Teachings from the Medicine Buddha Retreat (Audio and Unedited Transcripts)

By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Soquel, CA 2001 (Archive #1331)

The audio recordings offered here are of the teachings which form the basis of the book Teachings From the Medicine Buddha Retreat.

The teachings which form Chapters 8 through 10 are included. Rinpoche gives teachings on a variety of topics such as making offerings and meditating on emptiness.

Chapter 10 Part A: Aspects of the Medicine Buddhas; Benefits of Holy Objects

Thursday November 1 Part A
Final Medicine Buddha Session

…whatever prayer you have done in the past, may it be ripened to me and all sentient beings. To me and all sentient beings. And whatever prayer I have done may it be actualized immediately. [pause]

By saying “whatever prayer I have done may it be actualized immediately” that, there are many prayers done for oneself as well as for other sentient beings in the daily life, so that to be succeed all that. The colors and the mudras, I can’t say which one is correct, because different texts sometimes they come different, in the Tibetan texts, in different texts comes, find slight difference, like that. So I can’t say which , because I haven’t met the seven Medicine Buddhas and asked them what’s your mudras. What’s your colors? What is your everyday colors? So I think the basic one is, as you see here in this text you can follow to that. The main point is, this Buddha, this is that Buddha, there’s some idea of color and the mudra. Yeah. … [long pause]

So there is, according to Highest Tantra there is, so gross generation stage, there are two stages, generation stage and graduate completion stage. So the generation stage, gross and subtle, so subtle one. Either the lower tip of the central channel or upper tip of central channel. So this, [pause] size of mustard seed drop, one visualize that whole entire mandala and oneself as deity, so clear, every single detail, that one who has that realization, stable concentration. So there’s like this and then which becomes preparation for completion stage. Then, the clear light of, isolation of body and isolation of speech and then isolation of mind, the clear light and then the illusory body, unification of those two, then, so when one has achieved the illusory body, then the subtle mind is able to do, with the subtle body able to do [pause] practices, activities, and without depending on the gross body. Then unification, so able to manifest so many forms, oneself as deity. So however, the unification of, then when you achieve, by training the mind in that unification of no more learning then, so there is no, after the subtle negative imprint left by delusion when that is removed, ceased, which projected or ?it’s viewed the inherently existent appearance, there is no resistance to that extremely subtle wind in the body, no resistance, so covers, [pause] now it become more beautiful offerings. [Inaudible comment from student.] Anyway, so it might be subtle bodies. Anyway, so extremely subtle wind, body, the holy body, so like that. So no obstacle, no resistance, so anyway you can understand from that and then the subtle mind, of course, then how could there be, the subtle wind doesn’t have obstacles, no resistance, so, of course, how the mind could have obstacles, resistance. So that’s according to tantra. So the unification there is path unification and then the unification of no more learning. So you can see from the Highest Tantra how the Buddha is, how the Buddha cover, there is no place where there is no Buddha. Not only omniscient mind seeing from distance, not that. That can see everything, not just that, from distance. Not just that. That’s covered, omniscient mind cover all the phenomena. There is no place where there is no omniscient mind. So that one it seems because of the extremely subtle wind, so beyond from obstruction, beyond from resistance.

So anyway, these things are very secret, the point of tantra. So without a great initiation, without Highest Tantra initiation it will be revealing secrecy. But anyway, I am not sure what happened, so.... , so cannot really clarify, this that’s ultimate secrecy, talking about what is dharmakaya, that seems ultimate secrecy. Only you can understand what it is exactly only from Highest Tantra explanation about dharmakaya. From the sutra, even though one can do very extensive study, Buddha’s qualities, but I think you can’t really get the subtle, the very point, the clarification. Only from Highest Tantra.

So therefore, what I am saying is that Medicine Buddhas always there. It’s just that we don’t have, our mind is obscured, defilements blocked to see them, all the deities. So Medicine Buddha is always there in front of us, on our crown, in front of us. It’s always there and, but why we do invocation, why we invoke, they are there, is for our ordinary mind, so that makes more, it helps to have more faith, so we invite, we invoke, do invocation. So like that.

So the, even the spirits, when you think of the name of the spirit, it immediately enters in the medium’s body. When you think of the name of the spirit, the ordinary spirit, who is samsaric being, if you think of the name of that particular spirit, you want to, you think of that to invoke, then it just comes immediately, [snaps fingers] enters in the medium’s body. So even the spirit can do that, so of course when we mention, when we invoke Buddha, no question. Even ordinary spirits who are not free from samsara can come immediately, can see that you, can see from far, they have ordinary kind of clairvoyance so can see. Pretas, like pretas they have ordinary clairvoyance, like that. Not through meditation or anything, just their karma. So during that state.

So, of course, when you mention the name of the Buddha, when you invoke, there’s no question who has omniscient mind that can see all the past, present, future existence directly and unmixed, all the karmas of each individual beings can see, every subtle karmas of every the numberless sentient beings, each sentient being’s even the subtle karmas, all can see directly without mixed up, so no question that they are really there where you visualize, as you invoke, I mean, especially mentioning their names, invoking them, no question. Even without that they are always there with you. They are always with us wherever you are, the numberless Buddhas with oneself, wherever you are. So, [pause] so that when, the times when our mind become more and more pure, then see more and more. When our mind become more pure then can see Buddha’s form, then Buddha in the form, aspect of Buddha. Then other than that what is left to see is just a statue, representative of that, a statue of that deity or Buddha. Then, well, as it’s mentioned in the teachings, other sentient beings, animals, like that, it is said that they cannot see even the statues.

Other sentient beings like the animals, so the other sentient beings who cannot see even the statue of Buddha, which we can see. So therefore, it is said these are manifestations of Buddha. Yeah, it’s said that way. And manifestation of Buddha, so these are according to karma, that what we see now, all these holy objects, is according to our present karma, that state of mind. Even we cannot see actual living Buddha in that aspect, in that, adorned with the holy signs, exemplifications, or in that aspect, deity, whatever, and yeah....

So therefore, it is, we don’t, many other sentient beings cannot see even the holy objects, the statue of Buddha, stupa of Buddha, cannot see texts. Don’t have the karma, they don’t have the karma to see, mind is obscured. So when we think of that or even the human beings, even in the world there are so many human beings who don’t see even a statue of Buddha in their life, at all. Even a statue of Buddha, that form cannot see in their whole life. No opportunity at all to leave, to purify mind by seeing, to leave imprint or to plant seed of enlightenment, liberation, enlightenment. They don’t have, so many human beings don’t even have that karma. So therefore, when we think of those sentient beings who don’t have opportunity, then we see how we are extremely unbelievable fortunate that we have the opportunity, I mean in some ways pure comparing them, other sentient beings. So able to see that much holy object and then opportunity to collect merit everyday life, day and night, unless from one’s own side one doesn’t do the practice, making offerings, prostrations, looking at it, taking the opportunity to look at it and to purify the mind and to plant seed of enlightenment, which causes to have realizations within one’s own mind, except from one’s own side who doesn’t take the opportunity but otherwise one can see all the time and one can make, one can have so many holy objects. And so, which gives unbelievable, unbelievable opportunity for quick enlightenment, which makes it so easy to create the cause of all the happiness, so easy, and to achieve enlightenment quickly. So like that, so you can see so it’s so precious, unbelievable precious what, that we have these holy objects and that we can see these holy objects. So precious, like that. [pause]

So that shows how we are so fortunate, unbelievable fortunate. And then as our mind develop, as our mind more and more developed, as is mentioned by Pabongka Dechen Nyingpo in Liberation in the Palm, that the meditator who entered in the Mahayana path, the small, the first is path of merit, Mahayana path of merit, and then small, middle and great and the one who has actualized the great Mahayana path of merit, then that bodhisattva, that meditator able to see the statues that we normally see, then for that meditator able to see nirmanakaya aspect, with the holy signs and exemplifications. And then, that meditator when he or she achieved the Mahayana right-seeing path then able to see, [pause] so I said he or she, but that can be related to also tantric path. So not just…. So see the statues in sambhogakaya aspect, that time. Then, of course, then when that meditator become enlightened then, of course, then that meditator’s mind become oneness with the, [pause] mixed with all the Buddhas, rest of the Buddhas’ holy mind, become one.

So Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche said there are two types. Some they accept oneness with all the Buddhas. Some they say, some they don’t accept that. So, but Pabongka Dechen Nyingpo explains, they mix, when you become enlightened, mix with all the Buddhas. So I follow towards that explanation. In the Maitreya Buddha’s teaching that, Do Degyen, there’s, I don’t remember the words, the quotation is very powerful, that all the waters come from spring or rivers, all different waters all come in ocean become one, so that and then one sun but the beams reach everywhere. So from dharmakaya manifest all various forms and then liberate the sentient beings, bring them to enlightenment.

So anyway, so Pabongka Dechen Nyingpo explained in Liberation in the Palm as you remember that, so every day in your, at your own house, you should have altar, you must look, don’t think, Oh, I know what they are, but you must look, every day you must look at them. It’s emphasized to see the holy objects, even in your room. So look at them. So and then look at them, as I mentioned last night that unbelievable merit what you collect, purify mind and plant seed of enlightenment just by seeing that. Plant the seed of enlightenment, [pause] plant the seed of enlightenment, [long pause] so plant the seed of enlightenment doesn’t mean just enlightenment itself, [snaps fingers] what does it mean is, yes, that’s the ultimate goal to be achieved. You see I think it contains causal, it causes to achieve realizations of the whole path to enlightenment. I think it also contains that. For example, we normally say, when you offer one incense, one flower, water, whatever, whatever offering you do, or prostration, respect, whatever you do, statue or picture of Buddha or stupa or scripture, the minute as soon as you offer to the holy object, whether they are actually there or whether you have visualized, Buddha visualized, so a statue, so this, [pause] [Inaudible comment from Ven. Sarah.] Oh, I see. So for example as soon as you offer, whatever, one tiny rice, one tiny stick of incense or flower, as soon as you offer by thinking of Buddha or when we make food offering, tea offering, whatever, food, whatever, chocolate or biscuit, whatever offering, by, essence we offer, it becomes cause to achieve enlightenment. Yeah, so that means, that, how can you achieve enlightenment without actualizing the path, no way. So become cause to achieve enlightenment means it becomes cause to achieve from guru devotion, three principal paths, two stages of tantra, everything, from beginning to the end, everything, whatever you offer. The minute you offer, cause to achieve all that.

So therefore, that these holy objects, whether big or small, whatever, statue, whether it’s small or big, whatever material, so you can see it’s the most precious, these are more than wish-fulfilling jewel. If you find wish-fulfilling jewel, by praying you can get all the enjoyment, Mercedes cars, how many Mercedes car, or the long one, what do you call? Limousine, the many windows. How many limousine, how you say? How many limousine you want, how many swimming pools you need, or what else? Motor cycles, anyway, I’m joking. So anyway , how many enjoyment, by praying you get, but then you might be thinking, only, due to the power of this material, wish-granting jewel, but of course it’s based on your karma, merit. Because if you have karma to have, you have karma to have that means that you have karma also to have all those enjoyments.

So anyway, so these holy objects are far more precious than skies, numberless wish-granting jewels. What these holy objects can benefit you, what benefit you get from these is limitless skies of benefit, cessation of all the delusions, all the karma, all the defilement, which has no beginning, which continuation has no beginning, and ceases all the sufferings, which continuation has no beginning, these holy objects, this is the effect what you get from them, all the realizations from the beginning to end, up to enlightenment. Then you are able to enlighten, able to liberate numberless sentient beings from the oceans of samsaric suffering and bring them to enlightenment. So these are, how precious these holy objects is beyond from words. What they do to you, what it does to you, the benefit what you get, what they give, it’s beyond from our concept, it’s definitely beyond from our concept, unimaginable, can never be finished explaining, the benefit we get from them, so, extremely precious.

So, [pause] therefore, to have many as possible, like that. We talk about good luck, success, good luck and success, the feng shui and this and that, many things, whatever you do for good, whatever, I mean some people they don’t know how to make good luck but they just continue, they don’t know how to have, so they don’t use feng shui or other things but they have their own way, they have their own understanding of how to make the life successful anyway. Even they don’t believe in feng shui, other things. The other stuff. So they have their own connotation, this way then I can be successful or I study this then I can be successful, to have success with job, all this. So they have their own way of interpretation, method to be successful.

So however, [long pause] if there is no merit, good karma, no merit you cannot have a good doctor that can cure you. The doctor that can cure your sicknesses, that won’t happen, if you don’t have merit. So, what I am saying, even you find doctor but cannot cure the disease, if you don’t have merit. If you don’t have merit, if the feng shui is done, that is because that is only external arrangement, so therefore that alone cannot, you have to have merit first, you have to have good karma first. So you have good karma first ,then you can have correct person who does correct feng shui. So like that. This is just an example. But like this, then same with all the rest.

So same with the Dharma. By having merit then, if there is no merit then cannot find right spiritual friend, virtuous friend, to reveal Dharma, to show the path to liberation, to enlightenment, the path to happiness, the very first thing, the path to happiness, not path to suffering, not method which brings only in, leads in suffering, lower realm suffering and samsara, causes to be born in samsara, to experience samsaric suffering, not just that. So need, without merit cannot meet unmistaken guru, revealing the right path, cannot. So you have to have, so everything you need to have merit.

So this, [pause] so such, so therefore, these holy objects and then by having makes life so easy to create, to collect merit and to create the cause of any happiness. All the success, one can create all the good luck or good, merit or fortune or whatever it’s called, fate or. So and Pabongka Dechen Nyingpo in the lam-rim teachings emphasizes that the holy objects, should treat them like, not as statue but actual living Buddha, respect. And that become cause sooner or later to actually see as Buddha. Treating them, respect as actual living Buddha. So like that.

So it got expanded, it become, anyway, it doesn’t matter.

So what was I saying before?

So yeah, one can do here what, because I think when we were, there was from His Holiness’s Office checking about the colors and the mudras, but seems there was differences different texts. So anyway, I think that is not a real problem. Main thing is just focus on the, thinking of the deity itself, like that. So can follow on the basis here.

If all other texts is one way and this is only different then maybe this could be mistaken, but I think there might be, yeah, so different in different texts, I think, may find. [pause]

Okay, please continue.

[Ven. Rene: So, we have reached the third. “The fully realized destroyer/]

/ And the same thing as yesterday, I introduced the same idea of first focus on the hallucination. The essence what I mentioned yesterday, so first watch, first just watch, look at the I, aggregates, each of the aggregates, the limbs down to the particles of the atoms and particles of that atom, look at them, look at how they appear to you. And then also down to the split seconds of consciousness and then the split seconds of that consciousness, so all that. How they appear to you, how they appear to me. [pause] How they appear to me, how I believe. How I believe or same, how my mind apprehend them.

So on the merely imputed I there is hallucination, there is projection, truly existent appearance. On the merely labeled aggregates, there is truly existent appearance. So, on the merely labeled form, there is truly existent /