Tsongkapa’s daily practice (video commentary)
Tsongkhapa’s daily practice
Tsongkhapa’s daily practice (with Chinese subtitle)
Today I visited four large Buddhist Temples here in Kelantan State in East Coast Malaysia. Afterwards the blog team and I went to the Beach (August 8, 2011) to film a Paranormal episode, teachings on the Yoga of Tsongkapa in abbreviated commentary and also a story about the attitude behind Dharma work.
Today the weather was really good, so we were able to do a lot of filming and photography. Some of the Kechara Depts were saying they don’t have recent photos of me to use for various purposes, so we took a lot of photos at the beach.
I have taught the extended Guru Yoga of Tsongkapa several times before and it took several days. Today I decided to give an explanation of the Yoga in very abbreviated form. I made it very abbreviated today for everyone’s benefit and finished the explanation in just an hour… that is really brief for such a profound practice. I recieved this practice from H.H. Kyabje Zong Rinpoche.
I felt it is important for everyone to have a sadhana/practice/meditation to engage in daily as a way to connect with the Divine on the outside and especially on the inside. Something short, easy and effective…
The backdrop of the ocean and sound of the waves became an unexpected treat in this video. Please enjoy.
I have used one particlular text of the Guru Yoga of Tsongkapa in my recitation and explanation. There are a few versions of the English translations, and the words might be different somewhat than what I am reciting here in the video. But do not worry, the words may be slightly different than what you are using, but it is the same meditation. Don’t worry about the differences in words. There is no standard English translation.
I wish you all well. I have taped this explanation in just one hour so it is extremely abbreviated. Nevertheless, it still covers all the important points you will need for your daily practice of Lord Tsongkapa. When depression, lack of self worth, fear, anxiety and little peace pervade our minds, environments and situations in this day and age, a meditation such as Tsongkapa is essential, not an extra. It is essential. Take refuge in Tsongkapa and this practice.
Click here for the Tsongkhapa Guru Yoga sadhana: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/prayers-and-sadhanas/sadhana-prayers.html#19
Just now I’ve recited the Guru Yoga of Lama Tsongkhapa both in Tibetan and in English, sitting at this beach in eastern state of Kelantan, with a great view for everyone to see. And some soothing ocean sounds.
I believe today’s way of practicing Dharma and doing Dharma is much different than in my teachers’ generation and their teachers’ generation and the generation of the past. I’m not here to say that our method would be better, or their method is better, or what is better. What I’m trying to say is what is actually necessary now.
In today’s day and time, with the advent of technology, in the advent of many types of entertainment and places to go, easy travel, communication, Internet, conveniences, we find very little time for actual hard-core, sit-down-study-meditation spirituality. So I feel that it’s better to put something simple, it’s better to make something very simple. It’s better to make something easier for people to access and assess.
So I’ve received many practices and many sadhanas, and many teachings and many commentaries from my enlightened Gurus. And we’ve sat for hundreds and hundreds, if not thousands, of hours of teachings on specific practices, tantric practices, sutric practices, many types of practices. And I, every day, keep up a long type of sadhanic recitation, little bit of meditational practices from my teachers. But a lot of the things that I do every single day would not suit many people of this generation and the upcoming generation. It doesn’t mean that the people are worse or it doesn’t mean that the people are bad. It just means that the time has changed.
As time changes, the presentation of Dharma, the practice of Dharma, the meditation and the actual contemplation on Dharma must also change. The Dharma should not change. Our commitment and our whole fated practice of the Dharma should not change. But the method, the timing, the place, the length will have to change because if it doesn’t change on its own, it will decline and disappear. So therefore, for all my friends, students and people who I have met and will meet in the future, I make this video for you with the sole motivation of giving you a practice, a meditation that is simple, that is short, yet extremely effective. And that is the Guru Yoga of Lama Tsongkhapa.
Lama Tsongkhapa, from his side, is a Buddha. Although we label him ‘he’, Tsongkhapa, he is without form, taste, colour, gender, time, past, present and future. He is all-abiding, he is all around, he is within you, he is outside of you, he is everything that pervades in the universe. At the same he is everything that pervades inside your universe, that you will tap into as your potential for Buddhahood. So he is a she, she is a he; he is neither, he is both, he is all. Buddhahood cannot be defined by the words that we wish to narrow it down to. So to make it simple, Tsongkhapa is an all-pervasive mind, all-pervasive being. It is a Buddha.
Tsongkhapa is not Tibetan. Tsongkhapa is not Theravadan, Mahayana, Vajrayana. Tsongkhapa is not Gelug, is not Nyingma, is not Sakya, is not Kagyu. Tsongkhapa, from his side, is without any labels. Tsongkhapa is a Buddha. So whatever background you come from, whatever religious sect – such as Theravadan, Vajrayana – you come from, it doesn’t matter. Tsongkhapa and what he represents is only a label that we have forced him to be confined into, to conform into. But from the side of Lama Tsongkhapa, there is no school. There is no confinement, there is no borders. Tsongkhapa is Buddha. Tsongkhapa and Buddha are synonymous. Buddha and Tsongkhapa is synonymous. Synonymous.
