Monday, May 14, 2012

The Ten Bhumis - The Stages of a Bodhisattva

1. The first stage is called in Sanskrit Pramudita, or Very Happy. Bhumi means stage or ground. From the position of Bodhisattva to become a Buddha, one must go through the ten Bhumis, the ten stages or stations. The first is called the Very Happy station because in this first stage the Bodhisattva has recognized the Sunyata not only by thinking or just by visualization, but he has exactly and truly realized the Sunyata. Because he recognized the Sunyata, he is in another world, a world of Sunyata, not a world of ignorance or selfishness. So he feels very happy, and feels joy at having overcome the former difficulties. So it is called the Very Happy Station.

2. The second bhumi is Vimala or Renounce the Defilement because as a Bodhisattva he knows how to get the Sunyata and abide in the Sunyata more and more. Within the Sunyata he knows everything is pure, while outside everything is defiled. Actually it may seem that the Renounce the Defilement stage should be even before the first bhumi, but here Renounce the Defilement means the very subtle, not the gross one. So the second bhumi is the stage of purity when the Bodhisattva experiences freedom from all possible defilement.

3. The third bhumi is called Prabhakari or Shines Light Stage because as the Bodhisattva's meditation goes deep, his Samadhi shines light, so this is called the Shines Light or Enlightened Stage or Eminate Stage because a lot of light shines out from his Samadhi.

4. The fourth bhumi is Arcismati or Burning Wisdom. The Bodhisattva has burned up all sorrows in the fire of wisdom so this is called the burning or glowing wisdom stage.

Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva

Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva Sutra
Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva is often referred to as the Bodhisattva of the Hell beings because of his vow to not achieve Buddhahood until "all the Hells are empty". However, his vow actually encompasses all sentient beings, who vows to reveal all the secrets of even the hidden teachings, in order to save sentient beings, even if he has to suffer retribution, and the pulverization of his bones and flesh. His popularity among the Chinese and Japanese Buddhists is second only to Kuan Shih Yin P'usa as he takes upon himself the fearful and difficult task of bringing relief and consolation to the suffering beings of hell.

The birthday of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva falls on the 30th day of the 7th moon of the Chinese lunar calendar. All over the world Buddhist temples offer prayers to Ti Tsang P'usa during the 7th lunar month for the benefit of the dead.

Ti Tsang is at times depicted accompanied by a dog, which also has a significant meaning. On the death of his mother, the Bodhisattva, not as "Sacred Girl', hastened into the underworld with the view of comforting her and to seek favorable treatment for her. However, he could not find her but later discovered that she had already taken rebirth as a female dog. Upon his return to earth Ti Tsang soon traced and adopted the animal, which then became his companion on his pilgrimages.

Ksitigabha Bodhisattva Tibetan Mantra
for Eradicating Fixed Karma.

Click on the above link to listen to the mantra of Ksitigabha Bodhisattva

Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva is found in many Buddhist homes and temples and he is seen seated upon a lotus throne. Wearing the robe of a Northern Buddhist monk and on his head is the "five-leave crown, where the representation of a Dhyani-Buddha can be seen on each of the leaves. He always has a benevolent and kind look carries either, or both, his symbols of the Cintamani or "Wish-fulfilling Jewel' and the "Ringed-Staff", which is also called the Khakkhara. This ringed staff is often carried by Buddhist monks in their travels so that the sounds caused by the jingling rings can warn small animals and insects of their approach lest they be trod upon and killed. It is also sometimes called the alarm-staff.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Viamalakirti Nirdesa Sutra

Translated by Robert A. F. Thurman
Copyright 1976, The Pennsylvania State University

1. Purification of the Buddha-Field

Reverence to all Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Aryasravakas, and Pratyekabuddhas, in the past, the present, and the future.

Thus have I heard at one time. The Lord Buddha was in residence in the garden of Amrapali, in the city of Vaisali, attended by a great gathering. Of bhikshus there were eight thousand, all saints. They were free from impurities and afflictions, and all had attained self-mastery. Their minds were entirely liberated by perfect knowledge. They were calm and dignified, like royal elephants. They had accomplished their work, done what they had to do, cast off their burdens, attained their goals, and totally destroyed the bonds of existence. They all had attained the utmost perfection of every form of mind control.

