Refuge, Bodhicitta and Dedication
Why do we take refuge? We take refuge because in samsara, there is no one who can help us to be Enlightened, to have liberation mind. We take refuge not only to overcome difficulties in our daily life but specifically to finish the causes of these problems so we will have liberation.
Who do we take Refuge in? We take refuge in the Three Jewels: the Buddha, the Dharma and the Great Sangha. In Tantra, practitioners also take refuge in the Four Roots. The Four Roots are the Guru, the Deva, the Dakini and the Protectors. The Guru is the teacher. They introduce students to the nature of mind as well as transmit the Buddha’s teachings to students. Devas are realized beings in male and female form. They are deities and they are the pure nature of every human being. The Dakinis are realized beings in female form who are also holders of the teachings. As the name implies, protectors protect practitioners and the teachings.
When you take refuge, you should have confidence in the Three Jewels and the Four Roots as these are the path to liberation. If you don’t, it is important to develope your confidence.
In Buddhism, it is essential to have the right motivation for doing any practice. Therefore, at the beginning of every practice, we always check our motivation and adjust it as we need. The right motivation is that we not only do practice and wish for our own liberation but we also wish that all sentient beings, regardless of who they are, become liberated from the cycle of suffering. This wish for the liberation of all sentient beings is known as Bodhicitta. Bodhicitta is the heart of an awakened being.
As you begin every practice, take refuge and enter the teachings with Bodhicitta, the great motivation to benefit yourself and all sentient beings.
We do dedication at the end of every practice. In dedication, we offer all the virtue accumulated from doing the meditation to all Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and the Great Sangha. We also dedicate this virtue not only to our own liberation but also to the liberation of all sentient beings. By thinking in this larger way, we also enrich our own life.
To review, there is a structure that we use in every practice. As we begin, we take refuge and check that we have Bodhicitta. Then we do our practice. We finish every practice with dedication; that is, we offer all virtue from doing this meditation to the Three Jewels and we dedicate this virtue to the enlightenment of our self and of all sentient beings.
TEACHINGS ON REFUGE
I’m going to teach about Refuge. Refuge is very important in Buddhism, it is the foundation of Buddhist methods. Refuge is like a door into Buddhism, without the Refuge it is not possible to enter the Buddhist path. In Buddhism you take Refuge in Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.
Why do we take Refuge in this way? Samsara means suffering of many different kinds, associated with karma and impermanence of everything around us including our possessions and bodies. Who can really help us to reduce or eliminate this suffering?
At the time of great difficulty and death we realize that all worldly samsara help is very very limited. Only Refuge in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha can helps us during such times.
When you do practice, you become confident that the Buddha is a great teacher that helps you. You become confident that the Dharma is the path of liberation from suffering and that you are taking the right path. Sangha are your Dharma companions on this path, supporting you in your practice.
Taking refuge is like a promise asserting your strong belief that only Buddha, Dharma and Sangha can ultimately help you during most difficult times.
An example might be helpful here. You can think of a good country with a good leader who is like a Buddha. He shows the right way of liberation from suffering to his people. The laws of the country are aimed at supporting everybody’s well-being and liberation from suffering are like the Dharma. People who correctly follow the example of the leader and successfully cultivate their well-being and progress on the path of liberation from suffering are the Sangha.
When you take Refuge in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, you clearly express your wishes and your beliefs in what can be helpful to you in this life. You say ‘yes’ to some aspects and ‘no’ to anothers. When you say “I take Refuge in Buddha”, this is the ‘yes’ – “Yes, I take refuge in Buddha!” I take Refuge in Shakyamuni, Amitabha or other liberation Buddhas. Then you say ‘no’: “I don’t take refuge in samsara things like worldly gods, institutions and ordinary people because these don’t help my ultimate liberation. Only Buddha can help me to become liberated.”
In the same way, a ‘yes’ and a ‘no’ also apply to taking Refuge in the Dharma. Saying ‘yes’ means: “I take Refuge in the Dharma. I am taking the right path, I trust this path and I am going to focus on liberation”. The ‘no’ is, I will not practice non Dharma paths, they don’t lead to liberation. You decide not to follow other teachings that could distort your views.
Third, I take Refuge in the Sangha. You understand that your Dharma brothers and sisters can support you in your path. The Sangha also means the Enlightened Sangha of Bodhisattva’s and masters who have completed the path before you. You recognize that the Sangha as a group of Dharma brothers and sisters and Enlightened Sangha can help you on the path, whereas other worldly groups can’t support you in this particular goal.
In taking Refuge, you are also agreeing to engage with Buddhism in a certain way. In taking Refuge in Buddha, you decide to respect Buddha’s teachings, sacred objects and temples. Secondly, by taking Refuge in Dharma, you decide to respect Dharma texts and take care of these. And when you take Refuge in the Sangha, you choose to be kind to your Dharma brothers and sisters and you take care of each other.
You are not taking Refuge in the lama or Master but in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. For example, I’m teaching Refuge, I am showing you how to do Refuge practice, but you do not take Refuge in me. You take Refuge in Buddha, Dharma and Sangha inside yourself carefully with your body, speech and mind.
Sometimes in Buddhism in the West and in Asia, people are given a Refuge booklet or card. You don’t take Refuge in this booklet or card. This is not true Refuge. Sometimes you are also given a Dharma name. You remember your name but you are not taking Refuge in your Dharma name.
Sometimes the lama cuts a bit of your hair. This is to help you remember the significance of taking Refuge, but this is not true Refuge. The card, name and cutting of hair is only to create a memory of this commitment. Again, this is not true Refuge.
It is important that you know that you are taking Refuge in Buddha from now until Enlightenment. In understanding this, now you really are able to take Refuge ‘inside’ yourself and you know: “I only take Refuge in Buddha, he is my teacher, he is my heart.”
Secondly, Dharma is what Buddha taught. He showed kindness, patience and care in body, speech and mind. By taking refuge you are choosing to take care of yourself and others through the ten good virtues. You also understand non-virtue and decide not to engage in non-virtue. You decide that you will not kill, steal, hurt others and engage in negative activities and behavior…
Now you understand Refuge and Refuge Vows.
Today I am only doing a short teaching on Refuge. It is important that you learn more through studying The Words of My Perfect Teacher by Patrul Rinpoche and Shantideva’s Bodhisattva’s Way of Life. H.H. Dalai Lama and other great Masters have also written about Refuge and Refuge Vows. They are very clear in their discussions on Refuge.
To take Refuge you say the following:
“In the Sugatas of the Three Roots (Guru, Yidam and Dakini), the true Three Jewels (Buddha, Dharma, Sangha)
In the Bodhicitta, nature of the channels, energies and essences,
And in the mandala of essential nature, natural expression of wisdom and compassion,
I take Refuge until I reach the heart of Enlightenment”
This is true Refuge. You take Refuge and follow the same path that Buddha did to reach liberation. If we take Refuge like this, we will reach liberation like Buddha Shakyamuni. This is a short practice and teaching but it is very meaningful.
Then you dedicate this practice to all sentient beings. You recognize that most of them have no Refuge. You strongly aspire to complete the path of liberation and become a Buddha so that you can truly take care of sentient beings.
In Dharma Blessings, Khenchen Lama
THE FOUR THOUGHTS
The Four Thoughts are very important in our precious human life. We understand that every life is suffering. This is one of the Four Noble Truths.
Even though life is suffering, it is useful to do meditation and practice so you are confident in your liberation path. If we don’t try to meditate or we say I’ll do it ‘tomorrow, tomorrow’, this is not good. Instead, every day think of impermanence and Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.
This makes this life very meaningful. This is very important rather than just ‘thinking’ about future lives. Instead, if you think of impermanence, suffering and do more and more meditation practice every day, this will be very good for you this life.
Time is very, very important. Time goes very quickly. Some people are selfish, angry, rude, lazy and or negative. Check yourself. Do not go this way. Instead, do practice and change your mind to being positive. Then you will have a meaningful and happy life. When you think and do positive actions, this is good virtue. Then, next life you will have a good life and be with good and great people.
Although samsara is suffering, inside you will be happy, have nirvana. If there is no samsara, there is no nirvana. Our mind is what makes good and bad so it is important to change our mind to a positive way, the Dzogchen way.
This is the only help, the Dzogchen lineage. We are very lucky as all the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and Guru Rinpoche practices are in Guru Yoga. When you do Guru Yoga every day, it is doing Buddha Yoga; Dharma Yoga and Sangha Yoga and includes everything. We do not have time to focus on each and every meditation practice.
This is why Guru Yoga is so very important as it does include everything. This is very helpful. If you are young or old, focus on Guru Yoga meditation.
This is my heart teachings for my students.
In Great Compassion. Khenchen Lama.
THE FOUR TRUE DHARMAS
First, our mind comes to the true Dharma way. Secondly, Dharma is coming to the right path. Thirdly, the right path has no ignorance. It is the wisdom way. There is no ignorance, there is only Buddha’s Wisdom. This is the wisdom of nirvana, not the wisdom of samsara, the world. Lastly, this path has inner peace; we have Bodhicitta and we come to understand the nature of our mind.
