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Questions and answers on meditation

58 Samsara, Nirvana, and Buddha Nature

Part of an ongoing series of teachings (retreat and Friday) based on the book Samsara, Nirvana, and Buddha Nature, the third volume in The Library of Wisdom and Compassion series by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Venerable Thubten Chodron.

  • Meditation on dying
  • Examining our mental projections, habits, reactions
  • Importance of being kind when we are alive
  • Being able to relax
  • Suggestions for working with the difficulties in visualization
  • How visualization and chanting help to transform our mind

Samsara, Nirvana, and Buddha Nature 58: Questions and Answers on Meditation (download)

Contemplation points

  1. What comes up for you when you do the meditations on death? What attachments do you need to work on so that the time of death is peaceful and your mind steeped in virtue?
  2. In what kinds of situations do you respond with fear? Imagine being in one of those environments and observe that feeling of fear arise in your mind. Venerable Chdoron suggested some methods to address fear. Which of these are helpful for you? Resolve to practice them each time a feeling of fear arises in daily life.
  3. What is your habitual response when you make a mistake? Is your mind tight, determined for perfection? Do you struggle with imagining someone looking at you without judgment and with infinite love and compassion? How might relaxing the mind in this regard be beneficial to both yourself and others?
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.