Of bodhisattvas there were thirty-two thousand, great spiritual heroes who were universally acclaimed. They were dedicated through the penetrating activity of their great superknowledges and were sustained by the grace of the Buddha. Guardians of the city of Dharma, they upheld the true doctrine, and their great teachings resounded like the lion's roar throughout the ten directions.

Without having to be asked, they were the natural spiritual benefactors of all living beings. They maintained unbroken the succession of the Three Jewels, conquering devils and foes and overwhelming all critics.

Their mindfulness, intelligence, realization, meditation, incantation, and eloquence all were perfected. They had attained the intuitive tolerance of the ultimate incomprehensibility of all things. They turned the irreversible wheel of the Dharma. They were stamped with the insignia of signlessness.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Four Thoughts that Turn the Mind to the Dharma Pt. 2

Morelia, Mexico, May 30, 2000
Lightly edited course transcript

The Four Thoughts in Reverse Sequence

The four thoughts that turn our mind to the Dharma show us on a slightly deeper level that this is possible. We have discussed how it is possible to gain conviction in the possibility of liberation and enlightenment in terms of the three basic thoughts needed to enter the Dharma: suffering, wanting to get out of suffering, and having the conviction that it is possible to get out of suffering. The four thoughts that turn our mind to the Dharma actually turn our minds toward these three thoughts, specifically to the first of these three steps, recognizing and acknowledge the difficulties and sufferings in life. The last of the four thoughts is of the unsatisfactoriness of samsara, which is the actual acknowledgement of difficulties and problems in life. We need to work backwards in order to appreciate the order and necessity of each step.

What are the difficulties and problems that we face? Buddha gave many lists, but the more concise one is a list of three. We can call them the three types of problems. The first is gross suffering: pain and unhappiness. It includes physical pain as well as mental pain. Most people can recognize this without much difficulty. Nobody likes to be unhappy, so most people would like to get out of it.

The second problem is the problem of change. This refers to our usual ordinary experiences of happiness, which are tainted with confusion. They change; they do not last. For instance, we eat and feel the happiness of our stomach being full but it does not last and we get hungry again. What is the problem? The problem is not that the happiness does not last. That is just the nature of this type of happiness. Having the most profound, direct understanding of voidness is not going to change the fact that this type of happiness is impermanent. Nothing is going to change that. We can get less upset by the fact that it changes, but that is not the point here. The real problem with this type of happiness is the uncertainty factor: when it ends, we do not know what will follow. We are with our friends, having a good time. The good time ends and we don't know if we are going to feel happy, tired, unhappy or what. That is the real problem here. Just going after this temporary happiness will not help us, even though we feel okay for a while. Not only does it not eliminate all our problems, but we are left in a state of real insecurity, not knowing what will come next.

The Four Thoughts that Turn the Mind to the Dharma Pt. 1

Morelia, Mexico, May 30, 2000
Lightly edited course transcript


I like to begin classes with a set of preliminaries. These are various methods to help us quiet down and get into an appropriate state of mind for meditating or listening to teachings. In order to be able to get into something fully we need to enter into it slowly and appropriately. That is purpose of preliminaries.

There are many different ways to get into a state of mind conducive for meditating or for listening. I usually follow just one of many possibilities. This method starts with counting the breath. When we are very distracted emotionally or mentally, from our work, from traveling here or whatever, it is very important to first quiet down into a neutral state. This helps us to relax. The way that we do this is to breathe normally through the nose, which means not too quickly, not too slowly, not too deeply and not too shallowly. The cycle is to first breathe out, then allow a slight pause and, because we have made a slight pause, we naturally breathe in more deeply. That is a much more relaxed way of breathing deeply than consciously taking a deep breath. As we breathe back in, we count it as one in our minds. Then, without holding the breath we breathe out. We repeat this cycle eleven times and then repeat the count of eleven two or three times, depending on our speed. The numbers don't really matter. We can count up to any number. We do not need to get superstitious about it. The point is to occupy the verbal energy of our mind with something so that we are not thinking something else while focusing on the breath. Let us do that please.