So is Tsongkhapa a Buddha? Yes. He is a Buddha. Are all Buddhas Tsongkhapa? Not necessarily. Is Tsongkhapa a fully enlightened Being? Yes, he is a fully enlightened Being. Is all Buddhas Tsongkhapa? Not necessarily which means he can and cannot be. ‘Can’ meaning? All the Buddhas’ nature and mind are one. Their compassionate nature and their wisdom are one, but there are Tara Buddhas, Vajrayogini Buddhas, Tsongkhapa Buddhas, Heruka Buddhas, Manjushri Buddhas, Avalokiteshvara Buddhas. But Tsongkhapa is a fully enlightened Buddha without name, space, barriers, borders or constricted to any time and place. That one we must make sure.
So when we see an image of Tsongkhapa, if we have a teacher, if we are fortunate enough to have a teacher, as I have had, who teaches from a genuine heart, genuine thoughts and genuine, sincere, compassionate motivation to liberate you and to help you, then that is a qualified teacher. Qualification is subjective. What is qualified in Gelugpa may not be the same in Kagyu. What is qualified in Nyingma may not be the same as in Theravadan. What is qualified in Sakya may not be the same as in Mahayana. So a qualified Guru is subjective according to what tradition you wish to enter. If there is such a thing as ‘qualified’. Tradition.
Now since you have met a teacher who has knowledge and who teaches you out of compassion, kindness, care and a genuine wish to benefit you…because if you think carefully, do you have great wealth to give to your teacher? Do you have great properties to give to your teacher? Do you have great knowledge to give to your teacher? Do you have great material things to offer to your teacher? If you don’t have any of that, and yet your teacher keeps you close, takes care of you, scolds you, nurtures you, passes the Dharma to you, that is a sign of a sincere teacher. If the teacher basically can get nothing from you and you can give nothing much to the teacher, yet the teacher still teaches you, that is a sign the teacher is genuine.
Why? A qualified teacher is a teacher who has compassion. A qualified teacher is a teacher who cares. A qualified teacher is someone that takes care of you now, and takes care of your death to be, and your bardo and your future lives. He sets the wheel and the motion going that you will be all right now and in the future. If that’s not a qualified teacher, what do you think a qualified teacher is?
So if one has found such a qualified teacher, then one should at this time visualise and think that, “I cannot see Lama Tsongkhapa directly yet. I cannot see Buddha Tsongkhapa directly but I can see my teacher. My teacher teaches me with compassion, skill, love, in peaceful means, in wrathful means, in skilful means in order for my mind to turn around. How kind my teacher is.” So if we were to do a sadhana every single day, without commitments, without vows, without initiation, without elaborate ceremony…one can sit on the beach, one can sit in the comfort of one’s home, one can sit inside your car, one can sit on the porch, in the yard, one can sit inside a temple in front of a Buddha statue – anywhere. Or one can have a simple shrine with a Lama Tsongkhapa image on top, some flowers, some incense, some beautiful biscuits and cookies, some water, can be laid out from your heart. And the purpose is that Tsongkhapa does not need these offerings but if you offer these offerings up to Tsongkhapa, you will collect the necessary merit to overcome the attachments of your five aggregates. So when you make sensory offerings to the Buddhas – offerings of the senses – you collect the propensity, the karmic propensity to overcome the attachments of the five aggregates. Now, the aggregate of sight, sound, taste, touch, mind, etc. – the five aggregates.
Now, if we’re in a rush every day, we can recite through the Lama Tsongkhapa Guru Yoga just as I have done for you just now. My pronunciation is not very good because my pronunciation is a mixture of Central Province Tibet and Kham Province of Tibet, because most of my teachers are Khampa. Then when we go to the monastery, the monks my age speak a mixture of Central dialect, which is Lhasa. So when I pronounce Gaden Lhagyama, my dialect is not pure, it’s not clean, it’s all mixed up. On top of that, I mix it in with an American accent. So I wouldn’t follow my pronunciation of Lama Tsongkhapa but if you choose to, recite it from your heart, it’s all the same.
You can recite it in English, you can recite it in Tibetan. You can recite it in Tibetan, stop at each paragraph and contemplate it in English. You can recite it in English, stop at each paragraph and contemplate. So today I’m going to do a very short explanation on the Guru Yoga of Lama Tsongkhapa. Something short and simple and easy. When you recite the first line GA-DEN HLA-JI NGON-JYI THUG-KA NEY so that’s the first line,
From the heart of the Protector of the hundreds of deities of the Land of Joy,
Comes a cloud that resembles a mass of fresh, white curd,
Omniscient Lo-zang Drag-pa, King of the Dharma, together with your sons,
I request you to come here now.
What you visualise here, if you want to do the visualisation completely – although I’ll tell you in short – you visualise your mother on your left. Whether your mother and father is alive or passed away, it doesn’t matter – you visualise your mother on the left, you visualise your father on the right. You visualise your relatives, your brothers, your sisters, friends, sponsors, patrons and anyone who has been very kind to you, in a human form, behind you. Even your beloved pets such as your dogs, you visualise them in human form because it’s auspicious for them to be in a human form, to be able to practice the higher teachings. You visualise all those that love you behind you, that have helped you.
