Meditation Categories Sufferings of Samsara

26. The Suffering of the Eight Cold Hells

Longchen Nyingtik Meditation 26

The Beginning

Take refuge and arouse bodhichitta.

The Main Part

Meditate on the sufferings of the eight cold hells: The cold hells are extremely frigid places of snow mountains and glaciers where beings are unendingly lashed by freezing blizzards and snowstorms. The different types of sufferings that beings endure in them are the namesakes of these hells.


In the Hell of Blisters, glacial cold permeates them and causes blisters to erupt on the body.


In the Hell of Burst Blisters, these blisters burst open and turn into wounds.


In the Hell of Clenched Teeth, beings’ teeth are clenched tightly because of the unbearable cold.


In the Hell of Lamentations, beings freeze and continually lament “it’s so cold”.


In the Hell of Groans, so cold they are, the beings are no longer able to make lamenting sounds, and only protracted groans are heard from their lips.


In the Hell of Utpala-Like Cracks, their skin turns blue and splits open, like the four petals of an utpala flower.


In the Hell of Red Lotus-Like Cracks, their red raw flesh becomes visible, and the cold makes it split into eight pieces.


In the Hell of Great Lotus-Like Cracks, their flesh turns dark red and splits into sixteen or thirty-two pieces like the petals of a large lotus. Worms burrow into the cracked flesh and devour it, causing inconceivable sufferings to the hell beings.


In winter, if we don’t have clothes on, we won’t be able to bear it even for a few hours. What needs to be said about the sufferings of cold hell beings who, fully naked, are ravaged for tens of thousands of years by an extreme cold far worse than ours? Therefore, resolve: At present, I have not been born in such miserable hells. I must rejoice and devote myself to the practice of the authentic Dharma.

The Ending

Dedicate all the merit of your practice to all sentient beings.