First it is very important that we focus our mind on the Dharma. We do this because the Dharma is very important for us not only this lifetime but also for next lifetime. It is only possible to have positive and strong mental health through the Dharma.
Secondly, the Dharma way is not outside of us. It is not outside like politics, business, our home, our countries or temples. Although outer practices can be supportive, the true Dharma means to change your mind in a positive way. If we don’t change our mind to a positive way, then even though it looks lovely and perfect outside of us, we will still have suffering inside our self. Dharma means inner peace. If you are confident in the Dharma in this life, in the dream or in the bardo, you will not have suffering inside yourself. If you aren’t confident in the Dharma, you will have suffering. There will be difficuilties in life and it is very easy to change your mind from this to that to something else.
Confidence comes from the Dharma which is the Buddha’s teaching and our changing our mind in the right way. These two must be in union. That is, we need to listen to the Buddha’s teachings and change our mind to the teachings. Then we will have a peaceful mind. Then we are really a Dharma practitioner! Secondly, being in the Dharma in the right way means: you have inner peace; you do practice and think in positive ways. The more you turn your mind this way and are in union with the Buddha’s teachings, then the more inner peace you will experience.
Of course, in daily life, in samsara, there are many obstacles. We have difficulties and these come from the five poisons. It is important to try to eliminate these obstacles on the outer, inner and secret levels. Often times when it is difficult, people are more focussed on their difficulties and much less on Dharma and their practice.
Instead, this is the very time it is important to really concentrate on the Dharma even more! For example, when we do meditation, lots of obstacles can come. When this happens, don’t think of these obstacles. Instead, intend to turn away from these and rest in your inner peace. Rest in the nature of your mind in the Dharma way. When your concentration is strong in the Dharma, then obstacles will go. This is called ‘Dharma going very well’. Strongly focusing on the Dharma will help you have inner peace and then there are no obstacles. This is the ‘Dharma going very well’.
Thirdly, is our right path. Although there are many different meditation practices; there is Mahayana and Tantrayana etc, it can seem difficult to know what to do. The easiest answer to this and the most important way in the Dharma, is for you to choose to have a great heart and Bodhicitta.
Sometimes people only think of their own liberation and other things. If you focus on Bodhicitta and helping sentient beings to have liberation, this is having a great mind! When you try to do this again and again, then your heart will grow. Your view will not change with the wind or with difficulties and you will become like a great mountain. Every day, in your daily life, develope Bodhicitta; develop the 10 Good Virtues and do the 6 Paramitas.
Regardless of how difficult life is, we can do this a very small amount more each day if we think about it and apply it to our particular daily life. For example, in any moment, just ‘in this moment’, we can choose kindness or patience. Just in this moment. Then the teachings become very concrete in our life and we have more and more confidence. You also won’t have ignorance on your path.
Lastly, developing Bodhicitta is important and good. It is also important to again turn within, to your inner and do more inner Bodhicitta. Inner Bodhicitta involves several things. You understand the nature of your Buddha nature. You respect your lineage and Guru Padmasambhava as its head. You pray and do inner Guru Yoga every day.
In doing inner Guru Yoga, you understand that the body, speech and mind of all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and your body, speech and mind are the same. Think that because of this, you ‘are’ able to have the liberation of Rainbow Body. In doing Guru Yoga practice, it is also important to do the Guru Rinpoche Four Empowerments by yourself every day. When you do these four self empowerments, you will understand the nature of your mind more and more.
Do this again and again and every day. Bodhicitta is the great fruition. When we do Guru Yoga in this way again and again, we recognize our nature of mind comes from Bodhicitta. You will understand this in this moment.
In the beginning, this may be for a very short time. This will lengthen as you try this again every day. This is very important as a practitioner. Then you are excellent in Buddhism.
Om Jana Guru Benza Siddhi Hung.
Inner Buddha. Khenchen Lama.
Ngondro or Preliminary Practice: (1)
Ngondro is Preliminary practice and it is very important. Preliminary practice is found in both Sutra and Tantra Buddhism. Preliminary practice is the root of meditation and functions just like a foundation.
It is important that you first understand that Preliminary practice is very important. If you do not do Preliminary practice and you do Mahamudra, Dzogchen or Dzogchen Kalachakra, you can’t really do these because you don’t have a foundation. Check to see how many of the Preliminary practices you have done and how confident your mind is in the Buddha Dharma. If you don’t do Preliminary practice and you try high levels of practice, then there may be problems.
One person might be able to understand nature of mind because of their previous life especially if they are a dakini, daka or a high Rinpoche. They may understand. But otherwise, 100% of everyone else needs to do Preliminary practice. A lot of people say I don’t know meditation; I don’t know Preliminary practice and I don’t know where to start meditation. When people do not do Preliminary practice in the beginning, they are confused and don’t know where to start. I will tell you a short way to understand.
First it is important to relax, calm down and that your mind is peaceful. Try not to be attached, angry or doing negative things. Don’t try these negative ways. Do positive ways: be happy, have joy, be peaceful and be really interested in doing meditation. Meditation is very easy.
Outer Preliminary Practice:
The first Preliminary practice is to understand we have a precious human life. To understand this, think of yourself and what the cause of your precious human life is. Also look at the number of precious human lives there are. Really see and understand that you do have a precious human life. In Buddhism, there are 18 ways of understanding a precious human life but it is important that you understand for yourself. You think of this again and again. This is meditation of precious human life. We are born and this is important. Then after do meditation and you are confident in your mind and in Dharma. This is meaningful. Politics, business and other samsara things are good but not that important. If you gain power in your life and don’t do meditation, when you die then you are upset that you didn’t do anything that was meaningful. Animals are similar to this. It is important you understand that Dharma and meditation are very important.
Secondly, when we understand we have a precious human life; a precious mind and a precious body then we turn our attention to understand impermanence. To begin, we think of the following. When will we die? Where will we die? What will the circumstances be when we die? We don’t understand or know these things. 100% of everyone is born and 100% of everyone dies and usually within 100 yrs. We don’t know about our own death. So think of everything outside. Think of your neighbors, family and friends. We see that everyone dies. Also there are many changes and problems throughout life. All these teach us impermanence. When you think more and more of impermanence, it is easy to do meditation and it is interesting. If you think of impermanence you are excited to do meditation. If you don’t think of impermanence then meditation is not exciting. When we die, whether we are very rich, poor, have political power or are a king or queen, everyone dies. It doesn’t matter if thousands of soldiers are trying to protect you when you die. The only thing that helps you when you die is Dharma. This is why we do Dharma now.
Then third, is the suffering of samsara. Samsara suffering is in all 6 realms. There is the suffering of suffering; suffering of change and many different types suffering with only just moments of happiness. Mainly there are difficulties. We might think that eating and drinking and having nice meals out are happiness but this is just like an animal as they also eat and drink.
For example in the hell realms there are hot and cold hells. Hungry ghosts are very hungry and have the suffering of hunger. Animals have the suffering of ignorance. The jealous god realm has the suffering of fighting. Human suffering is birth, old age, sickness and death. The god realm is they have a short time of happiness and then go directly to hell afterward. These 6 realms are samsara and there is very much suffering.
If you understand and feel you are suffering or how any of the six realms are suffering, then you do meditation. When we look carefully, this makes it easy to understand suffering and impermanence and it is easy to understand a precious human life. It makes it easy to do meditation. If we don’t understand suffering then we don’t do meditation. Buddha’s first teaching is to understand suffering. This is the first of the Four Noble Truths.
The fourth outer Preliminary practice is karma. It is important to believe in karma and to be careful of karma. Karma means that all good virtue; offerings; prostrations, giving and positive things comes back to you as good in your life. If you kill or do negative things all comes back as negative things in your life. It is important to understand and do action; to stop doing negative things and bad karma.
These Four Thoughts are the outer Preliminary practice.
In Dharma blessing Khenchen Lama
Inner Preliminary Practices
Inner Preliminary practice comes after you have done Outer Preliminary practice. It is important to do Outer Preliminary practice of understanding our precious human life, impermanence, suffering and karma. These Four Thoughts are very important and especially that you really understand these. Then Inner Ngondro you will really find interesting.
These Four Thoughts are important because they are the cause of the renunciation of mind. Then in Inner Preliminary practice you begin with thinking, “who helps this world?” “Who helps your mind?” And “who helps your next life?” Nobody helps. Kings, rich people or god don’t help. Also a very powerful super hero doesn’t help your mind or your practice of Dharma. The only help is Buddha Dharma. Then you really respect Buddha, follow Dharma and are with the great Sangha. This is Refuge.
Refuge and Prostrations
Then you take Refuge with prostrations. We do prostrations because our samsara body, speech and mind aren’t clean and we are living in samsara. Buddha, Dharma and Sangha are not dirty and are very pure. Buddha is Enlightenment, great Master. Dharma is our path. Sangha are Dharma practitioners, our friends on this path.
