Teachings From the Vajrasattva Retreat

By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Soquel, CA USA 1999 (Archive #1055)

This book is an edited transcript of Lama Zopa Rinpoche's teachings at a three-month Vajrasattva retreat held at Land of Medicine Buddha, from February 1 to April 30, 1999. The teachings cover many lam-rim topics, purification practices, mantras, pujas and more.

Chapter 10: February 10-c

Evening: Final Vajrasattva session

Visualization with Calling the Guru from Afar

Visualize your root virtuous friend above your crown and meditate on guru devotion. By looking at the guru as buddha, see him as buddha. “In essence, the guru is the encompassment of all the buddhas. The guru appears to me in this ordinary aspect,” which means in a form that shows the aspect of having suffering and delusions, “in the view of my ordinary, mistaken mind, in order to liberate me. He appears in this aspect in order to save me from the lower realms, from samsara, and from all the defilements and to bring me to enlightenment.”

After reciting Calling the Guru from Afar, recite the following two verses.

“May I never arise heresy even for one second in the actions of the glorious guru. With the devotion that sees whatever action is done as pure, may I receive the blessings of the guru in my heart. “Pal-den tsa-wa’i....”

Motivation for Vajrasattva practice

As I mentioned during previous sessions, your motivation for practicing Vajrasattva should also include practicing the power of regret. Generate a strong feeling of regret by reflecting on all the different types of negative karma and degenerated samaya vows that you need to purify. Then generate a strong thought of impermanence and death, remembering especially that death could happen at this moment. After that, generate strong bodhicitta. Dedicate your practice during this retreat, every mantra recited, purely for sentient beings, for you to achieve enlightenment in order to free every single sentient being—every hell being, every hungry ghost, every animal, every human, every asura, every sura, every intermediate state being—from all their suffering and its causes and bring them to enlightenment.

Also dedicate the retreat or the mantras you recite to the long life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and other virtuous friends and to the accomplishment of all their holy wishes.

Tasting Tsog

When you offer tsog on days when you have taken the Eight Mahayana Precepts, I suggest that instead of biting the tsog, just touch it with your finger and taste it in that way. You can taste the bala and madana in the same way.