Hail to the Teachings
The Foundation of All Good Qualities - by Lama Zong Khapa
The Three Principles of the Path - by Lama Zong Khapa
Eight Verses for Training the Mind - by Geshe Langri Tangpa
The Discourse on Loving-Kindness - by Shakyamuni Buddha
THE FOUNDATION OF ALL GOOD QUALITIES BY LAMA TSONG KHAPA
Please let me see that proper devotion to my Guru,
who is foundation of all the good qualities,
forms the root of the Path and let me strive with effort
and great devotion to him - please inspire me.
Please let me understand that this rare, precious body,
endowed with freedom is found only once,
and may I cultivate both day and night unceasing
the mind that grasps its essence - please inspire me.
Please let me realize that my unstable body
quickly decays and dies like water bubbles.
Convinced that after death - like shadows follow bodies
black and white karma ripens - please inspire me.
Please let my actions be guided by karmic insight
avoiding even smallest wrongful actions
and working to complete accumulating merit
with mindfulness and caution - please inspire me.
Please let me understand that seeking worldly pleasures
will never satisfy; they can't be trusted!
Aware of all these faults may I attain the wish
to strive for liberation - please inspire me.
Please let these pure thoughts give rise to the greatest caution,
may mindfulness and watchfulness increase.
May I act in accordance with pratimoksha vows;
the root of Dharma teachings - please inspire me.
Please let me see that all my mother sentient beings
are in samsara's ocean just like me,
and take upon myself to free all transmigrators
with supreme Bodhicitta - please inspire me.
Please let me clearly see that with just Bodhicitta,
without the practice of the threefold ethics,
I will not be enlightened thus practice with strong effort
the Bodhisattva vows - please inspire me.
Please let me pacify distractions to wrong objects,
and analyze correct reality's meaning.
Thus quickly generating the unifying path
of insight and samadhi - please inspire me.
Please let me have the fortune trained in the common path
to be a vessel, pure enough to enter
the holy entrance of the hightest of all yanas,
the supreme Vajra Path - please inspire me.
Please let me clearly see that keeping all my pledges
is the foundation of the two attainments
thus may I keep my vows and all commitments purely,
even risking my life - please inspire me.
Please let me recognize the heart of tantric practice
and grasp the importance of both the stages.
Then practice enthusiastic four-session meditation
and realize Guru's teachings - please inspire me.
Please may the virt'ous Guides who show the Noble Path
and Dharma friends who practice all have long lives
and may all hindrances, internal and external,
be pacified completely - please inspire me.
May I throughout all lives not part from perfect teachers
and enjoy all the Buddha's Noble Teachings.
Stages and paths completed may I quickly achieve
the state of Vajradhara - please inspire me.
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THE THREE PRINCIPLES OF THE PATH BY LAMA ZONG KHAPA
I bow down to the venerable Spiritual Masters.
I will explain, as well as I am able, the essence of all the teachings of the Conqueror, the Path praised by the Conquerors and their spiritual children, the entrance for the fortunate ones who desire liberation.
Listen with clear minds, you fortunate ones who direct your minds to the Path pleasing to the Buddha and strive to make good use of leisure and opportunity without being attached to the joys of cyclic existence.
For you, embodied beings bound by the craving for existence: without the pure
determination to be free from the ocean of existence, you cannot pacify the
attractions to its pleasurable effects.
Thus from the outset, strive to generate the determination to be free.
By contemplating the leisure and endowments so difficult to find and the fleeting nature of your life, reverse the clinging to this life.
By repeatedly contemplating the infallible effects of karma and the miseries of cyclic existence, reverse the clinging to future lives.
By contemplating in this way, do not generate even for an instant the wish for the pleasures of cyclic existence.
When you have the mind aspiring for liberation day and night unceasingly, then you have generated the determination to be free.
However, if your determination to be free is not sustained by the pure
dedicated heart, it does not become the cause for the perfect bliss of
Therefore, the intelligent ones generate the supreme enlightenment thought.