You visualise those that have hurt you, that have damaged you, that have done you any harm, you visualise them directly in front of you, looking in the same direction as you. Then all sentient beings in the oceans, on the land, in the mountains, in the skies, under the ground, in the universes, in the galaxies, on other planets, everywhere – the countless, countless, trang mey, without count – amount of sentient beings surrounding you completely. So if we look out into the vast ocean, we can visualise that every space on top of this ocean is filled with sentient beings. In the form of humans, youthful, beautiful, clean and looking at Lama Tsongkhapa with their hands folded, just like you. And in front of you, in the sky, is Lord Tsongkhapa…is Lord Tsongkhapa.
How do you visualise that? “From the heart of the Protector of the hundreds of deities of the Land of Joy…” – Ga-den. Ga wa gi den sa, ga wa gi den. “Ga wa” in Tibetan means happy, “den” means place or joyous abode. Happy place, joyous abode. That place is Tushita Heaven. In Sanskrit, Gaden is Tushita. In Tibetan, it’s called Gaden. And in English, we just say “Gaden”. So Gaden Monastery on earth is named after Gaden Paradise of Maitreya Buddha. So it’s Tushita.
So the Lord of Gaden Heaven is Maitreya Buddha. Maitreya Buddha is the next Buddha to come down to teach the sutras, not tantras. When Shakyamuni descended down from Tushita to enact the 12 deeds of a Buddha, he passed his crown to Maitreya. Maitreya became the next so-called ruler of Gaden Heaven or Tushita. So from Maitreya’s heart, from the Buddha Maitreya, you visualise he’s sitting in Western style on a chair, his hands in a Dharmachakra mudra, with two lotuses. On top of that is a Dharma wheel and a Tibetan vase. And in the form of a beautiful 16-year-old boy with long flowing locks of hair, partially tied up, with crowns, slender waist and round hips. Very soft, golden like honey – golden honey colour – smiling, very beautiful with broad shoulders, with all the signs of Enlightenment, the 112 signs of Enlightenment on his body, smiling blissfully.
And from his heart, a white cloud comes like yoghurt and it descends in front of you and on top of that sits the All-Knowing King of Dharma Lama Tsongkhapa, wearing the three robes of a monk, a yellow pandit’s hat, with a lotus and sword on top, and a lotus and le bum or wisdom texts…sitting cross-legged, full position – vajra-asana position – and smiling blissfully, white with a tinge of pink. Then on this side, which is facing you, which will be left, will be his regent of sutra Gyaltsab Rinpoche, the senior, white hair, wearing a pandit’s hat, sitting respectfully near his Guru Lama Tsongkhapa. And then on the other side, which will be on your right side, will be Khedrup Rinpoche, slightly wrathful in the form…in a pose of debate, slightly angry because Khedrup Rinpoche was a very anger-manifesting lama. He wasn’t angry inside but he showed a lot of anger, and he was very fierce in debate but he was highly enlightened. So in the form of debate, near his Guru, wearing a yellow pandit’s hat.
Or you can visualise Khedrup Rinpoche simply, with his…both of them, Khedrup and Gyaltsab Rinpoche, both with their hands on their lap and the other hand in teaching mudra, both. So Gyaltsab Rinpoche (points to his right), Khedrup Rinpoche (points to his left). Gyaltsab Rinpoche, Je Rinpoche, Khedrup Rinpoche. Gyaltsab and Khedrup Rinpoche, both their hands are in this position, wearing the robes of a monk.
Then you see Lama Tsongkhapa, the King of Dharma, together with his two sons. When they say ‘sons’ here, it doesn’t mean Tsongkhapa has a wife and he’s produced two sons. ‘Sons’ here refers to those who have taken refuge in the ‘father’ Lama Tsongkhapa and become a fully enlightened Being. From their refuge and practice, they are born forth as enlightened Beings. Those are his spiritual sons. Okay? So it’s not son of a parent/father. Then you visualise that in front of you altogether.
Try to hold that visualisation every single day. Start with just the hat, just the face. Start with a form, even if it’s not clear. The better you can do this visualisation, the better it is for you because by doing this visualisation, you develop a type of concentration. Not exactly shinay but a type of concentration where your mind becomes focused and it will be more receptive in the future towards achieving concentration, memory, understanding, listening and awareness and focus. So when you develop this type of concentration, your awareness of everything around you will be very fast and quick. Your memory will be very resplendent, very powerful. And your reading of other people’s body language and facial language, and speech will be very sharp and clear when you do this type of meditation. Why? Because you’re developing very powerful concentration. Alright?
So the next line…that’s what you visualise after you recite the first paragraph. After you recite the next paragraph:
O venerable Gurus, with white smiles of delight
Seated on lion-thrones, lotus and moon in the space before me,
I request you to remain for hundreds of aeons in order to spread the teachings
And be the supreme Field of Merit for my mind of faith.
