Preliminary Practice

Jun 11, 2017 | Views: 18,987
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(By Tsem Rinpoche and Pastor David)

For a practitioner who truly is interested to practice the Dharma, one must begin with the accomplishment of the preliminary practices, which is known as Ngondro in Tibetan. If the preliminaries are done well and with the right motivation, later practices of Tantra will developing profound realisations, and purify tremendous amounts of negative karma. Although the five preliminaries are traditionally done in preparation for receiving teachings on Tantra, it has tremendous benefits that can be felt in our daily lives as well.

However, many people these days are fascinated with the allure of receiving Tantric initiations of exotic deities from various High Lamas and Tulkus, but they are totally unprepared to hold to the vows and commitments. Because of this, they will not achieve any results with their practice, which will result in them becoming easily disheartened, leading to them eventually giving up the practice altogether. Therefore, tantric initiations are usually not given to those who are new to the Dharma, and are unprepared with what the practice entails. In order for our Dharma practice to bear fruit, we have to develop our practice in a manner similar to building a house.

In order to build the house of Dharma, one must begin from ground up, because that ensures that the foundation of the building is strong enough to withstand the elements. Hence, one has to prepare the mind with preliminary practices because intellectual understanding of the Dharma does nothing for our mind stream and karma. We cannot simply expect to achieve the same results if we simply gaze and admire the teachings from afar without putting them into practice. In order to transform, one has to be mindful and put the necessary effort to correct the actions of the body, speech and mind at all times.

There are several accepted ways of defining each of the preliminaries. In the Gelug tradition, there are actually six preliminaries, which are relegated down to five basic points. In general, the preliminary practices are divided into the ordinary preliminaries and the extraordinary preliminaries.

Ordinary Preliminaries

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The ordinary preliminaries consist of the Four Contemplations that we should incorporate during the formal practices of the extraordinary preliminaries. This is to imbue these practices with the right motivation so that it becomes an accumulation of merit and purification instead of the accumulation of dry recitation.

The Four Contemplations are:

  • The Difficulty of Obtaining A Perfect Human Rebirth
  • Impermanence and Death
  • The Law of Karma
  • The Misery of Samsara

 

1. The Difficulty of Obtaining A Perfect Human Rebirth

The realisation of the difficulties of obtaining a perfect human rebirth is further divided into three aspects:

a. Recognition of the perfect human rebirth
b. Contemplation on its value
c. Contemplation on its scarcity

a. Recognition of the perfect human rebirth

In order to ascertain the value of a particular object, one must first examine the object thoroughly. For a miner who discovers a nugget of gold, he would first examine the nugget for its purity to recognise its worth. Upon recognition, the miner will realise that it is unlikely to find another gold nugget of such great value, and he will start to think of how to make good use of it.

This gold nugget is likened to our fortunate human rebirth. We may think that all human beings share the same opportunities and conditions. But the reality is that we are all different, and not all of us have what it takes to practice the Dharma and uplift ourselves. Therefore, the perfect human rebirth is unique, and has specific qualities that allow us to practice the Dharma. These qualities are called Daljor Gyi Milus in Tibetan.

Dal means ‘leisure’ or ‘rest’, which means that we have the leisure or freedom to practice the Dharma. On the other hand, Jor means ‘endowment’. This refers to the 8 Freedoms and 10 Endowments, or the 18 Opportune Conditions of an optimum human rebirth.
The Eight Freedoms

  1. One is not born in the hell realm.

In this realm of existence, unbearable and continual suffering pervades all who dwell in this realm. Everyone suffers so much that no Dharma is ever taught here. When one is preoccupied with so much suffering, there is no room for higher thoughts like the Dharma. The act of killing and similar actions is the main causes to be reborn in this realm.

  1. One is not born in the hungry ghost realm.

The beings of this realm are unable to satisfy their hunger and thirst, and this agony prevents them from practicing the Dharma. If one does not eat or drink for a day, it would be difficult to concentrate on anything else. But our ordinary hunger and thirst still cannot be compared to the sufferings of the beings of this realm. The pervading cause to be reborn in this realm is greed and avarice.

  1. One is not born in the animal realm.

The sufferings of the beings in this realm are very obvious. The beings of this realm are plagued by stupidity and ignorance that prevent them from ever listening to and practicing the Dharma. Even if the most skillful of teachers came together to give a teaching, the dog would not have the intelligence to comprehend anything. He would just wag his tail and bark for some affection and food. The main cause to be reborn in this realm is sexual misconduct, abusing others by way of insults, calling people animal names, and reluctance to learn the Dharma.

  1. One is not born in the deva god realm.

According to the scriptures, devas, or the god-beings of the form and formless realms are absorbed in the bliss of concentration for an extended period of time. However, devas of the realm of desire are constantly indulging in sensual pleasures. Since the beings of these realms are totally consumed with happiness, they spare no time to practice the Dharma. This happiness is deceptive as it is like living off huge sums of borrowed money. Once the funds or the karma that sustain such an existence runs out, difficulties will arise. This occurs during the passing of a deva, when so much positive store of karma has been exhausted and only negative karma remains, the unfortunate deva would usually be reborn in the lower realms. The main route to be reborn in the deva realm is by performing meritorious actions without the motivation to attain full enlightenment, or the specific aspiration to be reborn as a god.

  1. One is not born in a place where these is no Dharma.

From the standpoint of the Dharma, the life of the ordinary person who just engages in ordinary actions of working, waking, eating and sleeping for the sake of one’s own livelihood and gratification of this life alone is considered no different from an animal. Hence, one is unable to practice the Dharma, generate any merits or purify any karma. Hence, one does virtually nothing to further one’s spiritual path.

  1. One is free of wrong views.

Even if one would be reborn in a place where the Dharma is flourishing and where there are many qualified teachers, if one would hold wrong views, one would still not be able to benefit these favorable conditions. A wrong view is a wrong assertion that denies the existence of an object that is necessary to attain liberation or enlightenment (i.e. denying the existence of enlightened beings, karma, or rebirth). Therefore, holding wrong views is very dangerous because it destroys any merits accumulated in many prior lifetimes, and stops one’s progress on the path.

  1. One is free from deluded practices.

Due to wrong views, some people exert a lot of energy towards negative practices while believing it is beneficial. For example, some people believe that animal sacrifices, certain types of wrong asceticism, or certain practices that appear to be Dharma practice when they are not. The traditional tale to illustrate such deluded practices is the famous tale of Angulimala. His teacher taught him that he would be able to attain liberation if he killed a thousand people and wear their fingers strung together as a necklace around his neck. His last victim would have been the Buddha, but the Buddha skillfully taught and subdued him, and Angulimala became the Buddha’s student and eventually attained arhatship.

  1. One is free from stupidity.

Stupidity here is in reference to the inability to comprehend the subtleties of the teachings and retain knowledge of the teachings.

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The Ten Endowments

Five Personal Endowments

  1. One is born as a human being.
  2. One is born in a central country where the Dharma is flourishing or is accessible.
  3. One is endowed with the complete faculties of a healthy body. This means that the body is without debilitating defects or deficient in any of the five senses.
  4. One has respect and faith in the Buddha and have not committed any of the five heinous crimes of killing one’s father or mother, killing an arhat, drawing blood from the Buddha, or causing a schism in the Sangha.
  5. One has faith in the Buddhadharma, and has the desire to practice the teachings. Naturally, full confidence does not come immediately, as this faith would gradually grow over time with learning and practice.

Five Circumstantial Endowments

  1. One is born in a fortunate era when a Buddha has appeared. According to the scriptures, there are many dark eons that a Buddha never appeared, and only a few eons that were illuminated by their presence and teachings.
  2. One is born during the fortunate time when the Buddha has taught the Dharma. This is considered most auspicious because there are many Buddhas that appeared in the past but passed into parinirvana without giving any teachings.
  3. One is born when the teachings of the Buddha is still very much alive. In fact, there are still authentic teachers who are proliferating their teachings.
  4. One is born where others are practicing the Dharma. To have other people in our lives practicing the Dharma is a great encouragement.
  5. One is born in a place where one will find the means of support. When one engages in deep Dharma practice, material necessities are still provided for.

It is through repeated contemplation of our own lives that when death comes knocking at our door suddenly, our store of negative actions in this life would ensure an immediate rebirth in the lower realms. If we reflect on the actions in our lives, and the actual cause for rebirth in the other realms, we would definitely take a negative rebirth.

However, since we currently possess all the necessary freedoms and endowments to practice, we should rejoice at this great opportunity, and take full advantage of it right away. The opportunities inherent in this life are likened to the rarity and preciousness of gold. If we contemplate the 8 freedoms and 10 endowments, we would realise that we would not want to waste a single moment of this precious life. This in turn would become the strong motivation needed to prepare the mind for higher meditations.

 

2. Contemplation on the Great Value of a Perfect Human Rebirth

In this life, it is possible for most of us to achieve worldly success and happiness by means of study and hard work. Most people do this because culture, society and our attachment to sensory pleasures drives us towards worldly success. However, no matter how successful we are, we will not be able to take any of these achievements into our next life. None of the hard work and worldly success has any real meaning at the point of death.

In fact, what is far more important is our Dharma practice or our work towards full enlightenment, because it would determine where we would be reborn in the next life. Hence, our Dharma practice would play a pivotal role at the point of death when everything else would cease to have any real meaning. Our Dharma practice towards liberation is achieved by embracing the correct use of this precious human rebirth, which is not automatically produced when we have the 18 opportune conditions.

We have had innumerable lifetimes before this, and have encountered, at many times, the 18 opportune conditions, but have not been able to overcome the suffering and despair of samsara – the cyclical existence of death and rebirth. Hence, it would behoove us to abandon negative actions, cultivate Bodhichitta and the various levels of the path of liberation, and ultimately reach full enlightenment in this very lifetime itself. One would have come to the realisation that it is possible to reach opportune rebirth by practicing the Dharma.

 

3. Contemplation on the Scarcity of the Perfect Human Rebirth

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These teachings of the ordinary preliminary practices are to be contemplated upon constantly and daily. At least 3 times a day, for over a period of time before one would see any hint of a change in mind. We should be like a professional executive in a highly-paid job, willing to dedicate all of our efforts towards this job when we engage in our diligence as a Dharma practitioner to change our minds. If we do not do this properly, our practice would not produce results, and eventually doubt would arise and we would abandon the practice.

For most practitioners, we may think that our life has been wasted, and we aspire to do better in our next life. However, the reality is that we may not have the same opportunities again in future lives due to our store of unskilled negative karma. Therefore, we can contemplate on the scarcity of this human rebirth in order to overcome any false hope. The contemplation on the scarcity of this human rebirth can be done via the three following methods:

a. Scarcity by Numbers

According to the scripture, the number of beings in all the hells and deva realms decrease with each ascending realm. That means that the number of beings in the hell realms are much more than that of the hungry ghost realm, and the number of beings in the ghost realm surpass that of the animal realm. Meanwhile there are much more animals than there are human beings. Then, from within the human realm, there few who have the 18 Opportune Conditions to practice the Dharma.

The reason for this scarcity, and why the lower realms are so heavily populated is due to the fact that negative actions are rampant and constantly being committed, but positive actions are rare. Such positive actions are rare because it would require a sound understanding of the laws of karma, which is difficult to acquire. Just by virtue of numbers, one is able to see that virtue is rare while unwholesome deeds are common and plentiful.

b. Scarcity by Example

The Bodhisattva Shantideva first mentioned this form of contemplation in his seminal text entitled Bodhisattvacaryavatara, or the ‘Bodhisattva Way of Life’. This allegory by Shantideva, about a blind turtle in the sea, is meant to be an object of contemplation, and not just an entertaining tale.

Shantideva describes a blind turtle that lives at the depths of a vast ocean. This blind turtle would only surface once every century, and could only remain on the surface for an instant before diving down into the depths of the ocean floor again. But on the surface of the ocean floats a golden yoke that is pushed and pulled by the ocean tide and wind. Now, the turtle is symbolic of sentient beings, and the surface of the ocean represents rebirth in the fortunate realms. The blindness of the turtle is representative of sentient beings’ eye of wisdom that is blinded by ignorance, as well as sentient beings that are unable to distinguish skillful and unskillful actions.

The encumbrance of the turtle’s massive and heavy shell represents the obstacles of the body, speech and mind that obstruct our efforts to practice the Dharma sincerely. The turtle unfortunately lives on the depths of the ocean floor, which corresponds to rebirth in the lower realms. The turtle rises to the surface for a brief respite, and then sinks back down to the ocean floor, which makes it seemed almost impossible for the turtle to lift its head through the golden yoke. Similarly, it is just as rare and difficult for one to have a human rebirth and have the supreme desire to practice the Dharma.

There are great eons that pass without the presence of a Buddha, and then when a Buddha does appear, rarely do they decide to teach the Dharma. We are considered especially fortunate to be born in a time of a Buddha who taught the Dharma. There are numerous scriptures that expound on the Buddhadharma, but their study was not as important as putting them into practice. Through contemplation, we are able to perceive very clearly how fortunate and unique it is to have these 18 Opportune Conditions.

c. Scarcity by Cause

Being reborn as a human being is rare because of what it takes to create the actual cause. Just like a farmer who intends to have a bountiful harvest must first begin by sowing the right seeds, human rebirth requires the maintenance of moral discipline. Amongst the various levels of moral discipline, we will be looking at the most basic, which is the abandonment of the ten non-virtuous deeds and they are:

  1. Three actions of the body– killing, stealing, and sexual misconduct
  2. Four actions of speech– lying, slander, abuse, and idle chatter
  3. Three actions of mind– jealousy, harmful thoughts, and wrong views

Milarepa said, “Rare indeed are those endowed with a perfect rebirth, for it is hard to meet beings who keep pure morality.”

One would think that because the human population is increasing worldwide, this must mean that the chances of being reborn has human has become greater as well. However, what we is important for our practice is an optimum human rebirth. Upholding the ten virtues is just the basic seed or cause towards such a rebirth.

In addition to the ten virtues, we should also uphold practices of the 6 perfections of generosity, patience, and so forth, which are free from the eight mundane concerns. When we engage in this practices, we create a powerful cause for an optimum human rebirth in the future. Therefore, the question is: Do we have what it takes for us to gain an optimum human rebirth again? When we are in a shop and we wish to buy something, we must have enough money in our purse to purchase the item. Likewise, if we wish to attain a human rebirth, we need to create the cause to be reborn.

Morality or shila is the most important foundation of all attainments, especially in shamatha (calm abiding) and dhyana (single-pointed meditation). From the first realisation of Dharma up to the attainment of Buddhahood, one must progress through the three-fold higher training of shila (morality), samadhi (concentration) and prajna (wisdom). This is represented by the Wheel of Dharma we see adorning Buddhist temples and monasteries.

The hub of the Dharma wheel represents shila (morality), and it forms the centre of the wheel because all attainments depend on it. The rim of the wheel represents samadhi (concentration), which keeps the mind collected. The eight spokes are likened to sharp weapons of prajna (wisdom) that severs ignorance. Finally, on both sides of the wheel, we have two deer facing the wheel, while looking upwards to represent upaya (means) and prajna (wisdom), inseparable elements in the attainment of full enlightenment.

 

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4. Contemplation on Impermanence and Death

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The contemplation on impermanence and death has 3 aspects:

  • Contemplation on the certainty of death
  • Contemplation on the uncertainty of the time of death
  • The realisation that at our death bed, only Dharma can save us

a. Contemplation on the Certainty of Death

As long as we have been reborn in samsara, we are bound to grow old and die. This is an indisputable fact that we cannot deny or avoid. Even the great masters like Nagarjuna, and the great mahasiddhas of old whom had attained great powers through their realisations had to eventually leave their bodies. Even Buddha Shakyamuni himself passed away as a final teaching on impermanence of the conditioned phenomenon.

When death comes knocking, no physician or doctor in this world is able to do anything. Therefore, it is important that we understand this fact, and that Dharma is the only thing that can be of assistance to us at this crucial moment. The Indian Guru of Machik Labdron, Padampa Sangye said, “O people of Dhingri, at the very moment that follows birth, you are already in the grip of death. Hurry then, there is no time to lose!”

For us, we are like sheep taken to the slaughterhouse. Every minute that passes is a minute closer to death. Due to our unskillful negative actions of the past, we fear death in much the same way a criminal feels on his way to the gallows.

Due to the good karma from previous lives, we have been reborn as a human being. However, when it comes to the point of death, we have no power to add even a minute to our lifespan. The great Milarepa once said that our body is like an old house with a leaky roof, which gradually deteriorates over the years. Therefore, we have to seize this moment and use our body while we are still alive to achieve of enlightenment.

These teachings are not pleasant to the ear, but to only focus on pleasant teachings would not convey to us the true meaning of the Dharma. In fact, the Tantric deities and great yogins are always naked, adorned with ashes, bone ornaments, and skull cups as a reminder of the inevitability of death. When we have realised this point, we would surely wish to start our Dharma practice immediately.

b. Contemplation on the Uncertainty of the Time of Death

In actuality, we are aware of death, but this has clearly not moved us to practice the Dharma deeply. This is because we have not understood the uncertainty as to when death would come to us. We delude ourselves by thinking it will come later when it could come at any time. If it was possible to forecast the time of our death, we could establish a sort of program for our life as a means to guestimate when we would die, but this is not possible. Even age cannot be used as a yardstick to determine when we are going to die. Generally, it is believed that the old die before the young but there are many exceptions. When it comes to death, neither wealth, power, wisdom, youth, nor status can do anything for you. Even sickness and good health means nothing because a healthy person may die at any moment. It is almost impossible to determine who among us would die first.

It is believed within us there are many causes for death, and just a few that prolong our life. Traditionally, there are 424 potential illnesses spreading throughout the body. Even when one cause is eliminated, the cause for another could arise easily to replace the prior. In addition to illnesses, animals, spirits, malevolent people and natural elements can potentially pose a danger to our lives as well. Furthermore, we can die from poisonous food, or even a car accident. There is just no end to the possibilities of how we can die.

Milarepa said, “When you young people are together, You have absolutely no awareness of death, Yet it strikes like a thunderbolt.”

When we hear news of war coming, we fear for our lives, but the reality is that the danger of death is always there. Hence, when we witness the sudden passing of a healthy person, we are reminded of life’s uncertainty and offer a short glimpse into the possibility that death could come to us at any time.

Nagarjuna said, “Life is so tenuous and beset by many dangers, it is more fragile and unsteady like a bubble blown to and fro by the wind. How truly amazing for someone who believes that after breathing in he will breathe out again or that he will awake from a night’s sleep. Even if your hair and clothes were on fire, you should not concern yourself with them, since you could use that moment to stop rebirth. Nothing is more important than that.”

In old Tibet, the great lamas would continue their meditation despite experiencing painful wounds. This should inspire us to work harder on our practice, to exert ourselves and meditate as much as possible, and continue our practice even when sleep overcomes us.

c. Realisation that at our death bed, only Dharma can save us

Death meditation is one of the most common and important forms of meditation in Buddhism. It is used to derive a sense of renunciation. Death meditation is done by visualising our own death, either naturally by disease, or unnaturally by accident. Although the process of death is different in both cases, we will be looking into the processes of a natural death.

Our death begins when the doctor gives up hope of reviving us. Normally in life, we are able to savour a great many different tastes, but a dying person cannot even taste the water that’s given to him. The lips and tongue, which brought so much joy and sorrow in life, cannot even utter a single word. In life, we adorn our bodies with fine garments and expensive jewelry, but they are of no comfort now as they are like adornments onto dead rocks and wood. There is not single person on earth that can turn things around now. The dying person has to depart alone, leaving behind everything he or she owns.

At this point, the one thing that can make a difference is one’s Dharma practice in life. It is only that when we realise this, we will become more diligent and sincere with our Dharma practice. All of us must realise that death can come anytime, and that we should practice immediately. It is only when we familiarise ourselves with practice that we have the mental strength to face our fears and sorrows.

Death would be the most tumultuous time that we have ever experience. At that point, if we can keep a firm mind on the necessary practices, or we can strongly remember the appearance of the yidam or meditational Buddha that we prayed to in life, then there is a good chance for a favorable rebirth or freedom. However, if we have neglected our Dharma practice, at this point, we will experience strong regret, and die in a state of confusion and duress.

When death approaches, the four elements that have been supporting consciousness will gradually dissolve. All physical or bodily control will be lost and the mind begins to separate from the body. During this process, two types of signs would occur to the dying:

  • Outer signs observed by those around the dying person
  • Inner signs observed by the dying person

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The Process of Death

  1. The first thing the dying person experiences is the dissolution of the earth element. This when the person loses all bodily control. This is also when the dying person perceives a heat wave, like hot air rising from a road, which is a sign that the water element will dissolve next.
  2. What comes next for the dying person is the dissolution of the water element. This is when the body becomes like dry wood as it loses its color and luster while all moisture in the eyes and mouth disappears as well. The dying person would also perceive a light smoke rising, which is a sign that alludes to the next element to dissolve.
  3. The third element that dissolves for the dying person is fire. This when the body becomes cold. If a chill spreads from the head to the heart, an unfortunate rebirth is indicated. When a chill spreads from the feet upwards to the heart, a fortunate rebirth is indicated. This is also when the dying person will perceive sparks of fire in the darkness.
  4. The fourth and last element to dissolve for a dying person is the element of air. This is when the last breath accelerates and become shallower. The exhalation becomes stronger, and breathing stops after a last long exhalation. The dying person at this point will perceive a stable dim light. From this point onwards, the person has passed and has entered the bardo– the intermediate state between death and rebirth.

Right up to the bardo, fears and illusions that normally haunt a person would be forgotten, and the awareness of the self also disappears. For an advanced meditator, he will remain in concentration throughout the four stages while remaining aware, and foreseeing what is to come. Since all physical manifestation of life has disappeared, the people around the deceased may want to dispose the corpse quickly. However, since the inner death experience may continue for several more days, the quick burial or cremation of the body would be equivalent of killing the person.

Meanwhile within the body, there is the left and right energy channels that course through the middle of the body somewhere along the spine. When alive, the left and right channels are knotted to the central channel, which makes circulation of energy normally impossible. At death, the body loses control and the knots begin to unravel naturally, which leaves the central channel free and unobstructed.

From this point onwards, there are no visible signs of life, and the dying person will perceive a dim light that is similar to the light that spreads across the sky before the moon rises. This occurs because the white cell received from the father at conception descends from the crown down towards the heart chakra. Subsequently, the person perceives a dim red light that is similar to what we see at sunset. This occurs because the red cell received from the mother ascends from the navel chakra towards the heart chakra.

When the red and white cells meet at the heart chakra, the corresponding experiences are registered in two stages. This first stage begins when there is just complete darkness. And then, the deceased loses consciousness. The longer this person remains conscious, the better it is for the development of the next stage. The person experiences a sort of empty space that is devoid of form or color but this is not shunyata, or the realisation of emptiness of inherent existence. The consciousness is now in its subtlest form.

For an ordinary untrained person, this would just be a transitory experience and would be wasted. But for an advanced meditator in tantra, he or she is able to transform this subtle state of consciousness into a meditation on shunyata and gain enlightenment. Lama Tsongkhapa and many other mahasiddhas were able to do this and gain full enlightenment at this point. Right after this, the red cell and white cell separate and leave the body. The red cell leaves from the nose, and the white cell leaves through the urinary tract.

Therefore, it is important during sleep and in death to lie in the lion posture, which allows the two stages to be seen easily. The lion posture is when we lie on the right side just like how the Buddha left his human form. From hereafter, the consciousness leaves the heart chakra and enters the bardo, which is a tumultuous period where there is no freedom, as one is driven helplessly by the force of one’s karma towards rebirth in a new body.

Hence, the Dharma urges us to use the experience of death as contemplation in order to achieve liberation. With this explanation you will find the greatest assistance towards your practice. The result of this depends on the capability of the individual, an intelligent practitioner would be able to attain Buddhahood while those of middling intelligence would obtain a good rebirth in order to continue practicing.

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5. Contemplation on the Law of Karma

The ubiquitous karma literally means action or deed. Generally, there are two types of karma:

a. Samsaric karma which will ripen in any of the six realms of samsara

b. Non-samsaric karma, which is free from the possibility of ripening in any of the Three Realms– form, formless and desire

Naturally, karma of ordinary sentient beings is of the first kind, while the second is the karma of arya or awakened beings. There are many divisions of Samsaric Karma.

a. Unskillful Karma – results in suffering

Unskillful karma is produced when a strong attachment to the ‘I’ arises, like when we feel irritated with someone or whenever this relative ‘self’ of ours engages in actions like working, eating, studying, and reinforces itself to have true independent and findable existence.

This concept of self is best illustrated by the example of a person walking in the dark and mistaking a thick rope lying on the floor to be a snake. He is deeply afraid because he fails to recognise the fact that it’s just a rope. This also happens when you get irritated because our ignorance clouds our better judgment of the true nature of our relative self, and we hang onto it, as if this self we are protecting truly exists.

The truth of the matter is that we are not trying to negate this relative self, because otherwise who is it that is performing all the daily actions of working, eating and so forth? One must be clear about the differentiation between relative self and the conditioned view of self that stems from ignorance, or we would not realise shunyata (emptiness).

This false view arises from ignorance, which is the basis of all klesas, or mental afflictions, because hatred, attachment, jealousy, and the desire to hurt others arise from it, and it is dependent to stimuli. When such desires arise, mental karma is produced, which in turn leaves an impression or seed in our consciousness, and this will come to fruition when all the necessary conditions are met. Naturally, mental karma is the easiest and quickest to create as compared to the actions of body or speech. In fact, we would have created a lot of mental karma in just the span of a single minute. However, if this desire to harm were carried out in action or speech, then the imprint in our mental consciousness would be much deeper.

Although all that occurred this morning lies in the past, our mind stream continues and we will remember it. We have countless types of virtuous and non-virtuous karma stored within our mind stream. When we tell a lie in our childhood, that seed is planted within the mind stream, and when the right situation arises, we can experience the effects, or we can eliminate this karma with certain purification practices.

b. Skillful karma

Skillful karma is created when we see a person about to kill a bird and this provokes deep feelings of compassion. Hence, we generate the will to save the bird, and thus, skillful karma is produced in our mind stream, which will leave a positive impression. Thereafter, if we turn this compassionate intention into action or speech and we actually free the bird, the strength of this skillful karma is increased. Ultimately, the result of skillful karma is the attainment of happiness for oneself and others.
Two Aspects of Karma

There are two important aspects of karma, and that is individual karma and collective karma. If a single person produces individual karma, only that one person who would experience the repercussions. On the other hand, if collective karma is produced by a group of people and the same group of people would experience the same repercussions when the right circumstances are present.

A traditional tale is told of the Buddha Shakyamuni’s disciples to illustrate the effects of collective karma. During the Buddha’s time, there was a group of Arya-Bhikshunis, or attained nuns who lived together in a hermitage with a laywoman who would cook for them. One day a fire broke out and spread to all the huts in the hermitage. The nuns, through their miraculous powers flew into the sky to escape the flames. However, their karma was such that they were pulled back into the flames. The most spiritually advanced of the nuns had a vision of their past lives as little children who burnt a Pratyekabuddha, and the cook’s previous life had been the only one who chastise them for their misdeed. The nun accepted their karma and perished in the flames while the cook managed to escape through a nearby drain.

Aside from this, there are another two aspects of karma, which is intention and completion of the action. In the case where intention and completion is either skillful or unskillful, the effect would either be beneficial or non-beneficial. However, if intention and completion were not the same, then one would accrue mixed results. For example, if you gave alms to a street beggar, but do so in an arrogant manner, you would create the cause for wealth, but somehow difficulties would arise over the inheritance to which you should be getting.

The severity of a particular karma depends on a few attributes, and they are:

  1. The object– The actions that are done to fathers, mothers, gurus, bodhisattvas, the sick, or the helpless, would create a heavier result.
  2. The subject– The repercussions of a particular action would be heavier for a person who holds vows.
  3. The motivation– Intense hatred or desire would affect the power of karma.
  4. The manner– The way in which a particular action is carried out would determine the repercussion.

In reality, all karma arises from the three psychic poisons of hatred, ignorance and desire. If you steal out of an attachment to a particular object, you are motivated by strong desire. If you kill an animal in a fit of rage, you are motivated by hatred. If you kill with the belief that it is actually beneficial in some way, you are acting out of deep ignorance. However, this ignorance is not as deep-seated as that which views the ego as truly existent, which becomes the main cause of all afflictions.

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Division of Karma into Throwing and Accomplishing Karma

There is a further division of karma between throwing and accomplishing karma that we will be looking into. Throwing karma literally creates the cause for rebirth into the various realms of existence. Accomplishing karma on the other hand is the cause for various qualities, which differentiate beings and their living conditions.

If the throwing and accomplishing karma are both skillful, the result would be a happy rebirth with good living conditions. The main cause to be reborn as a human being is to restrain from killing and maintaining pure moral discipline. If you refrain from killing and harming others, and practice generosity or giving, your life will be filled with abundance of all the necessary resources. For those endowed with dignity and independence, it is due to the result of abandoning pride, and practicing humility and respect for others. Practicing patience is the main cause for a healthy body.

If the throwing karma is unskillful, but the accomplishing karma is skillful, then the rebirth will be unfavorable, but the living conditions will be much better. An example would be reborn as a pet dog, which is a lower rebirth due to unskillful throwing karma. But due to skillful accomplishing karma, the dog faces little suffering and meets with a kind owner. Another example would be rebirth as a human being as a result of skillful throwing karma, but in a life fraught with difficulties as a result of unskillful accomplishing karma.

Other Characteristics of Karma

  • There are some actions of body and speech that are unintentional.
  • There are intentions that cross the mind, but are not followed through with physical action or speech.
  • The intention and deed are both carried out.
  • Powerful karma– the results of actions that can be seen within that lifetime itself.
  • Karma and the results are experienced in the next lifetime.
  • Karma and the results are experienced in the third or subsequent lifetimes.
  • The certainty of karma- results of all actions must inevitably be experienced.
  • An action can produce great results. It is said in the scriptures that a young woman with pure motivation offered alms to the Buddha. The Buddha in turn prophesied that when and where she would attain Pratyakabuddhahood as a result of that action. The husband of the girl voiced his disbelief that such a small action could bring so much. The Buddha explained that a tall tree can grow from a small seed and the results of small actions can grow to have big results.
  • In the event that no karmic seed was sown, then no effect would arise, and this can be seen in the case of the cook for the nuns who escaped the fire.
  • Karmic seeds can never die on their own, unless they are purified with certain practices. Otherwise, these karmic seeds would germinate into karmic conditions when the right conditions arises.

Most people have doubts that the Buddha in his infinite compassion and wisdom can actually help to eliminate our negative karma. All beings have inevitably accumulated various types of unskilled karma that would invariably result in suffering and unhappiness. Therefore, the Buddha in his great compassion has shown us a way out when he taught how karma can be purified and suffering can cease as a result of this. Nonetheless, it is entirely up to the individual to apply what is necessary in order to achieve this.

A great doctor or physician may have great concern for a patient and prescribe the best treatment, but it would be up to the patient to follow through. If it were up the Buddha’s compassion, all of samsara would have been liberated. The force of the Buddha’s compassion alone surpasses his love of the self. It is described to be like the sun, shining equally on all things. However, if a pot is turned upside down, how can the sunlight seep through?

For someone who has never met the Buddha or his teachings, karma would be difficult to realise and it would be difficult to change. Even when we have a relationship with the Buddha’s teachings, change is still difficult. The Buddha’s influence can be effective in the face of uncertain karma when there already is some sort of prior connection. An example for this is when someone is dying because of previous actions instead of exhaustion of karma. In this case, the Buddha’s compassion may be felt through powerful long life rituals to extend the person’s life. A person’s lifespan is like a butterlamp which is on the verge of being snuffed out, either because of the finishing of the butter or by a strong gust of wind. The Buddha can only prevent the second scenario.

Karma is difficult to uproot, and in order to do so one must practice meditation. Karma on the deeper level is difficult to grasp. It would behoove us to learn the different aspects thoroughly and thus allow us to understand the various conditions and experiences that sentient beings have to go through. Although it may appear superficially easy, that an external effect has a particular cause, the law of karma and its results are extremely complex.

 

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The Three Ways to Understand Phenomena

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  1. Direct observation via sensory perception
  2. Observation through logic and reasoning in the case of Shunyata
  3. Reliance on the wisdom and knowledge of an omniscient Buddha

The knowledge of karma belongs to the third means of understanding. It is said that only the Buddha is able to trace all the causes responsible for a particular phenomenon. For example, only a Buddha would understand what were the subtleties of karma that brought about the formation of colors on a peacock feather.

