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Seven Point Cause and Effect
1 - Recognising all beings having been our mothers
(from Geshe Wangyal's Door of Liberation)
To conceive the spirit of enlightenment, you first must develop equanimity toward all beings, and then contemplate the sevenfold cause-and-effect spiritual instruction given by Maitreya to Asanga. First imagine before you a being who has neither helped you nor harmed you. Think, "From his own point of view, he wants happiness and does not want suffering, just like everybody else. I will free myself from attraction and aversion. I will not feel close to some and help them while feeling distant from others and harming them. I will develop equanimity toward all beings. Lamas and gods, enable me to do this!"
Once you feel equanimity toward that neutral person, imagine a person who attracts you. Try to feel equanimity toward that person. Think, "My Partiality is due to my attraction. Since I have always desired attractive beings, I have been reborn constantly in the miserable life-cycle." Thus restrain your desire and meditate.
Once you feel equanimity toward that attractive person, imagine an unattractive person. Try to feel equanimity toward him. Think, "Because there has been discord between us, I have developed an aversion to him so lack equanimity. Without it, I cannot conceive the spirit of enlightenment ment! " Thus restrain your aversion and meditate.
When you feel equanimity toward that unattractive person, imagine both persons together. Think, "These two are the same in that each, from her own viewpoint, wants happiness and doesn't want misery. From my viewpoint, this one who seems so close now has been reborn as my enemy countless times. This one toward whom I feel hostile has been reborn as my mother countless times and has cared for me with love. Which one should like? Which one should I hate? I will feel equanimity and free myself from attachment and aversion. Lamas and gods, please enable me to do this!"
When you feel such equanimity, extend it to all beings. "All beings a the same. Each wants happiness and doesn't want misery. All beings are relatives. Therefore I will learn equanimity and be free from attachment and aversion to near and far, helping some and harming others. Lamas and gods, help me to accomplish this!"
Once you have developed the mind of equanimity, implement the first of the seven causal instructions for attaining the spirit of enlightenment. Visualize the lamas and gods before you and contemplate: "Why are all beings my relatives? As there is no beginning to the life-cycle, there has also been no beginning to my rebirths. In passing through these countless lives there is no form of life which I have not adopted countless times, and there is no country or realm in which I have not been born. Of all beings, there is not one who has not been my mother innumerable times. Each has been my mother in human form countless times, and will become my mother many times again."