Now you fold your hands to Lama Tsongkhapa and his two spiritual sons and what do you think? You think very carefully that they are smiling at you. They’re sitting on lion thrones with a lotus. On top of that is a moon. On top of that, they’re sitting there smiling, very happy. And immerse yourself in their smile. See light coming from their faces, see light coming from their bodies, see them very pleased with you and believe that you are loved. Believe that you are worthy. Believe that you can achieve something. Believe you can be more than what you have projected yourself to be. At this moment, develop a type of connection that you believe that you are worthy to be loved, you are worthy to be cared about, and you have the potential to love and to be loved, and to believe. Acceptance.
Think like that for a few minutes by meditating on Lama Tsongkhapa’s beautiful, youthful face, who is smiling at you and bright and glowing like the sun. Even when you close your eyes, you see it bright and glowing, and see acceptance. By having this acceptance, let go. Of looking good, looking bad. Let go of everything that you’re afraid of, let go of your insecurities. Let go of your face, let go of wanting to be right. Accept yourself and be who you are, and move on. Think like that.
Next one is you’re praising Lama Tsongkhapa’s qualities:
Your minds have the intellect that comprehends the full extent of what can be known,
Your speech with its excellent explanations, becomes the ear ornament for those of good fortune,
Your bodies are radiantly handsome with glory renowned.
I prostrate to you who to behold, hear or recall is worthwhile.
So what you can do now is, you can think, “Your mind, everything that exists, every single grain of sand, how many grain of sands there is, how many atoms there are in the sky, in the universe, how many water molecules – Lama Tsongkhapa, you perceive directly. Your mind is beyond any human restrictions of comprehension. Every single world, being, suffering, karma to be known, is known to your mind. You have no obstructions to your omniscience. Your speech, because of your fully enlightened nature of your mind, your speech is an ornament to those who hear it.”
What is an ornament? People put earrings in ancient times, princes and kings and nobility put earrings on their ear. Women put earrings on their ear to beautify, to ornament, to bring attention to how beautiful it is. So what is even better than an earring, what is better than gold and silver and jewels on the ear is the Dharma. So if you…so listening to your Guru’s Dharma, listening to the Dharma from Tsongkhapa, which is inseparable from your Guru, which when you hear the Dharma relaxes your mind, gives you knowledge, clears your ignorance, and gives you direction and hope, that is the best ornament for your ear.
Then on top of that, Lama Tsongkhapa’s body is beautiful, perfect in shape, no flaws, no scars, tall, resplendent, clean, shaped just like a celestial being. Yet when we see Lama Tsongkhapa’s beautiful handsome body, although it’s the best of the best, far surpassing any male supermodel, the best, it doesn’t create desire in your mind. It doesn’t create attachment in your mind. It creates awe because Lama Tsongkhapa has not committed any negativity with his body, and all his body is the manifestation of full Buddha Enlightenment. So to even see Lama Tsongkhapa’s body in the form of a statue, thangka or even in your meditations, is a blessing for the mind. So you’re praising Lama Tsongkhapa’s body, speech and mind in order to plant the seeds to achieve. When you praise a Buddha, you collect the merit and you collect the potential to achieve the omniscient mind, the perfect speech and the body that is resplendent with the 112 signs of a fully enlightened Being. So praising a Buddha is very powerful.
Then the next one is if you’re in nature, you see the beautiful ocean, the animals within, you see the sky, the sun, the trees around you, or if you’re in your meditation room you have your sensory offerings laid out – the next one is making offerings to Lama Tsongkhapa in order that one can overcome miserliness, selfishness and attachment. Attachment to form, attachment to taste, attachment to smell, attachment to words, attachment to thinking and thoughts, attachment to anything that can keep you imprisoned. So by offering up the sensory offerings or anything around you, you recite that and you recite that clearly, and then you stop for a moment and you think, “I offer everything up.” When you offer up everything correctly and you offer it consistently – ‘correctly’ means you truly offer it up – you will see your attachments become less. The gross attachments. Subtle, not yet; gross will become less. Which will help your mind become calmer. Your mind can only be calm if your attachments are less.
Then the next one is, if you’ve taken refuge vows, bodhisattva vows, tantric vows or you haven’t taken any vows, any negative karma you have collected from beginningless time up till now, you confess to Lord Tsongkhapa. Without hiding. And if you need to pause here and speak to him, and tell him what you have done and you have regretted, tearfully, from the heart, applying the four opponent powers, then you will purify that karma and stop it from increasing. So at this moment you release your guilt, release what you have done, release your fears and confess to Lama Tsongkhapa. Why? A fully enlightened Being has the ability and qualities for you to confess up to and get results.
Then the next one is, from the depths of your heart, you rejoice. ”O Protectors” – who are the Protectors here? Protector Tsongkhapa, Protector Khedrup Rinpoche, Protector Gyaltsab Rinpoche. Why are they Protectors? Because they are fully enlightened Buddhas and if we listen to the Dharma – their Dharma or Dharma, a Buddha’s Dharma – we will be protected from rebirth, from fears, from the Three Lower Realms, from samsara. We gain freedom from suffering; we will be protected. Therefore “O Protectors”…Protector Tsongkhapa, any Buddha is a Protector, any Buddha.
