ndred years +rom no$D
a these peopeJ$ith the e-#eption o+ a +e$ $ho are no$ *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 stiJit is #ontin,o,sy 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 $ith the sand r,nnin"
into the bottom: The time yo, ha*e to i*e is i1e the "rains o+ sandD #ontin,o,sy r,nnin"
o,tL: 'od yo,r a$areness +or a $hie on the e-perien#e o+ this ,ninterr,pted +o$ o+
time #arryin" yo, to the end o+ yo,r i+e:

I+ yo, $ere to +a +rom an airpane $itho,t a para#h,te yo, $o,d be +,y a$are o+
death.s approa#h: Ima"ine this is a#t,ay happenin" to yo,D and #he#1 $hat tho,"hts and
+eein"s pass thro,"h yo,r mind:

The reaity o+ yo,r sit,ation in i+e is not so di++erentG yo, are #onstanty 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 aone #ontin,es a+ter deathD the ony 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,ay de*ote to ,nderstandin" yo,r mindD bein" 1ind to
othersD de*eopin" $isdom and #ompassion?

In an a*era"e dayD ho$ many ho,rs do yo, seep? 'o$ many ho,rs do yo, $or1? 'o$
many ho,rs do yo, spend preparin" +oodD eatin"D so#iai!in"? 'o$ m,#h time do yo,
spend +eein" depressedD +r,stratedD boredD an"ryD resent+,D Eeao,sD a!yD or #riti#a? And
+inayD ho$ m,#h time do yo, spend #ons#io,sy tryin" to impro*e yo,r state o+ mind?

Do these #a#,ations honesty: Assess yo,r i+e in this pra#ti#a $ay to see #eary E,st
ho$ m,#h o+ yo,r time is spent doin" thin"s that tr,y bene+it yo,rse+ and others and
that $i be hep+, +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 abe to de*eop the determination
to ,se yo,r i+e $isey and mind+,y:

The +ncertanty of the tme of death

%y #ontempatin" the +irst three pointsD yo, #ome to a##ept that yo, are de+initey "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 $i happen?
Contempate the +oo$in" three points to "et a sense o+ ho$ the time o+ death is
#ompetey ,n#ertain and ,n1no$n:

4. Human lifee!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 penty 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 #hidhoodD in adoes#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-ampes o+ peope 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 heathy is no ",arantee that a person $i i*e a on" timeJ#hidren
sometimes die be+ore their parents: 'eathy peope #an die be+ore those $ho are s,++erin"
+rom a termina iness 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 $e.*e s,r*i*ed so +arD o,r #ontin,ation is se#,re: %,t tho,sands o+ peope
die e*ery day and +e$ o+ them e-pe#ted to:

(enerate a stron" +eein" o+ the #ompete ,n#ertainty o+ yo,r o$n time o+ deathF ho$
there simpy 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 peope: 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 pane #rashes: Peope #an aso be 1ied by other
peopeJm,rderers or terroristsJor by dan"ero,s animas or poisono,s inse#ts:

Death #an aso happen d,e to interna #a,ses: There are h,ndreds o+ di++erent diseases
that #an rob ,s o+ o,r heath and ead to death: There are aso #ases o+ peope $ho are not
iD b,t somethin" "oes $ron" in their bodies and they s,ddeny dieD in their seep or
$hie $a1in" aro,nd: And then there is od a"eF no one is sa+e +rom that: E*en thin"s
that normay s,pport i+e #an be#ome the #a,se o+ death: 4oodD +or e-ampeD is
somethin" $e need in order to stay ai*eD b,t it #an sometimes ead to deathD as $hen
peope o*ereat or eat #ontaminated +ood: Medi#ine normay s,pports i+eD b,t peope
sometimes die be#a,se they too1 the $ron" medi#ineD or the $ron" dose: 'o,ses and
apartments enabe ,s to i*e #om+ortabyD b,t they sometimes #at#h +ire or #oapseD
1iin" the peope inside:

Peope die in their seepD in the $ombD #omin" home +rom $or1D "oin" to s#hooD on the
payin" +iedD #oo1in" dinner: Death #an o##,r at any timeD in any sit,ation: %rin" to
mind #ases o+ peope yo, 1no$ 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 *,nerabeF it #an be inE,red or str,#1 do$n by iness so easiy:
Within min,tesD it #an #han"e +rom bein" stron" and a#ti*e to bein" hepessy $ea1 and
+, o+ pain:

)i"ht no$ yo, mi"ht +ee heathyD 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$ easiy 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
iness and a##identsD b,t the years $i e*ent,ay o*erta1e yo,Jyo,r body $i
de"enerateD ose its bea,ty and *itaityD and +inay die:

%y meditatin" on this se#ond set o+ three points $e $i de*eop 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,rt+al nsght can hel, yo+ at the tme of death

No matter ho$ m,#h $e ha*e a#8,ired or de*eoped thro,"ho,t o,r i+eJin terms o+
+amiy and +riendsD $eathD po$erD tra*eD e-perien#esD and so onJnone o+ it "oes $ith ,s
at death: Ony o,r stream o+ #ons#io,sness #ontin,esD #arryin" imprints o+ a that $e
ha*e tho,"htD +etD 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 possibe: AsoD $e sho,d aim to die at pea#e $ith o,rse*esD
+eein" "ood abo,t ho$ $e i*ed o,r i+eD and not ea*in" behind any ,nreso*ed #on+i#ts
$ith peope:

The ony 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 #am a##eptan#e o+ the #han"es that are
ta1in" pa#eD o*in"-1indnessD #ompassionD patien#eD and $isdom: %,t in order to be abe
to ha*e s,#h states o+ mind at the time o+ deathD $e need to ma1e o,rse*es +amiiar $ith
them d,rin" the #o,rse o+ o,r i+eJand this is the essen#e o+ spirit,a pra#ti#e: )eai!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 $hie $e sti ha*e time:

5o, #an e-perien#e a stron" +eein" o+ this reaity by #ontempatin" the +oo$in" three
points $hie *is,ai!in" yo,rse+ a#t,ay dyin":

%. Your loved ones cannot help

When yo, +a#e di++i#,t or +ri"htenin" sit,ationsD yo,r tho,"hts ,s,ay t,rn to o*ed
onesG yo,r +amiy 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 abe to hep
yo,? Atho,"h they o*e yo, *ery m,#h and do not $ant yo, to dieD they #annot pre*ent
this +rom happenin": AsoD #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
probaby stir ,p the same emotions in yo,r mind:

When $e dieD $e "o aoneJno oneD not e*en o,r #osestD dearest o*ed oneD #an
a##ompany ,s: And bein" ,nabe 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 +amiy and +riends: Try to reai!e that ha*in"
stron" atta#hment to peope #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 probaby aso thin1 o+ yo,r possessions and propertyD $hi#h o##,py a
"reat dea o+ yo,r time $hie yo, are ai*eD and are a so,r#e o+ m,#h peas,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 $eath may be abe 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
ony $i yo,r possessions be ,nabe to hep 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":

Contempate 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 intimatey
than anythin" or anyone ese: 5o, ha*e #ared +or it and prote#ted itD $orried abo,t itD
1ept it #om+ortabe and heathyD +ed it and #eaned itD e-perien#ed a 1inds o+ peas,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,ay 8,ite ,seessG yo,r mind $i separate +rom it and it $i be ta1en to the
#emetery or #rematori,m: What "ood #an it possiby do yo, no$?

Contempate 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 ony
#ompo,nd yo,r s,++erin":

%y meditatin" on the +ina three pointsD $e sho,d #ome to reai!e ho$ important it is to
$or1 on red,#in" o,r atta#hment to the thin"s o+ this i+eD s,#h as +amiy and +riendsD
possessionsD and o,r body: We sho,d aso reai!e ho$ important it is to ta1e #are o+ o,r
mindD as that is the ony 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,aities 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 aso "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 possibe d,rin" o,r i+e:

It is possibe 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,sy and ha*e #ontempated
them $e: AsoD 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*itabe aspe#t o+ i+eJthis #in"in" $i "rad,ay
oosenD ao$in" ,s to be mind+, and ma1e e*ery a#tion positi*e and bene+i#iaD +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*ey as possibe:


Dedication Con#,de the meditation $ith the optimisti# tho,"ht that yo, ha*e e*ery
possibiity to ma1e yo,r i+e meanin"+, and positi*e and th,s $i be abe 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

Medtaton 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 miserabe? Why do "ood thin"s and bad thin"s
happen to peope? One e-panation 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
probems: %,t another e-panation is thatD atho,"h e*erythin" is empty on the ,timate
e*e o+ reaityD on the reati*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"
heathyD "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 heath probemsD +ai,re to "et
$hat $e need and $antD and bein" ab,sed by others:

The a$ o+ 1arma is aso 1no$n as the a$ o+ #a,se and e++e#t: %,t $hen $e ,se the $ord
Ha$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-pained 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 $i e-perien#e more
happiness and ess s,++erin": The res,ts o+ o,r a#tions +oo$ nat,rayD E,st as $e enEoy
"ood heath +rom eatin" n,tritio,s +oodD b,t "et si#1 i+ $e eat ,nheathy 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+estons and msconce,tons abo+t karma

Peope sometimes $onder i+ the a$ o+ 1arma appies ony to those $ho beie*e in itD b,t
not to those $ho do not 1no$ abo,t or beie*e in it: I+ that $ere the #aseD it $o,d be
better not to 1no$ abo,t 1armaD and the %,ddha $o,d ha*e done ,s a disser*i#e by
ta1in" abo,t it/ In reaityD 1arma is a ,ni*ersa a$ that appies to a bein"sD $hether
they 1no$ abo,t and beie*e in it or not: It is simiar 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 beie*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 itte or no +ree $i be#a,se they don.t 1no$ the
#a,ses o+ "ood and bad e-perien#es: Atho,"h they $ant happiness and s,##ess and don.t
$ant probemsD they may a*oid #reatin" the #a,ses o+ happinessJbein" honest and
"enero,sD +or e-ampeJand may do the *ery thin"s that brin" probemsJs,#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 probems they don.t $ant: So 1arma
means that e are the #reatorG e are responsibe +or o,r e-perien#esD rather than an
e-terna #reatorD or other peope and #ir#,mstan#es:

Some peope 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 totay mista1enD and aso e-tremey detrimenta to o,r
spirit,a de*eopment: Eni"htened bein"s and those $ho ha*e a dire#tD non-#on#ept,a
reai!ation o+ emptiness see a thin"s as ha*in" the same nat,reG emptiness o+ inherent
e-isten#e: %,t emptiness does not ne"ate the reati*eD #on*entiona e*e o+ thin"s:
Thin"s sti e-ist on the reati*e e*eD and their e-isten#e is s,bEe#t to the a$ 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*eD thin"s are emptyD b,t reati*eyD 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+initey e-istsD and $e $o,d be
$ise to i*e a##ordin" to it/

Some peope ha*e no tro,be a##eptin" 1armaF they may e*en ha*e had an int,iti*e
,nderstandin" o+ it their $hoe 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,bte imprint is e+t on o,r mindstreamD simiar to the imprint e+t on #amera-
+im $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
simiar to the pi#t,res that materiai!e $hen the +im is de*eoped:

&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 $ordJthen
e*erythin" $i "o $ron" and $e $i attra#t probems: %,t $hen $e.re in a "ood state o+
mind and treat peope $ith respe#t and #onsiderationD $e.re m,#h more i1ey to ha*e
"ood e-perien#es: So o,r o$n e-perien#es are proo+ that o,r attit,des and beha*ior a++e#t
$hat happens to ,s in o,r daiy 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 soid reasons: 4or e-ampeD 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 +amiy or ed,#ation
system: Is that a *aid reason +or reEe#tin" somethin"?

Some peope +ind the idea o+ 1arma ,n#om+ortabe: They may thin1D HI+ I ha*e ots o+
probems 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 ,neni"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" probems +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:

Peope 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 reati*ey "ood heathD peope $ho are 1ind and hep+, to ,sD the opport,nity
to earn and pra#ti#e spirit,a tea#hin"sJand reai!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$o+odG to de*eop the a$areness that $e are
responsibeJ$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 ,ractce

Sit #om+ortaby and rea- yo,r body and mind: &et "o o+ tho,"hts o+ the past and +,t,reD
other pa#es and peopeF 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"
probems to yo,rse+ and othersD and #an be more bene+i#iaD both to yo,rse+ and others:

There are +o,r aspe#tsD or "enera prin#ipesD 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#ipeD brin" to mind e-ampes +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-pained at the end o+ e*ery point:

1. *arma is definite

This means that there is a de+inite #orreation bet$een the a#tions $e do and the
e-perien#es $e ha*eD in that ne"ati*e a#tions brin" probemsD not happinessD and positi*e
a#tions brin" happinessD not s,++erin": It #an ne*er be other$ise: It is simiar to $hat
happens in nat,reG i+ $e pant p,mp1in seeds $e "et p,mp1insD not #hiiF and i+ $e pant
#hii seeds $e "et #hiiesD 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-pained 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 follos"
4i(e the heel that follos 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 follos"
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 Eeao,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 aso e-pained ten a#tions that are by nat,re ne"ati*e and ead to
s,++erin"G 1iin"D steain"D se-,a mis#ond,#t ?$hi#h in#,des in+ideity and ab,si*e
se-,a beha*ior@D yin"D di*isi*e spee#hD h,rt+, $ordsD ide ta1D #o*eto,snessD harm+,
intent and in#orre#t *ie$s ?s,#h as reEe#tin" 1arma or the e-isten#e o+ eni"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,sy re+rainin" +rom 1iin"D steain"D and so +orth: Other
e-ampes o+ positi*e a#tions are hepin" those $ho are si#1D poorD depressedD or "rie*in"D
bein" "enero,sD ethi#aD 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 atho,"h these a#tions may ha*e bro,"ht yo, some
short-term bene+itD in the on"-r,n they $i brin" probems: %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 +eeD HI+ I do ne"ati*e a#tions s,#h as
1iin" or sayin" h,rt+, $ords to othersD I pant 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 pant 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 possibe:I

2. *arma increases

This means that i+ $e do a ne"ati*e a#tionD e*en a minor oneD and do not appy any
opponent +or#e s,#h as p,ri+i#ation pra#ti#eD the 1arma in#reases #ontin,o,sy and $i
brin" many ,npeasant 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 simiar to $hat $e #an
obser*e in nat,reG i+ $e pant one tiny appe seedD e*ent,ay $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-pained this prin#ipe 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 "eneraD there are +o,r res,ts o+ any a#tion $e doG
1: the +,y ripened res,t
2: the res,t simiar to the #a,se in terms o+ e-perien#e
0: the res,t simiar 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+ 1iin": The fully ri!ened result o+
1iin" is a rebirth in an ,n+ort,nate sit,ationD $ith #ontin,o,s probems and s,++erin":
The results si)ilar to the cause in ter)s of ex!erience are ,npeasant 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-ampeD yo, mi"ht be
1ied or die o+ iness at a yo,n" a"e@D many heath probemsD 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,ay 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+ 1iin" is bein" born or i*in" in a *ioentD $ar-tornD or ,nheathy
en*ironment:

Con*erseyD i+ $e re+rain +rom 1iin" $e $i e-perien#e the opposite res,tsG rebirth in
"ood #onditionsD ha*in" "ood heath and a on" i+eD s,##ess in o,r a#ti*ities and
endea*orsD i*in" in pea#e+,D heathy en*ironmentsD and ha*in" the nat,ra tenden#y to
#herish and prote#t the i*es o+ others:

Contempate 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 tein" Hitte $hite iesDI and to not
o*eroo1 opport,nities to do e*en sma positi*e a#tionsD i1e "i*in" ten #ents to a
homeess 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#ipe e-pains $hy it is that some are 1ied or inE,red in a #ar a##ident
$hie others $a1 a$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 $hie 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"etabes to "ro$ in o,r "arden b,t not doin" the
$or1 o+ pantin" the seedsD $aterin" the sma shootsD remo*in" the $eedsD and so on:

This prin#ipe #an aso be ,nderstood in terms o+ o,r present e-perien#es: Any time $e
e-perien#e a probem or any ,nhappy state o+ mindD this is ne#essariy d,e to ne"ati*e
1arma $e #reated in the past: I+ $e #an ,nderstand and a##ept thisD $e $i stop +eein"
i1e a *i#tim and bamin" others $hen probems happen to ,s: And a the "ood
e-perien#es in o,r i+eJbein" born h,manD enEoyin" "ood heathD ha*in" eno,"h +ood to
eatD peope 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 #ontempatin" this pointD reai!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 probems and
,nhappinessD yo, m,st a*oid doin" ne"ati*e a#tions:

4. *arma is never lost

When $e do an a#tionJphysi#aD *erbaD or mentaJan imprintD i1e a seedD is panted in
o,r mind: Bness $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 aay 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 !oer 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 +eein"
re"retD reyin" on hep+, obEe#ts o+ re+,"e s,#h as the %,ddhaD DharmaD and San"haD
doin" positi*e a#tions to baan#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 seepD to
p,ri+y $hate*er ne"ati*e a#tions $e did d,rin" the day: %,t $e #an aso p,ri+y ne"ati*e
1arma #reated daysD monthsD or years a"oD in o,r #hidhoodD 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 possibiity o+ attainin" eni"htenment@D so it.s $ise to ",ard o,r
mind +rom s,#h attit,des: %,t sin#e it is di++i#,t to #ompetey a*oid themJespe#iay
an"erJ$e #an prote#t the positi*e 1arma $e ha*e #reated by dedi#atin" it to a bene+i#ia
"oaD espe#iay to the eni"htenment o+ a bein"s:

Con#,de yo,r #ontempation o+ this prin#ipe 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 eni"htenment o+ a bein"s:

When +irst #ontempatin" 1armaD $e may +ee a sense o+ hea*iness and e*en +earF simiar
to the $ay $e $o,d +ee i+ o,r do#tor tod ,s $e ha*e a serio,s iness: %,t E,st as there
are methods +or deain" $ith inessJmedi#ineD treatmentsD dietary and i+estye #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"eabeD so it #an be #han"ed: There is no
ne"ati*e 1arma that #annot be p,ri+ied: An",imaaD $ho i*ed at the time o+ the %,ddhaD
1ied === peope b,t $as abe to #ear ,p that 1arma and attain nir*anaD and the "reat
Tibetan saint and poet Miarepa $as responsibe +or the deaths o+ thirty-+i*e peope and
many animasD b,t $as abe to p,ri+y that 1arma and attain eni"htenment in that *ery
i+etime: So $hate*er $e ha*e done in this or past i*es #an de+initey 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 ese be#ome +ree +rom s,++erin"
and its #a,sesD 1arma and de,sionsD and attain eni"htenment as soon as possibe:

8

P+rfyng Negat*e 6arma

A+ter meditatin" on 1arma ?pre*io,s #hapter@ $e. probaby +ee ,n#om+ortabe abo,t
the ne"ati*e a#tions $e ha*e done and the #onse8,en#es $e are i1ey 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 irreparabe: 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*eopment: 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#ay a
psy#hoo"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: Atho,"h in %,ddhism $e rey 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 ony $e #an #ean it ,p:

The pra#ti#e o+ p,ri+i#ation in*o*es #ontempatin" the +o,r opponent po$ersG re"retD
reian#eD remedyD and reso*e: It is best to do a pra#ti#e o+ p,ri+i#ation e*ery dayJ+or
e-ampeD 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 probems ater onD and aso
be#a,se $e $ere a#tin" in an e"o-#enteredD de,ded $ay: )e"ret is not the same as ",it:
(,it #omes +rom not ,nderstandin" the tr,e nat,re o+ thin"sD and beie*in" that $e ha*e
a reaD 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
(,it may aso #a,se ,s to +ee that $e don.t deser*e to be happy: It tends to be emotiona
rather than rationa and intei"ent: It.s not hep+, to +ee ",ityJit doesn.t brin" any
positi*e res,tsD b,t ony ma1es ,s miserabe and bo#1s o,r spirit,a de*eopment:

)e"ret on the other hand is intei"ent and #onstr,#ti*e: It is based on the ,nderstandin"
o+ 1armaG that ne"ati*e a#tions s,#h as 1iin" 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 $i ripen as more
probems and s,++erin" in the +,t,re: Whate*er probems and ,n$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#ayD $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" $e had
s$ao$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 $ayD ne"ati*e 1arma is hi"hy to-i#G it poisons o,r mind and o,r spirit,a
de*eopmentD and brin"s ,n$anted tro,bes 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 relance

When $e +a do$n on the "ro,ndD $e rey on the "ro,nd to "et ,p a"ain: SimiaryD $hen
$e do somethin" ne"ati*eD it.s either in reation to p,re bein"s s,#h as the %,ddha or o,r
spirit,a tea#her ?Sans1ritG ",r,@D or in reation to ordinary sentient bein"sD so in order to
p,ri+y o,r ne"ati*e 1armaD $e need to re#a and rey ,pon those t$o obEe#ts: 4irstD $e
rey 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 $e need %,ddha to +or"i*e ,s ?atho,"h he a$ays does any$ay@F
ratherD $e rey 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 +oo$ the ",idan#e o+ $hoe*er is yo,r obEe#t o+ de*otionD or re-
dedi#atin" yo,rse+ to $hate*er positi*e "oas yo, aspire to i*e by: It is aso *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 rey on other bein"sJthe *ery bein"s $e ha*e harmedD in this i+e and in the
pastJby de*eopin" #ompassion and o*e +or them: 5o, #an thin1 abo,t ho$ they are
basi#ay E,st i1e yo,G they don.t $ant to e-perien#e the si"htest s,++erin" or probemD
and they ony $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 hep them:

09 The ,ower of remedy

This means doin" somethin" positi*e in order to #o,ntera#t the ne"ati*e ener"y $e ha*e
#reated: In "eneraD any positi*e a#tion #an be ,sed to p,ri+y o,r ne"ati*e 1armaD b,t
#ertain pra#ti#es are parti#,ary po$er+, remedies: These in#,de *is,ai!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 aso be ,sedJthe atter
is a#t,ay said to be the best antidote to ne"ati*ityD atho,"h it is di++i#,t and may not be
s,itabe +or be"inners: A simper 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 aso do more en"a"ed a#ti*ities s,#h as *o,nteer $or1 or ma1in" donations to
#haritabe #a,ses: Sa*in" i*esJ+or e-ampeD res#,in" animas or inse#ts $ho are in
dan"er o+ dyin" or bein" 1iedD or #arin" +or the iJis parti#,ary e++e#ti*e to
#o,ntera#t the 1arma o+ 1iin": It is aso "ood to apoo"i!e and ma1e amends to the
peope yo, ha*e harmedD i+ this is possibe:

29 The ,ower of resol*e

The +o,rth step is an e-tremey 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 od 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 mod o,r minds into any
shape $e i1e:I

With the hea*ier ne"ati*e a#tionsD s,#h as 1iin" and steain"D yo, may be abe 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 impossibe to a*oid #ertain ,nintentiona a#tionsD
s,#h as 1iin" inse#ts $e #an.t see $hie $e are $a1in" 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 reaisti#: 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,ay 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 od 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 abiity to #han"eD one step at a time:

The ,ractce

Sit #om+ortaby and rea-: Spend some time +o#,sin" on the breath to #am 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 hep+,D to them:I

Ta1e as m,#h time as yo, need to #ontempate ea#h o+ the +o,r po$ers thoro,"hyD 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 $ith a#tions o+ the bodyD s,#h as 1iin" or
#a,sin" physi#a s,++erin" to any bein"F ta1in" somethin" that did not beon" to yo,D or
not payin" money yo, o$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" $ords that #a,sed bad +eein"s bet$een peopeD sayin" thin"s that
$ere h,rt+, or ,psettin" to someoneD or spendin" time "ossipin" or ta1in" 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
$ishin" harm on somebody or +eein" happy at their mis+ort,neF ha*in" #riti#aD
E,d"menta tho,"hts to$ard anyoneD in#,din" yo,rse+F +eein" dissatis+ied $ith $hat
yo, ha*e and $ishin" +or more or betterD or +or $hat someone ese hasF in shortD any
states o+ mind that in*o*ed hatredD an"erD "reedD Eeao,syD arro"an#eD se+ishnessD and so
+orth:

Aso 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 panted imprints on yo,r mind
that $i ripen as probems and mis+ort,ne in the +,t,re: They aso impede yo,r pro"ress
on the spirit,a pathD and proon" yo,r e-isten#e in an imper+e#tD ,nsatis+a#tory sit,ation:
)eai!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 hoy 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$n: As1 +or hep and ",idan#e so that yo, #an #han"e yo,rse+
and "i*e ,p these ne"ati*ities +rom no$ on:

Aternati*eyD yo, #an brin" to mind the ethi#a prin#ipes that yo, beie*e in b,t a#ted
a"ainstD and rene$ yo,r #ommitment to +oo$ them:

ThenD +or the ne"ati*e a#tions yo, did to othersD "enerate o*e and #ompassion:
Contempate the +a#t thatD E,st i1e yo,D others do not $ant to s,++er and they $ish to
e-perien#e ony happiness and pea#e: 4ee ho$ desirabe it $o,d be to stop harmin"
them and instead be 1ind and hep+, to them: (enerate the atr,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 ony 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+ortabe abo,t *is,ai!in" an eni"htened bein"D as mentioned abo*eD yo,
#an *is,ai!e a +i",re s,#h as %,ddha or AaErasatt*a abo*e yo,r head: Whie re#itin" the
appropriate mantraD ima"ine i"ht +o$in" do$n +rom the +i",reD +iin" 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+ortabe *is,ai!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 eni"htened 8,aities and ener"iesD and
*is,ai!e i"ht +o$in" do$n +rom it and +iin" 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*ao1itesh*ara /o) )ani !ad)e hu)1 $hie *is,ai!in" the i"ht +iin" and p,ri+yin"
yo,:

Aternati*eyD 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 daiy i+eD s,#h as bein" more hep+,
or "enero,s:

4. The po)er of resolve

I+ yo, +ee #on+ident that yo, #an #ompetey "i*e ,p some ne"ati*e a#tionsD s,#h as
1iin" and steain"D ma1e the promise to do that: %,t +or those ne"ati*e a#tions yo,
#annot #ompetey "i*e ,pD either promise to "i*e them ,p +or a reaisti# 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 od emotiona habits s,#h as an"erD Eeao,syD depressionD
#riti#anessD and atta#hment: 4ee #on+ident in yo,r abiity to #han"eD b,t at the same time
,nderstand that it ta1es time to #han"eD so don.t ha*e ,nreaisti# 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$o other p,ri+i#ation pra#ti#es ater in the boo1G a meditation on the %,ddha
AaErasatt*aD aso pra#ti#ed in the #onte-t o+ the +o,r po$ersD on pa"e 21=F and a simper
meditation on pa"e 13;:@

:

Medtaton on #+fferng

The 8,estion o+ s,++erin" has a$ays perpe-ed phiosophers and theoo"iansJnot to
mention ordinary s,++erin" h,man bein"s i1e ,s/ Why is there so m,#h +i"htin" in the
$ord? Why so m,#h star*ationD si#1nessD ine8,aityD and inE,sti#e? What are the #a,ses
o+ s,++erin"? The %,ddhist *ie$ #an be s,mmari!ed as $hat are 1no$n as the +o,r nobe
tr,ths:

4irstD suffering exists' E*ery sentient bein" s,++ers to some de"ree or other: HS,++erin"I
does not re+er merey to se*ere pain or probemsF it re+ers to any e-perien#e that is
,npeasant or ,nsatis+a#tory:

Se#ondD suffering alays 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,ay
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 +inayD by
de*eopin" insi"ht into the tr,e nat,re o+ a thin"sD $e #an eiminate 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#hoo"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*eopin" this a$areness is not to in#rease o,r misery: On the #ontraryD
s,##ess+, meditation on s,++erin" brin"s ,s to a more reaisti# *ie$ 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,ay #ome to see that ,nra*ein" the #ompe-ities o+ o,r mind and th,s de*eopin"
#ontro o*er o,r tho,"hts and a#tions is both desirabe and possibe:

O,r ,s,a *ie$ o+ i+e is ,nreaisti#: Most o+ o,r peasant 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 $e #in" onD ,n$iin" to a##ept the reaity o+ the sit,ation: We $ant peas,re
to ast and are disappointed $hen it doesn.t: And so $e "oD ,p and do$nD +rom peas,re
to painD happiness to ,nhappinessD a o,r i*es:

A$areness o+ this reaity is a step to$ard eiminatin" s,++erin": We $i stop e-pe#tin"
peope and thin"s to ma1e ,s happy and instead see that it is o,r attit,de to$ard them that
determines happiness and satis+a#tion: Ironi#ayD $hen $e stop #in"in" ,nreaisti#ay 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 $e ine*itaby de*eop more 1indness and #ompassion to$ard them:

%,t the main p,rpose o+ re#o"ni!in" the s,++erin" o+ o,r i*es is to de*eop the stron"
intention to do $hat is ne#essary to be +inay +ree o+ it: A ,nhappyD pain+, e-perien#es
are rooted in the i"noran#e that beie*es e*erythin" e-ists inherentyD in and o+ itse+:
Seein" the emptinessD the a#1D o+ this $ay o+ e-istin" #,ts thro,"h a #on+,sion and
probems:

(ainin" this ,nderstandin"D ho$e*erD is no simpe 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 reaity: The +,e that dri*es ,s in this tas1 is the desire
to +ree o,rse*esD and othersD +rom a s,++erin":

The ,ractce

Motivation Sit #om+ortaby and rea-: (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 probemsD painD and
,nhappiness:


There are three aspe#ts o+ s,++erin" to #ontempate: (o thro,"h ea#h one as so$y as yo,
i1e: Don.t E,st ma1e a menta #he#1ist o+ the points b,t brin" yo,r emotions and
int,ition into the meditationF reay +ee e*ery e-ampe 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 mentaD s,#h as the se*ere
s,++erin"s arisin" +rom $arD terrorismD nat,ra disastersD +amineD *ioent #rimeD rapeD
ab,seD imprisonmentD po*ertyD inE,sti#eD ra#ismD addi#tionD inE,ryD and iness:

%,t it aso in#,des a the normaD e*eryday probems yo,r body e-perien#esG a#hes and
painsD heat and #odD h,n"er and thirstD bad eyesi"htD eara#hesD #,ts and b,rnsD $ei"ht
probemsD m,s#e tensionD +ati",eJthe ist is endess: )e#a these e-perien#es and ho$
$e are rarey $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 possibiity 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 od: Pi#t,re yo,rse+ at
the a"e o+ ei"hty or ninetyD yo,r body de"enerated and $rin1ed and not +,n#tionin"
propery: 4inayD there is death: Thin1 o+ the di++erent $ays yo, #o,d die and the
s,++erin" o+ the body then:

Contempate the +a#t that it is the nat,re o+ the body to #han"eD meet $ith painD
de"enerateD and e*ent,ay die: There+ore it is ,nreaisti# and ,n$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+ oneinessD depressionD "rie+D +r,strationD Eeao,syD an"erD
+earD #on+,sionD an-iety: (o ba#1 o*er yo,r i+e and see that rarey $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 i1ey to #ome in the +,t,re
$hen peope #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 i1ey 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 simpy be#a,se they ha*e a #on+,sed mind and a perishabe bodyD are
"oin" thro,"h some +orm o+ menta or physi#a painJ+rom the si"htest dis#om+ort to the
"rossest s,++erin":

Start $ith the peope yo, 1no$Jyo,r +riendsD reati*es and nei"hbors: Some are si#1D
some odF others are depressedD an-io,sD dissatis+iedD oney: Then thin1 abo,t the peope
yo, don.t 1no$D $hose i*es are pa",ed by $arD po*ertyD ,nempoymentD ra#ismD
diseaseD poiti#a oppression:

We aso share this $ord $ith animas and other #reat,res: Contempate their day-to-day
s,++erin"G h,n"erD painD #odD a#1 o+ +reedomD +ear o+ bein" 1ied:

%e#ome a$are that a o+ these #o,ntess i*in" bein"s ha*e a stream o+ #ons#io,sness not
so di++erent +rom yo,r o$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 probemsD b,t as on" as $e are ,neni"htened
$e meet $ith one s,++erin" sit,ation a+ter another:

2. The suffering of change

This more s,bte e*e o+ s,++erin" re+ers to the e-perien#es $e normay thin1 o+ as
peas,re or happiness: They are #aed 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 reie*in" o,r probems: 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 peasant e-perien#eG a ni#e meaD 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 peas,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 peasant e-perien#es are #onsidered Hs,++erin"I is be#a,se they are not
tr,eD p,re peas,re: I+ they $ereD the peas,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 peas,re de#rease and e*en
t,rn into misery? 4or e-ampeD $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, $o,d +ee in#reasin"y ,n#om+ortabeD and may e*en
be#ome si#1/ And e*en i+ yo, eat E,st the ri"ht amo,nt to be #om+ortaby +,D that
e-perien#e doesn.t astG a +e$ 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 +amiyD at +irst $e are happyD ta1in" 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 probaby be#ome boredD
irritatedD and mi"ht e*en start ar",in": E*en sittin" #om+ortaby in a #hairG e*ent,ay $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
#hiy dayG at +irst it is s,#h a peas,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 peas,re is tr,e peas,reD $hy
doesn.t it stay $ith yo, inde+initey? Can yo, thin1 o+ any e-ampe o+ ,n#han"eabeD
astin" happiness in yo,r i+e or in anyone ese.s?

Contempate ho$ e*erythin" #han"esF ho$ peas,rabe e-perien#es do not ast b,t ead
ine*itaby to dissatis+a#tionD irritationD boredomD or oneiness: 4rom one point o+ *ie$D
#ompared to the s,++erin" o+ s,++erin"D these e-perien#es are peasant: %,t +rom another
point o+ *ie$D #ompared to the p,reD astin" biss o+ iberation and eni"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,ay #ome to an end: E*en a
biss+, reationship has its ,ps and do$ns and $i end $ith separation or death:
%ea,ti+, peope "ro$ od and "rey and e*ent,ay die: Po$er does not ast and $eath
r,ns o,t: 4o$ers $itherD s,nsets +adeD parties end:

Con#,de this part o+ the meditation by +irmy de#idin" that it is not reasonabe 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. -llpervading suffering

This is e*en more s,bte than the s,++erin" o+ #han"e: It re+ers to o,r *ery e-isten#e as
ordinaryD ,neni"htened bein"sD $ith o,r mind #a,"ht ,p ine-tri#aby in de,sions and
1arma: Atho,"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 biss o+ eni"htenmentD $e are ,nabe to 1eep it +ree o+
dist,rbedD ,nhappy tho,"hts and +eein"s e*en +or an ho,rD or a +e$ min,tes: And
atho,"h $e $ant nothin" b,t peasantD happy e-perien#esD it.s impossibe to "o thro,"h
i+eD or e*en one dayD $itho,t e-perien#in" probems: 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 #ompe- $eb o+ probemsD 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 terribe 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 peasant 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 peasant
or ,npeasantD 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" +eein" +or the se+-perpet,atin"
diemma that is yo,r e-isten#e:

Then #ontempate ho$ there are #o,ntess i*in" bein"s #a,"ht ,p in this seemin"y
endess #y#eD E,st as yo, are:

%,t don.t pani#: The sit,ation is not hopeess/ There is a $ay o,t o+ this #y#e: 2,st as
there is a #a,se o+ s,++erin"Jo,r +ase *ie$ o+ the $ay thin"s e-istJthere is ne#essariy
a #a,se o+ the end o+ this s,++erin"D an antidote: The +ina antidote is to de*eop the ri"ht
,nderstandin" o+ the nat,re o+ reaity and th,s #,t thro,"h o,r #on+,sion and o,r habit o+
+oo$in" the e"o.s $hims:

In the meantimeD $e #an ,se o,r i+e and ener"y in positi*e $aysG hepin" 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 $e a*oid #reatin" +,rther #a,ses o+ s,++erin": As o,r ,nderstandin" o+ reaity
"ro$sD so too does o,r deta#hment +rom ordinaryD transient thin"sD and o,r $eb o+
#on+,sion "rad,ay ,ntan"es: 4inayD this ,nderstandin" be#omes a dire#tD int,iti*e
per#eption o+ emptinessD $hi#h eiminatesD on#e and +or aD 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
ony $ay o,t: Bnti $e stop r,nnin" a$ay +rom the reaity o+ s,++erin" and earn to dea
honesty $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+
reaity:

Th,sD #on#,de yo,r session optimisti#ayD $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,r "ood intentions and ener"y to the "ro$th o+ insi"ht in
yo,rse+ and a others:

Practcal a,,lcaton

We ha*e penty o+ opport,nities in o,r day-to-day i*es to +amiiari!e o,rse*es $ith the
ideas presented in this meditation: E*ery day $e e-perien#e a m,tit,de o+ tro,besG
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 probems as 8,i#1y as possibe: %,t it is a "ood ideaJ
be+ore rea#hin" +or a pain1ierD 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,ay a*oid #on+rontin" and deain" $ith painD it is di++i#,t in
meditation to ta1e a "oodD honest oo1 at the reaity 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
miserabe 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"eabe nat,re o+ both:

SoD $hen $e +ind o,rse*es "raspin" ,nreaisti#ay at a ne$ person in o,r i+eD sayD $e
sho,d remind o,rse*es that the happiness $e.re e-perien#in" is transitory and #annot
eiminate a o,r probemsD any$ay: With this attit,deD $hi#h is more reaisti# and ess
e-a""eratedD $e $i probaby enEoy the e-perien#e a the more/

When there is a probemD physi#a or psy#hoo"i#aD $e #an thin1D HIt.s transitoryJat
some point it $i be "one: %,t probems and s,++erin" $i #ontin,e to happen to me
,nti I $or1 on my mind and eiminate a #a,ses o+ s,++erin": This probem 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 probem be#omes a tea#hin":

When peope aro,nd ,s are s,++erin"D $e sho,d be sensiti*e and #ompassionate and hep
them to the best o+ o,r abiity: %,t $e sho,d not "et so in*o*ed that their probem
be#omes o,r probem and $e "ro$ tense and $orried o*er it: We #an a*oid this by
re#ain" that the #a,seD and the so,tionD o+ any probem 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 ",ity or inade8,ate
and thin1 $e m,st do more:

In shortD s,++erin" and probems are not ne#essariy badF it depends on o,r attit,de: I+ $e
+ee a*erse to them and see them as #ompetey ,seess and ,n$antedD then $e. s,++er
more: %,t i+ $e ha*e a more reaisti# *ie$D seein" them as a nat,ra part o+ i+eD then $e
#an a##ept them #amy: In additionD by earnin" to ,se them in o,r path o+ spirit,a
"ro$thD $e #an e*en +ee "ad $hen they o##,r:

;

E7+anmty Medtaton

The "oa o+ Mahayana pra#ti#e is to rea#h the state o+ per+e#t $hoenessD eni"htenmentD
in order to ae*iate the s,++erin" o+ othersD brin" them happinessD and +inay ead them to
their o$n eni"htenment: The aspiration to do this is 1no$n as Hthe mind o+
eni"htenmentI ?Sans1ritG bodhichitta@D and is the e-perien#e o+ openin" o,r heart to a
bein"sD ao$in" o*e and #ompassion to +o$ to e*eryoneD $itho,t imitation: A person
$ho possesses bodhi#hitta a#t,ay +ees responsibe +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+ eni"htenment no$D in o,r day-to-day i*esD by
bein" 1ind and open to the peope $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 pay the roe o+ a +riendyD open person
$hie hidin" o,r +eein"s o+ irritation and intoeran#e: So it is important to "et in to,#h
$ith o,r +eein"s $hie aso 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:

NormayD $e dis#riminateG $e either i1eD disi1eD or are indi++erent to e*eryone $e meet:
These rea#tions are mosty se+-#enteredD based on $hether the person appears a"reeabeD
disa"reeabeD or ,ninterestin" to )e'

At the root o+ this dis#rimination is o,r instin#ti*e mis,nderstandin" o+ the $ay thin"s
e-istD espe#iay o,r o$n se+: This probem has a$ays been $ith ,s and $e b,id on it
eaboratey thro,"ho,t i+eD thin1in"D and beie*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 beie+ 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 +,+iedF it m,st +ind happiness and
a*oid pain: The I i1es this person be#a,se she ma1es it happy and disi1es 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 anay!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 ony a +,#t,atin" stream o+ mind and body tra*ein" thro,"h i+eD e-perien#in"
EoyD probemsD o*eD +r,stration: We meet peopeD intera#t $ith them brie+y in positi*e or
ne"ati*e $aysD and then separate: Nothin" astsD nothin" is stabe:

The more $e #in" to this ,nrea I and try to +,+i its demandsD the deeper $e b,ry
o,rse*es in probems and #on+,sion: O,r #assi+i#ation o+ peope into H+riendsDI
HenemiesDI and Hstran"ersI is probaby the best e-ampe o+ this:

We ass,me that the person $e i1e has inherenty "ood 8,aities and the person $e
disi1e is inherenty bad: We beha*e as tho,"h these 8,aities are permanent and
,n#han"in"F as tho,"h $e $i a$ays be #ose to the person $e ha*e abeed H+riendI
and ne*er #ose to the person $e disi1e: 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: )eationships #an
and do #han"e: Peope $e $ere on#e #ose to are no$ impossibe to #omm,ni#ate $ithD
and others $hom $e #o,dn.t bear the si"ht o+ are no$ dear +riends:

Peope #han"eD o,r tho,"hts and +eein"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 soid and in#ontro*ertibe: %,t hodin" onto them as i+ they $ere
pre*ents ,s +rom seein" thin"s as they reay are and ma1es it di++i#,t +or ,s to dea $ith
#han"e $hen it o##,rs:

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

The ,ractce

Motivation Sit #om+ortaby and "enerate the stron" intention to do this meditation in
order to de*eop 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 peopeG someone yo, i1eD someone yo,
disi1eD 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 mainy be#a,se o+ $hat she or he does +or you6' Are
those "ood reasons +or i1in" someone and hodin" them dear?

Then oo1 at the person yo, disi1e and e-amine yo,r reasons +or +eein" that $ay:
A"ainD #he#1 i+ yo,r e"o is in*o*edJ+or e-ampeD the person may ha*e harmed youD or
may beha*e in $ays that you +ind ,na##eptabe: Are those "ood reasons +or disi1in"
someoneD and treatin" them bady 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 heped nor harmed you?

AsoD as1 yo,rse+ i+ yo, re"ard these reationships as permanentG do yo, beie*e that yo,
$i a$ays "et aon" $ith yo,r +riendD that yo, $i ne*er "et aon" $ith yo,r enemyD
and that yo, $i a$ays be distant +rom the stran"er? )e#a reationships 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,ai!ed in +ront o+ yo, doin" somethin" h,rt+, or
,na##eptabeL: Wo,d yo,r +eein"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
easiy #ease to be yo,r +riend in the +,t,re:

)eai!e that there is no so,nd reason +or +eein" 1ind and o*in" to$ard ony the +riend o+
this moment: )eationships #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
hep+,D s,#h as praisin" yo, +or somethin" yo, didD or hepin" yo, +i- yo,r #ar $hi#h
has bro1en do$nL: &oo1 #are+,y at yo,r +eein"s +or this personG are they so+tenin"?
5o, can earn to +ee $army to$ard yo,r enemy: This has happened be+ore and $i
happen a"ain: Why hod so stron"y to the #on#eption that this person is de+initey
Henemy?I


And $hat o+ the stran"er? This reationship #o,d "o either $ayD b,t sin#e $e are tryin"
to de*eop more positi*e +eein"s +or othersD ima"ine the stran"er doin" somethin"
hep+,D s,#h as "i*in" yo, the ri"ht dire#tions $hen yo, are ostD or ret,rnin" yo,r $aet
$hi#h yo, dropped absent-mindedyL: 'o$ $o,d this a++e#t yo,r +eein"s to$ard this
person?

I+ yo, are abe to a##ept the e-isten#e o+ past and +,t,re i+etimesD #onsider the idea that
yo, ha*e 1no$n these three peope be+oreD in other i+etimesD b,t in *ery di++erent
reationships: Consider that the +riend o+ this i+etime may ha*e been yo,r enemy in
another i+etimeL: 5o,r present enemy may ha*e been someone *ery dear to yo,D a
parent or sibin"D or a #ose +riendL: And the present stran"er may ha*e been both +riend
and enemyL: See ho$ this a++e#ts yo,r +eein"s to$ard these three peope:

Bnderstand that reationships 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:

AsoD no one is a +riendD enemyD or stran"er +rom their o$n sideD independentyF ratherD
they be#ome so in dependen#e on ho$ o,r mind abes them: Someone yo, re"ard as a
+riend is seen by others as an enemyD and there are peope $ho o*e the person yo, re"ard
as an enemy: There+oreD it is ,n$ise to #in" to these three types o+ peope as i+ they $ere
permanent and independenty-e-istin":

It is aso *ery hep+, to re#o"ni!e that in some $aysD e*eryone is e8,aD e-a#ty the
same: One o+ these $ays is that e*eryone $ants to be happy and does not $ant any
probems or pain: Contempate 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 smaest
probem: And e*eryoneD yo,rse+ and othersD deserves to be happy and pea#e+,D and +ree
+rom a s,++erin": Try to reay +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*eop o,rse*es to the +,estD and a#hie*e ,timate #arity
and #ompassion: E*eryone #anD and illD be#ome eni"htened one day: )e#o"ni!e that the
di++eren#es $e see in peope are s,per+i#iaD based on o,r mista1en and narro$ se+-
#entered *ie$point: I+ o,r tho,"hts and +eein"s $ere more in ine $ith reaityD $e $o,d
see that e*eryone e8,ay 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,ray $e +ee #oser to some peope 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*eop e8,a #on#ernD e8,a
re"ardD +or e*eryoneD $hether they hep 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"eabe abes:


Dedication 4inayD dedi#ate yo,r positi*e ener"y and insi"ht to the $e-bein" and
happiness o+ a:

<

Medtaton on &o*e

&o*eD aso #aed Ho*in"-1indnessDI is $antin" others to be happy: It is a nat,ra 8,aity
o+ mindD b,t ,nti $e de*eop it thro,"h meditation and other pra#ti#es it remains imitedD
reser*ed +or a +e$ see#t indi*id,asJ,s,ay 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:

Atho,"h $e mi"ht a"ree $ith this idea in prin#ipeD $e probaby +ind it di++i#,t to
a#t,ai!e: Does o*e arise spontaneo,sy +or a the peope in the street and the
s,permar1et? Do $e +ee o*e +or the poiti#ians $e don.t i1eD ra#istsD parents $ho ab,se
their #hidrenD the peope $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 peope $e en#o,nterD
oo1in" o,t +or +eein"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 disi1eD 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 deain" $ith atta#hment and an"er ?pa"es 123K03@' The
+oo$in" meditation is a "ood #ompement to theseF it heps ,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 reay "ettin" in to,#h $ith o,r heartD $e $i +ind that it is possibe to tr,y
$ant others to be happyD re"ardess o+ their reationship to ,s:

The meditation has ,s start by *is,ai!in" o,r parents and other reati*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 $ith the peope
in their +amiy: This is not tr,e +or e*eryoneD ho$e*erD so thin1in" o+ yo,r motherD +atherD
or other +amiy 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,ai!e those
indi*id,asJyo, #an either ea*e them o,t +or no$D or pa#e them in +ront o+ yo, amon"
yo,r Henemies:I

'o$e*erD it is important to e*ent,ay reso*e any probems $e ha*e $ith othersD
espe#iay o,r immediate +amiyD in order to +,y pro"ress on the path o+ spirit,a
de*eopment: So $hen yo, +ee s,++i#ient #o,ra"e and stren"th to start $or1in" on those
probemsD yo, #an do so ,sin" s,#h meditations as e8,animityD #ompassionD and deain"
$ith ne"ati*e ener"y: %,t be patientJit #an sometimes ta1e years o+ pra#ti#e to reso*e
s,#h probemsD and i+ the emotions in*o*ed are *ery deep and pain+,D yo, may aso
need pro+essiona hep:

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 ideay $hen $e do this meditation o,r
mind tr,y e-perien#es o*e: 'o$e*erD this is somethin" that normay ta1es time and
pra#ti#eD so don.t be +r,strated i+ yo, don.t +ee anythin" initiay: It.s eno,"h to simpy
thin1 the tho,"hts and say the $ords HMay yo, be happyD et#:I %y ma1in" yo,r mind
+amiiar $ith theseD in time the +eein" o+ o*e $i arise nat,ray:

The ,ractce

Sit #om+ortaby: )ea- yo,r body and mind and et a tho,"hts and $orries s,bside:
Mind+,y obser*e yo,r breath ,nti yo, are #am and yo,r a$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 $ord:


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 reati*es and +riends are aro,nd and behind yo,: Ais,ai!e in
+ront o+ yo, those yo, disi1e or $ho ha*e h,rt yo,: And e-tendin" in e*ery dire#tionD
ri"ht to the hori!onD are a other bein"s: 4ee that they are thereD a in h,man +ormD
sittin" 8,ietyD i1e yo,: I+ it is di++i#,t to *is,ai!e all bein"sD thin1 o+ as many as yo,
#anD #om+ortaby: Stay rea-edJdon.t +ee #ro$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 abe to o*e a these
bein"s: Contempate 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
*ioent:

No$ "enerate a +eein" 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 +eein"s +or this person arise: 5o, mi"ht i1e to
ima"ine yo,r o*e as a $armD bri"ht i"htF not physi#aD b,t p,reD positi*e ener"y "o$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 probems: SoD reay $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 #ompetey +is yo,r body and mind:

I+ yo, ha*e a habit o+ bein" #riti#aD E,d"mentaD and e*en an"ry to$ard yo,rse+D it $i
ta1e time to #han"e thisD so yo, probaby $i not s,ddeny +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,ay these tho,"hts and +eein"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 +amiy 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+ probemsD si#1nessD and sadness: May yo,r i*es be
on" and pea#e+, and may yo, 8,i#1y rea#h eni"htenment:I Ima"ine the $armD
,mino,s ener"y radiatin" +rom yo,r bodyD to,#hin" them and +iin" their bodies and
mindsD brin"in" them the happiness they $ish +or: A"ainD don.t $orry i+ yo, don.t
a#t,ay +ee o*eF it.s eno,"h to say these $ords and thin1 these tho,"hts: In time the
+eein" $i #ome:

Thin1 ne-t o+ some peope yo, are not so #ose to: They #o,d be peope yo, $or1 $ithD
nei"hborsD +eo$ shoppers in the s,permar1etD +eo$ 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+ probemsD si#1nessD and sadness: May yo,r
i*es be on" and pea#e+, and may yo, 8,i#1y rea#h eni"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:

&astyD t,rn yo,r attention to the peope in +ront o+ yo,D those yo, ha*e di++i#,ty $ith:
Contempate that they aso 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: )eay
$ant them to +ind pea#e o+ mindD happinessD and +inay eni"htenment: Thin1D and try to
+ee sin#ereyD HMay yo, be happy: May yo, ha*e $hat yo, need to +ee happyD sa+eD
o*edD and satis+ied: May a yo,r tho,"hts be positi*e and a yo,r e-perien#es "ood:
May yo, be +ree o+ probemsD si#1nessD and sadness: May yo,r i*es be on" and pea#e+,
and may yo, 8,i#1y rea#h eni"htenment:I Ima"ine that the radiant ener"y o+ o*e +o$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 +eein"s o,t to a the other peope aro,nd yo,:
&o*e is an ,nimited sprin" o+ "ood ener"yD so yo, sho,dn.t $orry that it $i r,n o,t/
Competey open yo,r heart and ima"ine yo,r o*e +o$in" to e*ery dire#tionD rea#hin"
a the bein"s $ho are oneyD 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 eni"htenment: Con#entrate on this +eein" o+ o*e as
on" as possibe:

Con#,de the session by thin1in" that yo, de+initey 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 probems 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*eop:


Dedication 4inayD dedi#ate the positi*e ener"y o+ yo,r meditation to a bein"sD $ith the
$ish that they +ind happiness and eni"htenment:

1=

Medtaton on Com,asson and Tonglen >(*ng and Takng?

