My most dear, most kind, most precious, wish-fulfilling one,
I received your long letter with your details and information. I am very happy to receive it, thank you very much. I am very happy that you have started to practice again what you can. I am also very happy you explained what you have done already.
There are so many good things that you have done in your life, besides practice. There are so many good things besides the traditional practice that purify the mind and help to collect extensive merits. Also because you have done these things with bodhicitta, it creates the cause of enlightenment.
Generally you have a good heart and you did many good things to help sentient beings, so it is always good to rejoice in this. Always try to feel happy in your mind; always keep the mind in a state of happiness. I am not just making this up. As I briefly said, you have lived your life in this way.
Bodhicitta Path and tonglen
It’s very good to do meditation on the bodhicitta path, as I have advised, by dividing the different paths of the lamrim in effortful meditation. For you, mainly focus on the bodhicitta path.
The way to make your life most meaningful and most beneficial for all sentient beings, and by the way to have a most happy life for yourself, is to do the practice of bodhicitta, particularly tonglen. This means the practice of taking sentient beings’ suffering into your heart. This destroys the root of samsara, the ignorance holding the I—that which is merely labelled by the mind, but projected by past ignorance—as truly existent. The negative imprint in the mind is projected or decorated as the real I, and then believed on top of that.
This ignorance is the root of samsara, which is created and all the diseases come from that. All the true suffering and the true cause of suffering come from this; karma and all the delusions come from ignorance. So think that ignorance is totally destroyed or eliminated, and at the same time the I—what ignorance believes and entrusts; what it holds on to—totally disappears. It is gone, as it doesn’t exist at all, not only from this morning, but from birth and beginningless rebirths it never even for one second existed. Also the self-cherishing thought, from where all the problems and sufferings come, is totally destroyed.
Then take all the suffering and the causes of suffering of every sentient being from each realm. Take this into your heart and then give compassion to others, to the numberless sentient beings. You can give your body by visualizing it as a wish-fulfilling jewel, as numberless wish-fulfilling jewels filling the whole sky. This is what my root guru Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche explained.
In the lamrim, practitioners don’t rely on chöd so much. They don’t do chöd, which is the offering of your bones, skin and blood, and making charity of that to the spirits. In the lamrim you view your body as ugly, dirty, so then you can’t make charity of it to others—that’s my own thinking and reasoning.
Therefore, instead visualize your body as wish-granting jewels and then make charity to numberless hell beings, numberless hungry ghosts, numberless animals, numberless human beings, numberless suras, numberless asuras and numberless intermediate state beings. From that they get everything, thus whatever they want or whatever they need is actualized, such as being able to meet a perfectly qualified virtuous friend and meet the Dharma path.
Give all your possessions to every sentient being; give away every single thing that belongs to you. Make charity to numberless sentient beings in each realm so they get everything, whatever they want, whatever they need, and they all achieve enlightenment.
The third thing is to give away all your past, present and future merits. Dedicate your three-time merits to every single sentient being.
The result is all the happiness of this life and all the happiness of future lives, liberation from samsara, the total elimination of obscurations and completion of all the realizations up to enlightenment. Think the sentient beings achieve this, so they all become enlightened, then you can rejoice after each of them is enlightened. It’s very good to rejoice.
Medicine Buddha Mantra
If you can, recite the Medicine Buddha name mantra. Recite the seven Medicine Buddhas’ name mantra seven times and make the request, whatever you want, whatever you pray—for me and for all sentient beings—for it to happen right now. Whatever you pray, then for all those wishes to happen and at the time of death to be born in the pure land of Tharpo Kachö and for all other wishes, whatever you have.
The Completely Pure Stainless Light mantra
I don’t remember the aspect, just visualize that the Buddha sends nectar to you.
Regarding tonglen, generate compassion so in that part of tonglen practice think that this is not only for yourself, but also for numberless sentient beings whose suffering is even worse than yours, one hundred times worse, for example, the numberless sentient beings in the lower realms. Generate compassion for them, in order for them to achieve enlightenment as quickly as possible, to free the numberless sentient beings from the oceans of samsara’s sufferings and bring them to full enlightenment by yourself alone.
Therefore think, “May I experience my sickness, and in particular those who are suffering the same sickness as I have, may it ripen upon me and may I experience it so that they all become enlightened.” Take it all into the heart, into this self-cherishing thought where all obscurations and negative karma, all the sufferings and the oceans of samsaric sufferings come from. The self-cherishing thought and ignorance is the root of samsara, so think that it is destroyed. This is where all the obstacles to achieving enlightenment in order to benefit all sentient beings comes from. The self-cherishing thought and ignorance, the root of samsara, is destroyed completely.
Think that you are experiencing all your sickness, all this suffering, for all sentient beings, and in particular those who have the same sickness, think that it ripens on you so that others may be enlightened.
If it is difficult to do your commitments, recite the Vajrayogini mantra, as that has the connection for you to be born in a pure land and to be guided by Vajrayogini in all the lifetimes.
At the time of death it is very important to think that your mind is oneness with Vajrayogini. Start to think about the oneness now and especially at the time of dying, think that your mind is oneness with Vajrayogini and then you will go to the pure land. This is why reciting Vajrayogini mantra is very important. By thinking your mind is one with Vajrayogini, if you do that all the time, when you die you will go to Vajrayogini’s pure land. Make a request to Guru Vajrayogini who is on your head and then think Vajrayogini is there all the time.
At the death time think that Vajrayogini sends beams, like a water pipe, from your heart, but do not hold down there. Think your mind is oneness with Vajrayogini, the size of a mustard seed, and then make a request to Guru Vajrayogini to guide you to the pure land. She grants all the realizations and takes you to the pure land. In the pure land there are dakinis welcoming you to come there and you can hear all the music from the pure land.
The shape is like a mustard seed [made of] light then the consciousness goes straight into the heart of Vajrayogini, who is above your crown. You become oneness with Vajrayogini, with your mind in bliss and voidness. Then you, Vajrayogini, go straight to the pure land and you see Vajrayogini there and receive teachings directly from Vajrayogini. So like that. That is the meditation at death time.
You can practice like that beforehand but not your consciousness coming up; that is inauspicious to do beforehand.
om ah hum
If you are not able to do many other prayers, then think of the three syllables OM AH HUM. All your prayers are contained within those three syllables, so think it is all the guru-deities, your extremely subtle wind, the five-colored wind. Think it is all the numberless guru-deities’ holy bodies, all the holy speech and all the guru-deities’ extremely subtle mind. Hold that in your mind.
Meditate on that, holding divine pride, then recite OM AH HUM, thinking that all the prayers are contained in that, if you find it difficult to do the other prayers.
However the main thing is what I mentioned above. Think that you are experiencing all these problems and sicknesses for all sentient beings. Take all their suffering and experience it for them and then lead them to enlightenment. That is the main thing. It destroys your self-cherishing thought and ignorance, the root of samsara. The object—ignorance, the root of samsara, the real I, the truly existent I—is empty. You see it as empty, because it is empty.
With much love and prayers...
If you feel to write, please write. I am sending one Namgyalma protection for you to wear, but please take it off when you have a shower and do not wear it when you go to sleep as you may lie on it.