You are requesting the three Protectors, that in this degenerate age, when everything has become difficult, when everything has been tight, when everything has become so full of obstacles and problems and heartaches, that Lama Tsongkhapa still used his life, 100% for the Dharma. You rejoice in what he has done. You rejoice in what Shakyamuni has done. You rejoice in what your Gurus have done. You rejoice in what the Sangha have done. You rejoice in what your Dharma brothers and sisters have done. And anybody in anywhere who does anything good, rejoice. When you rejoice, you will counter jealousy. When you counter jealousy, you will achieve a state of mind that is peaceful, quiet, kind, forgiving and very, very accepting of others. People who are always not happy with what other people get, they always create schisms, problems and consequently other people do not like them and they segregate them.
So to counter this type of emotion, one should rejoice in the deeds of Tsongkhapa, of Shakyamuni, of the great Mahasiddhas Tilopa, Naropa, Mekhala, Kanakala. One should rejoice in the deeds of Dongbi Heruka. One should rejoice in the deeds of Trijang Rinpoche, Ling Rinpoche, in His Holiness the Dalai Lama. One should rejoice in the deeds of one’s Gurus, the Sangha, one’s Dharma brothers and sisters…and friends. Whenever someone does good, rejoice, congratulate them, send them a note, feel happiness from your heart. Why? You will counter jealousy. Okay?
So the next one is you are asking Lama Tsongkhapa, “O holy and venerable Lama, from the clouds of compassion”, to turn the wheel of Dharma. You’re asking Lama Tsongkhapa in the next line, “O holy and venerable Lama, from the clouds of compassion, that form in the skies of your Dharmakaya wisdom”, etc., you are asking him, like a rain that comes down from the clouds of the Dharmakaya…Dharmakaya is the ultimate Buddha body, the formless body of a Buddha, the ultimate achievement of a being is Dharmakaya or Buddhahood. You’re saying from the clouds of Dharmakaya come down a rain of teachings. So when you request Lama Tsongkhapa for teachings in this mind and you request from your heart, you may think, “Oh I’m asking a statue, I’m asking a visualisation for teachings, what effect is that? I request Lama Tsongkhapa for teachings every day but I still can’t see him, I still can’t hear him,” that’s not true. If you request Lama Tsongkhapa for teachings, and you request every single day, then you will plant the seeds in your mind, the karmic seeds, to receive teachings. Then when you request truthfully and honestly, then you will create the karma that you will be near a teacher, you will gravitate towards teachings, you will gravitate towards Dharma books, you will gravitate towards Dharma study.
And when you listen to a teacher, when you go near a teacher, when you listen to the Dharma, when you read Dharma, you will be attracted, you will acknowledge, you will feel it is correct and you will practice. So when you pray every day from Guru Yoga to Lama Tsongkhapa, every single day when you pray in that manner, and you request Lama Tsongkhapa to teach you, in this life and in future lives, from a very young age, you will not be attracted to samsara, to money, to fame, to material gains, to acquisitions. You will not be attracted to vice or to activities that hurt others. You will be near a spiritual teacher. You will listen to the teachings. You will follow and you will think it’s correct.
By requesting Lama Tsongkhapa for teachings every day, you are requesting a Buddha for teachings every day. And when you request a Buddha for teachings, you create the karma to receive teachings. And when you receive teachings, naturally you will have to receive it from a teacher. Naturally you will gravitate towards the teacher of your karma. Naturally you will want to be near a teacher, naturally you will want to be near the Sangha, naturally you will want to listen to more Dharma. Naturally when you listen to Dharma, you will feel happy and you want to practice. So from this request, you can plant the seeds of receiving the Dharma, and not be pulled away to more fears. So this prayer to Lama Tsongkhapa, although short and simple, is very powerful.
The next one is you dedicate. You dedicate all the good things that you have done, all the good things that others have done, all the powerful things that others have enacted, you dedicate it this highest of the high, the supreme, the most supreme, which is Enlightenment. When you dedicate it towards that, the next day or the evening when you get angry, it will not burn up or eradicate the merits you have achieved. When you don’t dedicate, it is like piling up something in the sand and immediately the waves destroy it. So when you kind of pile it up in the sand and you kind of put something on it to solidify it, even the waves come, it cannot knock it down. So dedication of the merits is very important because it helps you to keep and store the merits you have collected for a future time to be triggered open for attainments. So dedication is very important.
Then the next one is, the next one is, offering the mandala. One can do the long one, one can do the short one, one can do with the mudra, one can take one’s mala and visualize it. One of the reasons why sometimes Tibetans put jewels on their mala or precious items is when they make mandala offerings, they are offering something very precious. So when you make mandala offerings like this, you recite the mandala offerings, you visualize that this is Mount Meru in the center, the four continents, the sun and moon on the top, everything beautiful and wonderful that’s in samsara is here, visualized and symbolized by you.