Then you have great respect for Buddha. Buddha Shakyamuni did meditation and had great enlightenment. He also had great compassion and gave teachings to the Hinayana and Mahayana Sanghas. Then you understand Buddha’s history and how wonderful the Dharma path is. With this understanding, you wish that with this great Sangha of practitioners as well as everyone you see, you really wish to now take Refuge in Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. With this wish, you then do prostrations. And you really respect Buddha, Dharma and Sangha and with your body, speech and mind, you really try to do true Buddhism.
Then every day you take Refuge in Buddha Dharma. You do Refuge, prayer and prostrations every day. Then you lose your ego; lose your ignorance, attachment, anger and desire. All these get less and less. Then you become a true Buddhism practitioner. Otherwise, it is very ego. For example, rich people have a big ego. They don’t do prostrations or respect others. These things are not Buddhism. Buddhism is inner respect Buddha Dharma and then doing true Dharma with prostrations and respecting others. It is important we do one lakh that is, 100,000 Refuge and prostrations. When you really respect others and Buddha Dharma, this is Inner Ngondro of Refuge.
Secondly is Bodhicitta. Bodhicitta everyone understands that it means great mind. We are not thinking of our self but of other sentient beings. We have compassion for other sentient beings because of their ignorance and being in samsara. Bodhicitta also means we help sentient beings reach the great liberation. It is these two things which is wisdom. First we have compassion for sentient beings because we really understand suffering and this isn’t good. Then secondly we think of enlightenment. It is not just compassion alone. It is compassion and enlightenment for all sentient beings. That means you aren’t thinking of yourself but of others. We do mind turning because we are not thinking of our self but of others; how to help them and how to benefit for their enlightenment.
Then we think of mother sentient beings. We think first of our mother. Our mother is very important because we are born in samsara. Without her, we would not be born. Mother takes care of everything because we are not able to and don’t know how. Secondly mothers have compassion or caring for their children. All mothers, even animals think of their children. That is really why mother is important to understand. Then we think I want to help my mother sentient beings. Then you do action; kindness, love, patience towards other sentient beings. Then this is exactly not thinking of our self but thinking of other sentient beings. And also help others; be nice, take care of and your mind is turning to thinking sentient beings reach liberation. This is mind not just doing.
First you think of your family; then your community and area, then the whole world and help for all world to reach liberation. This is why Sutra says ‘mother sentient beings’. Another example is, think of your father or friend and who helps you during your life? Who loves you and helps you in your life? For example, father sentient beings, friend sentient beings and greater and greater for everyone to reach enlightenment.
This means when my mom is happy then I’m happy. When my mom is good then I’m good. If my mom is suffering then I suffer. You can think of this way for your father, a friend etc. All sentient beings, not only one person but all have good virtue. If only thinking of mother, then we can realize all sentient beings are the same. We have many life times, billions of life times and so mothers are very important. Of course there may be difficult things but it is important to think of positive things. Because we’ve had many lives, all sentient beings have been our mother. We think of wanting all mother sentient beings to have enlightenment. This is a great mind. This is Bodhicitta.
Then you do actions of the six or ten Paramitas with Bodhicitta; generosity, patience etc. This is the practice of Bodhisattvas or Bodhicitta. You practice the prayer of “may mother sentient beings have happiness” and you really feel this. This is the second Inner Ngondro Preliminary practice.
The third Inner Preliminary practice is Vajrasattva. There are Four Powers in Vajrasattva Practice. The first Power is the Power of Support. First it is important to have Vajrasattva empowerment. Then you know what to visualization. You have the sadhana and you look inside ngondro. It is important to understand we have negative karma. This cleans our negative karma and Vajrasattva is the only help to do this. We have negative karma and when we do other meditation and concentration it is often difficult to do because of heavy karma. Then we do Vajrasattva meditation and it cleans everything: clean body, clean speech and clean mind.
It is important to understand that bad karma is in the past and also in this life. Then you think and realize you have done wrong. It is like taking poison and you’ve done this for thousands of lifetimes. Then we are very sorry and sad for doing this. This is the second Power. Now you wonder what will help?
Then you think, I will never do bad karma things again. This is the third Power. Then you do visualization of Vajrasattva and think of happiness and compassion for other sentient beings. Then Vajrasattva’s whole body as Sambhogakaya, we feel he is blessing our physical body. Then all negative things are cleaned. We do this visualization with mantra. We do one lakh that is 100,000 mantra. This is the Fourth Power.
These are the Four Powers of Vajrasattva meditation. To make it easy I will say it here in a short way. These Four Powers are the important things. The first Power is the Power of support of the Empowerment, Sadhana and Refuge in Vajrasattva. The second Power is saying and feeling you are sorry for all the negative things you’ve done. The third Power is saying I will never do these again. The fourth Power is the Power of action of doing Vajrasattva meditation with mantra. With focusing on these Four Powers then all negativity is cleaned and we feel the blessings come.
You do Vajrasattva meditation every day when you have time. We do it every day because every day we have negative karma. For example, every day we need to eat and drink. This is like what we need to do with this practice because every day we have negative karma. Doing Vajrasattva practice every day is important.
Mandala Preliminary practice
This is very important. We do lucky things. We do Refuge and Bodhicitta, but if we don’t offer and give to sentient beings it means we are attached and thinking only of samsara. It is important we have more virtue and more meditation power. In the three Kaya Mandala: Dharmakaya, Sambhogakaya and Nirmanakaya mandala, it is important to offer good things; very beautiful things; good smells and good feelings. For example, offering of flowers and other nature things. You think, “this is very special”. My world has many good things; food to eat; sounds we hear; smells we smell; positive things we think and things from all six consciousness.
Then you think, “I don’t need these and I will offer to the Refuge Tree; the Buddha Dharma and give to all sentient beings”. This is the meaning of the Mandala Offering. For example, our body, speech and mind we offer to Buddha. Then you do Buddha’s mind, Buddha’s activity of teaching things. Then this is Sangha. Nothing is mine but everything is for the Buddha Dharma. You also offer mind, everything to Buddha Dharma. You don’t keep anything. Outside you offer all good things and inside I offer body, speech and mind. I did practice, meditation and all good virtue things I offer to Buddha Dharma. That means you have power, less ego and desire. More thinking of Buddha Dharma and have power of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and you give all this for sentient beings. If you give everything it is wonderful. If you keep something, then you have no power. If you give away, everything comes back. It is very important to do this in mind and not to keep anything. Not to desire anything.
Mandala offering has outer, inner and secret levels. It is important that things from all 6 consciousnesses (eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and mind) are all offered to all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. You think, “I offer for all sentient beings to reach the great liberation with me”. Not just myself but everyone understands together we have Dharmakaya, Sambhogakaya and Nirmanakaya enlightenment. I offer this pure Buddhahood and Buddhaland. Then everyone reaches the great Enlightenment.
Preliminary Practice of Guru Yoga
Guru Yoga is very, very important in Tantra practice. Guru Yoga meditation is especially very important in the Preliminary Practices. First it is important to understand there is outer, inner, secret and very secret Guru Yoga.
Outer Guru Yoga means transmission, blessing, empowerment and teaching. These are your Guru. It is very important that you check this Guru or teacher that you receive these from; are they good or true or not. If they are a true master then this is good. It is very important to check and understand as this isn’t for a short time but your whole lifetime. Especially in this modern time and some people are crazy saying, “I’m a guru” etc. If there are outer problems then on the inner there are problems. You understand if there is right lineage; right master and right practitioner in the Guru you found. If you find a practitioner master, if he or she is rich or poor; has lots of students or not, if they are a true practitioner then you respect him or her; you listen and receive empowerments.
There are lots of lineages in Tibet and in all of the lineages the root master is Guru Rinpoche. Then really a true master does Guru Rinpoche blessings for their students. It is important this Guru understands Dharma very well; they are a practitioner and has a clean lineage. If they have these, then it is great. Then you respect and this isn’t wrong. If you don’t respect, then this is wrong.
Then secondly, inner Guru Yoga means your mind has devotion and faith this is inner Buddha. You respect yourself and practice Guru Rinpoche’s 7 line prayer, visualization and dedicate. You remember Guru Rinpoche, read his history and continue to be mindful of him in everything you are doing. Always think of him. Remember Guru Rinpoche and have devotion and believe in him. Also understand that he is special in the world and he is the 2nd Buddha. This is inner mind and is very helpful.
Inner Tibetan Refuge says I take refuge in my Guru. Then I take refuge in Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. If you don’t respect Guru then you don’t have respect for Buddha, Dharma and Sangha as it is a long lineage from Guru Rinpoche. The lineage is almost 1000 years old. Inside you understand this and have great respect.
Thirdly, in inner Guru Yoga, you respect the outer Guru and inner Guru; outside body, speech, and mind is blessing and your body, speech, and mind is doing mantra; thinking of Guru Rinpoche and dedicating that all sentient beings reach the great liberation the same as Guru Rinpoche.
Secretly if you don’t understand outer or inner, you pray to Guru Rinpoche. Sometimes you pray in a strong way maybe sometimes even crying. Then don’t think of the past or future but our problem is we are in samsara suffering and have ignorance. Guru Rinpoche will help. You look your mind and do union meditation.