 

6. Contemplation on the Misery of Samsara

The Buddha spoke about 6 realms of existence that we can be reborn in within this realm of Desire. This would include the human realm right in the middle. Rebirth in any of these realms conditioned by karma and unskillful actions will lead to rebirth in the three lower realms– animal, hungry ghost and hell realms.

Of the three lower realms, the animal realm is the most intimately connected with us due to strong karmic connections, and that we can see them easily. Although most of us are unable to perceive beings from the hungry ghost and hell realms, that does not mean they do not exist. To say that would be like denying that a person is thinking just because we cannot perceive his thoughts.

Although we cannot perceive these realms, there are many advanced beings like the Buddha who have the eye of wisdom to perceive these realms, the sufferings inherent in those realms, and the causes for rebirth there. To reject the existence of these realms is like a blind man who refuses to believe there is color. One’s understanding of these realms will improve in tandem with the conviction in karma and its results.

The six realms beginning from the lowest is the hell, hungry ghost, human, asura (or demi god), and deva realms.

a. Hell

Hell is the lowest realm in samsara and the one with the most pervasive suffering. Beings with the heaviest karma would be reborn in either the cold or hot hells. Cold hells are the result of stealing, holding wrong views of the Dharma, inflicting suffering while feeling ‘cold’ towards the sufferings of others, and so forth. The cause to be reborn in the hot hells is the various means of killing and destroying life.

When a person is at their deathbed, certain signs would manifest due to karma in order to indicate the next rebirth. Some people will feel very cold and beg for blankets and jackets to keep warm. This extreme cold gives rise to a desire to keep warm, and this craving throws the person towards the hot hells. All this happens because of the ripening of the seeds of karma at death, and signs slowly appear in the same manner as a snake’s venom spreads throughout the body. On the other hand, the experience can be reversed and the person could have an aversion to heat, and the craving to keep cool may cause a rebirth in the cold hells. If we understand this and observe these things in the dying, it will be easier to develop a firm belief in the existence of these realms.

It is said that the consciousness enters the lava and molten rock of the hot hells, and thereby be reborn there. The condition within a volcano, with its river of molten lava is very much what is like in the hot hells. The bodies of the hot hells are indistinguishable from the flames, much in the same way red-hot ember of coal is so hot that it bursts into flames. Likewise, the Polar Regions on earth are like the cold hells. The bodies of the beings in the realm are likewise inseparable from the ice and they experience indescribable pain and suffering.

In the Bodhisattvacaryavatara, the Bodhisattva Shantideva asks this rhetorical question:

Who has created this burning iron floor,
The guards who inflict the pain and the raging fires,
From where do they come?
The Tathgata says that all these phenomenon are
the projections of the evil mind

It is quite clear that hells are in actuality, projections of the mind and not self-existent places but they are as real as the human world that we inhabit. They are not like in a dream state, where there is actually no suffering experienced. A lifespan in hell is extremely long and varied according to different sets of karma. Unfortunately due to heavy karma, some beings will remain in hell until the destruction of the world. Thereafter, if their karma is not finished, they will be reborn in other worlds and under similar circumstances. This is much like prisoners who are transferred to another prison in order to complete their sentence.

The causes, conditions and sufferings in hell are a good object to meditate on. If you find it hard to visualise yourself in hell, you may think that you have not gathered the conditions to be reborn in hell in this life. You may or may not be wrong, but there are countless other lifetimes along with their karmic seeds that may be easily triggered at death. It is only through intense investigation do we find proof that your previous lives did exist, and with sound conviction of rebirth and of previous lives that the contemplation on the six realms will be effective.

b. Hungry Ghost

Unless you are sensitive, psychic, or spiritually attained, you usually cannot make contact with this realm. The direct cause to be reborn in this realm is avarice and greed. There are many incidents of ghosts haunting the properties of their previous lives because their karma compels them to have such strong attachment. Unfortunately, beings of this realm are unable to perceive fresh food and delicious drinks placed before them, which could quench their thirst and hunger. Due to strong karma, they will have to remain in this miserable state for thousands of years. Their bodies take on a hideous and emaciated appearance, their stomachs bloated and they move about with little strength. It is said, the moonlight burns their skin and the winter sun freezes them. If hungry ghosts could die under such circumstances, their sufferings would be cut short but their karma is so heavy that they continue to live a very long time till their karma is exhausted.

These are general conditions that afflict hungry ghosts but some suffer from more specific afflictions. There are some that have the karma to see food and water but when they try to reach it, obstacles would arise and somehow they would be frightened away. There other hungry ghosts that manage to drink the water in order to quench their immense thirst, but somehow their karma transforms water into pus or poison or any other substance that would cause them great suffering.

Generally, there are a great variety of spirits in this world and some endowed with great power that can be beneficial or harmful towards people. Some spirits even have a few pleasures and possessions, but because of their greed, they pretend not to have any. These spirits are full of evil intentions and are compelled by their throwing karma to commit even more unskillful actions, which will eventually lead to further lower rebirths.

The truth is that these beings will not always remain in their present state, and you will also not always remain human. They experience rebirth in this realm due to their previous unskillful actions, and if your thoughts and actions produce the cause to be reborn as such, you too will be compelled by karma to experience the same fate. Therefore, it would behoove us to examine our greed to determine if we truly have the karmic seed that may ripen one day for us to be reborn as a ghost. Each person will be reborn according to what they deserve.

c. Animals

Of all the other realms, the suffering of the animal realm is the easiest to perceive. In general, animals are weak, powerless, unintelligent, and are compelled only by their instincts. Unfortunately, human beings exploit animals, and have greatly contributed to their suffering through hunting, farming, butchering, and eating them. Animals have to endure heat, cold, and hunger, but their greatest misery stems from their stupidity and inability to develop higher thoughts. Once we have fallen to this realm of existence, it is very difficult to be reborn as human again. In general, animals lack everything they should have, and are endowed with everything that they should be free of. The main cause to be reborn in this realm is sexual misconduct.

Sexual misconduct is traditionally defined as follows:

  1. Object– It is considered a sexual misconduct to perform sexual acts with one’s father, mother, bhikshu (monk), bhikshuni (nun) or with someone’s partner or spouse.
  2. Time– It is sexual misconduct to perform sexual intercourse on the day of the full moon, new moon, on days of religious observances, or with women who are on their menstrual period, pregnant or nursing a baby.
  3. Place– It is considered improper to perform sexual acts near holy places or holy persons, such as near one’s guru.
  4. Manner – Unnatural sexual acts are also considered misconduct.

It is also believed that calling someone by animal names as an act of abuse or to disturb the minds of those striving to practice the Dharma creates the cause to be reborn as animals. Since most of us have produced innumerable causes to be reborn in this realm, we should purify our mind stream with purification practices and confessional prayers.

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d. Human Beings

For human beings, there are 4 great rivers of human suffering:

i. Birth

When a human baby is still in the mother’s womb, it is trapped within a tight bag surrounded by the mother’s organs. Whenever the mother moves, drinks, and eats anything excessively hot or cold, the baby would have to experience the sensation, which results in a lot of pain. At birth, the baby is expelled from the womb in a long process of childbirth, as the newborn baby feels like being squeezed between two great mountains.

Despite the nurses and the mother’s careful embrace, the babies are still very delicate. Some babies experience sicknesses and do not recover from them. Nevertheless, the baby is extremely vulnerable, and relies on the kindness of their parents, nurses, and other adults for sustenance and cleanliness. Ignorance and naivety characterises children, and some grow up into adults remaining emotionally trapped due to some trauma experienced in their childhood. The moment we are born, we are subject to sickness, old age and death.

ii. Illness

Due to previous negative karma of the body, illnesses can strike us at any time and we are unable to perform normal day-to-day activities. It does not matter if we are healthy or not, illnesses will still come when the karma for it is strong. Illnesses can be a serious impediment to our quality of life, and also our Dharma practice. Right from birth, we carry many seeds of innumerable diseases, and when one of these opens up in us and we experience suffering of sickness.

On top of that, suffering can spread as medical costs these days are rising and become more expensive, and we may not have enough money to cover the cost. Savings accumulated over decades can easily be wiped out, and the burden will fall on our families. Some illnesses leave us incapacitated, and we will rely on the kindness of others to take care of us. We may even need people to help us to the toilet, and this will be difficult for someone who was once independent. These are just some of the sufferings and problems that may arise and once the karma ripens for sickness, we can do little but have to go through with it.

iii. Old Age

Nobody wants to grow old, because when old age comes, the body and mind becomes weak and slow. The exuberance and knowledge of youth, which was once sharp and quick like a knife, is now dull, blunt, rusty and mostly forgotten. You have to remember that the old were once young, and had hopes and dreams that have now faded away.

Aging comes gradually unnoticed over the years, but if it were to come suddenly to us, we wouldn’t be able to bear it. Old age is a long and painful degeneration of the body and mind, and many people simply just wait for death to come as they watch old friends pass away one by one. In our old age, we find that it is harder to keep up and to relate to the younger generation, and become quite lonely. Even in Dharma, we have trouble doing our practices, especially if we have not kept up with our practice.

iv. Death

Death comes knocking when we least expect it. You would not know if it comes tomorrow, or the day after, or even the circumstances in which you will go. The truth is that all of us must experience death sooner or later, and there is no exception to this rule. When death comes, loved ones and friends may surround us, but we must die all alone.

For most people, death is the most fearsome experience we will ever face, because there is nothing that will prepare us for it. Even if we did a little bit of Dharma practice, we are not sure if it is enough to ensure a good rebirth, considering the amount of negative karma accumulated from this and previous lives. When we talk about the suffering of the beings in hell, we remain unperturbed since it does not concern us directly, but when we hear about human suffering like death and dying, we may feel a little disturbed by the truth because we know it will happen to all of us, sooner or later.

e. Asuras

Asura are beings with divine powers and pleasures that surpass what we experience on earth. But they are consumed by jealousy of the supremely powerful devas, which causes them to end in misery and suffering. They are constantly plotting and engaging in battle against the devas. It is said that there are visionary lakes in their world that foretell the fate of their warriors, but the asuras still choose to go into battle and risk their lives.

f. Devas

Devas are beings whose rebirth was brought about by the abandonment of the ten unskillful actions without renunciation. The lifespan of a deva is very long, and their sensual pleasure is unlimited. Therefore, devas are constantly engaged in the gratification of their senses to the point where they are too distracted to consider the study and practice of the Dharma.

Although they live very long in comparison to humans, devas find their lifespans very brief. When the karma that was required to sustain their existence is exhausted, they get a premonition seven days before their impending death, and the place of their rebirth. They undergo a lot of suffering as the next seven days draws closer to the end. Their bodies that used to shine brightly loses their radiance, and the bodies begin to smell. The garlands of flowers that hung around their necks whither away, and they feel uncomfortable on their throne as their friends begin to depart and some even shun them.

Due to the exhaustion of tremendous amounts of karma needed to sustain their existence, only negative unskilled karma is left to ripen and cause them to take a rebirth in the lower realms. Therefore, taking rebirth in the deva realm is deceptive and undesirable especially from the standpoint of complete liberation.

 

7. Three Kinds of Suffering

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a. The Suffering of Suffering

This refers to mental and physical suffering that all beings in samsara would have to experience on way or another. This is known to ordinary people as suffering. All of us have to go through this whether we are in Dharma or not. This makes our shared suffering a universal quality that all beings can relate to and do their best to avoid.

b. The Suffering of Change

The second type of suffering is subtler, because people not well versed in Dharma would mistake it for true happiness. This would include all ordinary physical and mental pleasures. An example would be a person who experiences physical discomfort of cold, who then moves into a sunny spot to keep warm. However, after a while, it becomes unpleasantly hot, and the person would then have to move back into the shade to cool off. That is why this is called the suffering of change, as our experience of things switch all the time.

It is mental suffering that is most easily seen in the example of a country that was liberated from an oppressor. After winning its freedom, the country eventually falls prey to another form of oppression. Another example is a man who after a lot of hard work, gains a high position in society. After a period of time, the man begins to experience problems and difficulties due to his responsibilities and competition from other jealous parties. Over time, the problems faced will weigh down on him and his family. All worldly people strive for this form of temporal happiness when in actuality it is false and offers no real security.

All temporal pleasures appear as happiness because the suffering experienced is subtle and not easy for people to perceive. If these pleasures bring true happiness, then our happiness would keep increasing instead of dwindling and becoming increasingly just another form of grief. When the suffering of change is observed through the eyes of Dharma, it would be instantly recognisable as just another form of suffering.

c. The Suffering of Extensiveness

The suffering of extensiveness can be said to be the very basis for the existence of samsara. Any rebirth in the 6 realms is the basis for the earlier two kinds of sufferings at the moment, and being in that rebirth becomes the instrument for further production of even more unskillful actions, and results will definitely ripen in the future as well.

The pain we feel from a sore on our hand is the first type of suffering and all beings are familiar with this type of obvious suffering and try to avoid it. Those steeped in Dharma knowledge and practice are aware of the second type of suffering but only the awakened Aryan beings would understand the third type of suffering. In essence, all beings endeavor to avoid the first type of suffering, devas from the formless realm endeavor to escape from the second type of suffering, while awakened Aryan beings seek freedom from the third type of suffering.

The reality is that all unskillful actions stem from the four erroneous views.

  1. The belief that all existence is permanent is the first error.
  2. Holding the view that this existence is the basis for happiness is the second error.
  3. Holding the view that the ordinary five aggregates to be faultless when the body itself is a mass of impurities and the mind is filled with defilements is the third error.
  4. To impose the idea of an independently or permanently existing self on all beings, while the truth of the matter is that existence is without self-nature is the fourth error.

If one is unable to recognise these mistaken views and see how they are all inextricably linked, one’s actions will be like millions of other beings, and that your actions will be based on these wrong views.

In Dharma, there are two types of meditation– contemplation and concentration. By way of contemplation, you would develop an intimate comprehension of impermanence, karma and its results, renunciation, this precious human rebirth, interdependent origination, compassion, loving-kindness, bodhichitta and a relative understanding of shunyata. By way of concentration, you would achieve single-pointed placement of the mind. Therefore, at the end of every incident of contemplation, you should concentrate on what had been realised to familiarise the mind with it.

However, the mind does not change just as a result of concentration alone. In practicing the Dharma, you must first understand clearly what you have learnt. Then, you must understand what is to be cultivated and what is to be abandoned along with the methods to destroy wrong conceptions. One must keep in mind that there are appropriate and inappropriate times to engage in contemplation. It would not be feasible to engage in all methods simultaneously, and if you have found a method that works for you, you should stick to it. If we feel that our energy for meditation has waned, then recalling the benefits of meditation should help overcome this sinking feeling and store up energy to continue meditating.

In order to cut down a tree, you need to strike at the right area (concentration) and when to sharpen an axe (contemplation). Our afflictions are deeply rooted and difficult to uproot immediately and so we should train ourselves to eradicate them gradually.

If we truly want to eradicate suffering, we have to avert its causes– the production of karma. In order to do this, you must find the right method and put it into practice because no meditator can transfer his insights into another. The Buddha himself clearly said that every being is his own master and enemy at the same time.

The two steps to destroy karma:

  1. Purification of seeds from past unskillful karma which may ripen.
  2. Prevent fresh accumulation of unskilled karma.

It is with this purpose that we engage in the extraordinary preliminaries.

 

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Extraordinary Preliminaries

In general, Dharma practice should be viewed as a gradual process of mental development. One completed step will naturally lead to the next. Therefore, one needs to begin with the very first step, and work your way up to the final step.

People these days are fascinated by Tantric practices, and those wishing to engage in them should be committed, from the initial practices to completion. The expressed prerequisite for Tantra is the experiences of the Three Principle Aspects of the Path– renunciation, bodhichitta and the correct view of shunyata. These experiences should be stronger that those engaged on the path of Paramitayana (Path and practice of the six perfections) because they act as an entry point onto the path of Tantra.

Other prerequisites for Tantra includes an indestructible faith in the Guru, as explained in the 50 Stanzas on Guru Devotion by Ashvagosha, and the appropriate initiation from a qualified teacher. Just looking at the images of the Buddhas, reading tantric texts and knowing the mantras are not tantric practices, as even those who don’t have interest in the Dharma can do so.

There are various texts and methods to perform the extraordinary preliminaries, each according to specific tantric practice. The following are the general flow of preliminaries, but one has to keep in mind that it is necessary to consult a spiritual teacher who can give further instructions on the preliminaries.

  1. Taking Refuge and Generating Bodhichitta
  2. Prostration
  3. Vajrasattva Sadhana
  4. Offering the Mandala
  5. Guru Yoga

 

1. Taking Refuge and Generating Bodhichitta

In the following videos, Rinpoche talks about refuge on Wesak Day, just before offering refuge to a group of people.

This practice is the first and the most important to prepare the mind for Dharma practice. This is likened to a clean bowl in which food is placed inside, as a dirty bowl would spoil the food being served inside. Hence, taking refuge in the Buddha is a necessary preliminary practice before we undertake more advance practice to ensure that it becomes successful Dharma practice. Taking refuge has three aspects– the object, reason and manner.

i. Object

For a normal person, when we come across something that we cannot overcome, we often seek the assistance of someone who knows better. Likewise, we seek refuge from the Three Jewels because we wish to be free from the faults of samsara, the chains of karma, and negative afflictions. Therefore, we only seek refuge from those who are worthy and able to assist like the Buddha, who possesses all the necessary qualities and abilities to do so.

Buddha in Tibetan is known as ‘Sangye’. ‘Sang’ literally means awakened from the two obstructions, and ‘Gye’ means the three qualities of a Buddha– compassion, wisdom, and power, are fully developed. The Buddha’s compassion is directed equally upon all sentient beings. The Buddha’s wisdom is boundless and covers all existing knowledge. His powers are fully developed to save all beings, and the Buddha is able to develop these attributes by eliminating all mental afflictions and perfecting all virtues. In our daily lives, a preferred position can be attained when we have completed all prerequisites.

The Buddha has attained all the prerequisites to be worthy of refuge. This is just like an experienced person who is able to give expert advice on what to pursue and what to avoid. Those who offer advice without any experience are like the blind leading the blind.

Just like the Buddhas of the past have done, you too can achieve Buddhahood, because all beings have the seed of enlightenment within them. This is known in Tibetan as ‘Sangye kyi Rig’. Rig means seed or race. In the Sutras, this seed is called a Buddha, but you must not mistakenly assume that there is a Buddha within you. In mining, raw iron must be put through many processes before the impurities are removed and pure iron ore is produced. Likewise, you may have the potential to become a Buddha inside of you, but it is obscured by delusions. The seed can only emerge and reach full enlightenment when it is passed through many stages of purification.

In the beginning, you cannot just overcome all delusions at once. It is only with continuous and consistent effort that we can eliminate all delusion. Thus, all beings in samsara are temporarily separated from the Buddhas, and with attainment of enlightenment, they become of similar nature, just like different rays of light are magnified and focus onto one bright spot. Thus, meditation focusing on a particular form of the Buddha is equivalent to worshipping all the Buddhas because they are all of the same nature.

Upon receiving refuge, you should visualise the space before you as a pure land. In the centre of this land is a wish-fulfilling tree adorned with the most precious objects that we can imagine. On top of this tree is a large lotus seat that supports a golden throne, which supports your Root Guru in a human aspect surrounded by other lineage Gurus. In front of your Guru is another golden throne, which supports the Buddha Heruka Cakrasamvara, and surrounding him are all the other meditational deities. On the right side of the Guru is seated Buddha Shakyamuni, attended by various other Buddhas, and on the left side, is the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara with a large retinue of bodhisattvas, arhats and pratyakabuddhas. All of which are manifestations of the Guru. Behind the Guru, on another throne rests the Buddha’s teachings in the form of scriptural texts. In the intermediate directions are the dakas, dakinis, viras, viris and Dharma protectors.

This visualisation is described according to a text, but if it is found to be too difficult, just visualising your personal deity alone is sufficient. It would be the same effect as if you were visualising the entire assembly or just one Buddha.

ii. Reason

There are two reasons to seek refuge:

  • The intent to be released from samsara, and unless you realise the faults of samsara, neither this nor the wish to seek refuge can arise
  • Full confidence in the Buddha as the only one who can help us to accomplish this aim

iii. The Manner

The correct way in which we seek refuge is to place our full trust in the Buddha. Without such a mental attitude, the circumambulation of stupas and scriptural recitation would not bear result.

 

Bodhichitta

When a person with a beginning or middling type of motivation takes refuge, he is looking towards liberation from the suffering of samsara and its causes for himself. On the other hand, Bodhichitta takes this desire one level higher to encompass all sentient beings. In actuality, all beings in samsara share the same type of aspiration to be free of suffering. Therefore, we take on the superior aspiration to rescue all from this suffering, and take them to the far shore of enlightenment.

At the moment, we lack the necessary ability to fulfill this aspiration, but by attaining full awakening, we will acquire this skill not just for our own sake but for the sake of all sentient beings. Such an aspiration is called Bodhichitta, and that is the wish to attain complete enlightenment for the sake of others. A hallmark of Bodhichitta is when we readily take on any suffering so others may gain happiness. One can see great examples of such aspiration in the Jataka tales– stories of the Buddha’s previous lives.

On some occasions, we may feel such an aspiration, but this is not really Bodhichitta and it does not make us Bodhisattvas. Real Bodhichitta is cultivated gradually, and our present state of mind is gradually transformed when we are long-acquainted with it. When Bodhichitta arises spontaneously and naturally, like the thought of food in a starving man, a person becomes a real bodhisattva. When that happens, even a small virtuous deed is far greater than any ordinary good deeds of a person without Bodhichitta, and thus creating incomparable amount of merit as vast as space. The profound difference lies with the motivation of every action, which embraces all beings, and so the merit gained is of equal magnitude. When someone with an ordinary mind teaches with a benevolent intention, he accrues as much merit as there are students in his classroom, but to teach with bodhichitta intention accumulates far greater amount of merit than the amount of students in his classroom.

It is of utmost importance to generate this wish to benefit others because it brings us closer to Buddhahood, and it’s the root of all higher practices. Even if a shravaka–arhat meditates for a million years on shunyata, the merits gained will not be equal to a similar meditation done for short moment by a bodhisattva with bodhichitta.

This mental disposition to accept all responsibility and hardships needed to assists all sentient beings single-handedly give rise to equanimity, a level of the mind where the waters of compassion can be poured. At the moment, we feel closer to those we are attached to, for those we dislike, while for others we feel indifferent to. Hence, contemplation is essential to develop equanimity with firm foundation towards others. Otherwise, daily contact with others will upset our equilibrium, as bodhichitta is not something we acquire overnight. The process is likened to building a house. The construction site should be level, and all the necessary building materials brought together before the structure of the house is erected.

There are many ways to generate bodhichitta, and there are two great traditions often compared to great rivers that flow from the snowy mountain. Both traditions stem from the Buddha Shakyamuni, and one tradition was passed to Maitreya onto Asanga, and through many great masters before arriving at Atisha. The other great river was revealed to Manjushri onto Nagarjuna, Shantideva down to Atisha as well. Both lineages are different but can produce the same result and if they are practiced together, the result is far more pronounced. The following method is a combination of the two great traditions:

  • Equanimity
  • Recognition of all beings as our mother
  • Remembering their kindness
  • Equality of self and others
  • The faults of self-cherishing
  • The advantages of cherishing others
  • The mental attitude of exchanging self and others
  • Taking and giving
  • The supreme wish
  • Generation of bodhichitta

These are like pit stops on the long journey towards bodhichitta. When we set out to reach the destination, it is not enough to know their names, but we need to recognise and find a means to reach each stop.

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a. Equanimity

In the beginning, we need to have an awareness of our general condition and mental attitude. Then we must examine each one and decide whether they are right or wrong.

Examining our mental condition

All of our actions of body and mind, and yet when we examine them closely, we cannot locate the self in any physical part, even in the smallest of atoms. We cannot discover it even in our primary or secondary consciousness. When we try to look for the self, we usually identify it with the body because it is the most tangible and visible aspect. This normally leads one to assume that when the body passes on, everything stops there. This is the first misconception. However, there are those who are more intuitive would equate the mind that seemingly controls the body to be the self. This constitutes the second misconception.

Superficially, the self appears to be in the mind but when one delves deeper, this is also untrue. The third misconception arises from the conclusion that since it is not found in the body or mind, this negates the existence of self. This is considered a grave mistake, because this negation is sometimes thought to be shunyata, and many hold onto this view tightly. Unfortunately, holding this view does not bring any progress to one’s practice, and actually regresses our practice because these is still a relative self that is doing the meditation, performs daily activities, but is holding onto this wrong view.

These misconceptions pertain to the existence of self, but there are actually many others. In order to arrive at the realisation of shunyata, we must traverse many dangerous passes, and just reading books will not lead there. Such realisation is extremely difficult to discover. In what manner does this elusive self exist? Therefore, in order to find the true nature of the relative self, we must know the right method of analysis, and familiarise ourselves with it. Eventually, the answer will become clearer and clearer.

This is likened to thangka painting, where we are aware of the right colours to use, but lack the know-how on how to apply the pigment. Upon doing it, we will find it more difficult than we had imagined it to be. We should abide by the teacher’s instructions and accustom ourselves to the technique. This example is exactly the same with meditation. The relative self exists in far subtler and not as obvious and gross as was previously assumed in our investigations into this matter.

Our mental attitude

For those engaged in deep retreat, they require external circumstances for their realisation to arise. But in the beginning, they still rely on special circumstances when the false self is apparent. When we experience strong emotions of hatred, suffering, or happiness, this false self appears most clearly. However, it is not necessary to always rely on external stimuli alone because these feelings arise quite quickly from our own thoughts. When it happens, we should maintain special awareness and examine this manifestation of the false self.

In such a situation when the ‘I’ feels pain and the thought of “I cannot bear this suffering anymore” arises, it is the best occasion to closely examine this ‘I’. The outcome of this examination would be a strong ego and uncontrolled self that appears independent from the body and mind. Although it is a clear manifestation, a vivid appearance of ignorance, which is make-belief of the relative self that is without substance, just like the hallucinations of a drunkard. This is when we are most aware of it, but it has been with us unknowingly all the time.

Up until now, we have been reinforcing the creation of our ignorance. We stick to this false sense of self and hold it tightly. An easier understanding of it is our attitude of self-cherishing, which arises from a deep-seated grasping. The people who are beneficial to this self become “my family, my relatives, my friends and my compatriots”, and we are attached to them. Towards different beings, we hold different levels of attachment like waves on the ocean. We thus commit countless unskillful deeds on behalf of this false self on the account of beings we hold an attachment to.

However, those that harm us, we label as our enemy and we direct our animosity towards them. Due to constant dwelling on anger, we would even direct our anger towards the animate and inanimate. At times, we would even get angry when it rains when we want to go out. In this manner, we commit even more unskillful actions through the body, speech and mind. There exists a third person that we totally do not relate with the self-cherishing ‘I’ and therefore, we treat them with indifference, just like how we treat little stones on the roadside. We do not rejoice for their happiness, nor do we care for their sorrows.

Upon examination, we will find that this attitude has been found within ourselves since the dawn of time, in groups, in nations of people, in animals, and even down to the smallest of insects. If our behaviour continues along these lines, we should examine if it is right or wrong. We may rest if it does not but we must be sure that this conclusion does not arrive from a mistaken view, denial of the truth, stupidity or failure to engage in proper self-examination. The reality of the matter is that we act out of this attitude all the time, and so we will continue to experience suffering in our present and future lives until we realise this selfish approach is at fault. In order to realign these three category of beings, we have to create an internal revolution by means of correct reason and proper method.

For those that have benefitted us, such as our friends, we would go to great lengths to perform unskillful deeds by sacrificing anything for their sake. We would have reasons that do not make any sense. We say that just because they had helped us in the past we should have special regard for them. This may seem to make sense but ultimately, it is superficial and illogical because in previous lives, the same beings had been our enemy, harmed us, frightened us, and even devoured our flesh. Their names had been the cause for us to shiver and shake with great hatred. It is not until we are free from the cycle of samsara that we will continue to meet them again, and they will appear as enemies and cause us harm. This temporary nature can also be seen in this life when small disagreements can turn good friends into enemies. It is just as equally foolish to give everything up for someone who had harmed us for years just because that person gave us a gift.

This change from good to bad and vice versa is a frequent phenomenon between individuals and even nations. When we are attempting to train the mind, it would be fruitless to dwell on the wrongs that others have done to us, but to remember so we do not think they are our friends and helpers.

On the other hand, we should not harbor hateful intentions of killing, cheating, refusing help and wishing harm to those who have harmed us. If we feel compelled to hate those that have harmed us is equally superficial and meaningless. In this opposite end of the spectrum, we should reject such petty reasoning as well. The suffering we experience is owing to our karma in the form of our prior harm done to others. Right at this point, they appear as enemies but in the past, they had shown great kindness, and we were so close to them that we were dependent on their kindness.

It is not until we are free from the cycle of samsara that this situation of interdependence will continue. Even in this life, things might change and those we think of as our enemies may become such close friends that we would willingly entrust all of our secrets with. This is evident especially in the politics of nations where rivalries and allegiances are forged and broken all the time. There are those that had been kind to us for many years, and suddenly this person scolds us and we begin to regard him as our enemy child. Our hatred in this case is pointless and we should instead try to decrease our aversion.

Likewise, we should examine why we are so indifferent to the happiness and suffering of others. Why is it that we feel no reaction is required for those we have not established any relationship with? This may be true at the moment but there are many incidents of strangers helping us in the past and will do so again in the future. All it takes is just a few words to establish a fruitful relationship. Hence, it would be foolish to neglect and ignore strangers we have no prior relations with.

These self-examinations should be reflected on for many years to come, and over time, we will be successful in destroying the duality of our views, and establish a harmonious and balanced relationship with others. Without such firm foundations, a feeling of equality, which is generated quickly, would be transient. A pill can be administered to relieve someone who is very ill, but if the person needs urgent surgery, only that will cure that person. Therefore, we must permit the negative emotions of our mind and intention to arise and then examine and surrender them in relation to the three classes of beings.

If we are going to construct this sublime palace of bodhichitta, this is how we must prepare the foundation. Just the definition and knowledge of bodhichitta is not going to bring about change. It is only with meditation that we are able to diminish our delusions and bring us greater peace of mind, which is obviously of personal benefit, but not our prime concern. The purpose of this practice is to develop the mind to be of benefit to all beings. It is important to focus on this first phase as it takes time to affect real change after following this eleven-round contemplation.

b. Recognition of all beings as our mothers

The idea to be of assistance to all sentient beings is not without valid basis. Although most beings are far removed from us and we don’t seem to share any relations with them, it turns out that we do have a measure of responsibility. The nature of this bond with all beings is that of a mother and child. We must understand that our present life is the result of many previous lives beforehand. In previous lives, we have been reborn via the four processes- womb, egg, moisture, and miracle. For the rebirths via a womb or an egg, we do so through a mother. Therefore, through our countless lives, all beings have been our mother once.

It is extremely difficult to accept this notion as fact because it would require conviction in rebirth, and that we have been reborn countless times before this present life. For most people, that explanation alone may not convince them of this Buddhist belief, and it requires deep contemplation and acquiring a deep insight into these teachings, and not just dry intellectual knowledge. Normally, people believe and act that this is the only life, that reincarnation is a belief that is cultural for some people, while for others it’s just an exotic myth. To dispel this, we delve into the teachings on the nature of consciousness, its existence and how it arises, along with what constitutes the mind and its functions.

When we see our mother, we experience her as being very kind to us. Hence, if we can come to a conviction that all beings had been our mothers once, then we have reached this stage. This is to make us feel for others in the same manner as how we feel for our mother. This way, we would be able to regard our mother and a dog in a similar manner. In the past, we had been a puppy to a dog before, and therefore, there is actually no difference between our mother and a dog. This viewing of all beings as our mother is a training of the mind. This view has a qualitative difference with the practice of equanimity. Equanimity cultivates peace of mind while viewing all beings as our mother fosters a feeling of closeness and relatedness. This stage of practice is likened to sunrise, and the following stages will be like the increasing brightness and heat of the sun, till it reaches its zenith.

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c. Remembering their kindness

A step further beyond just recognising all beings as our mother is the remembrance of their kindness. When we recall our mother’s kindness towards us, we would inevitably feel a deeper sense of fondness. Our mother protected and carried us in her womb, and when we were born we were nursed, bathed and fed lovingly. Taking care of us as infants took a toll on her sleep and her freedom as well. A mother is constantly concerned for her child, and she does this joyfully. Although at birth, we gave her a lot of suffering, she does not hold onto it, and she still takes care of us when we are sick with great care, even to the point of cleaning our vomit and excrement with her bare hands. She always speaks to us with kindness and concern.

