Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammasambuddhassa (3x)
(Homage to the Blessed One, the Noble One, and Perfectly Enlightened One)
Setting up an altar (i.e. a mirror reflecting the real nature of the three realms)
"Traditionally, Buddhists place a statue of Buddha, a Stupa and a Holy Text on their family altar as objects of veneration, symbolizing the Holy Body, Holy Mind and Holy Speech of Buddha." (i.e. symbolizing the realization of the real nature of everything, of the three inseparable realms, the trikaya) -- Zurmang Kagyud Buddhist Foundation "In every Tibetan home, a place is reserved to make offerings to the Three Jewels, the Buddha, Dharma and Spiritual Community. The Three Jewels are often represented by a statue or thanka painting, a scripture and a stupa or a reliquary object. Before them is space to set up a set of standard offerings, represented by bowls of water, and the occasional torma ritual cake or other offerings of food." -- Tibet Exile Web Site by The Office of Tibet "It is a tradition to make offerings to the Gurus and Buddhas out of gratitude and to purify oneself and increase one's merit. ... On the altar: The eight traditional outer offerings on the altar are: ambrosia for drinking, water for bathing, flowers, incense, light, perfumed water for sprinkling on the body, fine food, and music. Other outer offerings are: various types of wealth and good fortune, things owned by oneself and others, and ownerless things (forests, oceans, beautiful views, etc.) Inner offerings include all of one's virtues, and so on. Actually present whatever offerings you can and visualize the rest -- through visualization increase them in quality and number to pervade all of space." -- Frequently Asked Questions, Zasep Tulku Rinpoche Web Site "Setting up an image of the field of refuge on the altar would help one in the visualization." -- by Dr. Yutang Lin "The meditation should be performed in a quiet, pleasant place, or in a part of your dwelling that is appropriate. Begin by mindfully sweeping and cleaning the area of practice. Upon the table to be used as the altar, you should arrange an image or a statue of the Buddha, as well as of the three Bodhisattvas symbolizing the three essential Buddha-attributes: Avalokiteshvara (compassion), Manjushri (wisdom) and Vajrapani (energy or right action); and also Arya Tara who symbolizes the activity of all the Buddhas. In this manner, Buddha Form is represented. In addition, to the right of the assembly, place a copy of a sacred scripture, preferably one of the Prajnaparamita Sutras, to symbolize Buddha Speech. Finally, to the left of the assembly, place a miniature stupa (reliquary monument) to symbolize Buddha Mind. If a text of the Prajnaparamita is not available, any Buddhist sutra can be substituted. Similarly, if the images or statues are difficult to obtain, just a statue of the Buddha will suffice. Even that is not indispensable. The one absolute essential is a proper state of mind. Next, one sets forth offerings. These should consist of water, flowers, incense, light, food and sound. They should be set out as elegantly as possible to denote heartfelt respect and appreciation." -- HHDL, A Tantric Meditation Simplified for Beginners "You must set up an altar. ... Lian Shen knows that this may pose problems to some of the disciples. As some of them are financially incapable, and some situations do not allow this. If that is the case, you need only a statue, or just a photograph of the guru; this is the most simplified way. After the practice, just keep the statue or photograph in a clean place. If you can't even burn the incense, you can set up an altar in your mind." --
- - -
The real meaning:
"Today, we'll talk about the thing called "prison." This should help us to understand the thing called "life" better. Then, we'll know Dhamma better, which will help us to live life without dukkha (dissatisfaction, pain, stress, suffering). So today we'll talk about the thing called "prison." Please prepare your minds to listen carefully. Wherever the conditions and signs of prison exist, right there is dukkha. You should observe that all the forms and types of dukkha have a quality of prison about them. Being captured, incarcerated, enchained, and put through difficulties and hassles, are characteristics of dukkha. If you understand this, then you will understand more clearly the meaning of what we call "upadana" (clinging, attachment). Wherever there is upadana, right there is a prison. This thing "upadana" itself brings about the conditions of imprisonment. Wherever there is upadana, right there is bondage. The bondage may be positive or negative; both are equally binding. By regarding things and clinging to them as "I" or "mine," bondage occurs. When bound to something, we get stuck in it, just like being stuck in prison ...
Life Itself Is Prison... The Instincts Are Prison... The Senses Are Prison... (i.e. see the original text for those sections)
Superstition Is Prison : For the next prison, we want to mention being deceived by the thing known as "saiyasatr". All the superstitious formalities and beliefs are saiyasatr. The more ignorance there is, the more one lacks correct knowledge, then the more trapped one is in superstitious prisons. Now, education and science (vidayasatr) have improved, which has led to a better understanding of natural truths, and of all things. Still, there remains too much entrapment in superstitious prisons. It's a personal thing. Some people are caught very much and others not so much. People are caught in different degrees and ways, but we can say that there are still people caught in the prison of saiyasatr, trapped by superstition. Although in general superstition has diminished greatly due to the progress of science, there is still quite a bit of saiyasatr left in the temples and churches. Please forgive us for saying so, but the place we can find superstition the most is in churches, in the temples, and in those kinds of places. Although superstition has lessened in general, there's a lot remaining in such places. Wherever there are altars, wherever people bow down and worship so-called sacred and holy things, there is the place where the "science of the sleeper" persists. Superstition, saiyasatr, is for people who are asleep. It's for those who don't understand correctly, who are ignorant. We are taught these things as children, before we have the intelligence and ability to reason about them. Children believe whatever they're told, and so "adults" teach them many superstitious things. If you still feel that thirteen is an unlucky number, that's saiyasatr. You're still sleeping. There are many other examples of superstition, but we'd better not name them. Some people might get offended. These kinds of things are prisons. Why not look carefully enough to see them as such. Even the number "13" becomes a prison when we're foolish. ...
Sacred Institutions Are Prisons... Teachers Are Prison... (i.e. see the original text for those sections)
Holy Things Are Prison. The next prison is that of holy scriptures, which we can find everywhere. Among those people where there isn't much wisdom, these things are much clung to, and the more so as being "holy." They even become stand-ins or replacements for God. It's as if merely bringing in the holy books is the same as actually getting help. It leads to there being many kinds of holy objects: sacred relics, holy water, and all kinds of sacred things. Be most careful of this word "holy." It will become a prison before you know it. The more holy something is, the more greatly it imprisons (i.e. no exceptions at all). Watch out for so-called "sacredness" or "holiness." You ought to know that there is nothing more sacred than the law of idappaccayata (the law of conditionality) (i.e. or of the perfect Union of the Two Truths: dependent origination and emptiness, a union which is beyond any capacity of conceptualization -- not one, not two; just one of those two is a prison, both together is a prison, neither or anything else is also prison; all concepts are prisons if we cling to them as absolute), the supreme holiness higher than all things (i.e. that is the prison of the Hinayanists). Everything else is holy by convention or by what people concoct themselves, which is holy through upadana. Wherever there is holiness through upadana, that holiness is a prison. The law of idappaccayata is sacred in itself (i.e. nop; that is just the prison of the Hinayanists, just another extreme position / view), without needing any attachment (i.e. that is attachment to conditionality, to causality, to absolute karma; but dependent origination, or karma itself, is also empty of inherent existence, as Nagarjuna has demonstrated in his Karikas, otherwise it would lead to much absurdity). There's no need for upadana (i.e. no exceptions). It controls everything already and is truly holy all by itself. Please don't get caught in the prison of holy things (i.e. not even in this Hinayanist one; not even in dependent origination, or in emptiness, or in the concept of the Union of The Two Truths, etc. ... It is much more subtle than anything we can think of. It cannot be described with words. it has to be directly seen, by directly seeing the real nature of our own mind in the present.). Don't make sacred things into a prison for yourself. (i.e. There is no absolutes, only adapted skillful means, only relative useful truths depending on the situation. Accepting any truth as absolute is one extreme; rejecting everything as completely non-existent or useless is the other extreme -- nihilism.)
