My most dear, most kind, most precious wish-fulfilling one,
Thank you very, very much for your kind letter, I enjoyed reading it. Since you are a very sincere person, you are doing all those practices and it’s very, very important that you picked up what my advice is, the essence—you got it, so that shows you are very intelligent also.
Yes, it’s possible to take refuge and the eight Mahayana vows via my recording.
Here is my brief advice, on top of what you are already doing. I am very happy with all the practices you have been doing, A very important one is Lama Tsongkhapa Guru Yoga. This is very, very important. That is the shortest one and the longest one is Lama Chöpa (Guru Puja) so that is very important practice, as my gurus said. There are nine benefits of doing Lama Tsongkhapa Guru Yoga—you have probably read about these benefits.
It is so good that you have a 100 million mantra prayer wheel. You are so, so lucky, so fortunate. With your left hand you can count mani mantras and with your right hand you can use the prayer wheel at the same time. This is what I try to do.
One of the photos I am sending you is Chenrezig. You can look at this photo as you recite mani mantras and turn the prayer wheel. Visualize light coming from Chenrezig and from the prayer wheel to you and purifying you. Recite one mala of OM MANI PADME HUM and visualize half a mala purifying you of disease, spirit harm, negative karma and obscurations collected since beginningless rebirth. After that, if you have received Chenrezig great initiation you can think that you become Chenrezig. If you have not received the initiation then you are not able to become Chenrezig, but think you receive all the qualities. Visualize beams emitting from Chenrezig, from the prayer wheel to the six-realm sentient beings—the numberless hell beings, numberless hungry ghosts, numberless animals, numberless humans, numberless suras, numberless asuras and numberless intermediate state beings. Think that all their negative karma and defilements collected from beginningless rebirths are immediately purified.
Please continue your life as much as possible with bodhicitta, the thought of benefiting others. As you mentioned in your letter, that is another most important thing, where all the inner happiness comes from, and your actions of body, speech and mind become the cause of enlightenment as much as possible.
I am suggesting these preliminary practices because Lama Tsongkhapa asked Manjushri, “What is the quickest way to achieve enlightenment?” Manjushri said, “First purify obstacles and [collect] extensive merits, then one-pointedly pray to the guru. Next, the actual body of practice is training the mind in the lamrim, the graduated path to enlightenment.” This is how Manjushri answered, so without practicing purification and collecting merits, lamrim realizations cannot happen, the mind cannot change, so for that we need to do preliminary practices.
Start the day off with the daily meditation, which includes the mantras for blessing the speech and the direct meditation on the path to enlightenment. [See The Method to Transform a Suffering Life into Happiness (Including Enlightenment.)]
- Samaya Vajra: Do the very short practice 500,000 times
- Dorje Khadro (burning offering): 30,000
- Lama Tsongkhapa Guru Yoga: 400,000 if you can; if not then do 300,000 or 200,000.
- Four immeasurable thoughts: 400,000. Do this with mindfulness while you are reciting the prayer. If you can’t do 400,000 then do whatever you can, but do it mindfully.
- Tsa tsas: 40,000, divided between Lama Tsongkhapa and the saviors of three types [Tib: rik sum gönpo]. These three are Manjrushri, Chenrezig and Vajrapani on one mold.
The most important thing in your life, what makes your life most beneficial for everyone—every fish, even those that you can’t see with the eye but only with a machine, every ant, every tiny insect, every fly, every mosquito—is to actualize lamrim realizations, so what the text says goes into your heart and your heart becomes what the texts says; your heart becomes what the Buddha said.
Your main deities are Cittamani Tara and Kalachakra—both came out. Maybe you can do Cittamani Tara in the future and if possible, take Kalachakra initiation, especially from His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In order to take Cittamani Tara initiation, you need another great initiation first, because Cittamani Tara has a body initiation, so you need a Highest Yoga Tantra initiation, any great initiation.
This is for your quickest enlightenment, in order to free sentient beings from the oceans of samsaric sufferings and bring them to full enlightenment. In order to achieve enlightenment in the quickest way we need the foundation to achieve realizations. We need the foundation in renunciation, bodhicitta and emptiness, and for that we need guru devotion, which is the real root of path to enlightenment.
With love and prayers ...