For example when we give the key to the city to someone, the key…I mean in the city there are thousands and millions of key holes, one key cannot open everything but it’s symbolic that this key opens the city’s hearts to you. Similarly the mandala is a symbology of everything beautiful and excellent in samsara and you offer it up. And on top of that you offer your attachments, you offer your happiness and your sadness. How is it you can offer your sadness to a Buddha? Because the Buddha cannot feel sadness, but they can receive any gifts you give. How can we give the gift of sadness? We are not dumping our sadness to the Buddha, we are offering it up so it is not a part of us so we don’t need to keep experiencing it so that we keep creating more negative karma from it. In that way the Buddha will be very happy to receive.
So after that “OM IDAM GURU RATNA MANDALAKAM NIRAYATAYAMI” that is the mantra of offering up to the Three Jewels. Then you think that Lama Tsongkhapa has received your mandala – Tsongkhapa cho rang gey men dey ya shey bey res – he’s accepted it, think like that. Then you recite…then for a moment you think…at each one you can meditate more or less, it is up to you. Then you can do the mantra. You can do the mantra:
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
What a nice time to take pictures.
Now MIG-MEY TZE-WEY TER-CHEN CHENREZIG is equivalent to OM MANI PADME HUM
DRI-MEY KHYEN-PI WANG-PO JAMPAL YANG is equivalent to OM AH RA PATSA NA DHI
DU-PUNG MA-LU JOM-DZEY SANG-WEY DAG is equivalent to OM BENZA PANI HUM
GANG-CHEN KE-PEY TSUG-GYEN TSONGKAPA, all of you is Tsongkhapa
LO-SANG TRAG-PEY SHAB-LA SOL-WA DEB, at your feet Lama Tsongkhapa, I prostrate.
So when you do the mantra of Lama Tsongkhapa you are doing the mantra of compassion OM MANI PADME HUM. So you will be able to develop boddhicitta – loving compassion, great compassion – and let go of anger and fears. When you recite DRI-MEY KHYEN-PI WANG-PO JAMPAL YANG, it’s equivalent to OM AH RA PATSA NA DHI so you are reciting the mantra of wisdom. So when you recite the mantra of Manjushri’s wisdom, you will gain great memory, the power of debate, the power of speech, the power of memory, the power of recollection, the power of correct perception, the power of seeing reality as it really is: empty of true existence which we are holding on to. So therefore when your recite this mantra it is very powerful for developing one’s mind and memory. Hence this mantra is wonderful for kids to do every single day. Parents should encourage kids to do Guru Yoga and especially the Migtsema. It is very, very, very powerful.
The next one is if we have psychosis, fears, we have lack of self-confidence or we have spirit disturbances, possessions, and we have…we see negative beings disturbing us, if we see forces that try to harm us, by reciting DU-PUNG MA-LU JOM-DZEY SANG-WEY DAG is equivalent to OM BENZA PANI HUM, the bodhisattva of protection, the bodhisattva of expelling inner and outer demons which is Vajrapani. So instead of OM BENZA PANI HUM, if you recite that third line line, Vajrapani is included to dispel negative energy, negative thoughts, negative emotions. That’s why when we do Lama Tsongkhapa’s mantra, it is very powerful for releasing us from depression and unhappiness and sadness. And we should do Lama Tsongkhapa’s mantra as much as possible in this day and age because although outwardly although we have so much, although outwardly we have so many conveniences, inwardly we have become more unhappy.
So therefore as you see, the more we work, the more we acquire, the more we buy, the more commitments we have, the more unhappy we become. So acquisition and getting things is not the secret to happiness. That is not. So therefore the more we get, the more we have, the more unhappy we become. So in this day and age, depression, suicide, thoughts of harming ourselves, locking ourselves away, or reacting back negatively, or harming others to release our pain has become something that is very common in order to release depression and unhappiness, and to gain some freedom, to get some momentary release. So these moments can build up into bigger releases of the mind. Migtsema is very, very powerful. So one can recite this mantra during one’s meditation every day, or one can recite it in the car, anywhere. You don’t have to recite it together with the Guru Yoga of Lama Tsongkhapa, you can recite it on its own, which is very, very powerful.
Then the next line, after you recite the mantra as much as you like, after you recite the mantra, then you can insert Setrap’s prayer for protection, Setrap’s black tea, or you can insert just Setrap’s mantra and then continue with the rest, that’s up to you. Or you don’t need to insert anything, you can just continue down. So when you recite the next line, there are three more paragraphs.
The first of the three, you’re reciting for your Guru to come down and dissolve into you. What you visualize is this: you visualize the thrones of the two sons dissolve into them, they all dissolve into Lama Tsongkhapa, then Lama Tsongkhapa’s throne and lotus and moon dissolves into him. He dissolves into a small light in front of you. Small Tsongkhapa with light around him into you, you visualize that.
Then when you recite the next paragraph, you visualize Lama Tsongkhapa, now who is all the Buddhas, bodhisattvas and deities, in the form of golden light and he’s inside, mini. The size of a thumb – light, clear, luminescent – come and sit on your crown, facing out.
