Prior to reading this meditation, I read this prayer aloud a few times. I enjoy it because it does not mention the word god. God in my world describes the universal unknown. While some choose to say he walked this earth, I still have my doubts which is why I like alternative words for the greater not narrowing life to one creator.
PRAYER OF THE STAGES OF THE PATH
BY JE TSONGKHAPA
The path begins with strong reliance
On my kind Teacher, source of all good;
O Bless me with this understanding
To follow him with great devotion.
This human life with all its freedoms,
Extremely rare, with so much meaning;
O Bless me with this understanding
All day and night to seize its essence.
My body, like a water bubble,
Decays and dies so very quickly;
After death come results of karma,
Just like the shadow of a body.
With this firm knowledge and remembrance
Bless me to be extremely cautious,
Always avoiding harmful actions
And gathering abundant virtue.
Samsara’s pleasures are deceptive,
Give no contentment, only torment;
So please bless me to strive sincerely
To gain the bliss of perfect freedom.
O Bless me so that from this pure thought
Come mindfulness and greatest caution,
To keep as my essential practice
The doctrine’s root, the Pratimoksha.
Just like myself all my kind mothers
Are drowning in samsara’s ocean;
O So that I may soon release them,
Bless me to train in bodhichitta.
But I cannot become a Buddha
By this alone without three ethics;
So bless me with the strength to practise
The Bodhisattva’s ordination.
By pacifying my distractions
And analyzing perfect meanings,
Bless me to quickly gain the union
Of special insight and quiescence.
When I become a pure container
Through common paths, bless me to enter
The essence practice of good fortune,
The supreme vehicle, Vajrayana.
The two attainments both depend on
My sacred vows and my commitments;
Bless me to understand this clearly
And keep them at the cost of my life.
By constant practice in four sessions,
The way explained by holy Teachers,
O Bless me to gain both the stages,
Which are the essence of the Tantras.
May those who guide me on the good path,
And my companions all have long lives;
Bless me to pacify completely
All obstacles, outer and inner.
May I always find perfect Teachers,
And take delight in holy Dharma,
Accomplish all grounds and paths swiftly,
And gain the state of Vajradhara.
The following meditation is from The New Meditation Handbook, by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
11. THE DISADVANTAGES OF SELF-CHERISHING
Purpose: To remember the many faults and disadvantages of self-cherishing.
Nothing causes me greater harm than the demon of my self-cherishing. It is the source of all my negativity, misfortune, problems and suffering.
Make the strong determination: “I must abandon my self-cherishing.”
This statement I really enjoy. Deep into reflection I feel it to be supremely true. When I look at the times I have been the most distressed many of the times have been because of my own self-cherishing or others self-cherishing.
Self-cherishing is greed.
While a good amount of self-cherishing is healthy by accepting, acknowledging and celebrating that your body is a temple. Too much can only cause great pain.
The first and best lesson my father taught me when running sprints was to never look at the guy behind you.
I never really understood why he said this but when I ran sprint I never dared take a peek behind me. Any inclining of doubt in what someone may have that I did not, I knew was not good for me. So as I progressed through out my life, I learned to pay no attention to what others were doing. Because of this others find me to be EXTREMELY competitive, inside when I hear this I laugh. Most people see all that they desire in those who have mastered this skill undeniably, not knowing what they want is to not see themselves as a value. Knowing that I am no more or no less than others only makes me my truest self. In some ways, this can be seen as extreme self-cherishing. But here is the way I see it.
Sally has a nice car, a nice house, and a killer body.
Ren has a car, a house, and a body.
Ren meets Sally, the entire time Ren is with Sally she looks at herself and say’s “I want what she has”. So Ren works tirelessly, each day she works to get what Sally has, each day she looks in the mirror telling herself she is not good enough because Sally has it all. Each day she is instilling negativity, doubt, and suffering deep within herself.
When Ren finally attains what Sally has, she will no longer be capable of having inner peace because of the long installation of negativity, doubt, and suffering.