First you need to practice effortful meditation, which leads into effortless meditation and experience. Of course, while practicing effortful meditation, realization can happen at that time.
Meditate on the lam-rim outlines for the number of months I have indicated:1
- Guru devotion: one to three months
- The graduated path of the lower capable being: one to eleven months
- The graduated path of the middle capable being: two to nine months
- The graduated path of the higher capable being:
- Bodhicitta: one to seven months
- Emptiness: one to eleven months
Guru yoga meditation is the root of the path, so you need to gain a stable realization of this, seeing all the gurus as a buddha and all the buddhas as the guru. Keep going until there’s no separation, from the bottom of your heart.
Keep going step-by-step, following the lam-rim outlines for the path of the three capable beings. If you do not gain the realizations, practice the meditations again and again until you generate renunciation of this life and future lives, and bodhicitta.
After generating bodhicitta, put more emphasis on tantra—the generation and completion stages. Also, meditate on emptiness every day using the Heart Sutra, the Four-Point Analysis or even one verse or one stanza on emptiness.
1 The length of time advised by Rinpoche varies for each individual. [Return to text]