Goodness Is Prison... Views Are Prison... Purity is the Highest Prison... Voidness is Prison..." (i.e. all are extreme positions based on unconscious conditioning / habits / karma (physical or mental investments / assumptions). The Middle Way consists of staying away from all extremes: not accepting any of them as absolutes / existent, nor rejecting them as completely non-functional, meaningless, useless, completely non-existent)
-- Buddhadasa Bhikkhu, The Prison of Life font>
"The subject here today is an explanation of the significance of the eight offerings. We make these offerings to the enlightened beings in many practices - in the Vajrasattva practice, Guru Yoga, and a lot of other practices. We have been doing this for a long time, so I thought it would be useful if we studied a little about what that practice signifies. The enlightened beings do not want or need these things. We make offerings for our own benefit, to accumulate great merit and wisdom. (i.e. Even if they are empty of inherent existence, they still are functional, useful, part of a gradual path, one of the rafts to cross the ocean of samsara. We should use the adapted raft, but remember all the time its real nature: dependently arisen, relative, impermanent, empty of inherent existence.) Enlightenment, Buddhahood, is achieved through the two great qualities - accumulation and purification. As you know, the Buddha has limitless qualities, which were gained through the great accumulations and purifications. Our offerings are a simple way to accumulate both merit and wisdom." (i.e. all of this with the Bodhicitta motivation, of course) -- A Teaching on the Significance of the Eight Offerings, A Talk by Khenpo Konchog Gyaltsen Rinpoche "The most important Dharma practice is to cease the delusions, the three poisonous minds, which are the root of all suffering, as well as the self-centered mind. All the reciting of mantras and prayers, listening to Dharma, meditating, prostrating, offering mandalas, making offerings at the altar to the holy objects -- all of it is for ceasing the delusions and ego. Therefore the main Dharma practice is to watch the mind during your daily life and to try to free it from being controlled by delusion; to stop torturing yourself with delusions, abusing yourself with your own delusions. How? By applying the three principal aspects of the path and tantra -- or at the very least, impermanence and death." -- Lama Zopa Rinpoche "Dharma philosophy is not Dharma; doctrine is not Dharma; religious art is not Dharma. Dharma is not that statue of Lord Buddha on your altar. Dharma, or religion, is the inner understanding of reality, which leads human beings beyond the dark shadow of ignorance, beyond dissatisfaction. ... Use that religion to gain an understanding of the reality of our own mind..." (i.e. to gradually understand the real nature of everything, of the three inseparable realms, and to become free from all conditioning / suffering) -- Lama Thubten Yeshe, Creating Space for DDharma "So look there; don't look at the gilded Buddha statue on the altar here. Look in the mirror. Have a good look every day. Reflect on what you perceive there. There's nothing to get too depressed about actually, but there's also nothing to get too excited or elated about. Getting enlightened is just one more experience. The world will just keep turning. " -- Lama Surya Das, Swooping Down from Above "So whatever spiritual practice we do-whatever we do actually-if it is informed by such authentic awareness, this present awareness, then our life is a rich life, not an, unconscious, brutish life. As Henry David Thoreau said, the unreflected life is hardly worth living. He was referring to going through life like an automaton or an animal, without self-consciousness or introspection. That's why Buddha said, one moment in a day of recognizing the truth of impermanence makes your life meaningful; it is more meaningful to live one day like that, than 100 years as an automaton. It's all about awareness, about attention, mindfulness, spirit, love, whatever you want to call it. It is about presence of mind, not wandering around being dazed and absent-minded. It's about really fully inhabiting ourselves and what we're doing. ... This present awareness is all and everything. It is called the Buddha within, the true refuge, the inner or mystical Dharma. It is the Sangha too. Those who are absent-minded are not the Sangha. They're not really totally here, so how can they be counted? That is why it is said that awakened body, speech, and mind are the true Triple Gem of Sangha, Dharma, and Buddha. " (i.e. To directly see the real nature of our own mind in the present, the real nature of everything beyond any concepts, of the three inseparable realms, the trikaya -- pristine awareness before the duality subject vs object) (i.e. When a stupid animal looks at itself in the mirror, it doesn't see itself but only the mirror. We are intelligent enough to see that this is a physical reflexion of ourselves, but yet not wise enough to see ourselves in the mirror of the altar. Until then, the guru is our mirror. Just saying "I am already a Buddha; so I have nothing to do" is not going to help at all. It is usually a long gradual deconditioning process, with a sudden direct realization beyond causality.)
Way of Prostrating in Tibetan BuddhismThe method of Tibetan prostrating is similar to the prostration methods of Ancient India. ("The physical posture adopted by the devotees when performing these acts of worship may vary according to the solemnity of the occasion or the degree of the devotion of the worshipper.") This method of prostration is often known as "the Great Homage."("Reverently, I prostrate with my body, speech and mind ..."Here is the method:
"The Great Homage can also stop one's pride, which I think is very important. To prostrate and worship is to learn humility and reverence. Its intention is to eradicate the three poisons of greed, anger, and ignorance. One should know that too often cultivators, generally, after accomplishing a small degree of success, become too easily proud of themselves, allowing arrogance and self-complacency to emerge. When they see others at a higher level than themselves, they become jealous and want to compete arbitrarily with others. Therefore a student in Buddhism needs to first prostrate to the Buddhas to learn reverence. To bow and prostrate is to stop haughtiness and arrogance."
-- i.e. And it symbolizes more at a subtler level. It is pointing out the need to change our perception and understanding about the real nature of our body, speech & mind (the three realms), and their relation / inseparability. It is this ignorance about the real nature of the three realms that is the cause of all attachment and suffering. Mistakes, wrong investments, karma formation, necessarely lead to consequential suffering. So, for those who can see it, the very subtle transcendental perspective about the inseparable trikaya -- and the real nature of everything -- is already embedded into the very first simple act of a Buddhist: prostration and taking refuge in the three gems. Prostrating is humbly acknowledging that our actual perspective of the three realms is erroneous; that all that we think we objectively see and know are like mere illusions, dependently arisen; that all of our worldly actions are based on accumulated conditioning (habits / karma) supported by false assumptions (ignorance); that this is the very cause of all suffering; that we need to purify this perspective (ignorance) about our body, speech and mind (the three realms), and their actions (karma formation), so we can transmute them into the body, speech, mind and activities of a Buddha by directly seeing their real non-dual nature beyond any conceptualization.)
- Hold your palms together before your chest in a standing position.
- Bring your joined palms to your forehead (i). ("Touch your third-eye chakra and visualize white light entering your forehead to purify your body") (i.e. purification of the body; about realizing the real nature of the body; of the physical, perceptible, desire realm (the sense world); of the seven consciousnesses; white OM & rays; planting the seeds for nirmanakaya)
- Bring your joined palms to your throat (ii). ("Touch your throat chakra and visualize red light entering your throat to purify your speech.") (i.e. purification of the speech; about realizing the real nature of the speech; of the abstract, conceptual, symbolic, form realm (the Realm of Pure Form); of the Alayavijnana; red AH & rays; planting the seeds for sambhogakaya)
- Bring your joined palms to your heart (iii) ("Touch your heart chakra and visualize blue light entering your heart to purify your mind.") (i.e. purification of the mind; about realizing the real nature of the mind; of the intuitive, formless realm (the Realm of Non-Form); of the Alaya; dark blue HUM & rays; planting the seeds for dharmakaya)
- Release your palms and kneel down on the ground. (i.e. purification of the body, speech and mind together (iv); about realizing the real nature of the three realms together; of the the ultimate realm; of the inseparability of body, speech and mind, of the three kayas; complete non-dual union; union of the Two Truths; planting the seeds for svabhavikakaya)
- Immediately, lie down on your stomach and stretch your arms out
(i.e. or knee down and have the five limbs: your forehead, knees and elbows (and palms), touch the floor)
("Prostrating is very important. It is an outward form that is part of practice. This form should be done correctly. Bring the forehead all the way to the floor. Have the elbows near the knees and the palms of the hands on the floor about three inches apart. Prostrate slowly, be mindful of your body. It is a good remedy for our conceit. We should prostrate often. When you prostrate three times you can keep in mind the qualities of the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha, ... So we use the outward form to train ourselves. Body and mind become harmonious." -- The Venerable Ajahn Chah, Bodhinyana)
- While your still on the floor, recite this mantra once:
Stand up and start this whole procedure again (i.e. minimum 2 more time (B,C), then a fourth (D) without descending to the knees).
Om Namo Manjushriye (I pay homage to the Buddha)
Namo Sushriye (I pay homage to the Dharma)
Namo Uttama sushriye (I pay homage to the Sangha)
(i.e. The meaning is i, ii, iii (like for body, speech and mind, or for the three realms), then iv (the three together, their inseparability) -- the whole set three times (A, B,C), then a fourth (D). This is equivalent to the inseparable three kayas, or to the inseparable three realms of desire, form, and the formless, or to the inseparable three gems. It is equivalent to the fourfold purification / gradually transforming our impure body, speech and mind into the Body, Speech, and Mind of a Guru-Buddha; to the four empowerments. It is equivalent to directly realizing the real nature of the three inseparable realms; or realizing Nagarjuna's Tetralemma. It is all about realizing the truth beyond conceptualization, the real nature of our own mind and of all dharmas -- not existing, not non-existing, not both existing and non-existing together, not neither existing nor non-existing (or something else).)
-- From: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Parthenon/7534/
Prostrations are performed
- as a show of respect and gratitude to the Buddha and Bodhisattvas, (i.e. humbling ourselves; accepting that we have been mistaken all this time)
- in order to purify mental blocks and negative karma, (i.e. gradual deconditioning)
- to help us gain the correct view of reality, and (i.e. gaining better views are intermediary stages on the path; but there is no final ultimate view; all views/conceptualization are flawed)
- to create the positive potential for realizing our innate Buddha nature. (i.e. to create enough calm, concentration and mental flexibility for us to directly see the real nature of our own mind in the present)
(i.e. An adapted skillful means to gradually prepare / purify our body, speech and mind in order to finally directly realize the real non-dual nature and the inseparability of the three realms; 1, 2, 3, then 4, together, again and again ... That is sufficient for Buddhahood -- beyond causality -- not accepting it, not rejecting it.)Prostrations can be verbal, mental or physical.
- Verbal prostration are performed when we pay spoken homage to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.
- We perform mental prostrations when we affirm our faith in the Three Jewels. (i.e. when we accept the real non-dual nature of the three realms, until we directly see this and transcend all appearances)
- Physical prostrations can take several forms.
- A small bow or simply pressing the palms of the hands together if done with humility and faith is a proper prostration.
- Half-prostrations and full-prostrations are performed in sets of four (i.e. 4x4 -- [A, B, C, D] x [i, ii, iii, iv] ). Place the palms of the hands together loosely. Tuck the thumbs just inside the pocket created by the two palms. With enlightenment and compassion for all creatures in mind:Bring the two palms together between the eyes (or forehead) (i) and recite (in English or Sanskrit)OM NAMO MANJUSHRIYEBring the two palms to the throat (ii) and recite
I pay homage to the BuddhaNAMO SUSHRIYEBring the palms to the heart (iii) and recite
I pay homage to the DharmaNAMO UTAMA SHRIYE SOHA
I pay homage to the SanghaNow descend to the knees and touch the forehead to the floor (iv) (i.e. the three together).