Once we have quieted down, we try to get our energies, our mind and emotions, going in a positive way. We do this by affirming our motivation. Why we are here? What do we want to gain or to accomplish by being here, or by meditating? We are here to learn more methods to apply to ourselves personally to help us in our lives. We are not just coming for entertainment or amusement or for intellectual knowledge. We are here to learn something practical. It is the same thing when meditating. It is not just for relaxation or a hobby or sport. We meditate to try to help ourselves to develop beneficial habits for use in our lives. We don't do it to please our teacher. We are doing it because we are convinced that it is beneficial. We want to listen to something practical because we would like to be able to deal with difficulties in our lives more skillfully, and not just make our lives a little bit better, but eventually go all the way and get free of all the difficulties we have. We would like to learn methods that will help us to become Buddhas so that we can really be of best help to everyone.

Introduction to the King of Prayers 2

Introduction by the English translator of this prayer, Jesse Fenton:

"Thus have I heard. At one time the Bhagavan was at Sravasti in the Jeta grove, in the Anathapindada garden within a magnificent estate. He was with Samantabhadra, Manjushri and five thousand other bodhisattvas who had all undertaken the bodhisattva practice and aspirations of all-embracing good, Samantabhadra."

There, at Sravasti, begins the Gandavyuha Sutra, whose final pages are the "Extraordinary Aspiration of the Practice of Samantabhadra." Originally written in Sanskrit, the sutra was translated into Chinese beginning in the second century c.e. and into Tibetan toward the end of the first millennium. Virtually all Mahayana schools revere this sutra. In China, the Hwa Yen school of Buddhism was almost entirely devoted to the study of the Avatamsaka Sutra, of which the Gandavyuha Sutra is the last chapter.

Introduction to the King of Prayers

By Venerable Thubten Chodron

Whenever I read "The Extraordinary Aspiration of the Practice of Samantabhadra," I feel energized and optimistic. This prayer opens us up to a world of Buddhas teaching the Dharma to bodhisattvas on every atom of existence. Our view is no longer dismally bound by the 6 o'clock news, the dim prophecies of political analysts, and worries about finances and relationships, but is now expanded to include the activities of bodhisattvas who seek to alleviate the miseries of all sentient beings. Instead of seeing ourselves as limited beings, we have inklings of our Buddha nature -- the potential each of us possesses to become a fully enlightened being. Our aspiration to realize this Buddha potential flowers, and our lives are renewed with meaning and purpose.

"Samantabhadra" is sometimes translated as "the universal good." What is universally good? Bodhicitta-the aspiration to become a Buddha in order to be of the greatest and most effective benefit to all beings. Who possesses bodhicitta? Bodhisattvas. This prayer of aspiration summarizes all the extraordinary activities of bodhisattvas, as well as both the profound and extensive paths. For this reason, it is called "King of Prayers."

Samantabhadra's Admonition

"This day has passed
Our lives too are closing,
Like fish with little water
Joy will not last.

Let us practice with pure effort
Practice as we would were our heads aflame.
Be mindful of impermanence,
Be careful of idleness."

The Extraordinary Aspiration Of the Practice of Samantabhadra

The King of Prayers

In Sanskrit: samantabhadracarya pranidhana

In Tibetan: 'phags-pa bzang-po spyod-pa'i smon-lam-gyi rgyal-po

I bow down to the youthful Arya Manjushri.

You lions among humans,
Gone to freedom in the present, past and future
In the worlds of ten directions,
To all of you, with body, speech and sincere mind I bow down.

With the energy of aspiration for the bodhisattva way,
With a sense of deep respect,
And with as many bodies as atoms of the world,
To all you Buddhas visualized as real, I bow down.

On every atom are Buddhas numberless as atoms,
Each amidst a host of bodhisattvas,
And I am confident the sphere of all phenomena
Is entirely filled with Buddhas in this way.

With infinite oceans of praise for you,
And oceans of sound from the aspects of my voice,
I sing the breathtaking excellence of Buddhas,
And celebrate all of you Gone to Bliss.