Tonglen" $hi#h is Tibetan +or H"i*in" and ta1in"DI is a meditation +or de*eopin" o*e
and #ompassion: It is +o,nd in a series o+ tea#hin"s and pra#ti#es 1no$n as tho,"ht
trans+ormationD or mind trainin" ?TibetanG lo,ong@: The idea behind these tea#hin"s is that
$e #an trans+orm o,r tho,"hts +rom bein" se+-#enteredD de,dedD and destr,#ti*e to
bein" o*in"D #ompassionateD and bene+i#ia to others: Doin" this is nat,ray "ood +or
othersD b,t aso +or o,rse*esJ$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" eni"htenedD at $hi#h
point $e #an ma1e o,r e-isten#e as bene+i#ia as possibe +or others:

One aspe#t o+ the tho,"ht trans+ormation tea#hin"s is earnin" ho$ to trans+orm probems
and di++i#,ties into the spirit,a path: Bs,ay $e disi1e probems and do $hate*er $e
#an to "et rid o+ them as 8,i#1y as possibe: %,t probems are not reay probemati#
+rom their o$n sideF it depends on ho$ $e *ie$ and dea $ith them: With the ri"ht
,nderstandin" and methods $e #an ma1e probems ,se+,D in the same $ay that $e
re#y#e "arba"e or t,rn it into +ertii!er +or o,r "arden:

4or e-ampeD bein" st,#1 in a tra++i# Eam is a probem 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 +,tiity
o+ s,#h tho,"htsD and instead ,se the time to #ontempate 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" probems: 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: Peope sometimes +ee this $ay nat,rayJparentsD +or e-ampeD $hen they
see their #hid s,++erin" +rom inessD or res#,e $or1ers $ho are $iin" to ris1 their o$n
i*es to sa*e those o+ others: %,t a o+ ,s #an "enerate s,#h #o,ra"eo,s +eein"s by
+amiiari!in" o,rse*es $ith the meditations on o*e and #ompassion: It $o,d aso be
hep+, to ha*e some +amiiarity $ith the meditation on emptinessD to essen o,r habit,a
"raspin" at a reaD permanentD independenty-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
$eathD "ood 1armaD et#: The pra#ti#e is normay done in #onE,n#tion $ith breathin"G
$hie inhain"D $e ima"ine ta1in" in s,++erin" and its #a,sesD and these annihiate o,r
se+ishness and other de,sionsF and $hie e-hain"D $e ima"ine "i*in" o,r happiness and
"oodnessD and these be#ome $hate*er others need to be happy and $hoe:

InitiayD ho$e*erD many peope do not +ee ready or abe to ta1e on the s,++erin" o+
others: HI #an.t e*en hande my o$n probemsF ho$ #an I ta1e on e*eryone ese.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 +amiiar
and #om+ortabe $ith thatD $e #an then "rad,ay ta1e on the probems and s,++erin" o+
othersD startin" $ith peope $e aready o*e and #are abo,tD then stran"ersJpeope $e
are more distant +romJand e*ent,ay e*en o,r Henemies:I

The point o+ ton"en is not to +o#,s on the +eein" 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 $e ha*e been abe to brin" this abo,t: AsoD the meditation
in*o*es i)agining ta1in" a$ay others. s,++erin" and "i*in" them happinessF it.s not
possibe to a#t,ay 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
eni"htenedD at $hi#h point $e $i tr,y be abe to hep others be +ree o+ s,++erin" and
attain astin" pea#e and happiness:

Presented here are t$o simpe *ersions o+ ton"en: The +irst in*o*es ta1in" on one o+
yo,r o$n probems +or the bene+it o+ othersD and is parti#,ary hep+, +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 normay ma1e is that $hen $e ha*e a probem $e be#ome obsessed $ith itD
as i+ $e $ere the ony person in the $ord $ith s,#h a probemF as i+ there $as nothin"
ese in the $ordD nothin" positi*eD other than o,r probem: S,#h obsessi*e thin1in"
ma1es a mo,ntain o,t o+ a moehi: The probem may not be so badD b,t o,r $ay o+
oo1in" at it ma1es it seem immenseD soidD and permanentD as i+ it $i be there +ore*er:

%y re#o"ni!in" that others ha*e probems tooD and that some ha*e $orse probems than
o,rsD o,r probem $i appear more i1e a moehiD more mana"eabe: That itse+ "i*es a
sense o+ reie+D and the probem mi"ht e*en disappear ato"ether: %,t don.t e-pe#t that/
E-pe#tations are obsta#es to s,##ess in meditation: I+ nothin" eseD the meditation $i
open o,r heart and in#rease o,r #ompassionD o,r o*eD and o,r $iin"ness to be more
hep+, to others:

The se#ond *ersion o+ ton"en in*o*es ta1in" on someone ese.s probem or s,++erin":
5o, may $ish to "et a##,stomed to the +irst *ersion be+ore tryin" the se#ondF yo, may
+ee #om+ortabe 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 ,ractce

Sit #om+ortaby $ith yo,r ba#1 strai"htD and rea- yo,r body: )ea- yo,r mind by stayin"
in the presentD ettin" "o o+ tho,"hts o+ the pastD the +,t,reD other pa#esD peopeD and so
+orth: Payin" attention to the breath +or se*era min,tes $i hep yo,r mind to sette in
the here and no$L:

Motivation When yo,r mind is more #amD "enerate a positi*eD atr,isti# moti*ation +or
doin" the meditation: 5o, #an thin1D +or e-ampeD HI am "oin" to do this meditation in
order to in#rease my positi*e +eein"sJ#ompassionD o*eD and $antin" to hep othersJso
that my i+e and a the thin"s I do $i be ony bene+i#ia and ne*er harm+, to others:I


Spend some time #ontempatin" the +oo$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 sheterD bein"
#om+ortabeD +eein" sa+e and o*edJand they ha*e thin"s they $ish +orJ+riendsD
possessionsD a satis+yin" EobD et#L: A bein"s aso $ish to be +ree o+ e*ery 1ind o+ pain
and probemL:

(o into yo,r heartD and "et in to,#h $ith these basi# +eein"s that $e share $ith e*eryone
ese: )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 probems: The same is tr,e +or a other bein"sL: And don.t +ee that there
is anythin" rong $ith +eein" 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 probemD then is it ri"ht +or me to #are
ony +or )y happiness and )y probems?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 probems 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 possibe to
trans+orm yo,r mind in this $ayD and one method that #an hep 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 probem that is #,rrenty tro,bin" yo,:
I+ yo, are not so +amiiar $ith this pra#ti#eD it mi"ht be best to start $ith a sma or
medi,m-si!ed probem rather than yo,r bi""est one: It #o,d be a physi#a probemJa
pain+, or ,n#om+ortabe +eein"D or an inessJor it #o,d be somethin" emotionaD s,#h
as sadnessD h,rtD or oneiness: Ao$ the probem 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 ony person in the $ord e-perien#in" a probem i1e this:
There are many others::::I Thin1 o+ other peope $ho may be e-perien#in" the same or a
simiar probemD some to an e*en "reater de"ree than yo,rse+: ?4or e-ampeD i+ yo, ha*e
ost a o*ed oneD thin1 o+ peope $ho ha*e ost many o*ed onesD in a $ar or nat,ra
disaster:@ (enerate #ompassion +or themD thin1in"D and reay feeling+ H'o$ $onder+, it
$o,d be i+ a those peope #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 probem $ith the
#ompassionate $ish that by doin" soD a those other peope $i be +ree +rom their
s,++erin": &et "o o+ yo,r resistan#eD +earD and a*ersion to$ard yo,r probemD and ao$
yo,r mind to rest in a "enteD pea#e+, a##eptan#e o+ itL:

When yo, are more +amiiar and #om+ortabe $ith this pra#ti#eD yo, #an ,se it to ta1e on
bi""er probems yo, ha*e at presentD and aso the probems yo, $i probaby 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 $ho is s,++erin": P,t yo,rse+ in
their sit,ationD and try to reay +ee the s,++erin" they are e-perien#in" and ho$ 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 probems: Then "enerate the #o,ra"e to ta1e their s,++erin" ,pon yo,rse+:

Ais,ai!e that yo,r de,sions s,#h as se+-#enterednessD an"erD atta#hmentD and Eeao,sy
are in the +orm o+ a soidD dar1 ro#1 in yo,r heart: Then *is,ai!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, inhaeD
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$n and that o+ the other personD be#ome ,ttery non-e-istent: 4ee a
sense o+ Eoy that this person is no$ +ree +rom his or her s,++erin" and probemsL:

When yo, e-haeD breathe o,t yo,r happinessD positi*e 8,aitiesD 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,aities s,#h as o*eD #ompassionD
#o,ra"eD and e8,animity: Ima"ine that their needs and $ishes are +,+iedD their mind is
+ied $ith pea#eD happinessD and a the 1no$ed"e and 8,aities o+ the spirit,a path: &et
yo,r mind rest +or some time in a +eein" o+ Eoy+,ness that yo, ha*e been abe to hep
yo,r o*ed one in this $ay:

As yo, be#ome more +amiiar $ith this meditationD yo, #an pra#ti#e it "rad,ay $ith
more o+ yo,r +riends and reati*esD then stran"ersD and e*ent,ay e*en $ith those yo,
disi1e:


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 eni"htenment o+ a bein"s: ?4or another meditation on tho,"ht trans+ormationD see
pa"e 2>>:@

11

Dealng wth Negat*e Energy

As mind+,ness de*eops $e be#ome in#reasin"y sensiti*e to o,r tho,"hts and +eein"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 inherenty
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 +ase pi#t,re o+ reaityJand be#a,se they
ead to ,nhappinessD #on+,sionD and probems: %,t $ith the ri"ht ,nderstandin" and the
ri"ht toosD 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 +ase notion o+ inherentD "raspabeD soid
e-isten#e that $e imp,te onto e*erythin": This mis#on#eption "i*es rise to attach)ent to
$hate*er appears peasantD aversion or anger to$ard $hate*er is ,npeasant or pain+,D
and an ,n#arin" ignorance abo,t e*erythin" ese: Th,s o,r mind di*ides e*eryone and
e*erythin" in the $ord 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 simpy menta ener"yD i1e o*e and EoyD $hose nat,re is #ear and
nonmateria: Sometimes yo, mi"ht +ee o*er$hemed 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,ay $e either #ompetey identi+y $ith o,r an"erD +or e-ampeD $itho,t any #arity or
,nderstandin" at aD or s,ppress it ato"etherD re+,sin" to a#1no$ed"e $hat is "oin" on:
%oth approa#hesJ"ettin" #a,"ht ,p in the emotionD or s,ppressin" itJare ,ns1i+, and
ony ma1e matters $orse:

A more s1i+, approa#h is to honesty a#1no$ed"e the presen#e o+ the emotionD b,t
step ba#1 and obser*e it in a deta#hed $ay $ithin the #am spa#io,sness o+ meditation:
With mind+,ness and a$areness o+ its nat,reJho$ it is E,st a momentary e-perien#e in
o,r mindD not somethin" soid and +i-edD and not )eJ$e may be abe to E,st et "o o+ itD
and et it pass o,t o+ o,r mind:

%,t Hettin" "oI is not a$ays easyD espe#iay i+ the emotion is habit,a or *ery stron": I+
that is the #aseD then $e #an ,se one or more o+ the methods e-pained beo$ to anay!e
the emotion to see ho$ it is mista1enD and to trans+orm o,r menta state into one that is
more reaisti# and positi*e: Deain" $ith an"er or any other ne"ati*e emotion in this $ay
be#omes a bene+i#iaD earnin" e-perien#e:

%,t +or some peopeD or +or some probemsD it may be di++i#,t to Hbe yo,r o$n
therapist:I Anay!in" and trans+ormin" a po$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 hep +rom a spirit,a tea#herD a "ood therapistD or a $iseD #arin" +riend: No
one ese #an #han"e yo,r mindJthat is somethin" ony yo, #an doJb,t ta1in" $ith
others #an "i*e yo, some ne$D hep+, ideas and perspe#ti*es to $or1 $ith:

The methods e-pained in this #hapter are pra#ti#a $ays o+ deain" $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 reay see $hat.s "oin" on: With mind+,nessD
honestyD and dis#riminatin" intei"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 heathyD baan#ed attit,de to$ard the ne"ati*e emotions:
Attit,des to a*oid in#,de ",itF se+-hatred or se+-E,d"mentF and identi+yin" $ith the
emotionD +or e-ampe 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,dess 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,besomeJdon.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 #ontroD then yo,
#an mo*e on to the ne-t bi""est:

Some o+ the methods e-pained here pro*ide ne$ $ays o+ oo1in" at these emotionsD
$hie others present ne$ $ays o+ oo1in" at the obEe#t or sit,ation $e.re +eein"
emotiona abo,t: They are not ma"i#a so,tions to $hat areD a+ter aD di++i#,t probems:
Deain" $ith ne"ati*e ener"y is hard $or1D b,t $ith pra#ti#e and patien#e it is possibe to
"rad,ay #han"e o,r attit,des as a +irst step to #han"in" o,r a#t,a e-perien#e o+ peope
and sit,ations: I+ $e be#ome +amiiar $ith these methods in meditation it $i be easier to
appy them spontaneo,sy $hen the need arises:

%e"in e*ery meditation session $ith a positi*eD atr,isti# moti*ationD then spend some
time obser*in" yo,r breath to brin" yo,r mind to a #am state $ithin $hi#h yo, #an
re+e#t obEe#ti*ey on yo,r ne"ati*e emotions and the antidotes to them:

Attachment

To $ant somethin" and not $ant to be separated +rom itG *ery broadyD this is atta#hmentD
aso 1no$n as desire: Attendant to it is the +ase ass,mption that ha*in" $hate*er it is $e
$ant $i brin" satis+a#tionG this is $hy atta#hment #a,ses probems:

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 +,+iment o+ desire is an i,sionF desire eads
to more desireD not satis+a#tion:

We may be abe to see ho$ atta#hment to a#ohoD dr,"sD or money eads to probems
rather than happinessD b,t $e may $onder $hat is $ron" $ith atta#hment to peope:
Wo,dn.t i+e be empty and meanin"ess $itho,t +amiy 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 $hie 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 $hoeness thro,"h
another: %,t $hen a reationship in*o*es atta#hmentD probems ine*itaby arise: We
be#ome dependent on the "ood +eein"s and #om+ort o+ the reationship and then s,++er
$hen it #han"es: )eaD astin" happiness #an ony be +o,nd $ithin o,rse*esD and $e $i
ne*er +ind it as on" as $e ean hepessy on others: A reationship +ree o+ ,nreaisti#
"raspin" is +ree o+ disappointmentD #on+i#tD Eeao,syD and other probemsD and is +ertie
"ro,nd +or the "ro$th o+ o*e and $isdom:

O*er#omin" atta#hment does not mean be#omin" #od and indi++erent: On the #ontraryD
deta#hment means earnin" to ha*e rea-ed #ontro o*er o,r mind thro,"h ,nderstandin"
the rea #a,ses o+ happiness and +,+imentD and this enabes ,s to enEoy i+e more and
s,++er ess:

Ways to deal wth attachment

1: Contempate the +a,ts o+ atta#hment: E-amine #are+,y the mind that e-perien#es it:
It is e-#ited and +, o+ ,nreaisti# e-pe#tations: It "osses o*er the +a#ts and deas $ith
proEe#ted +antasies: It #annot see thin"s #eary and is ,nabe to ma1e intei"ent
E,d"ments: Is this happiness?

AsoD 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+ reationships 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 probems 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 anay!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*itaby perish: The obEe#t o+ yo,r atta#hment $i not a$ays be
attra#ti*e and peasin"F *is,ai!e it as odD +adedD and $orn and then #he#1 i+ yo,r
+eein"s abo,t it remain the same: And ho$ $o,d yo, +ee i+ yo, ost it ato"ether?

The peas,re yo, e-perien#e is impermanentD too: 4or ho$ on" do yo, reay +ee
peased 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. probaby enEoy them a the more/


0: Meditate on death: )emember the ine*itabiity 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 ony are they ,nabe to hep 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 reaD soid I in yo,r body or mind:

E-amine aso the obEe#t o+ atta#hment: Is this person or thin" inherenty $onder+, and
peasin"? 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#iay $hen atta#hment is stron"Jb,t #onsider it #are+,y: 2,st thin1in" abo,t
emptiness is ,se+, and heps ,s to "rad,ay ,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$n@D thin1 abo,t it
in the +oo$in" $ay:

4irstD anay!e E,st $hat it is yo, +ind so attra#ti*e: Then mentay penetrate the s,r+a#e
and e-amine $hat ies beneath the s1inG the +eshD bonesD bood *essesD and or"ans:
Ais,ai!e the m,#,sD p,sD boodD 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 odD bentD and $rin1edG $here is the bea,ti+, body no$?

The point o+ this e-er#ise is not to "o to the other e-treme and disi1e 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,aities o+ a person or thin": We simpy don.t see reaity as it is: This
anaysisD there+oreD brin"s ,s do$n to earth and heps ,s penetrate beo$ the s,r+a#e o+
o,r "ossy +antasy ima"e:


9: A remedy +or atta#hment to +ood is to #ontempate the s,++erin" e-perien#ed by a the
bein"s in*o*ed in its preparation: Animas are 1ied to pro*ide ,s $ith meat and +ishF
inn,merabe sma animas and inse#ts are 1ied in the #,ti*ationD +ertii!ationD and
sprayin" o+ the "rainsD +r,itD and *e"etabes 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 peopeD b,t $e #an aso be an"ry at o,rse*es or at inanimate
obEe#ts: An"er ran"es +rom a +eein" o+ irritation abo,t the $ay someone drin1s teaD +or
e-ampeD to the po$er+, hatred that eads to physi#a *ioen#e or m,rder: It is ,s,ay
reated 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 toeran#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 ony probems
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 intei"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 enabes ,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*eop 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*ertheessD
an"er is *ery di++i#,t to dea $ith: Part o+ the probem is o,r ,n$iin"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 $e probaby s,ppress +eein"s o+ disi1eD
annoyan#eD and resentmentD the more s,bte aspe#ts o+ an"er: This is no so,tion: The
emotions are sti thereD bre$in" beo$ the s,r+a#e o+ o,r mindD ma1in" ,s tense and
ner*o,sD and a++e#tin" other peope:

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 reie*e ,s o+ the immediate
tension o+ o,r emotions and th,s appear to be a s1i+, $ay o+ handin" an"erD b,t a"ain
it is no so,tion: We need ony oo1 at the short-term e++e#tsJho$ it dist,rbs o,rse*es
and othersJand the on"-termJbe#omin" habit,ay an"ryJto see that it is not at a
,se+, or intei"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 hod on itD be#a,se
$hen $e see ho$ ,nreasonabe it isD $e are ess i1ey to "et in*o*ed in it:

An"er distorts o,r *ie$ o+ thin"s: So a+ter e-aminin" it $e sho,d appy an antidoteD s,#h
as one o+ the methods beo$D in order to brin" o,r mind aro,nd to a more #orre#tD
reaisti# *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 reationshipsD $e #an brin" to mind
$hate*er insi"hts $e ha*e de*eoped in o,r pra#ti#e sessions and try to a*oid +oo$in"
the od +amiiar 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 reai!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 aso do a p,ri+i#ation pra#ti#e to
remedy the 1arma #reatedD and apoo"i!e to the person $e h,rt:

The same pra#ti#es #an be done to reso*e probems $e had years be+ore: There is no
reason to +ee dis#o,ra"ed i+ an"er #ontin,es to arise stron"yF it ta1es time to brea1
po$er+, habits: The important thin" is to ant and try to $or1 on it:

Ways to deal wth anger

1: Contempate the +a,ts or disad*anta"es o+ an"erD so that yo, be#ome #on*in#ed that
it.s harm+, rather than hep+,D and there+ore not somethin" yo, $ant to ind,"e in: 4irst
o+ aD 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, abe to
thin1 #eary and ma1e intei"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 #am and rea-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 heath probemsD
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 peope 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 peope yo, o*e and dama"e
#herished reationships: %,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+
deain" $ith them?

There are more s,bteD 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,aities 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+riendyD #heatin" or steain" +rom yo,D or $re#1in" yo,r
beon"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 probems in this i"htD $e $i be better abe to a##ept and ta1e
responsibiity +or them rather than d,mp the bame on others: AsoD i+ $e ,nderstand that
"ettin" an"ry and retaiatin" $i E,st brin" ,s more probems in the +,t,reD $e. reso*e
to be more patientD and more #are+, abo,t the 1arma $e #reate:


0: Another method +or deain" $ith peope $ho h,rt or annoy yo, is to p,t yo,rse+ in
their pa#e and try to see the sit,ation +rom their point o+ *ie$: What is dri*in" them to
beha*e in this $ay? Is their state o+ mind pea#e+, and happyD or #on+,sedD miserabeD and
,n#ontroed? They are h,man E,st i1e yo,D $ith probems 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:

AsoD #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,be and s,++erin" +or
themse*es? I+ $e reay ,nderstand others. #on+,sion and painD $e. be ess i1ey to
rea#t $ith an"erJ$hi#h $o,d E,st "i*e them e*en more s,++erin"Jand more i1ey 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 peope
are there+ore i1e mirrorsD sho$in" ,s $hat $e need to $or1 on in o,rse*es:

Che#1 e-a#ty $hat it is that yo, disi1e 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" simiar: It may be
ob*io,sG yo, mi"ht easiy remember ha*in" done the same thin" yo,rse+D or reai!e yo,
ha*e the same bad habit:

%,t in some #ases yo, may need to oo1 deeperJit #o,d be a 8,aity yo, ha*e on"
s,ppressedD re"ardin" it as $ron" and ,na##eptabe: And that is $here the probem 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,aity 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
$or1 on de#reasin" and e*ent,ay o*er#omin" it: %ein" more a##eptin" and
#ompassionate abo,t o,r o$n short#omin"s $i enabe ,s to be more a##eptin" and
#ompassionate to$ard others:


6: An"er is more i1ey 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*es o+ yo,r mind: Are yo, +eein" 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 i1ey to rea#t
$ith an"erD e*en $hen bi""er probems o##,r:


9: When an"er arisesD t,rn yo,r attention $ithin and in*esti"ate the I that is an"ry:
Anay!e $here and ho$ it e-ists: Appy $hate*er ,nderstandin" o+ emptiness yo, ha*e:

In*esti"ate the obEe#t o+ yo,r an"er aso: Does it e-ist in the soid and de+inite $ay that it
appears to yo,? I+ the person yo, are an"ry at is reay so bad and ,ni1abe +rom their
o$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 peope $ho i1e and admire that person?

