Meditation on The Truth of Suffering

Module 1 Guided Meditation

15 – 20 minutes

For those who do not yet have a daily meditation practice

(First 5 minutes) In a clean quiet part of you room sit comfortably in front of your shrine or sacred space and settle the body posture. Be aware of your posture and release areas of tension. Bring the mind into the here and now by bringing it into the body and away from thoughts of past or future. When you are settled take three long deep breaths and revisit and reset your motivation for doing the meditation. If you are Buddhist use the four line refuge and bodhicitta prayer.

(Middle 5 minutes) Try to touch your deep set wish to avoid suffering and move towards happiness noticing how it motivates the actions in your daily life. Recognise that by doing this course a window of opportunity has opened up for you to really deal with difficulties and ensure future happiness, and that it won’t last forever. Use various thoughts about these to generate a feeling of great happiness and good fortune and a strong wish to make the most of this opportunity.

(Last 5 minutes) Look at your own life experiences and identify your own experiences of the three kinds of suffering: actual mental or physical pain or discomfort (the suffering of suffering); that even the good times don’t last, that pleasant and unpleasant experiences begin, go on for a while then stop, that at the very moment they started at that moment the seeds of their destruction started germinating (suffering of change); that simply having a body and mind produced by and under the control of anger, attachment and ignorance attracts problem experiences like a magnet attracts iron filings (conditioned suffering). Again use your thoughts about these to generate a feeling, particularly for conditioned suffering, of how true it is that our unenlightened lives are prone to and dominated by suffering.

(Last couple of minutes) Dedicate the benefits of your meditation session to the full enlightenment of all beings, including yourself and resolve to try to carry the understanding from your meditation session into your daily life.

For those who already have a daily practice

When your mind is calm and focused think on and generate a heartfelt feeling about the topics set out in the middle two sections above. If you do calming and awareness meditation do this at the end of the session.

If you do lam.rim meditation focus on these in the section on the practices shared with people who have a lower scope motivation.

If you recite devotional prayers then do these somewhere at the beginning or middle of the session.

If you do Tantric sadhana meditation use these to enhance your renunciation and bodhicitta at the beginning of the session.

If you do a mixture of these – your choice!