Some might argue that it is her duty as a mother to take care of us but we should focus on the nature of her care, the spontaneity in which she accepted us even though we were mostly a burden to her, her constant care and nurturing during our childhood, without which we would not be alive today. A mother does not look for hope of repayment from us. In fact, a mother is free to choose and her choice was always to benefit us. A mother still has a self-cherishing attitude, but more often, she would willingly sacrifice her own benefit and wellbeing for our sake.

The care of a mother to her child is universal and can be seen even within the animal realm. Little birds that are being attacked by predators would have their parents, especially the mother fiercely protecting her offspring. Of course, due to karma, there are incidents of mothers damaging and abusing their offspring, but this is more of an exception to the norm. The norm is that usually a mother would treat her offspring with a lot of love and care.

As beings of samsara, we been reborn across many realms. Although we could have had mothers who abused us in some lifetimes, that is merely the result of past karmas ripening. In fact, we have experienced more kindness from others than we had received harm. Until we become enlightened, we will continue to be reborn and experience various beings as our mothers, and will continue to depend on their kindness. In the end, their benevolence is very much needed for our samsaric happiness, for without them, our spiritual attainments would not come. How do we practice the six perfections without sentient beings as our object? In order to attain Buddhahood, we rely on the Buddha’s kindness to show us the teaching and to assist all beings.

Therefore, we should develop a sense of gratitude towards the Buddhas and sentient beings while being conscious of our shared bond. If a poor man is given a sack of grain by one person and a field to farm by another, who is kinder? Both are equally kind. The Buddha has given us the Dharma seeds and sentient beings have given us the field in which we can plant and nurture karmic seeds.

d. Repaying their kindness

Since we have realised that we owe a lot to all beings who had been our mothers, we must find a way in which we can repay their kindness. This lies in the fact that all beings wish to be without suffering and to be happy. Therefore, we must understand their problems and try to solve them, while giving them what they need. Our usual method of practicing the Dharma is to have sunshine filter through a small hole, but a bodhisattva’s practice is like sunshine flooding everywhere. We should try to widen our scope as to how we wish to practice the Dharma.

e. Equality of self and others

In order to develop the mental attitude needed to repay the kindness of mother sentient beings, we require a new attitude. We need to understand that they all have suffering, which we must help them eliminate, and offer them what they really want, which is happiness. We need to develop the necessary mental strength to do this personally, and we need to find the persuasion to eliminate their suffering when we actually see a greater desire to eliminate our own suffering.

We must realise that all mother sentient beings are just like us, they too shun suffering and desire to be happy. No matter how much we get, we desire greater happiness, and yet we are reluctant to experience even the smallest degree of suffering. Therefore, we share the same thoughts and mental attitudes. Since our condition is identical, to think only for ourselves is unreasonable and unsubstantiated. Since we seek only to eliminate our own suffering and feel unaffected by the suffering of others, we should consider what Bodhisattva Shantideva says in Bodhisattvacaryavatara,

“If the leg is cut, is it true that the hand does not need to tend the wound because only the leg has sustained the injury? Since the person as a whole experiences the suffering, it is natural for the hand, although not affected, to take action.”

A farmer sows wheat in order to harvest the grain only and not the stalk or leaves, which are like side benefits. Likewise, we should benefit others with pure intent, and not for side benefits which might not even arise. We might doubt that the beneficial results of our actions cannot be perceived immediately. This is like saving money for our old age when we cannot immediately see the benefits, but we go ahead and do it anyway. We feel, in this case, our actions are justified because we will definitely see returns in the future. However, to reject the former in favour of the latter is shortsighted, because the results of benevolent actions to others will be felt in future lives, which is part of the continuum from youth to old age.

In the end, true realisation of equality between self and others comes as a result from years of practice. There are many reasons as to why we should be of benefit to others. We must remove all the doubts that arise in our mind by dealing with them in a practical way, and not in a theoretical manner.

f. The fault of self-cherishing

All beings, without any exception, should be considered to be precious in the same manner we regard ourselves. At the moment, we nod and agree with this but we still act in our self-cherishing ways. We would leave a dog outside when there is a downpour, but when we are made to go out under such weather conditions, we are not willing. Under such circumstances, we should change our attitude by deciding that one must suffer neglect rather than let the other party suffer. But this does not mean we should allow ourselves to suffer from extreme self-neglect either, as this will not help anyone.

The Buddha talked about self-cherishing attitudes as a chronic disease that brings all kinds of suffering. Such an attitude does not help us to achieve our goals, and also does not make any progress since we are only concerned with ourselves. All beings from those of the lowest hells to the highest of bodhisattvas are obstructed from attaining full enlightenment due to the imprints of afflictions and restrained by the same self-cherishing attitude, the root of all problems.

From something as small as two insects fighting, to something as large as two nations at war, this clearly exemplifies this negative attitude. We may find that having this attitude is to our advantage, but it is the biggest stumbling block for practice to be a bodhisattva. It is because of greed and the desire to gratify the self that we accumulate immeasurable unskillful deeds. In the end, we have to realise the faults of placing ourselves in such supreme importance over others, and we should thereby reverse this view.

g. The Advantages of Cherishing Others

The whole idea of developing Bodhichitta is to cherish others, and that is why this is the right attitude to develop. Cherishing others is the supreme quality of the awakened ones, and it is also becomes the basis of our happiness in this life that has arisen from our work for others. In fact, this human rebirth that we have is the result from our previous life’s attempts to practice non-violence and to refrain from killing and harming others. In fact, our possessions and living quarters are the result of charity and other skillful deeds that we have done in the past. In fact, all spiritual attainments stem from our ability to cherish others.

The Buddha’s decision to turn the wheel of Dharma after his enlightenment under the Bodhi tree was due to his great compassion for all sentient beings. At our level of practice, cherishing others is important in the beginning, middle, and completion of our practice. We can even see that animals such as dogs, birds and mice are attracted to a person who is kind to them and feeds them, while avoiding those that are crude and rough. A person who cherishes others beyond friends and relatives are considered of noble character.

It is very easy to cherish kind people, and it doesn’t matter that they are in Dharma or not. What is difficult is to cherish those who are unpleasant or difficult to be with. Soldiers are trained in combat so that they are ready to go into battle because an untrained soldier would not serve the purpose. Likewise, we should train ourselves to deal with difficult situations and people. When others treat us badly, we have to have even greater compassion. If someone we have benefitted does not respond favorably back to us, we should not be discouraged, but should consider them like a precious teacher. This is because how we react to their rejection of our kindness is a yardstick of our practice. There are times that the Buddha or even our Gurus would manifest as such beings to put us to the test.

Since we have been meditating on the advantages of cherishing others over ourselves, it is difficult to gauge our practice. Under such conditions, if we do not get upset, it is a good sign that real spiritual progress has been made. On the other hand, if our reaction lacks equanimity to deal with such situations, this should spur us to practice harder in order to realise the importance of cherishing others.

We have others to thank for this incentive to practice. Some nations have big budgets to test their bombs, and if they were not effective, they would have to continue their research to perfect these weapons. However, cherishing others is not a weapon which is used against the self-cherishing attitude. Even our enemies will eventually succumb to sickness, old age and death, but the real and fiercest inner enemy will not die unless we wage an internal war. If we examine these teachings deeply and practice them sincerely, these teachings will be like the best of friends during our most difficult times.

Change can come gradually over years of practice, because our self-cherishing attitude is so deeply rooted within us. Some people would put up a fight against an intruder, but in reality, we harbor a far deadlier intruder who we have been far more tolerant towards. We should grow a new mind with this same body so that change may occur.

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h. The Mental Attitude of Exchanging the Self With Others

When we have weighed the disadvantages of cherishing ourselves over others, and the advantages of cherishing all beings over ourselves, we must actualise the practice of exchange of self with others. We should not literally think we become them and they become us, but rather have a change of mental attitude. Although this can feel unfamiliar, with great effort, we can change and be made to feel that it is unbearable for others to suffer.

We can also feel great joy at other people’s happiness. This is just like a mother who feels great suffering when she knows that her child is in pain. Likewise, she also feels great joy when she knows her child is happy because she considers her child more precious than herself. Although a mother’s ability to exchange self for others is limited to one being, we should aim to do the same and extend that to all beings.

i. Taking and Giving

The meditation of Taking and Giving begins with the visualisation of wrong self-cherishing attitudes in the form of a black spot in our heart. Surrounding us are the sentient beings of the six realms, and we can visualise them according to each of the realms or all of them in the human form. Then, we generate compassion, the great wish to separate the beings who are suffering from their problems and obstacles.

We take deep slow breaths with our nostrils and visualise all the mental and physical suffering of all beings entering our body in the form of black rays which are absorbed into a black spot of self-cherishing at the heart. As we engage in this visualisation, we imagine all beings are left to be clean and pure and that our self-cherishing attitude is to bear the brunt of all this suffering.

Understanding that all beings seek happiness but continue to suffer, we therefore generate loving kindness and give our happiness to others. After that, we visualise all our merits and seeds of our skillful deeds in the form of bright white light being exhaled from our nostrils, and going out to all sentient beings. The light bring mental and physical happiness to all beings that it touches.

In the beginning, it is very important to persevere for as long as possible and with as much clarity as possible before inhaling the suffering and exhaling the happiness. Once we are familiar, we may actually begin in this stage right away. We may visualise all types of beings in human form as weak and poor before inhaling their sufferings. Then we visualise them becoming happy and contented later on in the meditation.

Next, we contemplate on the lack of material happiness of sentient beings, and their desire for material comfort. Once again, we inhale their suffering as visualised and exhale loving kindness and a special light, which fulfills their every need. We acknowledge their great ignorance and the suffering they endure of not knowing the Dharma, we take on the burden and send out wisdom in the form of lights so that they attain Buddhahood, freed from ignorance and supreme wisdom.

We may question the usefulness of this practice since we are only benefitting beings by imagination only. However, it is extremely beneficial in bringing us closer to Bodhichitta and accumulating virtue.

j. The Supreme Wish

In the end, our practices of visualisation have done virtually nothing for sentient beings except helping us to develop the supreme wish. Therefore, this must act as an encouragement to double our efforts when we reflect on the kindness of mother sentient beings and the sufferings that they go through life after life. This should also embolden us to dedicate ourselves to deliver all beings from suffering.

We have to think that all beings will look to us alone for the fulfillment of their hopes and dreams. We may have voiced this wish to help others before but this time, we firmly decide to undertake this task on our own accord. This resolve had arisen from a series of stages called examination meditation. The more profound the meditation and contemplation used, the stronger the meditation on the supreme wish.

k. Generating Bodhichitta

After we arise from meditation, we must reflect on whether we have what it takes to fulfill the commitments that we have made. Although we aspire to remove the suffering from all beings, we find that we are still completely overwhelmed with obstacles and problems. Even great arhats who are endowed with great power to assist do not have complete control. Even the Bodhisattvas who possess tremendous compassion for sentient beings are unable to act with the blessings of the Buddhas. The only beings who have the power and can truly benefit all beings independently are the Buddhas.

Our present consciousness is likened to that of the sun obscured by clouds. With practice, the clouds get dispersed, and the sunshine becomes brighter, until the sun is finally totally revealed and the sunshine bathes the land in golden light. Likewise, with each of the bodhisattva stages, certain obstacles are removed and wisdom is strengthened. Only when all obstacles are removed and wisdom is completely developed does one becomes a fully enlightened Buddha.

In this manner, a fully enlightened Buddha’s unobstructed light penetrates all knowledge, knowable objects, or dharmas until nothing left is unrevealed. Hence, all knowledge and wisdom is revealed to the Buddha, and thus, he is able to liberate all beings. An awakened one not only has stainless wisdom but boundless compassion, which means that he will work unceasingly for the welfare of all beings. His compassion draws him to all beings and yet he is totally free of their suffering. It is a million times more intense than the highest bodhisattva whose compassion is already immense, and that is why he will never abandon any being.

On top of his great wisdom and compassion, he also has completely effective action. Therefore he is always ready and never forgetful. In the same manner as the brilliant light of the sun’s rays cannot shine through an upturn pot, so the Buddha’s help cannot reach us if we do not have the karma for it.

That is why by attaining Buddhahood, we accomplish the sublime qualities that will enable us to fully accomplish all of our desires for others and ourselves. Once the will to accomplish enlightenment for all mother sentient beings become part of our mind stream, we have attained Bodhichitta. If we generate this once, it does not constitute bodhichitta nor does it make us a bodhisattva. It is only after many years of practice that we have made it a part of our mind. Then the will to liberate all beings will arise spontaneously whenever we perceive suffering. At this time, our mind is pure bodhichitta and we have become a bodhisattva by having attained the first of the five Mahayana paths.

Having attained this stage, it is not the time we should rest because with bodhichitta, we vow never to rest till Buddhahood is achieved. In taking such a vow, we will follow through with all practices necessary in order to reach completion. In searching for hidden treasure up in the mountain, the wish alone begins the actual climbing of the mountain, which is followed by digging until we unearth the treasure.

Therefore, Buddhahood is within everyone’s reach since all beings have the potential to do so. All Dharmas are empty and that is precisely because the nature of the mind is empty as well that complete enlightenment is possible. If we were to say that Buddhahood is beyond our reach is a complete contradiction. Before we have pure iron, we have the unrefined ore and to transform the ore requires knowledge and know-how. Likewise, our everyday gross mind is very much like a seed that can be planted to grow into the tree of the enlightened mind.

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Refuge & Generating Bodhichitta Retreat Prayers

The following prayers are to be recited during each session of the refuge retreat or as a daily sadhana. A shrine to a statue, thangka or print of Guru Tree, Buddha Shakyamuni, Lama Tsongkhapa or a Buddha of your choice should be arranged with a Dharma text on the left of the shrine, and the stupa on the right side. Sensory offerings are optional, but there should be at least 4 rows of water offerings offered during each session. This is along with other offerings of flowers, abundant food (bread, biscuits, yoghurt and so forth), incense, mandala, lights, and so forth. Tea, milk or fizzy drinks can be placed on the shrine or offered during the recitation of the serkyem liturgy.

1. Preliminary Prayers

Multiplying Mantra
OM SAMBHARA SAMBHARA VIMANA SARA MAHA JAVA HUNG
OM MARA MARA VIMANA SARA MAHA JAVA HUNG
 (7x)

Blessing the Rosary
OM RUTSIRA MANI PRAWA TAYA HUNG (7x)

2. Taking Refuge and Generating Bodhichitta

Refuge
NAMO GURU BEH
NAMO BUDDHA YA
NAMO DHARMA YA
NAMO SANGHA YA
 (1 mala or more)

I take refuge in the Guru
I take refuge in the Buddha
I take refuge in the Dharma
I take refuge in the Sangha (1 mala or more)

Generating Bodhicitta
SANG GYE CHO DANG TSOG KYI CHOG NAM LA
JANG CHUB BAR DU DAG NI KYAB SU CHI
DAG GI JIN SOK GYI PAY SO NAM KYI
DRO LA PAN CHIR SANG GYE DRUB PAR SHOG
 (3x)

I take refuge until I am enlightened in the Buddhas, the Dharma and the Sangha. By the positive potential I create by practising generosity and the other far-reaching attitudes, may I attain Buddhahood in order to benefit all sentient beings. (3x)

3. Guru Yoga/ Gaden Lhagyama

(Invocation)
GA-DEN HLA-JI NGON-JYI THUG-KA NEY
RAP-KAR SHO-SAR PUNG-DEE CHU-ZIN TSER
CHO-KYI GYEL-PO KUN-CHEN LOZANG DRAG
SEY-DANG CHE PA NE-DIR SHEG SU SOL

From the heart of the Lord of the Gaden Devas (Maitreya Buddha) emerges a brilliant white cloud, like a great mass of fresh yoghurt. Atop sits Tsongkhapa all-knowing, King of Dharma; we request your coming to this place along with your great disciples.

(Prostration)
DUN-JYI NAM-KHAR SING-TI PEE-DEE TENG
JE-TSUN LA-MA JYEH-PI DZUM-KAR CHYEN
DAG-LO DE-PE SO-NAM SHING-CHOG TU
TAN-PA JYEH-SHIR KAL-DJAR JUG-SU SOL

My Lord Guru is seated before me upon a lion throne, lotus and moon cushion. His body is white and he smiles blissfully. Please remain many eons and serve as the great merit field for the growth of my mind’s faith, and for the increase of Lord Buddha’s teachings.

(Praises)
SHE-JYEH CHON-KUN JAL-WEY LO-DO THUG
KAL-ZANG NA-WEY JYIN-JUR LIK-SHEY SUNG
DRAG-PI PEL-JYI HLAM-MER DZEY-PI KU
THONG-THO DRAN PI DON DHAN LA-CHAG TSAL

His omniscient wisdom-mind encompasses all that is existent. His voice is a profound teaching, which ornaments the ear of the fortunate pupil. His body’s beautiful radiance evokes wondrous admiration. To Lama Tsongkhapa, whom merely viewing, hearing or contemplating earns one great merit, I make prostration.

(Offering)
YIH-WONG TCHO-YON NA-TSOG ME-TOG DANG
DRI-JEM DUG-PO NANG-SAL DRID-CHAB SOG
NGO-SHAM YIH TUL TCHO-TIN GYA-TSO DI
SO-NAM SHING-CHOG CHE-LA CHO-PA BUL

I present to you, great merit field, Tsongkhapa, beautiful offerings, water, a display of flowers, fragrant incense, butter-lamps, perfumes and more both physical and mental offerings, vast as the clouds and wide as the ocean.

(Confession)
DAG-GI TO-MEY DU-NEH SAG-PA YI
LU-NGAG YIH-KYI DIG-PA CHI-JYI DANG
CHEY-PA DOM-PA SUM-JI MI-TUN SHO
NYING-NEH JO-PA TRAH-PO SO-SOR SHAG

The unwholesome actions of body, speech and mind, which I have accumulated over a measureless period, especially actions contrary to the three vows (Vinaya, Bodhisattva, Vajrayana), I regret extremely and from the depths of my heart, and reveal each and every such action.

(Rejoice)
NIK-MI DU-DIR MANG-THO DRUP-LA TSON
CHO-JYED PANG-PI DAL-JOR DON-YO SHYE
NGON-PO CHEY-KYI LAP-CHEN DZE-PA LA
DAG-CHAG SAM-PA TAG-PEH YI RANG NGO

We totally rejoice in your magnificent achievements, my Lord, who received numerous teachings and performed the practices with utmost diligence, who abandoned the eight worldly objectives and made the most meaningful use of the eighteen opportune conditions during these degenerate times.

(Request to turn the Wheel of Dharma)
JE-TSUN LA-MA DAM-PA CHEY-NAM KYI
CHO-KU KA-LA CHEN-TI TIN-TIK NEY
JI-TAR TSAM-PI DUL-SHIH DZIN-MA LA
ZAB-JI CHO-KYI CHAR-PA WHAP-TU SOL

All you Holy Gurus, unerring in conduct, may you precipitate a rain of realization of Bodhicitta and Sunyata from the clouds of all-knowing compassion, which fills the Dharmakaya sky, providing for the field of disciples precisely what is needed.

(Requesting to remain)
NAM-DAG WO-SAL YING-LEY JING-PA YI
ZUNG-JUG KU-LA CHAR-NUB MI-NGA YANG
THA-MAL HNANG-NGOR ZUG-KU RAG-PA NYI
SEE-THEE BAR-DU MI-NUB TAN-PAR SHUG

May the Vajra body created from the purity of clear light, free of the rising and setting of cyclic existence but visible to the ordinary viewer only in its unsubtle, physical form, stay on unchanging, without waning, until Samsara ends.

(Dedication)
DAG-SOG JIN-NYEH SAG-PA GE-WA DEE
TAN-DANG DRO-WA KUN-LA GANG-PHAN DANG
CHE-PAR JE-TSUN LO-ZANG DRAG-PA YI
TAN-PI NYING-PO RING-DU SAL-SHEH SHOG

May this merit accumulated by myself and others, beneficially serve all sentient beings and the Buddhadharma and especially may the essential teachings of the unerring Master Tsongkhapa, become clear and enduring.

Migtsema (Mantra of Je Tsongkhapa)

This can be recited anytime, anywhere, as many times as possible. It has the benefits of receiving the blessings of Avalokiteshvara, Manjushri and Vajrapani.

MIG-MEY TZE-WEY TER-CHEN CHENREZIG
DRI-MEY KHYEN-PI WANG-PO JAMPAL YANG
DU-PUNG MA-LU JOM-DZEY SANG-WEY DAG
GANG-CHEN KE-PEY TSUG-GYEN TSONGKAPA
LO-SANG TRAG-PEY SHAB-LA SOL-WA DEB

(Recite 21x or more, depending on time)

Je Tsongkhapa, crown jewel of the holy Masters of the land of snows,
You are Avalokiteshvara, great goldmine of Compassion untainted by ego’s delusion.
You are Manjushri, great Master of stainless wisdom.
You are Vajrapani, great subduer of all the gatherings of demons.
At your feet, famed Lobsang Drakpa,
I humbly bow and earnestly request that all sentient beings achieve Enlightenment.

Dissolving Je Rinpoche into Ourselves

PAL-DAN TSA-WEY LA-MA RINPOCHE
DAG-SOG CHI-WOR PE-ME DAN-JUG LA
KA-DRIN CHEN-PO GO-NEY JE-ZUNG TE
KU-SUNG THUG-KYI NGO-DRUP TSAL-DU SOL

Dear worthy root Guru, please ascend the lotus seat
atop the head of myself and the other beings,
and in your great kindness please remain with us.
Bestow upon us the blessings of your body, speech and mind.

PAL-DAN TSA-WEY LA-MA RINPOCHE
DAG-SOG NYING-KHAR PE-ME DAN-JUG LA
KA-DRIN CHEN-PO GO-NEY JE-ZUNG TE
CHO-DANG THUN-MONG NGO-DRUP TSAL-DU SOL

Precious, noble, root Guru, please occupy the lotus seat
within our hearts and in your great kindness remain with us.
Please grant us your blessings for our temporal success
and for the supreme attainment.

PAL-DAN TSA-WEY LA-MA RINPOCHE
DAG-SOG NYING-KHAR PE-ME DAN-JUG LA
KA-DRIN CHEN-PO GO-NEY JE-ZUNG TE
JANG-CHUB NYING-PO BAR-DU TAN-PAR SHUG

Beloved, noble, root Guru, please occupy the lotus seat
within our hearts and in your great kindness remain with us.
Please stay on until we achieve the great goal of Enlightenment.

5. Dorje Shugden Prayer & Mantra

Dothey

Request for Activity of Gyalchen Dorje Shugden

Requested by Rakra Rinpoche, H.H. Kyabje Yongzin Trijang Rinpoche wrote this on the first day of the Tibetan Year of the Iron Boar.

KYE!
Manjushri in angry form,
You are the hero in terrifying role.
Main of my powerful war gods,
You are the mighty Dorje Shugden.

Affectionate when cultivated,
You treat the commitment-abiding like son (or daughter).
Powerful when beseeched, your ferocity is swifter than lightning.
When angry at the enemy, you obliterate him to the seventh generation.

We your practitioners,
Pile torma like mountains,
Gather medicinal blood like sea;
Spread base substances like the stars.

We honour you with the first part of food and drink; we fulfil all that you want.
I am calling you from my heart; lend me your ear.
I practice you all the time; show me sign that I have succeeded.
Protect the command and the Teaching; show me your smiling face.

Be the war god in my protection; be my messenger and servant.
Be the fort of my protection; be the storekeeper of my people and possessions.
Be the day’s bodyguard; be the night’s watchman.
Be the cloak on my back; Be my staff in the front.

Be the bridge over water, and stairs on the rock.
Be those who see me off; be those welcoming me.
Raise me if I fall; if I forget, remind me.
Be the doctor when I fall sick; if poisoned, give me potent remedy.

For me, raise banners on the high points; blow conch-shell in cities.
If two equals debate, you should make the victor;
If two equals wrestle, you should determine the winner.
If two equals wager, you tip the winning edge;

If two equals compete in greatness, raise banners of greatness.
Kill the vengeful enemy; subdue obstructers.
Liberate those holding wrong views; prevent ill luck and ill omen.
Introduce me to a hundred advantages; foil a thousand disadvantages.
Remove obstacle of my hopes; fulfill all objectives.

Dorje Shugden mantra– OM BENZA WIKI BITANA SOHA (21x)

6. Serkym (Black Tea Offering)

HUM!
DÖN NYI LEG TSOG CHAR BEB LAMA DANG
CHOG TÜN NGÖ DRUB KÜN TSÖL YIDAM HLAR
DE TER DÜTSIY TUNG WA DI BÜL GYI
ZHE NE SAM DÖN NYUR DU HLÜN DRUB TZÖ

HUM!
O Gurus who rain down accumulations of excellence fulfilling our own
and others’ purposes,
And Yidams who bestow all ordinary and supreme attainments,
Through offering you this ambrosial drink which bestows bliss,
May you, having partaken, swiftly and spontaneously accomplish our
wishes!

NE SUM PAWO KANDRÖ TSOG KÜN DANG
TU DEN TEN SUNG DAM CHEN GYATSO LA
DE TER DÜTSIY TUNG WA DI BÜL GYI
ZHE NE SAM DÖN NYUR DU HLÜN DRUB TZÖ

O all hosts of heroes and dakinis of the three places,
And ocean of powerful, oath-bound Dharma Protectors,
Through offering you this ambrosial drink which bestows bliss,
May you, having partaken, swiftly and spontaneously accomplish our
wishes!

KYE PAR JIG TEN LE DE TEN SUNG CHOG
TU TOB NYEN NYUR DORJE SHUGDEN LA
DE TER DÜTSIY TUNG WA DI BÜL GYI
ZHE NE SAM DÖN NYUR DU HLÜN DRUB TZÖ

(recite this verse 3x, 7x, 21x or 108x times)

And especially, supreme, supramundane Dharmapala,
Forcefully powerful, strict, and swift Dorje Shugden,
Through offering you this ambrosial drink which bestows bliss,
May you, having partaken, swiftly and spontaneously accomplish our
wishes!

ZHI GYE WANG DANG NGÖN CHÖ RAB JAM LE
TOG ME TSÖL TZE NAM GYUR RIG NGA LA
DE TER DÜTSIY TUNG WA DI BÜL GYI
ZHE NE SAM DÖN NYUR DU HLÜN DRUB TZÖ

O five families who unobstructedly bestow
Infinite activities of peace, increase, power, and wrath,
Through offering you this ambrosial drink which bestows bliss,
May you, having partaken, swiftly and spontaneously accomplish our
wishes!

TZE DUG YUM GU NA DREN GELONG GYE
LE KEN TUM PAY TAG SHAR CHU SOG LA
DE TER DÜTSIY TUNG WA DI BÜL GYI
ZHE NE SAM DÖN NYUR DU HLÜN DRUB TZÖ

O nine beautiful consorts, eight guiding monks,
And ten fierce, attendant young guardians, and so on,
Through offering you this ambrosial drink which bestows bliss,
May you, having partaken, swiftly and spontaneously accomplish our
wishes!

HRI KYE PAR GYEL WAY TEN PA SUNG WAY TSO
SE YI TRAB CHEN KOR DANG CHE NAM LA
DO GU TSANG WAY SER KYEM CHO PA DI
BUL LO SUNG KYOB YEL WA ME PAR TZO

HRI
Especially, principal guardian of the Conquerors’ Teachings,
Setrap Chen along with entourage to you
This golden drink replete with all one could wish is offered: Never waver in your protection!

KA KOR NYEN PO DAM NYAM SOG GI SHE
SHINTU TRO TUM KACHE MARPO LA
DE TER DÜTSIY TUNG WA DI BÜL GYI
ZHE NE SAM DÖN NYUR DU HLÜN DRUB TZÖ

O extremely fierce Kache Marpo, the strict attendant,
Executioner of those with degenerated samaya,
Through offering you this ambrosial drink which bestows bliss,
May you, having partaken, swiftly and spontaneously accomplish our
wishes!

DAM NYAM NYING TRAG SER TAR JANG WA YI
SER KYEM RAB TU KÖL WAY TUNG WA DI
NAM KA BAR TZIN KOR DANG CHÄ LA BÜL
SHE NÄ NÄL JOR SAM DÖN DRUB PAR TZÖ

Vow-breakers’ heart-blood purified like gold,
This drink of fully boiling serkyem,
I offer to Namka Bardzin and entourage
Accepting, accomplish the yogi’s intended purpose!

ZHEN YANG TRÜL PA YANG TRÜL SAM YE DANG
KA DÖ HLA SIN TONG SUM YO WA LA
DE TER DÜTSIY TUNG WA DI BÜL GYI
ZHE NE SAM DÖN NYUR DU HLÜN DRUB TZÖ

As well as the inconceivable emanations and their emanations,
Attendant deities and demons who shake the three thousand worlds,
Through offering you this ambrosial drink which bestows bliss,
May you, having partaken, swiftly and spontaneously accomplish our
wishes!

DE TAR CHÖ CHING TRINLE KÜL WAY TÜ
NAM ZHIY TRINLE DÜ DRUG KE CHIG KYANG
YEL WA ME PAR PA YI BU ZHIN DU
TAG TU KYONG SHING TAG TU JE ZUNG TZÖ

Thus, by the force of this offering and exhortation,
May you grant your activity throughout the six time periods,
And, without wavering, always protect me
And care for me like a father for his son!

KA DÖ DREG PAY TSOG KYANG DÜLTZIN JE
YAR DAM NYEN PÖ TA TSIG DREN TZÖ LA
DAG GI GANG DANG GANG CHÖL LE DI NAM
DA TA NYUR DU DRUB LA MA YEL ZHIG

And you hosts of wrathful attendants, as well,
Remember your sworn oaths of promise to Lord Dültzin
And accomplish swiftly now, without distraction,
Whatever activities I have requested!

7. Insert your Lama’s Long-life Prayer and Mantra

8. Completion Dedication

JANG-JUB SEM-CHOK RINPOCHE
MA-KYE PA-NAM KYE-GYUR CHIK
KYE-PA NYAM-PA ME-PA YANG
GONG-NA GONG-DU PEL-WAR SHUG

May the precious Bodhi-mind,
Where it is not born arise and grow
May that born have no decline
But increase forever more.

TONG-NI TONG-WA RINPOCHE
MA-KYE PA-NAM KYE-GYUR CHIK
KYE-PA NYAM-PA ME-PA YANG
GONG-NA GONG-DU PEL-WAR SHUG

May the precious Emptiness
Where it is not born arise and grow
May that born have no decline
But increase forever more.

DAG-SOG JIN-NYEH SAG-PA GE-WA DEE
TAN-DANG DRO-WA KUN-LA GANG-PHAN DANG
CHE-PAR JE-TSUN LO-ZANG DRAG-PA YI
TAN-PI NYING-PO RING-DU SAL-SHEH SHUG

May this merit accumulated by myself and others beneficially serve all
sentient beings and the Buddhadharma and especially may the essential
teachings of the unerring Master Tsongkhapa, become clear and
enduring.

KYE-WA KUN-TU YANG-DAK LA-MA DANG
DRAL-ME CHO-KYI PAL-LA LONG-CHO CHING
SA-DANG LAM-GYI YON-TEN RAP-DZOK NA
DORJE CHANG-GI GO-PANG NYUR-TO SHUG

In all my rebirths may I not be parted from perfect Gurus,
Let me enjoy the abundance of the Dharma!
Perfecting the quality stages and paths
May I quickly attain the rank of Vajradhara Buddha.
Dedication of virtue

GE-WA DI-YI NYUR-DU DAK
LA-MA SANG-GYE DRUP-GYUR NA
DRO-WA CHIK-KYANG MA-LU PA
DE-YI SA-LA GO-PAR SHUG

By this virtue, may I quickly
Realize Guru-Buddhahood,
And transfer each sentient being
Into that Enlightened state.

CHO KHI GYAL PO TSONG KHA PA
CHO TSUL NAM PAR PHEL WA LA
GEK KI TSHAN MA ZHI WA DANG
THUN KYIN MA LU TSHANG WAR SHOK

May all conducive conditions arise
and all obstacles be pacified,
in order to increase infinitely,
the doctrine of the spiritual king, Tsongkhapa.

DA DANG SHEN GI DU SUM DANG
DRIL WA TSOK NYI LA TEN NAY
GYA WA LO ZANG DRAG PA YI
TAN PAR YUN RING VAR GYUR CHIG

By the merits of the 3 times of myself and others,
May the doctrine of Lama Tsongkhapa blaze forever.

