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 18: February 16

EVENING: FINAL VAJRASATTVA SESSION

Motivation for Vajrasattva practice

Generate a strong thought of regret and intense thought of impermanence and death. Think, “I could die today, even before finishing this session. I could even die this very moment. Therefore, I can’t stand the thought of keeping all these negative karmas, downfalls and degenerated samaya vows for even one second more.”

It is as if you have swallowed food mixed with a deadly poison—just as you would want to get rid of the poison immediately, so you want to rid yourself of all these negativities, which result in inconceivable eons of suffering and are obstacles to realizations, to your achieving liberation from samsara and enlightenment, and to your being able to liberate and enlighten other sentient beings.

Think, “Because I can’t stand having these obstacles, I must purify them right now, without even a second’s delay.”

Then generate a strong thought of bodhicitta to do the Vajrasattva meditation-recitation for the benefit of all sentient beings.

Concluding practice

From the holy mouth of Guru Vajrasattva comes, “Son of the race, all your defilements, negative karma, downfalls and degenerated samaya vows collected over beginningless rebirths are now completely purified.”

Think that, as Guru Vajrasattva says, all your defilements, negative karma, downfalls and degenerated samaya vows collected over beginningless rebirths have been completely purified.

Next, practice the power not to commit negative actions again.

Guru Vajrasattva is extremely pleased by your vow not to commit negative actions again and absorbs within you. Your body, speech and mind become inseparable from Guru Vajrasattva’s vajra holy body, vajra holy speech and vajra holy mind.

In emptiness there is no creator, no I; there is no action of creating; there is no negative karma created. All other phenomena are also totally empty—empty of existing from their own side.

Dedication

“Due to all the merits of the three times collected by me, buddhas, bodhisattvas and all other sentient beings, may I be able to offer benefit as extensive as the sky to all sentient beings as Lama Tsongkhapa did, by having within me the same qualities that Lama Tsongkhapa had, from now on in all my future lifetimes.

“Due to all the merits of the three times collected by me, buddhas, bodhisattvas and all other sentient beings, wherever I am—in whichever universe, world, country, area or place—may just my being there cause the sentient beings in that same universe, world, country, area or place never to be reborn in the lower realms. May they immediately be liberated from all disease, spirit harm, negative karma and defilements and may they achieve enlightenment as quickly as possible by actualizing the whole path, especially bodhicitta.

“May those who are blind be able to see; may those who are deaf be able to hear; may the lame be able to walk; may those with cancer be healed immediately; may those with AIDS be healed immediately; may those with incurable illnesses be cured; may those sentient beings who are being harmed by spirits, nagas and so forth and those who are crazy be released from those harms and recover immediately; may those who live in disharmony, with quarreling and fighting, experience much peace and happiness and generate loving kindness, compassion and bodhicitta in their hearts; may those who are poor and unable to find the means of living find wealth; may those who are unable to find a job find a job; may those who are unable to find a guru find a perfectly qualified Mahayana guru and receive unmistaken Mahayana teachings; may those who have obstacles to their Dharma practice be free from obstacles and receive all the necessary conditions to practice Dharma; may those monks and nuns who have obstacles to their Dharma, to living in their vows and so forth, be freed immediately from all outer and inner obstacles and receive all the necessary conditions to live in their vows and to actualize the realizations of the path to enlightenment as well as scriptural understanding.

“May just my being in that universe, world, country, place or area cause everyone to live with loving kindness, compassion and the thought of bodhicitta and to have perfect happiness.

“As the buddhas and bodhisattvas of the three times have dedicated their merits, and as Samantabhadra and Manjughosha realize, I dedicate my merits in the best way to quickly enlighten all sentient beings.”