It is important to do Guru Rinpoche mantra because all mantras are in his. You do 12 lakh (1,200,000) as the foundation. Otherwise there are many religions and lineages and you don’t understand. You go different places, here and there. You loose time and many years go by. If you are doing this now, then Guru Yoga is what is important to do now.
Sometimes there are politics and business outside. And a person doesn’t have Guru Rinpoche inside and Dzogchen in this time. Don’t think is ‘my’ way or ‘my’ lineage does this way etc. If we didn’t have Guru Rinpoche, then there would be no traditions or lineages. That is why I am thinking I’m not just Nyingma but Guru Rinpoche is the root. Other masters and lineages all have Guru Rinpoche on the inner. For example, the sun lights up everything. Yes, there are moon and stars. If we have the sun, then we see clearly. If we only have a candle, then we only see a little. It is not ‘my tradition or lineage way’. There is one face: it is Guru Rinpoche. He is like the sun. All traditions and lineages come from him. This is important.
Then very secret Guru Yoga is Secret Rigpa Guru Yoga meditation. You have the sadhana and recognize nature of your mind. This is great Guru Rinpoche. First do visualization of Guru Rinpoche. Secondly, do mantra. Then thirdly his mind, Dharmakaya and our mind are in union. This is very important. Then do dedication for sentient beings.
Then 100% this will change your mind and you will have compassion. You will have emotions, feelings and help others, that is, have actions. I was a child, I remember as a small child about 2-3 years until now I do meditation of Guru Rinpoche. I understand 100% his history, his nature and how much compassion he has for this world.
This is why I tell you Guru Rinpoche’s view, meditation, activity to help other sentient beings and action is rainbow body. You can do like Guru Rinpoche, the same.
Inner Guru Rinpoche. Khenchen Lama.
Guru and Student Relationship
First it is important that you very carefully check your Guru. You believe, respect, know and understand your Guru. After, you have transmission, blessing, empowerment and teaching.
If you leave your Guru after this, it is a very big problem. This is especially true in Vajrayana because you have lineage, blessings and empowerments. Buddha Shakyamuni says four things. “If you find a Guru, you respect the Guru.
The Guru teaches and gives outer transmission and blessings. Then, if you feel you don’t need the Guru, then the next 500 life times you will be a dog and be sick.” Guru Rinpoche Tantra says if you have three lineage transmissions: outer transmission, teaching and empowerment transmissions from Root Guru and then you fight and leave the Guru, then you will go to Vajra Hell for 1 billion lifetimes. For this reason, you must be very careful.
Now in modern times people leave things easily. For example, if you have an empowerment and then you think you don’t need the Guru anymore, then this is your problem. It is a problem because you already have the empowerment and lineage inside your heart. This doesn’t change.
A good way is to have good conversations with your Guru and to not break samaya. This is best. Otherwise the student goes to hell.
In the modern world, it is easy and common for people to go to this teacher for this empowerment, teachings and blessings and another teacher for another empowerment, teachings and blessing. People go here and there to have many empowerments, transmissions and teachings. This is very heavy karma for a student.
Students ask for teachings and Guru teaches. This is the right way. If Guru says I will teach this and says “you come”, this is not the right way.
Also, focusing on Dharma and how much money is not the right way. For example, this empowerment is this much; that empowerment will be that much. This is not the right way. If you really do true Dharma it isn’t really about numbers and money. Also of course, for samsara things, there is charging for things. It is not the right Dharma way to have teachings be expensive and to say it this way.
You need lineage; you need liberation; you need enlightenment. Then you respect lineage Guru; you respect yourself and you do not break samaya. It is very important to take care of samaya.
Inner Compassion. Khenchen Lama
THREE YOGA MEDITATION
On the day of the eclipse is a very powerful day. It helps with our liberation. I will teach three yogas.
The first yoga is Body Yoga. In Body Yoga visualize your whole body as blue colour of Vajra. Place your hands together above your head and the soles of your feet together. This is the body posture that represents the Vajra. Now think of blue light spreading to connect with Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and all sentient beings. As a Vajra, All is Vajra Buddhahood and there is no samsara. This is the Light of Buddhahood. This is Body Yoga.
 The second is Speech Yoga or Mantra Yoga. It is all Buddha’s and Bodhisattva’s essence mantra that is in union and represented by Guru Padmasambhava’s mantra. By doing Guru Padmasambhava’s mantra it is like doing each mantra for every Buddha and Bodhisattva together. It is very special for yoga practitioners. This is a very meaningful and useful mantra and it greatly helps practitioners.
 Mind Yoga is the Four Immeasurables. Think of the Four Immeasurables. You can visualize Guru Padmasambhava, prostrations, offering, and the Seven Line Prayer. It is more important to visualize Guru Padmasambhava blessing us and all sentient beings and for us to understand the nature of mind. Rest and relax in your Buddha Nature. Rest for ten minutes on this day.
I strongly encourage all my students and friends to do this on the day of the eclipse. Also, do the Samantahbhadra prayer. If you have time do this prayer three times. If you don’t have time, only do it once.
Finish by dedicating all virtues for the liberation of all sentient beings.
In Dharma Blessings
Khenchen Lama Rinpoche
The view of tantra is a pure view, that’s why the practice of Vajrasattva is essential to tantra. Pure view is the opposite of impure view. Impure view is associated with negative perceptions and negative karma. Having negative karma means that in the past you did not have a pure view and you did negative things. Therefore, negative karma is an obstacle to you now as you are trying to develop pure view. You can do many different practices but only Vajrasattva meditation can clean and purify previous negative karma.
Before you start doing Vajrasattva practice, you need to receive transmission and empowerment for the practice. You also need to learn and understand what to do in Vajrasattva practice and what vows you are taking on with the practice of Vajrasattva.
There are Four Powers in the practice of Vajrasattva. These are: the power of support; the power of regretting what you have done wrong; the power of resolution and the power of action as an antidote.
The power of support is the visualization of Vajrasattva; taking Refuge in Vajrasattva; thinking of Vajrasattva and practicing the Sadhana of Vajrasattva.
The second power is the power of regretting what we have done wrong. We regret having done all the negative actions in past lives as well as this life. Doing negative actions is like drinking poison by accident. We did these actions in the past because we didn’t realize they were poison. Now you recognize that ‘drinking poison’ was wrong. You think and feel strongly: “I did wrong. I am very, very sorry and I regret this.’ You clearly recognize that you did negative things in past lives and this life. This is very important. When these are purified and there is no negative karma left we reach liberation.
The third power is the power of resolution. This is the power to say, ‘I will not do negative things again, even if I face death’. You develop a strong intention and resolve not to engage in negative thoughts and actions in the future. It would not be enough to just regret our negative thoughts and actions and then keep on engaging in them again. So it is important to resolve that we want to change.
The fourth power is the power of action as an antidote. You do actions with your body, speech and mind to purify the negative karma. With your body, you try practicing Tibetan Meditation Yoga of the Body and Vajrasattva posture. With your speech, you recite the Vajrasattva mantra. With your mind, you think of emptiness and wisdom.
Also think of the union of this great mind of Vajrasattva with your mind. Then you engage in the action of Vajrasattva meditation to clean and purify yourself.
An example might be helpful here. For instance, when your hands are dirty, you want to clean your hands and so you wash them with soap. When you are engaging in the Vajrasattva practice, you are doing purification at a deeper energetic and mental level with your body, speech and mind. Doing this will purify your three kayas – enlightened pure forms of your body, speech and mind.
I will give you the Vajrasattva empowerment this afternoon. This will give you the power to purify your negativity and karma while doing Vajrasattva meditation. It is also very important not to think that only you are clean and purified., you think of all sentient beings in your practice.
In this way, you think and feel that all sentient beings have been purified and liberated through this meditation. Specifically, in this meditation you are aware that all sentient beings in all 10 directions practicing together with you are being purified and liberated as you are doing this practice. This is great Vajrasattva meditation.
Together with the four powers and the practice of Vajrasattva, you also take on the five vows.
The first vow is that you will really respect the Tantra lineage. If you at some point change your mind or don’t show respect to the teachings, this means your vow is broken. If you really like Tantra, practice and believe in it, then you are keeping this first vow.
The second vow is that you respect your lineage Masters – you respect Vajrasattva, Samantahbadra, Garab Dorjee and your Master. You never break away from your lineage and with your Master. You do not argue with or break your connection with your Master.
The third vow says that you will do mantra and mudra every day, even if just for a short time, 10-20 minutes. When you do these every day, you don’t lose your practice.
The fourth vow is that you never fight with; do negative things toward or break away from your Vajra brothers and sisters.
The fifth and last vow is that you don’t talk about your practice in public, you keep your samaya. It is ok to talk about your practice with other Vajra brothers and sisters who are also doing the same practice. It is not good to talk with others who are not practitioners about your practice, because they may not be respectful to the practice. You keep your practices and teachings to yourself.
To review, in doing Vajrasattva practice, we begin with checking our motivation, with Refuge and Bodhicitta. Then we contemplate the Four Powers and practice Vajrasattva purification for ourselves and all sentient beings. When we are finished, we dedicate all virtue for the liberation of all sentient beings.
