Simple Advice for your Spiritual Path

the essence of the path

HH Dudjom Rinpoche Jigdral Yeshe Dorje

To my Lord of Dharma, peerless, kind,
My glorious Lama, homage!
His lotus feet I place Upon my chakra of great bliss.

Here is my advice, Some counsel useful for your mind.

Not to keep yourself from evil actions
Is to have no pratimoksha.
Not to work for others’ welfare
Is to have no bodhichitta.
Not to master pure perception
Is to have no Secret Mantra.
If illusions don’t collapse,
There is no realization.

If you opt for one side or the other,
That is not the View.
If you have a goal in mind,
That is not the Meditation.
If your conduct’s a contrivance,
That is not the Action.
If you hope and wish,
You’ll have no Fruit.

Those with faith will go for refuge;
Those who have compassion will have bodhichitta;
Those with wisdom will gain realization;
Those who have devotion harvest blessings.

Those who have a sense of shame are careful how they act;
Careful in their actions, they are self-possessed;
Self-possessed, they keep their vows and pledges;
Keeping vows and pledges, they will have accomplishment.

Peaceful self-control: the sign of one who’s heard the teachings!
Few defiled emotions are the mark of one who meditates.
Harmony with others is the sign of one who practices.
A blissful heart is witness to accomplishment.

The root of Dharma is your very mind.
Tame it and you’re practicing the Dharma.
To practice Dharma is to tame your mind—
And when you tame it, then you will be free!

Dudjom Rinpoche
Counsels from My Heart
Padmakara Translation Group

Don’t be partial

Lama Tharchin Rinpoche

. . . I would like to give you some advice: Don’t be partial. What I mean is don’t hold the highest view of Great Perfection, Dzogchen, and ignore other forms of practice. When it comes to practice, there is no higher or lower. It’s how you practice that makes the difference. That’s why it’s not right to hold to the Dzogchen view just in your intellectual mind. You must feel it positively, with devotion and appreciation for the qualities of the Three Jewels. You must also feel deeply about the suffering of all sentient beings due to ignorance. This is compassion. Then you must realize the true nature of your mind. That’s wisdom. Without compassion and wisdom, Dzogchen is merely intellectual. It is absolutely crucial that you integrate with everything. Then there will be an ultimate benefit.

The best way to do this is with ngondro, the preliminary practice, especially the Guru Yoga section. If you complete each ngondro a 100,000 times, that’s good. But at least do ngondro every day. Begin with contemplating the profoundness of the Four Thoughts. Then take Refuge with devotion, generate Bodhicitta with compassion, offer Mandala with generosity, and practice. Vajrasatta with genuine regret. Then, when you come to Guru Yoga, feel your genuine devotion, recite the mantra, and receive the empowerments. Then again generate devotion that is so powerful that it melts Guru Rinpoche as long as possible. After the session, maintain pure vision ~ yourself as Vajrayogini and all forms, sounds, and thoughts inseparable from Guru Rinpoche’s body, speech, and mind. Then, keeping that frame of reference, do whatever you have to do.

I am asking you from the bottom of my heart that you practice this every day. It doesn’t matter for how long. Just until you have a feeling of satisfaction in your heart. That is enough. Make your session pure, strong, and undistracted. Short sessions are very helpful because you make progress through the power of habituation. Practicing like this will support your realization of the Great Perfection of Dzogchen, and then little by little, you will be able to carry your view with you at all times into your life activities that will become buddha activities.

The positive circumstances we have together right now we are no accident. We planned for this is past lives. I pray that in this lifetime and all future lifetimes that we will continue to turn the Wheel of Dharma together. The foundation of all our activities is keeping pure samaya and creating a perfect wisdom mandala. Whoever participates in this, their merit will remove unwanted circumstances and their fortune will increase. Whatever we do, we should dedicate it to all sentient beings and plant the seeds of their enlightenment.

~ Lama Tharchin Rinpoche
Lotus Light Newsletter
October/November 1998
Volume 5, No 4