In this meditation, based on a small fragment from Atisha, the founder of Tibetan Buddhism, you allow all the suffering – of yourself and of all the beings in the world – to ride on your incoming
breath and reach your heart. The heart can do miracles, it immediately transforms the energy. You drink in misery, and it is transformed into blissfulness. Then, on your outgoing breath you pour
that blissfulness into the whole existence.
The meditation has no fixed format; the format given below is one that works well to start with and you can adapt it as you like later on.
The meditation lasts 50 minutes and has four stages. During the first three stages you may stand, move, sit or lie down as happens for you naturally; eyes open or closed. The meditation is over when you hear three gong beats.
First Stage: 5 minutes
“Moving into the heart.”
Bringing your awareness to your body and breathing, feel yourself here and now.
Then bring your awareness to your heart chakra, the energy center inside the middle of your chest. If it helps you, place one or both hands on your heart center.
Absorb each in-breath into the heart, pour each out-breath out from the heart.
Second Stage: 15 minutes
“Begin with yourself.”
Start with your own misery, feel it with as much intensity as possible: the hurt, the wounds, and the suffering in your whole life. Accept it and welcome it.
Breathe in your misery… Absorb it into the heart… Let it be transformed there into joy, into bliss. Breathe out all the joy, the blissfulness; pour yourself into existence.
You may express in sounds, words, gestures and movements what is happening inside you or you may let it happen silently.
Third Stage: 15 minutes
“Include all the people in the world.”
Now expand this process. Take the whole misery of all beings, unconditionally – friends, enemies, family, strangers. Accept and welcome it.
Breathe in all this misery and hell… Absorb it into the heart… Let it be transformed there into joy, into bliss. Breathe out all the joy, the blissfulness; pour yourself into existence.
You may express in sounds, words, gestures and movements what is happening inside you or let it happen silently.
Fourth Stage: 15 minutes
Now completely withdraw your attention from the world, from others, even from yourself.
Lie down, close your eyes, be silent and still.