Repeat this two more times for a total of three prostrations (A, B, C). On the fourth (D) and final prostration in a set, follow the same actions but do not descend to the floor. Only a head bow is performed after bringing the palms to the heart during the fourth prostration.
Prayers may also be recited when performing prostrations. Repetitions can be counted on a mala. Prostrations of hundreds of thousands may be performed over the course of months or years. This forges a powerful mental and spiritual connection with the Three Jewels.
- A full-prostration is performed in similar fashion, however, the body is fully prostrated after descending to the knees. The arms are to be extended in front of the prostrated body and the forehead is brought to the floor.
-- From: Fairhope website
Great prostrationsGreat prostrations are usually practiced along with the recitation of refuge taking. In the Gelug school, great prostrations are sometimes included in the 35-Buddha Purification Practice to replace the Vajrasattva Purification Practice. If one finds it difficult to count the numbers of refuge recitations and prostrations together, it would be better to keep count only of the number of prostrations, and then count the refuge recitations separately in additional recitations.
For this practice it is convenient to use a long board in the length of one's body plus one arm. Raise the end toward Buddha about 4 inches high and cover the front half with a surface, such as wall paper, smooth enough for sliding of hands. The area for standing and kneeling should not be smooth lest it cannot yield support. Use a pair of small hand cushion or wear cotton gloves. Beginners may need to use elbow and knee caps (as sold in sports supplies stores) for protection from bruises. After about 20,000 prostrations, the body would feel light and easy, and then these caps would no longer be needed. It is much more convenient to use a tally counter than a mala for counting prostrations. The tally counter can be placed near the kneeling position and pressed once when getting up after each prostration.
The great prostration is done as follows:Therefore, the accumulation of 100,000 great prostrations actually include also 100,000 repetitions of the Great Prostration Mantra. When refuge taking is combined with prostrations, one should start reciting the refuge formulas right after "Soh Ha" until one stands up. The recitations can be done silently if it is difficult to coordinate the action with chanting.
One stands at the lower end of the board and starts to recite the Great Prostration Mantra. Raise both hands from the sides so that they form a circle that meets in front of the forehead (i) where the palms fold together. Chant "Om" while raising hands, "Namo Man Ju Shi Er Ye" while folding palms at the forehead. Then lower the folded palms to the throat (ii) and recite: "Namo Su Shi Er Ye." Again lower the folded palms to the heart (iii) and say, "Namo U Da Ma Shi Er Ye." Then bow down while reciting "Soh Ha," and stretch both hands as wide as the shoulder to the front to reach the board, then push out until the whole body touches the ground (iv) (i.e. the three together). Fold the hands briefly in front of the head and then stand back up to complete one great prostration which includes one repetition of the Great Prostration Mantra.
Great Prostration Mantra:Om, Namo Man Ju Shi Er Ye,
Namo Su Shi Er Ye,
Namo U Da Ma Shi Er Ye,
-- From: Dr. Yutang Lin, The Foundational Practices of Vajrayana: A Summary of the Essential Points
PROGRESSIVELTY ESTABLISHING THE RIGHT MOTIVATION("Buddha taught many different levels of meditation and a variety of techniques to suit the needs or dispositions of many people (all progressive adapted skillful means fine tuned to the level of illusions / progress of each person). ... the essence of the spiritual path (dharma) taught by Buddha lies in the development of our own inner awareness and our loving attitude towards our fellow beings. These inner qualities need to be developed stage by stage, therefore Buddha skilfully taught at different levels: the practice of the Hinayana Path, or Small Vehicle, and the practice of the Mahayana Path, or Great Vehicle. Again within the Mahayana Path there are two stages: Prajnaparamitayana, or the Path to Perfection, and Tantrayana, or the Transformational Path." -- Extracted from Awakening the Mind of Enlightenment by the Ven Geshe Namgyal Wangchen)
("In entering on the great vehicle of the buddha-sons, There are three ways of taking refuge with three kinds of intention. These are the unsurpassed, the excellent, and the common." -- Longchenpa)
(i.e. These three levels are a schematisation of the infinite number of adapted skillful means -- in fact, there are as many paths as sentient beings -- no absolute path, only adapted skillful means. They allways start at the level of understanding / illusions of the practitioner and gradually bring him/her to directly realize the real nature of his/her assumptions, until he/she is free from their conditioning.)
LEVEL 1 : THE PRAYER OF THE BEING OF LOWER SCOPE("Lesser people do so -- taking refuge -- fearing the lower realms. ")At this moment I have received a perfect human rebirth, which is supremely meaningful and for many reasons very difficult to attain. Though it is infinitely precious it is very perishable and subject to decay even in the shortest instant because of its changeable nature. My death is definite, but the actual time of my death is unknown to me.
The profound law of Karma cannot be denied and the sufferings of the three lower realms (heat and cold; hunger and thirst; dullness and stupidity) are unbearable. Therefore, please bestow upon me the ability to perform virtuous actions and to expel negative actions, and to take refuge in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha from the depth of my heart.
(i.e. These correspond to the initial Lamrim meditations, or to the Hinayana Path and motivation: precious human life, death and impermanence, suffering in the lower realms of samsara, the law of karma or cause & effect, and taking refuge. Their goal is to escape a rebirth in one of the lower realms, and thus to maintain the opportunity of transcendence that comes only with this precious human life.
-- They insist on causality/karma which cannot be denied -- that is the "not rejecting" part of the Middle Way. But, by itself this is not complete; dependent origination is not the ultimate/absolute truth as some Hinayanists think. The second / complementary part of the Middle Way, which is "not accepting" would be presented only after a solid foundation in wholesomeness is developped, otherwise there is a danger of falling into the extreme of nihilism. But some Hinayanists have the tendency to fall into the extreme of "too much causality / too much realism", thinking there is such things as absolute right and wrong, absolute paths, absolute causality / karma, absolute individual Liberation, etc. Like any other religious extremists, they have the tendency to get attached to their relative views, their tools, their methods, and to fight those who do not share their absolutes, their "truths". Completely blind with pride and rage, some sacrifice wholosomeness to defend their "truths". But this is the very precise principle that the cause of all suffering, the belief in the absolute existence (or non-existence) of something either material, conceptual or intuitive -- the illusions of the objects of the three realms and their separatedness. It is OK to use adapted skillful means in order to progress from our actual level. That is why Buddha taught Hinayana. But the goal is to go beyond any attachment even to those temporary methods. Using a raft, but not holding eternally to the raft. When a method or view is imposed there is no more freedom, flexibility, and capacity to progress -- then there is only the conditions and suffering of a cold hell.)
LEVEL 2 : THE PRAYER OF THE BEING OF MIDDLE SCOPE("The two intermediate kinds -- those of the families of shravakas and pratyekabuddhas -- are afraid of the state of samsara.")Through the practices of the being of lower scope I will attain rebirth in the three upper realms (still with suffering of desire and attachment -- rise and fall; fighting and quarreling; change and falling). This is not enough to gain final release from the sufferings of conditioned cyclic existence (samsara). Thus I will be compelled to continuously undergo the limitless sufferings of conditioned cyclic existence because of uncontrolled delusion and Karma.
Therefore, I must deeply realise the evolution of conditioned cyclic existence (dependent origination, the wheel of life) from uncontrolled rebirth to death to rebirth. Please bestow upon me the ability to practice, both day and night, the three essentials of the Dharma Path;
through which I will go beyond all suffering and arrive at the citadel of Nirvana (liberation for myself).
- higher conduct,
- higher concentration,
- and higher wisdom,
(i.e. These correspond to the intermediary Lamrim meditations: the suffering in all realms of samsara, the four Noble Truths, the Wheel of Life, dependent origination. The goal is to generate renunciation for the whole samsara, the whole cycle.
-- So, this is an introduction to the second part of the Middle Way, which is "not accepting", where it is shown that there is no place in the whole samsara (in the three realms) that is worth going to, no absolute truth that is to attain, nothing to produce, nothing to cause. Buddhahood is beyond the whole samsara, beyond any self to liberate, beyond causality: not accepting it, not rejecting it. Getting attached to any truth, any path, any absolute is the very cause of all suffering. Rejecting everything, nihilism, is no better; it is just another form of absolutism / extremism. The Middle Way is to stay away from all extremes: not accepting, not rejecting; it is an efficient path because it is more in accord with the real non-dual nature of everything, because it is "less wrong" and subject to unwanted consequences / suffering. Buddhahood is directly realizing this real non-dual nature of all the objects of the three realms and their inseparabilty, it is to realize the way our own mind dependently creates all of those illusions; it is to become free from their conditioning, from the suffering caused by believing in their existence (or non-existence).
-- This level of motivation is still based on the belief that there can be an individual liberation, and thus an individual liberating path. Getting attached to these ideas could be harmfull in the long run as mentionned above.)
LEVEL 3 : THE PRAYER OF THE BEING OF HIGHER SCOPE("The greatest have seen all the aspects of samsaric suffering, Finding others' suffering to be unbearable. They fear the happiness of a personal nirvana.")There is not one being in cyclic existence that has not been my mother countless times. Thus I love all living beings without exception (equality) and have great compassion for them in their infinite sufferings. Please grant me blessings that I may be able to lead all sentient beings to final liberation. In order to do this I renounce the perfect happiness of self, which is the Nirvana of the lower vehicle, and vow to obtain Buddhahood through exchanging myself with others upon the basis of the equilibrium meditation and through engaging in the practice of the six transcendental perfections of the Bodhisattva's path. (Generosity, moral discipline, patience, effort, mental stabilization, widom)
(i.e. These correspond to the advanced Lamrim meditations, or to the Bodhisattva motivation: the four immeasurables, developing Bodhicitta, the three higher trainings.