NYIMO DELEK TSEN TELEK
NYIME GUNG YANG DELEK SHIN
NYITSEN TAKTU DELEK PEL
KON CHOK SUM GYI JIN GYI LOB
KON CHOK SUM GYI NGOR DRUL TSOL
KON CHOK SUM GYI TRA SHI SHOK

At dawn or dusk, at night or midday, may the Three Jewels grant us their
blessing, may they help us to achieve all realisations and sprinkle the
paths of our lives with various signs of auspiciousness.
Dedication for the Guru’s long life

JETSUN LAMA KU TSE RABTEN CHING
NAMKAR TRINLEY CHOG CHUR GYE PA DANG
LOBSANG TENPE DRON ME SA SUM GYI
DRO WE MUNSEL TAKTUR NE GYUR CHIG

May the holy teachers have long lives. May the enlightened activities be
fully displayed in the ten directions, and may the brightness of the
teachings of Lama Tsongkhapa continuously dissipate the veil of
darkness covering the beings of the three realms.

GANG RI RAWE KORWAI SHING KHAM DIR
PEN DANG DEWA MALU GYUN3G WAI NE
CHENREZIG WANG TENZIN GYATSO YI
SHA PEI SITHAI BARDU DEN GYUR CHIG

In this holy Land surrounded by snow mountains,
You are the source of all benefit and happiness
May your lotus feet, O powerful Chenrezig, Tenzin Gyatso
Remain in this world until the end of existence

 

Go to Prostration >>

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2. Prostration

preliminarypractice028

Rinpoche teaches prostration here in this video.

Prostration is to be performed before an object of refuge or even as part of Guru Yoga. This is one the most effective means of purifying the seeds of unskillful karma, especially that of physical karma. This is also effective purification of obstacles, afflictions, and it specifically counters pride. The Tibetan term is ‘chak tsal’ or ‘requesting the hand’ and this is to request the Buddha to be given what is in his hand– his enlightened body, speech and mind.

There are two ways in which we can engage in prostration involving three or four centres. In the first way, we touch the crown of the head, forehead, neck and chest with our folded palms, and in the other we simply touch the crown, neck and chest, which is considered sufficient.

When we are performing prostrations by touching the three points, touching the crown would symbolise the attainment of the Buddha’s body, the neck, the attainment of Buddha’s speech, and the chest, the attainment of the Buddha’s mind. To accomplish the three, we must accomplish wisdom and means inseparably together. As we touch the three centres, our hands symbolise this union. There is a traditional way in which we fold our palms together but in the Mahayana tradition, we fold and tuck our thumbs in to represent the jewel-holding gesture so our palms are never empty.

How to do prostration, click on image to enlarge.

How to do prostration, click on image to enlarge.

In the first way we prostrate, we can either place only the knees, forehead and palms on the ground in half prostration, or the other way is to make a full-length prostration, in which the whole body touches the ground and the arms are outstretched. When there is sufficient space, we should always perform a full-length prostration, in which case, it is important to rise quickly. The time you can rest when making prostration is after rising and not when one is on the floor. We should take special note because there are consequences of not knowing the rules and transgressing them is quite serious.

Resting on the floor out of laziness is a bad omen for an unfortunate rebirth. Using our knuckles to push our body up shows disrespect to the object of refuge because it appears lazy, and it is a bad sign that you will be reborn as an animal, especially one with hooves. Therefore, it is just an extra precaution not to transgress these few rules, as there are dire consequences just like ingesting certain foods wrongly can upset the stomach.

Between the half-length and full-length prostration, the full-length prostration is more meritorious because the merits accumulated by it equals to the atoms in the earth beneath the outstretched body. If the prostration is done correctly with proper intention, the merits accrued may result in rebirth as a Chakravartin, a universal ruler king. In the Manjushrivikridittsutra taught to Manjushri, the Buddha tells of the benefit of skillful prostrations, and the bad effects of unskillful ones are explained in detail. Hence, prostration is actually a powerful practice to accumulate merit, which means that if we fail to gain the benefits, it means either we are doing it wrong, or that we are lazy. In the same sutra given by the Buddha to Manjushri, it was explained that hatred is one of the more destructive delusions that has the potential to destroy all skillful karmas that was accumulated.

When engaging in the prostration practice or retreat, we should recite the Triskandhasutra or the Sutra of the Three Baskets, which is a form of confession that mentions the names of 35 Buddhas and the ways in which we transgress the Buddha’s teachings. It takes about 40 prostrations to complete the recitation after which we begin again. In this practice, the physical prostration involves the body, the recitation of the sutra involves the speech and our deep respect towards the object of refuge constitutes the prostration of the mind. When we practice in this manner, we are prostrating through all three doors and not just with our body.

If we are doing it on a daily basis or as a retreat, it is wise to begin with 50 prostrations and gradually increasing to one hundred, then to one hundred and fifty and more. Otherwise, the only result we gain from the practice is exhaustion, which is not the intended purpose.

Prostration Retreat Prayer Text

The following prayers are to be recited during each session of the refuge retreat or as a daily sadhana. A shrine to a statue, thangka or print of the 35 Confessional Buddhas or Buddha Shakyamuni should be arranged with a Dharma text on the left of the shrine, and the stupa on the right side. Sensory offerings are optional, but there should be at least 4 rows of water offerings offered during each session. This is along with other offerings of flowers, abundant food (bread, biscuits, yoghurt and so forth), incense, mandala, lights, and so forth. Tea, milk or fizzy drinks can be placed on the shrine or offered during the recitation of the serkyem liturgy.

Multiplying Mantra
OM SAMBHARA SAMBHARA VIMANA SARA MAHA JAVA HUNG
OM MARA MARA VIMANA SARA MAHA JAVA HUNG
 (7x)

Blessing the Rosary
OM RUTSIRA MANI PRAWA TAYA HUNG (7x)

2. Taking Refuge and Generating Bodhichitta

Refuge
NAMO GURU BEH
NAMO BUDDHA YA
NAMO DHARMA YA
NAMO SANGHA YA
 (1 mala or more)

I take refuge in the Guru
I take refuge in the Buddha
I take refuge in the Dharma
I take refuge in the Sangha (1 mala or more)

Generating Bodhicitta
SANG GYE CHO DANG TSOG KYI CHOG NAM LA
JANG CHUB BAR DU DAG NI KYAB SU CHI
DAG GI JIN SOK GYI PAY SO NAM KYI
DRO LA PAN CHIR SANG GYE DRUB PAR SHOG
 (3x)

I take refuge until I am enlightened in the Buddhas, the Dharma and the Sangha. By the positive potential I create by practising generosity and the other far-reaching attitudes, may I attain Buddhahood in order to benefit all sentient beings. (3x)

3. Guru Yoga/ Gaden Lhagyama

(Invocation)
GA-DEN HLA-JI NGON-JYI THUG-KA NEY
RAP-KAR SHO-SAR PUNG-DEE CHU-ZIN TSER
CHO-KYI GYEL-PO KUN-CHEN LOZANG DRAG
SEY-DANG CHE PA NE-DIR SHEG SU SOL

From the heart of the Lord of the Gaden Devas (Maitreya Buddha) emerges a brilliant white cloud, like a great mass of fresh yoghurt. Atop sits Tsongkhapa all-knowing, King of Dharma; we request your coming to this place along with your great disciples.

(Prostration)
DUN-JYI NAM-KHAR SING-TI PEE-DEE TENG
JE-TSUN LA-MA JYEH-PI DZUM-KAR CHYEN
DAG-LO DE-PE SO-NAM SHING-CHOG TU
TAN-PA JYEH-SHIR KAL-DJAR JUG-SU SOL

My Lord Guru is seated before me upon a lion throne, lotus and moon cushion. His body is white and he smiles blissfully. Please remain many eons and serve as the great merit field for the growth of my mind’s faith, and for the increase of Lord Buddha’s teachings.

(Praises)
SHE-JYEH CHON-KUN JAL-WEY LO-DO THUG
KAL-ZANG NA-WEY JYIN-JUR LIK-SHEY SUNG
DRAG-PI PEL-JYI HLAM-MER DZEY-PI KU
THONG-THO DRAN PI DON DHAN LA-CHAG TSAL

His omniscient wisdom-mind encompasses all that is existent. His voice is a profound teaching, which ornaments the ear of the fortunate pupil. His body’s beautiful radiance evokes wondrous admiration. To Lama Tsongkhapa, whom merely viewing, hearing or contemplating earns one great merit, I make prostration.

(Offering)
YIH-WONG TCHO-YON NA-TSOG ME-TOG DANG
DRI-JEM DUG-PO NANG-SAL DRID-CHAB SOG
NGO-SHAM YIH TUL TCHO-TIN GYA-TSO DI
SO-NAM SHING-CHOG CHE-LA CHO-PA BUL

I present to you, great merit field, Tsongkhapa, beautiful offerings, water, a display of flowers, fragrant incense, butter-lamps, perfumes and more both physical and mental offerings, vast as the clouds and wide as the ocean.

(Confession)
DAG-GI TO-MEY DU-NEH SAG-PA YI
LU-NGAG YIH-KYI DIG-PA CHI-JYI DANG
CHEY-PA DOM-PA SUM-JI MI-TUN SHO
NYING-NEH JO-PA TRAH-PO SO-SOR SHAG

The unwholesome actions of body, speech and mind, which I have accumulated over a measureless period, especially actions contrary to the three vows (Vinaya, Bodhisattva, Vajrayana), I regret extremely and from the depths of my heart, and reveal each and every such action.

(Rejoice)
NIK-MI DU-DIR MANG-THO DRUP-LA TSON
CHO-JYED PANG-PI DAL-JOR DON-YO SHYE
NGON-PO CHEY-KYI LAP-CHEN DZE-PA LA
DAG-CHAG SAM-PA TAG-PEH YI RANG NGO

We totally rejoice in your magnificent achievements, my Lord, who received numerous teachings and performed the practices with utmost diligence, who abandoned the eight worldly objectives and made the most meaningful use of the eighteen opportune conditions during these degenerate times.

(Request to turn the Wheel of Dharma)
JE-TSUN LA-MA DAM-PA CHEY-NAM KYI
CHO-KU KA-LA CHEN-TI TIN-TIK NEY
JI-TAR TSAM-PI DUL-SHIH DZIN-MA LA
ZAB-JI CHO-KYI CHAR-PA WHAP-TU SOL

All you Holy Gurus, unerring in conduct, may you precipitate a rain of realization of Bodhicitta and Sunyata from the clouds of all-knowing compassion, which fills the Dharmakaya sky, providing for the field of disciples precisely what is needed.

(Requesting to remain)
NAM-DAG WO-SAL YING-LEY JING-PA YI
ZUNG-JUG KU-LA CHAR-NUB MI-NGA YANG
THA-MAL HNANG-NGOR ZUG-KU RAG-PA NYI
SEE-THEE BAR-DU MI-NUB TAN-PAR SHUG

May the Vajra body created from the purity of clear light, free of the rising and setting of cyclic existence but visible to the ordinary viewer only in its unsubtle, physical form, stay on unchanging, without waning, until Samsara ends.

(Dedication)
DAG-SOG JIN-NYEH SAG-PA GE-WA DEE
TAN-DANG DRO-WA KUN-LA GANG-PHAN DANG
CHE-PAR JE-TSUN LO-ZANG DRAG-PA YI
TAN-PI NYING-PO RING-DU SAL-SHEH SHOG

May this merit accumulated by myself and others, beneficially serve all sentient beings and the Buddhadharma and especially may the essential teachings of the unerring Master Tsongkhapa, become clear and enduring.

Migtsema (Mantra of Je Tsongkhapa)

This can be recited anytime, anywhere, as many times as possible. It has the benefits of receiving the blessings of Avalokiteshvara, Manjushri and Vajrapani.

MIG-MEY TZE-WEY TER-CHEN CHENREZIG
DRI-MEY KHYEN-PI WANG-PO JAMPAL YANG
DU-PUNG MA-LU JOM-DZEY SANG-WEY DAG
GANG-CHEN KE-PEY TSUG-GYEN TSONGKAPA
LO-SANG TRAG-PEY SHAB-LA SOL-WA DEB

(Recite 21x or more, depending on time)

Je Tsongkhapa, crown jewel of the holy Masters of the land of snows,
You are Avalokiteshvara, great goldmine of Compassion untainted by ego’s delusion.
You are Manjushri, great Master of stainless wisdom.
You are Vajrapani, great subduer of all the gatherings of demons.
At your feet, famed Lobsang Drakpa,
I humbly bow and earnestly request that all sentient beings achieve Enlightenment.

Dissolving Je Rinpoche into Ourselves

PAL-DAN TSA-WEY LA-MA RINPOCHE
DAG-SOG CHI-WOR PE-ME DAN-JUG LA
KA-DRIN CHEN-PO GO-NEY JE-ZUNG TE
KU-SUNG THUG-KYI NGO-DRUP TSAL-DU SOL

Dear worthy root Guru, please ascend the lotus seat
atop the head of myself and the other beings,
and in your great kindness please remain with us.
Bestow upon us the blessings of your body, speech and mind.

PAL-DAN TSA-WEY LA-MA RINPOCHE
DAG-SOG NYING-KHAR PE-ME DAN-JUG LA
KA-DRIN CHEN-PO GO-NEY JE-ZUNG TE
CHO-DANG THUN-MONG NGO-DRUP TSAL-DU SOL

Precious, noble, root Guru, please occupy the lotus seat
within our hearts and in your great kindness remain with us.
Please grant us your blessings for our temporal success
and for the supreme attainment.

PAL-DAN TSA-WEY LA-MA RINPOCHE
DAG-SOG NYING-KHAR PE-ME DAN-JUG LA
KA-DRIN CHEN-PO GO-NEY JE-ZUNG TE
JANG-CHUB NYING-PO BAR-DU TAN-PAR SHUG

Beloved, noble, root Guru, please occupy the lotus seat
within our hearts and in your great kindness remain with us.
Please stay on until we achieve the great goal of Enlightenment.

The Mahayana Sutra of Three Superior Heaps

Homage to the Bodhisattva’s Confession of Moral Downfalls. I, whose name is [say your name at this point], at all times go for refuge to the Guru, go for refuge to the Buddha, go for refuge to the Dharma, go for refuge to the Sangha.

The Vajra family of Akshobhya (blue in colour)

  1. To the Teacher, Blessed One, Tathagata, Foe Destroyer, Completely Perfected Buddha, Glorious Conqueror Shakyamuni, I prostrate.
  2. To the Tathagata, Complete Subduer with the Essence of Vajra, I prostrate.
  3. To the Tathagata, Jewel of Radiant Light, I prostrate.
  4. To the Tathagata, Powerful King of the Nagas, I prostrate.
  5. To the Tathagata, Leader of the Heroes, I prostrate.
  6. To the Tathagata, Glorious Pleasure, I prostrate.
  7. To the Tathagata, Jewel Fire, I prostrate.

The Tathagata family of Vairochana (white in colour)

  1. To the Tathagata, Jewel Moonlight, I prostrate.
  2. To the Tathagata, Meaningful to Behold, I prostrate.
  3. To the Tathagata, Jewel Moon, I prostrate.
  4. To the Tathagata, Stainless One, I prostrate.
  5. To the Tathagata, Bestowed with Glory, I prostrate.
  6. To the Tathagata, Pure One, I prostrate.
  7. To the Tathagata, Transforming with Purity, I prostrate.

The Ratna family of Ratnasambhava (yellow in colour)

  1. To the Tathagata, Water Deity, I prostrate.
  2. To the Tathagata, God of the Water Deities, I prostrate.
  3. To the Tathagata, Glorious Excellence, I prostrate.
  4. To the Tathagata, Glorious Sandalwood, I prostrate.
  5. To the Tathagata, Endless Splendour, I prostrate.
  6. To the Tathagata, Glorious Light, I prostrate.
  7. To the Tathagata, Glorious without Sorrow, I prostrate.

The Lotus family of Amitabha (red in colour)

  1. To the Tathagata, Son without Craving, I prostrate.
  2. To the Tathagata, Glorious Flower, I prostrate.
  3. To the Tathagata, Clearly Knowing through Enjoying Pure Radiance, I prostrate.
  4. To the Tathagata, Clearly Knowing through Enjoying Lotus Radiance, I prostrate.
  5. To the Tathagata, Glorious Wealth, I prostrate.
  6. To the Tathagata, Glorious Mindfulness, I prostrate.
  7. To the Tathagata, Glorious Name of Great Renown, I prostrate.

The Karma family of Amoghasiddhi (green in colour)

  1. To the Tathagata, King of the Victory Banner, Head of the Powerful Ones, I prostrate.
  2. To the Tathagata, Glorious One Complete Subduer, I prostrate.
  3. To the Tathagata, Great Victor in Battle, I prostrate.
  4. To the Tathagata, Glorious One Complete Subduer Passed Beyond, I prostrate.
  5. To the Tathagata, Glorious Array Illuminating All, I prostrate.
  6. To the Tathagata, Jewel Lotus Great Subduer, I prostrate.
  7. To the Tathagata, Foe Destroyer, Completely Perfected Buddha, King of Mount Meru seated firmly on a jewel and a lotus, I prostrate.

O All you Tathagatas and all the others, however many Tathagatas, Foe Destroyers, Completely Perfect Buddhas, Blessed Ones there are dwelling and abiding in all the worldly realms of the ten directions, all you Buddhas, the Blessed Ones, please listen to me.

In this life and in all my lives since beginningless time, in all my places of rebirth whilst wandering in Samsara, I have done negative actions, have ordered them to be done, and have rejoiced in their being done. I have stolen the property of the bases of offering, the property of the Sangha, and the property of the Sanghas of the ten directions, have ordered it to be stolen, and have rejoiced in it being stolen. I have committed the five unbounded heinous actions, have ordered them to be committed, and have rejoiced in their being committed. I have completely engaged in the paths of the ten non-virtuous actions, have ordered others to engage in them, and have rejoiced in their engaging in them.

Being obstructed by such karmic obstructions, I shall become a hell being, or I shall be born as an animal, or I shall go to the land of the hungry ghosts, or I shall be born as a barbarian in an irreligious country, or I shall be born as a long life god, or I shall come to have incomplete senses, or I shall come to have wrong views, or I shall have no opportunity to please a Buddha.

All such karmic obstructions I declare in the presence of the Buddhas, the Blessed Ones, who have become valid, who see with their wisdom. I confess without concealing or hiding anything, and from now on I shall avoid and refrain from such actions.

All you Buddhas, the Blessed Ones, please listen to me.
In this life and in all my previous lives since beginningless time, in all my places of rebirth whilst wandering in Samsara, whatever root of virtue there is in my giving to others, even in my giving a morsel of food to one born as an animal;

Whatever root of virtue there is in my maintaining moral discipline;
Whatever root of virtue there is in my actions conducive to great liberation;
Whatever root of virtue there is in my acting to fully ripen sentient beings;
Whatever root of virtue there is in my generating a supreme mind of Enlightenment;

And whatever root of virtue there is in my unsurpassed exalted wisdom; all of these assembled, gathered and collected together, by fully dedicating them to the unsurpassed, to that which there is no higher, to that which is even higher than the high, to that which surpasses the unsurpassed,

I fully dedicate to the unsurpassed, perfect, complete enlightenment.
Just as the Buddhas, the Blessed Ones of the past, have dedicated fully, just as the Buddhas, the Blessed Ones who are yet to come, will dedicate fully, and just as the Buddhas, the Blessed Ones who are living now, dedicate fully, so too do I dedicate fully.

I confess individually all negative actions. I rejoice in all merit. I beseech and request all the Buddhas.
May I attain the holy, supreme, unsurpassed, exalted wisdom.
Whoever are the Conquerors, the supreme beings living now, those of the past, and likewise those who are yet to come, with a boundless ocean of praise for all your good qualities, with my palms pressed together I go close to you for refuge.

This concludes the Mahayana Sutra entitled “Sutra of the Three Superior Heaps”.

5. Dorje Shugden Prayer & Mantra

Dothey

Request for Activity of Gyalchen Dorje Shugden

Requested by Rakra Rinpoche, H.H. Kyabje Yongzin Trijang Rinpoche wrote this on the first day of the Tibetan Year of the Iron Boar.

KYE!
Manjushri in angry form,
You are the hero in terrifying role.
Main of my powerful war gods,
You are the mighty Dorje Shugden.

Affectionate when cultivated,
You treat the commitment-abiding like son (or daughter).
Powerful when beseeched, your ferocity is swifter than lightning.
When angry at the enemy, you obliterate him to the seventh generation.

We your practitioners,
Pile torma like mountains,
Gather medicinal blood like sea;
Spread base substances like the stars.

We honour you with the first part of food and drink; we fulfil all that you want.
I am calling you from my heart; lend me your ear.
I practice you all the time; show me sign that I have succeeded.
Protect the command and the Teaching; show me your smiling face.

Be the war god in my protection; be my messenger and servant.
Be the fort of my protection; be the storekeeper of my people and possessions.
Be the day’s bodyguard; be the night’s watchman.
Be the cloak on my back; Be my staff in the front.

Be the bridge over water, and stairs on the rock.
Be those who see me off; be those welcoming me.
Raise me if I fall; if I forget, remind me.
Be the doctor when I fall sick; if poisoned, give me potent remedy.

For me, raise banners on the high points; blow conch-shell in cities.
If two equals debate, you should make the victor;
If two equals wrestle, you should determine the winner.
If two equals wager, you tip the winning edge;

If two equals compete in greatness, raise banners of greatness.
Kill the vengeful enemy; subdue obstructers.
Liberate those holding wrong views; prevent ill luck and ill omen.
Introduce me to a hundred advantages; foil a thousand disadvantages.
Remove obstacle of my hopes; fulfill all objectives.

Dorje Shugden mantra– OM BENZA WIKI BITANA SOHA (21x)

6. Serkym (Black Tea Offering)

HUM!
DÖN NYI LEG TSOG CHAR BEB LAMA DANG
CHOG TÜN NGÖ DRUB KÜN TSÖL YIDAM HLAR
DE TER DÜTSIY TUNG WA DI BÜL GYI
ZHE NE SAM DÖN NYUR DU HLÜN DRUB TZÖ

HUM!
O Gurus who rain down accumulations of excellence fulfilling our own
and others’ purposes,
And Yidams who bestow all ordinary and supreme attainments,
Through offering you this ambrosial drink which bestows bliss,
May you, having partaken, swiftly and spontaneously accomplish our
wishes!

NE SUM PAWO KANDRÖ TSOG KÜN DANG
TU DEN TEN SUNG DAM CHEN GYATSO LA
DE TER DÜTSIY TUNG WA DI BÜL GYI
ZHE NE SAM DÖN NYUR DU HLÜN DRUB TZÖ

O all hosts of heroes and dakinis of the three places,
And ocean of powerful, oath-bound Dharma Protectors,
Through offering you this ambrosial drink which bestows bliss,
May you, having partaken, swiftly and spontaneously accomplish our
wishes!

KYE PAR JIG TEN LE DE TEN SUNG CHOG
TU TOB NYEN NYUR DORJE SHUGDEN LA
DE TER DÜTSIY TUNG WA DI BÜL GYI
ZHE NE SAM DÖN NYUR DU HLÜN DRUB TZÖ

(recite this verse 3x, 7x, 21x or 108x times)

And especially, supreme, supramundane Dharmapala,
Forcefully powerful, strict, and swift Dorje Shugden,
Through offering you this ambrosial drink which bestows bliss,
May you, having partaken, swiftly and spontaneously accomplish our
wishes!

ZHI GYE WANG DANG NGÖN CHÖ RAB JAM LE
TOG ME TSÖL TZE NAM GYUR RIG NGA LA
DE TER DÜTSIY TUNG WA DI BÜL GYI
ZHE NE SAM DÖN NYUR DU HLÜN DRUB TZÖ

O five families who unobstructedly bestow
Infinite activities of peace, increase, power, and wrath,
Through offering you this ambrosial drink which bestows bliss,
May you, having partaken, swiftly and spontaneously accomplish our
wishes!

TZE DUG YUM GU NA DREN GELONG GYE
LE KEN TUM PAY TAG SHAR CHU SOG LA
DE TER DÜTSIY TUNG WA DI BÜL GYI
ZHE NE SAM DÖN NYUR DU HLÜN DRUB TZÖ

O nine beautiful consorts, eight guiding monks,
And ten fierce, attendant young guardians, and so on,
Through offering you this ambrosial drink which bestows bliss,
May you, having partaken, swiftly and spontaneously accomplish our
wishes!

HRI KYE PAR GYEL WAY TEN PA SUNG WAY TSO
SE YI TRAB CHEN KOR DANG CHE NAM LA
DO GU TSANG WAY SER KYEM CHO PA DI
BUL LO SUNG KYOB YEL WA ME PAR TZO

HRI
Especially, principal guardian of the Conquerors’ Teachings,
Setrap Chen along with entourage to you
This golden drink replete with all one could wish is offered: Never waver in your protection!

KA KOR NYEN PO DAM NYAM SOG GI SHE
SHINTU TRO TUM KACHE MARPO LA
DE TER DÜTSIY TUNG WA DI BÜL GYI
ZHE NE SAM DÖN NYUR DU HLÜN DRUB TZÖ

O extremely fierce Kache Marpo, the strict attendant,
Executioner of those with degenerated samaya,
Through offering you this ambrosial drink which bestows bliss,
May you, having partaken, swiftly and spontaneously accomplish our
wishes!

DAM NYAM NYING TRAG SER TAR JANG WA YI
SER KYEM RAB TU KÖL WAY TUNG WA DI
NAM KA BAR TZIN KOR DANG CHÄ LA BÜL
SHE NÄ NÄL JOR SAM DÖN DRUB PAR TZÖ

Vow-breakers’ heart-blood purified like gold,
This drink of fully boiling serkyem,
I offer to Namka Bardzin and entourage
Accepting, accomplish the yogi’s intended purpose!

ZHEN YANG TRÜL PA YANG TRÜL SAM YE DANG
KA DÖ HLA SIN TONG SUM YO WA LA
DE TER DÜTSIY TUNG WA DI BÜL GYI
ZHE NE SAM DÖN NYUR DU HLÜN DRUB TZÖ

As well as the inconceivable emanations and their emanations,
Attendant deities and demons who shake the three thousand worlds,
Through offering you this ambrosial drink which bestows bliss,
May you, having partaken, swiftly and spontaneously accomplish our
wishes!

DE TAR CHÖ CHING TRINLE KÜL WAY TÜ
NAM ZHIY TRINLE DÜ DRUG KE CHIG KYANG
YEL WA ME PAR PA YI BU ZHIN DU
TAG TU KYONG SHING TAG TU JE ZUNG TZÖ

Thus, by the force of this offering and exhortation,
May you grant your activity throughout the six time periods,
And, without wavering, always protect me
And care for me like a father for his son!

KA DÖ DREG PAY TSOG KYANG DÜLTZIN JE
YAR DAM NYEN PÖ TA TSIG DREN TZÖ LA
DAG GI GANG DANG GANG CHÖL LE DI NAM
DA TA NYUR DU DRUB LA MA YEL ZHIG

And you hosts of wrathful attendants, as well,
Remember your sworn oaths of promise to Lord Dültzin
And accomplish swiftly now, without distraction,
Whatever activities I have requested!

7. Insert your Lama’s Long-life Prayer and Mantra

8. Completion Dedication

JANG-JUB SEM-CHOK RINPOCHE
MA-KYE PA-NAM KYE-GYUR CHIK
KYE-PA NYAM-PA ME-PA YANG
GONG-NA GONG-DU PEL-WAR SHUG

May the precious Bodhi-mind,
Where it is not born arise and grow
May that born have no decline
But increase forever more.

TONG-NI TONG-WA RINPOCHE
MA-KYE PA-NAM KYE-GYUR CHIK
KYE-PA NYAM-PA ME-PA YANG
GONG-NA GONG-DU PEL-WAR SHUG

May the precious Emptiness
Where it is not born arise and grow
May that born have no decline
But increase forever more.

DAG-SOG JIN-NYEH SAG-PA GE-WA DEE
TAN-DANG DRO-WA KUN-LA GANG-PHAN DANG
CHE-PAR JE-TSUN LO-ZANG DRAG-PA YI
TAN-PI NYING-PO RING-DU SAL-SHEH SHUG

May this merit accumulated by myself and others beneficially serve all
sentient beings and the Buddhadharma and especially may the essential
teachings of the unerring Master Tsongkhapa, become clear and
enduring.

KYE-WA KUN-TU YANG-DAK LA-MA DANG
DRAL-ME CHO-KYI PAL-LA LONG-CHO CHING
SA-DANG LAM-GYI YON-TEN RAP-DZOK NA
DORJE CHANG-GI GO-PANG NYUR-TO SHUG

In all my rebirths may I not be parted from perfect Gurus,
Let me enjoy the abundance of the Dharma!
Perfecting the quality stages and paths
May I quickly attain the rank of Vajradhara Buddha.
Dedication of virtue

GE-WA DI-YI NYUR-DU DAK
LA-MA SANG-GYE DRUP-GYUR NA
DRO-WA CHIK-KYANG MA-LU PA
DE-YI SA-LA GO-PAR SHUG

By this virtue, may I quickly
Realize Guru-Buddhahood,
And transfer each sentient being
Into that Enlightened state.

CHO KHI GYAL PO TSONG KHA PA
CHO TSUL NAM PAR PHEL WA LA
GEK KI TSHAN MA ZHI WA DANG
THUN KYIN MA LU TSHANG WAR SHOK

May all conducive conditions arise
and all obstacles be pacified,
in order to increase infinitely,
the doctrine of the spiritual king, Tsongkhapa.

DA DANG SHEN GI DU SUM DANG
DRIL WA TSOK NYI LA TEN NAY
GYA WA LO ZANG DRAG PA YI
TAN PAR YUN RING VAR GYUR CHIG

By the merits of the 3 times of myself and others,
May the doctrine of Lama Tsongkhapa blaze forever.

NYIMO DELEK TSEN TELEK
NYIME GUNG YANG DELEK SHIN
NYITSEN TAKTU DELEK PEL
KON CHOK SUM GYI JIN GYI LOB
KON CHOK SUM GYI NGOR DRUL TSOL
KON CHOK SUM GYI TRA SHI SHOK

At dawn or dusk, at night or midday, may the Three Jewels grant us their
blessing, may they help us to achieve all realisations and sprinkle the
paths of our lives with various signs of auspiciousness.
Dedication for the Guru’s long life

JETSUN LAMA KU TSE RABTEN CHING
NAMKAR TRINLEY CHOG CHUR GYE PA DANG
LOBSANG TENPE DRON ME SA SUM GYI
DRO WE MUNSEL TAKTUR NE GYUR CHIG

May the holy teachers have long lives. May the enlightened activities be
fully displayed in the ten directions, and may the brightness of the
teachings of Lama Tsongkhapa continuously dissipate the veil of
darkness covering the beings of the three realms.

GANG RI RAWE KORWAI SHING KHAM DIR
PEN DANG DEWA MALU GYUN3G WAI NE
CHENREZIG WANG TENZIN GYATSO YI
SHA PEI SITHAI BARDU DEN GYUR CHIG

In this holy Land surrounded by snow mountains,
You are the source of all benefit and happiness
May your lotus feet, O powerful Chenrezig, Tenzin Gyatso
Remain in this world until the end of existence

 

Go to Vajrasattva sadhana >>

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3. Vajrasattva Sadhana

preliminarypractice016

Rinpoche discusses the practice of Vajrasattva in this blog post here.

The following prayers are to be recited during each session of a vajrasattva retreat or as a daily sadhana. A shrine to a Vajrasattva statue, thangka or print should be arranged with a Dharma text on the left of the shrine, and the stupa on the right side. Sensory offerings are optional, but there should be at least 4 rows of water offerings offered during each session. This is along with other offerings of flowers, abundant food, incense, mandala, lights, and so forth.

Vajrasattva Sadhana

The following prayers are to be recited during each session of the Vajrasattva retreat or as a daily sadhana. A shrine to a statue, thangka or print of Vajrasattva should be arranged with a Dharma text on the left of the shrine, and the stupa on the right side. Offer 2 sets of sensory offerings, one arranged normally and the other in reverse along with 2 rows of water offerings offered during each session. This is along with other offerings of flowers, abundant food (bread, biscuits, yoghurt and so forth), incense, mandala, lights, and so forth. Tea, milk or fizzy drinks can be placed on the shrine or offered during the recitation of the serkyem liturgy.