With this practice, our realization will gradually increase. Then we are happier; we have more joy; our mind has more freedom and we understand the nature of our mind more and more. You do this practice everyday.
The Meaning of Vajrasattva Practice
While all sentient beings without exception possess the Buddha nature, they do not realize this. The mind of most sentient beings is clouded by habitual thought patterns and obscurations accumulated over countless lifetimes. In order to connect with our Buddha nature – the deepest level of consciousness – we need to purify the coarse mental accumulations. The practice of Vajrasattva is the most powerful purification meditation in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. It is practiced as part of the preliminary sequence of practices in all tantric lineages of Tibetan Buddhism.
Sincere practice of Vajrasattva can purify even the most severe karmic traces. There are four powers that are essential in this practice: power of support, power of remorse, power of resolution, and power of action as an antidote. The power of support in this context means turning to Vajrasattva for help in the purification. It is the belief that Vajrasattva can help us purify obscurations and that is why we engage in the Vajrasattva visualization and mantra recitation. The power of remorse describes the sincere regret of wrong thoughts, speech and actions we have done. The power of resolve means that we make a firm decision not to engage the wrong actions, thoughts and speech again. The power of action as an antidote means that we start engaging in activities that are the opposite of the wrong things we have done. The teachings list engaging in the practice of Vajrasattva and resting in the nature of mind as the most powerful antidotes to bad karma.
Visualization for the practice of Vajrasattva:
Refuge and motivation: At the beginning of the practice we take refuge in the enlightened Buddhas, Dharma and the Sangha. We acknowledge that we will do the Vajrasattva practice in order to purify our obscurations and those of all sentient beings so that we all can attain full complete enlightenment as quickly as possible.
Resting in the Buddha nature: Now we settle our mind in its natural state.
Visualization and the main practice: From the purified self-recognizing awareness we visualize a lotus flower on the top of our head and inside the lotus flower is a shining moon disk. On the moon disk appears a double vajra and iside the vajra is the syllable HUNG. The vajra and the syllable HUNG are of bright white color radiating light. The syllable and vajra suddenly transform into bright white Vajrasattva with his consort surrounded by a hallo of bright light. In the heart chakra
of Vajrasattva is the syllable HUNG inside the vajra. One can visualize his/her root guru in the Vajrasattva form. As we start reciting the mantra of Vajrasattva the syllables of the mantra are circling clockwise around the HUNG in the vajra in the heart chakra of Vajrasattva. As they are moving they radiate powerful bright light that reaches all sentient beings and as it touches them all their obscurations are purified. All sentient beings are transformed into the Vajrasattva deity and recite the Vajrasattva mantra in unison. As the mantra circles in the heart chakra of Vajrasattva bright white nectar and light flow from Vajrasattvas heart chakra and enter your body through the opening on the top of our head where the bones of scul connect. The light and nectar spread through our body and purify all the sickness and obscurations of body, speech and mind. Your become the Vajrasattva. Then you disolve into self-recognizing awareness.
Disolving the visualization: All sentient beings in the form of Vajrasattva transform into light and this light returns into the heart chakra of Vajrasattva. Vajrasattva and his throne suddently disolve into light and this light disolves into the syllable HUNG at the heart chakra of Vajrasattva. Finally, the syllable HUNG disolves from bottom up into a small sphere of light and this sphere of light enters your body as a blessing of Vajrasattva.
Resting in the Buddha nature: Now we settle our mind in its natural state again.
Dedication: Dedicate the merit of the practice so that your negative karma and the karma of all sentient beings would be swiftly purified and you and all sentient beings would recognize their Buddha nature and attain enlightenment in this lifetime.
The 100 syllable Mantra of Vajrasattva:
OM VAJRASATTO SAMAYA MANU PALAYA VAJRASATTO TENOPA TITSA DRIDO ME BHAVA SUTO KAYO MEBHAVA SUPO KAYO MEBHAVA ANU RAKTO MEBHAVA SARVA SIDHI ME PRAYATSHA SARVA KARMA TSUTSA ME TSITAM SHRI YANG KURU HUNG HAHA HAHA HO BHAGHAVAN SARVA TATHAGATA VAJRA MAME MUTSA VAJRA BAWA MAHA SAMAYA SATO AH HUNG PHAT
Short Vajrasattva mantra:
OM VAJRASATTVA HUNG
True Tantra Buddhism
Usually in Tantra practice of yogis and yoginis, they follow Buddha Dharma and practice the six Yanas of Tantra. Of course they have Hinayana and Mahayana as a foundation. This means there are a total of nine Yanas of practice.
There are three important things for practitioners to think of. First, it is important you really find your nature of mind; you feel “I really love Tibetan Buddhism and Tantra”; and you have respect and believe. Also, you learn more from books; tantra books and stories.
Secondly, it is very important you find your true Guru, a really good teacher. A true Guru will have compassion, wisdom and practice Tantra. They will really take good care of their students. They will have a clean lineage. There will be no politics and no business and everything won’t be public.
Thirdly, you follow, you respect, have transmission, empowerment and learn from your Guru. Don’t use Dharma in a business or political way. Don’t do negative things with your teacher such as lying, shouting, having no respect or doing negative things behind their back. If you are exactly face to face and outer, inner and secret are perfect with your teacher then this life time you will have liberation of mind.
Generally modern people are thinking now that Buddhism is just like football, the Olympic Games, sports or exercise. A lot of people think going on holiday related to Buddhism is similar to Buddhism. A lot of students feel that advertising and being ‘very’ public is Tibetan Buddhism. This is absolutely not true.
What is really true is your mind is peace; you have realization of nature of Tantra; you understand inner Buddha, Dharma and Sangha and you do yogi tradition. Then you know that for a very long time since Samantabhadra until now, it is very simple. If other people understand or not isn’t important. What is important is you understand your mind and you have inner peace. You do true Dharma and a positive way.
Otherwise the outer is funny, joking, business way, this isn’t the true way. If for a short time we feel ‘wow’ and are happy this is good. But if after we are joking; dancing; we are focused on being an author and being famous this is not the same. Also for some it is like watching TV for a short time when it looks like a good movie. But this doesn’t help. But if you do every day, take care of the inner then this is a great help.
Otherwise, today are good friends but tomorrow are bad friends; harm each other and fight. You see this political way in Dharma Centres where Dharma brothers and sisters are fighting and maybe killing. This is not understanding Dharma. At first when people are friends but later harm each other, this is not true practice; it is only using each other.
For example, my Guru and my mom I understand are true practitioners and masters. Then they never do negative ways; bad things; they do not change and then don’t come. I never think any bad things. “If” have negative things; business; political things then I have more respect devotion for my Guru and my mom. But negative things never happen with them. Also I know my really good friends and heart students, I give everything in teachings and special things but they hurt me this is my problem because I haven’t been careful. I much more believed others but others did not have respect; they didn’t believe and changed their mind. I have students that this happened to me. Never mind, I will carefully take my students and not try samsara things. I will only focus on taking good care of my lineage and welcome good students to my classes and teachings.
Also Guru Rinpoche said I hope to benefit students but students don’t understand and do the opposite. This is about 70% of people as it is human nature. This is why in our short life, it is important to take good care. Now every day more people do negative things and really true Buddhism practitioner numbers are lower ever day. Recently modern knowledge is not helpful for practitioners including iphones, internet, Facebook, Wechat etc. and they create more negative things and problems. This is the reason lots of masters and great lamas only went to a cave and did meditation retreat.
Hopefully everyone understands these things. But I briefly saw the news and decided to do a short message here to friends, students and close people.
The important message is that everyone tries to do true Buddhism. Then the whole world is nature peace, nature liberation, nature freedom and nature practitioner.
Then this world would be like Dewachen because it will be true Buddhism. Just like Shambhalla or Guru Rinpoche’s land of Zangdok Palri. It will be like this because people totally understand Buddha, Dharma and Tantra practice. Then there will always be peace in this world. I wish this. All the best to you all.
Inner Peace. Khenchen Lama.
Someone has asked me, “What is Inner Manjushri?”
This is a very good question and it is very important to understand. In Tibetan Buddhism, we consider the outer, inner and secret levels. When we think of outer Manjushri, we are doing meditation and we visualize Manjushri in front of us blessing us. We are able to contact him through our visualization, mantra and prayers. In Inner Manjushri you now think ‘I am Manjushri’. We feel this in our physical body and this level involves our chakras, channels and energy that are within us. We have emotions with this as well. In Secret Manjushri you recognize the nature of your wisdom Buddha or Rigpa. Of course this last one is difficult. But first you do the Four Thoughts and with this you automatically have renunciation. Then you not only think of yourself but also all sentient beings having great liberation. This is Bodhicitta. Then you have pure view and your mind is very clean. You do meditation and automatically you feel this is Buddhaland and I am Manjushri. You feel this in each of your chakras. After some time, you will recognize your nature of mind. When you begin in this way with the Four Thoughts, having renunciation, Bodhicitta and you feel you are Manjushri with your chakras and energy and then you will understand the nature of your mind. If you don’t try, it won’t come even if you wish it to. But, if you try visualization and do mantra millions and billions of times and you rest your mind in Shamatha and Rigpasana more and more, then you will definitely recognize your nature of mind. This is my heart teaching for everyone. Thank you. In Secret Manjushri. Khenchen Lama.
