Hi, so we’re ready for the third meditation for the third week of this lam rim course. And in the last meditation we had done an act of truth to send… actually the whole thing we’re trying to send the virus to the middle of the sun right? And I like to think if our lam rim course together… if we are successful together, then something will happen to the virus you know? Maybe we can contribute to stopping this problem in the world, and it should be like that right? So let’s try.
And we did an act of truth. Act of truth requires some ammunition. Act of truth is like shooting a gun. And you need some kind of ammunition; you have to say “if it’s true I did this, then may this happen.” And we said if it’s true that I’ve shown any small kindnesses… ok I’ve been reading articles about someone who served a hundred thousand meals in hospitals–hooked up all the restaurants to the hospitals, and served one hundred thousand meals. And I read another article about five physicians from from my old university and they’re just doing extraordinary things. Huge things that affect thousands and thousands of people. But people like you and me, during this virus… not to go along with the general fear, not to go along with the general self-preservation instinct, not to go out and buy all the toilet paper on the first day of the virus. Try to do small things for other people. That’s our ammunition.
So I guess that means if you haven’t done any small things for other people during this virus then let’s get started. All right? Just small good things. Encourage other people, give other people some hope, share things with other people. You don’t have to… I read about a lady who made 30,000 masks or something. I’m not talking about that, I’m talking about identifying people who are scared, and who are sad, and who are worried about the future, and showing them some basic human kindness. So that was our ammunition and then we did an act of truth: If it’s true that during the time of the of the virus, I did this nice thing to someone else–small elegant nice thing–then blind people should start to see, and hungry people should be given a great meal, and sick people should get better, people on ventilators should all start breathing on their own.
And even people who are travelling in their cars, because they can’t go in a plane, they should be safe–their car should work nicely. Children should be safe during this difficult time. Elderly people should be safe during this difficult time. People have trouble sleeping. I haven’t seen any numbers but it’s got to be a huge problem right now. Then we did an act of truth and we sent that to those people. Now we’re going to do another act of truth. This is the third meditation and we’re shifting gears. We’re still in the human realm. We’re still in the world of human beings. We got out of the hell realms, animal realms, hungry ghost realms, and we’re still dealing with troubles in this world, during this virus.
[Master] Shantideva makes a list. So remember where we are–we’re going to do this meditation now. We’re going to do an act of truth. We’re going to think about some, small beautiful, elegant package of kindness we have delivered during this virus. And we’re going to make a mental statement that “if it’s true that I have done this small kind thing then may may the following things happen.” And then there’ll be a list of things that we want to happen. So here we go.
Get ready to meditate okay? Take a drink of water. And these meditations are short, they’re designed to be 15 minutes only. Something to do once or twice a day. So we’re going to make it very simple. We’re going to get into the meditation with ten breaths. (DBUGS ‘BYUNG RNGUB) Here we go.
Long exhales. Keep exhaling until the lower tummy tightens–which is more than you usually exhale. We’re going to do ten long breaths this way–long and fine.
Now please think about some small, elegant, beautiful kindness you have paid to someone during this difficult time in the whole world who’s afraid, worried about the future. And some small gesture you made to them, but it should be real. It should be something you really did.
And then say to yourself: “let’s do an act of truth: If it’s true that during this frightening time I paid one small kindness to another person, then the following things should happen.” Okay and here’s our list from Master Shantideva’s chapter on dedication.
(1) People who are having obstacles with their spiritual practice. These are deeper obstacles than not having food or not having clothing. At the beginning of this meditation session we showed a photograph of a young woman meditating and people were making fun of her. So if it’s true that I have paid some kindness, then may obstacles to people’s faith, and wisdom, and love–may these obstacles to their spiritual life be removed in this world.
If it’s true that I did this one kind thing during this difficult time, then may everyone everywhere–and it’s humans everywhere in the universe–may they have the freedom to practice their own spiritual path. May they have this freedom. May they be free from interference in their private spiritual life and may they be free from divisiveness inside of spiritual practitioners. May they enjoy some kind of unity and harmony within groups of spiritual practitioners, and in general may they have the freedom to follow the path they would like to try.
Here Shantideva adds another group of people. These are people who have not been able to practice well because of physical needs. They didn’t have enough food, they didn’t have enough money, they didn’t have sufficient clothing, and it actually damaged their body. And that damage to their body also damaged their self-esteem. So if it’s true I have paid this kindness to someone else, then by this act of truth may people like that with low self-esteem–may they come to have great spiritual practice.
And Shantideva here includes people who were born into a society which has different levels within that society, and among those levels they were born into the lower levels. And they were taken advantage of, or they were hurt, systematically–by the system of their culture and they were kept down. May those people suddenly find the right and the position to enjoy a deep spiritual practice. And by the way, I will take away the seeds of bad thoughts, words, and deeds done by any of these people in the past. That’s similar to taking away illness from a person. Illness is what we call “result suffering”. And the seeds for that are negative–being negative in how you speak, how you think, and how you act. So may this act of truth also remove suffering in the form of pain which is about to come. Things which are not pain yet–pain which is waiting to happen.
If I’ve done this act of truth, may people show loving conduct to each other. May there be no darkness in their attitude or their behavior. May they be perfectly innocent, and helpful, and kind to each other. May all spiritual practitioners, through my act of truth, live a long life. May they feel experiences of bliss. And then, Shantideva ends this meditation very sweetly.
May the word “death” disappear from this world. May we come to a time in this world where nobody knows what the word “virus” means, and nobody remembers what the word “Covid” means. And no one even remembers what the word “death” used to mean because these things are gone. If it’s true I have shown some kindness during this pandemic, then may these things come to pass.
Then slowly open your eyes..
Take a good stretch. And we’ll do this meditation for a week and then we’ll pick up with Master Shantideva next week.