1. Preliminary Prayers

Multiplying Mantra
OM SAMBHARA SAMBHARA VIMANA SARA MAHA JAVA HUNG
OM MARA MARA VIMANA SARA MAHA JAVA HUNG
 (7x)

Blessing the Rosary
OM RUTSIRA MANI PRAWA TAYA HUNG (7x)

2. Taking Refuge and Generating Bodhichitta

Refuge
NAMO GURU BEH
NAMO BUDDHA YA
NAMO DHARMA YA
NAMO SANGHA YA
 (1 mala or more)

I take refuge in the Guru
I take refuge in the Buddha
I take refuge in the Dharma
I take refuge in the Sangha (1 mala or more)

Generating Bodhicitta
SANG GYE CHO DANG TSOG KYI CHOG NAM LA
JANG CHUB BAR DU DAG NI KYAB SU CHI
DAG GI JIN SOK GYI PAY SO NAM KYI
DRO LA PAN CHIR SANG GYE DRUB PAR SHOG
 (3x)

I take refuge until I am enlightened in the Buddhas, the Dharma and the Sangha. By the positive potential I create by practising generosity and the other far-reaching attitudes, may I attain Buddhahood in order to benefit all sentient beings. (3x)

3. Guru Yoga/ Gaden Lhagyama

(Invocation)
GA-DEN HLA-JI NGON-JYI THUG-KA NEY
RAP-KAR SHO-SAR PUNG-DEE CHU-ZIN TSER
CHO-KYI GYEL-PO KUN-CHEN LOZANG DRAG
SEY-DANG CHE PA NE-DIR SHEG SU SOL

From the heart of the Lord of the Gaden Devas (Maitreya Buddha) emerges a brilliant white cloud, like a great mass of fresh yoghurt. Atop sits Tsongkhapa all-knowing, King of Dharma; we request your coming to this place along with your great disciples.

(Prostration)
DUN-JYI NAM-KHAR SING-TI PEE-DEE TENG
JE-TSUN LA-MA JYEH-PI DZUM-KAR CHYEN
DAG-LO DE-PE SO-NAM SHING-CHOG TU
TAN-PA JYEH-SHIR KAL-DJAR JUG-SU SOL

My Lord Guru is seated before me upon a lion throne, lotus and moon cushion. His body is white and he smiles blissfully. Please remain many eons and serve as the great merit field for the growth of my mind’s faith, and for the increase of Lord Buddha’s teachings.

(Praises)
SHE-JYEH CHON-KUN JAL-WEY LO-DO THUG
KAL-ZANG NA-WEY JYIN-JUR LIK-SHEY SUNG
DRAG-PI PEL-JYI HLAM-MER DZEY-PI KU
THONG-THO DRAN PI DON DHAN LA-CHAG TSAL

His omniscient wisdom-mind encompasses all that is existent. His voice is a profound teaching, which ornaments the ear of the fortunate pupil. His body’s beautiful radiance evokes wondrous admiration. To Lama Tsongkhapa, whom merely viewing, hearing or contemplating earns one great merit, I make prostration.

(Offering)
YIH-WONG TCHO-YON NA-TSOG ME-TOG DANG
DRI-JEM DUG-PO NANG-SAL DRID-CHAB SOG
NGO-SHAM YIH TUL TCHO-TIN GYA-TSO DI
SO-NAM SHING-CHOG CHE-LA CHO-PA BUL

I present to you, great merit field, Tsongkhapa, beautiful offerings, water, a display of flowers, fragrant incense, butter-lamps, perfumes and more both physical and mental offerings, vast as the clouds and wide as the ocean.

(Confession)
DAG-GI TO-MEY DU-NEH SAG-PA YI
LU-NGAG YIH-KYI DIG-PA CHI-JYI DANG
CHEY-PA DOM-PA SUM-JI MI-TUN SHO
NYING-NEH JO-PA TRAH-PO SO-SOR SHAG

The unwholesome actions of body, speech and mind, which I have accumulated over a measureless period, especially actions contrary to the three vows (Vinaya, Bodhisattva, Vajrayana), I regret extremely and from the depths of my heart, and reveal each and every such action.

(Rejoice)
NIK-MI DU-DIR MANG-THO DRUP-LA TSON
CHO-JYED PANG-PI DAL-JOR DON-YO SHYE
NGON-PO CHEY-KYI LAP-CHEN DZE-PA LA
DAG-CHAG SAM-PA TAG-PEH YI RANG NGO

We totally rejoice in your magnificent achievements, my Lord, who received numerous teachings and performed the practices with utmost diligence, who abandoned the eight worldly objectives and made the most meaningful use of the eighteen opportune conditions during these degenerate times.

(Request to turn the Wheel of Dharma)
JE-TSUN LA-MA DAM-PA CHEY-NAM KYI
CHO-KU KA-LA CHEN-TI TIN-TIK NEY
JI-TAR TSAM-PI DUL-SHIH DZIN-MA LA
ZAB-JI CHO-KYI CHAR-PA WHAP-TU SOL

All you Holy Gurus, unerring in conduct, may you precipitate a rain of realization of Bodhicitta and Sunyata from the clouds of all-knowing compassion, which fills the Dharmakaya sky, providing for the field of disciples precisely what is needed.

(Requesting to remain)
NAM-DAG WO-SAL YING-LEY JING-PA YI
ZUNG-JUG KU-LA CHAR-NUB MI-NGA YANG
THA-MAL HNANG-NGOR ZUG-KU RAG-PA NYI
SEE-THEE BAR-DU MI-NUB TAN-PAR SHUG

May the Vajra body created from the purity of clear light, free of the rising and setting of cyclic existence but visible to the ordinary viewer only in its unsubtle, physical form, stay on unchanging, without waning, until Samsara ends.

(Dedication)
DAG-SOG JIN-NYEH SAG-PA GE-WA DEE
TAN-DANG DRO-WA KUN-LA GANG-PHAN DANG
CHE-PAR JE-TSUN LO-ZANG DRAG-PA YI
TAN-PI NYING-PO RING-DU SAL-SHEH SHOG

May this merit accumulated by myself and others, beneficially serve all sentient beings and the Buddhadharma and especially may the essential teachings of the unerring Master Tsongkhapa, become clear and enduring.

Migtsema (Mantra of Je Tsongkhapa)

This can be recited anytime, anywhere, as many times as possible. It has the benefits of receiving the blessings of Avalokiteshvara, Manjushri and Vajrapani.

MIG-MEY TZE-WEY TER-CHEN CHENREZIG
DRI-MEY KHYEN-PI WANG-PO JAMPAL YANG
DU-PUNG MA-LU JOM-DZEY SANG-WEY DAG
GANG-CHEN KE-PEY TSUG-GYEN TSONGKAPA
LO-SANG TRAG-PEY SHAB-LA SOL-WA DEB

(Recite 21x or more, depending on time)

Je Tsongkhapa, crown jewel of the holy Masters of the land of snows,
You are Avalokiteshvara, great goldmine of Compassion untainted by ego’s delusion.
You are Manjushri, great Master of stainless wisdom.
You are Vajrapani, great subduer of all the gatherings of demons.
At your feet, famed Lobsang Drakpa,
I humbly bow and earnestly request that all sentient beings achieve Enlightenment.

Dissolving Je Rinpoche into Ourselves

PAL-DAN TSA-WEY LA-MA RINPOCHE
DAG-SOG CHI-WOR PE-ME DAN-JUG LA
KA-DRIN CHEN-PO GO-NEY JE-ZUNG TE
KU-SUNG THUG-KYI NGO-DRUP TSAL-DU SOL

Dear worthy root Guru, please ascend the lotus seat
atop the head of myself and the other beings,
and in your great kindness please remain with us.
Bestow upon us the blessings of your body, speech and mind.

PAL-DAN TSA-WEY LA-MA RINPOCHE
DAG-SOG NYING-KHAR PE-ME DAN-JUG LA
KA-DRIN CHEN-PO GO-NEY JE-ZUNG TE
CHO-DANG THUN-MONG NGO-DRUP TSAL-DU SOL

Precious, noble, root Guru, please occupy the lotus seat
within our hearts and in your great kindness remain with us.
Please grant us your blessings for our temporal success
and for the supreme attainment.

PAL-DAN TSA-WEY LA-MA RINPOCHE
DAG-SOG NYING-KHAR PE-ME DAN-JUG LA
KA-DRIN CHEN-PO GO-NEY JE-ZUNG TE
JANG-CHUB NYING-PO BAR-DU TAN-PAR SHUG

Beloved, noble, root Guru, please occupy the lotus seat
within our hearts and in your great kindness remain with us.
Please stay on until we achieve the great goal of Enlightenment.

Vajrasattva sadhana

This sadhana is different from the one given in Padma Karpo’s text which explains a visualization with the consort which requires initiation and that is why it is not described here.

On the crown of one’s head, visualize a lotus seat. Resting on this is a luminous moon-disc on which is seated Vajrasattva, the form of all the Buddhas, facing in the same direction as oneself. He is the manifestation of the Buddha’s power of purification and his radiant pure white color symbolizes purity. He has one face and two hands. In the right hand he holds the vajra, which signifies upaya, great compassion, and in the left he holds the bell representing prajna, great wisdom which, like the two wings of a bird, must work in unison for the attainment of enlightenment. He is adorned with beautiful ornaments and clad in silken garments. To symbolize his energy and power of action, his appearance is youthful and dynamic. Seated in the vajra posture, he looks down upon one with compassion. Having made this visualization, one takes Refuge, generates the bodhichitta, and the first six verses of the Seven Limb Puja are recited, the dedication of merit being left until the end.

(1) The refuge and generation of bodhichitta
I go for refuge to the Buddha, Dharma and the Supreme Community unti the attainment of enlightenment. By the merit gained from my practice of generosity and other perfections, may I attain the state of a Buddha for the sake of all sentient beings.

(2) Prostrations
As many atoms as there are in the thousand million worlds, so many times do I make reverent salutations to all the Buddhas of the three times, to the Dharma, to the Excellent Community. I pay homage to all the shrines and places where the bodhisattvas have been and make profound obeisance to the Teachers.

(3) Offerings
Just as Manjusri and other bodhisattvas make offerings to the enlightened beings, so do I make offerings to the Buddhas and bodhisattvas so that I may develop bodhichitta.

(4) Confession
In this beginningless samsaric state, in this life and in other lives, I have committed unfitting and unskillful actions or caused others to do so. Being confused by ignorance, I have even taken pleasure and rejoice in these non-virtuous actions. By confessing this to all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas with a pure state of mind, I open my heart and expose all my faults, applying the Four Opponent Powers. The harmful mistakes which I have committed through ignorance and foolishness, mistakes in the world of everyday experience as well as in understanding and intelligence, all these I admit to the enlightened beings. What is not good, O Buddha, I will not do again.

(5) Rejoicing
I rejoice in the compassionate deed of giving happiness to sentient beings. I rejoice in the deeds of the Buddhas and bodhisattvas in granting peace to sentient beings. I rejoice in their ocean-like wish to give permanent happiness to all beings

(6) Requesting the Buddhas to turn the Wheel of the Dharma
Saluting them with folded hands, I entreat the Buddhas in all the quarters to light the lamp of the Dharma for those obscured by the darkness of ignorance.

(7) Requesting for stability of the Buddha’s physical manifestations
With hands folded in reverence, I implore the Buddhas desiring to enter parinirvana to remain here for endless ages so that life in this world does not grow dark.

Then, the white letter HUM appears on a luminous moon-disc in the heart of Vajrasattva. The white letters of the mantra stand clockwise around the HUM, and from each syllable flows a fountain of nectar. Each produces its own sound and radiates light. At this stage, we make the following request:

O Bhagavan Vajrasattva, I request you to purify and cleanse myself and all sentient beings of our harmful deeds, our afflictions, and the transgression we have committed against our vows.

When this request has been made, the HUM in Vajrasattva’s heart emits rays of light which wash away the harmful deeds and delusions of all sentient beings who then make offerings which delight the Buddhas and their Sons. All the supreme accomplishment of these enlightened beings are collected in the form of light which is absorbed into the HUM, so that Vajrasattva becomes an accumulation of brightness, power and force.

OM VAJRASATTVA SAMAYA/MANU
PALAYA/VAJRASATTVA TENOPA TISHTA/
DRIDHO ME BHAVA/ SUTO SHYO ME BHAVA/
SUPO SHYO ME BHAVA/ ANURAKTO ME
BHAVA/ SARVA SIDDHI ME PRAYCCHA/
SARVA KARMA SUCHA ME/CHITTAM
SHRIYAM/ KURU HUM/ HA HA HA HA HO
BHAGAVAN/ SARVA TATHAGATA/VAJRA
MAME MUNCHA/VAJRA BHAVA MAHA
SAMAYA SATTVA/ A HUM PHAT

With these four powers we should repeat the hundred-syllable mantra at least twenty-one times daily, and continue doing so without omitting a day until we have completed at least one hundred thousand recitations. As we become more deeply involved in this practice, signs of purification will appear recurrently in dreams, such as vomiting impurities, drinking milk or curd, bathing, and so forth. In daily life devotion to the Guru and to the Triple Gem as well as concentration will increase. By reciting this mantra one requests union with Vajrasattva, destroys the seeds of past unskillful karma, and can even purify transgressions against the tantric root vows.

When reciting the mantra distinctly at moderate speed and volume, visualize the nectar from the letters of the mantra filling Vajrasattva’s body. They then enter our body through the top of the head, expelling all mental and physical impurities in the form of impure water, scorpions, spiders and other black matter. These leave the body by lower orifice and enter the earth which cracks and absorbs all the defilements.

Through my ignorance and delusion I have transgressed and damaged my vows,
O Guru, Protector, be my Refuge!
In the Lord, Holder of the Vajra,
Whose essence is the Great Compassion
In the Lord of Beings, I take my Refuge.

Then, Vajrasattva speaks:

O Son of the Family, all your harmful deeds, defilements and transgressions against your vows are purified and cleansed.

When he has spoken these words, he is absorbed into ourself and we become endowed with his qualities of body, speech and mind.

(8) Dedication of merit
Having thus acquired all these merits and having done all these skillful actions in the past and present, empower me to lift the veil of suffering from all sentient beings. May the merit gained by my acting thus go to the alleviation of the suffering of all beings. My personalities throughout my existences, my possessions and my merits, in all three ways I give up without regard for myself. Just as the earth and other elements are serviceable in many ways to the infinite number of beings inhabiting limitless space, so may I become that which maintains all beings so long as all have not attained peace.

The Four Opponent Powers

There are four opponent powers, which must be applied so that purification of non-virtues may be effective.

a. The Power of Repentance
If one has mistakenly taken poison, one will feel great regret at having done so. Instead of remembering and enumerating useless items from our past as we are prone to do, we should endeavor to remember the unskillful actions performed in this and in previous existences and develop strong and sincere repentance.

b. The Power of the Decision Not to Repeat Such Actions
If one has eaten something harmful, naturally one will resolve to avoid doing so again. We should make the decision to refrain from such unskillful actions even at the cost of our own live. If however, we feel too weak to make this ultimate commitment immediately, we should gradually build and reinforce our resolution day by day.

c. The Power of The Object of Refuge
We must take refuge, entrusting ourselves to Vajrasattva as the manifestation of all the Buddhas, and develop bodichitta. If you trip and fall you use the ground as a support to help you stand up again. All unskillful deeds are committed against the Triple Gem and sentient beings, so to purify the seeds of these actions we must turn for refuge to the Three Jewels and cultivate bodhichitta for the sake of all beings

d. The Power of Remedy
Recitation of the mantra of Vajrasattva is the most effective method of counteracting the storage of unskillful karma.

5. Dorje Shugden Prayer & Mantra

Dothey

Request for Activity of Gyalchen Dorje Shugden

Requested by Rakra Rinpoche, H.H. Kyabje Yongzin Trijang Rinpoche wrote this on the first day of the Tibetan Year of the Iron Boar.

KYE!
Manjushri in angry form,
You are the hero in terrifying role.
Main of my powerful war gods,
You are the mighty Dorje Shugden.

Affectionate when cultivated,
You treat the commitment-abiding like son (or daughter).
Powerful when beseeched, your ferocity is swifter than lightning.
When angry at the enemy, you obliterate him to the seventh generation.

We your practitioners,
Pile torma like mountains,
Gather medicinal blood like sea;
Spread base substances like the stars.

We honour you with the first part of food and drink; we fulfil all that you want.
I am calling you from my heart; lend me your ear.
I practice you all the time; show me sign that I have succeeded.
Protect the command and the Teaching; show me your smiling face.

Be the war god in my protection; be my messenger and servant.
Be the fort of my protection; be the storekeeper of my people and possessions.
Be the day’s bodyguard; be the night’s watchman.
Be the cloak on my back; Be my staff in the front.

Be the bridge over water, and stairs on the rock.
Be those who see me off; be those welcoming me.
Raise me if I fall; if I forget, remind me.
Be the doctor when I fall sick; if poisoned, give me potent remedy.

For me, raise banners on the high points; blow conch-shell in cities.
If two equals debate, you should make the victor;
If two equals wrestle, you should determine the winner.
If two equals wager, you tip the winning edge;

If two equals compete in greatness, raise banners of greatness.
Kill the vengeful enemy; subdue obstructers.
Liberate those holding wrong views; prevent ill luck and ill omen.
Introduce me to a hundred advantages; foil a thousand disadvantages.
Remove obstacle of my hopes; fulfill all objectives.

Dorje Shugden mantra– OM BENZA WIKI BITANA SOHA (21x)

6. Serkym (Black Tea Offering)

HUM!
DÖN NYI LEG TSOG CHAR BEB LAMA DANG
CHOG TÜN NGÖ DRUB KÜN TSÖL YIDAM HLAR
DE TER DÜTSIY TUNG WA DI BÜL GYI
ZHE NE SAM DÖN NYUR DU HLÜN DRUB TZÖ

HUM!
O Gurus who rain down accumulations of excellence fulfilling our own
and others’ purposes,
And Yidams who bestow all ordinary and supreme attainments,
Through offering you this ambrosial drink which bestows bliss,
May you, having partaken, swiftly and spontaneously accomplish our
wishes!

NE SUM PAWO KANDRÖ TSOG KÜN DANG
TU DEN TEN SUNG DAM CHEN GYATSO LA
DE TER DÜTSIY TUNG WA DI BÜL GYI
ZHE NE SAM DÖN NYUR DU HLÜN DRUB TZÖ

O all hosts of heroes and dakinis of the three places,
And ocean of powerful, oath-bound Dharma Protectors,
Through offering you this ambrosial drink which bestows bliss,
May you, having partaken, swiftly and spontaneously accomplish our
wishes!

KYE PAR JIG TEN LE DE TEN SUNG CHOG
TU TOB NYEN NYUR DORJE SHUGDEN LA
DE TER DÜTSIY TUNG WA DI BÜL GYI
ZHE NE SAM DÖN NYUR DU HLÜN DRUB TZÖ

(recite this verse 3x, 7x, 21x or 108x times)

And especially, supreme, supramundane Dharmapala,
Forcefully powerful, strict, and swift Dorje Shugden,
Through offering you this ambrosial drink which bestows bliss,
May you, having partaken, swiftly and spontaneously accomplish our
wishes!

ZHI GYE WANG DANG NGÖN CHÖ RAB JAM LE
TOG ME TSÖL TZE NAM GYUR RIG NGA LA
DE TER DÜTSIY TUNG WA DI BÜL GYI
ZHE NE SAM DÖN NYUR DU HLÜN DRUB TZÖ

O five families who unobstructedly bestow
Infinite activities of peace, increase, power, and wrath,
Through offering you this ambrosial drink which bestows bliss,
May you, having partaken, swiftly and spontaneously accomplish our
wishes!

TZE DUG YUM GU NA DREN GELONG GYE
LE KEN TUM PAY TAG SHAR CHU SOG LA
DE TER DÜTSIY TUNG WA DI BÜL GYI
ZHE NE SAM DÖN NYUR DU HLÜN DRUB TZÖ

O nine beautiful consorts, eight guiding monks,
And ten fierce, attendant young guardians, and so on,
Through offering you this ambrosial drink which bestows bliss,
May you, having partaken, swiftly and spontaneously accomplish our
wishes!

HRI KYE PAR GYEL WAY TEN PA SUNG WAY TSO
SE YI TRAB CHEN KOR DANG CHE NAM LA
DO GU TSANG WAY SER KYEM CHO PA DI
BUL LO SUNG KYOB YEL WA ME PAR TZO

HRI
Especially, principal guardian of the Conquerors’ Teachings,
Setrap Chen along with entourage to you
This golden drink replete with all one could wish is offered: Never waver in your protection!

KA KOR NYEN PO DAM NYAM SOG GI SHE
SHINTU TRO TUM KACHE MARPO LA
DE TER DÜTSIY TUNG WA DI BÜL GYI
ZHE NE SAM DÖN NYUR DU HLÜN DRUB TZÖ

O extremely fierce Kache Marpo, the strict attendant,
Executioner of those with degenerated samaya,
Through offering you this ambrosial drink which bestows bliss,
May you, having partaken, swiftly and spontaneously accomplish our
wishes!

DAM NYAM NYING TRAG SER TAR JANG WA YI
SER KYEM RAB TU KÖL WAY TUNG WA DI
NAM KA BAR TZIN KOR DANG CHÄ LA BÜL
SHE NÄ NÄL JOR SAM DÖN DRUB PAR TZÖ

Vow-breakers’ heart-blood purified like gold,
This drink of fully boiling serkyem,
I offer to Namka Bardzin and entourage
Accepting, accomplish the yogi’s intended purpose!

ZHEN YANG TRÜL PA YANG TRÜL SAM YE DANG
KA DÖ HLA SIN TONG SUM YO WA LA
DE TER DÜTSIY TUNG WA DI BÜL GYI
ZHE NE SAM DÖN NYUR DU HLÜN DRUB TZÖ

As well as the inconceivable emanations and their emanations,
Attendant deities and demons who shake the three thousand worlds,
Through offering you this ambrosial drink which bestows bliss,
May you, having partaken, swiftly and spontaneously accomplish our
wishes!

DE TAR CHÖ CHING TRINLE KÜL WAY TÜ
NAM ZHIY TRINLE DÜ DRUG KE CHIG KYANG
YEL WA ME PAR PA YI BU ZHIN DU
TAG TU KYONG SHING TAG TU JE ZUNG TZÖ

Thus, by the force of this offering and exhortation,
May you grant your activity throughout the six time periods,
And, without wavering, always protect me
And care for me like a father for his son!

KA DÖ DREG PAY TSOG KYANG DÜLTZIN JE
YAR DAM NYEN PÖ TA TSIG DREN TZÖ LA
DAG GI GANG DANG GANG CHÖL LE DI NAM
DA TA NYUR DU DRUB LA MA YEL ZHIG

And you hosts of wrathful attendants, as well,
Remember your sworn oaths of promise to Lord Dültzin
And accomplish swiftly now, without distraction,
Whatever activities I have requested!

7. Insert your Lama’s Long-life Prayer and Mantra

8. Completion Dedication

JANG-JUB SEM-CHOK RINPOCHE
MA-KYE PA-NAM KYE-GYUR CHIK
KYE-PA NYAM-PA ME-PA YANG
GONG-NA GONG-DU PEL-WAR SHUG

May the precious Bodhi-mind,
Where it is not born arise and grow
May that born have no decline
But increase forever more.

TONG-NI TONG-WA RINPOCHE
MA-KYE PA-NAM KYE-GYUR CHIK
KYE-PA NYAM-PA ME-PA YANG
GONG-NA GONG-DU PEL-WAR SHUG

May the precious Emptiness
Where it is not born arise and grow
May that born have no decline
But increase forever more.

DAG-SOG JIN-NYEH SAG-PA GE-WA DEE
TAN-DANG DRO-WA KUN-LA GANG-PHAN DANG
CHE-PAR JE-TSUN LO-ZANG DRAG-PA YI
TAN-PI NYING-PO RING-DU SAL-SHEH SHUG

May this merit accumulated by myself and others beneficially serve all
sentient beings and the Buddhadharma and especially may the essential
teachings of the unerring Master Tsongkhapa, become clear and
enduring.

KYE-WA KUN-TU YANG-DAK LA-MA DANG
DRAL-ME CHO-KYI PAL-LA LONG-CHO CHING
SA-DANG LAM-GYI YON-TEN RAP-DZOK NA
DORJE CHANG-GI GO-PANG NYUR-TO SHUG

In all my rebirths may I not be parted from perfect Gurus,
Let me enjoy the abundance of the Dharma!
Perfecting the quality stages and paths
May I quickly attain the rank of Vajradhara Buddha.
Dedication of virtue

GE-WA DI-YI NYUR-DU DAK
LA-MA SANG-GYE DRUP-GYUR NA
DRO-WA CHIK-KYANG MA-LU PA
DE-YI SA-LA GO-PAR SHUG

By this virtue, may I quickly
Realize Guru-Buddhahood,
And transfer each sentient being
Into that Enlightened state.

CHO KHI GYAL PO TSONG KHA PA
CHO TSUL NAM PAR PHEL WA LA
GEK KI TSHAN MA ZHI WA DANG
THUN KYIN MA LU TSHANG WAR SHOK

May all conducive conditions arise
and all obstacles be pacified,
in order to increase infinitely,
the doctrine of the spiritual king, Tsongkhapa.

DA DANG SHEN GI DU SUM DANG
DRIL WA TSOK NYI LA TEN NAY
GYA WA LO ZANG DRAG PA YI
TAN PAR YUN RING VAR GYUR CHIG

By the merits of the 3 times of myself and others,
May the doctrine of Lama Tsongkhapa blaze forever.

NYIMO DELEK TSEN TELEK
NYIME GUNG YANG DELEK SHIN
NYITSEN TAKTU DELEK PEL
KON CHOK SUM GYI JIN GYI LOB
KON CHOK SUM GYI NGOR DRUL TSOL
KON CHOK SUM GYI TRA SHI SHOK

At dawn or dusk, at night or midday, may the Three Jewels grant us their
blessing, may they help us to achieve all realisations and sprinkle the
paths of our lives with various signs of auspiciousness.
Dedication for the Guru’s long life

JETSUN LAMA KU TSE RABTEN CHING
NAMKAR TRINLEY CHOG CHUR GYE PA DANG
LOBSANG TENPE DRON ME SA SUM GYI
DRO WE MUNSEL TAKTUR NE GYUR CHIG

May the holy teachers have long lives. May the enlightened activities be
fully displayed in the ten directions, and may the brightness of the
teachings of Lama Tsongkhapa continuously dissipate the veil of
darkness covering the beings of the three realms.

GANG RI RAWE KORWAI SHING KHAM DIR
PEN DANG DEWA MALU GYUN3G WAI NE
CHENREZIG WANG TENZIN GYATSO YI
SHA PEI SITHAI BARDU DEN GYUR CHIG

In this holy Land surrounded by snow mountains,
You are the source of all benefit and happiness
May your lotus feet, O powerful Chenrezig, Tenzin Gyatso
Remain in this world until the end of existence

 

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4. Offering the Mandala

preliminarypractice029

Rinpoche offers a practical explanation on how to offer a 37 heap mandala offering with a modern mandala set that comes complete with 3 rings and victory banner.

Mandala, or Kyilkor in Tibetan, means taking the essence. The offering of the mandala literally refers to taking the essence of the universe and generating tremendous amounts of merit. Mandala offerings are actually a simple practice of accumulating merit. It is an offering to a Buddha like Lama Tsongkhapa, who is free from defilement and attachment, and therefore a practice that is for our benefit.

The mandala set consists of a base that is a round plate around 6 inches in diameter. The set should be of a precious substance like gold, silver, copper, metal, even stone or wood is acceptable. Whatever the material it is made of, it should be visualised as a golden ground, which is the symbol of the Buddha’s nature within us. The offered substance can be pearls, semi-precious jewels or even purified grains like wheat or rice. One can also add precious stones, rings, and so forth.

We begin the offering by placing a few grains in the left hand and hold the base in front of us at the level of the heart. Then, with the right hand, we scoop some grains and drop it at the centre of the base while reciting the refuge verses and generating bodhichitta. We then wipe off the grains in a clockwise direction three times or more with the right forearm. This signifies the destruction of the three psychic poisons of ignorance, anger and attachment, which obstructs our Buddha nature. This is done with the right forearm because this runs along the psychic nerve that increases wisdom.

Then, we deposit more grains into the centre of the base and polish three times again but this time in an anticlockwise direction. This gesture represents our aspiration to attain the qualities of Buddha body, speech and mind.

Next, we place a heap of grain right in the centre, with a handful onto the base, and taking another fresh handful, sprinkle a fence around the edge of the base in a clockwise manner.

Subsequently, we place another heap in the centre with a handful of grains to represent Mount Meru, and around it are the four continents at each of the cardinal points. Two more heaps are placed on either side of the central one to represent the sun and the moon.

Upon placing of all the heaps, all beauty and preciousness are represented by the mandala we had just constructed. Then we recite the following verse to offer the universe up (the final verse of the long mandala offering prayer):

By the virtue of offering to this assemblage of Buddhas visualised before me this mandala, built on a base resplendent with flowers, incense, saffron water, and adorned with Mount Meru, the four continents, the sun and the moon, may all sentient beings share in its good effects.

Upon completion of the mandala offering verse and mantra, tip the mandala offering towards yourself, and allow the grains to fall into your lap. In doing so, we visualise we have received the blessings from the Object of Refuge. It would be good to have a cloth placed on your lap beforehand in order to collect all the grains that we have tipped into our lap.

Although it may seem ridiculously grandiose to offer the whole universe, what we are actually doing is cultivate an attitude of generosity and giving, thus great spiritual results can be accomplished. There was once a king that lived during the Buddha’s time and with great pomp and ceremony, he made great offerings to the Buddha and the Sangha. Amidst the grand ceremony, a beggar seeing this offering rejoiced at the king’s actions. The Buddha witnessed this and declared that the merit accumulated by the beggar in rejoicing was far greater than the king, since the value of a mental offering with a pure intent is greater than that of material offering with a selfish intent.

The practice of the Six Perfections is also contained in the mandala offering.

  1. Cleaning the base regularly with a mixture composed of saffron and water trains in the Perfection of Generosity, because water symbolises prosperity and abundance
  2. Maintaining the base and keeping it clean trains in the Perfection of Moral Discipline, the foundation of all practices
  3. To remove insects and worms from the grains before the offering trains in the Perfection of Patience
  4. To make the offering with passion and joy trains in the Perfection of Enthusiastic Effort
  5. Offering the mandala with concentration trains in the Perfection of Meditation or Concentration
  6. Offering the mandala with the correct view of Emptiness trains in the Perfection of Wisdom

In general, there are four levels of mandala offerings– outer, inner, secret and absolute. However, in the extraordinary preliminary practices as it is discussed here, we are mainly concerned with the outer offering. As a preliminary practice, we should perform the mandala offering a hundred thousand times. The entire profound meaning of Dharma right from the beginning of practice until the attainment of complete enlightenment is contained within this single practice. Mandala offering is of great benefit to both who have initiation and without initiation.

Mandala Offering Retreat Prayers

The following prayers are to be recited during each session of a mandala offering retreat or as a daily sadhana. A shrine to a statue, thangka or print of Guru Tree, Buddha Shakyamuni, Lama Tsongkhapa or a Buddha of your choice should be arranged with a Dharma text on the left of the shrine, and the stupa on the right side. Sensory offerings are optional, but there should be at least 4 rows of water offerings offered during each session. This is along with other offerings of flowers, abundant food (bread, biscuits, yoghurt and so forth), incense, mandala, lights, and so forth. Tea, milk or fizzy drinks can be placed on the shrine or offered during the recitation of the serkyem liturgy.

1. Preliminary Prayers

Multiplying Mantra
OM SAMBHARA SAMBHARA VIMANA SARA MAHA JAVA HUNG
OM MARA MARA VIMANA SARA MAHA JAVA HUNG
 (7x)

Blessing the Rosary
OM RUTSIRA MANI PRAWA TAYA HUNG (7x)

2. Taking Refuge and Generating Bodhichitta

Refuge
NAMO GURU BEH
NAMO BUDDHA YA
NAMO DHARMA YA
NAMO SANGHA YA
 (1 mala or more)

I take refuge in the Guru
I take refuge in the Buddha
I take refuge in the Dharma
I take refuge in the Sangha (1 mala or more)

Generating Bodhicitta
SANG GYE CHO DANG TSOG KYI CHOG NAM LA
JANG CHUB BAR DU DAG NI KYAB SU CHI
DAG GI JIN SOK GYI PAY SO NAM KYI
DRO LA PAN CHIR SANG GYE DRUB PAR SHOG
 (3x)

I take refuge until I am enlightened in the Buddhas, the Dharma and the Sangha. By the positive potential I create by practising generosity and the other far-reaching attitudes, may I attain Buddhahood in order to benefit all sentient beings. (3x)

3. Guru Yoga/ Gaden Lhagyama

(Invocation)
GA-DEN HLA-JI NGON-JYI THUG-KA NEY
RAP-KAR SHO-SAR PUNG-DEE CHU-ZIN TSER
CHO-KYI GYEL-PO KUN-CHEN LOZANG DRAG
SEY-DANG CHE PA NE-DIR SHEG SU SOL

From the heart of the Lord of the Gaden Devas (Maitreya Buddha) emerges a brilliant white cloud, like a great mass of fresh yoghurt. Atop sits Tsongkhapa all-knowing, King of Dharma; we request your coming to this place along with your great disciples.