-- "The path that Bodhisattvas practice is called the Great Vehicle because their motivation is great, their skill is great, their wisdom is great, their enthusiasm is great, their deeds are great, their effort is great and their achievements are great." -- Maitreya in his commentary on the Mahayana sutras entitled Ornament to the Mahayana Sutras
-- Mahayana is based on the realization that there cannot be an individual liberation, that the very idea of a separation between sentient beings is a cause for attachment, pride, and suffering. There is no absolute right and wrong, no absolute pure and unpure, no individual self to purify and liberate, no separated individual karma in absolute terms. Everything is much more subtle than this. But all of this cannot be grasped by an individual drowning in ignorance and in the consequences of his/her unwholesomeness. The path has to be gradual and adapted; wisdom is based on concentration, which is based on moral disipline. Limitless Love, compassion, Joy and Equanimity, and the six Paramitas, are skillful means adapted for higher level beings. Again they are efficient in reducing suffering and creating the proper conditions for transcendence (Buddhahood) because they are more in accord with the real nature of everything, with the inseparability of everything. They consist of bringing the results into the path and thus slowly facilitating the transition by eliminating the bad consequences of mistakes based on ignorance.)
THE PRAYER OF THE BEING OF HIGHEST SCOPEThrough following the Bodhisattva's path I will gain indestructible courage and will have no sorrow in experiencing the sufferings of others even to the end of time. The sufferings of others are unbearable even for the shortest second and as I feel their sufferings as if they were my own, please grant me blessings to be able to complete the lightening quick path of the Vajrayana and to attain the stage of Buddha Vajradhara within this short life time by protecting the ordinations and pledges of the spiritual master as if they were my eyes.
(i.e. These correspond to the Vajrayana practices.
-- "Tantrayana teaches the practice of very fine and profound techniques and skills for transforming our ordinary state of body, speech and mind into the divine, pure state of body, speech and mind. The practice of tantra is based on meditations on deity yoga, psychic channels, psychic nerve wheels and energy drops within our body." -- Ven Geshe Namgyal Wangchen
-- At this high level, following a long practice in Mahayana, there is almost no more separatedness between self and others (thus great Love and Compassion), and much less attachments to any particular view or path (thus a readyness to use tantric methods in order to speed up the direct realization of the real nature of the mind, and of everything). But this approach, this advanced adapted skillful means, cannot be precipitated by introducing it to an unprepared person. This would only result in total rejection, or in developing much misplaced pride; in both case the result could be hell. The problem is that a lot of new Buddhists are already so proud that they feel insulted if this is not made available to them immediately; that is why there is so many complex introductory techniques in Tantra.)
-- From: The Sadhana of the Inseparability of the Spiritual Master and Avalokiteshvara - Chenrezi Sadhana, from Lam Rim Bristol Web Site
and from: The LAM RIM, Teaching of Ven. Geshe Namgyal Wangchen
Purification of the environment & offeringsRecite the "purification verses":May the surface of the earth in every directionand the "purification mantra":
Be stainless and pure without roughness or fault
As smooth as the palm of a child's soft hand
And as naturally polished as lapis lazuli.
May the material offerings of god and men
Both those set before me and those visualised
Like a cloud of offerings of Samantabhadra
Pervade and encompass the vastness of space.
(i.e. Samantabhadra: Universally Excellent, All-around-goodness, the primordial Buddha Kuntuzangpo, the symbol of the state of Dharmakaya - the ultimate reality, ultimate Bodhicitta, the realization of the ultimate state of enlightenment.)om namo bhagavate - bendze sarwaparma dana tathagataya -and :
arhate samyaksam buddhaya - tayata - om mendze bendze maha
bendze maha tadza bendze - maha bidya bendze maha bodhicitta bendze -
maha bodhi mendo pasam kramana bendze -
sarwa karma awarana bisho dana bendze soha
(3x)By the force of the truth from the three Jewels of Refuge
By the firm inspiration from all Bodhisattvas and Buddhas
By the power of all the Buddhas who have fully completed
Their collections of both good merit and insight
By the might of the void
Inconceivable and pure
May all of these offerings be hereby transformed
Into their actual nature of voidness (i.e. uniting prajna to upaya)
(i.e. "The Sanskrit word "Samantabhadra" in Tibetan is Kuntuzangpo, "kuntu" meaning "ultimately" and "zangpo" meaning "goodness." What is known as "Kuntuzangpo" is primordially free from any fault, stain, or mental confusion, and therefore is not only presently pure, but also can never be defiled in the future. shown with ornaments and garments. When Samantabhadra is depicted in thangka paintings, He is depicted naked, without ornaments and garments, to symbolize that his state of realization is unconditionally free from mental projection and primordially pure, as is the dharmakaya." -- KTD
Everything is already pure and simple, beyond conceptualization and dualities; it is just a matter of seeing this."The nature of multiplicity is non-dual"Dharmakaya Buddhas such as Samantabhadra appear only to highly realized beings, such as tenth bhumi Bodhisattvas who can also receive teachings from the five Dhyani Buddhas." -- Khenpo Palden Sherab, The Three Kayas
And things in themselves are pure and simple;
Being here and now is thought-free
And it shines out in all forms, always all good;
It is already perfect! the disease of uptight striving expunged,
Spontaneity is as it is."
-- The Six Vajra Verses)
"In the Kingdom of Samantabhadra
Happiness and suffering are of one taste;
Without grasping, they liberate of themselves."
-- A Prayer To Recognize My Own Faults And Keep in Mind the Objects of Refuge, by H.H. the Late Dudjom Rinpoche
"Anayoga ascertains that all the appearances of phenomenal existence are Samantabhadra (the father), the spontaneously accomplished man, data of the deities (i.e. conventional truths, dependent origination). The emptiness nature (of phenomenal existence), free from all the extremes (i.e. the ultimate truth, emptiness), is Samantabhadri (the mother), the mandala of primordial suchness. The essence both of appearances and nature is indivisibly present as equalness nature (i.e. the Union of the Two Truths - dependent origination and emptiness - not one, not two), and that is the great blissful son, the mandala of enlightened mind (i.e. the single mandala beyond conceptualization, causality, space & time)." -- The Tibetan Buddhist Library, Dzogchen
-- Note: "equalness" should not be confused with Monism, with the belief that everything is "One" or "the same". That would be falling for an extreme view. The Middle Way is more subtle than that. The real nature of everything, non-duality, means "not separate or different, but still not the same"; "not two, but still not one"; "not existent, not non-existent, not both, not neither". That is the whole point that is beyond any description, beyond any conceptualisation, the point that has to be directly seen by seeing the real nature of our own mind in the present.
-- It is because everything is non-dual (the union of dependent origination and emptiness -- not one, not two), or "not separate or different, but still not the same", that there is no absolute bad/wrong (or right), and that everything is alrealy pure (or of one taste). And that is why the Middle Way (not accepting, not rejecting) is efficient as a path to transcend all illusions and their conditioning.)
Visualization of Guru Shakyamuni BuddhaThe entire visualization is made of light and is transparent, intangible and radiant. At the level of your forehead, about six feet away, is a large golden throne adorned with jewels and supported at each corner by a pair of snow lions. There is an open lotus on top of the throne. The sun and moon discs are on top of the lotus. Guru Shakyamuni Buddha is seated on these. He is the embodiment of all the buddhas' omniscient minds and is the ultimate guru in the aspect of Shakyamuni Buddha, who has purified all defilements and attained all realizations. His body is of golden light and he wears the saffron robes of a monk. He is seated in the vajra posture. The palm of his right hand rests on his knee, the fingers touching the moon disc, symbolizing his control over Mara. His left hand rests in his lap in the meditation posture, holding a bowl filled with nectar- medicine that cures our disturbing states of mind, pacifies the lord of death and the mara of samsaric aggregates. The Buddha's face is very beautiful. His smiling, compassionate gaze is directed toward you as well as all beings. He is free of all critical and judgmental thoughts. His eyes are long and narrow. His lips are red and his earlobes are long. His hair is blue-black and each one is individually curled to the right. Every feature of his holy body represents an aspect of his omniscient mind. The Buddha is the supreme refuge and he encompasses the guru, buddha, dharma and sangha (i.e. the real non-dual nature of the inseparable body, speech and mind - the three realms.).
-- From: Venerable Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche(i.e. This visualization of the Field of Merit can be much more elaborated depending on the particular sadhana and the level/obsessions of the student -- all adapted skillful means with a lot of symbolism, or not. But these various visualizations always represent the same inseparable trikaya, the real non-dual nature of the three inseparable realms: body, speech & mind.)
Prayers to be Said at the Start of Meditation(i.e. The actual prayers, and order, vary according to Buddhist traditions and sects; but their essence is unique (many adapted skillful means, but a unique extremely profound and subtle Dharma which cannot by itself be gotten at, which cannot be teached, which can be directly seen only by directly seeing the real nature of our own mind -- the single mandala, beyond any conceptualization, beyond the tetralemma treatment of existence and non-existence -- so there should be nothing to get attached to or produced, and nothing to reject, stop or drop -- no absolute to preach, only adapted skillful means -- everything is already pure and perfect).The Four Refuge Mantra
-- The following prayers are just examples taken from the Net. Most of them correspond to the gelug tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.)Namo Guru bei (I pay homage to the Guru -- both the distance lineage gurus and the close lineage gurus, as well as our personal root guru from whom we received the teachings on the ultimate meaning)Taking Refuge and Generating Bodhicitta
Namo Buddhaya (I pay homage to the Buddha)
Namo Dhar ma ya (I pay homage to the Dharma)
Namo Sanghaya (I pay homage to the Sangha)
(i.e. "This mantra is very important to the Vajrayana school of Buddhism. This mantra is recited to build a spiritual bond with the guru or, dorje lopon acharya. Recite it by first visualizing your guru in the space above your head. Your guru then radiates a light on you. Thus, empowering you and bestowing to you blessings from your guru. Recite this mantra with the utmost devotion. You will eventually gain the blessings from the Four Precious Ones (Guru, Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha).")
