My very dear Don,
Thank you very much for your kind letter and sorry for the many eons of delay in replying.
Regarding your work situation, whether you should continue working for your friend, for me to check this I need a few other options to check against, in order to see what is more beneficial. Without a choice, I don’t have that knowledge to see. Generally, it seems it is difficult. This is what comes out in my observation:
1. Recite the long Medicine Buddha mantra 2,000 times.
2. Do the most elaborate Medicine Buddha puja five times. This can be done at Tsawa Khamtsen (Lama Yeshe’s Khamtsen). It has to be the elaborate Medicine Buddha puja, not the normal one. If there are others working at the same business, then they can share the costs with you for this. This comes out as the best practice to do.
Regarding your practice question, you should do your practice on the basis of guru yoga. If you can do guru puja, then that equals one recitation of six-session guru yoga. It is an extensive way of doing six-session guru yoga.
Do it with meditation on guru devotion; this should be the foundation of your practice. Then, within the guru puja there is the seven limb prayer, etc. Within this practice, do meditation on guru devotion until it is stable. It should be a stable realization that lasts a long time, where one sees all the buddhas as one’s guru and each of one’s gurus as all the buddhas, having definite understanding from the bottom of one’s heart, unchangeable and stable.
Then, continue each day with one meditation on guru devotion, then include another lam-rim topic. Start from the beginning of the lam-rim, take one subject each day, and elaborate on this and do meditation on it. The point is to have realizations. So, for instance, start with renunciation of samsara, in order to renounce future lives. Then, the next day, practice the perfect human rebirth, as well as its benefits and usefulness, then death and impermanence, bodhicitta, etc.
Another meditation you should do each day is on emptiness, using different techniques, different prayers, such as reciting the Heart Sutra, etc. The main thing is to meditate on it. You have to put some effort in, in order to achieve the realizations and to have stable realizations. Doing this meditation helps direct realizations to come quickly and for you to have less obstacles.
Then, at the part with the mandala offering in the Guru Puja, offer a mandala and make strong requests for the three great purposes. Also, to create merit, you can make a few mandala offerings.
Then, at the part with prostrations, you can stop and do prostrations, reciting the 35 Buddhas’ names. Or you can start in the morning by making prostrations as well.
In the evening, do Vajrasattva practice, with meditation.
Also, within the Guru Puja, you can do Samayavajra practice.
If some days you are unable to do guru puja, then you can do Lama Tsongkhapa Guru Yoga, but add in the essential bits I have mentioned (meditation on lam-rim, mandala offerings, prostrations, etc.).
Also, you can add the essential parts I have mentioned and incorporate them into one long version of six-session guru yoga.
If you do six-session or Lama Tsongkhapa Guru Yoga, then you need to include a lam-rim prayer, such as the Foundation of All Good Qualities, etc.
Then, the rest of your life, until death, as you know, what makes life most meaningful, what turns iron into gold, is, in every moment, to do everything with bodhicitta, to do everything, as much as possible, with the motivation of benefiting others. This means your work, eating, sleeping, walking, etc.
You can do everything using different lam-rim topics, such as focusing on guru devotion, especially the guru’s kindness, then another day you can do everything focusing on renunciation, relating more to renunciation of samsara, then the next day with emptiness. This is how you bring lam-rim into your life. Remember whatever topic you are focusing on that day while doing your job, talking, eating, etc.
With much love and prayers,
PS Please give my love to your whole family. It is very good to guide your daughter with Dharma. Recently, there has been a lot of work done on Universal Education. There are the 16 human dharmas. These help children to become good human beings by developing the practices of tolerance, contentment, rejoicing, forgiveness, forgiveness when someone else apologizes, and also requesting forgiveness if you have hurt someone. So, there are 16 dharmas, and it would be very good if your daughter could follow these points. Also, she can help others and educate other children to practice like this. This is what she can do to bring peace for the world. This is also what you can do to help bring peace for the world, by guiding your daughter in this way.