(Prostration)
DUN-JYI NAM-KHAR SING-TI PEE-DEE TENG
JE-TSUN LA-MA JYEH-PI DZUM-KAR CHYEN
DAG-LO DE-PE SO-NAM SHING-CHOG TU
TAN-PA JYEH-SHIR KAL-DJAR JUG-SU SOL

My Lord Guru is seated before me upon a lion throne, lotus and moon cushion. His body is white and he smiles blissfully. Please remain many eons and serve as the great merit field for the growth of my mind’s faith, and for the increase of Lord Buddha’s teachings.

(Praises)
SHE-JYEH CHON-KUN JAL-WEY LO-DO THUG
KAL-ZANG NA-WEY JYIN-JUR LIK-SHEY SUNG
DRAG-PI PEL-JYI HLAM-MER DZEY-PI KU
THONG-THO DRAN PI DON DHAN LA-CHAG TSAL

His omniscient wisdom-mind encompasses all that is existent. His voice is a profound teaching, which ornaments the ear of the fortunate pupil. His body’s beautiful radiance evokes wondrous admiration. To Lama Tsongkhapa, whom merely viewing, hearing or contemplating earns one great merit, I make prostration.

(Offering)
YIH-WONG TCHO-YON NA-TSOG ME-TOG DANG
DRI-JEM DUG-PO NANG-SAL DRID-CHAB SOG
NGO-SHAM YIH TUL TCHO-TIN GYA-TSO DI
SO-NAM SHING-CHOG CHE-LA CHO-PA BUL

I present to you, great merit field, Tsongkhapa, beautiful offerings, water, a display of flowers, fragrant incense, butter-lamps, perfumes and more both physical and mental offerings, vast as the clouds and wide as the ocean.

(Confession)
DAG-GI TO-MEY DU-NEH SAG-PA YI
LU-NGAG YIH-KYI DIG-PA CHI-JYI DANG
CHEY-PA DOM-PA SUM-JI MI-TUN SHO
NYING-NEH JO-PA TRAH-PO SO-SOR SHAG

The unwholesome actions of body, speech and mind, which I have accumulated over a measureless period, especially actions contrary to the three vows (Vinaya, Bodhisattva, Vajrayana), I regret extremely and from the depths of my heart, and reveal each and every such action.

(Rejoice)
NIK-MI DU-DIR MANG-THO DRUP-LA TSON
CHO-JYED PANG-PI DAL-JOR DON-YO SHYE
NGON-PO CHEY-KYI LAP-CHEN DZE-PA LA
DAG-CHAG SAM-PA TAG-PEH YI RANG NGO

We totally rejoice in your magnificent achievements, my Lord, who received numerous teachings and performed the practices with utmost diligence, who abandoned the eight worldly objectives and made the most meaningful use of the eighteen opportune conditions during these degenerate times.

(Request to turn the Wheel of Dharma)
JE-TSUN LA-MA DAM-PA CHEY-NAM KYI
CHO-KU KA-LA CHEN-TI TIN-TIK NEY
JI-TAR TSAM-PI DUL-SHIH DZIN-MA LA
ZAB-JI CHO-KYI CHAR-PA WHAP-TU SOL

All you Holy Gurus, unerring in conduct, may you precipitate a rain of realization of Bodhicitta and Sunyata from the clouds of all-knowing compassion, which fills the Dharmakaya sky, providing for the field of disciples precisely what is needed.

(Requesting to remain)
NAM-DAG WO-SAL YING-LEY JING-PA YI
ZUNG-JUG KU-LA CHAR-NUB MI-NGA YANG
THA-MAL HNANG-NGOR ZUG-KU RAG-PA NYI
SEE-THEE BAR-DU MI-NUB TAN-PAR SHUG

May the Vajra body created from the purity of clear light, free of the rising and setting of cyclic existence but visible to the ordinary viewer only in its unsubtle, physical form, stay on unchanging, without waning, until Samsara ends.

(Dedication)
DAG-SOG JIN-NYEH SAG-PA GE-WA DEE
TAN-DANG DRO-WA KUN-LA GANG-PHAN DANG
CHE-PAR JE-TSUN LO-ZANG DRAG-PA YI
TAN-PI NYING-PO RING-DU SAL-SHEH SHOG

May this merit accumulated by myself and others, beneficially serve all sentient beings and the Buddhadharma and especially may the essential teachings of the unerring Master Tsongkhapa, become clear and enduring.

The Extensive Mandala Offering

OM VAJRA BHUMI AH HUM, WANG-CHEN SER-GYI SA-SHI,
OM VAJRA REKE AH HUM, CHI CHAK-RI KOR-YUK-KI KOR-WE U-SU, RII-GYAL-PO RI-RAB, SHAR LU-PAK-PO, HLO DZAM-BU-LING, NUB BA-LANG-CHU, CHANG DRA-MI-NYEN.

LU-DANG LU-PAK, NGA-YAB DANG NGA-YAB-SHEN, YON-DEN DANG LAM-CHOK-DRO, DRA-MI-NYEN DANG DRA-MI-NYEN-GYIN-DA.

RINPOCHEI RI-WO, PAK-SAM-GYI-SHING, DU-JOI-BA, MA-MU-PA-YI LO-TOK.

KORLO RIN-PO-CHE, NORBU RIN-PO-CHE, TZUN-MO RIN-PO-CHE, LUN-PO RIN-PO-CHE, LANG-PO RIN-PO-CHE, TA-CHOK RIN-PO-CHE, MAK-PUN RIN-PO-CHE, TER-CHEN-POI-BUM-PA.

GEK-MO-MA, TRENG-WA-MA, LU-MA, KAR-MA, ME-TOK-MA, DUK-PU-MA, NANG-SEL-MA, DRI-CHAB-MA.

NYI-MA, DA-WA, RIN-PO-CHEI DUK, CHOK-LE-NAM-PAR-GYAL-WE GYEL-TSEN.

U-SU HLA-DANG-MII PEL-JOR PUN-SUM-TSOK-PA MA-TSANG-WA ME-PA TZANG-SHING YI-DU-ONG-WA DI-DAK DRIN-CHEN TZA-WA-DANG GYU-PAR CHE-PE PEL-DEN LA-MA DAM-PA NAM-DANG, KYE-PAR-DU YANG LA-MA LO-SANG TUB-WANG DORJE-CHANG CHEN-PU HLA-TSOK KOR-DANG CHE-PA NAM-LA SHING-KAM UL-WAR-GYI-O. TUK-JE DRO-WE DUN-DU SHE-SU SOL.

SHE-NE-KYANG DAK-SOK DRO-WA MAR-GYUR NAM-KE TA-DANG NYAM-PE SEM-CHEN TAM-CHE-LA TUK-TZE-WA CHEN-PU GO-NE JIN-GYI LAB-TU-SOL.

SA-SHI PU-KYI JUK-SHING ME-TOK TRAM,
RI-RAB LING-SHI NYIN-DE GYEN-PA DI,
SANG-GYE SHING-DU MIK-TE OOL-WAR GYI,
DRO-KUN NAM-DAK SHING-LA CHU-PAR SHOK.

IDAM GURU RATNA MANDALAKAM NIRYATAYAMI
(x21 or more depending on time)

Migtsema (Mantra of Je Tsongkhapa)

This can be recited anytime, anywhere, as many times as possible. It has the benefits of receiving the blessings of Avalokiteshvara, Manjushri and Vajrapani.

MIG-MEY TZE-WEY TER-CHEN CHENREZIG
DRI-MEY KHYEN-PI WANG-PO JAMPAL YANG
DU-PUNG MA-LU JOM-DZEY SANG-WEY DAG
GANG-CHEN KE-PEY TSUG-GYEN TSONGKAPA
LO-SANG TRAG-PEY SHAB-LA SOL-WA DEB

(Recite 21x or more, depending on time)

Je Tsongkhapa, crown jewel of the holy Masters of the land of snows,
You are Avalokiteshvara, great goldmine of Compassion untainted by ego’s delusion.
You are Manjushri, great Master of stainless wisdom.
You are Vajrapani, great subduer of all the gatherings of demons.
At your feet, famed Lobsang Drakpa,
I humbly bow and earnestly request that all sentient beings achieve Enlightenment.

Dissolving Je Rinpoche into Ourselves

PAL-DAN TSA-WEY LA-MA RINPOCHE
DAG-SOG CHI-WOR PE-ME DAN-JUG LA
KA-DRIN CHEN-PO GO-NEY JE-ZUNG TE
KU-SUNG THUG-KYI NGO-DRUP TSAL-DU SOL

Dear worthy root Guru, please ascend the lotus seat
atop the head of myself and the other beings,
and in your great kindness please remain with us.
Bestow upon us the blessings of your body, speech and mind.

PAL-DAN TSA-WEY LA-MA RINPOCHE
DAG-SOG NYING-KHAR PE-ME DAN-JUG LA
KA-DRIN CHEN-PO GO-NEY JE-ZUNG TE
CHO-DANG THUN-MONG NGO-DRUP TSAL-DU SOL

Precious, noble, root Guru, please occupy the lotus seat
within our hearts and in your great kindness remain with us.
Please grant us your blessings for our temporal success
and for the supreme attainment.

PAL-DAN TSA-WEY LA-MA RINPOCHE
DAG-SOG NYING-KHAR PE-ME DAN-JUG LA
KA-DRIN CHEN-PO GO-NEY JE-ZUNG TE
JANG-CHUB NYING-PO BAR-DU TAN-PAR SHUG

Beloved, noble, root Guru, please occupy the lotus seat
within our hearts and in your great kindness remain with us.
Please stay on until we achieve the great goal of Enlightenment.

5. Dorje Shugden Prayer & Mantra

Dothey

Request for Activity of Gyalchen Dorje Shugden

Requested by Rakra Rinpoche, H.H. Kyabje Yongzin Trijang Rinpoche wrote this on the first day of the Tibetan Year of the Iron Boar.

KYE!
Manjushri in angry form,
You are the hero in terrifying role.
Main of my powerful war gods,
You are the mighty Dorje Shugden.

Affectionate when cultivated,
You treat the commitment-abiding like son (or daughter).
Powerful when beseeched, your ferocity is swifter than lightning.
When angry at the enemy, you obliterate him to the seventh generation.

We your practitioners,
Pile torma like mountains,
Gather medicinal blood like sea;
Spread base substances like the stars.

We honour you with the first part of food and drink; we fulfil all that you want.
I am calling you from my heart; lend me your ear.
I practice you all the time; show me sign that I have succeeded.
Protect the command and the Teaching; show me your smiling face.

Be the war god in my protection; be my messenger and servant.
Be the fort of my protection; be the storekeeper of my people and possessions.
Be the day’s bodyguard; be the night’s watchman.
Be the cloak on my back; Be my staff in the front.

Be the bridge over water, and stairs on the rock.
Be those who see me off; be those welcoming me.
Raise me if I fall; if I forget, remind me.
Be the doctor when I fall sick; if poisoned, give me potent remedy.

For me, raise banners on the high points; blow conch-shell in cities.
If two equals debate, you should make the victor;
If two equals wrestle, you should determine the winner.
If two equals wager, you tip the winning edge;

If two equals compete in greatness, raise banners of greatness.
Kill the vengeful enemy; subdue obstructers.
Liberate those holding wrong views; prevent ill luck and ill omen.
Introduce me to a hundred advantages; foil a thousand disadvantages.
Remove obstacle of my hopes; fulfill all objectives.

Dorje Shugden mantra– OM BENZA WIKI BITANA SOHA (21x)

6. Serkym (Black Tea Offering)

HUM!
DÖN NYI LEG TSOG CHAR BEB LAMA DANG
CHOG TÜN NGÖ DRUB KÜN TSÖL YIDAM HLAR
DE TER DÜTSIY TUNG WA DI BÜL GYI
ZHE NE SAM DÖN NYUR DU HLÜN DRUB TZÖ

HUM!
O Gurus who rain down accumulations of excellence fulfilling our own
and others’ purposes,
And Yidams who bestow all ordinary and supreme attainments,
Through offering you this ambrosial drink which bestows bliss,
May you, having partaken, swiftly and spontaneously accomplish our
wishes!

NE SUM PAWO KANDRÖ TSOG KÜN DANG
TU DEN TEN SUNG DAM CHEN GYATSO LA
DE TER DÜTSIY TUNG WA DI BÜL GYI
ZHE NE SAM DÖN NYUR DU HLÜN DRUB TZÖ

O all hosts of heroes and dakinis of the three places,
And ocean of powerful, oath-bound Dharma Protectors,
Through offering you this ambrosial drink which bestows bliss,
May you, having partaken, swiftly and spontaneously accomplish our
wishes!

KYE PAR JIG TEN LE DE TEN SUNG CHOG
TU TOB NYEN NYUR DORJE SHUGDEN LA
DE TER DÜTSIY TUNG WA DI BÜL GYI
ZHE NE SAM DÖN NYUR DU HLÜN DRUB TZÖ

(recite this verse 3x, 7x, 21x or 108x times)

And especially, supreme, supramundane Dharmapala,
Forcefully powerful, strict, and swift Dorje Shugden,
Through offering you this ambrosial drink which bestows bliss,
May you, having partaken, swiftly and spontaneously accomplish our
wishes!

ZHI GYE WANG DANG NGÖN CHÖ RAB JAM LE
TOG ME TSÖL TZE NAM GYUR RIG NGA LA
DE TER DÜTSIY TUNG WA DI BÜL GYI
ZHE NE SAM DÖN NYUR DU HLÜN DRUB TZÖ

O five families who unobstructedly bestow
Infinite activities of peace, increase, power, and wrath,
Through offering you this ambrosial drink which bestows bliss,
May you, having partaken, swiftly and spontaneously accomplish our
wishes!

TZE DUG YUM GU NA DREN GELONG GYE
LE KEN TUM PAY TAG SHAR CHU SOG LA
DE TER DÜTSIY TUNG WA DI BÜL GYI
ZHE NE SAM DÖN NYUR DU HLÜN DRUB TZÖ

O nine beautiful consorts, eight guiding monks,
And ten fierce, attendant young guardians, and so on,
Through offering you this ambrosial drink which bestows bliss,
May you, having partaken, swiftly and spontaneously accomplish our
wishes!

HRI KYE PAR GYEL WAY TEN PA SUNG WAY TSO
SE YI TRAB CHEN KOR DANG CHE NAM LA
DO GU TSANG WAY SER KYEM CHO PA DI
BUL LO SUNG KYOB YEL WA ME PAR TZO

HRI
Especially, principal guardian of the Conquerors’ Teachings,
Setrap Chen along with entourage to you
This golden drink replete with all one could wish is offered: Never waver in your protection!

KA KOR NYEN PO DAM NYAM SOG GI SHE
SHINTU TRO TUM KACHE MARPO LA
DE TER DÜTSIY TUNG WA DI BÜL GYI
ZHE NE SAM DÖN NYUR DU HLÜN DRUB TZÖ

O extremely fierce Kache Marpo, the strict attendant,
Executioner of those with degenerated samaya,
Through offering you this ambrosial drink which bestows bliss,
May you, having partaken, swiftly and spontaneously accomplish our
wishes!

DAM NYAM NYING TRAG SER TAR JANG WA YI
SER KYEM RAB TU KÖL WAY TUNG WA DI
NAM KA BAR TZIN KOR DANG CHÄ LA BÜL
SHE NÄ NÄL JOR SAM DÖN DRUB PAR TZÖ

Vow-breakers’ heart-blood purified like gold,
This drink of fully boiling serkyem,
I offer to Namka Bardzin and entourage
Accepting, accomplish the yogi’s intended purpose!

ZHEN YANG TRÜL PA YANG TRÜL SAM YE DANG
KA DÖ HLA SIN TONG SUM YO WA LA
DE TER DÜTSIY TUNG WA DI BÜL GYI
ZHE NE SAM DÖN NYUR DU HLÜN DRUB TZÖ

As well as the inconceivable emanations and their emanations,
Attendant deities and demons who shake the three thousand worlds,
Through offering you this ambrosial drink which bestows bliss,
May you, having partaken, swiftly and spontaneously accomplish our
wishes!

DE TAR CHÖ CHING TRINLE KÜL WAY TÜ
NAM ZHIY TRINLE DÜ DRUG KE CHIG KYANG
YEL WA ME PAR PA YI BU ZHIN DU
TAG TU KYONG SHING TAG TU JE ZUNG TZÖ

Thus, by the force of this offering and exhortation,
May you grant your activity throughout the six time periods,
And, without wavering, always protect me
And care for me like a father for his son!

KA DÖ DREG PAY TSOG KYANG DÜLTZIN JE
YAR DAM NYEN PÖ TA TSIG DREN TZÖ LA
DAG GI GANG DANG GANG CHÖL LE DI NAM
DA TA NYUR DU DRUB LA MA YEL ZHIG

And you hosts of wrathful attendants, as well,
Remember your sworn oaths of promise to Lord Dültzin
And accomplish swiftly now, without distraction,
Whatever activities I have requested!

7. Insert your Lama’s Long-life Prayer and Mantra

8. Completion Dedication

JANG-JUB SEM-CHOK RINPOCHE
MA-KYE PA-NAM KYE-GYUR CHIK
KYE-PA NYAM-PA ME-PA YANG
GONG-NA GONG-DU PEL-WAR SHUG

May the precious Bodhi-mind,
Where it is not born arise and grow
May that born have no decline
But increase forever more.

TONG-NI TONG-WA RINPOCHE
MA-KYE PA-NAM KYE-GYUR CHIK
KYE-PA NYAM-PA ME-PA YANG
GONG-NA GONG-DU PEL-WAR SHUG

May the precious Emptiness
Where it is not born arise and grow
May that born have no decline
But increase forever more.

DAG-SOG JIN-NYEH SAG-PA GE-WA DEE
TAN-DANG DRO-WA KUN-LA GANG-PHAN DANG
CHE-PAR JE-TSUN LO-ZANG DRAG-PA YI
TAN-PI NYING-PO RING-DU SAL-SHEH SHUG

May this merit accumulated by myself and others beneficially serve all
sentient beings and the Buddhadharma and especially may the essential
teachings of the unerring Master Tsongkhapa, become clear and
enduring.

KYE-WA KUN-TU YANG-DAK LA-MA DANG
DRAL-ME CHO-KYI PAL-LA LONG-CHO CHING
SA-DANG LAM-GYI YON-TEN RAP-DZOK NA
DORJE CHANG-GI GO-PANG NYUR-TO SHUG

In all my rebirths may I not be parted from perfect Gurus,
Let me enjoy the abundance of the Dharma!
Perfecting the quality stages and paths
May I quickly attain the rank of Vajradhara Buddha.
Dedication of virtue

GE-WA DI-YI NYUR-DU DAK
LA-MA SANG-GYE DRUP-GYUR NA
DRO-WA CHIK-KYANG MA-LU PA
DE-YI SA-LA GO-PAR SHUG

By this virtue, may I quickly
Realize Guru-Buddhahood,
And transfer each sentient being
Into that Enlightened state.

CHO KHI GYAL PO TSONG KHA PA
CHO TSUL NAM PAR PHEL WA LA
GEK KI TSHAN MA ZHI WA DANG
THUN KYIN MA LU TSHANG WAR SHOK

May all conducive conditions arise
and all obstacles be pacified,
in order to increase infinitely,
the doctrine of the spiritual king, Tsongkhapa.

DA DANG SHEN GI DU SUM DANG
DRIL WA TSOK NYI LA TEN NAY
GYA WA LO ZANG DRAG PA YI
TAN PAR YUN RING VAR GYUR CHIG

By the merits of the 3 times of myself and others,
May the doctrine of Lama Tsongkhapa blaze forever.

NYIMO DELEK TSEN TELEK
NYIME GUNG YANG DELEK SHIN
NYITSEN TAKTU DELEK PEL
KON CHOK SUM GYI JIN GYI LOB
KON CHOK SUM GYI NGOR DRUL TSOL
KON CHOK SUM GYI TRA SHI SHOK

At dawn or dusk, at night or midday, may the Three Jewels grant us their
blessing, may they help us to achieve all realisations and sprinkle the
paths of our lives with various signs of auspiciousness.
Dedication for the Guru’s long life

JETSUN LAMA KU TSE RABTEN CHING
NAMKAR TRINLEY CHOG CHUR GYE PA DANG
LOBSANG TENPE DRON ME SA SUM GYI
DRO WE MUNSEL TAKTUR NE GYUR CHIG

May the holy teachers have long lives. May the enlightened activities be
fully displayed in the ten directions, and may the brightness of the
teachings of Lama Tsongkhapa continuously dissipate the veil of
darkness covering the beings of the three realms.

GANG RI RAWE KORWAI SHING KHAM DIR
PEN DANG DEWA MALU GYUN3G WAI NE
CHENREZIG WANG TENZIN GYATSO YI
SHA PEI SITHAI BARDU DEN GYUR CHIG

In this holy Land surrounded by snow mountains,
You are the source of all benefit and happiness
May your lotus feet, O powerful Chenrezig, Tenzin Gyatso
Remain in this world until the end of existence

 

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5. Guru Yoga

preliminarypractice030

In our tradition, there are many ways of practicing Guru Yoga. In the practice of Guru Puja (Lama Chopa), the visualisation is what is depicted on many thangkas of the Guru Tree. The Guru is visualised sitting on a lotus seat in the middle of a wish-fulfilling tree. From the Guru’s heart issues forth countless Buddhas and Bodhisattvas that are all seated on their lotus thrones. The entire assembly is visualised on the wish-fulfilling tree, and in the space above sits the entire lineage of gurus. This is the standard visualisation, and unfortunately, it is too complex for most beginners.

The Guru Yoga practice can also be performed together with a particular meditational deity, for example Maitreya Buddha. An example of the visualisation would be as follows:

You visualise before you a pure white cloud upon which rests a golden throne supported by a lotus cushion and moon disc. Maitreya Buddha sits upon the moon disc in a position that indicates that he is about to rise. His golden feet rest upon a lotus footstool. His body is radiant and golden, his hands are in the gesture of the Dharmacakra mudra at the heart, and from his hands two flower stems issue forth. The flower on the left holds a pot filled with nectar with a golden spout at the level of his shoulder. The flower on the right holds a Dharma wheel at the level of the right shoulder.

In the middle of his chest, where his heart is, is a small moon-disc upon which the golden syllable MAI is written. Surrounding the syllables in a clockwise direction is the Guru’s mantra, which is surrounded by the short mantra of Maitreya, and around this is the extended mantra of Maitreya.

On the other hand, if Guru Yoga is performed with Tara as the deity, we visualise in the same manner, the cloud, lotus cushion and moon-disc. This time, we have Tara sitting in the position and with the mudra and ornaments as described in her sadhanas. At Tara’s heart is a green or white syllable TAM, around it stands the Guru mantra and surrounding this is the Tara mantra written in a clockwise direction.

With Guru Shakyamuni, we visualise the seed syllable MUM. On the other hand, if the Guru is visualised as Vajrapani, Vajradhara or other deities, the procedure is the same; just the outward appearance of the deity, seed syllable, and mantra are different. The most important aspect to remember is that whatever deity we have incorporated, the Guru and the deity are to be of the same nature. Thus, the deity is visualised as the manifestation of the Guru. The purpose of visualising the Guru as a deity is because our minds are deluded. Visualising him as an ordinary monk might decrease our respect, while visualising him in the extraordinary aspect of a deity will make our devotion and faith grow. If it does not make any difference, then it is alright to visualise him in his ordinary aspect. When we visualise our Guru in his ordinary aspect, we visualise the blue letter HUM at his heart, and around his heart is only the Guru’s mantra.

Then, we present whatever physical offerings we have prepared and chant the verses of the Seven Limb Puja slowly and melodiously as possible, while we contemplate the meaning of each verse. After this, we make the mandala offering seven or twenty-one times. If there is enough time, we should offer a long mandala offering of the thirty-seven heaps seven times. Otherwise, we can offer the long mandala offering on the first offering, and subsequently we can offer the mandala of the seven heaps (short mandala offering).

Upon completion, we recite our Guru’s mantra with faith and respect, during which we visualise lights and nectar emanating from the seed-syllable, and from the syllables of the mantras at the Guru’s or Deity’s heart rain down upon our head. Within the nectar and light are little radiant syllables of the Guru’s mantra and tiny aspects of the Guru’s form or deity, which are dissolved into the crown of the head in a similar manner as how snow dissolves into a lake. As these aspects of the Guru dissolve into us, our impurities are cleansed. If we want to engage in the purification, the light and nectar are to be visualised as white. If we want to engage in the increase of material and spiritual development, visualise the light and nectar as yellow in colour. For the activity of power and control, visualise it in red, and for the purpose of wrath and subjugation, visualise it as blue in colour. Upon completion, visualise that we are completely pure.

During the meditation on Guru Yoga, the Guru mantra should be recited at least one hundred and eight times and the mantra of the deity at least twenty-one times. The practice is to be continued until we have collected one hundred thousand times.

When the recitation of mantras is conclude, all the emanations of the Guru are to be returned to their source. Then we visualise the Guru on our head becoming smaller until he is finally dissolved into us. At this moment, the Guru’s nature and our own become one. The same visualisation is to be carried out if the Guru is in the form of a deity as well. Between sessions of Guru Yoga during the day, the Guru or deity is not required to dissolve in this manner until the last session of the day.

The practice of Guru Yoga would require complete confidence in him as our spiritual guide. At the moment, there is a huge disparity between the Guru’s nature and our own and by applying effort, we can eliminate the obstacles that separate his nature from ours, and thereby reducing the difference until we finally attain the same nature as our Guru. The ultimate attainment of union of our nature and that of our Guru is the successful accomplishment of Guru Yoga.

Guru Yoga Retreat Prayers

The following prayers are to be recited during each session of the Guru Yoga retreat or as a daily sadhana. A shrine to a statue, thangka or print of Guru Tree, Buddha Shakyamuni, Lama Tsongkhapa or a Buddha of your choice should be arranged with a Dharma text on the left of the shrine, and the stupa on the right side. Offer 2 sets of sensory offerings, one arranged normally and the other in reverse along with 2 rows of water offerings offered during each session. You will be offering a torma to Lama Tsongkhapa visualized as one with your Guru. This is along with other offerings of flowers, abundant food (bread, biscuits, yoghurt and so forth), incense, mandala, lights, and so forth. Tea, milk or fizzy drinks can be placed on the shrine or offered during the recitation of the serkyem liturgy. For further instructions, refer here.

1. Preliminary Prayers

Multiplying Mantra
OM SAMBHARA SAMBHARA VIMANA SARA MAHA JAVA HUNG
OM MARA MARA VIMANA SARA MAHA JAVA HUNG
 (7x)

Blessing the Rosary
OM RUTSIRA MANI PRAWA TAYA HUNG (7x)

2. Taking Refuge and Generating Bodhichitta

Refuge
NAMO GURU BEH
NAMO BUDDHA YA
NAMO DHARMA YA
NAMO SANGHA YA
 (1 mala or more)

I take refuge in the Guru
I take refuge in the Buddha
I take refuge in the Dharma
I take refuge in the Sangha (1 mala or more)

Generating Bodhicitta
SANG GYE CHO DANG TSOG KYI CHOG NAM LA
JANG CHUB BAR DU DAG NI KYAB SU CHI
DAG GI JIN SOK GYI PAY SO NAM KYI
DRO LA PAN CHIR SANG GYE DRUB PAR SHOG
 (3x)

I take refuge until I am enlightened in the Buddhas, the Dharma and the Sangha. By the positive potential I create by practising generosity and the other far-reaching attitudes, may I attain Buddhahood in order to benefit all sentient beings. (3x)

3. Guru Yoga/ Gaden Lhagyama

(Invocation)
GA-DEN HLA-JI NGON-JYI THUG-KA NEY
RAP-KAR SHO-SAR PUNG-DEE CHU-ZIN TSER
CHO-KYI GYEL-PO KUN-CHEN LOZANG DRAG
SEY-DANG CHE PA NE-DIR SHEG SU SOL

From the heart of the Lord of the Gaden Devas (Maitreya Buddha) emerges a brilliant white cloud, like a great mass of fresh yoghurt. Atop sits Tsongkhapa all-knowing, King of Dharma; we request your coming to this place along with your great disciples.

(Prostration)
DUN-JYI NAM-KHAR SING-TI PEE-DEE TENG
JE-TSUN LA-MA JYEH-PI DZUM-KAR CHYEN
DAG-LO DE-PE SO-NAM SHING-CHOG TU
TAN-PA JYEH-SHIR KAL-DJAR JUG-SU SOL

My Lord Guru is seated before me upon a lion throne, lotus and moon cushion. His body is white and he smiles blissfully. Please remain many eons and serve as the great merit field for the growth of my mind’s faith, and for the increase of Lord Buddha’s teachings.

(Praises)
SHE-JYEH CHON-KUN JAL-WEY LO-DO THUG
KAL-ZANG NA-WEY JYIN-JUR LIK-SHEY SUNG
DRAG-PI PEL-JYI HLAM-MER DZEY-PI KU
THONG-THO DRAN PI DON DHAN LA-CHAG TSAL

His omniscient wisdom-mind encompasses all that is existent. His voice is a profound teaching, which ornaments the ear of the fortunate pupil. His body’s beautiful radiance evokes wondrous admiration. To Lama Tsongkhapa, whom merely viewing, hearing or contemplating earns one great merit, I make prostration.

(Offering)
YIH-WONG TCHO-YON NA-TSOG ME-TOG DANG
DRI-JEM DUG-PO NANG-SAL DRID-CHAB SOG
NGO-SHAM YIH TUL TCHO-TIN GYA-TSO DI
SO-NAM SHING-CHOG CHE-LA CHO-PA BUL

I present to you, great merit field, Tsongkhapa, beautiful offerings, water, a display of flowers, fragrant incense, butter-lamps, perfumes and more both physical and mental offerings, vast as the clouds and wide as the ocean.

(Confession)
DAG-GI TO-MEY DU-NEH SAG-PA YI
LU-NGAG YIH-KYI DIG-PA CHI-JYI DANG
CHEY-PA DOM-PA SUM-JI MI-TUN SHO
NYING-NEH JO-PA TRAH-PO SO-SOR SHAG

The unwholesome actions of body, speech and mind, which I have accumulated over a measureless period, especially actions contrary to the three vows (Vinaya, Bodhisattva, Vajrayana), I regret extremely and from the depths of my heart, and reveal each and every such action.

(Rejoice)
NIK-MI DU-DIR MANG-THO DRUP-LA TSON
CHO-JYED PANG-PI DAL-JOR DON-YO SHYE
NGON-PO CHEY-KYI LAP-CHEN DZE-PA LA
DAG-CHAG SAM-PA TAG-PEH YI RANG NGO

We totally rejoice in your magnificent achievements, my Lord, who received numerous teachings and performed the practices with utmost diligence, who abandoned the eight worldly objectives and made the most meaningful use of the eighteen opportune conditions during these degenerate times.

(Request to turn the Wheel of Dharma)
JE-TSUN LA-MA DAM-PA CHEY-NAM KYI
CHO-KU KA-LA CHEN-TI TIN-TIK NEY
JI-TAR TSAM-PI DUL-SHIH DZIN-MA LA
ZAB-JI CHO-KYI CHAR-PA WHAP-TU SOL

All you Holy Gurus, unerring in conduct, may you precipitate a rain of realization of Bodhicitta and Sunyata from the clouds of all-knowing compassion, which fills the Dharmakaya sky, providing for the field of disciples precisely what is needed.

(Requesting to remain)
NAM-DAG WO-SAL YING-LEY JING-PA YI
ZUNG-JUG KU-LA CHAR-NUB MI-NGA YANG
THA-MAL HNANG-NGOR ZUG-KU RAG-PA NYI
SEE-THEE BAR-DU MI-NUB TAN-PAR SHUG

May the Vajra body created from the purity of clear light, free of the rising and setting of cyclic existence but visible to the ordinary viewer only in its unsubtle, physical form, stay on unchanging, without waning, until Samsara ends.

(Dedication)
DAG-SOG JIN-NYEH SAG-PA GE-WA DEE
TAN-DANG DRO-WA KUN-LA GANG-PHAN DANG
CHE-PAR JE-TSUN LO-ZANG DRAG-PA YI
TAN-PI NYING-PO RING-DU SAL-SHEH SHOG

May this merit accumulated by myself and others, beneficially serve all sentient beings and the Buddhadharma and especially may the essential teachings of the unerring Master Tsongkhapa, become clear and enduring.

Migtsema (Mantra of Je Tsongkhapa)

This can be recited anytime, anywhere, as many times as possible. It has the benefits of receiving the blessings of Avalokiteshvara, Manjushri and Vajrapani.