Namo mahamudraya (Homage to mahamudra, the great seal of reality)I take refuge until I am enlightened
In the Buddhas, the Dharma and the Sangha.
Through the positive potential I create
By practicing generosity and the other far-reaching attitudes (the six paramitas),
May I attain Buddhahood for the sake of all sentient beings (bodhicitta).
(i.e. There are many different forms of taking refuge depending on the level of understanding (all progressive adapted skillful means). The temporary refuge is the three jewels (the refuge attained from symbols). Knowing the truth (beyond conceptualization, complexity, existence and non-existence ...) is the ultimate reliance, the ultimate refuge. The ultimate refuge is the the realization and recognition of one’s own mind as mahamudra -- directly seeing the real non-dual naturee of our own mind, and of everything; the inseparable trikaya, the Union of The Two Truths. Attaining dharmata is the world-transcending refuge. The supreme object of refuge is one's own primordial wisdom or Buddha nature (the nature of one's own mind, free from all the extremes of complexity). The nature of one's own mind, self-arising wisdom, is the primordially existing three jewels. This is the object of fruition-refuge. Resting in that without accepting and rejecting or defilements of artificiality is the fruition refuge. The external causal refuges are a corresponding condition for establishing that.
-- The opposite of taking refuge in the three Gems, is to rely only on dependently arisen impermanent worldly dharmas, and to pursue only worldly goals like fortune, status, praise, pleasure, in this life or for the next lives, instead of using them, as adapted skillful means whenever appropriate for a greather purpose like helping all other sentient beings to transcend their conditioning and suffering cycle.)
(i.e. Developing Bodhicitta is a series of more and more subtle adapted skillful means that brings us more and more in accord with the real non-dual nature of everything than other more unwholesome actions / habits based on ignorance. In a sense, it is being more mature and realistic; and because of this we make less gross mistakes (bad karma), and cause less suffering for others and for us. According to this real nature of everything, we always need both method (like methods to develop Bodhicitta, mindfulness, concentration ...) and wisdom (gradually realizing the emptiness of inherent existence of all dharmas) together on a gradual path in order to escape the cycle of conditioning. This Middle Way, consisting of not accepting and not rejecting, aims at transcending the duality of existence and non-existence; that is realizing the perfect Union of The Two Truths. "Dropping all" would mean to adopt emptiness as an absolute truth and would be a grave mistake for it is falling for the extreme of nihilism. Perfecting Bodhicitta is practicing the six paramitas while knowing the emptiness of the three: subject, object, action -- the perfect union of upaya and prajna --- not accepting, not rejecting -- because there is no absolute, only adaptted skillful means (not even this). That is the perfect union of compassion and emptiness; one cannot exist without the other, one implies the other. So, we start by wishing to attain enlightenment in order to be able to liberate all other sentient beings, then later we realize that the duality self vs others is just another illusion to be transcended -- that we are not separate or different, but still not the same.
-- The opposite of bodhicitta is to think that one can be Liberated as an individual, independently of the rest of the world, as if he / she was really separate from all other sentient beings, as if there were really a clear absolute distinction between being wholesome and being unwholesome, between being worthy and unwhorthy of Nirvana, as if one can really produce Nirvana through his / her own effort by doing / knowing something, or not doing / dropping something else -- All very childish immature egoistic views that would only cause much more suffering in the long run. Isn't it an oxymoron to talk about getting rid of selfishness from an individual perspective, or personal Liberation? Sounds like the job is not finished yet; that there are still some subtle obscurations before complete Enlightenment.
-- Personal Liberation through doing something, or dropping something else, is impossible because dependent origination (causality) is not the absolute truth, no more than emptiness is (emptiness is itself empty of inherent existence, a mere dependently arisen conventional truth, a pole in a duality), nor is it the two together, nor is it something else. That is the whole point. This absolute truth, the single mandala, is called by many names, like the Union of The Two Truths (dependent origination (all conventional truths including all techniques like bodhicitta) & emptiness of inherent existence), but it is really beyond any of our conceptualization, beyond any duality, beyond production and non-production, beyond causality, space & time. Emptiness is inseparable from bodhicitta, and vice versa -- not two, not one -- that is the whole point of the Buddhist teachings.)
The Four Immeasurable ThoughtsMay all sentient beings have happiness and the causes of happiness. (limitless loving-kindness)
May all sentient beings be free from suffering and the causes of suffering. (limitless compassion)
May all sentient beings never be separated from the happiness that knows no suffering. (limitless joy)
May all sentient beings abide in equanimity, free from attachment and anger that hold some close and others distant. (limitless equanimity)
(i.e. Kindness, compassion, joy and equanimity are respective antidotes to aggression, egotism / desire, jealousy, pride and ignorance; which are all causes of much consequential suffering because they are mistakes based on wrong assumptions. The four immeasurables are skillful means to develop aspiring Bodhicitta. They consist of bringing the result -- similar to Buddha activities -- into the path; and for this reason, being based on the truth, they bring much more happiness. Considering our interrelations with others, and acting with more kindness, compassion, less competitivity, is more in accord with the real nature of the three inseparable realms, more close to the truth, and thus less prone to gross errors and their consequences (karma formation and suffering). We have to realize the relative (circumstantial, dependently arisen) nature of our feelings toward others, our interdependence, and act with more equanimity, compassion and wisdom (not accepting, not rejecting). The four immeasurables are gradually developped from partial (with disrimination), to universal (without discrimination), then perfected by combining them with the wisdom realizing the real nature of the three: subject, object, action. Gradually perfecting the four immeasurables is equivalent to gradually purifying our inseparable body, speech and mind, to gradually seeing the real nature of the three inseparable realms, to planting the seeds for the Four Kayas. With the union of upaya (ex. developing Bodhicitta) and prajna (gradually realizing the emptiness of inherent existence of all dharmas) the five poisons (and all defilements) are transmuted into the Five Wisdoms and one attains the Four Kayas. Then, our own already present unborn Buddha-Nature shines through the layers of accumulated complexity and illusions. The meaning is : Emptiness is compassionate; they are inseparable; one implies the other; not two, not one; not separate or different, not the same. That is the realization of the Union of The Two Truths, of emptiness and dependent origination. That is why we need both method (conventional truths, dependent origination, a path, bodhicitta) and wisdom (emptiness) together all the time, in order to be in accord with the result: the transcendence of the duality existence and non-existence, realizing the two Buddha kayas, realizing the Union of The Two Truths -- realizing that they have always been inseparable (~1, ~2) and that this is the whole point, the key to everything.)
Refuge in the GuruThe Guru is Buddha, the Guru is Dharma,
The Guru is Sangha, also;
The Guru is the creator of all happiness:
In all Gurus I take refuge.
(i.e. "The secret form of going for refuge is going for refuge to one’s root guru alone - recognizing that he is the embodiment of the Buddha, dharma, sangha, and the gurus, yidams, and dakinis and dharma protectors, the embodiment of all these in one form, possessing all of their qualities."
-- "So we rely on the guru as the condensed essence of all the objects of refuge, all the Buddhas, bodhisattvas, lamas, meditational deities, dakinis and Dharma protectors all rolled into one, including all of the teachings. These are the liberating truths of Dharma. These are the objects of refuge. So the lama becomes the door through which we exit samsara."
-- "A guru is a mirror that reflects our highest nature." "Having devotion to the guru means being fully committed to finding the truth," and having faith that he is the means to do it, the best adapted skillful means to progressively realize our own unborn Buddha-nature. "The relative, objective guru is the teacher who, by communicating with us in different ways, shows us how to act so that we can discover our own totality. But on a deeper, more subjective level, our guru is none other than our own inner wisdom, our own fundamental clarity of mind. ... The practice of guru-yoga is primarily a method for learning how to listen to our inner guru."
-- All the various form of taking refuge, as well as the Guru Puja, are adapted skillful means depending on the level of the student; they are part of upaya inseparable from prajna (we need both method and wisdom together all the time to be in accord with the real nature of everything, otherwise we only generate more uncontrolled conditioning, more karma and suffering, without progressing on the path to transcend it all).
-- The guru is the one to be relied upon 100%, but only after carefull examination over a long period of time. All of this should not be confused with passive submission, abdication of responsibility, blind faith, ignorant adoration, or slavery to an unworthy abusing fake guru. There are ways, as described in the sutras and tantras, to evaluate the motivation and qualities of a guru. In a word the guru should be a convincing manifestation of the inseparability of compassion (~1) and emptiness (~2). He should be teaching by the example all the Buddha activities and qualities.
-- The perfection of this skillful means is to combine this method with the realization of the emptiness of the three: subject, object, action.
-- "By pleasing him, let us serve the truth itself." "It is our connection with our true nature." "Devotion is the way to develop pure perception. Pure perception is to appreciate the primordial qualities of the true nature.")
