Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

Jun 3, 2019

In this episode we explore how to start a daily meditation practice and the basic mechanics of meditation. Many people misunderstand meditation, thinking we are trying to empty our mind of thoughts. Good luck with that! :) There are several different types of meditation, such as breathing meditation, analytical meditation and tantric meditation. In this episode, you’re encouraged to try a ten minute daily meditation this week. The meditation will begin by watching your breath to calm the mind. Then we contemplate the benefits of cherishing others for several minutes. This analytical meditation culminates in generating the intention to cherish others, feeling the wish and promising ourselves to do it. There is a more detailed explanation of the meditation below.

This meditation has five parts (or stages) 

(This is a common meditation from a Tibetan Buddhist lineage)

  1. Breathing meditation to calm and focus the mind.
  2. Analytical meditation stage
  3. Placement meditation stage
  4. Dedication of your good karma to benefit all beings
  5. Mindfulness practice during your daily life

The Meditation on Cherishing Others

  1. Breathing meditation. Begin by watching your breath at your nostrils.for a ten minute meditation, this stage could last about 2 minutes, more or less. Instead of paying attention to thoughts, allow your only thought to be watching the breath. Like watching the water lapping at the shore, calm the mind by watching the gentle rise and fall of the breath at the tips of your nostrils. When your mind wanders, without judging yourself, bring it back to the breath.
  2. Analytical meditation. Then we move from breathing meditation to contemplating a virtuous object. “Virtuous” simply means that it is a cause of peace in the mind. In this meditation, we contemplate the benefits of cherishing others for several minutes, around 6 minutes for this ten minute meditation.

         The Benefits of Cherishing Others

* Cherishing others is the cause of all happiness. In this stage of the meditation, we might analyze the following points…..Good karma is the root cause of every moment of pleasure or happiness, from wealth and beauty to a moment enjoying a magnificent sunset. For example, we gave to others in the past and that created the karma for us to have enough resources in this life. Why did we give to others in the past? Because we cherished them and felt their happiness was important, we gave to them to alleviate some need they had--like hunger-- or to give them pleasure. Every positive action we undertook in the past was motivated by cherishing others in some way. Thus, every happiness we enjoy comes from having cherished others in the past. Even a sky filled with diamonds is not as valuable as this mind of cherishing others. I must make cherishing others my main practice in daily life.

             * Solves all problem

             * Makes relationships harmonious and stable

             * Is the cause of success and happiness in this life

             * Cherishing others leads to all good qualities.

             * Leads to the lasting peace and bliss of full enlightenment

  1. Placement meditation. Briefly remind yourself of a benefit that affected you the most, and generate the strong intention to cherish others. Place your mind on this intention and hold it for a few moments.


  1.  Imagine that from your wish to cherish all beings, you transform into a being of pure, universal love. Your body fills with light. You imagine this light has the actual power to give happiness to others. Imagine you send this light to all beings. Imagine living beings and their sufferings in particular; for example, you can imagine that to all the lonely, the light brings them the hungry, it brings food...and so on. Lastly, the light rays you send out transform all beings into beings of pure love also. 


  1. Dedicate. Arise from meditation and dedicate the good karma you created the happiness and peace of all living beings, without exception.


  1. Mindfulness practice in daily life...try to keep your intention throughout the day to cherish others.


Better than a thousand ritual sacrifices

Offered every month for a hundred years

Is one moment’s homage offered

To one who has cultivated herself. (106)


Better than a hundred years

In the forest tending a ritual fire

Is one moment’s homage offered

To one who has cultivated himself. (107)


Whatever sacrifice or offering a merit seeker

Might perform in an entire year

Is not worth one-fourth as much as

Expressing respect to those who are upright. (108)


For the person who shows respect

And always reveres worthy people,

Four things increase:

Life span, beauty, happiness, and strength. (109)


Better than one hundred years lived

With an unsettled [mind],

Devoid of virtue,

Is one day lived

Virtuous and absorbed in meditation. (110)*


Better than one hundred years lived

With an unsettled [mind],

Devoid of insight,

Is one day lived

With insight and absorbed in meditation.

— Buddha, The Dhammapada



The Dhammapada, by Buddha. Translated by Gil Fronsdale. Shambala, Boston and London, 2011, pp. 12.

Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment, by Je Tsongkhapa, Volume 2. Pages 35-37. Translated by the Lamrim Chenmo Translation Committee. Joshua Cutler, Editor-in-Chief, and Guy Newlan, Editor.