My most dear, most kind, most precious, wish-fulfilling one,
Thank you for your kind email. Start your practice now with Lama Tsongkhapa Guru Yoga. Discuss with elder Sangha anything that isn’t clear about the practice, but here, start doing it now. Just do it. That’s the most important thing—just do it. It’s like when you are hungry you eat food, although, of course you also need to share the food. So do it, then the result, freedom from hunger, will come.
In your life, try to do one hundred nyung-näs. This is an important Chenrezig practice to purify negative karma collected since beginningless rebirth.
Also recite Chenrezig mantra every day. This should be one main practice. I used to tell students even the mosquitoes, spiders and maggots, if possible, should all recite the Compassion Buddha mantra and the Medicine Buddha mantra. Medicine Buddha is for success, and the highest success is for yourself to achieve the total cessation of all the obscurations and completion of all the realizations, buddhahood, and to free the numberless sentient beings from the oceans of samsaric sufferings and bring them to full enlightenment.
This means success for yourself to be free from the oceans of samsaric suffering and in future lives to meet Buddhadharma and to meet a perfectly qualified Mahayana guru, so to be able to practice Dharma. By the way it brings success in this life, by the way, even though that’s what should be renounced, to not have attachment for it, but it happens by the way, while you are working for enlightenment for sentient beings. Even the works of this life, for this life’s success, this happens by the way, because of what you are doing, which is creating merits and avoiding negative karma. This is the cause of enlightenment.
Also each week, if you can, recite Arya Sanghata Sutra. This is the way to collect the most extensive merits, and the more extensive merits you collect, the more you will have success.
If you can, also try to recite Chanting the Names of Manjrushri every day. If you don’t finish it sometimes it doesn’t matter; you can finish what you didn’t finish the next day. If you can, try that; so if you can, get familiar with reciting that every day.
You must be doing very well, as not many preliminary practices came out for you to do, so you must be doing very well. Please continue.
This is one opportunity, it is just one time you have received a perfect human rebirth, so this is just one time. Like people climbing Mount Everest, they spend probably many millions of dollars, I don’t know how much. They think this is just one opportunity to climb Mount Everest, but that is nothing—it doesn’t purify negative karma and it doesn’t free you from the lower realms.
[Negative karma] is what makes you to be reborn in the lower realms and climbing the mountain doesn’t purify that. It doesn’t make you to be reborn as a human being, as a deva or in a pure land, it doesn’t achieve that. It doesn’t liberate you from samsara forever, it doesn’t help you to achieve full enlightenment for others, for the numberless sentient beings, even though you go through so much danger climbing the mountain and it costs so much to go up the mountain, so here, Dharma practice. In the past from beginningless rebirths we haven’t died bearing hardships for Dharma, but we have died numberless times bearing hardships to create the cause of samsara, the cause of the lower realms, so please understand this.
You can think about being a good monk in the future, but that’s up to you. First you have to understand and realize the shortcomings of not being a monk, and the unbelievable, unbelievable advantages of being a monk for sentient beings.
With much love and prayers...