Prayer of the Seven LimbsReverently, I prostrate with my body, speech and mind (Prostration)
And present clouds of every type of offering, actual and mentally-transformed. (Offering)
I declare all my negative actions accumulated since beginningless time (Confessing)
And rejoice in the merits of all holy and ordinary beings. (Rejoicing)
Please remain until samsara ends (Entreating)
And turn the wheel of Dharma for sentient beings. (Requesting)
I dedicate the merit created by myself and others to the great enlightenment. (Dedication)
(i.e. The seven limbs are respectively antidotes to pride, greed, the three poisons, jealousy, abandoning the Dharma, wrong views and negative actions toward the buddhas & gurus, and to the destructive force of anger. They are adapted skillful means more in accord with the real nature of everything than our usual reactions / conditioning based on ignorance. By reducing the effects of these and other so called gross unwholesome actions, we can escape their consequences and create the proper conditions to develop more peace, tranquility, mindfulness, concentration, wisdom, and to, ultimately, be able to see through the whole conditioning cycle, to directly see the real nature of the three realms, of all dharmas. It is a matter of reducing bad habits and their disturbing consequences, while developing new better habits, with more and more subtle wisdom, that will eventually help us to transcend all habits, all conditioning, all karma formation and its consequence - the cycle of suffering. It will permit the real pure nature of our own mind to shine through, burning the layers of accumulated illusions, confusion and bad habits, transcending all complexity, conceptualization, causality, the whole samsara (note: "transcending" does not mean to reject, or to drop, no more than to accept it as it seems to be. It means more like to include it into a transcendent perspective where we are not slave to it anymore, so we can use it when required as an adapted skillful means to help others -- those become like Buddha activities).
-- The perfection of these skillful means is to combine them with the realization of the emptiness of the three: subject, object, action -- not falling for any absolute, not completely rejecting the adapted skillful means. Thus combining the two accumulations, perfectly uniting upaya and prajna, aiming at the perfect Union of The Two Truths, planting the seed for the two inseparable Buddha kayas. That is the only way to gradually get to the very subtle nature of our own mind, and of everything; to get to the liberating truth.
-- These seven limbs should not be confused with the "seven limbs of awakening", which are seven qualities that all buddhas and bodhisattvas possess as factors of their attaining awakening : the virtue of faith, knowledge or insight, prajna, samadhi or meditative absorption, joy,. diligence, the faculty of mindfulness, which is a mind kept tranquil and always consciously aware of what is going on in the mind and what one’s actions are, and equanimity, a state of mind in which the bodhisattva is free from the afflictions of attachment to some things and aversion to
Outer MandalaThe fundamental ground is scented with incense and strewn with flowers,
Adorned with Mount Meru, the four continents, the sun and the moon.
I imagine this as a Buddha-land and offer it.
May all living beings enjoy this pure realm.
Inner MandalaThe objects of attachment, aversion and ignorance --
friends, enemies and strangers, my body, wealth and enjoyments --
Without any sense of loss, I offer this collection.
Please accept it with pleasure
And bless me with freedom from the three poisons.
idam guru ratna mandala kam nirya tayami
(I send forth this jewelled mandala to you, precious gurus.)
(i.e. "The offering of the Mandala is where we offer the entire world, we offer everything, not just this earth, not just this planet, but the billions of worlds throughout the universe. We gather them together as an offering in which we hold nothing back and make the great Mandala offering." -- "The practice of offering the Mandala consists of the ritual offering of the world, and all its wealth, to the Object of Refuge as an act of veneration. The configuration of your hands contains the same meaning as the Mandala offering. The two fingers raised upwards in the centre represent Mount Meru. The four corners formed by interlocking the other fingers, represent the four continents and you should imagine that all the wealth contained in the entire world is present in your hands. When the offering is completed, if you would like to visualise those to whom you have offered the Mandala as happily accepting it, you should proceed to unfold your hands away from you. If, on the other hand, you feel it is more appropriate to receive the blessings of the Object of Refuge to whom the offering is made, then you should unfold your hands towards you." -- "Mandala Offering (visualization and praayer for developing surrender and gaining merit)." -- "A ritual offering of the mandala is a practice to purify attachment" -- "Giving is the sharpest sword to cut through the knot of miserliness." -- "by reducing craving, greed, selfishness and egoism", thus creating much more peace, tranquility, concentration, insights ... -- "The main purpose of making offerings of Mandala is to accumulate the stocks of wisdom and merits." -- "Mandala offering: a symbolic act of generosity, offering the universe to the teachers and enlightened beings" to thank them.
-- Generosity is another adapted skillful means used as an antidote to unwholesome habits, and to develop a more mature perspective. It is again bringing the result into the path, acting in accord with the realization of the interdependence of self and others, of the inseparability of all (not one, not two).
-- The perfection of the paramita of generosity is to do it while remembering the emptiness of the three: subject, object, action -- not accepting, not rejecting -- uniting upaya and prajna -- only then is it more in accord with the real nature of everything.
-- "In the third practice, Mandala offerings, wisdom and merit are equally emphasized. We understand that the Refuge to which we make offerings and our own essence are really one. Here, the unity of subject, object and action becomes much clearer. " -- note: "unity" here means: not two, not one; not separate or different, but still not the same; not dualism, but still not monism -- all pointing to the tetralemma : not existent, not non-existent, not both, not neither. Or pointing to the realization of the Union of The Two Truths: one implying the other.)
(Prayer of the Three Great Purposes)I prostrate and go for refuge to the guru and the Three Precious Sublime Jewels.
Please bless me to immediately stop all wrong conceptions -- From lack of guru devotion to the subtle dual view --.
Bless me to actualize all the realizations -- from guru devotion to the unification off no-more-learning.
May all my outer and inner obstacles be pacified.
(-- From: Venerable Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche)
- [Note: a) Afin que les pensées et les attitudes erronnées cessent de se produire dans notre esprit
- L'aversion et l'irrespect envers notre guide spirituel (Irrespect to the Guru)
- Ne pas désirer prendre l'essence de notre précieuse vie humaine (wasting this Precious Human Life)
- Ne pas se souvenir de la mort (Death & Impermanence)
- Être attaché aux plaisirs et au bonheur de cette seule vie (Worldly concerns)
- Ne pas avoir peur de la renaissance dans les règnes inférieurs (Lower Realms)
- Ne pas souhaiter prendre refuge dans les trois joyaux (Refuge)
- Ne pas avoir de foi ou de conviction en les lois du karma (Karma)
- Chercher à accumuler des actions non vertueuses plutôt que des actions vertueuses (Unwholesomeness)
- Considérer le samsara comme possédant la nature du bonheur (Samsara)
- Souhaiter augmenter nos perturbations mentales et nos actions contaminées (Worldly concerns)
- Ne pas être intéressé par la réalisation de la libération (Desire for Liberation)
- Ne pas vouloir pratiquer les trois entraînements supérieurs qui sont les causes de la libération (The Three Trainings)
- Abandonner les êtres vivants qui sont nos mères (our Mothers)
- L'auto-préoccupation (Self-preoccupation)
- La saisie du soi (Self)
- L'aversion envers la pratique du mantra secret (Tantrayana)
- b) Afin que les pensées et les attitudes correctes soient cultivées
- S'en remettre avec foi à notre guide spirituel et avoir du respect à son égard
- Désirer prendre l'essence de notre précieuse vie humaine
- Se souvenir de la mort
- Ne pas être attaché aux plaisirs et au bonheur de cette vie
- Avoir peur de la renaissance dans les règnes inférieurs
- Souhaiter prendre refuge dans les trois joyaux
- Avoir de la foi et de la conviction en les lois du karma
- Chercher à accumuler des actions vertueuses et non pas des actions non vertueuses
- Considérer le samsara comme possédant la nature de la souffrance
- Souhaiter abandonner nos perturbations mentales et nos actions contaminées qui sont les causes de la renaissance cyclique
- Avoir la détermination d'atteindre la libération
- Vouloir pratiquer les trois entraînements supérieurs
- Chérir tous les êtres vivants qui sont nos mères
- Abandonner l'auto-préoccupation
- Réaliser le non-soi
- Aimer la pratique du mantra secret, etc ... les 6 paramitas, les étapes de la voie vaste du mantra secret,
- c) Afin que les obstacles intérieurs et extérieurs à notre pratique du dharma soient éliminés]
RequestsGlorious and precious root guru, please stay on the lotus and moon seat above my head. Guide me with your great kindness and bestow the attainments of your holy body, speech and mind. (i.e. To finally directly see / realize the real non-dual nature of our own inseparable body, speech and mind.)Your holy body is the result of millions of virtues,At the holy feet of the King of the Sakyas, I make these requests. Guru Vajradhara, encompassing the three objects of refuge, Manifesting in whatever form is necessary to subdue deluded beings, Granting both common and sublime realizations, To you, the kind guru, I make these requests.
Your holy speech fulfills the wishes of all living beings,
Your holy mind sees every existence.
(-- From: Venerable Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche)
General ConfessionSo be it!
O spiritual masters, great vajra holders, and all the Buddhas and bodhisattvas who abide in the ten directions, as well as all the venerable Sangha, please pay attention to me.
I, who am named ________________, circling in cyclic existence since beginningless time until the present, overpowered by disturbing attitudes such as attachment, aversion and ignorance, have created the ten negative actions by means of body, speech and mind. I have transgressed the vows of individual liberation, contradicted the trainings of a bodhisattva, broken tantric commitments. I have been disrespectful to my kind parents, spiritual masters, spiritual friends, and those following pure paths. I have committed actions harmful to the Three Jewels, avoided the holy Dharma, stolen from the Sangha, and harmed living beings. These and many other destructive actions I have done, have caused others to do, and have rejoiced in others' doing. In short, I have created many obstacles to my own higher rebirth and liberation, and have planted countless seeds for further wanderings in cyclic existence and miserable states of being.
