Preparing Your Mind for Meditation
In order to have a mind that is calm and concentrated, a mind with a positive motivation, it is helpful to recite these lines before and after meditation. A meditation session generally has three stages: preparation, meditation and post-meditation. In this case meditation could refer to your reading, homework, contemplative meditation as well as any other practice you are doing during the Foundation Course. When you sit down to do your reading or meditation it is good to generate a positive motivation and bring the mind to the present moment so that you can be with whatever you are engaged in. Reciting these lines will help to achieve such a good motivation, a positive state of mind. Post-meditation refers to the time between the conclusion of this meditation session and the beginning of the next. It is very beneficial for the development of the mind to mark the transition from the meditation session to the post-meditation session with dedications and aspirations or prayers.
A few lines are given here for recitation. As a minimum, particularly if you are not so familiar with meditation, it is recommended at least to recite the four Refuge and Bodhicitta lines three times before your meditation session and the four Dedication lines after your meditation session. If you are a more experienced practitioner you may already have preparation and dedication lines so you can practice those or include some of these as you wish. The important thing is to gently bring your mind to a calm and positive state before entering the meditation and afterwards to dedicate the fruits of your meditation to the benefit of others.
Preparing Your Mind for Meditation
Refuge and Bodhicitta
Sangye cho dang tsoki chok nam la
Jangchub bardo dakni kyab suchi
Dakgi jin sok gyi pay so nam kyi
Drola panchir sangye drup par shok
Generating the Mind of Enlightenment
With a wish to free all beings,
I shall always go for refuge,
To Buddha, Dharma and Sangha,
Until I reach complete enlightenment.
Enthused by Wisdom and Compassion,
Today in the Buddha’s presence,
I generate the mind of full awakening,
For the sake of all sentient beings.
So long as space endures,
So long as sentient beings remain,
May I too remain,
And dispel the miseries of the world.
The Four Immeasurable Thoughts of Love, Compassion, Joy and Equanimity
May all sentient beings have happiness and the causes of happiness.
May all sentient beings be free from suffering and the causes of suffering.
May all sentient beings never be separated from the bliss that knows no sorrow.
May all sentient beings abide in equanimity, free from the bias of attachment
and hatred that sees some as close and others as distant.
Reverently I prostrate with my body, speech and mind,
And present clouds of every kind of offering, actual and mentally transformed.
I confess all my negative actions accumulated since beginningless time,
And rejoice in the virtues of all holy and ordinary beings.
Please remain until cyclic existence ends,
And turn the wheel of Dharma for sentient beings.
I dedicate all the virtues of myself and others to the great enlightenment.
Offering ~ Short Mandala Offering
This ground, anointed with perfume, flowers strewn,
Mount Meru, four lands, sun and moon,
Imagined as a Buddha land and offered to you
May all beings enjoy this pure land.
Idam guru ratna mandalakam nirya tayami
It is also good to prepare your mind by reciting sutras such as the Heart Sutra before engaging in your reading, homework or meditation
The Meditation Session
Now continue with your reading, homework, or meditation practice.
Dedications after meditation
Jang chub sem chog rinpoche
Ma kye pa nam kye gyur chig
Kye par nam par me par yang
Gong ne gong du pel war shog
Long-life prayer for His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Gang ri ra we kor wau zhing kam de
Pen dang de wa ma lu jung way ne
Chen res zig wang ten zin gya tso yi
Zhab pay si tai bar du tan gyur chig