Swept by the current of the four power rivers, tied by the strong bonds of karma which are so hard to undo, caught in the iron net of self-grasping egoism, completely enveloped by the darkness of ignorance, born and reborn in boundless cyclic existence, unceasingly tormented by the three miseries - by thinking of all mother sentient beings in this condition, generate the supreme altruistic aspiration.
Even if you meditate upon the determination to be free and Bodhicitta,
without the wisdom realizing the ultimate nature, you cannot cut the root of
Therefore, strive for the means to realize dependent arising.
One who sees the infallible cause and effect of all phenomena in cyclic existence and beyond, and destroys all false perceptions [of their inherent exist- ence], has entered the Path which pleases the Buddha.
Appearances are infallible dependent arisings; emptiness is free of assertions [of inherent existence or non-existence].
As long as these two understandings are seen as separate, one has not yet realized the intent of the Buddha.
When these two realizations are simultaneous and concurrent, from the mere sight of infallible dependent arising comes definite knowledge which completely destroys all modes of mental grasping.
At that time, the analysis of the profound view is complete.
In addition, appearances clear away the extreme of [inherent] existence; emptiness clears away the extreme of non-existence.
When you understand the arising of cause and effect from the viewpoint of emptiness, you are not captivated by either of the extreme views.
In this way, when you have realized the exact points of the three principal aspects of the path, by depending on solitude, generate the power of joyous effort and quickly accomplish the final goal, my child!
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EIGHT VERSES FOR TRAINING THE MIND - by Geshe Langri Tangpa
By thinking of all sentient beings
as even better than the wish-granting gem,
for accomplishing the highest aim,
may I always consider them precious.
Wherever I go, with whomever I go,
may I see myself as less than all others,
and from the depth of my heart
may I consider them supremely precious.
May I examine my mind in all actions
and as soon as a negative state occurs,
since it endangers myself and others,
may I firmly face and avert it.
When I see beings of a negative disposition
or those oppressed by negativity or pain,
may I, as if finding a treasure, consider them precious,
for they are rarely met.
Whenever others, due to their jealousy,
revile and treat me in unjust ways,
may I accept this defeat myself,
and offer the victory to others.
When someone whom I have helped
or in whom I have placed great hope
harms me with great injustice,
may I see that one as a sacred friend.
In short, may I offer, both directly and indirectly,
all joy and benefit to all beings, my mothers,
and may I myself secretly
take on all their hurt and suffering.
May they not be defiled
by the concepts of the eight mundane concerns,
and aware that all things are illusory,
may they, ungrasping, be free from bondage.
(For a free booklet with a commentary on this text by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, visit the website of Wisdom Publications, see under 'Dalai Lama'.)
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THE DISCOURSE ON LOVING-KINDNESS BY THE BUDDHA
This is what should be done by one who is skilled in goodness
and who knows the path of peace:
Let them be able and upright,
Straightforward and gentle in speech,
Humble and not conceited,
Contented and easily satisfied,
Unburdened with duties and frugal in their ways.
Peaceful and calm and wise and skillful,
Not proud and demanding in nature.
Let them not do the slightest thing
That the wise would later reprove.
Wishing: in gladness and in safety may all beings be at ease.
Whatever living beings there may be,
Whether they are weak or strong,
The great or the mighty, medium, short or small,
The seen and the unseen,
Those living near and far away,
Those born and to be born, omitting none,
May all beings be at ease.
Let none deceive another or despise any being in any state.
Let none, through anger of ill-will wish harm upon another.
Like a mother protects her child, her only child with her life,
So with a boundless heart should one cherish all living beings.
Radiating kindness over the entire world:
Spreading upwards to the skies and downwards to the depths,
Outwards and unbounded, free from hatred and ill-will.
Whether standing or walking, seated or lying down
Free from drowsiness, one should sustain this recollection.
This is said to be the sublime abiding.
By not holding to fixed views,
The pure-hearted one, having clarity of vision,
Being freed from all sense desires,
Is not born again into this world.
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Last updated: March 10, 2001