67 Envisioning Heaven

 
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Alan returned to the meditation on loving kindness with a second question: what would we like to have in the best of all possible worlds? He painted a picture of a place where everyone is young and beautiful and sweet and virtuous, in a lovely environment - a deva realm, pointing out it would also mean total stagnation and you may as well be dead! He then recapped the explanation from yesterday of how samsara arises for a sentient being, a process culminating in designating and reifying the raw data of appearances arising from the ripening of karmic seeds. He invited us to envision the world we would like to be in. What would a pure realm look like? How would it differ from a deva realm? Remembering that as sentient beings, we need to engage with other people to develop qualities like compassion and to recognise our own obscurations. Alan then laid out the three kinds of Bodhicitta, based on the analogies of a shepherd making sure all his flock are safe, a navigator bringing everyone to the far shore together and the king, purifying himself first and then helping others to wake up to what he sees. The meditation is on loving kindness, envisioning a pure realm from one of these perspectives. The silent meditation is not recorded. ___ Course notes, other episodes and resources for this retreat are available here The text for this retreat can be purchased via the SBI Store. Finally, Please contribute to help us afford the audio equipment we rent to make these, and future podcasts freely available.

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