Dream World

This life is a dream… a lucid dream, in which no matter how one tries to “wake up” from the dream, one just cannot. Specifically due to the heavy load of karma that renders one into a state of identification.

When people describe the Buddha as "One Who has Awakened," they describe the event in terms of a dream metaphor. But this is missing the actual realization that we truly are existing in a dream-like reality, that is essentially empty of self-nature. Although one does experience something, a reality as it were, it is ultimately unreal.

This life is an illusion. Our relationships are an illusion. The people in our lives exist to us now, as inherently real; after all, we do experience ourselves in opposition to others, but it is truly like the dream metaphor. When we wake from a dream, we know for certain that the people we interacted with never actually existed outside of our thoughts.

I see it clearly now, yet… I still can’t wake up.

If I were to loose a loved one in a dream, I experience the pain of loss, yet, there was really no loss at all, since the loved one never really existed. So the experience was real, so to speak, but the loss was not.

This is how the relative world is, Ultimately.

There is nothing left to do but practice with diligence; Like Samantabhadra Bodhisattva says in his Admonition: “practice like your head is on fire.”

Monday, May 7, 2012

Common Root Tantric Vows


As with bodhisattva vows, there are root and secondary tantric vows, which we promise to keep until reaching enlightenment and which continue on our mental continuums into future lives. The Gelug, Kagyu, and Sakya traditions confer these vows with any empowerment (dbang, initiation), subsequent permission (rjes-snang, permission), or mantra-gathering (sngags-btus) for any practice from one of the two higher classes of tantra - yoga or anuttarayoga - according to their fourfold classification scheme. The Nyingma tradition confers them with any of the above three rituals for any practice from one of the four higher tantra classes - yoga, mahayoga, anuyoga, or atiyoga (dzogchen) - according to its sixfold scheme.

Most details from the discussion of bodhisattva vows pertain to the tantric vows as well.

The root tantric vows are to refrain from fourteen actions which, if committed with the four binding factors (kun-dkris bzhi), constitute a root downfall (sngags-kyi rtsa-ltung) and precipitate a loss of the tantric vows. Without these vows shaping our lives, we cannot gain attainments or realizations from tantric practice. This is because our practice will lack the necessary supporting context. Except for one of the tantric root downfall actions, giving up bodhichitta - the same as with the root bodhisattva vows - a transgression of any of the other thirteen, without the four binding factors being complete, merely weakens the tantric vows. It does not eliminate them from our mental continuums.

There are two variations of the root tantric vows, one specific to Kalachakra and one common to all yoga and anuttarayoga tantras, including Kalachakra. Here, we shall follow the explanation of the common root tantric vows given in An Explanation of Secret Mantra Ethical Discipline: A Cluster of Fruit of Actual Attainments (gSang-sngags-kyi tshul-khrims-kyi rnam-bshad dngos-grub-kyi snye-ma) by the early fifteenth-century Gelug founder Tsongkhapa (Tsong-kha-pa Blo-bzang grags-pa). We shall supplement it from A Lamp to Illuminate the Closely Bonding Practices (Dam-tshig gsal-ba'i sgron-me) by the late fifteenth-century Gelug master Kaydrub Norzang-gyatso (mKhas-grub Nor-bzang rgya-mtsho).

Mantra Mala Manual

One Full Mala (108x)
How to use your Tibetan Prayer Beads
A working method of Enlightenment 
By Bruce Conway

The Hindu and Tibetan Buddhist malas are beaded rosaries or strings of prayer beads used during chanting or meditation. They are employed to focus one’s awareness and concentration during spiritual practice. The word mala means “garland” or rosary in Sanskrit. Prayer beads have been used by practitioners from many disciplines for thousands of years. Buddha himself recommended the mantra mala practice as a path to enlightenment for ordinary people. Although malas have been used in this way for thousands of years, it is only recently that they have become popular as fashion accessories. Tibetan jewelry, clothing and beliefs are presently in vogue worldwide. Many people have adopted these trappings as fashion statements, yet few realize the symbolic significance or esoteric origins of their trappings.

