Dharma Wheel by Bob Jacobson
Site Contents
The Three Jewels
The Buddha
The Teachings
The Sangha
Three Vehicles
Tibetan Buddhism
F.A.Q.- sheet
4 Noble Truths
Death & Rebirth
4 Immeasurables
58 Meditations
Other Delusions
Funny stories
Advised Books
A to Z Glossary
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Namo Dharmaya

Hail to the Teachings


Preliminaries and Dedication
Suffering: Of the Different Realms
Suffering: Of Change
Suffering: All-Pervasive
Karma: The 4 Laws of Karma
Karma: Is It Logical?


In order to make the most out of the following analytical meditations, it is important to realise that one should not only observe the analytical mind, but also the emotions and feelings that come up.
Iit is strongly advised to start with a good motivation beforehand, to take a few minutes to calm down (doing e.g. a brief breathing meditation is very good) and to dedicate the positive energy afterwards.
For this, the following traditional prayers can be used:

Taking Refuge

I go for refuge to the Buddha,
I go for refuge to the Dharma,
I go for refuge to the Sangha. (3x)

Setting the Mind to Enlightenment

By virtue of giving and so forth,
may I become a Buddha for the benefit of all sentient beings. (3x)

4 Immeasurables

May all sentient beings have equanimity, free from attachment, aggression and prejudice.
May they be happy, and have the causes for happiness.
May they be free from suffering and causes for suffering.
May they never be separated from the happiness that is free from suffering. (3x)

7-Limbed Prayer

Respectfully I prostrate with body, speech and mind;
I present clouds of every type of offerings, actual and imagined;
I declare all the negative actions I have done since beginningless time,
and rejoice in the merit of all Aryas and ordinary beings.
Please teacher, remain until cyclic existence ends
and turn the wheel of Dharma for all sentient beings.
I dedicate the virtues of myself and others to the great Enlightenment.


By this virtue may I soon
reach a Guru-Buddha-state,
and lead each and every being
to that state of Buddhahood.

May the precious Bodhicitta
not yet born, arise and grow
may that born have no decline
but increase forever more.

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The following list is quite long; it is advisable to concentrate on only one realm per session.

- Imagine being reborn in hell: continuous suffering of extreme heat or cold
- Continuous fighting, being wounded, dying and rising up to fight again
- Being continuously tortured being in a totally hopeless situation; not even death means escape

Hungry Ghost
- Imagine being reborn as a hungry ghost: not having food or drink for years, but not dying as relief
- Continuously searching for food and water
- If you think you found water, it changes into blood and pus when you desperately try to drink it, it burns like acid in your stomach

- Imagine being reborn as an animal: as a donkey in India, carrying heavy loads
- I have little to eat as a street dog, always fighting over food.
- Not knowing what to do
- Not understanding anything about the world
- Being alert for danger all the time

Human Being
- Imagine being reborn a human being: {choose either a or b}
A) Somewhere in a Western country; in the rat-race for money, being lonely in a city of millions
- Somewhere in poor parts of Asia, overcrowded, noisy, no personal freedom, poor.
- Living in a dictatorship, being put in jail and tortured without any reason
- In Africa, in a famine, civil war and the population dying out because of aids.
B) Being born feels like being squashed between mountains.
- When I am born, everything feels hard, cold and painful.
- I will sooner or later meet with unpleasant things, situations and people.
- I will work hard to get the things I like, but often I will not get them, loose them, or they break down.
- I will sooner or later loose everything I love and care for.
- I will get sick, pain in the head, stomach, throat, intestines, joints, muscles
- Inevitably I get old, ugly, helpless, senile a wreck of body and mind.
- I will die, possibly in great pain and confusion.

- Imagine being reborn as a demigod: a nice life, but the gods above have more enjoyments and possessions.
- The gods steal away all beautiful women and children.
- We have to fight against them, these spoiled thieves.
- But however many wars we fight, they always win.
- The women who stay back at home, see their husbands die in visions.

- Imagine being reborn as a god: life is great, blissful, every desire instantly fulfilled.
- Not a worry in the world, everything is paradise, eternal youth.
- But sooner or later I will die: my body will turn ugly, my possessions will not please me any more.
- My clothes will become dirty.
- My body will start to sweat and smell. the other gods will reject me.
- Worst of all, I will see my next rebirth as a pig, hungry ghost or in hell.

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Think of some nice experiences; skiing, movie, sunset, sex and check the following:
- How long did it last?
- Did it really satisfy me?
- Can I think of any unchanging, lasting happiness in my or others' lives?
- Every relationship ends, food ends, movies end, holidays end, flowers wither
- The final result of nice experiences are: parting, leaving, finishing, withering, decay and death
- Is this really happiness?

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- How do I feel right now?
- Not very hungry, thirsty, not alone, not too unhappy, maybe even happy?
- My knees and back may hurt a bit, but for the rest maybe I am ok right now!
- Will this happiness stay forever?
- Am I ever sure about anything?
- Am I sure to live for 50 more years?
- Do I know what will happen after death?
- Am I sure I will be completely disappear or end in paradise?
- I may not believe in hell, but am I absolutely sure about that?
- The pain in my knees would stop if I moved, but would not some other problem come up sooner or later?

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1. Actions produce similar results: negative actions give suffering, pain; positive actions give happiness
2. No result without cause; nothing arises without cause, I cannot blame others for my problems; every experience comes from my own actions in the past
3. Karma expands - apple seed gives tree which gives many apples, small negative actions may give rise to extensive suffering, small positive actions may give rise to extensive happiness; therefore we need to be very mindful of all actions
4. Once an action is done, result is never lost: nothing just disappears; still, positive karma can be prevented from ripening by one moment of anger and negative karma can be prevented from ripening by simple purifications
- We cannot eliminate problems, but we can eliminate our negative reactions.
- Understanding karma means taking full responsibility for my life!

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- The law of karma means that certain causes will bring about similar results.
- Is this true in physics, biology, technology, psychology and even theology or any other "ology"?
- If I push hard enough, anything will move; action is reaction
- If I plant rice, I don't get potatoes; causes give rise to similar results.
- If karma exists, I am my own judge, because only I decide my own future.
- When I behave cruel to others, what results can I expect?
- When I am good to others, what result can I expect?

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Last updated: April 11, 2001