MIG-MEY TZE-WEY TER-CHEN CHENREZIG
DRI-MEY KHYEN-PI WANG-PO JAMPAL YANG
DU-PUNG MA-LU JOM-DZEY SANG-WEY DAG
GANG-CHEN KE-PEY TSUG-GYEN TSONGKAPA
LO-SANG TRAG-PEY SHAB-LA SOL-WA DEB

(Recite 21x or more, depending on time)

Je Tsongkhapa, crown jewel of the holy Masters of the land of snows,
You are Avalokiteshvara, great goldmine of Compassion untainted by ego’s delusion.
You are Manjushri, great Master of stainless wisdom.
You are Vajrapani, great subduer of all the gatherings of demons.
At your feet, famed Lobsang Drakpa,
I humbly bow and earnestly request that all sentient beings achieve Enlightenment.

Dissolving Je Rinpoche into Ourselves

PAL-DAN TSA-WEY LA-MA RINPOCHE
DAG-SOG CHI-WOR PE-ME DAN-JUG LA
KA-DRIN CHEN-PO GO-NEY JE-ZUNG TE
KU-SUNG THUG-KYI NGO-DRUP TSAL-DU SOL

Dear worthy root Guru, please ascend the lotus seat
atop the head of myself and the other beings,
and in your great kindness please remain with us.
Bestow upon us the blessings of your body, speech and mind.

PAL-DAN TSA-WEY LA-MA RINPOCHE
DAG-SOG NYING-KHAR PE-ME DAN-JUG LA
KA-DRIN CHEN-PO GO-NEY JE-ZUNG TE
CHO-DANG THUN-MONG NGO-DRUP TSAL-DU SOL

Precious, noble, root Guru, please occupy the lotus seat
within our hearts and in your great kindness remain with us.
Please grant us your blessings for our temporal success
and for the supreme attainment.

PAL-DAN TSA-WEY LA-MA RINPOCHE
DAG-SOG NYING-KHAR PE-ME DAN-JUG LA
KA-DRIN CHEN-PO GO-NEY JE-ZUNG TE
JANG-CHUB NYING-PO BAR-DU TAN-PAR SHUG

Beloved, noble, root Guru, please occupy the lotus seat
within our hearts and in your great kindness remain with us.
Please stay on until we achieve the great goal of Enlightenment.

5. Dorje Shugden Prayer & Mantra

Dothey

Request for Activity of Gyalchen Dorje Shugden

Requested by Rakra Rinpoche, H.H. Kyabje Yongzin Trijang Rinpoche wrote this on the first day of the Tibetan Year of the Iron Boar.

KYE!
Manjushri in angry form,
You are the hero in terrifying role.
Main of my powerful war gods,
You are the mighty Dorje Shugden.

Affectionate when cultivated,
You treat the commitment-abiding like son (or daughter).
Powerful when beseeched, your ferocity is swifter than lightning.
When angry at the enemy, you obliterate him to the seventh generation.

We your practitioners,
Pile torma like mountains,
Gather medicinal blood like sea;
Spread base substances like the stars.

We honour you with the first part of food and drink; we fulfil all that you want.
I am calling you from my heart; lend me your ear.
I practice you all the time; show me sign that I have succeeded.
Protect the command and the Teaching; show me your smiling face.

Be the war god in my protection; be my messenger and servant.
Be the fort of my protection; be the storekeeper of my people and possessions.
Be the day’s bodyguard; be the night’s watchman.
Be the cloak on my back; Be my staff in the front.

Be the bridge over water, and stairs on the rock.
Be those who see me off; be those welcoming me.
Raise me if I fall; if I forget, remind me.
Be the doctor when I fall sick; if poisoned, give me potent remedy.

For me, raise banners on the high points; blow conch-shell in cities.
If two equals debate, you should make the victor;
If two equals wrestle, you should determine the winner.
If two equals wager, you tip the winning edge;

If two equals compete in greatness, raise banners of greatness.
Kill the vengeful enemy; subdue obstructers.
Liberate those holding wrong views; prevent ill luck and ill omen.
Introduce me to a hundred advantages; foil a thousand disadvantages.
Remove obstacle of my hopes; fulfill all objectives.

Dorje Shugden mantra– OM BENZA WIKI BITANA SOHA (21x)

6. Serkym (Black Tea Offering)

HUM!
DÖN NYI LEG TSOG CHAR BEB LAMA DANG
CHOG TÜN NGÖ DRUB KÜN TSÖL YIDAM HLAR
DE TER DÜTSIY TUNG WA DI BÜL GYI
ZHE NE SAM DÖN NYUR DU HLÜN DRUB TZÖ

HUM!
O Gurus who rain down accumulations of excellence fulfilling our own
and others’ purposes,
And Yidams who bestow all ordinary and supreme attainments,
Through offering you this ambrosial drink which bestows bliss,
May you, having partaken, swiftly and spontaneously accomplish our
wishes!

NE SUM PAWO KANDRÖ TSOG KÜN DANG
TU DEN TEN SUNG DAM CHEN GYATSO LA
DE TER DÜTSIY TUNG WA DI BÜL GYI
ZHE NE SAM DÖN NYUR DU HLÜN DRUB TZÖ

O all hosts of heroes and dakinis of the three places,
And ocean of powerful, oath-bound Dharma Protectors,
Through offering you this ambrosial drink which bestows bliss,
May you, having partaken, swiftly and spontaneously accomplish our
wishes!

KYE PAR JIG TEN LE DE TEN SUNG CHOG
TU TOB NYEN NYUR DORJE SHUGDEN LA
DE TER DÜTSIY TUNG WA DI BÜL GYI
ZHE NE SAM DÖN NYUR DU HLÜN DRUB TZÖ

(recite this verse 3x, 7x, 21x or 108x times)

And especially, supreme, supramundane Dharmapala,
Forcefully powerful, strict, and swift Dorje Shugden,
Through offering you this ambrosial drink which bestows bliss,
May you, having partaken, swiftly and spontaneously accomplish our
wishes!

ZHI GYE WANG DANG NGÖN CHÖ RAB JAM LE
TOG ME TSÖL TZE NAM GYUR RIG NGA LA
DE TER DÜTSIY TUNG WA DI BÜL GYI
ZHE NE SAM DÖN NYUR DU HLÜN DRUB TZÖ

O five families who unobstructedly bestow
Infinite activities of peace, increase, power, and wrath,
Through offering you this ambrosial drink which bestows bliss,
May you, having partaken, swiftly and spontaneously accomplish our
wishes!

TZE DUG YUM GU NA DREN GELONG GYE
LE KEN TUM PAY TAG SHAR CHU SOG LA
DE TER DÜTSIY TUNG WA DI BÜL GYI
ZHE NE SAM DÖN NYUR DU HLÜN DRUB TZÖ

O nine beautiful consorts, eight guiding monks,
And ten fierce, attendant young guardians, and so on,
Through offering you this ambrosial drink which bestows bliss,
May you, having partaken, swiftly and spontaneously accomplish our
wishes!

HRI KYE PAR GYEL WAY TEN PA SUNG WAY TSO
SE YI TRAB CHEN KOR DANG CHE NAM LA
DO GU TSANG WAY SER KYEM CHO PA DI
BUL LO SUNG KYOB YEL WA ME PAR TZO

HRI
Especially, principal guardian of the Conquerors’ Teachings,
Setrap Chen along with entourage to you
This golden drink replete with all one could wish is offered: Never waver in your protection!

KA KOR NYEN PO DAM NYAM SOG GI SHE
SHINTU TRO TUM KACHE MARPO LA
DE TER DÜTSIY TUNG WA DI BÜL GYI
ZHE NE SAM DÖN NYUR DU HLÜN DRUB TZÖ

O extremely fierce Kache Marpo, the strict attendant,
Executioner of those with degenerated samaya,
Through offering you this ambrosial drink which bestows bliss,
May you, having partaken, swiftly and spontaneously accomplish our
wishes!

DAM NYAM NYING TRAG SER TAR JANG WA YI
SER KYEM RAB TU KÖL WAY TUNG WA DI
NAM KA BAR TZIN KOR DANG CHÄ LA BÜL
SHE NÄ NÄL JOR SAM DÖN DRUB PAR TZÖ

Vow-breakers’ heart-blood purified like gold,
This drink of fully boiling serkyem,
I offer to Namka Bardzin and entourage
Accepting, accomplish the yogi’s intended purpose!

ZHEN YANG TRÜL PA YANG TRÜL SAM YE DANG
KA DÖ HLA SIN TONG SUM YO WA LA
DE TER DÜTSIY TUNG WA DI BÜL GYI
ZHE NE SAM DÖN NYUR DU HLÜN DRUB TZÖ

As well as the inconceivable emanations and their emanations,
Attendant deities and demons who shake the three thousand worlds,
Through offering you this ambrosial drink which bestows bliss,
May you, having partaken, swiftly and spontaneously accomplish our
wishes!

DE TAR CHÖ CHING TRINLE KÜL WAY TÜ
NAM ZHIY TRINLE DÜ DRUG KE CHIG KYANG
YEL WA ME PAR PA YI BU ZHIN DU
TAG TU KYONG SHING TAG TU JE ZUNG TZÖ

Thus, by the force of this offering and exhortation,
May you grant your activity throughout the six time periods,
And, without wavering, always protect me
And care for me like a father for his son!

KA DÖ DREG PAY TSOG KYANG DÜLTZIN JE
YAR DAM NYEN PÖ TA TSIG DREN TZÖ LA
DAG GI GANG DANG GANG CHÖL LE DI NAM
DA TA NYUR DU DRUB LA MA YEL ZHIG

And you hosts of wrathful attendants, as well,
Remember your sworn oaths of promise to Lord Dültzin
And accomplish swiftly now, without distraction,
Whatever activities I have requested!

7. Insert your Lama’s Long-life Prayer and Mantra

8. Completion Dedication

JANG-JUB SEM-CHOK RINPOCHE
MA-KYE PA-NAM KYE-GYUR CHIK
KYE-PA NYAM-PA ME-PA YANG
GONG-NA GONG-DU PEL-WAR SHUG

May the precious Bodhi-mind,
Where it is not born arise and grow
May that born have no decline
But increase forever more.

TONG-NI TONG-WA RINPOCHE
MA-KYE PA-NAM KYE-GYUR CHIK
KYE-PA NYAM-PA ME-PA YANG
GONG-NA GONG-DU PEL-WAR SHUG

May the precious Emptiness
Where it is not born arise and grow
May that born have no decline
But increase forever more.

DAG-SOG JIN-NYEH SAG-PA GE-WA DEE
TAN-DANG DRO-WA KUN-LA GANG-PHAN DANG
CHE-PAR JE-TSUN LO-ZANG DRAG-PA YI
TAN-PI NYING-PO RING-DU SAL-SHEH SHUG

May this merit accumulated by myself and others beneficially serve all
sentient beings and the Buddhadharma and especially may the essential
teachings of the unerring Master Tsongkhapa, become clear and
enduring.

KYE-WA KUN-TU YANG-DAK LA-MA DANG
DRAL-ME CHO-KYI PAL-LA LONG-CHO CHING
SA-DANG LAM-GYI YON-TEN RAP-DZOK NA
DORJE CHANG-GI GO-PANG NYUR-TO SHUG

In all my rebirths may I not be parted from perfect Gurus,
Let me enjoy the abundance of the Dharma!
Perfecting the quality stages and paths
May I quickly attain the rank of Vajradhara Buddha.
Dedication of virtue

GE-WA DI-YI NYUR-DU DAK
LA-MA SANG-GYE DRUP-GYUR NA
DRO-WA CHIK-KYANG MA-LU PA
DE-YI SA-LA GO-PAR SHUG

By this virtue, may I quickly
Realize Guru-Buddhahood,
And transfer each sentient being
Into that Enlightened state.

CHO KHI GYAL PO TSONG KHA PA
CHO TSUL NAM PAR PHEL WA LA
GEK KI TSHAN MA ZHI WA DANG
THUN KYIN MA LU TSHANG WAR SHOK

May all conducive conditions arise
and all obstacles be pacified,
in order to increase infinitely,
the doctrine of the spiritual king, Tsongkhapa.

DA DANG SHEN GI DU SUM DANG
DRIL WA TSOK NYI LA TEN NAY
GYA WA LO ZANG DRAG PA YI
TAN PAR YUN RING VAR GYUR CHIG

By the merits of the 3 times of myself and others,
May the doctrine of Lama Tsongkhapa blaze forever.

NYIMO DELEK TSEN TELEK
NYIME GUNG YANG DELEK SHIN
NYITSEN TAKTU DELEK PEL
KON CHOK SUM GYI JIN GYI LOB
KON CHOK SUM GYI NGOR DRUL TSOL
KON CHOK SUM GYI TRA SHI SHOK

At dawn or dusk, at night or midday, may the Three Jewels grant us their
blessing, may they help us to achieve all realisations and sprinkle the
paths of our lives with various signs of auspiciousness.
Dedication for the Guru’s long life

JETSUN LAMA KU TSE RABTEN CHING
NAMKAR TRINLEY CHOG CHUR GYE PA DANG
LOBSANG TENPE DRON ME SA SUM GYI
DRO WE MUNSEL TAKTUR NE GYUR CHIG

May the holy teachers have long lives. May the enlightened activities be
fully displayed in the ten directions, and may the brightness of the
teachings of Lama Tsongkhapa continuously dissipate the veil of
darkness covering the beings of the three realms.

GANG RI RAWE KORWAI SHING KHAM DIR
PEN DANG DEWA MALU GYUN3G WAI NE
CHENREZIG WANG TENZIN GYATSO YI
SHA PEI SITHAI BARDU DEN GYUR CHIG

In this holy Land surrounded by snow mountains,
You are the source of all benefit and happiness
May your lotus feet, O powerful Chenrezig, Tenzin Gyatso
Remain in this world until the end of existence

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preliminarypractice014

Conclusion

This concludes the explanation on the Preliminary Practices or ‘Ngondro’ in Tibetan. It is of utmost importance to read and study the Ordinary Preliminaries, and use its teaching as a basis or motivation for the Extraordinary Preliminaries. Aside from the practices listed here, there are additional preliminary practices, like the making of 100,000 tsa-tsas, 100,000 butterlamp offerings, and so forth.

The purpose of the preliminaries is to purify negative karma and accumulate merit so that the teachings become realisation, and also to prepare the mind for advance practices of Tantra. With that in mind, we should engage in the practices with diligence and imbue them with the meaning we have learnt from the ordinary preliminaries, and whatever other teachings we have been taught. Preliminary practice is Dharma practice and hence, we have to be particularly careful with our attitude and preparation for it. We have to ensure that it does not become just a physical or verbal exercise, but the development of the mind.

Source: Geshe Rabten, The Preliminary Practices of Tibetan Buddhism, Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, 2003
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18 Responses to Preliminary Practice

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  1. Glian Sim on Oct 8, 2017 at 12:20 am

    Time flies. It has been a week since a few of us had a dharma session led by our dharma brother, So Kin Hoe at our KISG centre in Ipoh. The topic, Preliminary Practices. This whole article by H.E. Tsem Rinpoche and Pastor David really covers on how we lay people should practice correctly, if we want to save ourselves from this samsaric world. The importance of human rebirth, impermanence and death, the law of karma and the misery of samsara is something we should all ponder and comtemplate on. The different realms and the causes that leads to it, is an eye opener. Though it was a short dharma lesson, but l think l gain some important knowledge on dharma practices. I will try to finish the whole article and use this knowledge as a guide.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this important write up and making it available to us. The Kechara team for helping Rinpoche in making this blog a success. Lastly to So Kin Hoe for giving us his precious time to guide us through our dharma practices.
    🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

  2. Wan Wai Meng on Aug 3, 2017 at 12:08 am

    The section of the guru yoga is very insightful and helpful. Thank you Rinpoche who allowed us to have access to such teachings on the guru yoga. I do feel the guru yoga done with visualisation is helping us develop to be closer to the qualities of our teacher. The guru yoga, like the Guru Yoga of Lama Tsongkhapa is so beneficial on so many levels, the seven limbs help us to purify karma, increase our merit and also collect merit, all these help us to fast track us to be more beneficial and less harmful to others.

  3. Wai Meng Wan on Jul 18, 2017 at 10:21 pm

    Most of us do not know what karma we have implanted in our mindstreams so its best we purify it before that karma has a chance to ripen on us. Not purifying karma is inviting karma to manifest and create difficulties for us when it matters the most, when we want to practice the dharma, or even when we are about to pass away. So as they say the best virtue about karma is that it can be purified.

  4. Wai Meng Wan on Jul 18, 2017 at 12:46 am

    Prostrations are essential to help us reduce our sense of self and EGO, prostrating is not something we commonly do, not even to our parents or older relatives our superiors so it is helping us to humble ourselves to those beings who are infinitely much more advanced and developed than us.

    If we want results of our practices, then it is so important we recognize that the beings leading us are here out of their compassion and we should take those beings seriously. They are here at all is due to their compassion for sentient beings, as they could just easily find a spot in the universe and just chill.

    Doing prostrations also helps us to have a stronger constitution to engage in the dharma.

  5. Wai Meng Wan on Jul 14, 2017 at 12:37 am

    I have just read the part on taking refuge and generating bodhicitta. Taking refuge is the start of our spiritual journey as a Buddhist. This section on taking refuge is also helping us to have greater faith in the Three Jewels as the perfect vehicle to bring us out of samsara.

    Generating Bodhicitta, is so essential to help us progress with our spiritual journey. Having compassion that is based on benefitting others and relieving others suffering could be quite daunting. But having such a motivation, can really help us to forward to bring benefit to as many sentient beings possible, of course like any journey spiritual journey can be fraught with obstacles and challenges. Having compassion can help us, to ride through some of our rougher patches.

  6. Anne Ong on Jul 13, 2017 at 1:01 am

    Thank you Pastor David for this very important and useful write up on preliminary practice to refresh our memory and reminder. Good for the newbies to refer too! 🙂
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor David for all your wonderful efforts for this article and blogsite. _/\_

  7. Wai Meng Wan on Jul 10, 2017 at 10:42 pm

    The Ordinary Preliminaries Part 3 talks about all types of suffering. The suffering of suffering, mental or physical pain that we endure as a human being. Then there is the suffering of change, which is more subtle, no matter how good something is, we can never have too much of it, if our favourite food is durian, we cannot eat it continuously. If we lie down too much, what is pleasure eventually becomes some form of discomfort or suffering. Finally the very aggregates, that forms the human body and condition, is in the nature of suffering in itself.

  8. Joey Tan on Jul 5, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    This article provide detail information on premilinary practices. I had gain some knowledge of the practices as a biginner of buddhism which I am very curious about buddhism at the first instance. Thanks for the wonderful article. Will continue update myself with this wonderful info in this blog.

  9. Wai Meng Wan on Jul 5, 2017 at 12:41 am

    Just Read Ordinary Preliminary Part 2, amazing stuff, the masters can describe the death process in such precise details and accuracy. Yes to have conviction in karma is so necessary for us to progress in dharma and spiritual progress.

  10. Wai Meng Wan on Jul 4, 2017 at 12:54 am

    Such a lovely article, I have just read the part on the ordinary preliminaries. Fantastic stuff and very nicely written.

  11. Jason on Jun 18, 2017 at 3:09 am

    Preliminary practices can be divided to two major categories, ordinary preliminaries and extraordinary preliminaries. We must practices ordinary preliminary in order to go deeply to extraordinary preliminary. The basic Four Contemplations are very important to build up a solid foundation in our spiritual path. The extraordinary preliminaries must be done in order to receive Trantric initiation and achieve higher attainment.
    We are in human form and very fortunate because we can learn and practice Dharma to benefits more people. Don’t miss this life opportunity, start today to do preliminary practices.

    Jason

  12. Rajen yolmo on Jun 17, 2017 at 10:08 am

    Thanks a lot for such a wonderful knowledge.

  13. Samfoonheei on Jun 15, 2017 at 6:48 pm

    Thanks Rinpoche for sharing on the preliminaries which i am trying to adsolve and learning,practicing as well. A clear teachings and good easy explanation for everyone who is new like me. Now i know the importance to read,study and practice the preliminaries, i will do my best.
    (The purpose of the preliminaries is to purify negative karma and accumulate merit so that the teachings become realisation,)…quoted
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing and reminder of the preliminaries practice.

  14. Fong on Jun 12, 2017 at 11:36 pm

    The preliminary practices are the foundation upon which all other practices arise. With a weak foundation, a house will collapse. With a weak foundation in spirituality, the whole practice will collapse like a house of cards.

  15. Jacinta Goh on Jun 12, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    Dear Rinpoche,

    This is one of the articles that I would love to read at the moment. From the beginning when I encountered Rinpoche’s blog and Buddhism, I would like to do the preliminaries very much, I would like to stay in solitude or perhaps being a nun but I do know karma is at play, as I have a family in this life. I have young ones to be taken care off and having parent and parents-in-law who needed much attention as well. But, it does not deter me to take one step at a time as advised by Lord Karche Marpo. Rinpoche’s previous life as Magadha Sangmo is also one of my biggest inspirations where she was married to a faraway barbaric place where later she managed to influence others, including her family members to seek refuge in Buddha’s teachings.

    Having read a few stories on Buddhism, and from Rinpoche’s teachings in Youtube, I understand there’s no hard and fast rules or instant Enlightenment. From Guru Yoga where I have taken Lama Tsongkhapa as my Yidam, and propitiating both Lord Setrap and Lord Dorje Shugden as my Protectors, gradually, I learnt to prostrate, make mandala offerings and recite the Vajrasattava whenever I can. Actually, to be honest, for the ngondro, I prefer the traditional way that Kalu Rinpoche has described (it was published in a book which I have and treasured it very much). As I read on (the article above), although I have completed 100k on Guru Yoga and have offered my insignificant practice to Rinpoche, but I am not sure whether it will be valid. There are things that have been omitted such as we should recite the Guru’s mantra for one mala and between sessions of Guru Yoga during the day, the Guru or deity is not required to dissolve every sessions, not until the last session of the day. Anyway, will try my best to do it better next time. Visualisation is still my weakest point. Besides, I find that the ordinary part is very helpful. It is not ordinary to me but very important points of teaching to be realised in within our mindstream.

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this just in time.

    • Pastor David Lai on Jun 13, 2017 at 9:57 pm

      Dear Jacinta Goh,
      Thank you for your comment. You mentioned about omissions in the instructions. There is no omission about Guru Yoga in this case as Kalu Rinpoche belongs to a different tradition. The instructions contained in this post belong to that of Geshe Rabten, a highly revered teacher within our tradition and his recognized incarnation currently is a young man and residing in Europe.

      You imply that this is not the traditional way of engaging in preliminary practice but I would have to gently correct you. This is the traditional way and to apply proper study and reflection of the ordinary preliminaries or specifically the Four Contemplations – The Difficulty of Obtaining A Perfect Human Rebirth, Impermanence and Death, The Law of Karma and The Misery of Samsara, is traditional according to the lamrim towards preliminary practice.

      Anyway, the omissions you mentioned – instructions to actually recite the Guru’s mantra is mentioned within the instructions in the Guru Yoga tab itself and that it is not necessary to dissolve the Guru/yidam between session is also mentioned. As mentioned,I think the main point of the preliminary practice would be to develop one’s mind in accordance to the lamrim. There is nothing more traditional than the lamrim. I hope this clarified the instructions contained within the instructions.

      • Jacinta Goh on Jul 4, 2017 at 1:54 am

        Thank you Pastor David for your reply 😅,
        I think perhaps I didn’t phrase it well and caused some misunderstanding here. First, about the ommision of Guru Mantra one mala and the dissolution part that should be done only during the last session of the day. I meant that I have omitted one mala of Guru’s mantra when I did my Lama Tsongkhapa retreat (I did 21 times only) as it was not mentioned in the article of Lama Tsongkhapa retreat earlier which was posted here http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/tsongkhapa/tsongkhapa-retreat-instructions-and-prayer-text.html and during the retreat, I did the dissolution in every session and not at the last session. Hence, I am afraid that it will not be valid. Hence, I’ve said that I’ll do it better next time.

        Next, I read about Kalu Rinpoche’s teaching on Vajrasatva (Dorje Sempa). The book entitled ‘The torch of certainty’ by Venerable Jamgon Kongtrul. Yes, I am aware that this tradition is actually from Karma Kagyu sect and hence, I’ve listened to H.E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche teaching’s on Vajrasattva practice as well. When I mentioned that ‘ I prefer the traditional way that Kalu Rinpoche has described it’, actually my mind was thinking about the whole visualisation given by Kalu Rinpoche and H.E. the 25th Tsem Rinpoche. At that point of time when I was writing the comment here earlier, I was thinking about the way we should visualise (from beginning to end ) such as the seed syllables mentioned by Kalu Rinpoche, how it transformed into lotus and moon, the radiating light that came out from Vajrasattva to all the Buddhas and dissolved back to Vajrasattva again, which was mentioned by H.E the 25th Tsem Rinpoche too. Kalu Rinpoche even mentioned that the excess streams out from the big toe ( right leg) and enters into our body through our crown and then H. E the 25th Tsem Rinpoche mentioned about the opening of seven layers down where all the pus, blood, black things coming out and Lord of Yama happily accepted and ate it. And must visualise that Lord of Yama went off to sleep, the seven layers down closed and sealed it with double vajra. The part where Lord of Yama went to sleep is very important. In this article, it was not mentioned and perhaps at this level, it’s not necessary. Also in this article, I’ve realised that we should start with the Guru Yoga and finish off with Protector Prayer, which I wasn’t aware off as it was not mentioned in Rinpoche’s teaching earlier. Again, I am thankful that I know it now so that I can do it as advised in the above article.

        I hope this has clarified the above and I totally agree with what Pastor has mentioned, in essence, the main point of preliminary practice would be to develop one’s mind in accordance to the Lamrim. We just try to practice to the best of one’s ability.

        Thanks again Pastor.

  16. Wui on Jun 12, 2017 at 9:22 am

    Thanks Rinpoche for sharing on the preliminaries. Seems that completing them alone is a lifetime of work, very meaningful work. I will study them carefully and do the best that I can for each day, short of getting saturated with winds stuck in my head, which often happens to me.

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  • Stella Cheang
    Monday, Dec 11. 2017 10:37 PM
    It is relaxing to read interesting facts. Also interesting to see photos from yesterday-year of friends . Nice post! Thank you for sharing.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/funnies/21-interesting-facts.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Monday, Dec 11. 2017 09:32 PM
    Thank you, Rinpoche. We are so blessed to have the statues of Buddha Nageshvaraja and Loma Gyonma here in Kechara Forest Retreat, Malaysia. When we prostrate to Buddha Nageshvaraja, it will help us purify heavy negative actions. And Loma Gyonma’s mantra is known for good health, to cure diseases, and to be free from all forms of negativity.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/nageshvaraja-and-loma-gyoma-arrives-to-kfr.html
  • P David Lai
    Monday, Dec 11. 2017 08:04 PM
    Dear everyone,

    Here are 10 interesting links for this week to Rinpoche’s blog posts and Vajrasecrets for your reading pleasure and social media sharing.
    P David Lai

    ����������������������

    Rinpoche’s Blog :

    1. Dorje Shugden Wangze for Power and Influence
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/dorje-shugden-wangze-for-power-and-influence.html

    Dear students and friends, I have previously blogged the complete commentary and prayers for two of Dorje Shugden’s emanations, which are Trakze, the wrathful form and Gyenze, the increase form. Ever since then, I have been receiving many requests for teachings on the other forms of Dorje Shugden. So, it is with great pleasure that I would like to offer you this explanation and commentary to Wangze’s practice, along with a condensed prayer to this form of Dorje Shugden.

    2. Tagpu Pemavajra and Visions from Gaden Heaven
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/tagpu-pemavajra-and-visions-from-gaden-heaven.html

    Dear friends around the world, Yesterday I was inspired to speak on a topic related to the enlightened Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden. I wanted to address one of the reasons why the Tibetan leadership says we cannot engage in this practice. According to the Tibetan leadership, Dorje Shugden is a spirit and when we rely on him, we are actually engaging in spirit practice. In doing so, we break our refuge and monk vows, and are no longer considered a Buddhist. That’s according to the Tibetan leadership.

    3. Kukai Kobo Daishi: The Esoteric Monk of Shingon Buddhism
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/kukai-kobo-daishi-the-esoteric-monk-of-shingon-buddhism.html

    Kukai, also known posthumously as Kobo Daishi, was an influential and beloved figure in Japan. He played an instrumental role in establishing and spreading the Shingon Buddhist doctrine (also known as Shingon Mikkyo), one of the few esoteric forms of Buddhism outside Tibetan Buddhism, which he received from his root guru, Hui Kuo (746-805 CE). Hui Kuo was a close disciple of Amoghavajra (705-774 CE), a renowned 8th Century Indian monk. Kukai himself is considered to be one of the eight patriarchs of Shingon Buddhism.

    4. Helena Roerich: Writer, Philosopher and Peacemaker
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/helena-roerich-writer-philosopher-and-peacemaker.html

    The graceful and talented Russian writer, artist, theosophist, explorer, healer and philosopher, Helena Ivanovna Roerich was born on February 12, 1879. She was the beloved wife of the famous painter, Nicholas Roerich. They were both disciples of Master Morya, the teacher of Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (Madame Blavatsky), founder of the Theosophical Society. With the help and collaboration of various teachers from the East, Helena and Nicholas Roerich founded the Agni Yoga Society in New York in the early 20th Century. The Agni Yoga Society advocated the philosophical teachings known as Living Ethics.
  • P David Lai
    Monday, Dec 11. 2017 08:04 PM
    The following 3 articles have lower viewership, do go on comment and share on social media :-

    5. Wonderful Okinawa
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/wonderful-okinawa.html

    When the word ‘Japan’ comes to mind, people will usually think about Hokkaido, Tokyo, or Osaka, as these prefectures are the most popular tourist destinations. Another prefecture that should not be left out on any trip to Japan, one that is distinct from mainland Japan with its similarly ancient culture, different languages, art and distinct cuisine, is Okinawa.

    6. Top Ten Events and Festivals to Visit in Malaysia
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/travel/top-ten-events-and-festivals-to-visit-in-malaysia.html

    Malaysia’s rich cultural diversity is reflected in the country’s packed calendar of events and festivals. Most of these celebrations have religious or cultural origins and many are also designated as either state or national holidays. Celebrated by everyone in the country, the colourful festivities which observe the ethnic traditions and beliefs of the varied backgrounds of the population are what gives Malaysia the label of “Truly Asia” that it is so well known for. The national events and festivals of Malaysia are occasions for family reunions and for joyful community get-togethers. They are world-class examples of how diversity can be inclusive and celebrated. Many of these days of observation follow the lunar calendar, thus the dates they fall on vary from year to year.

    7. A Bentong Series
    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/guest-contributors/a-bentong-series.html

    Bentong is a district nestled amongst the mountains and greenery of Western Pahang, Malaysia. It is approximately 80 kilometres northeast of the capital city, Kuala Lumpur, just across the Titiwangsa Mountain range. Visitors can easily reach the town via an hour’s drive from Kuala Lumpur. Therefore, Bentong is a perfect getaway from bustling city life. Administratively, the Bentong district covers an area of 1831 square kilometres and includes the towns of Bentong, Genting Highlands, Karak, Telemong, Manchis, Sungai Dua and Bukit Tinggi.


    Vajrasecrets:-

    8. TRAVEL MEDITATION CUSHION
    https://www.vajrasecrets.com/travel-meditation-cushion

    A compact meditation cushion that provides adjustable-height support for meditation and prayer sessions. Open flat to use as a floor cushion or fold in half to raise your hips when sitting in the lotus position for long durations. 

    9. BLESSED DZAMBALA TURQUOISE PENDANT (JUNIOR)
    https://www.vajrasecrets.com/dzambala-turquoise-pendant-junior

    The blessed Dzambala turquoise pendant marries the protective, uplifting properties of turquoise with the wealth-granting blessings of Buddha Dzambala. Made with pressed turquoise powder and set in solid 925 silver, this pendant has been blessed by the Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden in trance.

    10. GOLD PLATED COPPER OFFERING BOWL SET, 2.6 INCHES
    https://www.vajrasecrets.com/gold-plated-copper-offering-bowl-set-2-6-inches

    Generate tremendous merits by making offerings with this traditional set of gold-plated hand beaten copper offering bowls, featuring a raised base and Tibetan-inspired motifs carved around the outer rim. Perfect for smaller shrines and altars at home or in the workplace.