The Shrine Room Etiquette

ONE OF THE QUESTIONS that arises in the mind of a person when he or she first encounters a lama or a shrine room is 'What do I do? How do I act?' Detailed answers are not always evident or accessible, but a basic rule of thumb in dealing with religious personages, places or situations can be stated in one word: respect.

The Lama

A lama who is a Rinpoche (Tib: "precious one") is one who has achieved, by years of study and practice, a high degree of spiritual awareness and attainment. A Rinpoche has frequently gone through extensive training, even in worldly terms, and he has devoted his life to bringing out the highest spiritual potentials in everyone that he contacts, as well as in himself. His compassion extends to all beings, and he selflessly strives to be a purified vessel of the enlightened attitude, and gives of himself to others without hesitation. He is truly a holy person, and for this reason he deserves not only respect, but great consideration.

If the Rinpoche is also a Tulku (Tib: "nirmanakaya"), he is considered an incarnation of a highly evolved individual or bodhisattva, who has been practicing such compassion and selflessness for many lifetimes, to the point that he has deliberately forestalled his own complete liberation in order to return to the realm of suffering and help free others. Anyone who has had experience with the Rinpoches can verify that extraordinary qualities of generosity, compassion and wisdom are unfailingly manifested by them, each in their own unique ways. And in addition, they are repositories of truth, of Dharma. They are due every courtesy that can be extended to them.

Proper respect towards a lama is shown in a simple way. To greet him traditionally, according to the custom of Tibet, one would offer a white silk scarf (Tib: "kata"). If the lama is a high Rinpoche, and especially one's own teacher, it is customary traditionally to prostrate three times upon arriving and once when leaving, if it is a formal situation. In the West, people are not always comfortable with such demonstrations, particularly if they are not Buddhists, and if this is the case, one may show respect in a natural way, perhaps with a short, Japanese-style bow with hands folded, or with an American-style handshake. The important thing is to acknowledge the lama as one would acknowledge any dignitary or religious personage, in an appropriate way.

Definition of Nyungne Practice

THE FASTING PRACTICE of Nyungne is a well known, very popular, and profound purification practice that is widely performed in Tibet. One set of Nyungne consists of two days of practice. The first day is the preliminary day, and the second day is the actual fasting day. One takes what is called the Tekchen Sojong vow, the mahayana vow of Restoring and Purifving Ordination, with a total of eight precepts, and on the preliminary day one eats only one meal with drinks for the entire day. The meal is completely and purely vegetarian, which means it is free from any meat sub¬stance as well as onions, garlic, eggs, etc. The next day is a complete fast with no meals or drinks, and one must also be silent.

This important and well cherished fasting practice can be done by anyone. The only requirement is that if you are not a Buddhist, you must take the vow of refuge as well as the bodhisattva vow, and you must receive the empowerment for Thousand-Armed Chenrezig. As long as one is willing to receive these teachings, one is welcome to participate in the practice.

The Benefit of Doing Nyung Nay

By keeping the eight vows which are:

l. No killing

2. No stealing

3. No sex

4. No telling lies

5. No drinking alcohol

6. No singing or dancing, makeup or ornaments

7. No evening meals

8. No sitting in high seats

for a period of 48 hours, along with The Chenrezig Practise
and reciting The Mani Mantra, by doing these things brings a real
benefit to the practioner and to the place where he or she practices.
By keeping the eight vows thoroughly for twenty-four hours purifies
the bad karma that will cause an individual to fall into The Hell
Realm and by fasting one purifies the bad karma to be reborn in The
Hungry Ghost Realm. By keeping silent one purifies the bad karma to
be reborn in The Animal Realm.

All suffering and misfortune comes front negative powers, so The
Nyung Nay practice is to increase the positive powers so that it can
bring happiness and harmony. It is one of the most effective
practices to purify our defilements, and to purify environmental

By doing group practice one creates a very efficient method for
extending our lives, and stopping disease, drought, and also war. The
Nyung Nay practice was founded by Bhikshuni Phalmo who was a serious
leprosy patient. By doing this practice for a period of twelve years
along with The Chenrezig practice, she became a great Siddhi. By
reciting The Mani Mantra it purifies the six seeds of the six realms
and it pacifies the suffering of all beings and brings peace to the
world, so in this degenerate time it is the best practice for the
cause of World Peace. Finally, it brings enlightenment, Bhikshuni
Phalmo attained The Celestial Body, she sees Chenrezig anytime.


