Orange clothed monk praying before a Buddha stature

Medication and Meditation

Mike Mather

What's The Use?

The purpose of the 5th Lamrim meditation is to encourage us to lead a virtuous life and purify our past non-virtuous actions. By doing so, we can take human rebirths in the future that possess both physical and mental freedoms and endowments required for studying and practising Dharma.

Here, freedom means not only freedom from physical and mental obstacles, but also from the lack of conditions required for studying and practising Dharma. Endowments refer to having all the necessary conditions for engaging in the study and practice of Dharma.

We must understand that our actions, whether they are of body, speech, or mind, are the causes of our current and future experiences. This is known as karma in Sanskrit.

A drop in a puddle creates a magical pattern

Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay

The Past, Present and Future

Our actions of the past have led to the unique mental dispositions, physical appearances, and experiences that we have today.

No two individuals have performed the same actions in the past, and hence, no two people have identical states of mind, experiences, or physical appearances. This is why we have different karmic experiences resulting from our own past actions.

Our non-virtuous actions of the past have led to our impure and contaminated world, which is full of difficulties and problems. The fundamental reason for our suffering is our own actions or karma because our mind has been contaminated by the inner poison of self-grasping. We suffer because we have performed many non-virtuous actions in our past lives, such as:

  • killing,
  • stealing,
  • deceiving others,
  • destroying others’ happiness, and
  • holding wrong views.

The source of these non-virtuous actions is our own delusions such as anger, attachment, and self-grasping ignorance.

However, once we purify our mind of self-grasping and all other delusions, all our actions will naturally be pure. And as a result of our pure actions or pure karma, everything we experience will be pure. We will abide in a pure world, with a pure body, enjoying pure enjoyments and surrounded by pure beings. There will no longer be the slightest trace of suffering, impurity, or problems. This is how we can find true happiness from within our mind.

A monumental Buddha atop a long stairway

Image by Tân Quản from Pixabay


We need to realise that leading a virtuous life is the key to a happy and fulfilling life. We attain this by avoiding non-virtuous actions and engaging in bodhichitta, virtuous actions for the benefit of all.

As Buddha said,

  • moral discipline leads to human rebirth
  • wealth comes from giving
  • a beautiful body comes from patience
  • the fulfilment of spiritual wishes comes from making effort in our Dharma study and practice
  • inner peace comes from concentration, and
  • liberation comes from wisdom.

Gyatso, Geshe Kelsang. The New Meditation Handbook: Meditations to make our life happy and meaningful (pp. 42-44). Tharpa Publications. Kindle Edition.

About the Author Mike Mather

Mike was born in 1963 which technically makes him one of the youngest of the Baby Boomers. An Australian with Indigenous and European heritage, he has been an avid and required student of Buddhism and alcoholism since 2008.

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