Now in the presence of the spiritual masters, the great vajra holders, all the Buddhas and bodhisattvas who abide in the ten directions, and the venerable Sangha, I confess all of these negative actions, I will not conceal them and I accept them as negative. I promise to refrain from doing these actions again in the future. By confessing and acknowledging them, I will attain and abide in happiness, while by not confessing and acknowledging them, true happiness will not come.om vajrasattva hum (28x)
[100 SYLLABLE MANTRA OF VAJRASATTVA:]
OM BANZA-SATTVA, SAMAYAM MANU-PULAYA
Oh Vajrasattva, keep your pledge,
BANZA-SATTVA TVENO PATISHTA
Vajrasattva reside in me,
DIRDHO ME BHAVA, SUTOSHYO ME BHAVA
Make me firm, make me satisfied,
SUPOSHYO ME BHAVA, ANU RAKTO ME BHAVA
Fulfill me, make me compassionate,
SARVA SIDDHAM ME PRAYACCHA
Grant me all siddhis.
SARVA-KARMA SUCHA ME
Also make my mind
CHITTAM SHRIYAM KURU HUM HA HA HA HA HOH
Virtuous in all actions Hum Ha Ha Ha Ha Hoh
BHAGAVAN SARVA TATHAGATA
All the Blessed Tathagatas,
BANZA MA ME MUNCHA, BANZA BHAVA
Do not abandon me, make me indivisible,
MAHA SAMAYA SATTVA
Great Pledge Being.
AH HUM PHAT
(recite three times)
Prayer to Manjushri
Obeisance to my Guru and Protector Manjushri,
Who holds to his heart a scriptural text, symbolic of his seeing all things as they are;Whose intelligence shines forth as the sun, unclouded by delusions or traces of ignorance;
Who teaches in sixty ways with the loving compassion of a father for his only son all creatures caught in the prison of samsara, confused in the darkness of their ignorance, overwhelmed by their suffering.You, whose dragon-thunder-like proclamation of Dharma arouses us from the stupor of our delusions and frees us from the iron chains of our karma;
Who wields the sword of wisdom, hewing down suffering wherever its sprouts appear, clearing away the darkness of our ignorance.You, whose princely body is adorned with the one hundred and twelve marks of a Buddha;
Who has completed the stages achieving the highest perfection of a Bodhisattva;I bow down to you, O Manjushri,
Who has been pure from the beginning.
With the brilliance of your wisdom, O compassionate one,
Illuminate the darkness enclosing my mind,
Enlighten my intelligence and wisdom so that I may gain insight
Into Buddha's words and the texts that explain them.
-- All from: Osel Shen Phen Ling
The Holy Heart Sutra of the Perfection of Wisdom
I - (Homage to the Holy Perfection of Wisdom!!)
Thus have I heard. At one time
The Lord was staying at Rajagriha on Vulture Peak Mountain
together with a great host of monksAt that time, the Lord was composed in the concentration
and a great host of Bodhisattvas.
on the course of Dharmas called Profound Illumination.
II - At that time also, the noble Lord Avalokiteshvara,
the Bodhisattva and Mahasattva,Then, through the inspiration of the Buddha,
in the practice of the profound Perfection of Wisdom
looked down; he beheld but five skandhas
and that in their own-being they were empty.
the elder Sariputra said to the noble Lord"How should any son of good family train who wishes
Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva and Mahasattva,
to engage in the practice of the profound Perfection of Wisdom?""Sariputra, any son or daughter of good family who wishes to
And the noble Lord Avalokiteshvara,
the Bodhisattva and Mahasattva,
spoke to the elder Sariputra as follows:
engage in the practice of the profound Perfection of Wisdom
should look upon it thus:
he (or she) beholds but five skandhas and
that in their own-being, they are empty.
III - "Form is emptiness,
emptiness is formEmptiness does not differ from form,
and form does not differ from emptiness.Likewise, feelings, recognition, volitions
and consciousnesses are empty.
IV - "So, Sariputra, all dharmas are emptiness,
lacking differentiating marks;
they are not produced nor stopped,
not defiled and not immaculate,
not deficient and not complete.
V - "Therefore, Sariputra, in emptiness there is no form,
no feeling, no recognition, no volition, no
consciousness; no eye, no ear, no nose, no tongue, no
body, no mind; no visible form, no sound, no smell
no taste, no tangible, no mental object;
no eye-element, etc., up to no mind-element,
and no mental-consciousness element;
no ignorance and no extinction of ignorance, etc.,
up to no aging and death and no extinction of aging and
death; likewise there is no Suffering, Origin, Cessation
or Path, no wisdom-knowledge, no attainment and no
VI - "Therefore, Sariputra,
because there is no attainment,Transcending perverted views,
Bodhisattvas abide relying on the Perfection of Wisdom,
without obscuration of thought, and so are unafraid.
they attain the end, Nirvana.
VII - "All Buddhas existing in the three times,
relying on the Perfection of Wisdom,
fully awaken to the highest, perfect Enlightenment.
VIII - "Therefore, one should know that the mantra of the
Prajnaparamita is the mantra of great knowledge,
the highest mantra, the unequalled mantra,
the mantra which allays all suffering,
the Truth, since it has nothing wrong.
The mantra of the Prajnaparamita is proclaimed:
tayata om gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi soha("Thus, Om, gone, gone, gone beyond, gone well beyond, enlightenment, hail"
-- i.e. The path consists of gradually going beyond the four extremes of existence, non-existence, both, neither.)
IX - "In this way, Sariputra, should a Bodhisattva and
Mahasattva train in the profound Perfection of Wisdom."Then the Lord rose from that concentration
and commended the noble Lord Avalokiteshvara,When the Lord had uttered this, the elder Sariputra,
the Bodhisattva and Mahasattva, saying
"Well done, well done, oh son of good family!
So it is, oh son of good family, so it is.
Just as you have taught, should the profound
Perfection of Wisdom be practiced and
all the Tathagatas will rejoice."
the noble Lord Avalokiteshvara,
the Bodhisattva and Mahasattva, and
all the people present, including the devas,
human beings, asuras and gandharvas were delighted
and applauded the Lord's speech.
(This completes the Arya Bhagavati Prajnaparamita Hrdaya Sutram.)-- Osel Shen Phen Ling
INSERT MEDITATION HERE !
Mantra Recitationex. Visualize white light and nectar beams flowing from the heart of Guru Shakyamuni Buddha. Then enter your body, speech and mind and purify disease, harms from spirits, negative karma and obscurations. These negativities are washed out of you just like dirt is washed out of clothes. Imagine all living beings on a large moon disc at your heart chakra. They are being purified along with you. Do this visualization while reciting Shakyamuni Buddha's mantra 50 to 100 times. TAYATA OM MUNI MUNI MAHA MUNAYE SOHA While reciting the mantra, yellow light and nectar beams flow from Buddha's heart and enter your body, speech and mind, as well as those of the beings on the moon disc at your heart. You receive all the qualities of the Buddha's holy body, speech and mind. Concentrate on your mind being in union with the Buddha's omniscient mind. Think that you've recieved the perfect power, compassion and wisdom that enables you to fulfill the wishes of all living beings and to guide them to everlasting happiness. Feel how unbearable it is that even one living being has to experinece so much suffering. Even one minute of suffering in samsara is like the suffering of many eons. Have a strong wish and determination to free every being from suffering and its causes. Feel how wonderful it would be to take each being's karma, delusions and sufferings upon yourself. Feel happy to take on their problems and to guide them to the perfect happiness of full enlightenment. Feel determined that you will live your life with bodhicitta (the good heart) and with great compassion and loving-kindness for all beings. Feel committed to free them from suffering and its causes and to guide them to enlightenment. Imagine that the Buddha is extremely pleased with you for having generated the thought to benefit all beings with the good heart, bodhicitta, and for making your life worthwhile. Shakyamuni Buddha dissolves into light. The light absorbs into you at your forehead, blessing your body, speech and mind. (From: Venerable Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche) (see also "Meditation On Buddha Shakyamuni" form Osel Shen Phen Ling)
ex. Other mantrasOM AH HUM - (All Buddhas)(i.e. "Most of the mantras here are presented in short form. There are longer versions. These are power syllables, words, or phrases that help focus, calm and protect the mind by maintaining a strong spiritual connection. Mantras are usually written, visualized and recited in Sanskrit and are employed when meditating, rotating a prayer wheel, and circumambulating a stupa. They are often counted on a mala (or rosary) during mental and verbal recitation." -- Fairhope Web Site)
TAYATA OM MUNI MUNI MAHA MUNAYE SOHA - (Shakyamuni Buddha)
OM MANI PADME HUNG - (Avalokiteshvara) Compassion
OM WAGI SHARE MUM - (Manjushri) Wisdom
OM BADZA PANI HUNG - (Vajrapani) Invincible power over negativvity
OM AH BANZA DHARA HUM - (Vajradhara)
om vajrasattva hum (Vajrasattva's Mantra)
om ah hum vajra guru padma siddhi hum (Padmasambhava's Mantra)
OM TARE TUTTARE TURE SOHA - (Green Tara) Helpfulness over obstacles
OM TARE TUTTARE TURE MAMA ARYU PUNI GYANYA PUNDING GURUYE SOHA - (White Tara) Long Life Mantra
OM AH GURU BANZA DHARA SUMATI KIRTI SIDDHI HUM HUM - (Tsongkhapa)
tayata om bhekandzyai bhekandzyai maha bhekandzyai bhekandzyai randza samungate soha (Medicine Buddha's Mantra)
MIG-ME TSE-WAI TER-CHEN CHEN-RE-ZI
DRI-ME KHYEN-PE WONG-PO JAM-PE-YANG
DU-PUNG MA-LU JOM-DZE SANG-WAI-DAG
GANG-CHEN KHE-PE TZUG-GYEN TSONG-KHA-PA
LO-ZANG-DRAG-PAY ZHAB-LA SOL-WA-DEB (5x) (Migtséma / Short Request to Lama Tzong Khapa)
OM AH GURU BANZA-DHARA WAGINDA SUMATI SHASANA DHARA SAMUDRA SHRI BARA SABA SIDDHI HUM HUM - (HHDL Mantra)
OM BANZE NARA CRING CRING HUNG HUNG PHAT PHAT SOHA - (Mahakala short mantra)
om namo manjushriye namo sushriye namo uttama shriye soha (Prostration Mantra)
Dissolution of the Field of MeritTAYATA OM GATE GATE PARAGATE PARASAMGATE BODHI SOHA - (Prajnaparamita)(i.e. Go beyond the tetralemma treatment of existence and non-existence; transcend all dualities. No absolute, only adapted skillful means; nothing to do or produce, nothing to reject or drop. Enlightenment is beyond production & non-production, beyond good & bad, beyond causality, space & time.)
