The text turns to training the mind on the stages of the path of advanced level practitioners. Part of a series of teachings on the Gomchen Lamrim by Gomchen Ngawang Drakpa. Visit Gomchen Lamrim Study Guide for a full list of contemplation points for the series.
- The fourth point in the seven-point cause and effect method for generating bodhicitta
- The difference between love and heartwarming love
- The eight benefits of generating love
- Metta as diversity meditation—using the metta meditation to open our hearts to those who are different
Before tonight, we had covered only through the fourth of the seven point instruction of cause and effect (point 5 was part of tonight’s teaching). As the meditation is meant to take you step by step to generating bodhicitta, it’s important to work through each step, so included below are all the points through this week’s teaching:
- Start by generating equanimity by investigating the categories of friend, enemy, and stranger that we looked at last week. Consider how these categories change all the time in this life and must have in previous lives. Get a feeling for how these categories aren’t out there, how we create them.
- Next, consider rebirth and how all beings have been our mother in a past life. Take some time to really investigate the process of rebirth, how we have had infinite past lives (many in which we had a mother), and how that every living being could have been our mother at some point in those countless lives.
- Then consider the kindness of our mother of this life (or other caregiver). As babies, we were unable to care for ourselves. Everything we know was taught to us by someone. Consider all our mothers gave us. Then think that every single living being has offered that same kindness in some lifetime.
- Allow the desire to reciprocate that kindness arise in your mind.
- Different from love, heartwarming love is the caring affection that finds all beings endearing and feels close to them. Based on the previous points, allow that feeling of closeness and affections for all beings arise in your mind.
- How do each of these points make you feel? Do they create a sense of openness? How do you think meditating on these points leads to generating bodhicitta?
Venerable Thubten Chodron
Venerable Chodron emphasizes the practical application of Buddha’s teachings in our daily lives and is especially skilled at explaining them in ways easily understood and practiced by Westerners. She is well known for her warm, humorous, and lucid teachings. She was ordained as a Buddhist nun in 1977 by Kyabje Ling Rinpoche in Dharamsala, India, and in 1986 she received bhikshuni (full) ordination in Taiwan. Read her full bio.