Meditation 3 – THE DANGER OF LOWER REBIRTH

Prior to beginning my meditation, I repeated this mantra 7 times.

I and all sentient beings, until we achieve enlightenment,

Go for refuge  to Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha.

The following meditation is from The New Meditation Handbook, by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

3. THE DANGER OF LOWER REBIRTH

Purpose: To encourage us to seek protection from the dangers of lower rebirth.

When the oil of an oil lamp I exhausted, the flame goes out because the flame is produced from the oil; but when our body dies, our consciousness is not extinguished, because consciousness is not produced from the body. When we die, our mind has to leave this present body, which is just a temporary abode, and find another body, rather like a bird leaving one nest to fly to another. Our mind has no freedom to remain and no choice about where to go. We are blown to the place of our next rebirth by the winds of our karma. If the karma that ripens at our death time is negative, we shall definitely take a lower rebirth. Heavy negative karma causes rebirth in hell, less negative karma causes rebirth as a hungry spirit, and the least negative karma causes rebirth as an animal.

It is very easy to commit heavy negative karma. For example, simply by swatting a mosquito out of anger we create the causes to be reborn in hell. Throughout this and all of our countless previous lives, we have committed many heavy negative actions. Unless we have already purified these actions by practicing sincere confession, their potentialities remain in our mental continuum, and any one of the negative potentialities could ripen when we die. Bearing this in mind, we should ask ourself: “If I die today, where shall I be tomorrow? It is quite possible that I shall find myself in the animal realm, among the hungry spirits, or in hell. If someone were to call me a stupid cow today, I would find it difficult to bear, but what shall I do if I should actually become a cow, a pig or a fish?”

Generate a strong fear of taking rebirth in the lower realms. This feeling is the object of our meditation.

Reflection

If I die today, where shall I be tomorrow?

I repeat to myself over and over. Thinking of times I have mistakingly hurt animals or living beings. I am currently seeking refuge in Buddha to overcome mistakes I have made. I am admitting to my wrong doing and seeing that in the future to handle interactions with more grace. The spider that crawls across the wall will be put into a cup and placed outside, not smothered to death. Who knows what happens when we die, I am unsure where my beliefs lie but being a good person to all beings is important. I know my energies will come back to me in this lifetime and in future lives.

What will happen if I actually become a cow, a fish or a pig?

I hope I spawn and be sacrificed for human consumption so that I can be delighted in and graciously die. I can serve my purpose in life and hopefully return to becoming a human so that I can live a more sacred life. So that again I can return to live a more devoted life, free of such damaging mistakes I had made before seeking refuge and denying a higher power.

If I die tomorrow, where will I be?

It is my aim to be enlightened, for every lifetime of mine, to experience living/dying with my soulmate. To truly know and deeply understand what it is to live. To share the intimate experience of creating a life and growing it to become someone we deeply care about and who deeply cares about the world as it is. So when as they develop their own beliefs they will know what it is  not to live in fear of becoming a cow, fish or pig.

 

I’m blowing out my last breath as I write this, smiling to my innerself.

I am finding loser attachment to what is.

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