The-Tibetan-Book-of-Living-and-Dying

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The-Tibetan-Book-of-Living-and-Dying

BRINGING THE MIND HOME 61and all sentient beings fundamentally have the buddha natureas our innermost essence, and that to realize it is to be free ofignorance and to put an end, finally, to suffering. So each timewe begin our practice of meditation, we are moved by this,and inspire ourselves with the motivation to dedicate our practice,and our life, to the enlightenment of all beings in the spiritof this prayer, which all the buddhas of the past have prayed:By the power and the truth of this practice:May all sentient beings enjoy happiness and the causes ofhappiness;May they be free from suffering and the causes of suffering;May they never be separated from the great happiness devoid ofsuffering,And may they dwell in the great equanimity that is free fromattachment and aversion.Good in the Middle is the frame of mind with which weenter into the heart of the practice, one inspired by the realizationof the nature of mind, from which arises an attitude ofnongrasping, free of any conceptual reference whatsoever, andan awareness that all things are inherently "empty," illusory,and dreamlike.Good at the End is the way in which we bring our meditationto a close by dedicating all its merit, and praying with real fervor:"May whatever merit that comes from this practice gotoward the enlightenment of all beings; may it become a dropin the ocean of the activity of all the buddhas in their tirelesswork for the liberation of all beings." Merit is the positivepower and benefit, the peace and happiness that radiate fromyour practice. You dedicate this merit for the long-term, ultimatebenefit of beings, for their enlightenment. On a more immediatelevel, you dedicate it so that there may be peace in the world,so that everyone may be entirely free of want and illness andexperience total well-being and lasting happiness. Then, realizingthe illusory and dreamlike nature of reality, you reflect onhow, in the deepest sense, you who are dedicating your practice,those to whom you are dedicating it, and even the very actof dedication are all inherently "empty" and illusory. This is saidin the teachings to seal the meditation and ensure that none ofits pure power can leak or seep away, and so ensure that noneof the merit of your practice is ever wasted.These three sacred principles—the skillful motivation, the attitudeof nongrasping that secures the practice, and the dedication

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