Mahamudra Teachings and Medicine Buddha Teachings (Audio and Unedited Transcript)

By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Crestone, CO USA June 2008 (Archive #1711)

These teachings were given in June 2008 at the White Eagle Conference Center in Crestone, Colorado. Included is the oral transmission of the First Panchen Lama's Root Text for the Precious Gelug/Kagyu Tradition of Mahamudra.

You can also listen to the Chinese translation of the teachings here. Read the edited transcripts of these teachings here.

Day Four Part A: Benefits of Medicine Buddha; Medicine Buddha Jenang

So you translate into Chinese, and now the English speaking, those who heard in English, then, then your session, meditation, mahamudra session, those who heard before in English.

So good to meditate here, and those who heard already, then you should take the opportunity to meditate, what I said before.

[Rinpoche recites in Tibetan]

To do the, planned to do the Medicine Buddha jenang, to grant Medicine Buddha’s blessings of the holy body, holy speech, holy mind, the permission to practice, jenang. So however, so now it’s already very late, so maybe jenang we do in the dream. So maybe everybody go to sleep, and then receive initiation in the dream. No, just mention.

Everybody go to sleep. That would be very nice. You have sleep, but also initiation at the same time.

So, the, so maybe just mention, I’ll give a lung of the long mantra, the Medicine Buddha’s long mantra, then go over the benefits, then, that’s the essence, then you get, the idea, the, how this is really, must, one must practice Medicine Buddha, so you get the idea how important it is.

There’s elaborate benefits of Medicine Buddha which I explained at LMB a few, some years ago, how many years ago, six, seven years? Six, seven years, maybe, we did Medicine Buddha, seven years, we did Medicine Buddha retreat there, and then during the retreat, I explained the benefits from the, from, I think, maybe lama who is also medicinal, the, I think wrote benefits from, extracted from the different texts.

Then afterwards I saw the sutra, in Germany, the sutra, so, and this book that maybe, I don’t remember, maybe not the sutra, but some other text, which is according to sutra, so, so that, so, so Dr. Nick, who, Dr. Nick, where is Dr. Nick? Where? [Student: He’s right here.] Oh, I see, so, Dr. Nick did exist, do exist. Dr. Nick doesn’t seem empty, he doesn’t seem empty, he’s not, truly existent, he seems truly existent.

Anyway, so, so he started the, he, his companion is Yeshe Khadro now, so I mean, now he become Vajradhara, but before he was a monk, and then his friend or the, nun, Yeshe Khadro, so, so anyway, so, they decide, they bought a property, they bought a property, investment in Queensland where the Chenrezig Center is now, then, four of them, then they started to travel in the world, to experiment, to, in the world, so, then they were in Thailand. Thailand? Was it Thailand? Thailand? [Dr. Nick: Bali.] Bali, oh. Bali is in Thailand? Anyway, so they were at the beach laying down, following the rules of the beach, I’m joking, anyway.

So, anyway, so then the person came, a man who sells the, the fruit, coconut, came, who sells coconut, came to the beach, and then they were cutting and eating, then somebody, well, that same person or somebody else, anyway, came along, and told there’s a meditation course at Kopan in Nepal, Kopan. Then they came to Kopan just like that. So, just like that it happened.

So, anyway, of course, karma. So anyway, then, I think they, um, not the first course, second course, but third course, they came. So then, once, right after they did the third course, then, from there, they started the life, busy, busy. So working on the book, the meditation course book, book, and then also other things, I think, mainly on the book, right? Mainly on the book, so, right after that, then started, their life started to get busy.

So, anyway, Dr. Nick, doctor from Australia, doctor for kangaroos. Anyway, I’m joking, so, anyway, who carry the baby here, this.

So, anyway, without talking much. So, yeah, then, very busy, extremely busy working on the books and then, from there, started the Lama Yeshe, who was kinder than all the three-time buddhas, asked him to, I think to, what, what did he ask? [Dr. Nick: To start Wisdom Publications.] Start Wisdom Publications, yes. So, yeah, then, anyway, so, um, started, yeah, Wisdom Publications, then, England, right? England, then, say, then later, first England, right? Then moved to United States.

Anyway, for so many years ?worked with Dharma books, the Wisdom Publications was started by Dr. Nick, and then, afterwards, it moved to the United States, and now the Tim, that, Dr. Nick is doing the, say, making the teachings, putting together first, preparation, then goes to Wisdom after that, so, what’s it called now? [Dr. Nick: Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive.] Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive. Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive.

So, anyway, I don’t want to go, yeah, so he’s been working for many, many years on that, so, I mean, very, produce Dharma books, I mean that is extremely, extremely important service to the world, service to the sentient beings, to, to awaken, to awaken from deep sleep, ignorance, to awaken and to bring light of wisdom, bring light of Dharma wisdom, to bring light, like in a room, dark, you switch on, well, outside is same. So in their mind, to bring wisdom light, Dharma light.

So, anyway, so, so, now books, there’s all over the world, so, for so many years, so they have been extremely beneficial, so I’m forgetting why I mentioned. [Inaudible comment from student.] Huh, I see, that’s right.

So, I did the teaching a long time ago but, many unbelievable, unbelievable benefits there, and, so, I didn’t say anything for a long time so I was asking what happened, so then Dr. Nick, he put together quickly. So, anyway, so I heard Dr. Chiu-Nan Lai sponsored to, so I was very happy with that, because it’s so important, because it’s very, very important. There hasn’t been, I mean, I didn’t see in English, this from different teachings, anyway, very amazing, the benefits of practicing Medicine Buddha. It makes everything, life, unbelievably easy, including enlightenment, everything, no question about the works of this life, success, there’s nothing, just, I mean, happiness of future lives, liberation, everything, and the, so unbelievably easy, unbelievable, the Medicine Buddha’s power.

So, however, now, as time gets more degenerated, the Medicine Buddha’s power, that doesn’t become less, and it becomes more and more powerful. From sutra Medicine Buddha, so it’s unbelievable, so, precious, it’s unbelievable blessing. Then, from tantra, it’s Heruka, as time more ?degenerated, so many blessings, so, say, quick to receive blessings like that, Heruka, so like that.

Anyway, so, yeah, then I mention this, then, that’s it, so this, then get idea of how important it is, okay.

So this mantra has inconceivable benefits. Oh, I see you have to, please.

She’s the, in charge of the, I think, in the organization the most successful hospice in Brisbane, but there are many other places, hospice, that has been, that started much earlier, many years before, and it has been very, very successful.

So, no matter how heavy negative karma is collected, mistakes one did, even, if you do the Medicine Buddha practice, completely get purified, you don’t have to worry about getting reborn in the lower realms, in the hell realms, so, like, that, by doing, a fully ordained monk or nun who broke all the basic four root vows and born in the, for example like that, then, in the hell realm, then, such as the number eighth, the Inexhaustible Hell Realm, which is the heaviest suffering in samsara, and, lasts longest time, one intermediate eon, so, then, even somebody, who is already born there, but if you do Medicine Buddha puja, practice Medicine Buddha, gets liberated.

So it’s, and then also, even, no matter how heavy negative karma committed, the, if you do Medicine Buddha puja, I mean the practice, everything gets purified, you don’t have to worry about getting reborn in the lower realms. So it’s, so it makes, it gives unbelievable freedom, liberation, I mean, freedom, just, makes unbelievable easy, to free from the, say, sufferings, unbelievable, most unbelievably easy.

And also, Medicine Buddha is most powerful thing for success. If you chant Medicine Buddha’s name mantra, practice that, most powerful for success, then, makes everything so easy.

So the, because in the past when bodhisattva’s time, made so much prayer, to benefit for sentient beings. So what we see in the Medicine Buddha text, all those prayers, Medicine Buddha Sutra text, there’s eleven prayers or so many different prayers, what that Medicine Buddha, the main Medicine Buddha, then there’s others, six. So each one did so many prayers, so, to, to help to free from the different problems, sufferings, to cause this happiness, this and this happiness, so, unbelievable, so, they made this prayer, then, because they achieved, when they achieved enlightenment, to be able to benefit, so they achieved the ten powers, so among the ten powers, ten powers are one of the qualities of buddha, from the ten powers it’s the power of prayer, this achieved.

So, once they achieved this, then whatever prayer you’ve done during bodhisattva time, whatever it is, it happened, everything, then, able to do. Unbelievable, unbelievable, but even name has so much power, [pause] [Tibetan], the compassion, with the compassion equal to all sentient beings, to everybody equal, then, [Tibetan] but just by hearing the name, sentient being, any sentient being, just by hearing the name, [Tibetan] eliminates immediately from the, the, the sufferings of the lower realms, the bad migratory beings, suffering migratory beings, “bad migratory beings” means they have bad karma, bad karma, then result, rebirth in the lower realms, like that, bad migratory beings or the suffering migratory beings. So, just by hearing the name immediately get liberated, free from all the sufferings of the lower realms, you are free, just so easy, so unbelievably easy, just by hearing the name it happens, then you are free, so like that, unbelievable.

So [Tibetan] the Medicine Buddha who eliminates, [Tibetan] buddha, the Medicine Guru, [Tibetan] who eliminates sicknesses of the three poisonous minds, [Tibetan] who has lapis lazuli, [Tibetan] bendurya, I don’t know exactly that, one doctor told me, one very good Tibetan doctor, very educated, told me that the, the name of the lapis, the name of the, Baidurya is Tibetan, maybe the Sophia, not Sophia, sapphire or something, he thinks that, maybe what I said was maybe wrong, maybe not lapis lazuli but sapphire or something, he says he saw only one time in his life, something blue, so magnificent, glowing one, he saw only one time in his life, extremely rare, he says.

So, anyway, baidurya, [Tibetan] radiating the lapis, sapphire, radiating one, then, I prostrate. This prayer is composed by Lama Atisha, composed by Lama Atisha, okay.

So, anyway, so, I’m not going to go over the benefits because that would take a long time, so what I’m going to say is, I want to say is, so therefore, when we recite Medicine Buddha’s name, and the mantra, so that’s why it has so much power to have success, purification, collecting merits, everything, so we can, so, for anything, purification, success, collecting merits, for anything, for any problems, child, mother, child is difficult to come out or ?however, problems, or, then very good to do Medicine Buddha puja at that time then the problems, or any cancer, sicknesses, no question, but, just anything, for a person who’s living, a person who has died, for anything, first thing what you can do is Medicine Buddha practice, puja, first thing. If there are, even there are other things, you can do after, but, so this is what I would like to say.

So, therefore, that’s, therefore, it’s very, very important I request everybody, very good to do Medicine Buddha’s name, recite, at least the name and the mantra. There’s one short, there’s one very short Medicine Buddha text that I translated many, many years ago, and this has a very rich, very powerful, very short, and it has very, ?those essential point. Though you recite each name seven times, then, you request, whatever prayer you have done towards all sentient beings, whatever prayer you have done in the past for sentient beings, may it be actualized immediately; and whatever prayer I do, may it be actualized immediately. So you do that. I added this one: whatever prayer I do, may it be…I added that one, so, so, anyway, so do after each name, then, after that you chant one mala of mantra, or whatever, whatever you can, so, if you can’t do one mala, then twenty-one or something, whatever, so if you can do a mala, that’s very good. Anyway, so, then you purify, then, like that, you see, you purify, then you become Medicine Buddha, so if you have received, I mean, you can do that. But, to be qualified, then must receive a great initiation, great initiation, then, Medicine Buddha, then you are qualified to do that.

Anyway, so then, so this Medicine Buddha, at the beginning there’s seven limb, refuge, bodhicitta, seven limb, so, so this, then you can do this, this is what you can do when somebody is sick, you can do this for the person, somebody who is dying, a family member, somebody who is dying, you do this meditation, what you do, normally on yourself, you do on that other person’s head, all the Medicine Buddhas, then you chant, say the name and chant the mantra, as many, how many mala you want, purify, with strong refuge, take, reliance, and then purify. Then later you can meditate the absorbed, then become Medicine Buddha, you can do that.

So, anyway, so then, if a person who has died, who died, then, you do first Medicine Buddha, this meditation, purification, requesting very strongly to be born in a pure land and so forth. Then, after that, then you can do, after you have finished that then you can do po-wa, transferring consciousness in the Amitabha pure land, or other pure land, if you’ve received a, if you received that, if you received the po-wa teachings and, if you did the practice, then you can do, if you did the practice, which is, until you get the sign, which takes one day, two days, three days, I mean, basically three days, but until you get sign, then you can do for other people, you can do po-wa to other people, those people who died, then you can do, then, to bring them in pure land, so, like that, and, yeah, okay.

So if you get born in Amitabha pure land, then so you don’t get reborn in the lower realms, then finished, that’s the end, you don’t get reborn in the lower realms. So then, according to my root guru, you can practice tantra, you can achieve enlightenment, His Holiness Trijang Rinpoche, said.

But Kyabje Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche and Kyabje Denmo Locho Rinpoche, some other gurus, they, do not accept that. Then those bodhisattvas, they have to pray, to be born in this world where we are, because this is the only human world where there’s, in this universe, this is the only world where there’s tantric teachings exists, so, they pray to be born here, to achieve, to practice tantra, to achieve enlightenment, they pray to be born here, so like that, okay?

So then there are other, like Heruka, Vajrayogini, the other pure land, where you become enlightened there, okay, so like that.

So, basically, it makes the life, if you do practice of Medicine Buddha, makes the life unbelievable, big differences, so everything happens, so, makes unbelievable easy, so, your wishes get fulfilled.

So, therefore, normally I say, even the mosquitoes they should recite Medicine Buddha, mosquitoes, turtles, the, what’s this small insect, cockroach, even they should, even the crocodiles, even they should recite Medicine Buddha, because they all want happiness, so if you want happiness, you must recite Medicine Buddha. You must practice Medicine Buddha if you want happiness. But if you want, of course, if you want suffering, then that’s different, okay?

So, that’s it, then I do the, so we’ll see how quick I can do.

Some years ago in Taiwan, one person, this person not a Buddhist, in particular, but he was very sick, I don’t know, and then his friend has a Medicine Buddha statue, like that same size, so then he had no other people helping, so I think maybe it’s American or some Western person, so he was very, very sick, there was nobody helping him.

So his medicine is left in the bathroom, his medicine is left in the bathroom, so, around the bed, in his bedroom there’s no medicine. So, there was nobody to help him, so he had so much pain, he was very sick. So this Medicine Buddha statue is next to, in front of, his pillow here, Medicine Buddha is next, here. So he was like this, he turned his head toward the side where there’s Medicine Buddha, so Medicine Buddha was holding the medicine. The Medicine Buddha statue holding the medicine, his medicine which is in the bathroom, holding in the hand. So then, he was able to get it and take.

Then when he was dying, he was able to put his, when he was dying, then he was able to put his hand like this, and then he died, so, totally ?set.

So, anyway, Medicine Buddha, so if you want to help people, animals, good to chant for them, anybody, good to chant Medicine Buddha mantra, so one of the good ones, so even the animals, they hear, then they don’t get reborn in the lower realms, so they never get reborn in the lower realms. So this is one mantra, one method, to help even, not only human beings but also for the animals, to purify, to purify their negative karma, and even, yeah, to save them from the lower, protect them from the lower realms, so, during their lives, and even when they die, it’s excellent thing to do. I mean, unbelievable easy to help, save from the lower realms, the most unimaginable suffering, due to Buddha’s, Medicine Buddha’s compassion, power, so like that, okay. So that’s it.

Also in Hong Kong, Hong Kong center, Cham Tse Ling, Hong Kong center, my, the monk from Kopan Monastery who is my relative, so he is the resident teacher, and also director, but there’s also a co-director, Esther. So, she always had a headache, unbelievable headache, many headaches, so, she was having the, the very, unbelievable heavy operation on her head, very extensive operation. So during all those hours, she, during all those hours while the doctors were doing the operation, but she had constantly Medicine Buddha, seeing Medicine Buddha during that time, because every day she chant, I think, one mala of Medicine Buddha mantra, she does.

So, I think, just doctors doing very extensive operation here, but she sees Medicine Buddha all the time [a few words inaudible]. So like that, same, if we practice, so makes unbelievable, to receive help or your wishes fulfilled, okay.

Then, so, I didn’t get to speak much on bodhicitta this time, because I came only, I think, the other day, two times came, came only one time to teach, so didn’t happen, unless ?Rene led. So, anyway, yeah, then think, the, so this becomes kind of the conclusion, okay, motivation, but conclusion.

So, this is just about one time I have received this most precious human rebirth, perfect human rebirth, okay, so during this time, then, I must do, best thing in my life, okay, not just for myself, but for sentient beings, which will be the best thing for me, okay, even oneself by the way.

So now, so, the, not only the death is definite to happen, but can happen any day, any moment, okay. So therefore, not being reborn in the lower realm, receive a higher rebirth, deva, human rebirth is not sufficient, okay, so, even to achieve that, maybe even that, even accomplish that, that’s not the purpose of, it’s not the real purpose of my life, okay.

Then, not that, then, even, so being, so even human beings, asura, however, human beings, asura realms, okay, deva realm, the desire realm deva, form realm deva, formless realm deva, those realms, not only, besides human beings, okay, all in nature of suffering, all totally in nature of suffering, being under the control of karma and delusion, okay, contaminated seed, contaminated seed of delusions, all those realms, all these aggregates, okay, all these aggregates, only in nature of suffering, okay.

So, therefore, then, I must be free, I must be totally free from this, okay, must be liberated from all this, from the samsara, whole entire samsara, okay, the whole entire samsara, which means totally liberated from oceans of samsaric suffering, and cause—karma and delusion—okay.

So, my achieving this, still not the real meaning of my life, okay, purpose of my life. So, therefore, I must achieve full enlightenment for sentient beings, okay, must achieve full enlightenment, then, in order to liberate numberless hell beings from the oceans of samsaric suffering, particular that realm’s sufferings, bring to enlightenment. Then, liberate numberless hungry ghosts from their, all those oceans of samsaric sufferings and, particularly those sufferings, and bring to enlightenment. Then, numberless animals, liberate, I must liberate them from the oceans of samsaric suffering, and particular suffering ?that ?they ?have, bring to enlightenment, okay.

Then, same like that with the human beings, liberate, I must, then achieve enlightenment, liberate numberless human beings, from oceans of samsaric suffering, and particular suffering, then as well as asuras, same, like that, suras, asuras, intermediate state beings, okay.

So, those sentient beings, numberless sentient beings in each realm, from whom I receive all my numberless past happiness, numberless past happiness, happiness from beginningless rebirth, and present happiness, and all the future happiness, okay, up to enlightenment, from whom I receive all my past, present, future, all the happiness, including enlightenment, from each hell being, from each hungry ghost, from each animal, from each human beings, suras, asuras, all sentient beings, okay, they’re the most kind, the most precious ones in my life, okay.

So, this is it, so must achieve enlightenment to benefit for them, okay? Therefore, then, therefore I need to actualize the path, okay, so then, to, the, from guru devotion up to enlightenment, so, however, for all that success, then I’m going to, I need to practice Medicine Buddha, so I’m so fortunate to be able to, to have opportunity to practice Medicine Buddha, okay. So then, and then to, and then, for success in benefiting others, for success, to benefit the sentient beings, and the teaching of Buddha, to offer service, for all these, going to take the Medicine Buddha, in order to practice Medicine Buddha, which allows to do the practice of the Medicine Buddha, jenang, permission to practice, okay, so like that, that’s all.

Then the short mandala.

[The group recites the short mandala offering.]

So please, so the lama who grants the jenang, grant the blessings of Medicine, the Medicine Buddha, then, because there’s a special purpose for the disciple to achieve enlightenment, so you need to do this meditation, visualization.

So the, here, because this is a tantric practice, so therefore it involves not only meditating or, looking at the guru the essence, buddha, from your own side, besides that, it’s tantra, so therefore, tantra means, as I mentioned before, protecting the mind from the ordinary appearance and ordinary concept, so therefore here you have to look at the, also the aspect, not only looking the essence, Medicine Buddha, but also looking the aspect as you see here in the thangka, Medicine Buddha aspect, the guru also that, so involves this meditation, practicing pure appearance and pure thought, okay.

So, that, then also the place where one take this jenang, then also, the celestial mansion of the Medicine Buddha’s transcendental wisdom, think that, okay.

Then repeat, please repeat this prayer to grant this jenang, okay?

[Rinpoche begins the jenang with the request.]

... then above, all the buddhas, bodhisattvas, so there’s Medicine Buddha, then, above you think all the lineage lamas of this Medicine Buddha, okay, then around there are all the bodhisattvas, like clouds gathered in the sky, okay. Then, in the presence of them, so, the, doing the seven limb practice, the, confessing negative karmas collected from beginningless rebirth and so forth. So please repeat it three times, the prayer.

So going for refuge to Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, okay. So you understand Buddha, free from all, one who is totally free from all the, who has ceased all the mistakes of mind, all the defilements, gross, subtle, okay, completed all the qualities, realizations of the Buddha, okay, so taking refuge to Buddha.

Dharma, and then the true path and true cessation of the suffering. Not only that, that’s the lower, Lesser Vehicle, not only that, then also the cessation of even the subtle defilements, that, the, the bodhisattvas, the true path, and then, cessation of even subtle defilements, also, okay, so like that, so Dharma, think that.

Then the Sangha, the, who has attainment of the true path, the Sangha, so like that, okay. So, of course, that’s the absolute Sangha. There’s conventional Sangha, absolute Sangha. However, Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, all, there’s absolute and the conventional, so taking refuge to all, okay, then do that. So, to be, not only to be free from lower realms but to be free from the oceans of samsaric suffering and cause—karma and delusion. Then, also the sentient beings, who are suffering same in samsara, so then also them to be free, that yourself to cause them to be free, so like that, okay, then taking refuge to Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, Mahayana way of taking refuge, okay?

[Rinpoche continues with the jenang.]

... karma, thinking it’s totally purified, it’s totally purified, feel your mind totally free from all the negative karmas, all the defilements, so think like that, feel that.

[Rinpoche continues with the jenang.]

All your past, present, and future, all the merits, from where all the happiness comes, okay. Then after that, feel happiness by thinking all the sentient beings, their three-time merits, okay, so like that.

[Rinpoche continues with the jenang.]

... vow in the past, and, taking again, so to, to restore, to make pure again, okay. So, and then those who have not taken bodhisattva vows in the past, the bodhisattva vow has entering vow and wishing vow, there’s two things, so, those who have taken, those who have not taken entering vow, then, can take wishing vow, and those, even you can’t take the wishing vow, then, you just simply think, I’m going to practice more compassion to other sentient beings, so at least we think that so that makes, so it gives meaning to the life and worthwhile to take this blessing, okay?