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Practice Advice for Students

Dear Sangha and friends,

On September 11, the world witnessed a most tragic day and an utterly horrible nightmare in our country. It is a most important and critical time for us to pray and practice loving-kindness, compassion, and bodhicitta for all.

Sherab Negi, Khenchen Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche and The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche at Liberty Island. In the background are the former World Trade Center buildings.

At this time, it would be beneficial to recite the Aspiration of Mahamudra by the third Karmapa, Rangjung Dorje, the Samantabhadra Prayer of the Dzogchen tantra, and Auspiciousness that Lights Up the Universe , for world peace and for the victims of yesterday's tragedy in America, in particular. For those who seek a general Mahayana Aspiration, it is good to recite The King of Aspiration Prayers, the Aspiration for Noble Excellent Conduct. [Note: each of these prayers is available from this website by clicking on the links above (or in the left margin). The prayers may be downloaded in word processing format or printed directly from the web.]

It is important to exercise our ultimate heart of bodhicitta, along with the heart of loving kindness and compassion, and to use the most powerful weapon of shunyata. It is said in the lojong teachings, "Emptiness is the supreme protection." There is no better protection than emptiness. Thus, the supreme protection for the world, for America, for sentient beings, and for the heart of love and compassion of all sentient beings, is to meditate on selflessness, emptiness, and shunyata. We should also exercise our hearts of relative bodhicitta–loving-kindness and compassion–in the post meditation state.

May all the victims who suffered and are suffering from these unthinkable negative actions be totally free from all pain, and achieve the well-being and joy of enlightenment. May the world enjoy peace, happiness, and harmony, and see an end to all conflict and aggression. Finally, I offer these words of aspiration from The Aspiration of Mahamudra, the Definitive Meaning, by the Third Karmapa, Rangjung Dorje:

    Though the nature of beings has always been Buddha,
    Not realizing this, they wander in endless samsara.
    For sentient beings, whose suffering has no limit,
    May unbearable compassion be born in our hearts.

And,

    Through the compassion of the Buddhas of the ten directions
           and their heirs,
    And the power of however much pure virtue there is,
    May this utterly pure aspiration of myself and all beings
    Be accomplished accordingly.     

With love and prayers,

The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche
September 12, 2001


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