Then when you recite the third line, you can visualize Lama Tsongkhapa turn into light or as is, going down your central channel. You should visualize from the top of your crown all the way down to your heart centre; below that you don’t need to think about it this time. You think of a blue tube with a red inside and then at the end of the tube, there is a lotus – eight-petalled lotus is fine at this time – pink, and then with a moon cushion waiting, empty. Then when you recite the third line and the last line, you are requesting Lama Tsongkhapa to melt into you.
So this is your central channel. This is the channel in which, when you die, all your winds will gather here. All your winds will gather here and you can hold your wind there and stay in tukdam. You can hold your wind there…when you are staying in tukdam, you are not just staying in blissful meditation, you are in complete awareness. That means when you are in that state, although your body is clinically dead, the heartbeat has stopped, the breathing has stopped, you will not decompose or smell in any way. When you hold your wind in that area; the wind is your mind…your mind, your subtle mind travels on the wind.
So in the central channel your winds will gather at the time of death, and clinically you will be dead but you can stay in this central channel. And when you are in this central channel, without your eyes, ears and physical brain, you will perceive everything and anything in the universe. All sounds and thoughts and smells. Everybody around you, everybody anywhere, you will see and perceive. You will be in a natural state of your mind, clear light. And you can abide in this meditation for one day, three days, eight days, nine days, one month, one year. And when you’re ready to leave your tukdam meditation, then your light, your mind will leave your central channel, out, and leave your body.
When it leaves your body, then a little bit of the blood will come out here (points to nostril), and a little bit of blood will come out from your lower regions and you will start decomposition because your mind has left. So highly attained lamas can hold the wind in their central channel. You and I, we don’t have that power right now but we can gain that power. So the last line you recite in Lama Tsongkhapa’s meditation is, Lama Tsongkhapa is sitting on top and the central channel and the lotus in your heart is your mind. The lotus in your heart is not a real lotus. It is your subtle mind in the form of a lotus, waiting to become one with Tsongkhapa. So when you recite the last line “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”, you visualise Lama Tsongkhapa descending through your central channel. And he sits on your lotus…and when he sits on your lotus at your heart, you feel great lights permeating your whole body from Lama Tsongkhapa. Lama Tsongkhapa and your mind has become one, and he is permeating your body. And from the pores of your skin, the lights permeate and go out to the ten directions. And you’re surrounded in this light, protected in Lama Tsongkhapa’s wisdom, compassion and skilful power. You, your mind and Lama Tsongkhapa has become one.
And the lights go into the ten directions, to the oceans, to the seas, to the mountains, to the sentient beings, to all ghosts and spirits, to the hells, to the devas, to the demigods and it goes to the other galaxies and universes, and the light touches every single sentient being and blesses them, and turns them into Lama Tsongkhapa. You should think like that and abide in that meditation if you can, for a few moments or more. And do not hold your breath and focus here too strong, because your winds will gather and you will feel a choking sensation. You should think at this time, Lama Tsongkhapa and me are one. And then focus clearly and strongly and think, “I am not stupid. I will not…I do not lie. I will not hurt others. It is easy for me to give. It is easy for me to help. It is easy for me to memorise and to learn. It is easy for me to benefit. It is easy for me to bring happiness to others. I will only bring happiness to others. I will bring others no harm. I will cessate and cut off all causes to negative karma. I will live my life to benefit others.” And think these thoughts and infuse yourself within this light, and sit like that for a few moments, meditating that you and Lama Tsongkhapa are one.
Think that your sleep will be deep when necessary, but you will have full awareness. Then last but not least, the cloud that Lama Tsongkhapa was floating on, a string of it is still connected to him. So remember Lama Tsongkhapa was sitting on a fresh curd-like white cloud, and on top of that was his throne and him. Well all that has dissolved into him but the cloud is still there. And the cloud is connected to Lama Tsongkhapa, which is one with your mind. When Lama Tsongkhapa sits on your heart, that you and him are one, your heart…your mind is represented by the lotus. You and him are one. You’re not separate, he and the lotus has become one. It’s like a lotus filled with water…a lotus-shaped glass filled with water and then a Lama Tsongkhapa glass filled with water and you put it together, the two waters just mix, become one. And then the cloud, from your heart, goes through your central channel, no pain, and leaves the exit of your crown and it goes up to Tushita Heaven.
And it goes directly to where? Its origin, Maitreya’s heart. You should think you’re connected to the Buddha of great compassion and the future Buddha-to-be, all the time. So when you’re walking here and there, you should think that the light or the cloud-like string automatically stretches. You shouldn’t think, “Oh if I close the car door, it cuts.” It cannot cut. It cannot dismember, it cannot stretch…don’t think that, “Oh if I’m on this beach, it’s this long but if I go somewhere, it’s got to stretch out. But if I come back to the beach and I have an extra pile of string clouds,” you shouldn’t think like that. It condenses and expands automatically because the cloud is not a physical cloud. It is the compassion, wisdom and omniscience of Maitreya, Tsongkhapa Buddha. So the cloud condenses and shrinks and expands as and when necessary. And when you sleep at night, you should think of the cloud immediately.