("Thus, Om, gone, gone, gone beyond, gone well beyond, enlightenment, hail")
Prayers to be Said at the Conclusion of Meditation
Dedication of MeritDue to this merit may we soonDedication of Bodhicitta
Attain the enlightened state of Guru-Buddha
That we may liberate all sentient beings
From their suffering.May the precious bodhi mind
Not yet born arise and grow;
May that born have no decline,
But increase forever more.
Short Prayer for the Long Life of His HolinessIn the snowy mountain paradise,
You're the source of good and happiness;
Powerful Tenzin Gyatso-Chenresig,
May you stay until samsara ends.
Short Request to Lama Tzong KhapaChenresig, great treasure of objectless compassion,
Manjushri, master of flawless wisdom,
Vajrapani, destroyer of hoards of inner demons,
Tzong Khapa, crown jewel of the Snowy Land's sages,
Losang Dragpa, I make request at your holy feet. (3X)
same as :
MIG-ME TSE-WAI TER-CHEN CHEN-RE-ZI
DRI-ME KHYEN-PE WONG-PO JAM-PE-YANG
DU-PUNG MA-LU JOM-DZE SANG-WAI-DAG
GANG-CHEN KHE-PE TZUG-GYEN TSONG-KHA-PA
LO-ZANG-DRAG-PAY ZHAB-LA SOL-WA-DEB (3x)
Precept Dedication Prayer
by Shantideva, revised by His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai LamaMay all beings everywhere,-- Taken from Osel Shen Phen Ling
Plagued by sufferings of body and mind,
Obtain an ocean of happiness and joy
By virtue of my merits.
May no living creature suffer,
Commit evil or ever fall ill.
May no one be afraid or belittled,
With a mind weighed down by depression.
May the blind see forms,
And the deaf hear sounds.
May those whose bodies are worn with toil
Be restored on finding repose.
May the naked find clothing,
The hungry find food.
May the thirsty find water
And delicious drinks.
May the poor find wealth,
Those weak with sorrow find joy.
May the forlorn find hope,
Constant happiness and prosperity.
May there be timely rains
And bountiful harvests.
May all medicines be effective
And wholesome prayers bear fruit.
May all who are sick and ill
Quickly be freed from their ailments.
Whatever diseases there are in the world,
May they never occur again.
May the frightened cease to be afraid
And those bound be freed.
May the powerless find power
And may people think of benefiting each other.
The Four ImmeasurablesWhen one displays bodhicitta, one understands that all sentient beings are suffering.
One looks at cyclic existence and sees that it is impermanent; that all sentient beings, no matter how happy they are, temporarily, ultimately lose that happiness by experiencing old age, sickness, and death; that in the six realms of cyclic existence, there are many different forms of suffering due to impermanence and the mind of duality.
SHORT VERSIONMay all sentient beings abide in equanimity, free from attachment and anger that hold some close and others distant.
May all sentient beings have happiness and the causes of happiness.
May all sentient beings be free from suffering and the causes of suffering.
May all sentient beings never be separated from the happiness that knows no suffering.
The Limitless Equilibrium Meditation
(i.e. equality based on impermanence, emptiness, and relativity; antidote to duality and the three sensations)
DREL-WAI TANG-NYOM LA-NE-NA CHI-MA-RUNG
Free from attachment and hatred which keeps some beings close and others far
NE-PA GYUR-CHIG, NE-PA DAG-GI CHA-WO
May they be in equanimity, I myself will make them be in equanimity
DE-TAR CHE NU-PAR LAMA-LHA JIN-GYI LAB-TU-SOL
Please Guru Deities bless me to be able to do this
(Note : Recite the immeasurables serie three times)
The Limitless Love Meditation
(from equality, reciprocity and as a tool to fight the ego; antidote of hatred)
DE-WAY GYU-DANG DEN-NA CHI-MA-RUNG
the cause of happiness. May they have happiness and its cause
DEN-PA GYUR-CHIG DEN-PA DAG-GI CHA-WO
I myself will make them have happiness and its cause
DE-TAR CHE NU-PAR LAMA-LHA JIN-GYI LAB-TU-SOL
Please Guru Deities bless me to be able to do this
SEM-CHEN TAM-CHE DUG-NGEL-DANG
How wonderful it would be if all sentient beings were released from suffering
DUG-NGEL-GYI GYU-DANG DREL-NA CHI-MA-RUNG
And the cause of suffering. May they be released from suffering and its causes
DREL-WAR GYUR-CHIG DREL-WAR DAG-GI CHA-WO
I myself will release them from suffering and its causes
DE-TAR CHE NU-PAR LAMA-LHA JIN-GYI LAB-TU-SOL_
Please Guru Deities bless me to be able to do this
The Limitless Joy Meditation
(appreciating good examples and teachings of cause and effect; antidote for jealousy)
TAR-PEY DE-WA DAMPA-DANG MA DREL-NA CHI-MA-RUNG
From the sublime happiness of release and the happiness of higher rebirths.
MI-DREL-WAR GYUR-CHIG MI DREL-WAR DAG-GI CHA-WO
May they not be separated from these, I myself will make them not be separated from these.
DE-TAR CHE NU-PAR LAMA-LHA JIN-GYI LAB-TU-SOL_
Please Guru Deities bless me to be able to do this.
For detailed comments on each see:
- The Practice of The Four Immeasurables, Amitabha Buddhist Centre
- The Four Immeasurables, A Teaching from Jetsunma Ahkön Lhamo
- The Four Immeasurable Minds in Prajnaparamita -- kalavinka
- Chapter 7 of Longchenpa's Great Chariot commentary
- The Reason We Practice Meditation, By V.V. Thrangu Rinpoche
- THE FOUR SUBLIME STATES, Contemplations on Love, Compassion, Sympathetic Joy and Equanimity, by Nyanaponika Thera
The Seven Branches of Worship:
The Key to Purifying Misdeeds and Accumulating Merit
As Well As Offering the MandalaTo all the Buddhas who traverse the three times,- HHDL, Generating Bodhicitta
To the Teaching and the spiritual community
I bow down with emanations of my body
Equal to the number of atoms in a Buddha-field.
Just as Bodhisattvas such as Manjushri
Make offering to the Conquerors,
So I make offering to you, Thus Gone Ones,
You, the Protectors and your offspring.
In this beginningless cyclic existence
In this life or in others
Compelled by the errors of ignorance
I needlessly engaged in misdeeds.
I urged others to commit wrongdoings
And rejoiced in others' bad actions as well.
Having understood my faults
I confess them to the Protectors from my heart.
I rejoice with pleasure in actions helpful to beings
And in the oceans of virtue
Which increase the altruistic aspiration
And bring happiness to all.
I join my palms requesting
The Buddhas of all the directions,
"Please light the lamps of the teaching
For beings who suffer in dark confusion."
I pray with joined palms
To the Buddhas who wish for final Nirvana,
"Please stay for innumerable eons;
Do not leave beings in this blindness."
I have done all these in this way
And accumulated virtue;
My it remove all the miseries
Of all sentient beings. (i.e. dedication)
-- For details on the Seven Limbs see: The sevenfold service, in the commentary on Longchenpa's Great Chariot
With the wish to free all beings-- HHDL, Generating Bodhicitta
I shall always go for Refuge
To the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha
Until the attainment of full enlightenment
Enthused by compassion and wisdom
Today in the Buddha's Presence
I generate the Mind of Enlightenment
For the benefit of all sentient beings
As long as space endures
And as long as sentient beings remain
May I, too, abide
To dispel the miseries of the world.
Bodhicitta OfferingIn the Buddhas, Dharma and Sangha-- DGTL
Until enlightened I seek refuge.
Through giving and other perfections
To aid all may I become Buddha. (3x)
This wish to attain complete enlightenment
To free all beings from dangers of samsara and nirvana,
From henceforth until I become a Buddha,
I never give up even for sake of my life. (3x).
O Gurus, Buddhas and Bodhisattvas
Please listen to what I now say:
Just as the previous Sugatas
And successively accomplished
The Bodhisattva trainings,
So shall I, to benefit beings,
And practice in succession
The Bodhisattva trainings (3x)
Now my life is fruitful.
It's well that human life's been found.
Today I'm born into Buddha lineage
And now become a Bodhisattva.
From now henceforth I shall act
In accordance with this lineage
So as to never bring disgrace
Upon this lineage, pure and faultless.
When the Sun Lord Protector Maitreya rises
O'er the mountain summit, the Vajra Seat,
Opening my wisdom's lotus blossom
May bumble-bee swarms of fortunate ones be satisfied!
Then as Conqueror Maitreya, fully pleased,
Places his right hand on my head
And prophecies supreme unexcelled enlightenment
May I swiftly attain Buddhahood for sake of all beings!