Manjushri mantra meaning on syllables by H.E.Khenchen Lama Rinpoche:
OM (ཨོཾ)– also written Aum, is a sacred and mystical syllable that originates from Hinduism but is now common in Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism, and the Bön tradition. Interestingly, it is considered that the Islamic “Amin” and Christian “Amen” are both derived from this syllable.
AH (ཨ) – represents the direct understanding of the nature of phenomena.
RA (ར) – represents the understanding of emptiness from the Hinayana point of view. These profound teachings of the ”Hinayana” emptiness are suitable for those practitioners that have problems in understanding emptiness in its ultimate nature.
PA(པ) – represents meditation. There are 2 basic types of meditation: the non-conceptual (without thinking) meditation and the conceptual (thinking).
TSA (ཙ) – represents the importance of nirvana and samsara. The exact nature of both samsara and nirvana is emptiness. But if we don’t understand the exact nature of samsara, it manifests to us in the form of 3 sufferings. It is essential to understand the importance of both nirvana and samsara.
NA (ན)– represents karma (action). In short, it signifies that all the suffering we experience is the result of our previous non-virtuous actions (negative karma) and all our happiness results from our previous virtuous deeds (positive karma). There are 2 basic kinds of karma: the collective karma and the individual karma. We need to understand that with each action of our speech, body, and mind we are sewing the seeds of our future experience.
Dhi (– represents the bija, or seed syllable, of Boddhisatva Manjushri. After chanting 108 dhihs, envision the dhi on your tongue coming down and absorbing into the dhi on the moon disk at your heart, which becomes very brilliant. Immeasurable red-light rays radiate from that seed syllable, filling your entire physical body and purifying all negative karma (actions), sickness, and obstacles.
In short, the view helps us recognize the correct path. Meditation is the actual practice through which we develop an experiential understanding of the path, leading to a change in our mind and feelings. Activity combined with wisdom gives us the capacity to help sentient beings in an efficient way at the right time.
Fruition is the happiness and courage resulting from accomplishing our virtuous intentions.
ཨོཾ་ཨ་ར་པ་ཙ་ན་དྷཱིཿ ཞེས་སོ། །
Sleep and Dream
Usually everyone is the same and sleeps. But dream is different. First is sleep and then after there is dream. Sleep is important because it gives us good rest and helps keep us healthy. But too much sleep is not good because too much time sleeping we lose half of our life to sleeping. But if you do dream yoga then it is great sleep and meaningful of practice.
Generally, people have different sleep positions; different faces; make different sounds like snoring and have different quality of rest. It is important that you try to do practice of dream yoga. Some people naturally come to dream yoga. Some don’t remember their dreams. That means they don’t have dream yoga. But if you do practice every day of sleep and dream yoga then you can have dreams and understand.
There are 2 things. First, you try exactly dream yoga because before you never tried this way. Secondly it doesn’t come automatically. If you like dream yoga and understand then you also do good virtue things. You respect your emotions dream. You believe your dream yoga meditation and that this is great. And then you will change and understand dream yoga. Then you try more samsara dream yoga and nirvana dream yoga and different things in dream.
Some neuro scientists research sleep and check samsara dreams. But you really need dream yoga and this is very different. When you do dream yoga, then you change like the physical body doing exercises. In the dream you understand lots of things including very secret and different things like luminosity and understand the nature of mind. Of course, everyone has dreams but don’t understand dream yoga dreams.
A really true way if you would like to do dream yoga is first you have empowerment and teaching. This teaching is by your lineage teacher. Then you do dream yoga easily because you have the key and can learn. Otherwise people are scared, worry, the dreams are not meaningful and you don’t know and don’t learn. It is very important to try to practice dream yoga root meditation after you do practice every night. Then you will understand greatly. Then after you are more excited. This is great and then you will understand more and more. All the best to you all.
In Dharma Blessings. Khenchen Lama
Love is very important for others and our self. It is very important because if you love yourself, you love others. If you don’t love yourself, then it is difficult to love others. That means you understand a meaningful life, a useful life. When you have a meaningful life, then you understand much more about loving yourself. For example, when you have a useful and meaningful life this life time, then you also know the animal and hell realms and all of the six realms. It is important to take care your health; to have a positive mind and then you understand much more about love and why it is important. You also understand it is the cause of good karma. When you love yourself, then you love others. These are different types of love. For example, love for our parents; love of our cousins; love between a husband and wife; love between a parent and child; love between a yogi and yogini; and love between a Rigdzin and Rigma. Love is always useful and it is important to always use love in a true way. This is generally how it is.
For practitioners, love is especially important. For example, a Hinayana practitioner is thinking of love and thinking of liberation for them self. A Mahayana practitioner’s love is for sentient beings. For a Tantrayana practitioner, love is of our energy; blessings; consort practice and mind has correct pure view. Everyone likes liberation; love liberation. When you love liberation, then you do; you think of love and you do practice. You need to have actions otherwise it is just words and it is not meaningful. For example, lots of heroes or famous people really love and take care of others. This means you take care of true love. This is a short teaching on exactly what love is. It is meaningful love. There are negative ways to love as well. For example, love smoking; love drinking; love fighting; love killing. These are not positive bad things.But positive love such as Hinayana, Mahayana or Tantrayana love has long life and the view is bigger. This is especially true of Mahamudra love and consort practice. It is very important to understand our physical; inner and secret bodies and the Four Mahamudra understandings.
Inner Love, Khenchen Lama
Samaya is very important between a teacher and a student. It is especially important if you have transmission, empowerment and blessings from him or her, Guru or Dakini. If really have true lineage and empowerment is true, then you take care of samaya. You do practice, meditation and Four Roots meditation. This is very important.
Otherwise if you don’t do Four Roots meditation and you have transmission and empowerment then you don’t have power and you are not a practitioner. Also if samaya is broken this means you and your teacher go to hell. If the teacher is wrong they go to hell. If they aren’t wrong they won’t. If you are wrong then you will go to Vajra hell.
Vajra means a very strong thunderbolt. If you are good, do Four Roots meditation it is useful and you don’t break samaya, then you are a thunderbolt. If you keep your samaya, then you are light thunderbolt liberation. If you break your samaya, you will go to Vajra hell and you are a Vajra demon.
A Vajra demon is the effect of breaking samaya. In this case, you only used your teacher and do Dharma business. You will go to hell if you don’t keep the transmission, empowerment and Four Roots practice together and keep your samaya.
Anyway, Tantra samaya practice is very important to keep clean. If you are in Asia or in the West, it doesn’t matter, it is human. If you have teacher and transmission, you keep samaya as it is very important.
I’ve never broken my samaya. If a student breaks samaya, I have no choice, this is their choice. I show right path, great way with levels. If a student goes the wrong way; believes others; respects others and respects a negative path, then I can’t help. I can’t choose for the student.
Buddha Shakyamuni said “I show my path to you but you follow me”. If you don’t follow him and you go another way; follow a non-Buddhist path; you go on a political or business path or in a negative way; middle way or not a true path this is not following Buddha Shakyamuni.
Anyway, I tell you today as it is a special day. Respect the Dharma and your Guru. If you keep samaya then next life will be very good. In Vajrayana you either go up or go down. There is no middle way of standing still. This is from my compassion that I tell you all my students so that you take care. All the best to you all. Samaya.
In Great Samaya. Khenchen Lama.
Rigma or Dakini
It is very important to understand about the true Dakini. It is important to meet a true Dakini because they help one’s practice; meditation; provide protection; and help one to have good health and long life. Everything one hopes for, a true Dakini offers. “True Dakini” means they have wisdom; compassion; and they really believe in karma and Tantra. A true Dakini especially understands Tantra.
“Rig” means understand the nature of mind. “Ma” means take care like a mother; they take care of the practitioner. This is what Rigma means. Dakini means a high practitioner. It does not mean samsara things. A true Dakini’s View understands the nature of phenomenon. In Meditation, she really respects inner mind. She really sees her Master is Buddha. Her Four Activities are always Dharma and helping benefit other sentient beings. This means a true Dakini has a great mind. She does not think of herself. She understands the outer, inner and secret nature of action. For example, in dream a true Dakini goes to Buddhahood and Dakini land; Dakini Buddhahood. A true Dakini sees good and bad things. If she sees bad things, she changes them in the right way. If she sees the good, she doesn’t have ego and doesn’t see things the wrong way from ego. Her nature is renunciation. She has a clean mind. She doesn’t like samsara but helps in samsara. A great monk is the same. A true Dakini has Bodhichitta and does the Six Paramitas. She has pure view mind and sees Guru Rinpoche. She doesn’t just visualize him but actually sees him in mind as she has inner pure view. There are Mahayoga, Anuyoga, and Atiyoga views and she understands these activities and comes true nature of mind.
This is a Dakini. Dakini means a woman Buddha. Dharmakaya is Samantabhadri; Sambhogakaya is Warahi Yogini. Nirmanakaya is Mandarava or Yeshe Tsogyal; an incarnation in a human body. Her body is samsara but her inner mind is a great Nirmanakaya. These are all Dakinis.
