Dharma Quote from Snow Lion Publications

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Dharma Quote of the Week

When doing lamrim meditations, it is important to know clearly the state of mind you want to reach as a conclusion to the meditation. Lamrim texts describe the purpose of each meditation, and we want to make sure that our mind arrives at that conclusion and not at an incorrect or irrelevant conclusion. For example, when meditating on the disadvantages of the self-centered thought, our mind may twist that meditation and conclude, “I’m a horrible person because I’m so selfish.” This is the wrong conclusion to reach from that meditation. The Buddha didn’t teach the disadvantages of self-centeredness so that we would deride ourselves.

If you meditate on a lam rim topic and arrive at an incorrect conclusion, the meditation hasn’t been done correctly. In the above case, thinking, “I’m a bad person because I’m so selfish,” indicates that we have misunderstood the purpose of the meditation and probably have fallen into an old pattern of putting ourselves down. Stop and ask yourself,

“What conclusion does the Buddha want me to reach from this meditation? He wants me to ascertain that the self-centered mind is the actual ‘enemy’ that destroys my happiness. Self-centeredness is not an intrinsic part of me; it is not who I am. It’s an incorrect, but deeply entrenched, thought that creates problems for me. I can free myself from it. Since I want to be happy, I will realize this selfish attitude for what it is and will stop following it! Instead, I will cultivate love and compassion for all beings.”

This is the conclusion you want to reach.(p.58)

–from Guided Meditations on the Stages of the Path by Bhikshuni Thubten Chodron, foreword by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, published by Snow Lion Publications

Guided Meditations • Now at 5O% off!
(Good until January 13th).

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