The Dalai Lama has been acknowledged by Tibetan Buddhists
to be a reincarnation of the God of Compassion and by the
world in general to be a Nobel Peace Prize winner but few
know him to be a practicing meditator. All his life, he has
been surrounded by masters of meditation and has been initiated
into many different techniques. It is therefore appropriate
that we pay attention when he points out one method so valuable
that he does it everyday:
Remember when you were a kid and they often had cartoons
where someone had a devil on one shoulder and an angel on
the other and they were whispering into an ear -- one
encouraging doing "bad" and one doing "good". In a way,
that's the basis of the Dalai Lama Meditation technique.
Sit quietly, calmly with eyes closed, as relaxed yet aware as
you can be. Visualize yourself on the left side of your minds
eye as you would appear to yourself and others in a moment
of impatience. Really see this inner vision. Watch your face,
observe your body language. What does your impatient self look
like? On the right side of your minds eye, see yourself when
you are very patient. What do you look like when you have a
lifetime of time. As tense as you appeared on the left as
your impatient self, see yourself as relaxed in your patience
on the right. Now on the left side, see yourself as you appear
when you're depressed. Look carefully. How does that make you
feel? Can you be aware of the aura of doom and gloom
you're radiating? And then, on the right side of your minds
eye, see yourself as you are when you're joyous. Merge with
happiness. Know how others would see you.
Continue seeing all the seemingly negative feelings and
behaviors on the inner left-hand side of your minds eye
and the opposite on the right. On the left, see yourself
as jealous and on the right as how you appear when you are
truly glad for someone else's sucess or happiness. On the
left, see the bigoted you and on the right, the all-embracing.
On the left the mean, on the right the sweet. See the stupid
you and the brilliant. See the clumsy and the graceful. On the
left, see the unsatisfied and on the right, the contented.
Go on and on, becoming familiar with the "you" on the left
and the opposite "you" on the right. Then see the total "you"
who would be there on the left if none of the characteristics
of the right side were present. Now see the "you" who would be
the totality of yourself with the right side only if none of
the behaviors and feelings of the left side "you" had ever appeared.
The Dalai Lama tells us that there is nothing else necessary
because just by seeing your negative left-side self, you will
become so disgusted with yourself when you witness yourself
acting in any of the left side ways that you will automatically
cease any of those actions and start doing and feeling the
right-side actions. Eventually, you will become the right-side
you exclusively. Eventually, you will have peace, compassion,
wisdom, good health, patience, and all the other glorious aspects
This technique has the potential to change your life profoundly
for the better. It is one of the best antidotes for negativity.
It is consistent with his unlimited compassion that the
Dalai Lama has shared it with us.