    (The end)
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Dec 11. 2017 01:11 PM
    Have heard of this group is called the WSPA, non-profit animal welfare organization before but did not much of it till I read this article. Amazing…what they did, its seem they have been helping animals by looking to their welfare as well., Their vision is a world where animal welfare matters and animal cruelty. They do amazing work around the world,…….and are creating awareness to everyone and every where in every countries. They helped to repair and installed equipment and launched campaign on disasters preparedness , providing aids to those in the disaster area, to stop bears hunting in South Korea and so forth. Love what they did to help those animals been suffered in the hands of entertainments exploitation .
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing the marvellous work of the WSPA. Thank you WSPA…….well done keep it up. May those animals free from sufferings.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/who-are-the-wspa.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Dec 11. 2017 01:11 PM
    What a beautiful sight with 2 different species a piglet and a tiger cub, hugging, playing and enjoying each other together. No one would imagine that yet they did having a good time . Very unusual to see such a case and that behaviour is a learnt and habituated process.
    We can change our behaviour for the better. I do enjoyed watching the video…..so cute both of them.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing,

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/piglet-and-tiger-cub-best-friends-cute.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Monday, Dec 11. 2017 01:10 PM
    All birds are fascinating creatures, hummingbird are special small, colourful birds with iridescent feathers. First time coming across these beautiful birds. They are among the smallest of birds, and most specialized nectar-eating birds. Little birds with big appeal. Most of them live in tropical rain forests. These sparkling jewels of summer are easy to love but with much care heavy responsibility of offering them fresh, healthy food and safe, clean feeders. Feeders must be kept clean and free from mold and fungus else these unique birds might develop serious fungus infection. This infection will causes the tiny birds’s tongue to swell and cause a slow suffering death. Proper care and clean is the basic , save them from extinction before its too late.
    Thank you pastor Loh Seng Piow for sharing this informative article. Care and love for all sentient beings nor matter how small there are.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/loving-hummingbirds-to-death-2.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Sunday, Dec 10. 2017 08:52 PM
    Thank you for this interesting sharing. The people of Okinawa sounds like they really know how to have fun. The yearly Naha Tug-of-War Festival and the Pantu Festival are really fun! It will be a destination that i will love to visit.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/wonderful-okinawa.html#comments
  • Stella Cheang
    Sunday, Dec 10. 2017 08:34 PM
    Thank you, Pastor David, for this interesting sharing. Sir Edmund Yeti is a shining example of a true fearless explorer. A lifetime of determination and dedication towards causes that he believe deeply in without consideration for fame and wealth. May we too, can ignite that hidden passion in us and go all the way with what we believe in.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/yeti-bigfoot-sasquatch/sir-edmund-hillarys-yeti.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Dec 10. 2017 11:44 AM
    Just over the years we’ve lost an incredible variety of species, like these amazing creatures
    animals that have recently become extinct. I have not seen all these animals before till I read this article. Some of them looks odd in features. Animal extinctions may be caused by natural occurrences such as climatic heating or cooling or changes in sea levels. In more modern times, however, human activity has been to blame. The main cause of modern extinctions could also be like clearing forest , expanding of farming land and so forth.
    The authority concerned must do some thing before the situation getting worse. In no time there will be any of these animals left and seen.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing and to create awareness of protecting life and the living environment of those extinct animals.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/10-most-amazing-extinct-animals.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Dec 10. 2017 11:44 AM
    Wonderful and powerful quotes for us to ponder ,to choose to be a vegetarian.Wow….what a huge difference between those vegetarian childhood having IQ of 109.1, and meat eaters childhood having IQ of 100.9. It show that those people on vegetarian are smarter then.
    Being a vegetarian makes it easier for us to increase our loving kindness and compassion. Do it for the animals. Do it for the environment, and do it for our health.
    In every country in the world, killing human beings is condemned. The Buddhist precept of non-killing extends even further, to include all living beings…….~ Thich Nhat Hanh
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/excellent-quotes-on-vegetarianism.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Dec 10. 2017 11:43 AM
    Wow …..there is such a city in India ,which was a eye opening for me. This Indian city Palitana becomes world’s first vegetarian city . This city a major pilgrimage centre for Jains religion and is known for being the largest cluster of Jain temples.They have take an approached to protect all sentient beings to go on vegetarian lifestyle. More or less a vegan as no eggs. The government has even made illegal of the buying and selling of meat, fish and eggs, and also related jobs or work, such as fishing. And has declared Palitana a meat-free zone prohibiting animal slaughter within the town’s limits.
    Jainism is one of the oldest religions in the world and preaches a path of non-violence towards all living beings. Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this article.
    Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances of survival of life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet…..quoted by Albert Einstein

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/palitana-sets-a-good-example.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Dec 10. 2017 11:42 AM
    Choose to go on vegetarian ,it’s a healthy and worthy way to live.Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try . I have always been health conscious, I saw sick people with medical problems my whole life and naturally wanted to avoid going down the same path. I try my best to go meatless and have more vege since then. The simple act of becoming a vegetarian will make a difference in the health of our planet. By eating meat we share the responsibility of climate change, the destruction of our forests, and the poisoning of our air and water. We can save many lives by going on vegetarian. Through reasearher has found that those on vegetarian had a better complexion, healthy, better digestive system and many more benefits to our body in long term.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing such a informative article , to create awareness so as more and more people will be on vegetarian or at least meatless.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/6-mind-blowing-benefits-to-your-body-as-a-vegetarian.html
  • Alice Tay
    Sunday, Dec 10. 2017 12:00 AM
    Thank you Lenard Hu sharing this interesting and useful information about Bentong town.
    The natural environments such as Chamang Waterfalls and Kechara Forest Retreat are really nice and peaceful. These places may help us in lessening our stress and heal our body and mind.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/guest-contributors/a-bentong-series.html
  • Lin Mun
    Saturday, Dec 9. 2017 07:03 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing the prayer to Buddha Vajrayogini. We are so fortunate to be able to connect to Vajrayogini through Rinpoche. May I be able to connect to Vajrayogini lineage master in every life time and reach Kechara Paradise.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/vajra-yogini/mara-fears-vajra-yogini.html

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The Unknown

The Known and unknown are both feared,
Known is being comfortable and stagnant,
The unknown may be growth and opportunities,
One shall never know if one fears the unknown more than the known.
Who says the unknown would be worse than the known?
But then again, the unknown is sometimes worse than the known. In the end nothing is known unless we endeavour,
So go pursue all the way with the unknown,
because all unknown with familiarity becomes the known.
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 This is so good. I need to remember this and not allow people to do this to me anymore. Being kind is one thing, but when they are doing it and it harms, it is not a matter of kindness anymore but taking advantage.
yesterday
This is so good. I need to remember this and not allow people to do this to me anymore. Being kind is one thing, but when they are doing it and it harms, it is not a matter of kindness anymore but taking advantage.
Incredible Lama Thubten Phurbu and His Activities - http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=150927
2 weeks ago
Incredible Lama Thubten Phurbu and His Activities - http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=150927
Huffington Post has just released their SECOND EXPOSÉ of the Dorje Shugden issue. You can read about it here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=151328
2 weeks ago
Huffington Post has just released their SECOND EXPOSÉ of the Dorje Shugden issue. You can read about it here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=151328
Please read what Kyabje Trijang Choktrul Rinpoche says about people\'s religion.
2 weeks ago
Please read what Kyabje Trijang Choktrul Rinpoche says about people's religion.
A gorgeous Dorje Shugden painted in traditional art style of China. Chinese art has flourished for over 5,000 years and highly sought after. This form of Dorje Shugden is sitting on a seat as you see painted in his chapel (Trode Khangsar) in Lhasa, Tibet. Dorje Shugden can be on a seat or Lion.  More downloads here.  http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html
2 weeks ago
A gorgeous Dorje Shugden painted in traditional art style of China. Chinese art has flourished for over 5,000 years and highly sought after. This form of Dorje Shugden is sitting on a seat as you see painted in his chapel (Trode Khangsar) in Lhasa, Tibet. Dorje Shugden can be on a seat or Lion. More downloads here. http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html
Dear friends, The Dorje Shugden oracle of Gaden Shartse Monastery was authorized and blessed by both Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Kyabje Zong Rinpoche. He was a favorite among high lamas for his smooth trances and clear prophecies. This video is a one-of-a-kind where you see the Choyang Dulzin Kuten oracle take trance of the peaceful form of Dorje Shugden wearing the robes of a high lama giving teachings, blessings and transmissions. Very sacred and rare video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pawS1TMOe8k
4 weeks ago
Dear friends, The Dorje Shugden oracle of Gaden Shartse Monastery was authorized and blessed by both Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and Kyabje Zong Rinpoche. He was a favorite among high lamas for his smooth trances and clear prophecies. This video is a one-of-a-kind where you see the Choyang Dulzin Kuten oracle take trance of the peaceful form of Dorje Shugden wearing the robes of a high lama giving teachings, blessings and transmissions. Very sacred and rare video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pawS1TMOe8k
Beautiful contemporary art piece of Dorje Shugden for free high res download here:  http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html
4 weeks ago
Beautiful contemporary art piece of Dorje Shugden for free high res download here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html
The Huffington Post extensively covers the Dorje Shugden issue. I had no idea that this article was being written. I was not contacted, not asked for an interview or asked for any comments, and then it was published and my students alerted me to it. So it was a very, very pleasant and encouraging surprise to read such balanced coverage from such a reputable news website. You can read it here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=149806
4 weeks ago
The Huffington Post extensively covers the Dorje Shugden issue. I had no idea that this article was being written. I was not contacted, not asked for an interview or asked for any comments, and then it was published and my students alerted me to it. So it was a very, very pleasant and encouraging surprise to read such balanced coverage from such a reputable news website. You can read it here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=149806
དེ་རིང་ང་ཁྱེད་རང་ཚོ་མཉམ་དུ་བོད་མིའི་ཆབ་སྲིད་ནང་གི་བློ་མགུ་ནུས་པའི་མངོན་འགྱུར་ཞིག་ཞུའི་ཡིན། གང་དག་བོད་པའི་སྤྱི་ཚོགས་ནང་ཆོས་ལུགས་ཁྱད་པར། དབྱེ་འབྱེད། ཕྱོགས་རིས་ཐོག་ལ་གང་འདྲ་སྟངས་འཛིན་བྱེད་དགོས་ཀྱི་སྐོར་ངེས་གཏན་སྣུན་ཤུགས་བྱེད་ཐུབ། http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/tibetan-mp-tenpa-yarphel-speaks-up-against-nechung-tibetan.html
4 weeks ago
དེ་རིང་ང་ཁྱེད་རང་ཚོ་མཉམ་དུ་བོད་མིའི་ཆབ་སྲིད་ནང་གི་བློ་མགུ་ནུས་པའི་མངོན་འགྱུར་ཞིག་ཞུའི་ཡིན། གང་དག་བོད་པའི་སྤྱི་ཚོགས་ནང་ཆོས་ལུགས་ཁྱད་པར། དབྱེ་འབྱེད། ཕྱོགས་རིས་ཐོག་ལ་གང་འདྲ་སྟངས་འཛིན་བྱེད་དགོས་ཀྱི་སྐོར་ངེས་གཏན་སྣུན་ཤུགས་བྱེད་ཐུབ། http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/tibetan-mp-tenpa-yarphel-speaks-up-against-nechung-tibetan.html
བོད་པའི་དབུ་ཁྲིད་ཚོའི་རྡོ་རྗེ་ཤུགས་ལྡན་བསྟེན་མཁན་ཚོར་མ་ཉེས་ཁ་ཡོག་གི་བརྙན་ཕྲིན་གསར་པ། http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/tibetan-leaderships-new-anti-shugden-video-tibetan.html
4 weeks ago
བོད་པའི་དབུ་ཁྲིད་ཚོའི་རྡོ་རྗེ་ཤུགས་ལྡན་བསྟེན་མཁན་ཚོར་མ་ཉེས་ཁ་ཡོག་གི་བརྙན་ཕྲིན་གསར་པ། http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/tibetan-leaderships-new-anti-shugden-video-tibetan.html
(Drepung) Dear friends, In the effort to be creative about something as holy and beneficial as Dorje Shugden, we\'ve come out with these new and realistic depictions. One is Dorje Shugden visiting the Potala Palace and the other is Dorje Shugden arising from Drepung Monastery where he lived in Zimkhang Gangma Ladrang as a high lama. Please enjoy and be blessed. Sincerely, Tsem Rinpoche (High resolution downloads: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html )
1 month ago
(Drepung) Dear friends, In the effort to be creative about something as holy and beneficial as Dorje Shugden, we've come out with these new and realistic depictions. One is Dorje Shugden visiting the Potala Palace and the other is Dorje Shugden arising from Drepung Monastery where he lived in Zimkhang Gangma Ladrang as a high lama. Please enjoy and be blessed. Sincerely, Tsem Rinpoche (High resolution downloads: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html )
Dear friends, In the effort to be creative about something as holy and beneficial as Dorje Shugden, we\'ve come out with these new and realistic depictions. One is Dorje Shugden visiting the Potala Palace and the other is Dorje Shugden arising from Drepung Monastery where he lived in Zimkhang Gangma Ladrang as a high lama. Please enjoy and be blessed. Sincerely, Tsem Rinpoche (High resolution downloads: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html )
1 month ago
Dear friends, In the effort to be creative about something as holy and beneficial as Dorje Shugden, we've come out with these new and realistic depictions. One is Dorje Shugden visiting the Potala Palace and the other is Dorje Shugden arising from Drepung Monastery where he lived in Zimkhang Gangma Ladrang as a high lama. Please enjoy and be blessed. Sincerely, Tsem Rinpoche (High resolution downloads: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html )
I had this painting commissioned. Please read more here on this great master-
 http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=146195
1 month ago
I had this painting commissioned. Please read more here on this great master- http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=146195
How can all the high lamas of Tibet and all the protectors not be able to defeat Dorje Shugden? This is food for thought: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Bj0254UG-Y
1 month ago
How can all the high lamas of Tibet and all the protectors not be able to defeat Dorje Shugden? This is food for thought: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Bj0254UG-Y
致全世界的华人:这是我一份小小的心意:一幅富有古中国传统艺术的作品。希望你们会喜欢! http://bit.ly/2zLOjnK
2 months ago
致全世界的华人:这是我一份小小的心意:一幅富有古中国传统艺术的作品。希望你们会喜欢! http://bit.ly/2zLOjnK
“One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.”

~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
2 months ago
“One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
Download for free this high res photo of Lord Shugden: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html
2 months ago
Download for free this high res photo of Lord Shugden: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/buddha-images.html
Whatever we can do to spread the teachings of our Guru, we should do so.
2 months ago
Whatever we can do to spread the teachings of our Guru, we should do so.
 These three (Dharma, Oser and Mumu) are super adorable.
2 months ago
These three (Dharma, Oser and Mumu) are super adorable.
Beautiful Vajra Yogini print.
2 months ago
Beautiful Vajra Yogini print.
Beautiful and holy new statues arrived to Kechara Forest Retreat. Please enjoy the pictures: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=146950
2 months ago
Beautiful and holy new statues arrived to Kechara Forest Retreat. Please enjoy the pictures: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=146950
Beautiful old thangka of Buddha Nageshvaraja
2 months ago
Beautiful old thangka of Buddha Nageshvaraja
Dear friends, This meme is powerful. Who you hang around with and the types of attitude they have is who you will be influenced by many times and who you will become in the future. Look at your friends and the people that always surround you to know who you will become. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
Dear friends, This meme is powerful. Who you hang around with and the types of attitude they have is who you will be influenced by many times and who you will become in the future. Look at your friends and the people that always surround you to know who you will become. Tsem Rinpoche
October 2017, His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal graciously reading our Kechara album and updates as presented by Beng Kooi and Martin. He was very pleased with our progress and offers his blessings. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
October 2017, His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal graciously reading our Kechara album and updates as presented by Beng Kooi and Martin. He was very pleased with our progress and offers his blessings. Tsem Rinpoche
His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche grants audience to Beng Kooi and Martin in France.  Read more on His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche: http://bit.ly/1PlaNNS
2 months ago
His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche grants audience to Beng Kooi and Martin in France. Read more on His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche: http://bit.ly/1PlaNNS
Recently Beng Kooi and Martin on behalf of myself and Kechara was lucky to have audience with His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal of Gaden Shartse Monastery. He lives in around Paris, France. His Holiness is 91 years old and very healthy and alert. He was the 101st throne holder for Tsongkapa and was the head of the Gelugpa school of Buddhism and was very successful during his tenure. He is a strong practitioner of both Sutra and Tantra of Je Tsongkapa\'s tradition and a master of all Buddhist knowledge. He holds steadfast to his protector Dorje Shugden very strongly. So we can see even the highest throneholders who are masters of Sutra and Tantra also practices Dorje Shugden knowing the benefits.

Beng Kooi and Martin brought photo albums of Kechara Forest Retreat/Kechara and updates on Kechara and our works. His Holiness was very pleased to listen and offered some gifts back. 

This is a beautiful picture and the great blessings bestowed on us from His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal.

Humbly, Tsem Rinpoche 
Read more on His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche: http://bit.ly/1PlaNNS
2 months ago
Recently Beng Kooi and Martin on behalf of myself and Kechara was lucky to have audience with His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal of Gaden Shartse Monastery. He lives in around Paris, France. His Holiness is 91 years old and very healthy and alert. He was the 101st throne holder for Tsongkapa and was the head of the Gelugpa school of Buddhism and was very successful during his tenure. He is a strong practitioner of both Sutra and Tantra of Je Tsongkapa's tradition and a master of all Buddhist knowledge. He holds steadfast to his protector Dorje Shugden very strongly. So we can see even the highest throneholders who are masters of Sutra and Tantra also practices Dorje Shugden knowing the benefits. Beng Kooi and Martin brought photo albums of Kechara Forest Retreat/Kechara and updates on Kechara and our works. His Holiness was very pleased to listen and offered some gifts back. This is a beautiful picture and the great blessings bestowed on us from His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche Jetsun Lungrik Namgyal. Humbly, Tsem Rinpoche Read more on His Holiness Gaden Trisur Rinpoche: http://bit.ly/1PlaNNS
The meaning and origins of Halloween: http://bit.ly/2egnVrp
*****and****
My Halloween in Salem: http://bit.ly/2zwq6li

Fantastic Reads!!
2 months ago
The meaning and origins of Halloween: http://bit.ly/2egnVrp *****and**** My Halloween in Salem: http://bit.ly/2zwq6li Fantastic Reads!!
The meaning and origins of Halloween: http://bit.ly/2egnVrp
*****and****
My Halloween in Salem: http://bit.ly/2zwq6li
2 months ago
The meaning and origins of Halloween: http://bit.ly/2egnVrp *****and**** My Halloween in Salem: http://bit.ly/2zwq6li
This is so powerful. It is a must read and must share.
2 months ago
This is so powerful. It is a must read and must share.
Beng Kooi meeting with the scholar and teacher Geshe Konchok Gyeltsen lak. Geshe Konchok Gyeltsen has been very active and you can see his youtubes in Tibetan speaking about the benefits of Dorje Shugden practice. He is a direct student of Trijang Rinpoche and Zong Rinpoche.
2 months ago
Beng Kooi meeting with the scholar and teacher Geshe Konchok Gyeltsen lak. Geshe Konchok Gyeltsen has been very active and you can see his youtubes in Tibetan speaking about the benefits of Dorje Shugden practice. He is a direct student of Trijang Rinpoche and Zong Rinpoche.
Martin meeting with Gen Tashi. Gen Tashi is a very devoted and committed activist of Dorje Shugden\'s cause. He is tireless in speaking for the truth. They enjoyed sharing some time together.
2 months ago
Martin meeting with Gen Tashi. Gen Tashi is a very devoted and committed activist of Dorje Shugden's cause. He is tireless in speaking for the truth. They enjoyed sharing some time together.
Martin meeting with the well known strong and devoted Dorje Shugden activist and scholar Geshe Konchok Gyeltsen lak. Geshe lak was very happy to meet Martin and shared so much wonderful information. Beautiful meeting.
2 months ago
Martin meeting with the well known strong and devoted Dorje Shugden activist and scholar Geshe Konchok Gyeltsen lak. Geshe lak was very happy to meet Martin and shared so much wonderful information. Beautiful meeting.
Beng Kooi meeting with friend and strong and devoted Dorje Shugden activist Gen Tashi
2 months ago
Beng Kooi meeting with friend and strong and devoted Dorje Shugden activist Gen Tashi
Another stunning digital print art of Dorje Shugden from an artist in Peru. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
Another stunning digital print art of Dorje Shugden from an artist in Peru. Tsem Rinpoche
This beautiful Dorje Shugden is from an artist in the Ukraine. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
This beautiful Dorje Shugden is from an artist in the Ukraine. Tsem Rinpoche
Please never get tired of speaking for those who do not have a voice. If we can alleviate their pain or try our best, why not? Thank you all so much. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
Please never get tired of speaking for those who do not have a voice. If we can alleviate their pain or try our best, why not? Thank you all so much. Tsem Rinpoche
Pastor Antoinette of Kechara arranged a Malaysian artist to paint this special Dorje Shugden painting conceptualized by myself. She oversaw the process and completed it. Wonderful beautiful Dorje Shugden Malaysian style by Malaysian artist. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
Pastor Antoinette of Kechara arranged a Malaysian artist to paint this special Dorje Shugden painting conceptualized by myself. She oversaw the process and completed it. Wonderful beautiful Dorje Shugden Malaysian style by Malaysian artist. Tsem Rinpoche
Sometimes after my prayers, reading on sasquatch is relaxing. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
Sometimes after my prayers, reading on sasquatch is relaxing. Tsem Rinpoche
This gorgeous outdoor bronze Buddha is in Korea. Would be lovely to pay homage to Him there.
2 months ago
This gorgeous outdoor bronze Buddha is in Korea. Would be lovely to pay homage to Him there.
Beautiful old vintage photo of Kamakura Buddha in Japan. I had the good fortune to visit this holy Buddha a few years back. I do hope I can go again with some students. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
Beautiful old vintage photo of Kamakura Buddha in Japan. I had the good fortune to visit this holy Buddha a few years back. I do hope I can go again with some students. Tsem Rinpoche
Tsem Rinpoche with Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia during the Medicine Buddha festival.
2 months ago
Tsem Rinpoche with Kyabje Gangchen Rinpoche in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia during the Medicine Buddha festival.
This is a unique thangka of Pelden Hlamo with Dorje Shugden and Setrap and Nechung. Of course they all get along unlike what Tibetan leadership likes to say they don\'t get along. All enlightened beings get along with other enlightened beings and unenlightened beings. Enlightened beings have no karma to not get along with others. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
This is a unique thangka of Pelden Hlamo with Dorje Shugden and Setrap and Nechung. Of course they all get along unlike what Tibetan leadership likes to say they don't get along. All enlightened beings get along with other enlightened beings and unenlightened beings. Enlightened beings have no karma to not get along with others. Tsem Rinpoche
I love this picture. I wish it will all settle down soon.
2 months ago
I love this picture. I wish it will all settle down soon.
 I love this picture of Mumu peeking through the screen and window to see what is going on. He is always been very busy body and active. He has to know what is going on. I love you Mumu.
2 months ago
I love this picture of Mumu peeking through the screen and window to see what is going on. He is always been very busy body and active. He has to know what is going on. I love you Mumu.
How would you like to get one piece of this beautiful piece of art?
2 months ago
How would you like to get one piece of this beautiful piece of art?
First time PM Tenpa Yarphel speaks up against Nechung. It has created a huge stir. Must read: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=144220
2 months ago
First time PM Tenpa Yarphel speaks up against Nechung. It has created a huge stir. Must read: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=144220
I always like my rooms to smell clean, fresh, woodsy and a bit like the forest. my favorite types of essential oils to burn daily or as an offering to the Buddhas are Juniper, Cypress, Black Spruce, Peppermint and sometimes Rosemary. I like the smell of the forest, woods and wooded areas very much. I\'ve been using essential oils in my rooms for years. I don\'t necessarily purchase the brand you see in the picture as I buy any brand as long as it\'s made naturally. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
I always like my rooms to smell clean, fresh, woodsy and a bit like the forest. my favorite types of essential oils to burn daily or as an offering to the Buddhas are Juniper, Cypress, Black Spruce, Peppermint and sometimes Rosemary. I like the smell of the forest, woods and wooded areas very much. I've been using essential oils in my rooms for years. I don't necessarily purchase the brand you see in the picture as I buy any brand as long as it's made naturally. Tsem Rinpoche
In the bitter coldness of Yachen Gar, Tibet, several nuns are practicing meditation. You can see many small single \'huts\' in the background. They do this yearly and throughout the year. It is very inspiring to see people practice even under extreme conditions because they realize how samsara is so full of deceptions. Praise to the Dharma that liberates us with truth and practice. Tsem Rinpoche
2 months ago
In the bitter coldness of Yachen Gar, Tibet, several nuns are practicing meditation. You can see many small single 'huts' in the background. They do this yearly and throughout the year. It is very inspiring to see people practice even under extreme conditions because they realize how samsara is so full of deceptions. Praise to the Dharma that liberates us with truth and practice. Tsem Rinpoche
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    These are the heartbreaking scenes we see over and over again, that we share in the hopes of telling the stories of those who otherwise would have suffered and vanished from this earth without a trace. This is Norma Jean. Free for a little over five months, she knew more happiness than millions of her sisters ever will. But she couldn’t escape the fate genetically programmed into her as an egg producing machine. She seemed more lethargic than usual this morning, so we brought her inside to administer fluids and antibiotics in the hopes of pulling her through until we could get her in to see our vet. She couldn’t hang on. She died this evening shortly after this video was taken, severely infected from the rotting egg yolk adhered to various organs throughout her abdominal cavity. Like virtually every single one of her sisters, caged or free range, rescued or not, she paid the ultimate price for eggs (from FB)
  • If you want to change the world, start of by making your bed
    4 months ago
    If you want to change the world, start of by making your bed
    If you want to change the world, measure a person by the size of their heart
  • Canadian PM Justin Trudeau visits a Hindu mandir (temple)
    4 months ago
    Canadian PM Justin Trudeau visits a Hindu mandir (temple)
    While on a visit to a Hindu mandir (temple), Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks on diversity as Canada's strength.

ASK A PASTOR


Ask the Pastors

A section for you to clarify your Dharma questions with Kechara’s esteemed pastors.

Just post your name and your question below and one of our pastors will provide you with an answer.

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CHAT PICTURES

Teacher Kien guided the young participants of 2017 W.O.A.H. Camp offered candle lights to Lama Tsongkhapa, Kechara Forest Retreat. Alice Tay, KSDS
yesterday
Teacher Kien guided the young participants of 2017 W.O.A.H. Camp offered candle lights to Lama Tsongkhapa, Kechara Forest Retreat. Alice Tay, KSDS
Games:Trust and challenge. Trust the team members and work together  to achieve the goal. Alice Tay, KSDS
yesterday
Games:Trust and challenge. Trust the team members and work together to achieve the goal. Alice Tay, KSDS
Woah Camp young participants are given opportunity to present their point of view from the learning just after the sharing about “Love the Nature” by teacher and special guests, Teacher Kien (Be Compassion To Animals), Jace Chong (Aviary in KFR) and Dr Hank (How To Take Care Animals).
2 days ago
Woah Camp young participants are given opportunity to present their point of view from the learning just after the sharing about “Love the Nature” by teacher and special guests, Teacher Kien (Be Compassion To Animals), Jace Chong (Aviary in KFR) and Dr Hank (How To Take Care Animals).
Delicious tea break~Soya Cincau by Pastor Chia and Home Made Banana cake by KSDS parent. Alice Tay, KSDS
2 days ago
Delicious tea break~Soya Cincau by Pastor Chia and Home Made Banana cake by KSDS parent. Alice Tay, KSDS
Jace is an animal lover and her topics sharing are about aviary and each of the bird’s story. Alice Tay, KSDS
2 days ago
Jace is an animal lover and her topics sharing are about aviary and each of the bird’s story. Alice Tay, KSDS
We are pleased to welcome Dr Hank, a veterinary, shared his experience & reasons to take care and love the animals. This is the first time he joining as a volunteer of WOAH Camp organized by KSDS. Alice Tay, KSDS
2 days ago
We are pleased to welcome Dr Hank, a veterinary, shared his experience & reasons to take care and love the animals. This is the first time he joining as a volunteer of WOAH Camp organized by KSDS. Alice Tay, KSDS
WOAH Camp 2017 - Teacher Jace giving a briefing about KFR aviary , Lin Mun KSDS
2 days ago
WOAH Camp 2017 - Teacher Jace giving a briefing about KFR aviary , Lin Mun KSDS
WOAH Camp 2017 - Bonding friendship in the camp, Lin Mun KSDS
2 days ago
WOAH Camp 2017 - Bonding friendship in the camp, Lin Mun KSDS
WOAH Camp 2017 - giving sharing on loving and care for animals and plants, Lin Mun KSDS
2 days ago
WOAH Camp 2017 - giving sharing on loving and care for animals and plants, Lin Mun KSDS
WOAH Camp 2017 - Yay I like my camp T Shirt, can’t wait to wear it tomorrow, Lin Mun KSDS
2 days ago
WOAH Camp 2017 - Yay I like my camp T Shirt, can’t wait to wear it tomorrow, Lin Mun KSDS
WOAH Camp 2017 - Benjamin the elder student in KSDS guiding the green team members to do presentation , Lin Mun KSDS
2 days ago
WOAH Camp 2017 - Benjamin the elder student in KSDS guiding the green team members to do presentation , Lin Mun KSDS
WOAH Camp 2017 - Zoey sharing her point on character strength i.e Teamwork , Lin Mun KSDS
2 days ago
WOAH Camp 2017 - Zoey sharing her point on character strength i.e Teamwork , Lin Mun KSDS
WOAH Camp 2017 - group work and presentation done by students. They really have great ideas & importantly good heart, Lin Mun Ksds
2 days ago
WOAH Camp 2017 - group work and presentation done by students. They really have great ideas & importantly good heart, Lin Mun Ksds
WOAH Camp 2017 - Wow delicious lunch served. Thank you Pastor Chia and KFR team, Lin Mun Ksds
2 days ago
WOAH Camp 2017 - Wow delicious lunch served. Thank you Pastor Chia and KFR team, Lin Mun Ksds
WOAH Camp 2017 - Teacher Kien explaining the process of making colourful candle , Lin Mun Ksds
2 days ago
WOAH Camp 2017 - Teacher Kien explaining the process of making colourful candle , Lin Mun Ksds
WOAH Camp 2017 - Handmade candle done by children, Lin Mun Ksds
2 days ago
WOAH Camp 2017 - Handmade candle done by children, Lin Mun Ksds
Ice Breaking cum team work game~pass the hula hoop to others. Alice Tay, KSDS
2 days ago
Ice Breaking cum team work game~pass the hula hoop to others. Alice Tay, KSDS
Wonderful team work from the kitchen, Pastor Chia, Kar Leng Cheng and Kenny for these nice foods preparation. Thank you for your hard work and efforts. Alice Tay, KSDS
2 days ago
Wonderful team work from the kitchen, Pastor Chia, Kar Leng Cheng and Kenny for these nice foods preparation. Thank you for your hard work and efforts. Alice Tay, KSDS
Pastor Yek Yee gave the opening speech and welcome all the young participants for joining 2D1N 2017 Woah Camp~Fun , Kechara Forest Retreat. Alice Tay, KSDS
2 days ago
Pastor Yek Yee gave the opening speech and welcome all the young participants for joining 2D1N 2017 Woah Camp~Fun , Kechara Forest Retreat. Alice Tay, KSDS
WOAH Camp young participants followed the instructions well & kept their belongings nicely. Alice Tay, KSDS
2 days ago
WOAH Camp young participants followed the instructions well & kept their belongings nicely. Alice Tay, KSDS
Teacher Kien, Teacher Lin Mun, Teacher Julie and Teacher Alice are checking the name list, name tag, room arrangement & T Shirt distribution. Alice Tay, KSDS
2 days ago
Teacher Kien, Teacher Lin Mun, Teacher Julie and Teacher Alice are checking the name list, name tag, room arrangement & T Shirt distribution. Alice Tay, KSDS
Welcome the young participants of 2017 W.O.A.H. Camp at Kechara Forest Retreat. Alice Tay, KSDS
2 days ago
Welcome the young participants of 2017 W.O.A.H. Camp at Kechara Forest Retreat. Alice Tay, KSDS
KSDS youngest group age 3-6 years old learn dharma together and share happiness with each other. Alice Tay, KSDS
3 days ago
KSDS youngest group age 3-6 years old learn dharma together and share happiness with each other. Alice Tay, KSDS
KSDS teachers reviewed and discussed the lessons,flow and games for this coming 2017 Woah Camp, held at Kechara Forest Retreat. Alice Tay, KSDS
3 days ago
KSDS teachers reviewed and discussed the lessons,flow and games for this coming 2017 Woah Camp, held at Kechara Forest Retreat. Alice Tay, KSDS
Pastor Tat Ming guided a group of KSDS teachers and volunteers doing meditation. Alice Tay, KSDS
3 days ago
Pastor Tat Ming guided a group of KSDS teachers and volunteers doing meditation. Alice Tay, KSDS
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