Nyung Nay

Nyungne (pronounced nyung-nay) is a traditional retreat which includes vows for fasting and silence. Periods of group mediation are interspersed with periods for individual practice, study and reflection. Each day, we eat a large midday feast together, with assigned groups alternating cooking responsibilities and observing no meat or eggs. Nyungne, literally "ritual fasting," is a practice that belongs generally to the Mahayana, and more specifically to the Kriya Tantra tradition. However, the wonderful thing about this practice is that it generally acts as a framework for discipline and diligence, and practitioners of all levels--from beginners to practitioners of Atiyoga Dzogchen--can do the practice together, each at their own level. We focus on generating Bodhichitta and training in the view of meditation, relying upon the practices of Avalokitesvara and Medicine Buddha. Anyen Rinpoche also gives general practice instructions each morning.

A Brief History of Nyungne

Nyungne was adopted as a formal style of practice after a great female Siddha from India, named Gelongma Palmo, attained realization using just this method. Gelongma Palmo was born a princess in the land of Orgyen, also the birthplace of Padmasambhava. Because she was highly educated and had a strong aptitude for Dharma, she developed renunciation and became a nun. However, after joining a nunnery, she developed leprosy and was cast out to live on her own in the wilderness. Gelongma Palmo took up ritual fasting as a strict, daily discipline. She focused herself wholly on the practice of 1000-Armed Avalokitesvara, until she saw the face of Avalokitesvara himself, and attained realization that equaled his. After this divine vision, her body healed and she no longer showed any signs of illness.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Gelugpa Dedication Verses

Dedication Verses

Dedication of positive potential (merit) is very important, as it prevents one's positive potential from being destroyed by anger or wrong views. Dedicate the positive potentials created by oneself and others in the past, present and future in the following ways:
  1. Due to this merit may I soon
    Attain the enlightened state of Guru-Buddha,
    That I may be able to liberate
    All sentient beings from their sufferings.
  2. May the precious bodhi mind
    Not yet born arise and grow.
    May that born have no decline,
    But increase forever more.
  3. In all my rebirths may I never be separated from perfect Spiritual Masters and enjoy the magnificent Dharma. Completing all qualities of the stages and paths, may I quickly achieve the state of Vajradhara.
  4. May anyone who merely sees, hears, remembers, touches or talks to me be freed in that very instant from all sufferings and abide in happiness forever.
  5. It is only from the kindness of my Spiritual Masters that I have met the peerless teachings of the Buddha. Thus, I dedicate all positive potentials so that all migrating beings may be guided in the future by kind and holy Spiritual Masters.
  6. Until cyclic existence ends, may the beneficial teachings not be blown away by the wind of superstitions. May the entire world be filled with people who have understood and found firm faith in the true teachings.
  7. Day and night, may I pass the time thinking and examining by what means these teachings can spread in the minds of myself and others.
  8. May sentient beings, who have all been my mother and father, be completely happy, and may the lower realms be forever empty. May all the prayers of bodhisattvas, in whatever places they live, be immediately fulfilled.
  9. May I experience whatever sufferings sentient beings have, and they experience whatever happiness and virtue I have.
  10. May the glorious Spiritual Masters live long, and may all beings throughout limitless space have happiness. By purifying our defilements and accumulating positive potential, may I and all others be blessed (inspired) to attain Buddhahood quickly.
  11. May I never develop for even a moment wrong views towards the deeds of my glorious Spiritual Masters. By seeing whatever actions they do as pure with respect and devotion, may the Spiritual Masters' inspiration flow into my mind.
  12. In whatever way you appear, O glorious Guru, whatever your retinue, lifespan and pureland, whatever your name most noble and holy, may I and all others attain only these.
  13. In order to follow the excellent examples set by the wisdom of the bodhisattva Manjushri and the always sublime Samantabhadra, I dedicate all virtues to their peerless ideals.
  14. All Conquerors passed into the three times have praised as supreme this peerless dedication. Therefore, I also surrender all roots of my activities to the sublime goals of a bodhisattva.
  15. In all our lives, through the Victorious One, Lama Tsong Khapa acting as the actual Mahayana Spritual Master, may I never turn aside for even an instant from the excellent path praised by the Victorious Ones.
  16. May I and others be able to live in pure moral conduct, train our minds in bodhicitta, and develop pure view and conduct. In this way, may we complete our lives without corrupting the pure wisdom of Lama Tzong Khapa, (who is like) the second Buddha.

