By Erric Solomon

Right now, all of us are under incredible stress, even if we are managing it, it sure can take a toll. All the ingredients are there for extreme panic, our way of life has been interrupted, our ability to make a living has been put on hold, we are thinking a lot about mortality: our own, our loved ones, and all the people lying in hallways in hospitals. It’s an unimaginably difficult time.

Caring for our Mind

We have to care for our mind. Otherwise we’ll become completely exhausted by all the looping thoughts and panicky emotions running around as the main feature in the private screening room of our mind.

Caring for our mind, doesn’t mean to push away or suppress panicky thoughts and fearful emotions. Aversion (and attachment) only strengthens the habit of cyclic existence, samsara itself.  Instead we can use the fear or panic as a catalyst for liberation.

The Buddhas’ Vow

The Buddhas have made a vow to come to us when we call on them for help. For example, Kyabjé Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche quotes Guru Rinpoche  in “The Wish Fulfilling Jewel” : “When a disciple calls upon me with devotion and the yearning song of the ‘Seven-Line Prayer,’ I shall come at once from the Sangdolpalri, like a mother who cannot resist the call of her child.” So when we feel overwhelmed, we should call out for help.

Short Meditation to Bring Forth The Love of all Buddhas

Imagine Guru Rinpoche (or Buddha, Tara, Vajrasattva, or whoever you feel most connected to) appears in the sky before you. If you like, make appropriate prayers of supplication. 

With sincere love and devotion think “ O great one, I am so fearful, please take my fear if you think it is the most beneficial. But if I must go through this fear, at least may I take this fear on so that others do not have to suffer. By taking on this fear, may it be a cause for others benefit.”

Now imagine rays of light go from Guru Rinpoche’s heart into your heart. Consider that these rays of light contain the Bodhicitta of all the Buddhas that have ever come and ever will come. This wisdom and love of the Buddhas completely fills you, wiping away all your fear, purifying your body, speech and mind. Focus on the love of the Buddha’s completely filling you with love. Allow yourself to feel this love. Feel it healing your body and your mind, and soothing your entire inner situation.

Now allow the love that you received to flow. See the love flowing out to your loved ones. Welcome them into this soothing, loving, healing environment. Imagine them joining you in a orb of love and peace. Then extend the love to friends, and welcome them into your peaceful, loving orb. Continue to extend further and further until it touches all beings.

Then consider that Guru Rinpoche melts into light and dissolves in your heart.

At the end of your session, make the appropriate prayers of dedication and aspirations according to your tradition of practice.

You can click here to read part 2 in the series, “Creating Space with Phakchok Rinpoche.”