Try to see that the sit,ation is i1e a dreamG atho,"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,ay 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 #ontroin" o,r mind and
that $e are +airy pea#e+, no$Jb,tD a o+ a s,ddenD an"er arises/ It +oo$sD thenD that
$hen peope 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: Contempate 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:


<: Contempate the points o+ the death meditation: Death #o,d happen at any timeD so
reai!e that it is senseess to #in" to di++eren#es $ith peope: Dyin" $ith ,nreso*ed
an"er #reates ha*o# in yo,r mind and ma1es a pea#e+, death impossibe:

The other person #o,d die at any time too: 'o$ $o,d yo, +ee i+ this happened be+ore
yo, $ere abe to #ear ,p the probems bet$een yo,?

5o,D the other personD and yo,r intera#tion $i a de+initey #ome to an end: Seen in this
i"htD are the probems reay 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*eopin" o*e: 5o, #an do this by pra#ti#in" the meditation on o*eD
*is,ai!in" in +ront o+ yo, the person $ho ma1es yo, an"ry and ma1in" a spe#ia e++ort
to a#t,ay re*erse yo,r +eein"s +or them:


1>: A the methods e-pained abo*e in*o*e meditatin" to try to dea $ith an"er on o,r
o$nF it is aso possibe 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 reay $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 probem $ith the desire to h,rt or $ith e-pe#tations and
demandsD the #omm,ni#ation $i not $or1: So $e need to be *ery #ear abo,t o,r
intentions and *ery sin#ere and honest in e-painin" o,r +eein"s: This 1ind o+ open
#omm,ni#ation is *ery po$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" totay in*o*ed and spea1in"
an"riy or be#omin" *ioent: 5o, #an try some method +or reeasin" yo,r ener"y $itho,t
harmin" the personD or be#ome #ompetey ,nresponsi*eD i1e stone or $oodD ,nti yo,r
an"er has #ooed do$n: &aterD $hen yo,r mind is more #amD yo, #an meditate on the
probem and appy one o+ the antidotes:

A +re8,enty re#,rrin" probemD i1e "ettin" an"ry at someone yo, i*e or $or1 $ithD #an
be handed more e++e#ti*ey i+ yo, thin1 abo,t the sit,ation in meditation and pan $hat
to say and do $hen it ne-t o##,rs: Then yo, $i be better prepared and ess i1ey to be
#a,"ht o++-",ard:

De,resson

There are *ario,s +orms o+ depression: Some are short-term and o##,r d,e to probems
s,#h as ossD inessD or not "ettin" somethin" $e $antF others are on"-term and may be
#a,sed by "eneti# or bioo"i#a +a#tors: Meditation #an be hep+, +or at east some #ases
o+ depressionF ho$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,enty in*o*es se+-hatredD se+-#riti#ismD or other ne"ati*e tho,"ht-
patterns: It is ,nreaisti#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,ay +o#,ses on )y probem and bo$s it ,p o,t o+ proportion: O,r
tho,"hts spira do$n$ardF $e +ee the sit,ation is hopeess $ith no possibiity 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 itte 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 smoothy: We ma1e mista1esD and $e don.t ha*e #ontro o*er $hat #omes o,r
$ay: When $e are ,nabe to a##ept these probems #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 $e e-perien#e is
rea and the probems need to be ta1en #are o+: %,t sin1in" into depression is not the
ans$erJit ony deepens and #ompi#ates o,r ,nhappiness: The best so,tion is to
anay!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,ay $e #an earn to #at#h o,rse*es in timeF to oo1 at thin"s
more positi*ey and to ,se o,r nat,ra $isdom:

Ways to deal wth de,resson

1: Ta1e a step ba#1 +rom yo,r tho,"hts and +eein"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 $orthessFI
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 probem
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 possibe 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 personaity 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 reaisti#D positi*e
tho,"hts s,#h as HI ha*e s,#h-and-s,#h "ood 8,aitiesFI HThere are peope $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 ai*eJyo, ha*en.t yet died +rom inessD 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 +eein"sD are a E,st menta ener"yJ#earD non-physi#aD and transitory:
Simpy 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 +et 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,ay 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" ony 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 $ith ,nhappy
tho,"hts and +eein"s: Try to +ind this I: What is its nat,re? Is it part o+ yo,r body or yo,r
mindD or is it some$here ese? Is this depressed I somethin" permanentD soidD
,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 #ontempatin" their needs and s,++erin" $i hep yo, be ess se+-
#entered and th,s see yo,r probems more reaisti#ay: 'o$e*erD ta1e #are $hen
#ontempatin" s,++erin"Ji+ it #a,ses yo, to +ee more depressedD then ba#1 o++ and
s$it#h to somethin" positi*e and ,pi+tin":


6: Do one o+ the *is,ai!ation meditations ?part 6@D +or e-ampeD 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 hep othersG do some *o,nteer
or ser*i#e $or1: This has been +o,nd to #a,se the reease o+ endorphinsJthe Hhappy
hormonesIJin o,r ner*o,s systemD so $e nat,ray +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-panations o+ the de,sionsD or dist,rbin" emotionsD +ear is not
,s,ay mentionedD b,t it is a #ommon #a,se o+ ,nhappiness and stress: 4ear is not
ne#essariy ne"ati*eF it depends on $hat $e.re a+raid o+ and ho$ $e hande 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 eary death moti*ates ,s to eat $isey and
ta1e #are o+ o,r heathF +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*eopin" 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 #ompassionatey:

Ne*ertheessD +ear #an brin" ne"ati*e res,ts: It dist,rbs o,r pea#e o+ mindD it #an harm
o,r heathD it #a,ses ,s to see thin"s in a mista1en $ayD and it #an moti*ate ,s to a#t
irrationay or destr,#ti*eyD so it is somethin" $e sho,d aim to o*er#ome: One o+ the
8,aities o+ an eni"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 soidD reaD and permanent: 4rom this arises atta#hment to $hoe*er or
$hate*er appears peasant and hep+,D and +ear o+ separatin" +rom or osin" them:
To$ard the peopeD thin"sD and e-perien#es $e see as ,npeasant or ,n$antedD $e +ee
a*ersion and +ear o+ not separatin" +rom them:

We rarey +a#e o,r +ears to try to ,nderstand and dea $ith them s1i+,y: We may +ee
o*er$hemed by themD or hepessD 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,bty a++e#tin" o,r tho,"hts and +eein"sD and o,r i+e:

The methods beo$ sho$ ,s ho$ $e #an start to +a#e o,r +earsD anay!e them to
,nderstand $hat they.re abo,tD and #han"e o,r attit,des:

Ways to deal wth fear

1: &oo1 at yo,r +ear: Sit do$n and ma1e yo,r mind #am $ith some breathin" meditation:
Then ao$ 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*ey: As1 yo,rse+D $hat e-a#ty
is it that I.m a+raid o+?

Then as1 yo,rse+G Is it reasonabe +or me to ha*e this +ear? Is it i1ey that $hat I.m
a+raid o+ $i a#t,ay happenD or is my mind "ettin" #arried a$ay $ith hi"hy ,nreaisti#
+antasies?

I+ it is possibe 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 peope $ho
ha*e been thro,"h that e-perien#e: See i+ yo, #an dra$ 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 ,seess 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: 4amiiari!in" o,rse*es $ith the reaity o+ ho$ $eD othersD and the thin"s in the
$ord aro,nd ,s are #han"in" a the time and $i e*ent,ay disappear enabes ,s to
"rad,ay be#ome more a##eptin" and ess +ear+,:


0: Contempate ho$ it.s in the nat,re o+ ,neni"htened e-isten#e to en#o,nter probems
and pain+,D ,ndesirabe 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 ,neni"htened bein"sJyo, are not aone/ %,t this
sit,ation $i not ast +ore*er: 5o, and e*eryone ese 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: Probems o##,r be#a,se
o+ #a,ses and #onditionsJprimariy 1arma and de,sionsJand these #an de+initey be
eiminated: )eso*e to appy yo,r ener"y to the $or1 o+ re+rainin" +rom ne"ati*e a#tionsD
p,ri+yin" those yo, ha*e aready #reatedD doin" as many positi*e a#tions as possibeD 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 Daai &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 atr,isti# moti*ation +or the thin"s yo, do: 4or e-ampeD i+
yo,.re +eein" ner*o,s abo,t ta1in" to a ar"e "ro,p o+ peopeJor e*en to one person/
Jspend some time be+orehand #ontempatin" o*eD #ompassionD and the sin#ere $ish to
bene+it others: 4iin" yo,r mind $ith #on#ern +or others ea*es itte 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 probaby 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 atr,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" ese e-istsD it.s ,se+, to meditate on emptiness: When yo, +ee +earD "o $ithin
and e-amine the I that is +ri"htened: Is it somethin" reaD e-istin" +rom its o$n side? I+ soD
$here and ho$ does it e-istJin my body? In my mind?

5o, #an aso do the same anaysis on the thin" yo, are +ri"htened o+D to see i+ it e-ists in
the soidD rea $ay that it appears to yo,r mind:


9: Some peope +ind it hep+, 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 eni"htened bein" s,#h as
A*ao1itesh*ara ?pa"e 166@D or Tara ?pa"e 161@D $ho is a#t,ay reno$ned +or reie*in"
peope o+ a 1inds o+ +ears: There are many stories o+ peope e-perien#in" ama!in"
res,ts by prayin" to or re#itin" the mantras o+ these hoy bein"s: %,t e*en i+ nothin"
ama!in" happens o,tside o+ ,sD ta1in" re+,"e and prayin" heps ,s to +ee more #am and
#o,ra"eo,s insideD and better abe to hande the di++i#,t sit,ation $e are in:

Part 3*e

@I#AA&IBATION MEDITATION#

Abo+t @s+al$aton

In yo,r attempts to #am and #on#entrate yo,r mindD yo, ha*e probaby 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 +amiiar pa#esD appeti!in" +oodD or memories o+
+ims yo, ha*e seen: S,#h ima"es arise spontaneo,sy 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-peope and dream-e*ents:
Ais,ai!ationD or ima"inationD is th,s a menta te#hni8,e $e are a +amiiar $ithJin +a#tD
$e probaby *is,ai!e a the timeJb,t ,ness o,r $or1 ies inD sayD artD desi"nD or +imD
$e do itte or nothin" to de*eop and ,tii!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,ai!ation is ,sed in se*era $ays in the Tibetan tradition o+ spirit,a
de*eopment: It adds another dimension to anayti#a meditationsJ+or e-ampeD
*is,ai!in" o,rse*es dyin" sharpens the a$areness o+ o,r mortaityD and *is,ai!in"
a#t,a peope $hie meditatin" on o*e and #ompassion ma1es the #,ti*ation o+ those
8,aities more a,thenti# and heart+et: A menta ima"e o+ the %,ddha is re#ommended as
the +o#,s o+ attention in the de*eopment o+ sin"e-pointed #on#entrationD and *is,ai!in"
eni"htened bein"s $hie prayin" heps to enhan#e o,r +aith and #on*i#tion:

%,t the art o+ *is,ai!ation is ,sed to the +,est in AaErayana or tantraD the most pro+o,nd
and rapid means o+ rea#hin" eni"htenment: The pra#ti#es o+ this path in*o*e identi+yin"
onese+ #ompeteyD body and mindD $ith an eni"htened bein" and seein" one.s
en*ironment as a p,re ream: The ordinaryD mista1en per#eptions o+ onese+ and a other
phenomena are th,s "rad,ay abandoned as one.s potentia +or eni"htenment is ao$ed
to e-press itse+:

The b,ddhas *is,ai!ed in AaErayana pra#ti#eD s,#h as Tara and A*ao1itesh*araD are
symbos o+ the eni"htened state: Ea#h is a mani+estation o+ a spe#i+i# 8,aityJ
A*ao1itesh*araD +or e-ampeD is the b,ddha o+ #ompassionJb,t ea#h aso represents the
tota e-perien#e o+ eni"htenment: The detais o+ the *is,ai!ationD s,#h as #oorsD
impementsD hand "est,resD post,reD and so +orthD symboi!e di++erent aspe#ts o+ the path
to spirit,a +,+iment:

Meditation on these b,ddhas ?or ima"es +rom other traditions that yo, are more
#om+ortabe $ithD +or e-ampe Christ or Mary@ heps ,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 eni"htened 8,aities ies $ithin ,sD
$e sho,d #onsider the ima"es $e #ontempate to be re+e#tions o+ o,r o$n tr,e nat,re:
Atho,"h ,timate reaity is ine-pressibeD $ords ead ,s to dis#o*er itF so too #an ima"es
remind ,s o+ the e-perien#e o+ eni"htenment ,nti it be#omes a i*in" reaity:

The t$o 1inds o+ meditationJanayti#a and stabii!in"Jare ,sed to"ether in
*is,ai!ation te#hni8,es: We need anayti#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:
Anaysis is aso ,sed to dea $ith other probems that mi"ht o##,rD s,#h as distra#tion or
ne"ati*e tho,"hts:

%,t de*eopin" a #ear *is,ai!ation depends primariy on stabii!in" meditation: On#e
the ima"e has been estabished and $e +ee #om+ortabe $ith itD $e sho,d hod it $ith
sin"e-pointed attentionD not ettin" o,r mind be distra#ted by other obEe#ts: InitiayD o,r
#on#entration $i ast ony a +e$ se#ondsD b,t $ith #ontin,a pra#ti#e $e $i be abe 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 +amiiarity $ith positi*e ima"es and stren"thens o,r abiity to #ontro and
#on#entrate the mind:

It is #ommon to +ind *is,ai!ation di++i#,t: I+ yo, are ha*in" probemsD 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
rea-edD #earD and open: Too m,#h e++ort #reates tensionD and then the ony *ision that
#an appear is dar1ness: Too itte #on#entration means the mind is #ro$ded $ith
distra#tionsD ea*in" no spa#e +or a *is,ai!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 #eary:

)emember too that *is,ai!ation ,tii!es ony 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: )ea- and et
the ima"e appear +rom $ithin yo,r mind:

4,rthermoreD $e sho,d be satis+ied $ith $hate*er does appearD e*en i+ it is E,st a partia
ima"eD or a b,r o+ #oorD or nothin" at a/ The important thin" is +eein" the !resence o+
an eni"htened bein"D rather than bein" #on#erned abo,t ha*in" a per+e#t *is,ai!ation:
Th,s it is *ery important to be rea-ed and +ree o+ e-pe#tationsD and +ee #on+ident that
the b,ddha is there: It is se+-de+eatin" to e-pe#t a #ompeteD per+e#t *is,ai!ation a+ter
one or t$o attemptsF it may ta1e years o+ pra#ti#e be+ore yo, #an reay see the ima"e:
A"ainD it is a matter o+ t,nin" the mind to the ri"ht baan#eF earnin" to $or1 $ith the
ener"ies and eements 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,ai!ation $ith +amiiar obEe#ts: Sit 8,iety $ith
yo,r eyes #osed and brin" to mind the ima"e o+ a +riendD +or e-ampe: Try to see the
detaisG the #oor and shape o+ the eyesD noseD and mo,thD the stye 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,ai!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 heps yo, $ith the detais
onyF don.t thin1 yo,r *is,ai!ed +i",re sho,d be +at i1e a dra$in" or #od and i+eess
i1e a stat,e: It sho,d be $armD +, o+ i+e and +eein"D three-dimensionaD and made o+
p,reD radiant i"ht: 4ee that yo, are a#t,ay in the presen#e o+ a biss+,D #ompassionateD
eni"htened bein":

4inayD it mi"ht be ,se+, to pra#ti#e the +oo$in" simpe *is,ai!ation be+ore
attemptin" more #ompi#ated te#hni8,es:

1

%ody of &ght Medtaton

Motivation Sit #om+ortabyD $ith yo,r ba#1 strai"htD and breathe nat,ray: (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 sette yo,r mind:


When yo,r mind is #am and #earD *is,ai!e in the spa#e abo*e yo,r head a sphere o+
$hite i"htD some$hat smaer 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 sharpyF 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 $isdomG the
+,+iment o+ yo,r o$n hi"hest potentia: Then *is,ai!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 so$y spreadin" to +i yo,r entire
body: As it doesD a the soid parts o+ yo,r body disso*e and be#ome i"htJyo,r or"ansD
bonesD bood *essesD 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 probemsD
ne"ati*itiesD and hindran#es ha*e #ompetey *anishedD and that yo, ha*e rea#hed a state
o+ $hoeness 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 aso 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+rfcaton Medtaton

There are both positi*e and ne"ati*e aspe#ts to o,r personaity: 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 probems: 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 #onstanty 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" ony #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 $hie positi*e states o+ mind are reaisti# and
arise +rom ri"ht ,nderstandin": When $e re#o"ni!e this and de*eop a #orre#t *ie$ o+
reaityD o,r ne"ati*ities "rad,ay essen and e*ent,ay disappear ato"ether: As o,r
$isdom de*eopsD o,r spontaneo,s "ood +eein"s "ro$ and o,r personaity "rad,ay
trans+orms: At the end o+ this path is eni"htenmentD the per+e#tion o+ a bene+i#ia
8,aitiesJa 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
",ity abo,t mista1es $e ha*e made: We beie*eD HI am hopeessF I #an.t #ontro my
an"erF I don.t do anythin" ri"htF I.m #ompetey #od and ,nabe to o*e anyone:I
Atho,"h $e may ha*e +a,ts and probemsD 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+ ",itD as on" as $e are
$iin" 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,ay permeates o,r beha*ior and o,too1 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#erey p,ttin" ener"y into
de*eopin" itD $e #,ti*ate a more positi*e se+-ima"e: %eie*in" that $e are basi#ay
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 simpi+ied meditation #ontains the essen#e o+ p,ri+i#ationG ettin" "o o+ probems
and mista1esD and seein" them as temporary obs#,rations rather than an intrinsi# part o+
o,r nat,re: It heps ,s to "et in to,#h $ith and de*eop o,r nat,ra "ood ener"y:

The ,ractce

%e #om+ortabe and rea-ed: Ta1e a +e$ min,tes to sette 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 hep+, and ess harm+, to others:


T,rn yo,r attention to yo,r breath: %reathe normay and obser*e the +, d,ration o+
e*ery inhaation and e-haation:

When yo,r mind is #amD ima"ine that $hen yo, inhaeD a the positi*e ener"y in the
,ni*erse enters yo,r body in the +orm o+ p,reD biss+,D radiant $hite i"ht: Ais,ai!e this
i"ht +o$in" to e*ery part o+ yo,r bodyD +iin" e*ery #e and atomD and ma1in" yo,
rea-edD i"htD and biss+,: Do this *is,ai!ation $ith e*ery inhaation:

On#e yo, are +amiiar and #om+ortabe $ith breathin" in the $hite i"htD then be"in to
breathe o,t dar1 smo1e $ith e*ery e-haation: 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
#ompetey: 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 probems 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 simpy obser*e them $itho,t rea#tin" or
"ettin" in*o*ed: 5o, #an aso trans+orm these distra#tions into dar1 smo1e and breathe
them o,t into obi*ion:


Dedication Con#,de the meditation by dedi#atin" yo,r positi*e ener"y to a bein"s
+indin" e*erastin" happiness and pea#e o+ mind:

0

Medtaton on TaraC the %+ddha of Enlghtened Act*ty

Tara is a b,ddha $ho represents in parti#,ar a eni"htened bein"s. s1i+, a#ti*itiesD or
the means by $hi#h they #omm,ni#ate $ith and ",ide ,s a##ordin" to o,r abiity: &ama
Copa )inpo#he e-painedG HA a#tions o+ the %,ddha mani+est in the +emae +ormD TaraD
to hep sentient bein"s s,##ess+,y a##ompish both tempora and ,timate happiness:I
%e#a,se she represents a#tionJthe #apa#ity to a#tD to #,t thro,"h obsta#esD and to be
s,##ess+,Jshe aso represents #o,ra"e and po$er: Contempatin" 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 $as *ery de*oted to the %,ddha and his +oo$ers: She "enerated bodhi#hittaD
the aspiration to be#ome a b,ddha herse+ in order to hep a bein"sD and aso made the
+oo$in" *o$G HThere are many $ho desire eni"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" #ompete eni"htenmentD and
$hen she a##ompished that "oaD she #ame to be 1no$n as TaraD Hthe &iberator:I

Tara is aso 1no$n as HThe Mother o+ a %,ddhas:I &ama 5eshe e-pained this as
+oo$sG HThis is be#a,se she is the $isdom o+ reaityD and a b,ddhas and bodhisatt*as
are born +rom this $isdom: This $isdom is aso the +,ndamenta #a,se o+ happinessD and
o+ o,r o$n spirit,a "ro$th: That is $hy Tara is #aed the Mother:I

(reen Tara

She is o,r mother tooD be#a,se she a$a1ensJand heps +,+iJo,r potentia to attain
eni"htenment:

The ,ractce

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


Ais,ai!e in the spa#e be+ore yo, TaraD mani+estation o+ a that is positi*e: 'er body is o+
emerad-"reen i"htD trans,#ent and radiant: ?5o, #an *is,ai!e her any si!e yo, i1e:@

'er e+t e" is dra$n ,pD si"ni+yin" #ompete #ontro o*er se-,a ener"yD and her ri"ht e"
is e-tendedD indi#atin" that she is ready to rise to the aid o+ a bein"s: 'er e+t hand is at
her heart in the re+,"e "est,reG pam +a#in" o,t$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,bime reai!ationsG pam
+a#in" o,t$ardD $ith the +in"ers oosey pointin" do$n:

In ea#h hand she hods the stem o+ a b,e ,tpaa +o$erD symbo o+ the ,nbo#1in" o+ the
#entra #hanne: She is e-8,isitey bea,ti+, and smies o*in"y at yo,: 'er #othin" is o+
#eestia si1 and her ornaments o+ pre#io,s "ems:

Con#entrate +or some time on the *is,ai!ationD openin" yo,r heart to the ener"y o+
Tara.s ine-ha,stibe o*in"-1indness:

Ne-tD thin1 o+ yo,r probemsD yo,r needs and aimsD and ma1e a prayer to Tara +rom yo,r
heartD as1in" her +or hep: 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 eiminatin" a obsta#es and ne"ati*ities
o+ bodyF red i"ht +o$s +rom her throat into yo,rsD eiminatin" a obsta#es and
ne"ati*ities o+ spee#hF and b,e i"ht +o$s +rom her heart into yo,rsD eiminatin" a
obsta#es and ne"ati*ities o+ mind: Ais,ai!e ea#h o+ these in t,rnF reay +ee that yo, are
no$ #ompetey +ree o+ a probems and that yo, ha*e re#ei*ed the inspiration and
ener"y to a##ompish yo,r obEe#ti*es:

I+ yo, $ishD yo, #an re#ite Tara.s mantra $hie doin" these *is,ai!ationsD and +or some
time a+ter$ardsG o) tare tuttare ture svaha ?prono,n#ed o) ta3ray too3ta3ray too3ray so3
ha' 4or an e-panation 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",ishaby $ith Tara.s
mind and yo, e-perien#e #arityD tran8,iityD and biss:

)emain in this state as on" as possibe: When tho,"hts ariseD simpy 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 biss:


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

Medtaton on A*aloktesh*araC the %+ddha of Com,asson

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 +eein" $e o+ten
e-perien#e $hen $e see or hear abo,t peope.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 +ees ithD others.s,++erin"D and is $iin" to "et
#ose and hep them:

Compassion is aso not the emotiona o*er-in*o*ement in others. probems that #a,ses
,s to +ee depressed and hepessJthat is Hidiot #ompassion:I Tr,e #ompassion in*o*es
$isdom that ,nderstands ho$ and $hy s,++erin" o##,rsD and enabes ,s to dea #amy
and reaisti#ay $ith peope and their probems: We do $hat $e #an to hepD b,t $e aso
,nderstand o,r imitations and don.t +ee ,pset abo,t $hat $e #annot do:

An attitude o+ #ompassion is $hat reay #o,ntsF it.s not possibe +or anyoneD e*en an
eni"htened bein"D to a#t,ay eiminate someone ese.s s,++erin": Ea#h person m,st do
that +or themse*es: AsoD o,r abiity to hep others is imited as on" as o,r o$n mind is
sti tro,bed by mis#on#eptions and #on+,sed emotions: We sho,dD there+oreD $or1
sim,taneo,sy on de*eopin" the $isdom to see #eary ho$ thin"s are and the
#ompassionate $ish to ae*iate others. s,++erin"Jthen o,r a#tions $i be tr,y s1i+,:

A*ao1itesh*araD the %,ddha o+ Compassion

Compassion bene+its not ony others b,t o,rse*es as $e: As the Daai &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 imitessy #ompassionate: A po$er+, $ay o+
a$a1enin" and de*eopin" this potentia is by *is,ai!in" A*ao1itesh*ara ?TibetanG
Chenre!i"@D the embodiment o+ #ompassionD and #ontempatin" his mantra:

A mantra is a series o+ syabes that #orresponds to #ertain s,bte *ibrations $ithin ,s:
Ori"inatin" +rom eni"htened mindsD a mantra has b,it ,p its ener"y +or "ood by bein"
,sed by miions o+ peope +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 ao,d or
sienty:

A*ao1itesh*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": &)
symboi!es the eni"htened state $e $ish to attain: Mani means Ee$eD and symboi!es
#ompassionD o*eD and bodhi#hitta: Pad)e means ot,sD $hi#h symboi!es $isdom: Hu)
indi#ates indi*isibiity: So ato"etherD the syabes mean that by pra#ti#in" #ompassion
and $isdom indi*isibyD $e #an trans+orm o,rse*es into eni"htened bein"s and be o+
bene+it to e*eryone:

)e#itin" o) )ani !ad)e hu)D either in meditation or $hie "oin" abo,t o,r daiy
a#ti*itiesD not ony a$a1ens o,r o$n #ompassion b,tD by Eoinin" $ith the miions o+
other peope sayin" it tooD adds to the "ro$th o+ pea#e+,D o*in" ener"y in the $ord: At
the *ery eastD #on#entratin" on the #ompassion-mantra heps o,r mind stay aert and
positi*e rather than s#attered and ne"ati*e:

This pra#ti#e #ombines an anayti#a meditation +or "eneratin" #ompassion $ith a
stabii!in" meditation on the ima"e and mantra o+ A*ao1itesh*ara:

The ,ractce

Motivation )ea- 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 +eein"s and "enerate a
positi*e moti*ation +or doin" the meditation:


Ima"ine that a o+ spa#e is +ied $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+ortaby: 5o,r parents and other +amiy members are beside yo,D +riends behind yo,D
peope yo, don.t "et aon" $ith in +ront o+ yo,D and others a aro,nd:

Contempate the s,++erin" o+ these peope and bein"s: 4irstD thin1 o+ the s,++erin" o+ yo,r
parents and the other peope yo, are #ose to: Open yo,r heart to the physi#a and
psy#hoo"i#a probems 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 biss o+ eni"htenment:

Then thin1 o+ the peope yo, do not i1e or $ho ha*e h,rt yo,: Ima"ine their s,++erin"G
physi#a pain and dis#om+ortD +eein"s o+ oneinessD inse#,rityD +earD dissatis+a#tion: 2,st
i1e yo,D they don.t $ant probems b,t they ha*e no #hoi#eG as on" as the mind is
#on+,sed and i"norant o+ reaityD it #annot +ind pea#e: Open yo,r heart to these peope +or
$hom normay yo, +ee irritation or an"er:

E-pand yo,r a$areness to ta1e in the tro,bes and pain o+ other h,man bein"s and o+
animasF $hoe*er has an ,n#ontroed mind ne#essariy has s,++erin":

%,t don.t be o*er$hemed by a o+ this/ )emember that s,++erin"D ,nhappinessD and pain
are menta e-perien#esD impermanent and #han"eabe: They arise be#a,se o+
mis,nderstandin" and #on+,sed emotionsD and on#e their #a,ses ha*e been eiminated
they disappear: It is a matter o+ ea#h one o+ ,s $or1in" on o,r o$n mindD deain" $ith
o,r mis#on#eptions and ne"ati*e ener"y and "rad,ay de*eopin" a #orre#t
,nderstandin" o+ the $ay thin"s a#t,ay e-ist:

4ee stron"y the aspiration to do this yo,rse+D so that yo, #an hep others to be +ree o+
their s,++erin":

No$D *is,ai!e E,st abo*e yo,r head and +a#in" the same $ay as yo, A*ao1itesh*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 smiin"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$o hands are to"ether at his heart and hod
a Ee$e that +,+is a $ishesF his se#ond t$o are raised to the e*e o+ his sho,dersD the
ri"ht hodin" 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 $ears e-8,isite si1 and
pre#io,s Ee$es:

'od yo,r a$areness on this *is,ai!ation ,nti it is stabe: Stay rea-ed and #om+ortabe
and open to A*ao1itesh*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*eop 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*ao1itesh*ara o*in"y sends streams o+ $hite i"htD +iin"
e*ery #e and atom o+ yo,r body: It p,ri+ies a yo,r ne"ati*ities and probemsD a yo,r
past harm+, a#tions and yo,r potentia to "i*e harm in the +,t,reD and #ompetey +is
yo, $ith his imitess o*e and #ompassion: 5o,r body +ees i"ht and biss+,D yo,r mind
pea#e+, and #ear:

The i"ht +rom A*ao1itesh*ara radiates o,t to e*ery i*in" bein"D p,ri+yin" their
ne"ati*e ener"y and +iin" them $ith biss:

No$D $hie #on#entratin" on this *is,ai!ationD re#ite the mantraD o) )ani !ad)e hu)"
ao,d +or a $hie and then sientyD as many times as yo, i1e:

When yo, ha*e +inished the re#itationD *is,ai!e A*ao1itesh*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",ishaby $ith A*ao1itesh*ara.s mind and yo, e-perien#e
#ompete tran8,iity and biss:

'od this +eein" as on" as possibe: Whene*er yo,r ,s,a sense o+ I starts to ariseJan I
that is boredD restessD h,n"ryD $hate*erJthin1 that this is not yo,r rea se+: Simpy
brin" yo,r attention ba#1 a"ain and a"ain to the e-perien#e o+ oneness $ith the 8,aities
o+ A*ao1itesh*ara.s mindG in+inite o*e and #ompassion:


Dedication 4inayD 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*ao1itesh*araD see pa"e 2>>:@

5

Inner 'eat Medtaton

This meditation is an espe#iay po$er+, AaErayana method +or tappin" and s1i+,y
,tii!in" o,r innate biss+, menta ener"y:

There is an intimate reationship bet$een o,r mind and s,bte ner*o,s system: Menta
ener"y +o$s thro,"h the body $ithin a psy#hi# ner*o,s system #omposed o+ tho,sands
o+ thinD transparentD s,bte #hannes: The prin#ipa onesJ1no$n as the #entraD ri"htD and
e+t #hannesJr,n parae to and E,st in +ront o+ the spina #o,mn: P,re menta ener"y
#an +,n#tion ony $ithin the #entra #hanneD $hereas de,ded ener"y +o$s thro,"h a
the others:

At presentD o,r #entra #hanne is bo#1ed by 1nots o+ ne"ati*e ener"yJan"erD Eeao,syD
desireD prideD and so +orthJat points /cha(ras1 #orrespondin" to the base o+ the spineD
na*eD 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 bo#1ed and ,nabe to +,n#tion: )e#aD +or e-ampeD the enormo,s
physi#a and menta tension #reated by stron" desire or an"erF there is no spa#e at a +or
#amness and #arity:

The inner heat meditation is an e-#eent method +or trans+ormin" this po$er+, ener"y
and de*eopin" spontaneo,s #ontro o*er a o,r a#tions o+ bodyD spee#hD and mind: Mere
s,ppression o+ atta#hmentD an"erD and other emotions does not eiminate themF it
#ompo,nds them: The so,tion is iteray to trans+orm this ener"yJ$hi#h by its nat,re
is neither "ood nor badJinto biss+,D +ree-+o$in" ener"y:

S1i+, pra#ti#e o+ the meditation $i sho$ ,s that $e are #apabe o+ happiness and
satis+a#tion $itho,t needin" to rey ,pon e-terna obEe#tsJan idea that is in#on#ei*abe
+or most o+ ,s:

This pra#ti#e aso heps ,s in o,r de*eopment o+ sin"e-pointed #on#entration: NormayD
o,r dissatis+ied mind $anders ,n#ontroabyD bo$n here and there by the +or#e o+
de,ded ener"y in the psy#hi# #hannesF yet i+ $e #o,d ha*e an e-perien#e o+ biss
peas,rabe eno,"h to #on#entrate onD $e simpy $o,d not ant to $ander ese$here:

The ,ractce

Motivation Sit #om+ortaby in yo,r meditation pa#e and "enerate a stron" positi*e
moti*ation +or doin" this inner heat pra#ti#e: Determine to 1eep yo,r mind rea-edD
#on#entratedD and +ree o+ e-pe#tations +or the entire session:


Start by *is,ai!in" the #entra #hanne as a transparentD hoo$ 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,ai!e the ri"ht and e+t atera #hannesD si"hty thinner than the #entra one:
They start +rom the ri"ht and e+t nostris respe#ti*eyD 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-imatey +o,r +in"ers.breadth
beo$ the e*e o+ the na*e:

Ta1e as on" as yo, i1e to #onstr,#t this *is,ai!ation: On#e it is stabeD ima"ine a red-
hot 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,ai!ationD ima"ine rea#hin" into a +ireD ta1in" o,t a tiny "o$in"
ember and pa#in" it in yo,r #entra #hanne: On#e it is thereD reay +ee its intense heat:

No$D in order to in#rease the heatD "enty #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 "enty ta1e a +, breath thro,"h both nostris: The air tra*es +rom the nostris
do$n thro,"h the ri"ht and e+t #hannes to $here they enter the #entra #hanne E,st
beo$ the e*e o+ the na*e: The air Eoins $ith the heat there and $ith the ener"y bro,"ht
,p +rom beo$:

As yo, stop inhain"D immediatey s$ao$ and p,sh do$n "enty $ith yo,r diaphra"m
in order to +irmy #ompress the ener"y bro,"ht do$n +rom abo*eG no$ the air ener"y is
#ompetey o#1ed inD #ompressed +rom abo*e and beo$:

No$D hod yo,r breath as on" as it is #om+ortabe to do so: Con#entrate #ompetey 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 rea- yo,r i"hty tensed m,s#es and e-hae "enty and #ompetey:
Atho,"h the air ea*es thro,"h the nostrisD *is,ai!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,ay in#reases and spreads and starts to b,rn a$ay the bo#1a"es at ea#h #ha1ra
and to $arm the #on#entration o+ si*ery biss+, ener"y +o,nd at the #ro$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-haation is #ompeteD a"ain ti"hten the o$er m,s#esD inhae a se#ond
timeD s$ao$ and p,sh do$n $ith the diaphra"mD th,s a"ain #ompressin" the air and
intensi+yin" the heat: 'od yo,r breath and #on#entrate on the heatD then e-haeD reeasin"
the air ,p the #entra #hanne on#e a"ain:

)epeat the entire #y#e rhythmi#ay se*en times ato"etherD the intensity o+ the heat
"ro$in" $ith e*ery breath:

At the se*enth e-haationD ima"ine that the no$ b,rnin" hot ember e-podes into +ames:
They shoot ,p the #entra #hanneD #ompetey #ons,min" and p,ri+yin" the de,ded
ener"y at ea#h #ha1ra: At the #ro$nD the +ames +inay met and reease the si*ery
biss+, ener"yD $hi#h po,rs do$n the p,ri+ied #entra #hanne "i*in" in#reasin" peas,re
at ea#h #ha1ra it passes: 4inayD $hen it meets the ba!in" ember at the na*e #ha1raD
there is an e-posion o+ biss: This biss+, heat +o$s o,t to e*ery atom and #e o+ yo,r
bodyD #ompetey +iin" yo,D ma1in" yo,r mind *ery happy:


Con#entrate on this peas,re $itho,t tension or e-pe#tationF $itho,t #in"in" to it or
anay!in" it: 2,st rea- and enEoy it:

5o, $i noti#e thatD no matter ho$ stron" the peas,re isD yo,r mind and body are #am
and #ontroedD ,ni1e o,r ,s,a e-perien#es o+ physi#a peas,re $hen the mind is
e-#ited and ,n#ontroed:

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 biss+, +eein":

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 +eein"D bein" absorbed in it +or some
timeD anay!e it by #ontempatin" ea#h o+ the +oo$in" 8,estions: Ta1e as on" as yo,
i1e:

Is the +eein" permanent or impermanent? 'o$? Why? Is the +eein" biss+,
or s,++erin"? 'o$? Why? Is the +eein" reated or ,nreated to the ner*o,s
system and the mind? 'o$? Why? Does the +eein" e-ist inherentyD +rom its
o$n sideD $itho,t dependin" on anythin" eseD or not? 'o$? 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 eni"htenment +or the
sa1e o+ a i*in" bein"s:

Part #-

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

Abo+t De*oton

3ath

The idea o+ de*otion ma1es some peope ,neasy be#a,se they e8,ate it $ith bind +aith
and mindess 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 +amiyD +riendsD or $or1 is to ha*e o*eD #areD and
responsibiity: In this sense it means "oin" beyond o,r ,s,a narro$D se+-#entered
tho,"hts and #on#ernsD and dedi#atin" o,r ener"y to others:

In a rei"io,s or spirit,a senseD de*otion in*o*es +aith: In %,ddhism +aith is a positi*e
menta stateD and is e-pained 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-#eent
8,aities and abiities: There are three 1inds o+ +aithG one is re#o"ni!in" and appre#iatin"
the "ood 8,aities o+ a person or obEe#tD another is aspirin" to em,ate those 8,aitiesD and
the third is #on*i#tion based on ha*in" st,died and #ontempated 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
stabeD 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 ,nreiabeD $e
$i ony 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+ reyin" ,ponD or t,rnin" toD somethin" +or
",idan#e and hep: 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 ony temporariy be#a,se theyD as $e as the
happiness they brin"D are impermanent and ,nreiabe:

%,ddhist re+,"eD on the other handD in*o*es dis#o*erin" and ,tii!in" the ,nimited
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 reyin" ,pon the Three 2e$esG %,ddhaD DharmaD and
San"ha'

/uddha re+ers both to the eni"htened state itse+Jthe remo*a o+ a ne"ati*e 8,aities
and the per+e#tion o+ a positi*eJand to those $ho ha*e attained eni"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 $isdomD the reai!ations that #omprise the pro"ressi*e sta"es o+ the
path to eni"htenment: The itera meanin" o+ the Sans1rit term Dhar)a is Hto hodIJit
in#,des any method that hods or prote#ts ,s +rom probems: %,ddha.s tea#hin"s are
1no$n as Dharma be#a,se they #ome +rom his a#t,a e-perien#e o+ eiminatin" 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 eni"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 hep $e need to ma1e the pra#ti#e a#t,ay $or1: Ta1in" $ith i1e-minded
+riendsD +or e-ampeD #an "i*e ,s ans$ers to 8,estions and so,tions to probemsF
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 hep:

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+ eni"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 +aseF 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*eop
,nimited 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,ay $e +ind it di++i#,t to +ee "ood abo,t o,rse*es and to ha*e #on+iden#e in o,r
o$n potentiaJinstead $e ta1e re+,"e in o,tside thin"s: 2,st ima"ine the boredomD the
,neasinessD and the "ames the mind $o,d pay i+ $e $ere #ompetey aone +or a dayD or
e*en an ho,rD #,t o++ +rom peopeD boo1sD tee*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 $ord:
'o$e*erD it is possibe to be #ompetey satis+ied and happyD $hate*er the sit,ationD by
reyin" soey on o,r inner reso,r#es: The e-terna re+,"e obEe#ts e-ist to a$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 potentiaD $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 intei"entD based on #ear ,nderstandin" o+ $hat %,ddhaD DharmaD and San"ha reay
are and $hat they #an do +or ,s: We do need hep to tra*e the path to inner a$a1enin"D
b,t $e need to #he#1 #are+,y the 8,ai+i#ations o+ the tea#hers $e meet and the
e++e#ti*eness o+ their methodsD not E,st +oo$ the ad*i#e o+ anyone $ith a ni#e *ibration
or a #harismati# personaity: It.s a 8,estion o+ "ettin" to 1no$ 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 simpy read thro,"h this se#tionD or e-periment $ith
the methods i+ yo, i1e:

The p,rpose and psy#hoo"i#a e++e#ts o+ the pra#ti#es are e-pained here as #eary as
possibeD b,t the rea taste #omes ony 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 primariy on o,r state o+ mindD and the appropriate
inner state #an be ind,#ed thro,"h re#itin" #ertain prayersD *erbay or mentayD $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,ay hep #reate the #a,se +or $hate*er $e re prayin" +or to o##,r in
the +,t,re:

Prayers to be sad at the start of a medtaton sesson

1. 1rayer of refuge and $odhichitta
I "o +or re+,"e ,nti I am eni"htened
To the %,ddhaD the DharmaD and the S,preme Assemby:
%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 inseparabe +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 hod some #ose and others distant:



3. 2efuge in the guru
The ",r, is %,ddhaD the ",r, is DharmaD
The ",r, is San"haD asoF
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*erentyD 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 hoy and ordinary bein"s:
PeaseD 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 eni"htenment:



". Mandala offering
&) *aEra "ro,nd ah hu):

Mi"hty "oden "ro,nd:

&) *aEra +en#e ah hu):

O,tside it is en#ir#ed by the s,rro,ndin" $aD

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 $ish-+,+iin" #o$D ONorthP the ,npo,"hed har*est:

OOn the +irst e*e areGP
the pre#io,s $heeD the pre#io,s Ee$eD the pre#io,s
8,eenD the pre#io,s ministerD the pre#io,s eephantD
the pre#io,s horseD the pre#io,s "eneraD and the "reat
treas,re *ase:



OOn the se#ond e*eD the ei"ht "oddessesGP &ady o+ "ra#eD ady o+ "arandsD
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*eGP The s,n and the moonF the pre#io,s parasoF 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 dei"ht+,:

To my "orio,sD hoy 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+ied:

Pease 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 pease "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+ied 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 $eathD and enEoymentsF
Witho,t any sense o+ ossD I o++er this #oe#tion:
Pease a##ept it $ith peas,re
And bess me $ith +reedom +rom the three poisons:

Ida) guru ratna )andala(a) niryataya)i
?I send +orth this Ee$eed mandaa to yo,D pre#io,s ",r,s:@


Prayers to be sad at the concl+son of a medtaton sesson

#. Dedication of merit

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

19 Prayer of ref+ge and bodhchtta

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 eni"htenment:

The +irst part o+ the prayer deas $ith refuge" the attit,de o+ t,rnin" to the %,ddhaD
DharmaD and San"ha ?the atter bein" aso #aed the HS,preme AssembyI@ +or ",idan#e
and hep ?see pa"e 19<@: )emember the t$o aspe#ts o+ re+,"eD o,ter and innerD and +ee
#on+ident that the seed o+ eni"htenment ies $ithin yo,r o$n mind:

The se#ond part o+ the prayer is the "eneration o+ bodhichitta" the mind set on
eni"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 soey to hep others a#hie*e
eni"htenment too:

The path o+ an eni"htenment-bo,nd personJa bodhisatt*aJin*o*es the de*eopment
o+ the six !erfections ?Sans1ritG !ara)ita@G "i*in"D mora dis#ipineD patien#eD Eoyo,s
e++ortD #on#entrationD and $isdom: These si-D pra#ti#ed $ith the moti*e o+ hepin" others
a#hie*e eni"htenmentD pro*ide no,rishment +or the seed o+ eni"htenment to "ro$ in o,r
o$n mind: The "rad,a de*eopment o+ ea#h per+e#tion pro"ressi*ey erodes o,r
de,sionsD ma1in" spa#e +or the $isdom that ,nderstands reaity:

Anythin" $e doJmeditationD eatin"D seepin"D or $or1in"D a,tomati#ay be#omes a
#a,se +or eni"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 aso *is,ai!e the %,ddha
in +ront o+ yo, ?see pa"e 1<9@D seein" him as the embodiment o+ the 8,aities yo, are
tryin" to de*eop $ithin yo,rse+:

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

The +o,r tho,"hts e-pressed in this prayer are #aed immeas,rabe 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+et re#itation #reates the #a,se
+or o,r de*eopment o+ ,ni*ersa a$areness and #on#ern +or others:

09 )ef+ge n the g+r+

There are #o,ntess bein"s $ho ha*e rea#hed eni"htenmentD and these b,ddhas a#ti*ey
hep a sentient bein"s: The most e++e#ti*e $ay they hep is by instr,#tin" ,s in the
1no$ed"e and te#hni8,es o+ the path to eni"htenment: %e#a,se o+ o,r obs#,rations $e
are ,nabe to per#ei*e eni"htened bein"s dire#tyD 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 abe to ma1e dire#t #onta#t $ith the eni"htened state and e*ent,ay to
a#t,ai!e it o,rse*es: This pra#ti#eD 1no$n as ",r,-yo"aD is the essentia method +or
reai!in" the entire path to eni"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,entyD no
tr,e happiness:

29 The se*en lmbs

ManE,shriD the b,ddha o+ $isdomD on#e "a*e ad*i#e to 2e Tson"1hapa on ho$ to attain
reai!ations: 'e said three thin"s sho,d be pra#ti#ed to"etherG ?1@ prayin" sin#erey 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 reai!e: C,ti*atin" these three #reates the #orre#t #a,ses
and #onditions +or a#t,ai!in" in o,r minds the *ario,s sta"es o+ the path to
eni"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 $hoe bodyD so too does any meditation pra#ti#e need its se*en imbs in
order to be #ompete:

Ea#h imb #an be pra#ti#ed e-tensi*eyF 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#iay prideD
$hi#h dire#ty pre*ents o,r "ro$th o+ $isdom: There are three $ays o+ ma1in"
prostrationsG physi#aD *erbaD and menta:

Physical !rostrations #an be per+ormed in *ario,s $ays: The most #ommon method
amon" Tibetan %,ddhists is as +oo$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,aities 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 dei"ht in "i*in" "i+ts to +riends and sharin" peasant e-perien#es $ith
them: In a spirit,a sense $e o++er bea,ti+, obEe#tsD positi*e tho,"hts and a#tionsD and
the p,re e-perien#e o+ biss to o,r obEe#ts o+ re+,"e: Ma1in" o++erin"s is a po$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*eopment o+ $isdom:

Actual offerings" mentioned in the prayerD are those physi#ay o++ered ?on an atarD +or
e-ampe@ to the obEe#ts o+ re+,"eD $hie i)agined offerings are those $e *is,ai!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: SimpeD insi"ni+i#ant obEe#ts #an be *is,ai!ed and o++ered as the most
bea,ti+, si"htsD so,ndsD tastesD smesD and tan"ibe thin"s ima"inabeF the bene+it o+ s,#h
an o++erin" is enormo,s:

It is said that a yo,n" boy $ho re*erenty o++ered a hand+, o+ sand to the %,ddhaD
*is,ai!in" it as "odD $as ater reborn as the "reat Indian 7in" Asho1aD ar"ey 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 peasin" 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+ eni"htenment +or the bene+it o+ a bein"s: In this
$ay $e #an be a##,m,atin" the #a,ses o+ eni"htenment #ontin,ay $hie "oin" abo,t
o,r daiy 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
Eeao,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"ey 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 !oer 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 ",itD $hi#h in*o*es ne"ati*e +ear
and an-ietyF ratherD it is an intei"ent and honest re#o"nition o+ the nat,re o+ o,r a#tions
and their res,ts:

The !oer of reliance' When $e +a on the "ro,nd it h,rts ,sD b,t $e aso need to rey on
the "ro,nd to "et ba#1 ,p: SimiaryD sin#e $e #reate most ne"ati*e a#tions in reation
either to the Three 2e$es or other sentient bein"sD $e rey 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+ reian#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 "oas yo, hod in yo,r heartD and "eneratin" the $ish to hep and not
harm others:

The !oer 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#iay
on emptinessD $hi#h #o,ntera#t the +or#e o+ pre*io,s ne"ati*e a#tions:

The !oer 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 reaisti# to promise ne*er to 1i a"ainD b,t it $o,d be ,nreaisti# to promise ne*er to
ose o,r temper a"ainD +or e-ampe: 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,ay 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#iay 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 Eeao,sy and
resentmentJ+re8,ent responses $hen someone ese s,##eeds or is happy: 2eao,sy is a
tenseD ,nhappy state o+ mind that #annot bear the happiness o+ othersF reEoi#in" is i"ht
and openD a o*in" response that ao$s ,s to share in their happiness: The bene+itD thenD
is immediateD and $e aso #reate the #a,se to e-perien#e happiness o,rse*es in the
+,t,re:

We reEoi#e aso in the causes o+ happinessG the positi*e a#tions o+ a bein"sD hoy and
ordinaryF and $ish that they $i #ontin,e to be #reated as m,#h as possibe: We #an
reEoi#e at any timeD in any pa#eJ$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 aay+ Atho,"h the b,ddhas a$ays e-ist and
$or1 #ontin,o,sy to hep sentient bein"sD $e #an #onne#t $ith them ony i+ $e #reate
the appropriate #a,ses: )e8,estin" them to remain in the $ord and ",ide ,s is primariy
+or o,r o$n bene+itG it p,ri+ies o,r mind o+ ne"ati*e a#tions done in the past in reation to
",r,s and b,ddhas and heps ,s to open o,r mind and tr,y appre#iate their hep and
inspiration: )e8,estin" the b,ddhas to stay aso #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 $ay to eni"htenment enhan#es o,r appre#iation o+ the Dharma and #o,ntera#ts past
attit,des o+ disrespe#t to$ard spirit,a tea#hin"s: Espe#iayD it ays the +o,ndation +or
ne*er bein" separated +rom tea#hers $ho #an ",ide ,s spirit,ay and +or a$ays ha*in"
the tea#hin"s a*aiabe:

*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,ay important to #on#,de
the a#tion by dedi#atin" the meritJthe "ood ener"y and insi"htJ$e ha*e #reated by
doin" it: We do this by re#ain" o,r initia moti*atin" tho,"htD rene$in" o,r aspiration to
rea#h a #ertain "oaD 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 easiy 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 eni"htenment +or the sa1e o+ a sentient bein"s:

59 Mandala offerng

The mandaa o++erin" in*o*es mentay trans+ormin" the entire ,ni*erseJe*erythin"
that e-istsJinto a p,re ream 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$th on the path to eni"htenment are panted in o,r mind thro,"h
hearin" or readin" the tea#hin"s: These seeds need the no,rishment o+ meritJstron"D
positi*e ener"yJin order to "ro$ and prod,#e insi"hts and reai!ations: O++erin" the
mandaa is said to be one o+ the best means o+ pro*idin" this no,rishment: It aso has
immediate bene+itsG "i*in" +rom the heart in this $ay is a remedy +or atta#hment and
miseriness:

The prayer is $ritten in terms o+ %,ddhist #osmoo"yD in $hi#h Mo,nt Mer, is a Ee$eed
mo,ntain in the #enter o+ the ,ni*erse and the +o,r #ontinents are di++erent reams o+
h,man i+e: The mandaa yo, o++er #an a##ord $ith either Eastern or Western #osmoo"yD
$hi#he*er yo, +ee most #om+ortabe $ithD b,t the point is to o++er everything*a the
*ario,s $ords and reams o+ i*in" bein"s and a the bea,ti+, thin"s $e enEoy:

Ais,ai!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 ream: The en*ironment and bein"s o+ a p,re ream are
#ompeteyD per+e#ty bea,ti+, and ma1e the mind pea#e+, and happyF ,se yo,r
ima"ination to #reate a biss+, paradise:

Imp,re obEe#ts "i*e rise to atta#hmentD irritationD and #on+,sionD $hie p,re obEe#ts "i*e
rise to #earD positi*e states o+ mindD espe#iay the $isdom ,nderstandin" reaity and the
e-perien#e o+ "reat biss:

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 peope and
thin"sJin#,din" yo,r body and beon"in"sJ+or $hi#h yo, ha*e atta#hmentD a*ersionD
and indi++eren#e: Ais,ai!e these obEe#tsD trans+ormed into p,re obEe#ts in the mandaaD
and o++er them a to the b,ddhas: 'a*in" #ompetey "i*en them ,pD there is no$ no
need to ha*e atta#hmentD disi1eD or i"noran#eJthe three poisonsJto$ard any person or
thin":

89 Dedcaton of mert and :9 The bodhchtta ,rayer

See the e-panation 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 $orth$hie "oaJin this #aseD eni"htenment: )e#itin"
these t$o *erses reminds ,s o+ the bodhi#hitta moti*ationG the aspiration to de*eop o*e
and #ompassion +or a bein"s and to attain eni"htenment in order to hep 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 Medtaton on the (rad+ated Path to Enlghtenment

This prayerD #omposed by 2e Tson"1hapaD s,mmari!es the sta"es o+ the "rad,ated path to
eni"htenment as ta,"ht by Sha1yam,ni %,ddha and e,#idated by AtishaD the ee*enth-
#ent,ry Indian pandit:

The +o,ndation o+ a "ood 8,aities is the 1ind and *enerabe ",r,F
Corre#t de*otion to him is the root o+ the path:
%y #eary seein" this and appyin" "reat e++ortD
Pease bess me to rey ,pon him $ith "reat respe#t:

Bnderstandin" that the pre#io,s +reedom o+ this rebirth is +o,nd ony on#eD
Is "reaty meanin"+,D and is di++i#,t to +ind a"ainD
Pease bess 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 $ater b,bbeF
)emember ho$ 8,i#1y it de#ays and death #omes:
A+ter deathD E,st i1e a shado$ +oo$s the bodyD
The res,ts o+ ba#1 and $hite 1arma +oo$:
4indin" +irm and de+inite #on*i#tion in thisD
Pease bess me a$ays to be #are+,
To abandon e*en the si"htest ne"ati*ities
And a##ompish a *irt,o,s deeds:

See1in" samsari# peas,res is the door to a s,++erin"G
They are ,n#ertain and #annot be reied ,pon:
)e#o"ni!in" these short#omin"sD
Pease bess me to "enerate the stron" $ish +or the biss o+ iberation:

&ed by this p,re tho,"htD
Mind+,nessD aertness and "reat #a,tion arise:
The root o+ the tea#hin"s is 1eepin" the pratimo1sha *o$sG
Pease bess me to a##ompish this essentia pra#ti#e:

2,st as I ha*e +aen into the sea o+ samsaraD
So ha*e a mother mi"ratory bein"s:
Pease bess me to see thisD train in s,preme bodhi#hittaD
And bear the responsibiity o+ +reein" mi"ratory bein"s:

E*en i+ I de*eop ony bodhi#hittaD b,t I don.t pra#ti#e the three types o+
moraityD
I $i not a#hie*e eni"htenment:
With my #ear re#o"nition o+ thisD
Pease bess me to pra#ti#e the bodhisatt*a *o$s $ith "reat ener"y:


On#e I ha*e pa#i+ied distra#tions to $ron" obEe#ts
And #orre#ty anay!ed the meanin" o+ reaityD
Pease bess me to "enerate 8,i#1y $ithin my mindstream
The ,ni+ied path o+ #am abidin" and spe#ia insi"ht:

'a*in" be#ome a p,re *esse by trainin" in the "enera pathD
Pease bess me to enter
The hoy "ate$ay o+ the +ort,nate onesG
The s,preme *aEra *ehi#e:

At that timeD the basis o+ a##ompishin" the t$o attainments
Is 1eepin" p,re *o$s and samaya:
As I ha*e be#ome +irmy #on*in#ed o+ thisD
Pease bess me to prote#t these *o$s and ped"es i1e my i+e:

ThenD ha*in" reai!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
Pease bess me to reai!e the tea#hin"s o+ the hoy ",r,:

&i1e thatD may the ",r,s $ho sho$ the nobe path
And the spirit,a +riends $ho pra#ti#e it ha*e on" i*es:
Pease bess me to pa#i+y #ompetey
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 #ompetin" the 8,aities o+ the sta"es and pathsD
May I 8,i#1y attain the state o+ AaEradhara:

2

Medtaton on the %+ddha

%uddha is a Sans1rit $ord that means H+,y a$a1ened:I It re+ers not ony to
Sha1yam,niD or (a,tamaD the +o,nder o+ the tea#hin"s that #ame to be 1no$n as
%,ddhismD b,t aso to any person $ho attains eni"htenment: There are n,mberess
eni"htened bein"sJbein"s $ho ha*e #ompetey trans+ormed their mindsD eiminated a
ne"ati*e ener"yD and be#ome $hoeD 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 abe 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 beie*in"D HI am an an"ry personF I am depressedF I ha*e so many
probemsDI $e don.t e*en "i*e o,rse*es the #han#e to #han"e:

O+ #o,rseD o,r probems are *ery deep and #ompe-D b,t they are not as rea or as soid as
$e thin1: We aso 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,ay de*eopin"
these 8,aities to the point $here they arise spontaneo,sy and e++ortessy: It is not easy
to be#ome eni"htenedD b,t it is possibe: In this meditationD $e *is,ai!e the +orm o+
Sha1yam,ni %,ddha and re#ite his mantra:

Sha1yam,ni $as born a prin#eD SiddharthaD into a *asty $eathy +amiy t$o-and-a-ha+
tho,sand years a"o in the north o+ India: 'e i*ed in his 1in"dom +or t$enty-nine yearsD
shetered +rom the more ,npeasant reaities o+ h,man e-isten#e: 'e e*ent,ay
en#o,ntered themD ho$e*erD in the +orm o+ a si#1 personD an odD senie personD and a
#orpse: These e-perien#es a++e#ted him pro+o,ndy: '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+ baan#e and serenity:

)eai!in" that his $ay o+ i+e ed ony to death and had no reaD astin" *a,eD Prin#e
Siddhartha de#ided to ea*e his home and +amiy 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 eni"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 hep others rea#h eni"htenment
tooF his #ompassion $as imitess:

'e $as no$ thirty-+i*e years od: 'e spent the remainin" +orty-+i*e years o+ his i+e
e-painin" the $ay to ,nderstand the mindD dea $ith probemsD de*eop o*e and
#ompassionD and th,s be#ome eni"htened: 'is tea#hin"s $ere remar1aby +,idD *aryin"
a##ordin" to the needsD #apabiitiesD and personaities o+ his isteners: 'e ed them
s1i+,y to$ard ,nderstandin" the ,timate nat,re o+ reaity:

The %,ddha.s i+e itse+ $as a tea#hin"D an e-ampe o+ the path to eni"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,ay +as a$ay and $e
earn instead to identi+y $ith o,r innate $isdom and #ompassionG o,r o$n b,ddhahood:

The ,ractce

2efuge and motivation Cam yo,r mind by doin" a +e$ moments o+ meditation on the
breath: ThenD #ontempate the prayer o+ ta1in" re+,"e and "eneratin" a bodhi#hitta
moti*ationG

Sha1yam,ni %,ddha

I "o +or re+,"e ,nti I am eni"htened
To the %,ddhaD the DharmaD and the S,preme Assemby:
%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 inabiity 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 hep a bein"s and ead them to the per+e#t pea#e and happiness
o+ eni"htenment I myse+ m,st attain eni"htenment: 4or this p,rpose I sha pra#ti#e this
meditation:I


3isuali4ation of the /uddha E*ery aspe#t o+ the *is,ai!ation is made o+ i"htG
transparentD intan"ibeD and radiant: At the e*e o+ yo,r +orehead and bet$een si- and
ei"ht +eet a$ay is a ar"e "oden throne adorned $ith Ee$es and s,pported at ea#h o+ its
+o,r #orners by a pair o+ sno$ ions: These animasD in reaity 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
symboi!e the three prin#ipa reai!ations o+ the path to eni"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 reai!ations and is the
embodiment o+ a eni"htened bein"s: 'is body is o+ "oden i"ht and he $ears the
sa++ron robes o+ a mon1: 'is robes do not a#t,ay to,#h his body b,t are separated +rom
it by abo,t an in#h: 'e is seated in the *aEraD or +,-ot,sD post,re: The pam o+ his ri"ht
hand rests on his ri"ht 1neeD the +in"ers to,#hin" the moon #,shionD si"ni+yin" his "reat
#ontro: 'is e+t hand rests in his ap in the meditation poseD hodin" a bo$ +ied $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 smiin"D #ompassionate "a!e is dire#ted at yo, andD
sim,taneo,syD 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-ba#1 and ea#h hair is
indi*id,ay #,red 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,ay #omposed o+ #o,ntess miniat,re b,ddhasD some
"oin" o,t to hep 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#ain" his
per+e#t 8,aities and his $iin"ness and abiity to hep yo,: Ma1e a re8,est +rom yo,r
heart to re#ei*e his bessin"s to hep yo, to be#ome +ree +rom a yo,r ne"ati*e ener"yD
mis#on#eptionsD and other probemsF and to re#ei*e a the reai!ations o+ the path to
eni"htenment:

5o,r re8,est is a##epted: A stream o+ p,ri+yin" $hite i"htD $hi#h is in the nat,re o+ the
eni"htened mindD +o$s +rom %,ddha.s heart and enters yo,r body thro,"h the #ro$n o+
yo,r head: 2,st as the dar1ness in a room is instanty dispeed the moment a i"ht is
s$it#hed onD so too is the dar1ness o+ yo,r ne"ati*e ener"y dispeed ,pon #onta#t $ith
this radiant $hite i"ht:

As it +o$s into yo,D +iin" yo,r body #ompeteyD re#ite the +oo$in" prayer three times:

To the ",r,D +o,nderD %ha"a*anD tatha"ataD arhatD
Per+e#ty #ompeted b,ddhaD
(orio,s #on8,eror Sha1yam,ni %,ddhaD
I prostrateD ma1e o++erin"sD and "o +or re+,"e:
Pease "rant me yo,r bessin"s:

No$D re#ite %,ddha.s mantraD tadyatha o) )uni )uni )aha )uniye svaha ?prono,n#ed
ta3ya3ta o) )oo3nee )oo3nee )a3ha )oo3na3yay so3ha@' )epeat it o,t o,dD or #hant itD
at east se*en timesD then say it 8,iety to yo,rse+ +or a +e$ min,tes:

When yo, ha*e +inished re#itin"D +ee that a yo,r ne"ati*e ener"yD probems and s,bte
obs#,rations ha*e been #ompetey p,ri+ied: 5o,r body +ees biss+, and i"ht:
Con#entrate on this +or a $hie:


2eceiving inspiring strength Ais,ai!e that a stream o+ "oden 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-#eent 8,aities o+ his p,re bodyD spee#hD and mind:

'e #an trans+orm his body into di++erent +ormsD animate and inanimateD to hep 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,sy to
bein"s o+ *ario,s e*es o+ de*eopment and be ,nderstood by them in their respe#ti*e
an",a"es:

'is omnis#ient mind sees #eary 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,aities +o$ into e*ery part o+ yo,r body: Con#entrate on this
biss+, e-perien#e $hie 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-#eent
8,aities o+ %,ddha.s bodyD spee#hD and mind: 5o,r body +ees i"ht and biss+,:
Con#entrate on this +or some time:


-$sorption of the visuali4ation No$D *is,ai!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 mets 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 #ompetey: In that instant yo, be#ome one $ith the %,ddha.s
biss+,D omnis#ient mind in the aspe#t o+ *ast empty spa#e:

Con#entrate on this e-perien#e +or as on" as possibeD ao$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 pa#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#ty as yo, had *is,ai!ed be+ore
in +ront o+ yo,: 4ee that yo, are %,ddha: Identi+y $ith his eni"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 +iin" a o+ spa#e are a i*in" bein"s: (enerate
o*e and #ompassion +or them by re#ain" that they too $ant to a#hie*e happiness and
pea#e o+ mind and +reedom +rom a probems: No$ that yo, are eni"htened yo, #an
hep 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 syabes o+ the mantraD tadyatha o) )uni )uni )aha
)uniye svaha' The seed-syabe )u) ?prono,n#ed )oo)@ stands at the moon.s #enter:

Ais,ai!e that rays o+ i"htJa#t,ay yo,r $isdom and #ompassionJemanate +rom e*ery
etter and spread in a dire#tions: They rea#h the #o,ntess sentient bein"s s,rro,ndin"
yo, and #ompetey p,ri+y them o+ their obs#,rations and de,sions and +i them $ith
inspiration and stren"th:

Whie 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
eni"htenmentD th,s +,+iin" my intention +or doin" this meditation:I

Ais,ai!e that e*eryone s,rro,ndin" yo, is no$ in the +orm o+ %,ddha and is
e-perien#in" #ompete biss and the $isdom o+ emptiness:

5o, sho,d not $orry that yo,r meditation is a sham and that yo, ha*e not heped e*en
one person a#hie*e eni"htenment: This pra#ti#e is 1no$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 eni"htenment: It heps ,s
de*eop +irm #on*i#tion in o,r innate per+e#tionJo,r b,ddha-potentiaF that $hat $e
ha*e E,st done in meditation $e $i de+initey a##ompish 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+ eni"htenment +or the
bene+it o+ a i*in" bein"s:

E-,lanaton of the mantra

Tadyatha Th,s

&) The eni"htened stateF the positi*e 8,aities o+ the b,ddhas. bodiesD spee#hD and
minds:

Muni ControJo*er ,n+ort,nate rebirths and se+-"raspin" i"noran#e:

Muni ControJo*er the s,++erin"s o+ #y#i# e-isten#e and the se+-#herishin" attit,de:

Maha )uniye (reat #ontroJo*er the s,++erin"s o+ s,bte i,sions and d,aisti#
thin1in":

Svaha May my mind re#ei*eD absorbD and 1eep the bessin"s o+ the mantraD and may they
ta1e root in my mind:

5

Medtaton on the 'ealng %+ddha

%,ddhism pa#es a "reat dea o+ emphasis on the interreationship bet$een o,r mindD o,r
bodyD and o,r heath: %,ddha e-pained 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 heath 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
peope s,++erin" +rom #hroni# emotiona stress s,#h as an-ietyD depressionD or an"er and
hostiity ha*e do,be the a*era"e ris1 o+ be#omin" serio,sy i: AsoD many do#tors and
psy#hoo"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 ,tii!ed in #onE,n#tion $ith
medi#ine and other treatments to o*er#ome iness: These in#,de i*in" ethi#ayD
meditation pra#ti#e to red,#e stressD and $or1in" on dist,rbin" emotions s,#h as an"erD
+earD and depression: There are aso a n,mber o+ heain" pra#ti#es that in*o*e *is,ai!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 'eain" %,ddhaD ,s,ay re+erred to as the Medi#ine %,ddha:

Whie on the path to eni"htenmentD the Medi#ine %,ddha made a series o+ *o$s to hep
sentient bein"s d,rin" di++i#,t times s,#h as o,r o$nD $hen there is an in#rease in
de,sionsD so#ia probemsD $arsD nat,ra disastersD and menta and physi#a diseases: The
pra#ti#e o+ Medi#ine %,ddha is parti#,ary bene+i#ia +or peope $ho are iD in a #omaD
or dyin": %,t the pra#ti#e is aso e++e#ti*e in #earin" a$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+ hepD
in $hi#h #ase yo, $o,d *is,ai!e the Medi#ine %,ddha abo*e that person.s head:

The ,ractce

Sit #om+ortaby $ith yo,r ba#1 strai"ht: Ta1e a +e$ min,tes to sette 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 heain" pra#ti#e is most e++e#ti*e $hen done $ith an atr,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 hep 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,ai!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 $ay as yo,: 'is body is
made o+ bri"ht roya-b,e i"htD the #oor o+ apis a!,i: E*ery aspe#t o+ the *is,ai!ation
is made o+ i"ht and radiates i"ht: 'is ri"ht hand rests on his ri"ht 1nee in the "est,re o+
"rantin" s,bime reai!ations and hods the stem o+ an arura ?myrobaan@ pant bet$een
his th,mb and +irst +in"er: 'is e+t handD in his apD is in the "est,re o+ #on#entration and
hods a apis a!,i bo$ +ied $ith ne#tar: 'e $ears the three sa++ron robes o+ a mon1D
and has a the si"ns and mar1s o+ a +,y-eni"htened %,ddha: 'is +a#e is pea#e+, and
smiin"D oo1in" at a i*in" bein"s in the ,ni*erse $ith #ompassion and o*in"-1indness:

Spend some time #ontempatin" the *is,ai!ation o+ the Medi#ine %,ddha: Bnderstand
that he is the embodiment o+ a eni"htened bein"s and their s,bime 8,aities: 4ee the
pea#e and #ompassion emanatin" +rom him:

I+ yo, $ishD yo, #an re#ite the +oo$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 eni"htened
To the %,ddhaD the DharmaD and the S,preme
Assemby:
%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 inseparabe +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 hod some #ose and others distant:


1rayer to the Medicine /uddha

To the bha"a*anD tatha"ataD arhatD +,y eni"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,ai!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 +is yo,r body and p,ri+ies a diseaseD a++i#tions d,e
to spirits or ba#1 ma"i#D as $e as the #a,se o+ these probemsG 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 ba#1 i8,idD i1e en"ine oi: 5o,r body be#omes as #ean and #ear as #rysta: 5o,
#an aso ima"ine that a other bein"s are bein" p,ri+ied in the same $ay:


2icitation of Mantra Do this *is,ai!ation $hie re#itin" the mantra o+ the Medi#ine
%,ddhaG
tadyatha o) bhaisha,ye bhaisha,ye )aha bhaisha,ye ra,a sa)udgate svaha
?Whi#h Tibetans prono,n#eG tayata o) be(an%ey be(an%ey )aha be(an%ey
rad%a sa)ungatey soha@: )e#ite se*en timesD t$enty-one timesD or more:


Then re#ite the mantra a"ainD as many times as yo, $ishD and *is,ai!e that the i"ht
+o$in" +rom the Medi#ine %,ddha +is yo,r body a"ainD brin"in" a the reai!ations o+
the path to eni"htenmentD and a the 8,aities 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,ay re#ei*ed a these e-#eent 8,aitiesG that yo, ha*e re#ei*ed the bessin"s and
inspiration o+ the Medi#ine %,ddha:


-$sorption 4inayD *is,ai!e that the Medi#ine %,ddha mets into i"htD $hi#h absorbs
into yo,r heart: 5o,r mind be#omes one $ith the eni"htened mind o+ a b,ddhas: &et
yo,r mind rest +or a $hie in a state that is #ompetey #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 heath and happiness to a sentient bein"sD and may
be the #a,se +or their e*ent,a attainment o+ eni"htenment: I+ yo, $ishD yo, #an aso
re#ite the +oo$in" dedi#ation prayersG
Thro,"h these merits
May I 8,i#1y attain the state o+ Medi#ine %,ddhaD
And ead a i*in" bein"sD $itho,t e-#eptionD
Into that eni"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-,lanaton of the mantra

Tadyatha Th,s

&) Si"ni+ies the eni"htened stateF the positi*e 8,aities o+ the b,ddhas. bodiesD spee#h
and minds:

-haisha,ye Medi#ineF heain"F eimination o+ pain: 'ere it si"ni+ies heain" the pain o+
o,r physi#a and menta s,++erin"s: -haisha,ye 'eain": 'ere it si"ni+ies heain" the pain
o+ the #a,ses o+ s,++erin"G de,sions and 1arma:

Maha bhaisha,ye (reat heain": This si"ni+ies heain" e*en the s,bte 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 bessin"s o+ the mantraD and may they
ta1e root in my mind:

8

Medtaton on the Eght @erses of Tho+ght Transformaton

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 orthhile )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+ortabeD
tryin" to +,+i o,r desiresD and $orryin" abo,t o,r probemsD ony o##asionay +indin"
the ener"y and the spa#e to reay 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+ortabe #hair in the roomF to p,sh to the head o+ the 8,e,e or dri*e as i+ o,rs $ere
the ony #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,btyD tooF it ies behind o,r irritationD prideD
Eeao,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*ery #on#erned $ith )e' We +ee that ,ness $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
insatiabeJtryin" to +,+i its $ishes is a ne*er-endin" Eob: No matter ho$ m,#h $e
ha*eD e"o #ontin,o,sy "ro$s restess and oo1s +or more: We ne*er rea#h a point $here
$e +ee ,timatey 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 $hat is east dist,rbin" +or othersD e"o is "rad,ay s,bd,ed and o,r
i+e and reationships ta1e on a ne$ dimension:

%,t the attit,de o+ #herishin" others is not based on disi1in" onese+ or s,ppressin" one.s
+eein"s: It is de*eoped by "rad,ay #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" +amiyD
that $e a depend on ea#h otherD and there is no s,#h thin" as an o,tsiderF that se+-
#herishin" brin"s probems and #herishin" others brin"s pea#e o+ mind:

It is not easy to de*eop ,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 ony
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,it ,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 beon"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*eopment o+ bodhi#hittaD the mind aspirin" to rea#h eni"htenment +or the
sa1e o+ a bein"s:

This pra#ti#eD #omposed by &ama Copa )inpo#heD #ombines a meditation on
A*ao1itesh*araD the b,ddha o+ #ompassionD $ith an ei"ht-*erse prayer #ontainin" the
essen#e o+ tho,"ht trans+ormationD $ritten by an ee*enth #ent,ry meditation masterD
&an"ri Tan"pa:

The ,ractce

Motivation Seated #om+ortaby $ith a 8,ietD rea-ed mindD "enerate a stron" and positi*e
moti*ation +or doin" this meditation: )e+e#t ,pon the points o+ the "rad,ated path to
eni"htenment ?pa"e 1<0@ or ,pon the +oo$in"G
It is not eno,"h merey to ens,re that I a*oid s,++erin" in this and +,t,re
i+etimes:

I m,st be#ome #ompetey +ree +rom #y#i# e-isten#eD the endess ro,nd o+
death and rebirth:

%,t this too is inade8,ate: 'o$ #an I attain the biss 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 sheter I ha*eF a the
m,si#D mo*ies and other peas,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+ peope yo, 1no$Jreati*esD +riendsD and nei"hbors: What probemsD
physi#a and mentaD are they e-perien#in"? 2,st as yo, do not $ant probems 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 responsibiity +or +reein" all sentient bein"s +rom their
s,++erin" and eadin" them to the biss o+ eni"htenment: %,t to a##ompish this yo,
yo,rse+ m,st be eni"htened:

Eni"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,ai!e at the e*e o+ yo,r +oreheadD a body.s en"th a$ayD
A*ao1itesh*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*ao1itesh*ara is the mani+estation o+ and inseparabe +rom
him or her:

'is body is o+ p,re $hite i"ht and radiates rainbo$ i"ht o+ +i*e #oorsG $hiteD redD b,eD
"reenD and yeo$: 'e has a "ente smie 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$o are to"ether at his heart and hod a pre#io,s
Ee$e that is #apabe o+ +,+iin" the $ishes o+ e*ery i*in" bein": 'is other ri"ht hand
hods 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 $ears e-8,isite si1 #othes and pre#io,s Ee$eed ornaments: An anteope s1in #o*ers
his e+t sho,der and breast: The entire *is,ai!ation is o+ radiant i"ht:

?See pa"e 1;6 +or an e-panation o+ the +oo$in" prayers:@

The seven lim$s

)e*erentyD I prostrate to (,r, A*ao1itesh*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 hoy and ordinary bein"s:
PeaseD 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 eni"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+ied 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#1y attain eni"htenment:
Pre#io,s ",r,D pease "rant me bessin"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 $ron" #on#eptions
And re#ei*e immediatey the t$o pre#io,s bodhi#hittas:

Ida) guru ratna )andala(a) niryataya)i
I send +orth this Ee$eed mandaa to yo, pre#io,s ",r,s:

A*ao1itesh*ara is e-tremey peased $ith yo,r re8,est and ,pon his ot,s and moon seat
des#ends to the #ro$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,ai!e a stream o+ biss+, $hite ne#tar po,rin" o,t +rom the syabe
hri at A*ao1itesh*ara.s heartD +o$in" into yo,r body thro,"h the #ro$n o+ yo,r head: It
+is yo, #ompeteyD p,ri+yin" a yo,r ne"ati*ities and obs#,rations and brin"in" a
reai!ationsJin parti#,ar the obs#,rations and reai!ations mentioned in the *erse yo,
are meditatin" ,pon:


1:
With the tho,"ht o+ attainin" eni"htenment
4or the $e+are o+ a bein"sD
Who are more pre#io,s than $ish-+,+iin" Ee$esD
I $i #onstanty pra#ti#e hodin" 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*eop "enerosityD o*eD patien#eD and other atr,isti# 8,aities or to o*er#ome o,r
se+ishness:

The ne#tar +rom A*ao1itesh*ara p,ri+ies the se+-#herishin" tho,"ht that pre*ents me
+rom hodin" others more dear and besto$s the reai!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+ aD
And +rom the *ery depths o+ my heart
I $i hod 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 $e sho,d #ontin,ay re#o"ni!e their "ood 8,aities and
potentiaD and re#a o,r o$n +a,ts and short#omin"s:

The ne#tar p,ri+ies pride and se+-#herishin" and brin"s the reai!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 deay:

This *erse stresses the importan#e o+ mind+,ness: Thro,"ho,t the dayD in e*erythin" $e
doJ$or1in"D ta1in"D $at#hin" tee*isionD meditatin"J$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 Eeao,syD or pride arisesD
$e sho,d ta1e note o+ it and dea $ith it as soon as possibe: 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 +eein" and
per#eption:

The ne#tar p,ri+ies the obs#,rations that pre*ent me +rom #on+rontin" and deain" $ith
,ns,bd,ed tho,"hts and brin"s the reai!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$hemed by ne"ati*e ener"y and intense s,++erin"D
I $i hod 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 +eein"s to$ard peope $ho are 1ind and "ood-
nat,redD b,t o,r o*e is reay p,t to the test $hen $e meet peope $ith m,#h ne"ati*e
ener"y: %e#a,se they "i*e ,s the #han#e to see ho$ stron" o,r patien#e and #ompassion
areJand th,s brin" ,s do$n to earth as +ar as o,r spirit,a de*eopment 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 reai!ation o+ bodhi#hittaD $hi#h hods e*en
harm+, bein"s dear:


6:
When othersD o,t o+ Eeao,syD
Mistreat me $ith ab,seD sanderD 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"riy 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 probaby thin1 o+
many instan#es $hen $e #riti#i!ed others:

We #an try to ta1 $ith the person $ho is #ompainin"Jnot $ith an"er b,t #ompassionJ
to "et them to #am do$n and thin1 more positi*eyD b,t i+ they re+,se to be reasonabe
$e sho,d E,st et "o and a##ept the sit,ation: Any$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 reai!ations that enabe me to do this:


9:
When someone I ha*e bene+ited
And in $hom I ha*e pa#ed "reat tr,st
',rts me *ery badyD
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 reay no s,#h thin" as ,ndeser*ed harm: This idea may be di++i#,t to a##eptD
espe#iay $hen the harm #omes +rom someone $e ha*e heped and +rom $hom $e
e-pe#t at east "ratit,de: %,t it is a 8,estion o+ be#omin" +amiiar $ith the a$ o+ #a,se
and e++e#tJ$e m,st ne#essariy ha*e #reated the #a,se to be harmed: AsoD i+ $e ha*e
"ood ,nderstandin" o+ the importan#e o+ de*eopin" patien#eD $e $i be abe to see that
someone $ho harms ,s is "i*in" ,s a *a,abe 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 enabes me to do this:


;:
In shortD I $i o++er dire#ty and indire#ty
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 othersJrepa#in" the
attit,de o+ #herishin" onese+ $ith that o+ #herishin" others: Normay $e $or1 on
ma1in" o,rse*es happy and a*oidin" probemsD e*en i+ it means h,rtin" othersD b,t here
$e re*erse o,r prioritiesF $e aspire to "i*e happiness to others and to ta1e on their
probemsD indi++erent to o,r o$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 reai!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+ied by the stains o+ the ei"ht $ordy #on#ernsD
AndD +ree +rom #in"in"D I $i reease 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 $ordy #on#ernsJ
atta#hment to peas,reD praiseD "ainD and +ameD and a*ersion to painD bameD ossD and
notorietyJthe a#tion is non-dharmaD non-spirit,a: %y reai!in" the i,soryD dream-i1e
nat,re o+ a thin"s and a sit,ationsD $e nat,ray earn to et "o and #in" ess ti"hty 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 hep 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 reai!ation o+ emptinessD $hi#h +rees
me +rom the bonda"e o+ the ,ns,bd,ed mind and 1arma:


6ompletion Ma1e the +oo$in" re8,est +rom the depths o+ yo,r heart:

To yo,D "reaty #ompassionate oneD I re8,estG
Pease e-tend yo,r hoy hand and ead me and a bein"s
To the biss+, p,re ream a+ter this i+e:
Pease be o,r spirit,a +riend in a i*es
And ead ,s 8,i#1y to eni"htenment:


A*ao1itesh*ara a##epts yo,r re8,est: A stream o+ ne#tar +o$s +rom his heart into yo,D
#ompetey +iin" yo,r body and mind: A obs#,rationsD ne"ati*e imprintsD and diseases
are p,ri+ied instanty: 5o,r body be#omes #rysta-#ear: Then A*ao1itesh*ara mets into
i"ht and absorbs into yo,:

Ima"ine yo, are no$ one $ith A*ao1itesh*araF yo,r bodyD spee#hD and mind
indistin",ishaby one $ith his hoy bodyD spee#hD and mind: 5o, are s,rro,nded in a
dire#tions by a sentient bein"s:


-valo7iteshvara.s mantra No$D $hie re#itin" the mantra o) )ani !ad)e hu)"
*is,ai!e #o,ntess rays o+ i"ht radiatin" +rom yo,r heartD ea#h $ith a tiny
A*ao1itesh*ara at its tip: These #ompassionate b,ddhas sette 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:
4inayD they absorb into the sentient bein"sD $ho a be#ome one $ith A*ao1itesh*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 #ompetey reno,n#in" anythin" done +or my o$n sa1e
And by en"a"in" in the hoy a#tions o+ the 1ind +o,nderD Sha1yam,ni
%,ddha:

Thro,"h these merits
May I 8,i#1y 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 nobeD to that eni"htened state:

:

Prayer to Tara

Why is it that some peope s,##eed in neary e*ery thin" they set o,t to do $hie others
+ai #onstanty? We say that those $ho s,##eed are H,#1yDI b,t %,ddhism e-pains that
in the past they ha*e #reated the #a,ses to e-perien#e their s,##essJother$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 "oaD the "reater the obsta#es: An
e++e#ti*e method +or o*er#omin" these probems and a#hie*in" s,##ess is ma1in" prayers
and re8,ests to TaraD the &iberator:

Tara is a mani+estation o+ the $isdomD #ompassionD o*e andD in parti#,arD the s1i+,
a#ti*ity o+ a eni"htened bein"s: Ea#h detai o+ her ima"e represents a di++erent aspe#t o+
the pathG +or e-ampeD her "reen #oor symboi!es her abiity to a#t: 'er ri"ht hand is in
the "est,re o+ "rantin" s,bime reai!ations and her e+t in the "est,re o+ re+,"e: 'er
+emae +orm demonstrates that eni"htenment is attainabe by aJ$omen and men ai1e:

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-panation on pa"e 219'

There is a story abo,t ho$ this +i*e-ine prayer ori"inated: In the tenth #ent,ryD the
transator +or AtishaD the "reat Indian tea#her $ho i*ed in TibetD be#ame i: DromtonpaD
Atisha.s dis#ipeD predi#ted that i+ the transator re#ited the T$enty-one Aerses in Praise
o+ Tara ten tho,sand timesD he $o,d re#o*er +rom his iness: 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+ $hi#h is e8,i*aent to
re#itation o+ the t$enty-one *erses: The transator #ompeted the ten tho,sand repetitions
and soon a+ter re#o*ered +,y +rom his iness:

Tara the &iberator


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

The ,ractce

Ais,ai!e Tara in the spa#e be+ore yo,D emerad "reen in #oorD 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 soid or #on#rete: 'er e+t e" is dra$n ,pD si"ni+yin" her
#ompete #ontro o*er desireD and her ri"ht e" is e-tendedD indi#atin" that she is ready to
rise to the aid o+ a bein"s: 'er e+t hand is at her heart in the re+,"e "est,reG pam +a#in"
o,t$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,bime reai!ationsG pam +a#in"
o,t$ardD $ith the +in"ers oosey pointin" do$n: In ea#h hand she hods the stem o+ a
b,e ,tpaa +o$erD symbo o+ the ,nbo#1in" o+ the #entra #hanne: She is bea,ti+,y
adorned $ith si1 "arments and Ee$e ornamentsD and her smiin" +a#e radiates o*e and
#ompassion:

A sentient bein"sD in h,man +ormD s,rro,nd yo,G the peope 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 #ompetey s,rro,nded by a sentient bein"sD as +ar as the eye #an see: E*eryone
Eoins yo, in re#itin" the +oo$in" prayers:


2efuge and $odhichitta motivation

I "o +or re+,"e ,nti I am eni"htened
To the %,ddhaD the Dharma and the S,preme Assemby:
%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 inseparabe +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 hod some #ose and others distant:


The seven lim$s

)e*erentyD 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 hoy and ordinary bein"s:
PeaseD 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 eni"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+ied 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$eed mandaa 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 $ordy a#ti*itiesD the heath and on" i+e o+ yo,r reati*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 $hie 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 dispein" a +earsD
(rantin" a bene+its $ith tureD
To her $ith so,nd svahaD I bo$:

As yo, re#ite the prayer *is,ai!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,syD 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 eni"htenment:

)emember the probems o+ a the peope yo, are prayin" +or: Thin1 aso o+ the
s,++erin"s and tro,bes bein" e-perien#ed by the sentient bein"s s,rro,ndin" yo,G peope
+i"htin" $arsD +eein" i or oneyF those +, o+ an"erD prideD or Eeao,sy: As the rays and
ne#tar enter their bodies and mindsD their s,++erin" and the #a,ses o+ their s,++erin" are
#ompetey e-tin",ished: A sentient bein"s be#ome totay 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,ai!e the p,ri+i#ation
des#ribed abo*eD and d,rin" the se#ond ha+ yo, #an *is,ai!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,ai!ed in +ront o+ yo, and disso*es into yo, and e*eryone ese: 5o, a be#ome
#ompetey one $ith Tara.s hoy bodyD spee#hD and mind:

Dedication

D,e to the merits o+ these *irt,o,s a#tions
May I 8,i#1y attain the state o+ Tara
And ead a i*in" bein"sD $itho,t e-#eptionD
Into that eni"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-,lanaton of the mantra

&) #ontains three so,ndsG ah" oh" and ))" and si"ni+ies the immeas,rabe 8,aities o+
the eni"htened bein"s. hoy 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,ai!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 hoy bodyD spee#hD and mind:

'ereD o) is the "oa and tare tuttare ture is the path:

Tare+ HShe $ho iberates:I Bs,ayD HTaraI means to iberate +rom ,n+ort,nate rebirthsD
the s,++erin"s o+ #y#i# e-isten#eD and the s,bte trap o+ nir*ana:

Atho,"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 biss+, state o+ pea#e and be"in to $or1 +or sentient
bein"s: Compared $ith the moti*ation o+ attainin" eni"htenment in order to $or1 +or
othersD the "oa o+ attainin" nir*ana +or onese+ aone is imited: Th,s Tara +rees ,s not
ony +rom #y#i# e-isten#e b,t aso +rom the biss+, state o+ pea#e and eads ,s to
eni"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+ eni"htenment:

'ereD ho$e*erD the meanin" o+ tare is e-pained as bein" iberation +rom #y#i# e-isten#eD
the +irst o+ the +o,r tr,thsJs,++erin":

Tuttare+ HWho eiminates 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 eephantF the s,++erin" o+ Eeao,syD
$hi#h is i1e a sna1eF the s,++erin" o+ prideD $hi#h is i1e a ionF the s,++erin" o+
miserinessD $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 reease ,s +rom not ony the interna
s,++erin"s o+ the de,sions b,t aso +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 nobe tr,ths@J1armaD and the de,sions that "i*e rise to 1arma: %y re#itin" itD o,r
+ears #an be dispeedD $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 "oas o+ pra#titioners ha*in"
the three e*es 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 eni"htenmentD the "oa o+
the hi"hest e*e o+ moti*ation: HA s,##essI aso re+ers to s,##ess in a p,rs,its o+ this
i+eJin reationshipsD in b,sinessD in +indin" per+e#t #onditions +or o,r Dharma pra#ti#eD
and in a##ompishin" o,r Dharma "oas:

Svaha+ Ea#h $ord o+ the mantra +rom o) to svaha per+orms a parti#,ar +,n#tionD as
e-pained abo*eF ea#h brin"s "reat bene+it: Th,s Hto svaha and the other syabes $e
o++er the "reatest homa"e:I

Svaha itse+ means HMay the bessin"s o+ Tara that are #ontained in the mantra o) tare
tuttare ture ta1e root in o,r hearts:I I+ $e $ant to "ro$ appes in o,r "ardenD $e sho,d
pant the root o+ an appe tree: SimiaryD i+ $e $ant to attain eni"htenment $e sho,d
pant in o,r heart the root o+ the #ompete 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 bessin"sF
thro,"h Tara.s bessin"s enterin" o,r heart $e are abe to "enerate the entire path to
eni"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 hoy bodyD spee#hD and
mind:

;

@aDrasatt*a P+rfcaton

WhyD $hen $e sit do$n to meditateD does o,r mind $ander hepessy here and there?
Why is it so di++i#,t to #ontro the mind and attain reai!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
probems: It is not that $e a#1 $isdom or the abiity to meditate properyD 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#ay as dis#om+ort or
restessness and mentay as seepinessD 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 possibe to sti the stormD to p,ri+y the ne"ati*e ener"y that pre*ents ,s +rom
a#t,ai!in" the path to eni"htenment: An espe#iay 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 #ompetey:

Compete p,ri+i#ation o+ o,r ne"ati*e 1armaJ$hi#h ens,res that $e $i ne*er need to
e-perien#e the res,ts o+ o,r ne"ati*e a#tionsJdepends on stron"D p,re #on+ession: The
+o,r steps in this ar"ey interna pra#ti#e are 1no$n as the +o,r opponent po$ers ?see
aso pa"e =>@:

The t$o meditations hereJby &ama Copa )inpo#heJ#ombine *is,ai!ation o+
AaErasatt*a $ith the +o,r po$ersF one is done $hie sittin" and the other $hie
prostratin":

The ,ractce whle sttng

1. The po)er of reliance

Ais,ai!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 $ith
bea,ti+, ornaments and #othes o+ #eestia si1: E*ery aspe#t o+ this *is,ai!ation is in
the nat,re o+ i"ht: 'e has t$o handsD #rossed at his heartG the ri"ht hods a *aEraD
symboi# o+ "reat bissF the e+t hods a beD symboi# o+ the $isdom o+ emptiness: The
*aEra and be to"ether si"ni+y his attainment o+ the eni"htened stateD the inseparabe
,nity o+ the $isdom and +orm bodies: At his heart is a moon dis1 $ith the seed syabe
hu) at its #enter and the etters o+ the h,ndred-syabe mantra o+ AaErasatt*a standin"
#o#1$ise aro,nd its ed"e:

'odin" this *is,ai!ation #eary in yo,r mindD re#ite the +oo$in" prayer:


2efuge and $odhichitta

I ta1e re+,"e in the s,bime pre#io,s threeF
I $i iberate a sentient bein"s
And ead them to eni"htenmentF
Th,s per+e#ty do I "enerate bodhi#hitta: ?0 times@

2. The po)er of regret

)e#oe#t $ith deep re"ret the spe#i+i# ne"ati*ities yo, ha*e #reated: Then meditate
deepy on the meanin" o+ the +oo$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": Atho,"h e*ery ne"ati*e a#tion eads
to #o,ntess eons o+ s,++erin"D it seems that I am #onstanty 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+as #ome to me i1e rain+a: I a#1 the abiity 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,ddeny die and +ind myse+ +ain" to an ,n+ort,nate rebirth: What #an
I do? PeaseD AaErasatt*aD $ith yo,r "reat #ompassionD ",ide me +rom s,#h
misery/


3. The po)er of remedy

Ais,ai!e i"ht radiatin" in a dire#tions +rom the hu) at AaErasatt*a.s heartD re8,estin"
the b,ddhas to besto$ their bessin"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+ mi1 and are absorbed into the hu) and mantra at
AaErasatt*a.s heart: 4iin" his hoy body #ompeteyD they enhan#e the ma"ni+i#en#e o+
his appearan#eD and in#rease the briian#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 $hie re#itin" AaErasatt*a.s mantraD *is,ai!e that $hite rays o+ i"ht and ne#tar
stream do$n #ontin,o,sy +rom the hu) and mantra at AaErasatt*a.s heart: They
penetrate the #ro$n o+ yo,r headD +iin" yo,r body and mind $ith in+inite biss:

It is +ine to re#ite the short mantraD o) va,rasattva hu)" b,t it is hi"hy re#ommended to
,se the h,ndred-syabe mantra'

o) va,rasattva sa)aya )anu !alaya 9 va,rasattva deno !atitha dido )ay
bhaa 9 suto (ayo )ay bhaa 9 su!o (ayo )ay bhaa 9 anu ra(to )ay
bhaa 9 sara siddhi )ay !ar ya tsa 9 sara (ar)a su tsa )ay 9 tsi ta) shri
ya) (uru hu) 9 ha ha ha ha ho 9 bhagaan 9 sara tathagata 9 va,ra )a )ay
)u tsa 9 va,ra bhaa )aha sa)aya sattva 9 ah hu) !ay 9


Contin,e re#itin" the mantra and *is,ai!in" the +o$ o+ i"ht and ne#tarD $hie aso
per+ormin" the +oo$in" +o,r *is,ai!ations in t,rn:

1urification of $ody 5o,r de,sions and ne"ati*ities in "eneraD and parti#,ary those o+
the bodyD ta1e the +orm o+ ba#1 in1D and si#1nesses and a++i#tions #a,sed by spirits ta1e
the +orm o+ s#orpionsD sna1esD +ro"sD and #rabs: 4,shed o,t by the i"ht and ne#tarD they
a ea*e yo,r body thro,"h the o$er openin"sD i1e +ithy $ater +o$in" +rom a drain-
pipe: 5o, are no$ #ompetey emptied o+ these probemsF 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 $ater +is a dirty "assG the
ne"ati*itiesD i1e the dirt in the "assD rise to the top and +o$ o,t thro,"h the ,pper
openin"s o+ yo,r body: 5o, are #ompetey emptied o+ these probemsF 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 instanty disappears: 5o, are #ompetey emptied o+ these probemsF they no
on"er e-ist any$here:

0imultaneous purification 4inayD *is,ai!e these three p,ri+i#ations sim,taneo,syF
they s$eep a$ay the s,bte obs#,rations that pre*ent yo, +rom seein" #orre#ty a that
e-ists: 5o, are #ompetey emptied o+ these probemsF they no on"er e-ist any$here:


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


4. The po)er of resolve

Ma1e the +oo$in" promise to AaErasatt*aD spe#i+yin" the period +or $hi#h yo, intend to
1eep itG

HI $i not #reate these ne"ati*e a#tions +rom no$ ,ntiL:I

AaErasatt*a is e-tremey peased and saysG HChid o+ the essen#eD a yo,r ne"ati*itiesD
obs#,rationsD and de"enerated *o$s ha*e no$ been #ompetey p,ri+ied:I

Then AaErasatt*a mets into i"ht and disso*es into yo,: 5o,r bodyD spee#hD and mind
be#ome inseparaby one $ith AaErasatt*a.s hoy bodyD spee#hD and mind:

At the #on#,sion o+ the meditationD re#ite the +oo$in" prayersG
D,e to the merits o+ these *irt,o,s a#tions
May I 8,i#1y attain the state o+ AaErasatt*aD
And ead a i*in" bein"sD $itho,t e-#eptionD
Into that eni"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 ,ractce whle ,rostratng
1. The po)er of reliance

Ais,ai!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 hoy bodyD spee#hD
and mind o+ AaErasatt*a +or the soe p,rpose o+ eni"htenin" a mother
sentient bein"sD $ith "reat respe#t I $i no$ ma1e prostrations:


2. The po)er of regret

)e#oe#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

Whie yo, prostrateD re#ite the AaErasatt*a mantra: Ais,ai!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 #ompetey p,ri+yin" the obs#,rations o+ yo,r body:

At the same timeD *is,ai!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 #ompetey
p,ri+yin" the obs#,rations o+ yo,r spee#h:

Sim,taneo,syD *is,ai!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 #ompetey
p,ri+yin" the obs#,rations o+ yo,r mind:

As yo, p,ri+y yo,rse+ in this $ayD *is,ai!e a sentient bein"s aro,nd yo, aso
prostratin" and p,ri+yin" their o$n bodiesD spee#hD and minds:

A+ter ea#h prostrationD a repi#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 #ompetey
p,ri+ied and are one $ith AaErasatt*a.s hoy 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,ai!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-pained abo*e ?pa"e 219@:

E-,lanaton of the mantra

&) Si"ni+ies the 8,aities o+ the b,ddhas. bodiesD spee#hD and minds: It aso 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 inseparabe
trans#endent $isdom:

Sa)aya A ped"e that #annot be trans"ressed:

Manu !alaya &ead me aon" the path yo, too1 to eni"htenment: $a,rasattva deno !a To
be #oser to the *aEra hoy mind:

Titha Pease ma1e me abide:

Dido 4irmF stabe be#a,se o+ its reations to the abso,te nat,re:

May bhaa Pease "rant me the abiity to reai!e the nat,re o+ phenomena:

Suto (ayo )ay bhaa Pease ha*e the nat,re o+ bein" e-#eedin"y peased $ith me:

Su!o (ayo )ay bhaa May I be in the nat,re o+ the hi"hy de*eoped "reat biss:

Anu ra(to )ay bhaa Pease be in the nat,re o+ the o*e that eads me to yo,r state:

Sara siddhi )ay !ar ya tsa Pease "rant me a the a#t,a attainments:

Sara (ar)a su tsa )ay Pease "rant me a the *irt,o,s a#tions:

Tsi ta) shri ya) (uru Pease "rant me a yo,r "orio,s 8,aities:

Hu) Seed syabe si"ni+yin" the *aEra hoy mind:

Ha ha ha ha ho Si"ni+ies the +i*e trans#endent $isdoms:

-hagaan One $ho has destroyed e*ery obs#,rationD attained a reai!ationsD and passed
beyond a s,++erin":

Sara tathagata A those $ho ha*e "one into the spa#e o+ emptiness E,st as it is:

$a,ra Inseparabe:

Ma )ay )u tsa Do not abandon me:

$a,ra -haa The nat,re o+ inseparabiity:

Maha sa)aya sattva The "reat #o,ra"eo,s one ha*in" the ped"eD the hoy mind:

Ah Seed syabe si"ni+yin" the *aEra hoy spee#h:

Hu) Si"ni+ies the trans#endent $isdom o+ "reat biss:

Pay Cari+ies o,r ,nderstandin" o+ the trans#endent $isdom o+ inseparabe biss and
emptiness: It aso destroys the d,aisti# mind that is opposite to that $isdom:


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

<

The Eght Mahayana Prece,ts

6eepin" *o$sD or pre#eptsD o+ moraity is the most e++e#ti*e $ay to remo*e hindran#es to
spirit,a reai!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,sy a*oidin" ne"ati*e a#tions $e nat,ray
#ease #reatin" more hindran#es and p,ri+y those o+ the pastD th,s #earin" o,r mind +or
the attainment o+ reai!ations:

There are *ario,s e*es 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
peope: The ta1in" o+ *o$s in a +orma #eremony be+ore one.s tea#hers or the *is,ai!ed
b,ddhas is #onsidered to ha*e more po$er and meanin" +or the mind than simpy
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$s and the disad*anta"es o+ brea1in"
them ?e-pained beo$@ 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$D +,D and 8,arter
moons are re#ommended: The #eremony sho,d be per+ormed eary in the mornin"D
be+ore da$n ?or H$hie it is sti too dar1 to see the ines on the pam o+ yo,r o,tstret#hed
handI@D and the *o$s sho,d be maintained ,nti da$n the +oo$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 possibe $ith the +o,r opponent po$ers ?see pa"es => or 21=@: In#reased +amiiarity
$ith 1eepin" pre#epts $i essen the #han#es o+ #areessD ,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*eop a #earD ,n#,ttered mind and th,s +ind it easier to
meditateF a*oid ,n+ort,nate rebirths and obtain h,man rebirths $ith a the ne#essary
#onditions +or Dharma pra#ti#eF and meet per+e#t tea#hers in +,t,re i*esD thereby "i*in"
o,rse*es the opport,nity to re#ei*e +,rther tea#hin"s and attain spirit,a reai!ations:
MaitreyaD the +,t,re b,ddhaD saidD HAny +oo$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 $i attain iberation
+rom #y#i# e-isten#e and +inay the "oa o+ eni"htenmentD a#t,ai!in" the 1no$ed"e
and per+e#tions o+ the %,ddha.s hoy 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 #eary ,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" reai!ationsD brea1in" pre#epts $i #a,se ,s to ose
the insi"ht $e ha*e aready de*eoped: It is essentiaD there+oreD to ta1e the pre#epts
serio,sy and $ith proper ,nderstandin":

The eght ,rece,ts

1: To a*oid 1iin"D that isD #a,sin" the death o+ another i*in" bein" dire#ty
or indire#ty:
2: To a*oid steain"D that isD ta1in" somethin" o+ *a,e that beon"s to another
$itho,t their permission: This in#,des borro$in" $ith the #ear intention not
to ret,rn the obEe#t:
0: To a*oid se-,a inter#o,rse and any other type o+ se-,a #onta#tD in#,din"
se+-stim,ation:
3: To a*oid tein" iesD that isD de#ei*in" another by yo,r a#tions o+ bodyD
spee#hD and mindD or ha*in" someone ie on yo,r beha+: It in#,des yin" by
impi#ationD +or e-ampeD remainin" sient in ans$er to a 8,estionD th,s
ao$in" someone to dra$ a +ase #on#,sion:
6: To a*oid into-i#antsD that isD a#ohoD 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 $hoe mi1 or
+r,it E,i#e $ith p,p: 5o, sho,d aso a*oid eatin" #ertain Hba#1I +oodsD s,#h
as meatD +ishD e""sD onionsD "ari#D and radishes:
;: To a*oid sittin" on a hi"hD e-pensi*e bed or seat $ith pride: Ornate or
Ee$eed seats and anima-s1in #o*ers sho,d aso be a*oided:
<: To a*oid $earin" Ee$eryD per+,meD and simiar adornmentsD and to a*oid
sin"in"D dan#in"D or payin" 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-ampeD a bein" that is 1iedD an
obEe#t that is stoenD 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 #ompetedD +or e-ampeD 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 stoen
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-ampeD 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 1iin" a h,man bein" is more serio,s than 1iin" 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 asoF
The ",r, is the #reator o+ a ?happiness@F
To a ",r,s I "o +or re+,"e: ?0 times@


/odhichitta motivation

To a##ompish my o$n and others. aimsD
I "enerate the mind see1in" eni"htenment: ?0 times@


1urifying the environment

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


8ffering prayer

May h,man and di*ine o++erin"sD
A#t,ay arran"ed and mentay #reatedD
Co,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,bime OnesD the bessin"s o+ a the
b,ddhas and bodhisatt*asD the "reat $eath o+ the #ompeted t$o #oe#tionsD
and the sphere o+ phenomena bein" p,re and in#on#ei*abeF may these pies
o+ #o,ds o+ o++erin"s arisin" thro,"h trans+ormation by the bodhisatt*as
Arya SamantabhadraD ManE,shriD and so +orthJ,nima"inabe and
ine-ha,stibeD e8,ain" 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 $itho,t e-#eptionD
Di*ine destroyer o+ the intra#tabe e"ions o+ MaraF
Per+e#t 1no$er o+ a thin"sG
%ha"a*an and retin,eD pease #ome here:

No$ do three prostrations $hie repeatin" the mantraG
o) na)o )an,ushriye na)ah sushriye na)a utta)a shriye svaha

?transationD not to be re#itedG o) homa"e to the "orio,s o*ey oneF homa"e
to the *ery "orio,sF homa"e to the most "orio,s svaha@


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



The seven lim$s

)e*erentyD 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 hoy and ordinary bein"s:
PeaseD 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 eni"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+ied 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 $eathD and enEoymentsF
Witho,t any sense o+ ossD I o++er this #oe#tion:
Pease a##ept it $ith peas,re And bess me $ith +reedom +rom the three
poisons:

Ida) guru ratna )andala(a) niryataya)i
I send +orth this Ee$eed mandaa 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,ai!e (,r, A*ao1itesh*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$ein" in the ten dire#tionsD pease pay
attention to me: 2,st as the pre*io,s tatha"athasD +oe destroyersD per+e#ty
#ompeted b,ddhasD $hoD i1e the di*ine $ise horse and the "reat eephantD
did $hat had to be doneD per+ormed a#tionsD aid do$n the b,rdenD
s,bse8,enty attained their o$n $e+areD #ompetey 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 eiminate +amineD in order to eli)inate ar" in order to
sto! the har) of the four ele)ents"; in order to eiminate si#1nessD in order to
+,y #ompete the thirty-se*en pra#ti#es harmonio,s $ith eni"htenmentD and
in order to de+initey a#t,ai!e the ,ns,rpassed res,t o+ per+e#tD #ompete
eni"htenmentD per+e#ty per+ormed the restorin" and p,ri+yin" ordinationF
simiaryD aso ID $ho am #aed Osay your na)ePD +rom this time ,nti s,nrise
tomorro$D +or the $e+are o+ a sentient bein"sD in order to bene+itD in order to
iberateD in order to eiminate +amineD in order to eli)inate ar" in order to
sto! the har) of the four ele)ents"
<
in order to eiminate si#1nessD in order to
+,y #ompete the thirty-se*en pra#ti#es harmonio,s $ith eni"htenmentD and
in order to de+initey a#t,ai!e the ,ns,rpassed res,t o+ per+e#tD #ompete
eni"htenmentD sha per+e#ty ,nderta1e the restorin" and p,ri+yin"
ordination:


Bpon #ompetin" 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 atr,isti#
aspiration to attain eni"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 1iD stea others. possessionsD en"a"e in se-,a
a#ti*ityD or spea1 +ase $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 payin" m,si#D
and I sha not $ear per+,mesD "arandsD 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#1y attain
eni"htenmentD and may the i*in" bein"s $ho are e-perien#in" the *ario,s
s,++erin"s be reeased +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,tess moraity o+ the r,es
And imma#,ate moraity:
May the per+e#tion o+ mora #ond,#t be #ompeted
%y 1eepin" moraity p,rey 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 #ompetin" the 8,aities o+ the sta"es and pathsD
May I 8,i#1y 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$o eni"htened hoy bodies
Created by the t$o *ast a##,m,ations o+ merit and trans#endenta $isdom:

2,st as the bra*e ManE,shri and SamantabhadraD tooD
)eai!ed thin"s as they areD
ID tooD dedi#ate a these merits in the best $ayD
That I may +oo$ their per+e#t e-ampe:

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
$ord: /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
possibeD 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 moraity ?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#1y attain eni"htenment by reai!in"
ren,n#iationD bodhi#hittaD and emptinessD +or the sa1e o+ a sentient bein"s:



1=

Prostratons to the ThrtyEf*e %+ddhas

P,re mora dis#ipine is essentia +or the reai!ation o+ the "rad,ated path to
eni"htenment: Mora dis#ipineD one o+ the si- per+e#tionsD or pra#ti#es o+ a bodhisatt*aD
entais #reatin" positi*e a#tions and re+rainin" +rom and p,ri+yin" ne"ati*e a#tions and
bro1en *o$s: The pra#ti#e o+ #on+ession and prostrations to the Thirty-+i*e %,ddhas ?aso
1no$n as The -odhisattva5s 0onfession of Moral Donfalls@ is one o+ the many methods
,sed +or p,ri+i#ation:

Ne"ati*e a#tions #an be p,ri+ied +,y ony 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$er o+
reian#e in the e-pi#it e-pression o+ re+,"e in the ",r,sD b,ddhasD DharmaD and San"haF
the po$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#oe#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 #ompeteD $e sho,d be"in by "eneratin" p,re bodhi#hitta
moti*ation +or doin" the pra#ti#e:

This method is espe#iay 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 $hie mentay
*is,ai!in" the Thirty-+i*e %,ddhas and physi#ay 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 ,ractce

Ais,ai!e the Thirty-+i*e %,ddhas: Sha1yam,ni %,ddhaD the +irst b,ddhaD is *is,ai!ed in
the spa#e be+ore yo, and si"hty abo*e yo,r head: 'e is seated on a throne de#orated
$ith pears and s,pported by a $hite eephant: PearD bein" $hiteD symboi!es the
#ompete p,ri+i#ation o+ ne"ati*itiesD and the eephantD bein" a po$er+, animaD
symboi!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 $hie his e+t is in his apD hodin" a
bo$ +ied $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 $hite eephant:
These thrones are arran"ed in +i*e ro$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 #oors 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 #oor ?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 #oorD $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 hodin" the inde- +in"er o+ the o$er:

The se*en b,ddhas in the third ro$ are yeo$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,bime reai!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 $ith their e+t hands in the meditation pose
and ri"ht hands in the "est,re o+ "i*in" prote#tion ?in +ront o+ their heartD pam open and
+a#in" o,t$ards@:

I+ it is di++i#,t to *is,ai!e the di++erent #oors and hand-"est,res o+ a the b,ddhasD
don.t $orryJE,st ima"ine that they are thereD smiin" at yo, #ompassionatey 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
tabe 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 possibe $hie prostratin" to that b,ddha: 5o, #an do
as many prostrations as yo, $ish $hie 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:

Whie prostratin"D yo, #an *is,ai!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" aon" $ith yo,:
As yo, re#ite the prayerD rays o+ i"ht +o$ +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,: ImmediateyD yo,r
ne"ati*e imprints disappear #ompeteyD 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 #ompetey empty
and p,re in nat,re:

4irstD ma1e three prostrationsD ea#h time re#itin" the +oo$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 $hie re#itin" the +oo$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#ty Competed %,ddhaD
(orio,s Con8,eror Sha1yam,ni %,ddhaD I prostrate:

To Tatha"ata Thoro,"hy Destroyin" $ith AaEra Essen#eD I prostrate:

To Tatha"ata )adiant 2e$eD 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 Dei"hted 'eroD I prostrate:

To Tatha"ata 2e$e 4ireD I prostrate:

To Tatha"ata 2e$e Mooni"htD I prostrate:

To Tatha"ata Meanin"+, to SeeD I prostrate:

To Tatha"ata 2e$e MoonD I prostrate:

To Tatha"ata Stainess 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 SpendorD 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 4o$erD I prostrate:

To Tatha"ata P,re &i"ht )ays Ceary 7no$in" by PayD I prostrate:

To Tatha"ata &ot,s &i"ht )ays Ceary 7no$in" by PayD I prostrate:

To Tatha"ata (orio,s WeathD I prostrate:

To Tatha"ata (orio,s Mind+,nessD I prostrate:

To Tatha"ata (orio,s Name Widey )eno$nedD I prostrate:

To Tatha"ata 7in" 'odin" the Ai#tory %anner o+ 4oremost Po$erD I
prostrate:

To Tatha"ata (orio,s One Totay S,bd,in"D I prostrate:

To Tatha"ata Bttery Ai#torio,s in %atteD 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" AD I prostrate:

To Tatha"ata A-S,bd,in" 2e$e &ot,sD I prostrate:

To Tatha"ataD arhatD per+e#ty #ompeted b,ddhaD 7in" o+ the &ord o+
Mo,ntains 4irmy 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#ty
#ompeted b,ddhas as there are e-istin"D s,stainin"D and residin" in a the $ord systems
o+ the ten dire#tionsF a yo, b,ddha-bha"a*ansD pease 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 reamsD in the anima
reamD and in the preta reamF in irrei"io,s #o,ntriesD as barbariansD or as on"-i+e "odsF
$ith imper+e#t +a#,tiesD hodin" $ron" *ie$sD or not bein" peased $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 *aidD 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 pease 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 itte as "i*in" E,st one mo,th+, o+ +ood to
a bein" born in the anima reamF $hate*er roots o+ *irt,e I ha*e #reated by ",ardin"
moraityF $hate*er roots o+ *irt,e I ha*e #reated by +oo$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 assembed and "atheredD #ombined
to"etherD I +,y dedi#ate to the ,ns,rpassedD the ,ne-#eedD that hi"her than the hi"hD
that s,perior to the s,perior: Th,sD I #ompetey dedi#ate to the hi"hestD per+e#ty
#ompete eni"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,ddha-
bha"a*ans $i +,y dedi#ateD and E,st as the presenty 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,ay: I reEoi#e in a the merits: I ,r"e and impore a
b,ddhas to "rant my re8,estG may I re#ei*e the hi"hestD most s,bime 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,aities as *ast as an in+inite o#eanD $ith hands +odedD 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+ eni"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 $hoe and +ree:

(lossary

A

altar' )epresentationsD on a tabe 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 daiy to them:

arhat ?Sans1rit@: 4oe destroyer: One $ho has attained lberaton9

arya ?Sans1rit@: Nobe oneF a s,perior bein"F one $ho has attained dire#t insi"ht into
em,tness and th,s #,t the root o+ cyclc e-stence9

attach)ent' DesireF #in"in": The dist,rbin" emotionD or del+sonC that is the main #a,se
o+ s,++erin" in day-to-day i+eD $hi#h "i*es rise to an"erD Eeao,syD prideD depressionD and
the other de,sions9

Atisha' Ee*enth-#ent,ry Indian s#hoar 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 enlghtenment:

%

beginningless lives9)ind9ti)e' A##ordin" to %,ddhaD there is no #reatorD and no
be"innin" to the e-isten#e o+ thin"s: Words 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 reai!ationsD and has trans#ended the $ord:

bodhichitta ?Sans1rit@: The aspiration to be#ome a b+ddha in order to bene+it a bein"sD
stemmin" +rom heart+et lo*e and com,asson9

bodhisattva ?Sans1rit@: A bein" $ho is stri*in" +or enlghtenment $ith the moti*ation o+
bodhchttaC that isD in order to +ree a other bein"s +rom #on+,sion and s,++erin":

buddha ?Sans1rit@: An a$a1ened oneF a +,y eni"htened bein"F one $ho has a#hie*ed
per+e#tion and is +,y de*eoped in wsdom and com,asson and th,s #apabe o+
per+e#ty bene+itin" e*ery bein": The b,ddha o+ this a"e is 1no$n as #hakyam+n9

buddhafield: P,re and: A state o+ e-isten#e o,tside cyclc e-stence $here a #onditions
are +a*orabe +or be#omin" eni"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@: &iterayD H$hee:I Within the psy#hi# ner*o,s systemD any one o+ the
se*era pa#es aon" the central channel $here the ener"y is #onstri#ted:

co)!assion: Empathy $ith the s,++erin" o+ othersF the heart+et $ish that they be +ree o+
s,++erin"F on the Mahayana pathD eads to bodhchtta9

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 peopeD
re#o"ni!ed as the h,man mani+estation o+ A*ao1itesh*araD the b+ddha o+ com,asson9
The #,rrent Daai &amaD +o,rteenth in the inea"eD $as born in 1=06 and heads the
Tibetan "o*ernment-in-e-ie in DharamsaaD 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 $ay that a thin"s and bein"s e-ist
#on*entionayG they #ome into bein" in dependen#e ,pon *ario,s +a#torsD not +rom their
o$n sideF the proo+ o+ their em,tness9

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 $ay that thin"s and bein"s e-ist ,timateyG that isD they a#1 ?are empty
o+@ inherent e-isten#eD e-isten#e +rom their o$n sideD or e-isten#e in and o+ themse*es:
The wsdom de*eoped in meditation on emptiness is the dire#t opposite o+ the
gnorance in the mind that #a,ses ,s to beie*e that a thin"s e-ist inherenty:

enlighten)ent: %,ddhahoodF per+e#tionF the #ompete eimination o+ a del+sonsD
in#,din" the root gnoranceD and the de*eopment o+ a positi*e 8,aitiesF the +,
de*eopment o+ wsdom and com,asson9 The innate potentia o+ e*ery i*in" bein":

3

faith: Con+iden#e in someone or somethin" that has e-#eent 8,aities or abiities:

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 !oers' )e"retD reian#eD remedyD reso*eG the +o,r attit,des #,ti*ated in
the pro#ess o+ ,+rfcaton o+ ne"ati*e karma9

FPMT' 4o,ndation +or the Preser*ation o+ the Mahayana TraditionD a $ord$ide net$or1
o+ Tibetan %,ddhist #enters and a#ti*itiesD estabished in 1=;6 by &ama Th+bten 4eshe
and no$ ,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,tinin" the
pro"ressi*e sta"es o+ de*eopment on the path to eni"htenmentD ori"inay arti#,ated by
the ee*enth-#ent,ry Indian master Atsha9

guru ?TibetanG la)aD meanin" Hhea*y $ith 8,aitiesI@: Spirit,a tea#her:

guru3yoga' The pra#ti#e o+ seein" one.s g+r+ as a b+ddha9

I

ignorance: Not seein" the reaity 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 inherentyD independentyD +rom their o$n side: This i"noran#e is the root
del+sonC the main #a,se o+ cyclc e-stence and there+ore o+ s,++erin"D and it is
#o,ntera#ted by wsdom:

inherent existence' See ignorance

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

6

(ar)a ?Sans1rit@: &iterayD 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+fferng9

&

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+son and
karma@:

lo,ong ?Tibetan@: See thought transfor)ation'

lotus !osition' The #ross-e""ed position re#ommended +or sittin" d,rin" medtaton in
$hi#h ea#h +ootD soe ,p$ardD is pa#ed on the thi"h o+ the opposite e":

love: &o*in"-1indness: The heart+et $ish that others be happy:

M

Mahayana ?Sans1rit@: &iterayD H(reat Aehi#e:I The tea#hin"s and pra#ti#es +or those
see1in" b+ddhahoodC moti*ated by bodhchtta9

Maitreya: The ne-t +o,nder-b,ddhaD a+ter Sha1yam,ni %,ddha.s Dharma has
disappeared:

)andala offering: Pra#ti#e o+ mentay o++erin" the entire ,ni*erse: Inner )andala+ the
pra#ti#e o+ o++erin" one.s del+sons and the peope and thin"s that a#ti*ate them:

)antra ?Sans1rit@: Words o+ po$erF syabesD ,s,ay Sans1ritD re#ited d,rin" #ertain
meditation pra#ti#es:

)editation ?TibetanG go)F iterayD Hto +amiiari!eI@: The pro#ess o+ be#omin" deepy
a#8,ainted $ith ,ost*e states of mnd:

)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*eoped and ,tii!ed espe#iay in medtaton9

Mount Meru: A##ordin" to %,ddhist #osmoo"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+sons9
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 sentent bengC $ho s,++ers +rom e-treme h,n"er and
thirst:

!ure land: See buddhafield

)

refuge: The attit,de o+ reyin" ,pon someone or somethin" +or ",idan#e and hepF in
%,ddhism one ta1es re+,"e in the Three 1ewelsG %+ddhaC DharmaC and #angha9

renunciation: The attit,de o+ #ompete deta#hment +rom the e-perien#es o+ cyclc
e-stenceC seein" that there is no tr,e peas,re or satis+a#tion to be +o,nd $ithin it:

#

sa)sara ?Sans1rit@: See cyclic existence

Sangha: The monasti# #omm,nity +oo$in" the tea#hin"s o+ %+ddha ?andD more
broadyD spirit,a +riends $ho s,pport one.s pra#ti#e o+ Dharma@F the assemby o+ arya
bein"s on the path to lberaton and enlghtenment9

sentient being ?TibetanG se)chenF iterayD Hmind-possessorI@: Any bein" in the *ario,s
reams o+ cyclc e-stenceD s,#h as h,mansD spirits ?,retas@D and animasD $ho has not yet
attained lberaton or enlghtenment9

seven li)bs: A se*en+od pra#ti#eD done e-tensi*ey 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 +amiy in India appro-imatey 2D6>>
years a"oD HThe Sa"e o+ the Sha1yasI reno,n#ed his 1in"dom and a#hie*ed
enlghtenmentC 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+ enlghtenment9

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+son@:

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 >eels: Three )are S,bime Ones: The obEe#ts o+ %,ddhist ref+geF %+ddhaC
DharmaC and #angha9

three !oisons' The three main del+sonsF attachmentC a*ersionD and gnorance9

tonglen ?Tibetan@: &iterayD H"i*in" and ta1in":I Meditation +or de*eopin" com,asson
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#hoarD tea#herD and meditator:

A

ulti)ate nature' See e)!tiness

@

va,ra ?TibetanG dor,e@: In tantraD the Hdiamond-s#epterI hed by #ertain b+ddhas that
represents bodhchttaG o+ten ,sed to mean Hindestr,#tibe: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+sons9

vos' Sets o+ #ommitments reatin" to the pra#ti#e o+ *rt+eC or ethi#s:

W

isdo)' Spe#i+i#ayD the reai!ation o+ em,tnessC de*eoped 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 estabished 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 )eadng

Introd+cton to %+ddhsm

%odhiD %hi11h,: +n the /uddha.s ;ords' Wisdom:

ChodronD Th,bten: 8pen Heart, 6lear Mind' Sno$ &ion:

Daai &amaD The: The 6ompassionate <ife: Wisdom:

'ahnD Thi#h Nhat: /eing 1eace. Paraa-:

7a, )inpo#he: <uminous Mind. Wisdom:

7hemaD Ayya' /eing =o$ody, >oing =o)here. Wisdom:

7orn+iedD 2a#1: - 1ath )ith Heart. %antam:

)ah,aD Wapoa: ;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. Shambhaa:

Waa#eD %: Aan: Ti$etan /uddhism from the >round @p. Wisdom:

5esheD &ama Th,bten and &ama Th,bten Copa )inpo#he: ;isdom Energy. Wisdom:

Medtaton

(odsteinD 2oseph: The E!perience of +nsight. Shambhaa:

(,naratanaD %hante 'enepoa: Mindfulness in 1lain English. Wisdom:

'ahnD Thi#h Nhat: The Miracle of Mindfulness. Paraa-:

&amrimpaD (en: 0hamata Meditation9 Sno$ &ion:

SharpesD %ob: Meditation and 2ela!ation in 1lain English. Wisdom:

Sa!ber"D Sharon: <oving7indnessA The 2evolutionary -rt of Happiness. Shambhaa:

Waa#eD %: Aan: The -ttention 2evolution. Wisdom:

&fe of the %+ddha

Armstron"D 7aren: /uddha. Ai1in":

'anhD Thi#h Nhat: 8ld 1ath, ;hite 6louds. )iderNParaa-:

7ohnD Sherab Chod!in: The -)a7ened 8neA - <ife of the /uddha. Shambhaa:

The nat+re of mnd

)abtenD (eshe: The Mind and +ts Bunctions. )abten Choein":

(rad+ated ,ath to enlghtenment >lamrm?

Daai &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 transformaton >loDong?

ChodronD Pema: 0tart ;here You -re9 Shambhaa:

Daai &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

%+ddhstH,sychothera,y dalog+e

Ca-tonD (,yD et a: The 1sychology of -)a7ening. Weiser:

EpsteinD Mar1: Thoughts ;ithout a Thin7er. %asi# %oo1s:

(oemanD Danie: Destructive Emotions9 %antam:

Moa#aninD )admia: The Essence of Cung.s 1sychology and Ti$etan /uddhism.
Wisdom:

Sa+ranD 2eremy ?editor@: 1sychoanalysis and /uddhism9 Wisdom:

Other books of nterest

Daai &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 Aen 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+ndaton for the Preser*aton of the Mahayana Tradton

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,bishin" ho,sesD heain" #entersD hospi#esD and proEe#ts +or the #onstr,#tion o+ st,pasD
stat,esD and other hoy obEe#ts:

To re#ei*e a istin" o+ these #enters $ord$ideD most o+ $hi#h r,n meditation #asses and
retreatsD as $e as ne$s abo,t their a#ti*itiesD pease re8,est a #ompimentary #opy o+
Mandala ma"a!ine +romG
4PMT Internationa O++i#e 1902 SE 11th A*en,e PortandD O) =;213 BSA
TeG ?6>0@ <><-16<< $$$:+pmt:or"


Abo+t the A+thor

.athleen McDonald /Sangye .hadro1 $as born in Cai+ornia in 1=62: She too1 her +irst
#o,rses in %,ddhist meditation in DharamsaaD 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 NepaD $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
heped estabish the 4PMT.s DorEe Pamo Monastery +or %,ddhist n,ns in 4ran#e: 4rom
1=<6 ,nti 1=<; she ta,"ht in A,straiaD then +or a year in NepaD +oo$ed by ee*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 $ordD ta1in" a brea1 in mid-2>>6 +or a year.s soitary
retreat in Spain: