Dear Lama Zopa Rinpoche,
I had taken initiations from you for Cittamani Tara, Chenrezig (I am not sure) and Vajrayogini and Heruka initiations (I am not sure either). I confess that I have not been doing the sadhanas for these deities. I wish to confess my ignorance and atone for my sins. Please advise me on what to do. I am also not sure whether I took these initiations during the 1980s. I had already done 42 recitations of the Noble Sanghata Darma Paryaya Sutra and performed 36 Tara pujas at the center.
I have not abandoned the Dharma and I hope to practice even harder. I attended the first Tara puja as recommended by you, for the Maitreya Project, and the attendance was very good. I also am looking for a new job. Can you please help me dear Lama? Thank you for your compassion.
Yours in the Triple Gem,
My very dear Gordon,
Thank you very much for your kind letter. I highly appreciate very much your care and concern that you didn’t do all the recitations and commitments, and that you didn’t complete the number of mantras and sadhanas.
I checked what you can do to purify this. On the special tsog days (Tibetan 25th and 10th) if you can, recite:
Four malas of Vajrayogini tsog (you can do the long one three times and the short one once)
Four malas of Heruka tsog
One mala of Cittamani Tara tsog
Regarding how to do this, please ask the geshe at your center to explain. If you have done the retreat of any of these deities, then the best thing, of course, is to do self-initiation, but I don’t think you have done the retreats.
Anyway, continue to do the practice again, start from now. Each day you do the practice it leaves positive imprints on the mind. Even if you recite the words and your mind is totally distracted, it still leaves imprints on the mind, and sooner or later you will have attainments on the path. Of course, it is best not to be distracted.
Doing these practices every day eliminates your defilements and helps you to achieve enlightenment, so that you can liberate numberless sentient beings from the oceans of samsaric suffering and bring them to enlightenment.
The most important thing is lam-rim. Each day do a little meditation on the lam-rim and live your life with a bodhicitta motivation, with a good heart. You should practice the same as what we teach in Essential Education. Practice:
Forgiveness means if someone has harmed you, forgive the person, and if you have harmed someone, then you should apologize.
So, every day, practice these points. This stops negative karma and protects you from the suffering of the lower realms and in the future for hundreds of thousands of lifetimes, including suffering in the future in the human realm. This is the result from that one negative karma, until it is purified. You experience the result in the human realm, suffering unceasingly, without end, also in the lower realms, until that karma is purified.
Practicing these four things also protects you from causing others to create negative karma, to get angry and so forth. It protects others from being born in the lower realms, so they do not have to experience the sufferings of the lower realms, protects them from negative karma, and from having to experience suffering in the future, unceasingly, without end, until from their side they purify that negative karma.
So, you can see how this is the most important practice for sentient beings to engage in. Engaging in these four practices is the most urgent thing. This brings happiness for oneself now and in the future, and happiness to others now and in the future. It also brings happiness, peace, and success in this life. This is the opposite practice to engaging in negative karma. The result of negative karma is what causes all the problems and harm in one’s life; all obstacles come from that.
So, please think about this well, do the practices, and live your life with a good heart, kindness, and bodhicitta.
With much love and prayers...