The way of doing the mahamudra meditation is the guru entering the heart. You can begin with that. But, of course, before that, as mentioned there, you do the preliminary practices of refuge and bodhicitta, guru yoga, Vajrasattva, prostrations by reciting the Thirty-five Buddhas’ names and the requesting prayer to the lineage lamas. Those practices come as the preliminaries. With the preliminary practice, you begin with refuge and bodhicitta, the seven limb practice, mandala offering and the requesting prayer to the lineage lamas of mahamudra, starting from Guru Vajradhara. Then, from Guru Vajradhara down to the last one, your root guru, they all absorb into your heart.
You focus on your root guru, who is above your crown, with dauntless devotion. Your devotion is so intense that tears come from your eyes and your hairs stand up from your pores. You have that kind of feeling from the bottom of your heart. You have that very strong devotion, and then your root guru absorbs into you.
Have all of you received a great initiation or not? Those who haven’t received a Highest Yoga Tantra great initiation should wait outside for a few minutes. We will call you back in later.
So, with intense devotion, you make strong request for a long time, then your root guru absorbs within you. When the root guru absorbs into you, your vision becomes shimmering. You then abide in that state without any expectations. You don’t think, “I’m going to accomplish this temporary or ultimate goal.” During that time, you don’t have any expectation like that. You don’t think about any present or future desirable or undesirable things. You don’t think any of those thoughts. You don’t put effort into thinking of those things. You don’t recollect things that happened or problems you had in the past. And you also don’t speculate about the future. Whether it’s something exciting or worrying, you don’t think about the future.
You have nothing happening in your mind. You then have to keep your mind in that state for a little while, with no memories of the past and no thoughts of the future. You keep your mind in that state of thinking about nothing for a little while.
During that time, it’s not that you’ve fainted or become unconscious or fallen asleep. It’s just that you stop everything from running through your mind. Whatever thoughts come into your mind ,you stop them. You abide, undistracted, in that state without movement with the support of strong remembrance, without forgetting at all.
That’s the preliminary. First you generate incredibly strong devotion by thinking of the guru’s qualities and extensive kindness. I didn’t get to mention the subject of guru devotion this time, apart from the other day when I mentioned just the essence of what the guru, the lama, is. In your heart, you should have the whole idea of what the guru is. The guru always guides us, no matter how impure our mind is. The guru will always manifest to guide us. Since our mind is impure, the guru can’t manifest in a pure form because we couldn’t see him. This is why the guru manifests in the impure aspect of an ordinary form, one with faults. The guru might manifest even in the form of animals if that would benefit us. It’s possible even in the forms of dogs, cats or rabbits. Anyway, I’m joking.
So, the guru manifests in all kinds of forms then protects you. Also, because our mind is so obscured, the guru manifests in a very ordinary form with suffering. Remember the story of Asanga and Maitreya Buddha. Asanga tried for twelve years to do retreat, but nothing happened. It was only when he generated unbearable compassion for a dog whose lower body was an open wound filled with maggots that Asanga was able to see Maitreya Buddha. At first Asanga could not see Maitreya Buddha; he saw only a wounded dog.
So, Maitreya manifested not just as a dog but as a wounded dog filled with maggots. As I mentioned before, they manifest suffering, or problems, because our mind is so impure. It was actually Maitreya Buddha, an enlightened being, but because Asanga could not see Maitreya Buddha in the pure aspect of a buddha, Maitreya Buddha manifested like that so that Asanga could generate compassion. Asanga generated such unbearable compassion, that he sacrificed himself by cutting flesh from his leg and spreading it out on the ground so that the maggots would have something to live on. He then closed his eyes and went to pick up the maggots with the tip of his tongue, because he was concerned about crushing them if he used his fingers. He then found that he couldn’t touch anything. When he opened his eyes, he then saw Maitreya Buddha. So, it wasn’t an ordinary sentient being, a dog.
By generating this unbearable compassion and sacrificing himself in this way, Asanga purified an unbelievable amount of negative karma, which was obscuring his mind. Even though Maitreya Buddha had become an enlightened being, with no obscurations, no faults and no suffering, an unimaginable time before, Asanga could not see Maitreya Buddha—only a wounded dog. When he purified all the defilements, Asanga then saw Maitreya Buddha. So, there are many other examples but this is just to give you the idea.
So, it depends what you do with your mind. You can see buddha, but if you don’t purify your mind, you don’t see buddha. Instead you see a very ordinary suffering sentient being.
Asanga saw Maitreya only after he generated unbelievably strong compassion and sacrificed himself. I mean, even during twelve years of retreat, nothing happened, no sign. Maitreya Buddha was always there in the cave. After Asanga saw Maitreya, he shouted, “Why didn’t I see you earlier?” Maitreya replied, “I was always there. When you spat in your cave, you spat here on my robes.” He then showed Asanga the stains from his spit, proving that Maitreya was there all the time.
There are many other similar stories, but this story is extremely beneficial for us, helping us to see how we have to relate everything to our mind. It becomes an unbelievable instruction, showing us how, to achieve enlightenment, we need to liberate ourselves from impure appearance and impure thought, or ordinary concept, and to have pure appearance and pure thought. You need to relate this story to yourself. You have responsibility for your own mind. If you practice like Asanga did, you can do the same thing as Asanga did. Even though you now see yourself as having many non-devotional thoughts, thoughts of faults, anger, and heresy arising from past negative imprints, these stories are telling you that it’s your responsibility. You can do it; you can totally change. You can be liberated; you can be enlightened. Here, this story shows that enlightenment doesn’t come from outside; it has to come from you. Pure appearance and pure thought have to come from you. They’re not going to drop from the sky. Some bird isn’t going to fly over you and drop them, though it might drop some kaka. I’m joking.
So, it has to come from you; it has to come from your side. There are many stories of practitioners purifying their mind and then totally changing. They have even been liberated from hell and gotten a higher rebirth, as in the story of Buddha generating compassion for first time in hell. In a past life as a hell being, when Buddha was pulling a carriage with another hell being, he thought, “Why should he have to do this? I will pull the carriage by myself and let him be free.” After he had generated compassion in this way, a karmic guardian hit him on the head with a hammer. His consciousness then left the hell realm and was born in the Thirty-three deva realm.
His generating compassion immediately finished his negative karma to be there pulling the carriage on the red-hot burning iron ground. Can you imagine that? That unbelievable heavy negative karma was purified by that thought, that good heart, so that when the karmic guardian hit him with the hammer, his consciousness went to the Thirty-three Realm. This shows the unbelievable power of the good heart, of bodhicitta. Compassion is unbelievably powerful. Generating compassion for one sentient being and protecting them from suffering can totally change your life and your rebirth.
Lama Tsongkhapa said, “Please grant me blessings, one who is the basis of all qualities….” That means that it is from the guru that we hear teachings and are given instructions, vows and advice. The reason that we stop creating negative karma is that either the guru gives us vows or advice not to do so. We then gradually stop one negative karma, two negative karmas, three…. We stop killing sentient beings, stealing, telling lies…. We gradually abandon negative karmas, and we live in morality, which means we accumulate virtue, thus developing more and more qualities. Instead of getting angry, we practice patience. We make fewer mistakes out of anger, and our mind develops the quality of having more patience. There is no doubt that our compassion, loving kindness and bodhicitta develop more and more. We then develop renunciation, bodhicitta, right view, as well as tantric realizations of the generation and completion stages. We develop pure appearance and pure thought, seeing ourselves and other beings as the deity and the place as the mandala. Everything is transformed into purity.
With the subtle generation stage, you can visualize yourself as the deity and the entire mandala in a tiny drop. After that, you attain the five stages of the completion stage.
Anyway, as I mentioned, you start abandoning negative karmas one by one, then mistaken thoughts stop, and you develop more and more qualities, up to full enlightenment, the complete cessation of the faults of the mind, even the subtle defilements, and completion of all realizations. So, you receive all these qualities up to enlightenment from the guru. The guru is the basis of all these qualities. I mentioned qualities because they’re very important, but the guru is actually also the basis of all happiness from beginningless rebirth, the happiness now, and all the future samsaric happiness, as well as liberation from samsara and enlightenment. You receive everything, all the happiness of the three times up to enlightenment, from this guru. All the purification of negative karma, all the cessation of delusion and every single fault, and all merit come from the guru. Everything during beginningless rebirth, now and in the future comes from the guru.
In Guru Puja, the third stanza of the prostration section says:
Nye kün bag chhag chä pa drung chhung zhing
Pag me yön tän rin chhen tshog kyi ter
Phän de ma lü jung wäi go chig pu
Je tsün la mäi zhab la chhag tshäl lo
Nye kün bag chhag chä pa drung chhung zhing means eliminate all faults of the mind, including the imprints, the seeds of delusion. Not only that, but even the subtle imprint, the subtle obscurations, which obstruct the mind from directly seeing all phenomena are totally eliminated. That’s what the guru does for you.
Pag me yön tän rin chhen tshog kyi ter means the guru gives you inconceivable (pag me), precious (rin chhen) qualities (yön tän), the treasure of merits (tshog kyi ter). From the guru you receive all the precious qualities, up to enlightenment. Also, this is your greatest, most precious treasure, enabling you to collect the most extensive merit.
As I mentioned, even if you offer perfume or a tiny ornament to just one tiny pore of the guru, you collect merit far greater than from having made offering to all the numberless buddhas, all the numberless Dharma and all the numberless Sangha, as well as all the numberless statues, stupas and scriptures not only in this world but in the numberless universes. I’m not talking just about this world but to every statue, stupa and scripture anywhere in any universe. So, you collect more merit than from having made offering to all those numberless holy objects. Just this one example gives you an idea of how powerful the guru is—the guru is your treasure for collecting the most merit.
As I think I might have mentioned the other day, the guru’s pores—the guru’s friends, neighbors and even dog, horse or other animals; and if the guru is lay, his wife, husband or children—are powerful objects. If, by thinking of the guru, you give a piece of meat or a biscuit to the guru’s dog or even one piece of grass to the guru’s horse, you collect far greater merit than from having made offerings to numberless buddhas, numberless Dharma, numberless Sangha, numberless statues, numberless stupas, numberless scriptures. The merit is just unimaginable, as mentioned in Guru Puja. So, like that, the guru is your treasure of merit.
Phän de ma lü jung wäi go chig pu means the sole door from whom you receive every single (ma lü) happiness and peace and benefit. The guru is the sole door from whom you receive all happiness and all benefit, with not even a single thing left out. You receive everything from the guru.
The next line is Je tsün la mäi zhab la chhag tshäl lo. Je tsün means perfect pure, not venerable. I don’t know what venerable means, but I think it’s a wrong translation. When I was translating another prayer with Sarah, we discussed how to translate je tsün, which has a very extensive meaning. Tsün contains the cessation of all the faults of the mind, all the defilements, including the subtle dual view; and je contains all the realizations from guru devotion up to enlightenment. So, je tsün contains the complete path. To understand the meaning of je and tsün you have to learn the entire Buddhadharma, the whole path. You have to learn about all the defilements, all the sufferings, everything. In je tsün there are all the qualities of cessation and all the qualities of realization. The translation of je tsün is “perfect, pure.” So, je tsün la mäi zhab la chhag tshäl lo, “At the lotus feet of the perfect, pure guru, I prostrate.”
In Foundation of All Good Qualities, it says the basis of all qualities [yön ten kun gyi zhi gyur] is the kind guru (drin chhen je). The meaning of drin chhen je is similar to that of je tsün; drin chhen means kind and je means perfect. So, you correctly devote to the kind, perfect one with thought and with action. In correctly devoting to the guru with action, the most important thing is carrying out the guru’s advice. In order to achieve all the realizations and enlightenment, the main thing is to follow the guru’s advice.
Next is remembering the guru’s kindness. Then, if you have offerings, to collect merit you make offerings. However, it is following the guru’s advice that enables you achieve all the realizations and enlightenment, the state that is free from all delusions, all defilements, and complete in all good qualities. As I mentioned before, to complete all those qualities, the practice is following the guru’s advice. That’s the main thing.
Now, for success in that, you need to correctly devote to the virtuous friend with thought, by looking at the guru as a buddha. You have to stop all the negative thoughts, all the garbage, by looking at the guru as a buddha from your side. We normally expect buddha to appear from the guru’s side, but never try to see the guru as buddha from our side. Thinking that it doesn’t need to come from your mind then leads to problems. Your impure mind, with all its faults, all its garbage, blocks your seeing purity.
So, you have to correctly devote to the guru by looking at him as a buddha with every effort. With every effort means no matter how long it takes, no matter how many days, weeks, months, years or lifetimes it takes, you’re going to train your mind in this to have this realization of the guru as a buddha. By applying all your effort to look at the guru as buddha, as a result, you will then see the guru as buddha. You can do that because that’s the nature of the mind. You can change, or transform, the mind; you can make it pure.
Being able to do that well depends first on how well you can devote to the virtuous friend with thought. You ask for blessings to be able to see well that this is the root of the path to enlightenment. Seeing this well means clearly and precisely. Actually, [be pa ton mang yi] means with many efforts from our side. We have to remember this, as many efforts has great meaning. It means that you are telling yourself that many efforts are essential. For me, that’s really the answer to what practice is needed. With many efforts is the key. You really have to put so much effort into that; you shouldn’t expect it to come from the guru’s side.
Of course, generally speaking, there’s a responsibility from the guru’s side, from the teacher’s side. The teacher is responsible for guiding the disciple. Of course, generally speaking, there are responsibilities from both sides.
Here, it’s very important to relate this to yourself and to your guru. This is the real advice from Lama Tsongkhapa to you. As I mentioned before, you have to apply all your effort no matter how many years or lifetimes it takes. If the realization doesn’t happen in this life, it will happen in your next life.
You also have to practice with great respect. You have to understand that respect doesn’t mean just externally bowing down and so forth, but having something different, some negative thoughts, in your mind, in your heart. Or saying something respectfully while having negative thoughts in your mind, like politicians do. This becomes just politics. Of course, even some small external respect creates unbelievable merit. As I mentioned before, even a small respect or some other small good thing that you do creates unbelievable good karma because the guru is the most powerful holy object.
In terms of benefit, the guru is your wish-fulfilling jewel, giving you enlightenment and all the good things and enabling you to purify everything: all the negative things, including suffering. As I also mentioned yesterday when talking about Lama tön pa…, it’s just unimaginable; it’s inexpressible.
That you have been able to find a guru, a virtuous friend, is the most precious, most important, thing in your life. I mean, every pore of the holy body is all the buddhas. It’s good to think in this way: Every pore is all the buddhas.
The joy at just being able to find the guru is inexpressible. It is impossible to express how fortunate you are. Leave aside receiving teachings, even being able to see and be near the guru is unimaginable. The benefit you receive is limitless like the sky.
So, gü-pa means respecting your teacher from your heart. By knowing how very precious and kind your teacher is, you generate great devotion, great respect [gü-pa chhen po]. The term gü-pa means not just actual respect with your body and speech but also this mental quality.
So, you keep your mind in that state, then gradually spy on yourself, the meditator, the I. How do you see the I? You do some research on who the I appears to you. You slowly, skillfully, try to recognize how the I appears to you. Of course, if you were a buddha, the I would appear as merely imputed by the mind. So, I don’t think you have any worries there…. The key thing here is to slowly spy on how the I appears to you. The point here is, as explained by the great enlightened Pabongka, that the aggregates and the label “I” are not particularly clear. “This is the base” and “This is the label”—these two things are not clear. You see them together; what you see is something unclear. I mean, the I appears to be existing from its own side, not merely imputed by mind. There’s an expression in Tibetan, [ling ne wa], but I don’t know exactly how to express it. For example, when you look at clouds, you see the clouds as real clouds, as clouds existing from their own side. I mean, it’s the same with everything: the mountains, people.
So, there’s an appearance of the false I. The way it appears is a hallucination. But in the teachings it says that it is not just the appearance but your mind believing after that that the object of ignorance is true.
When you recognize this, you then use whatever you know of the subject of Madhyamaka. If you have studied Madhyamaka, you know that there are many different ways to analyze, many different lines of reasoning you can use to check whether it exists or not, whether it’s true or not. The goal is to recognize that this is the object to be refuted, and then to realize it is empty, nonexistent. So, in this way you realize the emptiness of the I.
First you see ultimate truth, then as a result of that, next you see conventional truth. You see that the I is not completely nonexistent, but exists in mere name, merely imputed by mind. That realization comes as a result.
Gen Jampa Wangdu, a disciple of Geshe Rabten, was a great meditator who meditated in Dalhousie. Before I took teachings from him, he was our, Lama Yeshe’s and my, best friend. Gen Jampa Wangdu had great success in attaining shamatha, or calm abiding, in Dalhousie, and then in Dharamsala. I don’t know exactly when he actualized bodhicitta, maybe when he lived high up on the mountain behind Dharamsala.. One time he told us that it had been seven years since he had been to anyone’s house for his own purpose. This doesn’t mean that he hadn’t been to other people’s houses; he wasn’t saying that. He had never been for his own purpose, which means that he had realized bodhicitta seven years before.
He didn’t usually talk about his realizations. For example, when some American scientists wanted to do some research on meditators, the Private Office sent a message to Gen Jampa Wangdu saying that the scientists would be coming to check on him. I think they were probably checking for heat and things like that. Gen Jampa Wangdu then sent a message to the Private Office, “If you don’t leave me alone, I will leave Dharamsala.”
But some other meditators became very high. One was a lay person in the Indian army at Dehra Dun, whose wife died and who later became a monk. He then became a meditator under some great teachers, including the ex-abbot of Namgyal Monastery, the one who passed away, who was a great teacher; Geshe Nyima, one of the top scholars in Drepung Monastery, who was famous in all the major monasteries of Sera, Ganden and Drepung from Tibet (and who is also one of my gurus); and, of course, His Holiness the Dalai Lama. He meditated on a very high mountain in Dharamsala. If you asked him about his experiences, he would tell you everything. Anyway, individuals do different things.
Gen Jampa Wangdu realized emptiness in a cave down below where His Holiness Ling Rinpoche lived. This is the other side from Tushita. His Holiness Ling Rinpoche lived on top of the hill, then down below there was a rock. I think Geshe Rabten might have helped Gen Jampa Wangdu to dig to make a cave there. He was there for seven years or something like that, and I think he realized emptiness there. When I was taking mahamudra teachings from Geshe Rabten Rinpoche for the first time, he told me that I should ask Gen Jampa Wangdu about meditating on emptiness as he had fresh experience. His experience was still warm. Geshe Rabten Rinpoche praised Gen Jampa Wangdu as a very fortunate being.
I’ve forgotten now why I brought up this subject. I’ve forgotten the connection….
So, you then use the four-point analysis, the analysis of the four vital points. That is very common in the lam-rim. Basically, that reasoning shows, as the very heart, that the I doesn’t have true existence. Why not? Because it is a dependent arising. So, that’s very simple, but if you can meditate on just that, that the I doesn’t have true existence, it’s unbelievable. When you recognize that true existence is the object of refutation, the hallucination, it leads you to see that the I is empty. You can then meditate on that for a long time. You also see dependent arising and can then meditate on that, especially on the extremely subtle dependent arising of the Prasangika school, that things are mere imputations by the mind.
Many years ago at Drepung Monastery in South India, though I don’t remember whether it was Drepung Gomang or Drepung Loseling, His Holiness was teaching on the Eight Thousand Stanzas related with Abhisamayalamkara. At that time, Joe was there, and he gave me this text of the special teaching on right view Recognition of the Mother and Son, composed by Changkya Rolpai Dorje. Joe brought this rare text from the Drepung Loseling library, from the incarnate lama [Doden] Rinpoche, who is in charge of the library. So, Joe dropped it on my table—I got it from them in a kind of confidential way. (Sorry, I didn’t recognize you, because you have become Vajradhara.)
So, whether through the four-point analysis or some other method, once you recognize the object to be refuted, gak cha—I mean, this is what the meditators say—it’s just a moment to seeing that it is empty. There’s no choice. You see that it’s just not there. It’s something that you have been holding on to and trusting in during beginningless rebirths. You have been holding on to it every morning when you wake up from the time of your birth and during beginningless rebirths. Now suddenly it’s not there. It’s not that it went out somewhere, through the window or door or chimney. It’s not like that. It’s just not there. There’s nothing to hold on to. It’s not that it’s gone somewhere. You lose it just there. You realize that it’s nonexistent. It is only at this time that you see that it’s totally nonexistent.
So, emptiness is a non-affirming negation. There shouldn’t be any conventional thing appearing to you. Nothing. That is totally lost. That is how it should be.
Of course, if I hide this mug that is on the table out of sight and you then look for the mug on the table and can’t find it, you could then say that there’s no mug, that the table is empty of mug. But that’s not realizing emptiness. Don’t make that mistake.
One excellent analysis to recognize the object to be refuted, the false table, is to look for the table. Where is the table? When you look for the table, you can’t find it. After that, you analyze how the table appears to you. How does it appear to you? You analyze your view, your perception. Now, you see a table existing from its own side. You have to realize that that one is totally nonexistent. Anything that appears as something real is totally empty. It’s not that you look for table and when you don’t find it you have realized emptiness.
One monk, though now he is no longer a monk, once went to ask Geshe Tengye about not being able to find the table. Geshe Tengye said, “If you can’t find table on the base, then it’s realizing emptiness.” But I think Geshe-la didn’t analyze well….
You have to understand that it’s not like that.
So, even after you realize emptiness, a truly existent table appears to you because until you become enlightened things appear to you as truly existent, unless you are an arya being in equipoise meditation. But once you have realized emptiness along with this hallucination of things existing from their own side, you have the constant understanding in your heart that this is not true. It’s like seeing a mirage on sand that you have crossed. When you look back, you have a vision of water there, but at the same time you understand that it’s not true. That is how it is after you have the realization of emptiness.
There are many techniques, so when you study them you can write down the techniques that you find powerful for your mind, then use those different techniques.
The Tibetan term [pen pun] doesn’t mean radiating light but means something more like shimmering, like a mirage. You have to get the experience. This is what happens. It’s not that you try to visualize it. This just happens with such strong devotion. It’s not that you try to visualize it.
I also mentioned the mental state where you try not to think of the past or the future, whether suffering or exciting, or even the present. But it’s not that you’ve fainted or fallen asleep. You are abiding in that clear state of mind, with full memory. You don’t lose that.
So, when you reach that state, you then slowly spy on the I, checking how the I appears to you, as explained in the teachings. In essence, you find that there’s a real I there, appearing from its own side, not merely imputed by mind. So when you see that, that is the gak cha, the object to be refuted.
Or you see the I on the I. This “I on the I” is also in Pabongka’s notes from when he was receiving teachings from his guru. While it’s not common, it is an expression of gak cha. So, you suddenly see it. As I mentioned once before, when all the conditions gather together—strong guru devotion and strong practice of purification by doing prostrations by reciting the Thirty-five Buddhas’ names—your mind is prepared, then when you look at the colors in a thangka or a piece of brocade, you suddenly see red on top of the red, yellow on yellow. I think if it is described, the first one is the merely imputed one and the second one is on top of that, appearing to you from there. You then see the same thing when you look at the I and wherever you look.
So, when your mind is prepared, with all these conditions together, including great blessing from the guru, even a word can suddenly click in your mind.
[To Ven Sophia] When you’ve finished talking about that state, the rest of the people can come in. Some can go out, some can come in….
So, we are going to recite Praise to Mahakala.
[Rinpoche leads chanting of Praise to Six-arm Mahakala in Tibetan, then Hayagriva, Palden Lhamo and other protector practices.]
You translate into Chinese, and those who speak English can now do their mahamudra meditation session. It’s good for those how have already heard it to meditate here. You should take the opportunity to meditate on what I said before.
I planned to do the Medicine Buddha jenang, or permission to practice, the granting of Medicine Buddha’s blessings of holy body, holy speech and holy mind. However, it’s now already very late, so maybe we’ll do the jenang in our dreams. Maybe everybody can go to sleep and then receive the initiation in their dreams. That would be very nice. You have a sleep, but also the initiation at the same time….
So, I’ll give a lung of the long Medicine Buddha mantra, then go over its benefits. That’s the essence. You will then get an idea of how important Medicine Buddha is, of how you must practice Medicine Buddha.
I explained the elaborate benefits of Medicine Buddha at LMB, when we did a Medicine Buddha retreat there about seven years ago. During the retreat, I explained the benefits on the basis of what a lama, who was maybe also a doctor, had extracted from different texts. Afterwards, in Germany, I saw the sutra and another text, not a sutra but written according to the sutra.
So, Dr Nick…. Where is Dr Nick? [Student: He’s right here.] Oh, I see! Dr Nick does exist. Dr Nick doesn’t seem empty—he seems truly existent.
Anyway, Dr Nick and his companion, who is now Yeshe Khadro, (he has now become Vajradhara but before he was a monk, and his friend is the nun, Yeshe Khadro) bought a property as an investment in Queensland, and this is where Chenrezig Institute is now. Four of them bought the property. They then started to travel to world, to experiment in the world. When they were in Thailand…. Was it Thailand? [Dr Nick: Bali.] Oh, Bali. Bali is in Thailand?
Anyway, they were lying on the beach, following the rules of the beach, and a man came along selling coconuts. The coconuts were cut, and while they were eating them, that same person or somebody else came along and told them about a meditation course at Kopan in Nepal. They then came to Kopan just like that. It happened just like that. Of course, there was karma.
I think they came to not the first or second course, but the third course. So, right after they did the third course, their lives started to be busy. They were working mainly on the meditation course book, but also on other things. Right after that, their lives started to get busy.
Dr Nick was a doctor from Australia, a doctor for kangaroos, who carry their babies here in a pouch. I’m joking.
Anyway, they were extremely busy working on the books, and then Lama Yeshe, who was kinder than all the buddhas of the three times, asked him to start Wisdom Publications. So, he started Wisdom Publications in England, then later it moved to the United States, where it is now run by Tim. Anyway, Dr. Nick has been working with Dharma books for many years. Dr. Nick is now preparing teachings from Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archives, which then go to Wisdom Publications.
He’s been working for many, many years on producing Dharma books, which is an extremely important service to the world, to sentient beings, awakening them from their deep sleep of ignorance and bringing them the light of Dharma wisdom. It brings wisdom light, Dharma light, to their minds, like switching on a light in a dark room. The books have been going all over the world for many years and have been extremely beneficial.
So, I did the teachings on Medicine Buddha a long time ago, and the many unbelievable benefits where explained there. I didn’t say anything for a long time, but when I was asking what happened with those teachings, Dr. Nick quickly put them together. I heard that Dr. Chiu-Nan Lai sponsored that. I was very happy with that, because it’s very, very important. I haven’t seen in English these amazing benefits of practicing Medicine Buddha. It makes everything unbelievably easy, including enlightenment, so there is no doubt about success in this life. Because of Medicine Buddha’s power, it’s unbelievably easy to have the happiness of future lives, liberation and everything else.
As the time gets more degenerate, Medicine Buddha’s power doesn’t lessen, but increases. Medicine Buddha becomes more and more powerful. From sutra, Medicine Buddha is unbelievably precious, bringing unbelievable blessing. From tantra, it’s Heruka, with Heruka becoming more powerful and quicker to bring blessings as the time becomes more degenerate.
(Yeshe Khadro is now in charge of Karuna Hospice, the most successful hospice in Brisbane. There are other hospices that were started much earlier, but Karuna Hospice has been very, very successful.)
No matter how heavy the negative karma you have collected or mistakes you have made, if you do Medicine Buddha practice, you can completely purify them. You don’t have to worry about getting reborn in the lower realms, in the hell realm. For example, a fully ordained monk or nun who has broken all the four root vows would normally be born in a hell realm, such as the eighth hell, Inexhaustible Suffering, which has the heaviest suffering in samsara and lasts the longest time, one intermediate eon; but if they do Medicine Buddha practice they get liberated.
No matter what heavy negative karma you have committed, if you do Medicine Buddha practice, you can purify everything; you don’t have to worry about getting reborn in the lower realms. It makes it unbelievably easy for us to free ourselves from suffering.
Also, Medicine Buddha is most powerful in bringing success. Chanting Medicine Buddha’s name and mantra is most powerful for success. It makes everything very easy.
In the past, when a bodhisattva, Medicine Buddha made many prayers to benefit sentient beings. We can see all those prayers in the Medicine Buddha Sutra: the main Medicine Buddha made twelve prayers and the other six Medicine Buddhas made many other prayers. Each of them made many prayers to help to free sentient beings from different problems and to bring them different types of happiness. They made these prayers to be able to benefit sentient beings, and when they then achieved enlightenment, they achieved the ten powers, one of the qualities of a buddha, and one of the ten powers is the power of prayer. Once they achieved this power, they were able to accomplish all the prayers they’d done as bodhisattvas. It’s unbelievable.
Even the name of Medicine Buddha has much power.
You have equal compassion for all sentient beings.
Any sentient being who just hears your name
Immediately eliminates the sufferings of bad migrations.
This means the sufferings of the lower realms. Bad migrations means that as a result of their bad karma, sentient beings are reborn in the lower realms. So, just hearing Medicine Buddha’s name immediately frees sentient beings from all the sufferings of the lower realms. It’s unbelievably easy.
Medicine Guru, you eliminate the sicknesses of the three poisonous minds.
To you, radiant sapphire one, I prostrate.
Baidurya is normally translated as “lapis lazuli,” but one very good, very learned Tibetan doctor told me that he thinks it should instead be sapphire (not Sophia). He said that he had seen a sapphire only one time in his life and that it was blue, glowing and magnificent.
So, this prayer was composed by Lama Atisha.
Anyway, I’m not going to go over all the benefits because it would take a long time. That’s why reciting Medicine Buddha’s name and mantra has so much power to purify, collect merit and bring success. We can do Medicine Buddha practice for everything. If a woman is having difficulty delivering a child, it’s very good to do Medicine Buddha puja at that time, and there’s no doubt that it’s good to do for cancer and any other sickness or problem. For someone who’s living or has died, for anything at all, the first thing you can do is Medicine Buddha puja or practice. Even though there are other things, you can do afterwards, first do Medicine Buddha practice. That is what I wanted to say.
It’s very, very important to practice Medicine Buddha. This is why I tell everybody that it’s very good to at least recite Medicine Buddha’s name and mantra. There’s a very short Medicine Buddha text that I translated many years ago. It’s very rich and very powerful; even though it’s very short, it contains the essential points. After you recite each name seven times, you should request, “May whatever prayers you did in the past for sentient beings be actualized immediately, and may whatever prayers I do be actualized immediately.” I added that last part “may whatever prayers I do….” After that you chant one mala of mantra, or if you can’t do one mala, chant twenty-one or whatever you can. But if you do a mala, it’s very good. You purify, then you become Medicine Buddha. However, to be qualified to do that, you have to receive a Medicine Buddha great initiation.
At the beginning of this Medicine Buddha practice, there’s refuge and bodhicitta, then the seven limbs. You can do this practice for a family member or somebody else who is sick or dying. You normally do the meditation above your own head, but if you are doing it for somebody who is sick, you visualize all the Medicine Buddhas above that person’s head, then say the names and chant as many malas of the mantra as you want and visualize purifying them. With strong refuge, strong reliance, you then purify that person. Later you can meditate that the Medicine Buddha is absorbed into that person, and they then become Medicine Buddha.
For someone who has died, you first do Medicine Buddha with this meditation of purification and request very strongly for that person to be born in a pure land and so forth. After you have finished that, you can then do po-wa, transferring their consciousness to the Amitabha pure land or another pure land, if you have received the po-wa teachings and done the practice until you got the sign, which usually takes two or three days. You can then do po-wa for people who have died to bring them to a pure land.
Once you are born in the Amitabha pure land, you don’t get reborn in the lower realms. That’s the end of rebirth in the lower realms. According to my root guru, His Holiness Trijang Rinpoche, you can practice tantra there and achieve enlightenment. But Kyabje Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche, Kyabje Denma Lochö Rinpoche and some other gurus do not accept that. They say that the bodhisattvas in the Amitabha pure land have to pray to be born in this world where we are, because this is the only human world in this universe where tantric teachings exist. So, they pray to be born here to practice tantra and achieve enlightenment.
There are also other pure lands, such as that of Heruka and Vajrayogini, where you can become enlightened.
Basically, practicing Medicine Buddha makes an unbelievable difference in your life.
Everything happens unbelievably easy. Your wishes get fulfilled.
As I normally say, even mosquitoes, turtles, cockroaches and crocodiles should recite Medicine Buddha’s name and mantra, because they all want happiness. If you want happiness, you must practice Medicine Buddha. But, of course, if you want suffering, that’s different.
Some years ago in Taiwan, one Western man, not particularly a Buddhist, was very sick, and his friend gave him a Medicine Buddha statue. One day he had left his medicine in the bathroom. He was in a lot of pain, but there was no medicine in his bedroom and nobody was there to help him. The Medicine Buddha statue was next to his pillow, and when he turned his head towards the Medicine Buddha, he saw that Medicine Buddha statue was holding his medicine in its hand. He was then able to reach it and take it.
Later, when he was dying, he was able to put his hand like this, and then he died.
If you want to help people or animals, it’s good to chant the Medicine Buddha mantra to them. If they even hear this mantra, animals are never reborn in the lower realms. So, reciting this mantra is one method to help not only human beings but also animals to purify their negative karma, protecting them from the lower realms. During their lives and even when they die, it’s an excellent thing to do. I mean, it’s an unbelievably easy way to help to save them from the lower realms and the most unimaginable suffering. This is due to Medicine Buddha’s compassion and power.
Also, at Cham Tse Ling, the Hong Kong center, the resident teacher and director is Pemba, a monk from Kopan Monastery who is also my relative; but there’s also a co-director, Esther. She always had many unbelievable headaches, so she had to have very extensive brain surgery. During all those hours that the doctors were doing the operation, she constantly saw Medicine Buddha. I think it was because she chanted one mala of Medicine Buddha mantra every day.
So, it will be the same for us if we practice Medicine Buddha: we will receive help and our wishes will be fulfilled.
I didn’t get to speak much on bodhicitta during this time, because apart from the other day, when I came twice, I’ve come to teach only one time each day. So, this will become the conclusion—it’s the motivation, but also the conclusion.
Think, “It is just about one time that I have received this most precious human rebirth, this perfect human rebirth. During this time, I must do the best thing with my life not just for myself, but for sentient beings (which will be, by the way, the best thing for me).
“Now, not only will death definitely happen, but it could happen any day, any moment. My not being reborn in the lower realms and receiving a higher rebirth as a deva or human is not sufficient. Accomplishing even that is not the real purpose of my life.
“Besides the aggregates of human beings, those of the desire realm devas, form realm devas and formless realm devas are all totally suffering in nature, under the control of karma and delusion and contaminated by the seed of delusion. The aggregates of beings in all those realms are only suffering in nature.
“Therefore, I must be totally free from all this. I must be liberated from the whole of samsara, which means totally liberated from the oceans of samsaric suffering and its cause: karma and delusion.
"So, my achieving this is still not the real meaning of my life, the real purpose of my life. Therefore, I must achieve full enlightenment for sentient beings. I must achieve full enlightenment in order to liberate the numberless hell beings from the oceans of samsaric suffering, particularly the sufferings of the hell realms, and bring them to enlightenment. I must liberate numberless hungry ghosts from all the oceans of samsaric suffering, particularly the sufferings of the preta realm, and bring them to enlightenment. I must liberate the numberless animals them from the oceans of samsaric suffering, and the particular sufferings of the animal realm, and bring them to enlightenment. It is the same with the human beings. I must liberate the numberless human beings from the oceans of samsaric suffering, particularly the sufferings of the human realm, and bring them to enlightenment. And I must do the same for the asuras, suras and intermediate state beings.
"It is from the numberless sentient beings in each realm that I receive all my numberless past happiness during beginningless rebirths, my present happiness and all my future happiness up to enlightenment. I receive all my past, present and future happiness, including enlightenment, from each hell being, from each hungry ghost, from each animal, from each human being, from each asura, from each sura, from each intermediate state being. All these sentient beings are the most kind, most precious ones in my life.
“I must achieve enlightenment to benefit them. Therefore, I need to actualize the path, from guru devotion up to enlightenment. However, for success in all that, I need to practice Medicine Buddha, so I’m very fortunate to have the opportunity to practice Medicine Buddha. So, for success in benefiting other sentient beings in offering service to the teaching of Buddha, in order to be able to practice Medicine Buddha, I’m going to take the Medicine Buddha jenang, or permission to practice."
Then, the short mandala.
[The group recites the short mandala offering.]
Because there’s a special purpose for the disciple to achieve enlightenment, you need to do this special visualization of the lama who grants you the jenang, the blessings, of Medicine Buddha. Because this is a tantric practice, it involves from your side not only looking at the guru as, in essence, a buddha, but also in aspect. As I mentioned before, tantra means protecting the mind from ordinary appearance and ordinary concept. Therefore, here you have to look at the lama not only as Medicine Buddha in essence but also in aspect, as you see here in the thangka of Medicine Buddha. It involves this meditation on practicing pure appearance and pure thought of the guru.
Also, you should think that this place where you are taking this jenang is the celestial mansion of Medicine Buddha’s transcendental wisdom.
[Rinpoche begins the Medicine Buddha jenang.]
Above are all the buddhas and bodhisattvas. There’s Medicine Buddha, then above are all the lineage lamas of Medicine Buddha, surrounded by all the bodhisattvas, like clouds gathered in the sky. It is in their presence that you are doing the seven limb practices of confessing the negative karmas collected during beginningless rebirths and so forth.
You are going for refuge to Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. You understand that Buddha is the one who has totally ceased all faults of the mind, all the defilements, both gross and subtle, and complete in all qualities, or realizations. You are taking refuge in Buddha.
Dharma is the true path and true cessation of suffering. Not only that, which applies to the Lesser Vehicle, but also the cessation of even the subtle defilements. For bodhisattvas, true cessation means cessation of even the subtle defilements.
The Sangha are those who have attainment of the true path. Of course, that’s the absolute Sangha, and there’s also conventional Sangha. Buddha, Dharma and Sangha all have absolute and conventional categories, and you’re taking refuge in all of them. You’re taking refuge not only to be free from the lower realms but to be free from the oceans of samsaric suffering and its cause, karma and delusion. Also, all sentient beings are suffering in the same way in samsara, so you’re also taking refuge in Buddha, Dharma and Sangha so that you yourself can free them from all samsaric suffering and its cause. This is the Mahayana way of taking refuge.
[Rinpoche continues the jenang.]
Think that all your negative karma has been totally purified. Feel that your mind is totally free from all negative karmas, all defilements.
[Rinpoche continues the jenang.]
This is where all your past, present and future happiness and all your merits come from. After that, feel happiness by thinking of the merits of the three times of all the sentient beings.
[Rinpoche continues the jenang.]
For those who have taken bodhisattva vows in the past, taking them again restores them, makes them pure again. For those who have not taken bodhisattva vows in the past, the bodhisattva vows have two divisions: the wishing vow and the entering vow. Those who do not want to take the entering vow, can take the wishing vow, and those who can’t take even the wishing vow, can simply think, “I’m going to practice more compassion for other sentient beings.” If we at least think that we give meaning to our life and make taking this blessing worthwhile.
[Rinpoche continues the jenang.]
If you have not taken the entering vow, which involves abstaining from eighteen root falls and forty-six vices, you can take the wishing vow. The wishing vow involves practicing the four white dharmas and abandoning the four black dharmas. The four white dharmas are opening your heart to the guru and not telling lies to the guru, not deceiving sentient beings, praising bodhisattvas and inspiring the sentient beings around you to follow the Mahayana path.
The opposites of these are the four black dharmas, except that the fourth one is feeling unhappy when other people practice Dharma, collect virtue. These are the black dharmas to abandon.
If you are unable to take even the wishing vow, just think, “I’m going to practice more compassion for sentient beings.”
[Rinpoche continues the jenang.]
Whether you talk about eight or ten different benefits from making a hand prostration, the last one is liberation from samsara and enlightenment. So that’s a very important benefit. Each time you prostrate with your hands to any holy object—Buddha, Dharma, Sangha; statue, stupa, scripture—you get unbelievable benefit. When you prostrate in this way to Buddha, you are creating your enlightenment. It’s the cause to achieve enlightenment. You have to know that.
When you do Medicine Buddha practice in daily life, after this you add “May whatever prayers I do be actualized immediately.”
Now Excellent Signs absorbs into King of Melodious Sound.
You now make requests to King of Melodious Sound, make prostration and take refuge.
So it is the same as you hear the different names.
[Rinpoche continues the jenang.]
So, chhö do means make offering, so when you do this as a daily practice, offer everything you have at your house: flowers outside in your garden or on your altar, lights. Kyab su chhi wo means going for refuge.
Now think, “King of Melodious Sound, may whatever prayers you have done in the past for me and all sentient beings be actualized immediately. Please bless us.”
When I say the words in Tibetan, you just think that.
Then King of Melodious Sound absorbs into Excellent Gold.
[Rinpoche continues the jenang.]
Then think in your heart, “Stainless Excellent Gold, may whatever prayers you have done for me and all sentient beings be actualized immediately, right now. Please bless us.”
Stainless Excellent Gold absorbs into Supreme Glory Free from Sorrow.
Each time you make the request, you must think that the Medicine Buddha very happily accepts your request.
[Rinpoche continues the jenang.]
“Supreme Glory Free from Sorrow, may whatever prayers you have done for me and all sentient beings be actualized immediately.”
Supreme Glory Free from Sorrow absorbs into Melodious Ocean of Proclaimed Dharma.
[Rinpoche continues the jenang.]
“Melodious Ocean of Proclaimed Dharma, may whatever prayers you have done for me and all sentient beings be actualized immediately. Please bless us.”
Melodious Ocean of Proclaimed Dharma absorbs into King of Clear Knowing.
[Rinpoche continues the jenang.]
“King of Clear Knowing, may whatever prayers you have done for me and all sentient beings be actualized immediately. Please bless us.”
King of Clear Knowing absorbs into the Medicine Buddha.
[Rinpoche continues the jenang.]
Here, those who have received a great initiation of Chenrezig or Miktrukpa or any other lower tantra great initiation, or a Highest Yoga Tantra initiation, you can generate yourself as Medicine Buddha. When Medicine Buddha absorbs into you, you can become Medicine Buddha.
But those who haven’t received any great initiation cannot do this meditation. What you should do instead is think that Medicine Buddha melts into light and sends this light within you, completely purifying all your sicknesses, spirit harms, negative karmas and defilements. These four things come out of your anus and other lower doors. Your body then becomes calm and clear, like crystal. It’s not crystal, but it’s calm and clear like crystal.
If you have received any great initiation, Highest Yoga Tantra or lower tantra, you think that Medicine Buddha, bright and radiant, enters your crown and comes down your central channel. As it comes down, it completely cleans down all these four things—sicknesses, spirit harms, negative karmas, defilements—which all come out. Your body becomes calm and clear, like crystal, and you become Medicine Buddha, with the entourage of bodhisattvas.
You then visualize OM AH HUNG, blessing the three doors.
Inconceivable beams are emitted from the heart of the guru visualized as Medicine Buddha and invoke the seven Medicine Buddhas and all the other buddhas and bodhisattvas, who absorb through your crown.
[Rinpoche continues the jenang.]
From the Medicine Buddha on the altar and from the guru visualized as Medicine Buddha, numberless Medicine Buddhas, some as big as Mount Meru and others as small as atoms, are emitted. They are absorbed through your crown and the pores of your body and bless your mind.
You then generate strong devotion toward the guru, thinking that he is Medicine Buddha. The mantra then comes from the guru’s heart then out through the holy mouth of the guru and enters your mouth. It is then decorated around the HUNG at your heart. So, repeat the mantra.
[Rinpoche gives the oral transmission of the Medicine Buddha mantra: TADYATHA OM BHEKHANDZYE BHEKHANDZYE MAHA BHEKHANDZYE BHEKHANDZYE RAJA SAMUDGATE SVAHA.]
That’s the heart mantra. Now the near-heart mantra. Here in the text it says that the first one is the nearing-heart mantra, and it doesn’t say what the next one is; but the heart mantra should usually be the first one.
[Rinpoche gives the oral transmission of OM NAMO BHAGAVATE BHEKHANDZYE GURU BAIDURYA PRABHA RAJAYA TATHAGATAYA ARHATE SAMYAKSAM BUDDHAYA TADYATHA OM BHEKHANDZYE RAJA SAMUDGATE SVAHA.]
You don’t need to repeat this—I will just give the lung, just read, the long mantra. It’s very good to chant this long mantra twenty-one times for success in important projects or sicknesses.
[Rinpoche gives the oral transmission of the long Medicine Buddha mantra, then continues the jenang.]
“Please be near me” or “Please be one with me.”
Next you think that the flower you offered is blessed by the guru and transformed into a garland of flowers, which is then placed on your crown, blessing you.
[Rinpoche continues the jenang.]
Because it has unbelievable benefit, there’s traditionally a commitment to devote to Medicine Buddha as a mind-seal deity, or yidam, and to recite the mantra. There’s no particular number of mantras. When you take the commitment, you can pledge to do a small number, but actually recite more.
“I’m going to take Medicine Buddha as my yidam until I achieve enlightenment.” You then pledge to recite a certain number of mantras every day.
[Rinpoche continues the jenang.]
“Please guide me as a disciple, and I also offer part of my [possessions].”
Now here it has the lineage of this initiation, starting from Guru Shakyamuni Buddha, then to Manjushri and so forth. This is to show that this initiation was not just made up by somebody. I will read the names very quickly.
[Rinpoche recites the names in Tibetan.]
Here I would like to clarify some points. I mentioned the red and blue lights, but I just gave you the example. I then went on to explain the example of A: how you first see these lines, then somebody teaches you that this is A, you believe them, and then, with that belief, your mind labels A, you then have the appearance of A and see A. So, seeing A comes much later.
Here, you have to understand that each time you see the A, you first have to see something that causes your mind to label “A.” You have to see that particular design that somebody has taught you is A. So, first you have to see this particular design, which is the base. First you see this, then because somebody has taught you that the label for that is “A,” your mind then labels “A.” So, what you see first is the base, which causes your mind to choose this particular label “A.”
So, the base comes first. You see the base first, then after that you label “A.” You don’t see the A before seeing the base. You don’t see the base, these lines, and A together. A comes later. You see the base first, then you see the label, A, after your mind labels. It has to come after—you have to get that.
Now, when you drive a car, you think that you see the red or green light first. That’s wrong. That’s a total hallucination. You have to see something that makes you choose the label “red” or “green.” What is the very first thing you see? It’s not the red or green light. What you see first is the base, then after seeing that your mind labels “red” or “green.” The label comes after. This is the evolution. It’s a subtle process. What you see first is the base. After that your mind labels “red” or “green.” The label comes after. You then see red or green. You don’t see red or green at the very beginning. You have to see the base first, then the label “red” or “green” comes after that. It is then you see the label. So, it’s very subtle. It’s totally wrong to believe that you see the red or green light from the beginning. You can see this very clearly from this example.
The red or green light appears as if it doesn’t come your mind but from its own side. However, that’s a very gross wrong view. You see the red or green light as existing from its own side; you never see it as merely imputed by your mind right now. It appears to exist from its own side. That is the object to be refuted. The red or green light from its own side that you see is the object to be refuted. It doesn’t exist there; it’s totally empty. The red or green light merely imputed by your mind is what exists.
Therefore, when we’re driving a car and have to stop at traffic lights, it’s good to take the opportunity to meditate on emptiness. Meditate on the emptiness of the red and green lights. Since we have to stop so many times, it’s a good opportunity to meditate. Even though you mightn’t get to meditate on emptiness at home, being on the road gives you a lot of opportunities to meditate on emptiness.
I’m not going to talk about other things that were maybe not finished, such as the nature of pleasure, but I want to say something very important. I talked about beginningless rebirths, beginningless lives. There are six realms, and just in the animal realm, there is an unbelievable number of different animals and insects. So, you yourself have gone through this numberless times: you have been all kinds of animals, big, small—even butterflies. When you see all those animals in the ocean with so much suffering, remember that you have experienced that numberless times. No matter what animal we see on TV and no matter how strange it looks, we have gone through it numberless times—not even Buddha can see the beginning of it. Just thinking of animals, we have been born like that numberless times during beginningless rebirth. And there is no doubt that we have been hungry ghosts, hell beings and human beings and had all different styles of life during beginningless rebirths.
Now, it depends on when we get out of samsara, but until we are free from samsara, we will experience this numberless more times.
Now, this life is very short. Like a lightning flash in the night, it appears then disappears. Therefore—and this is a very important point—when you think of this, relationship problems are nothing. When you think of this, all your problems—you lost your partner, somebody doesn’t like you, you lost your business—are nothing. No matter what happens, this life is very short, so it’s nothing. It doesn’t really bother you. If you think of your numberless past lives and of your future lives, what other people say to you (that they love you, that they respect you) and how they treat you (even abuse you) are nothing. Even if you have cancer, it’s nothing. Life is very, very short. Even if you don’t have cancer, there are so many other conditions for death, such as car accidents. Cancer is not the only condition for death. Life is full of conditions for death.
This life is very short. For a pure Dharma practitioner who has renounced this life, when somebody criticizes them, it doesn’t bother them; when somebody praises them, it doesn’t bother them. Whatever happens, it doesn’t bother them. Because of that, that person has so much peace. Why? Because the person realizes that this life is very short, nothing really bothers them. They know that what is important is all the future lives, liberation and enlightenment. These are more important than the things of this life.
So, when you think of how life is very short, delusion does not arise. Attachment doesn’t arise; anger doesn’t arise. If you think this, even losing your partner, husband or wife to somebody else, or even if they die, it’s nothing. So, I just wanted to tell you about this very important technique that stops delusion arising. You then have peace all the time, and you get done your practice to benefit others.
“Dag gi ji nye sag päi ge wa di….”
[Rinpoche and the group recite the short mandala offering.]
Therefore, you can now see that there is nothing more important than Dharma practice. After I have given this explanation, you can see that there is nothing more important in life than Dharma practice to be free from samsara, from all those sufferings of the different realms.
So, that’s the conclusion: there is a way to be free from suffering, from samsara, and that is Dharma practice.
You see the red or green light as inseparable from its base; you cannot differentiate them. His Holiness Ling Rinpoche explained that their being undifferentiable is the definition of gak cha, the object to be refuted. When you’re driving and look at the traffic lights, the undifferentiable base and label is the gak cha.
I’m sorry that I didn’t come in the mornings to give teachings, but Chiu-Nan Lai and Kyabje René guided meditations. Since Kyabje René has done retreat for many years, I think that was very, very good. I think this is a special place for practice. It seems to have something special, something that encourages long retreat. Somehow the place makes it easy to decide to do retreat, to practice Dharma, for many years. I think it looks like that.
Chiu-Nan Lai has invited me to do a course here a few times, but it didn’t happen. So, of course, I must apologize for that. I’m very happy that I did make it this time, and I would like to thank her for her kindness, for this life and all the past lives. Thank you very much. This is Medicine Buddha.
[Chiu-Nan Lai: Rinpoche, on behalf of all sentient beings, we are requesting you to come back very, very soon and again and again and again. Make this place your home.]
Tomorrow! Thank you very much. Thank you.
“Due to all the past, present and future merits collected by me and the merits of the three times collected by others, for anyone who has a connection with me, just by my being in this universe, world, country, area, house, may it cause the negative karma of all the sentient beings living in this universe, world, country, area, house to immediately be purified, and may they never ever be reborn in the lower realms. May they find faith in refuge in Buddha, Dharma and Sangha and in karma. May they actualize bodhicitta and achieve enlightenment as quickly as possible.
“May all war, famine, disease, torture, poverty and dangers from fire, water, air, and earth, such as earthquakes, wherever they are happening, be stopped immediately. May nobody in this world experience any of these things every again.
“Due to all the past, present and future merits collected by me and the merits of the three times collected by others, including all the merits collected during this retreat….”
If we don’t dedicate to the achievement of enlightenment, the merits do not then become a cause of that, and they also do not become inexhaustible, so that no matter how much you enjoy them, they never finish. Also, even though we worked very hard, putting a lot of time and effort into our practice, to accumulate merit, if we don’t know how to dedicate merits and don’t dedicate by sealing them with emptiness, when heresy or anger later arises, the merits will be completely get destroyed. Even if merits are dedicated to achieving enlightenment, if you don’t seal them with emptiness, while not being completely destroyed, they will be lessened. Therefore, it’s very, very important not only to dedicate to achieve enlightenment, but to seal with emptiness. Your merits are then protected, so that they cannot be destroyed by heresy or anger. Emptiness has the power to protect merits because it is the one that eliminates the root of all suffering, ignorance.
“Due to all the past, present and future merits collected by me and the merits of the three times collected by others (others doesn’t mean a few people, some of your friends, but all sentient beings, including the bodhisattvas, as well as the buddhas), which exist but which are totally nonexistent from their own side, empty, may the I, who exists but who is totally empty from its own side, achieve Guru Shakyamuni Buddha’s enlightenment, which exists but which is totally empty from its own side, and lead all the sentient beings, who exist but who are totally empty from their own side, to that Guru Shakyamuni Buddha’s enlightenment, which exists but which is totally empty from its own side, by myself alone, who exists but who is totally empty from its own side.
“I dedicate all the merits to be able to follow the holy extensive deeds of the bodhisattvas Samantabhadra and Manjugosha, as they realize.
“I dedicate all the merits in the same way the buddhas of the three times dedicate their merits.”
These two verses are the heart of bodhisattva Samantabhadra’s prayer, King of Prayers.
“Jam päl pa wö ji tar khyen pa dang….
“Dü sum sheg päi gyäl wa tham chä kyi….
“Chhö kyi gyäl po tsong kha päi….
“Dag dang zhän gyi dü sum dang….”
So, I don’t know what I did. I’m not sure there was any benefit, but anyway it’s finished….
I would like to thank everybody who came here very, very much. I want to say that all of you are in my prayers.
Thank you so much. Thank you very much. Thank you.