This popular and practical best-selling manual, now revised to make it more accessible to the general reader, allows us to discover for ourselves the inner peace and lightness of mind that come from meditation.
The author explains twenty-one step-by-step meditations leading to increasingly peaceful and beneficial states of mind, and that together form the entire Buddhist path to enlightenment.
By practising these meditations, we can transform our daily lives, fulfil our spiritual potential, and find lasting happiness.
'One can instantly sense its value ... this book shines.' — THE NEW HUMANITY
'... potentially life-changing book.' — ABOUTBUDDHISM.COM
Excerpt from this book:
Meditation 12 - The Advantages of Cherishing Others
In Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life, Shantideva says:If we think carefully, we shall realize that all our present and future happiness depends upon our cherishing others – upon our wanting others to be happy. In our past lives, because we cherished others, we practised moral discipline, such as refraining from killing or harming others and abandoning stealing from them. Sometimes, out of fondness for them, we practised giving and patience. As a result of these positive actions, we have now obtained this precious human life. Moreover, because sometimes in the past we helped others and gave them protection, we ourself now receive help and enjoy pleasant conditions.
All the happiness there is in this world
Arises from wishing others to be happy.
If we sincerely practise cherishing others, we shall experience many benefits in this and future lives. The immediate effect will be that many of our problems, such as those that arise from anger, jealousy, and selfish behaviour, will disappear, and our mind will become calm and peaceful. Since we shall act in considerate ways, we shall please others and not become involved in quarrels or disputes. If we cherish others, we shall be concerned to help rather than to harm them, so we shall naturally avoid negative actions. Instead, we shall practise positive actions, such as love, patience, and generosity, and thus create the cause to gain a precious human life in the future.
If we make cherishing others our main practice, we shall gradually develop very special minds of great compassion and bodhichitta and, as a result, we shall eventually come to enjoy the ultimate happiness of full enlightenment.
As the preparatory practice, we recite Prayers for Meditation while concentrating on the meaning. Then we engage in the following contemplation:
The precious mind that cherishes all living beings protects both myself and others from suffering, brings happiness, and fulfils our wishes.Having repeatedly contemplated this point, we make the strong determination: ‘I must always cherish all living beings.’ This determination is the object of our meditation. We then hold this without forgetting it; our mind should remain on this determination single-pointedly for as long as possible. If we lose the object of our meditation, we renew it by immediately remembering our determination or by repeating the contemplation.
At the end of the meditation session, we dedicate the virtues accumulated from this meditation practice towards our realization of cherishing others and the attainment of enlightenment for the happiness of all living beings.
During the meditation break, we never forget our determination and always put it into practice. We should always keep in mind the great advantages of cherishing others, and continually improve our consideration, respect, and love for them.