Ultimate stages of the path: Giving

This meditation completes the cycle of four:  great compassion, taking, wishing love and giving.  These four meditations are not sequential, rather they are cumulative meaning the four parts together combine into one mind that engages in taking and giving.  This mind is the union of the substantial and circumstantial causes of bodhichitta.  Just as the minds of great compassion and wishing love are two sides of the same mind, so too taking and giving are two sides of the same action.

The mind of giving actively works to fulfill the wish of wishing love, namely to bestow the supreme happiness of full enlightenment.  It is generated as follows:  first we develop cherishing love as described before.  We then consider how all living beings lack the blissful peace and contentment of enlightenment.  From this, we naturally develop the strong wish to work to bestow this state on all.  We then ask how?  Through giving all of our good karma, wisdom and happiness to others.  It is a mind that is willing to give up one’s own happiness so that others can enjoy it.  At the ultimate level, a Buddha generates the mind of enlightenment and then gives it to all living beings so they too can have it.  Just as Jesus handed out a piece of bread that can break apart infinitely without ever being diminished, so too a Buddha hands the bread of the mind of enlightenment infinitely to each and every living being without its own mind of enlightenment ever being diminished.  With a mind of wishing love we imagine we do exactly that.  We imagine our mind transforms into a wishfulfilling jewel which radiates out infinite wisdom light rays into the minds of all living beings of the three times directly and simultaneously bestowing upon them the supreme omniscient bliss of full enlightenment.  We imagine we give all our hard earned good karma, realizations and enjoyments to others so that others can enjoy it.  We do this with a mind of sheer delight to be able to do so.

The perfection of this mind is doing this understanding it to be the main cause of bodhichitta.  The ultimate perfection of this mind is the perfection of this mind combined with an understanding of emptiness.  Other living beings are nothing more than karmically created appearances that are so sophisticated as to include dream like minds of their own.  Since these are all empty, and thus creations of our own mind, we are ultimately responsible for every aspect of them – including their lack of the ultimate happiness of enlightenment.  Understanding how we are karmically responsible for their lack of true happiness, we assume personal responsibility for rectifying our mistake by giving to others all of the happiness, wisdom and good karma we have managed to accumulate.  The amazing thing about this meditation is it is by actually feeling like we are actually giving away our happiness that we do not lose it but instead multiply it as we experience it within the empty minds of others.  Our world becomes more filled by the ocean of eternal joy and we all can partake of it without diminishing the enjoyment of anybody else.  We feel like by engaging in the action of giving we are karmically reconstructing the beings of our dream, releasing them into the inexhaustible pool of full enlightenment.  We then meditate on a feeling of joy to be doing this.

These four meditations together then combine to transform into the single mind that engages in taking and giving mounted upon the breath.  The mind that engages in taking and giving is a mind that motivated by great compassion and wishing love engages in the actions of taking and giving.  It is one mind engaging in one action that has two aspects, like the two wings of the bird of enlightenment, namely great compassion/taking and wishing love/giving.  When we mount these two upon the breath, when we inhale we engage in compassionate taking and when we exhale we engaging in loving giving.  Mounting the two upon the breath functions to infuse the subtle energy winds of our subtle body with the subtle essence of the mind that engages in taking and giving.  If we purify our subtle energy winds, it will be impossible for anything other than pure minds and appearances to arise.  Again, it is somewhat Tantric in that mounting the two upon the breath is a meditation with the subtle levels of our mind.  The actual object of meditation is enjoying the feeling of knowing you are actually freeing all beings and bestowing upon them the ultimate happiness of full enlightenment.

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