You should think before you sleep – don’t think tomorrow, this and that, don’t worry – think that the cloud is connected to Maitreya and fall asleep because if you should die that night, it will help you to take rebirth in Tushita Heaven. Then the minute you wake up in the morning, don’t think “breakfast, how, this, that” – don’t. The minute you wake up, train yourself to immediately visualise the string going to Tushita Heaven. Create that awareness because in that day, should you have…you have something happen to you and you should die – I hope not – the last thing you thought about is a string to Maitreya Paradise. So it will help you to have self-powa, self-powa…powa is the transference of consciousness. To transfer your consciousness from your rough, organic, gross body, to a subtle body that can receive the Dharma in one of the pure lands of the Buddha. I repeat, powa is the transference of your consciousness from your rough, gross, degenerate body to that of a subtle body, that can receive the Dharma in one of the Buddha realms. So you should think like that all the time.
What I’m explaining to you in short today came from the incomparable emanation of Heruka, which is Kyabje Zong Rinpoche. He explained all this to us. He gave these teachings. He told us exactly what I am telling you right now. What I have shared with you right now is exactly what His Holiness, the emanation Heruka Buddha, Zong Rinpoche taught us in Los Angeles. So therefore what I’m saying to you is condensed but it has a lineage and it has a practice. You can do this meditation without initiation. You can do this practice without commitments and vows. And in fact, before you take higher commitments and higher tantras and more commitments, you should do this practice every day. Why? You should train yourself to get into the mode, to be used to a commitment, not to feel that the commitment binds you or ties you up, but the commitment actually is a method to release you to what binds you here. So the practices you do in Lama Tsongkhapa’s Guru Yoga is not something you are bound to, like, “Uh oh, I gotta do my sadhana…uh oh I didn’t do my sadhana…uh oh I’ve made a promise to do my prayers…oh I’ve got to do a mantra…uh oh I’m stuck.” You shouldn’t think like that. In fact, your sadhana is not something that binds you. Your sadhana’s actually the key and the method to release you. So today, you do not need to get oral transmission. Even if you don’t recite this correctly – like me, I don’t recite it correctly because I don’t have good pronunciation – it’s still powerful and real if you are real about it. So if you want a short concise practice every single day, please do Lama Tsongkhapa’s practice. Please do the Guru Yoga as I have explained today…explained to you today. And I gave you a short meditation to do with it every single day. So I hope very much you will do so, and I wish you well.
Let’s take a look at the ocean while I recite Shantideva’s dedicational prayer. As you look at the ocean waves, please listen to my dedication. After you do Lama Tsongkhapa’s Guru Yoga, it will be very good to do a dedication prayer and I choose the one by Shantideva, which is the condensation of the ten-chapter of the Bodhicharyavatara.
May all beings everywhere
Plagued by sufferings of body and mind,
Obtain an ocean of happiness and joy
By virtue of my merits.
May no living creature suffer,
Commit evil or ever fall ill.
May no one be afraid or belittled,
With a mind weighed down by depression. May no one ever have depression.
May the blind see forms
And the deaf hear sounds.
May those whose bodies are worn with toil,
Be restored on finding repose.
May the naked find clothing
The hungry find food
May the thirsty find water
And delicious drinks.
May the poor find wealth,
Those weak with sorrow find joy;
May the hopeless find hope,
Constant happiness and prosperity.
May there be timely rains
And bountiful harvests;
May all the medicines be effective
And wholesome prayers bear fruit.
May all who are sick and ill
Quickly be freed from their ailments.
Whatever diseases there are in the world,
May they never occur again.
May the frightened cease to be afraid
And those bound be freed;
May the powerless find power
And the people think of benefiting each other.
For as long as space remains,
For as long as sentient beings remain,
Until then may I too remain
To dispel the miseries of the world.
That last line is very beautiful, I’m going to recite while you’re looking at the ocean and the waves.
For as long as space remains,
For as long as sentient beings remain,
Until then may I too remain
To dispel the miseries of the world.
This is the meditation that you can do every single day, short and sweet. If you have time, please do it with the visualisation that I have explained to you just now. If you don’t have time, just recite it. If you’re really pressed for time, or you’re sick, just recite Migtsema. Every single day, just recite Migtsema. I urge you to do it because it will benefit you. Zong Rinpoche said so. Ling Rinpoche said so. Trijang Rinpoche said so. Even His Holiness the Dalai Lama has mentioned it in the past. So therefore all the great masters recommend us to do this practice, simple and easy, for those who are overwhelmed with so much commitments.
Do this every day, without any sort of fear that you’re not doing enough because when you recite Lama Tsongkhapa’s Guru Yoga, it is complete. Short, powerful, complete and simple – do it every day with or without meditation. If you can do it every day with meditation, it is much better. And recite the mantra from your heart. Any time, any place. Bless animals with the mantra; when you see animals, bless them. When you see birds, when you see animals to be slaughtered, bless them by reciting the mantra and letting them hear it. Do this practice every single day and experience the methods to peace, happiness, harmony and letting go. Thank you.
Transcribed by Khong Jean Ai
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