How To Develop Genuine Universal Love and Compassion

How To Develop Genuine Universal Love and Compassion

When you do a meditation on compassion, reflect upon the manner in which sentient beings undergo the experience of suffering. First, in order to have a very strong force of compassion, visualize a being undergoing active sufferings. For example, you could vividly and clearly visualize an animal destined to be killed by a butcher. Imagine in what kind of mental state such a being would be when facing such a situation. Then develop the strong wish that this particular being be free of that suffering.

You could also visualize the sufferings of other living beings. For example, when one travels in India by train, one sees many suffering creatures at the railway stations — dogs and other animals, and even human beings. Imagine these creatures and think that they are all equal to yourself in having the natural wish to have happiness and avoid suffering, yet nevertheless they undergo very obvious and manifest sufferings.

Human beings employ animals for all sorts of purposes, and they are put to very hard, laborious work. One sees many oxen in the towns and villages; although Indian society prevents the killing of these animals and therefore they do not face immediate extinction, when they are grown up and their use to the community is over, they are neglected.

In India, one also sees beggars — blind, deaf, dumb, paralysed and so on — and very poor people. Instead of helping them with compassion, people tend to either avoid or intimidate them, even going so far as to hit them. One can see all these things at any railway station.

Developing Genuine Universal Compassion

You can visualize any situation that you find unbearable. Doing so will enable you to have a strong force of compassion and make it easier to develop a genuine universal compassion.

Then think about the sentient beings in other categories; they may not be undergoing manifest sufferings right now, but due to indulging in negative actions that will definitely produce undesirable consequences in the future, they are certain to face such experiences, too.

The wish that all sentient beings who lack happiness be endowed with happiness is the state of mind called universal love, and the wish that sentient beings be free of suffering is called compassion. These two meditations can be undertaken in combination, until there is some kind of effect or change in your mind.

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Aspiring to Attain the Completely Enlightened State: Bodhicitta

Based on the foundation of love and compassion, you should generate from the depths of your heart the aspiration to achieve the completely enlightened state for the benefit of all sentient beings.

At your heart, visualize all your virtues accumulated through the practice of bodhicitta. These emanate, in the form of light rays, toward all living beings and actively work for their benefit, relieving them of their suffering, placing them in the state of liberation and favorable rebirth, and eventually leading them to the omniscient state.

Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
Snow Lion Publications, Ithaca, NY 14851.

Article Source

The Path to Bliss: A Practical Guide to Stages of Meditation
by H.H. the Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso.

Path to Bliss by H.H. the Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso. In The Path to Bliss, the Dalai Lama shows how visualization, reason, and contemplation can be systematically crafted to enhance personal development. Beginning with practices designed to create an effective mental outlook, His Holiness skillfully guides the student to more advanced techniques for developing the mind's deepest potential and happiness.

For info or to order this book (2nd edition, different cover).

About The Author

H.H. the Dalai Lama,  Tenzin Gyatso

Tenzin Gyatso was born in Amdo, Tibet in 1935 and was recognized as the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, spiritual and temporal leader of Tibet. Since the Chinese takeover of Tibet in 1959, he has served as head of the Tibetan Government-in-exile based in Dharamsala, India. Today he is known the world over as a great spiritual teacher and a tireless worker for peace. He is the author of numerous books, including Ethics for the New Millennium.

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