Sometimes in samsara, people don’t understand who a Dakini is but a true Dakini understands in her inner mind. These are not an ordinary person. They say they are ordinary women but they are not really. They have come through many levels and help other people; parents; their family; community; country and everyone. They are doing actions and prayers for all sentient beings. It is like ten people in one person. These are special things. You check yourself. And take care of things. It is a special way and a Dakini needs to take care especially of the Tantra tradition.
For example, the Tantra tradition is like a Garuda; you fly in the sky. A Garuda has two wings to fly. If you do not have two wings, then you can’t fly. Dakas and Dakinis are like the two wings of a Garuda. To begin this path one begins as an ordinary person. Then one takes Refuge and developes Bodhicitta. Next, one practices Tantra and are a yogi/yogini. Then men and women become Dakas and Dakinis. You can have this in one life. Many Rinpoches and high practitioners have done this path in a previous life. Then this life they can do more activities to help sentient beings. Yogis/yoginis need this or they can’t fly this life.
Inner Kindness. Khenchen Lama.
It is important that we do meditation every day. Then meditation is a habit in our life. When we wake, we clean our self on the outer, inner and secret way. Outer meditation, we take a shower and brush our teeth so our body is clean. Although these are samsara things, they are important to do. Inner meditation we think of our precious human life. We think we are not going to do bad or negative things. Instead, we are going to use our energy and our self positively. We think of the liberation of sentient beings and that we achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings. I use my kindness, compassion and good heart to take care of myself and others. It is important to try to stop the bad and all negative things. Secret meditation in Buddhism we have renunciation; Refuge and Bodhicitta. We have Guru Yoga meditation; Mahamudra and Rigpa Dzogchen meditation. We use our motivation; we use our meditation and do dedication. It is very important that you do morning, afternoon and evening. I am doing this and I am telling you this now. When you have the habit of meditation in this way, your body is healthy and you use your mind in positive ways and your mind is healthy. You will be Buddha.
All the best.
H.E. Khenchen Lama.
Meditation is not easy for human beings. Meditation means in Tibetan words “gom”. There are three things. First, only try to have our mind positive again and again. Keep trying to be positive and not negative. Have our mind focus on being more peaceful, more interesting things, more good things. This is mind focusing. Second way you turn your mind and have renunciation. Have the Four Thoughts of precious human life etc. When we understand these, these are the cause of renunciation and makes renunciation very easy. Also, try to have a great heart and Bodhicitta for sentient beings, So have renunciation and Bodhicitta. Then especially try to have pure view. Don’t think life is samsara, life is very bad etc. Instead, have a pure view of Buddhahood. Visualiz the Four Roots of Guru, Yidam, Dakini and Protection. Then it is more peaceful and then you have confident shamatha. Thirdly, understand that all of the above is blessing you and ask that you understand the nature of mind because I don’t right now. Pray with a strong request. This is blessing you and for your motivation. Therefore mind has great peace. The Buddha blessings are for you. This is Shamatha meditation. Also you rest in the nature of mind. Look inside and rest in your mind, don’t look outside. Then you have renunciation, Bodhicitta, pure view. Then understanding and recognizing the nature of your mind comes automatically. In this moment you recognize the nature of your mind. Then you try again and again. This is great meditation. This is Rigpa meditation. After you do this for a short time, then do dedication. Do practice for a short time and again do dedication. This is really helpful for our mind and meditation. We do again and again. Then you understand this is exactly the great meditation. Because there is good virtue, good emotion, good shamatha and good understanding of nature of your mind. Then you have the four activities in your daily life. During these, try not to forget your nature of mind. If you forget and it’s difficult to remember during the day, do this for 5 or 10 minutes in the morning after you get up. Then do dedication. Then again at night. This is helpful for your practice and will be easier to remember through the day. With this action, this life is meaningful and very good. Then next life is also very good and have three kayas liberation. This is fruition. Because if have great meditation then Dharmakaya liberation; if meditation then Sambhogakaya liberation. Or if you don’t understand the nature of your mind then you have an incarnation which is Nirmanikaya incarnation. Then you will have a meaningful life next life with three kayas liberation. This is my heart teaching.
In a warm heart, Dorjee, Khenchen Lama
Three Important Things
I prostrate to my Guru Samantabhadra.
There are three things that are important.
First we strongly believe. That is, we have great devotion to the lineage and the Guru. This is very important.
Secondly it is important to have Bodhicitta which is thinking and wanting all sentient beings to reach the Great Liberation.
The third important thing is to do prostrations, offerings and merit or activity. Prostrations and Vajrasattva practice purify negativities. Along with Mandala offerings and Guru Yoga practice, these are very important. If we don’t do practice and this activity then it doesn’t change our mind. Our heart may be very good but if we don’t do action then our mind doesn’t change much.
We also need to try to have a peaceful mind. To do this, don’t think about the past, present or future. Instead, rest your mind.
There are 8 consciousness and five emotions. These don’t touch our mind. If you touch eye consciousness then you see colors. If you touch smell consciousness then you can smell etc. If you ‘think’ it is often a negative way. Instead, rest in our primordial nature, the nature of mind. Don’t think of samsara things or nirvana things. Only recognize our nature.
For example, if we watch a river, the water flows naturally, nobody pushes it. This is the same as the primordial nature way to do meditation.
In this very moment, our mind with no thoughts is like great space which is like an open heart. Then you see primordial emptiness and primordial Light. It is like sky, like space. Our mind is the same.
There is no past, present or future but you know it is yourself. There is no view, activity, meditation or fruition. All one sees is Dharmadatu. There is no coming or going. Only Great Freedom Mind.
For example, a bird is in an egg. Once the egg opens, it is free. The same with our mind. Then there is no samsara or nirvana. One sees everything, just like Buddha’s mind.
When we are born or die, everything is like primordial mind, the nature of the three Kayas. Mind is always blissful. Great peace is fruition.
We understand more and more about impermanence. We understand more and more about a precious human life and the importance of taking care in this time.
This means that fruition comes through. It pushes through naturally. This is a great practitioner!
In Holy Dharma. Khenchen Lama.
Good Health and Meditation
To have good health it is best to do meditation in the early morning. It is best if Dream Yoga is 4:00 to 5:30 in the morning. Then do meditation from 5:30 to 6:30 in the morning. Studying and meditation are best done early in the day. Relaxing and doing activities in a relaxed way through the day is the best. Rest when you are able to.
You don’t always need the internet, the phone or TV as these are more stressful and they are not peaceful or relaxing. Usually people spend a lot of time on these and they become very stressed.
Also, if you don’t eat or drink well then you will feel uncomfortable and you won’t have good health. Too much eating is also a problem as you will feel tired and very exhausted.
To have good physical and mental health and to develop your meditation the following things are important:
- Don’t use the internet, TV, phone and technology too much and these types of samsara things.It is very easy to waste a lot of time this way and they increase stress in our life.
- Eat natural food and drink juice and water.
- Don’t think of the past or worry about the future too much. Don’t think too much about things. Just try to relax in this moment.
- Do Guru Yoga, Yidam, Dakini and Protection meditations. Do the Three or Four Roots meditation every day. This will help take good care of your body, speech and mind.
This isn’t only for Buddhist practitioners but it is important for everyone to take care of their body, speech, mind and activities. It is important to take good care of these every day.
- Do not smoke or do drugs. Also, be very careful of chemicals and try not to use them.
- Use natural medicines when you need to. Do exercise every day for 30 min to 1 hour. This can mean prostrations or any movement.
- Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at the same time every day.
- Get enough sleep every night. Usually 7 or 8 hours is a good amount for most people. A few people don’t need this amount. If you have enough sleep, don’t sleep longer. If you don’t get enough sleep at night then take a nap in the day for 20 minutes. This is very important so you have enough rest.
- Try not to be angry, jealous, attached, have aversion or be arrogant. Fear is common among these so become less afraid. Try to lessen your ego. The Five Poisons only create more and more problems. With the Five Poisons we become physically and mentally unhealthy.
Instead, be kind and patient. Develop respect and rejoice in the good fortune of others. It is very important to develop compassion and wisdom.
Do meditation and then you will have better mental health. All of these are important things.
In Dharma Blessings
21 Tibetan Yoga Meditation
The first posture helps legs, knees, hands, arms and the back of the neck. The second posture helps skin and eye problems. The third posture helps if you are always cold and have difficulties after eating. The fourth posture is for strengthening weak arms. The fifth posture is for people with edema anywhere in their body so they are overweight. The sixth posture helps the spine. The seventh posture helps the channels and energy problems. The eighth helps the back of the shoulders. The ninth posture helps our upper back and if we experience shortness of breath. The tenth posture helps our kidneys. The eleventh posture helps the ribs in our chest. The twelfth posture helps the stomach and intestines. The thirteenth posture helps the whole body. The fourteenth posture helps when we have difficulty moving our neck. The fifteenth posture helps the inside of our whole body. The sixteenth posture helps our voice if it is weak and if we have difficulty speaking. The seventeeth posture helps the abdomen. The eighteenth posture helps all the joints in our body. The nineteenth posture helps the leg muscles. The twentieth posture helps the whole body inside, outside and the channels. The twenty first posture helps our mind and allows us to be peaceful. If you can do these 21 postures every day, your body and mind will be very healthy and you will have a long life.