Samantabhadra's Aspiration To Good Actions

The King of Aspiration Prayers: Samantabhadra’s “Aspiration to Good Actions”

from the Gandavyuha chapter of the Avatamsaka sutra
In the language of India: Arya Bhadracarya Pranidhana Raja
In the language of Tibet: Pakpa Zangpo Chöpé Mönlam gyi Gyalpo

 Homage to Manjushri, the youthful!
The Seven Preliminaries for Purifying the Mind

1. Prostration

To all the buddhas, the lions of the human race,
In all directions of the universe, through past and present and future:
To every single one of you, I bow in homage;
Devotion fills my body, speech and mind.
Through the power of this prayer, aspiring to Good Action,
All the victorious ones appear, vivid here before my mind
And I multiply my body as many times as atoms in the universe,
Each one bowing in prostration to all the buddhas.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

An Ocean of Offering Clouds

A Light Offering Prayer

I consider that this lamp is made of the finest precious metal, And is as vast as the entire billionfold universe.
It is filled completely with the finest essence of butter,
And in its centre is planted a wick as large as Mount Meru. Its flame is alight and has the nature of the five wisdoms; In appearance, it blazes with the dazzling splendour of a billion suns, Its light pervading everywhere throughout all the realms of the ten directions. Out of this radiant expanse, appear vast clouds of offerings like Samantabhadra’s, To make gifts throughout all eternity, until the very ends of time, So that the objects of our prayers, be they living or dead, Gather the two accumulations, purify the two kinds of obscuration, And swiftly attain unsurpassable awakening.

This was composed by Gatön Vāgindra.

| Translated by Adam Pearcey, 2007

How to Transform Sickness and Other Circumstances

Namo guru!

This illusory heap of a body, which, like others, I possess—
If it falls sick, so be it! In sickness I’ll rejoice!
For it will exhaust my negative karma from the past,
And, after all, many forms of Dharma practice,
Are for the sake of purifying the two obscurations.

If I am healthy, so be it! In freedom from sickness I’ll rejoice!
When body and mind are well and remain at ease,
Virtuous practice can develop and gain strength,
And, after all, the way to give meaning to this human life
Is to devote body, speech and mind to virtue.

If I face poverty, so be it! In lack of riches I’ll rejoice!
I will have nothing to protect and nothing to lose.
Whatever quarrels and conflicts there might be,
All arise out of desire for wealth and gain—that’s certain!

If I have wealth, so be it! In prosperity I’ll rejoice!
If I can increase the stock of my merits that will suffice.
Whatever benefit and happiness there might be, now and in the future,
All result from merits I have gained—that’s certain!

If I must die soon, so be it! In dying I’ll rejoice!
Without allowing negative circumstances to intervene,
And with the support of positive tendencies I have gathered,
I will surely set out upon the genuine, unerring path!

If I live long, so be it! In subsisting I’ll rejoice!
Once the crop of genuine experience has arisen,
As long as the sun and rainfall of instructions do not diminish,
If it is tended over time, it will surely ripen.

So, whatever happens then, let us always cultivate joy!

In response to a question from a Sakya geshé, asking what should be done in the event of sickness and the rest, I, the monk Tokmé, who discourses on the Dharma, set down these ways of bringing sickness and other circumstances onto the spiritual path.
Sarva mangalam!

| Translated by Adam Pearcey, 2007. Edited by Phillippa Sison.