Four Roots Meditation and Practice
There are Four Roots: Guru Yoga is the first Root. Guru Yoga practice with Guru Rinpoche. Lineage is always important. Guru Rinpoche initially introduced Buddhism to Tibet. You meditate and this practice is very close and important to you. There are four levels: outer, inner, secret and very secret. Guru Rinpoche practice is a short meditation practice to do all these levels. What is very important is that you remember that Guru Rinpoche is all Buddhas, Bodhisattvas. All other Tibetan lineages come from Guru Rinpoche. This is why Guru Yoga is very important.
The second Root is called “yidam”. In this case it is Manjusri. Yidam Manjusri is Wisdom Buddha and Bodhisattva. He is the Wisdom Mind of all Buddhas. On the inner, we do Manjusri practice and become more knowledgeable, intelligent and have more wisdom. This is important for children and anyone studying. It also allows everyone to have more Wisdom and our minds to be Peaceful.
The third Root is Dakini. Dakini’s remove obstacles on the inner, outer and secret levels. Tara is the Dakini. There are 21 Taras and we will focus on Green Tara. She can also help with quieting fears and clearing obstacles in our daily life. With doing her practice, these difficulties can be removed more quickly. When you believe in Tara, she is like your shadow and always with you.
The fourth Root is Protectors and we will focus on King Gesar. King Gesar is an incarnation of Guru Rinpoche and his wisdom, compassion and power. King Gesar is the best protector. He is different from other Dharmapalas, that is protectors, because he encompasses all wisdoms, compassion and power of all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. When no other protectors can be helpful, King Gesar always can be.
These four Roots are very, very important for meditation practitioners. Guru Yoga is linked to our body; the Yidam is linked to our speech; the Dakini is linked to our mind and the Protector is linked to our activity.
This is my lineage and my heart teaching.
By Khenchen Lama Rinpoche
FIVE ELEMENTS MEDITATION
It is important that you listen, study and then do the action of the Five Elements mudra and Five Elements mantra together and rest in the nature of the Five Elements.
First, our motivation is very important in all meditation and all Dharma practice. Our motivation is not only for ourself but also to help all other sentient beings have liberation in this life time.
Then you think “I am doing this practice for the liberation of all sentient beings”. Therefore your mind is clean and you have inner joy.
Secondly, it is important that you do the right posture of Vairochana or you sit with your back straight on a chair. Also, some people like the meditation posture. You choose what is best for yourself.
After we do the mudra of the Five Elements. This moves our energy and makes it stronger and stronger. When our energy is strong, we have good mental health and our body and Five Elements will be healthy. Then our physical body will be really healthy.
It is important to understand the Five Elements mudra; the Five Elements mantra and the Five Elements power. Each finger has a channel that carries one of the Five Elements and these go to the rest of our body.
The Five Elements mudra involves our thumbs and our fingers. The channel in our thumbs is the Earth element. Our index fingers are the Water element. Our middle finger is the Sky element. Our ring finger is the Fire element and our baby finger is the Wind element.
There are two ways we do the Five Elements mudra. I will show you.
One is the thumb that is earth, touches each finger. So when the thumb and index finger touch, it is the Earth touching Water. When the thumb and middle finger touch, it is the Earth touching the Sky. When the thumb and ring finger touch, it is the Earth touching Fire. And when the thumb and baby fingers touch, it is the Earth touching Wind. The second mudra is our fingers from both hands touch each other: thumbs touch; index fingers touch; middle fingers touch; ring fingers touch and baby fingers touch.
The Five Elements Mantra is: RAM, YAM, WAM, KAM, AH.
We use our mantra and mudra together, focusing on our channels in the outer, inner and secret levels. For example in the outer, you know there are Earth, Water, Fire, Wind and Sky. When this is very clean we are very healthy inside. More importantly is the inside of the physical body and we take good care of our Five Elements.
On the inner, if our body’s Five Elements are going well then it is easy to do meditation. If our Five Elements are a bit changed or not in balance, people are sick, they are not mentally healthy and they have obstacles. This is the reason for these conditions.
You will be healthy, have better mental health and more wisdom if you remember all of the considerations of body, speech and mind; outer, inner and secret levels; the Five Elements and you have good concentration. You will be taking good care of yourself. And you will be able to help and bless others. You will be able to bless others because the energy in your fingers will be strong and positive. You choose how long to do this meditation. Take your time.
After you are finished it is very important to do dedication. Do dedication for our environment’s Five Elements and this world, Mother Earth. And especially for our physical body and Five Elements to be doing well and are perfect. Dedication on the inner level is that all sentient beings are happy, are peace and have liberation mind. All the best.
In Five Elements Blessing. Khenchen Lama
First, it is very important that you really understand the Yogi view. Secondly, you do practice of Yoga every day. Thirdly, you are confident in your lineage. These are three very important things.
Also, a Yogi or Yogini never smokes or gambles. And they never stop doing Yoga activities. They never fight. They always keep eating, drinking, sitting and sleeping in the right way.
Do not forget your Yogi Samaya. Always take care of both Samsara and Nirvana in a positive way.
Inner Great Yogi. Khenchen Lama.
NGAKPA / NAGKMA VOWS
There are five vows that are the Ngakpa or Ngakma Vows. All other Ngakpa Vows can be included in these five. Traditionally, these Vows are just referred to as Ngakpa Vows.
- The first vow is to always take Refuge; to always have Bodhicitta and to respect the Tantra lineage.
Understand that you never finish your connection with these. If you don’t like Tantra, it means your vow is broken. If you really like Tantra, you do Tantra practice and believe in it. Then you will keep this vow.
- The second vow is to respect your lineage Master. You respect Vajrasattva, Samantabhadra, Garab Dorjee and your Master.
You understand that you never finish your relationship with your Master. You do not argue with your Master or break the connection with your Master. You are always with your Master.
- The third vow is to do mantra and mudra every day. When you do these every day, you do not lose your practice.
- The fourth vow is that you always respect your Vajra brothers and sisters; you don’t fight with them or do negative things towards them.
- The fifth and last vow is that you never talk about the practices in a public place or with the public. You always keep your samaya. If you discuss your practices with the public or publicly, you break these vows.
Inner Blessings, Khenchen Lama
Daily Meditation Question and Answer
Some students have an important question about doing meditation every day when they have a busy life. This is a very good question and I’d like to answer. I did answer but I will write the answer here clearly for everyone.
Of course, our life is very rushed and busy and doing many things that are not meaningful with samsara things. But you are really lucky as you have a lineage and your teachers.
You do Guru Yoga; Yidam Garuda; Dakini White Tara and Dharmapala King Gesar. You practice these every day. This is Shamatha meditation because you are focusing and doing visualization, mantra, mudra and concentration is on Four Roots.
Every day when you get up early in the morning, think of what you are doing today. The things to think about is not your busy schedule. Instead, think of the following.
First it is important to think of the Four Thoughts. First is Precious Human Life. You think “I have a meaningful Precious Human Life. I really do have the 32 auspicious characteristics of a precious human life”.
Second, think about impermanence. Moments pass quickly. Things change and soon it will happen and you will die. In this moment, you have a Precious Human Life and it too is impermanent.
Third, be careful with karma and take care with your actions.
Fourth is, Samsara is suffering.
With these Four Thoughts you will automatically have renunciation mind. Secondly, think about Buddha Dharma and take Refuge. Think about with sentient beings reaching the great liberation and think about Bodhicitta.
In your daily life, try the activity of Six Paramitas as much as you can do.
Next, continue with the Preliminary practices.
Do Yidam Vajrasattva purification meditation. Vajrasattva meditation practice has Four Powers. First is the Power of Support. This is the Vajrasattva empowerment that you have had. The Second Power is to recognize you have done wrong and now have negative karma. You think and feel that “I am sorry and feel sad for all the things I have done wrong”. The Third Power is understanding and saying, “I won’t do these negative things again”. The Fourth Power is the Power of Action. This is Vajrasattva visualization and the long and short mantra. You do this now.
After this, do the Three Kayas Mandala Offering.
After the Mandala Offering, it is important to pray to Guru Rinpoche outer, inner, secret and very secret ways.
Lastly do the Four Key Points. First, do the visualization of the Four Roots. Secondly, do the mantra of the Four Roots. Thirdly, rest mind with Four Roots. Lastly, recognize nature of Four Roots.
The first time it is difficult to do this. Even though it is not easy, try slowly, slowly every day.
To review. This means you have motivation; you are focused and you do dedication at the end.
You do whatever you have time for: 5 minutes, 10 minutes or 30 minutes. Do this in the early morning. Then anytime like breakfast, lunch, after dinner and when you have free time, you remember these things. Then you are a practitioner with a daily practice.
All the best to you all.
In Nature of Dharma. Khenchen Lama.