How to Meditate with Confidence Part 4

By the request of the Vajrayana Foundation Ngondro Program, Thadral Tulku Rinpoche began a new monthly Ngondro Teaching Series on “How to Meditate with Confidence” which coincidently began in January 2023. Because the Annual Ngondro Retreat occurred in April, here is a brief review of the March 8th teaching to prepare us for the upcoming Monthly Ngondro Teaching on May 10th at 5 pm. If you are a Ngondro Program Participant, please watch your registered email for the YouTube link to join by livestream. You will find a list of the YouTube Teaching links from January to current at the end.

Omniscient Wisdom arises from the root of compassion.
It arises from the object of Bodhicitta.
And through skillful means it is perfected.

~ Shakyamuni Buddha

“Whether we are doing Ngondro Practice or whether we are doing some other Main Practice, all the practices we do have to encompass the view or be sealed with the view. First, we establish our understanding of the view through study and reflection and study that meaning. From this, I will begin the teaching on the stages of meditating on the view.

Whether we are trying to have the authentic view of our mind stream or whatever kind mediation, we must first begin with laying the foundation for Shamata or Vipassana Meditation. The ultimate goal is accomplishing perfect omniscience or state of complete and perfect Buddhahood, the way to accomplish what Buddha Shakyamuni taught in the sutras.

Whatever practice we are engaged in, before we begin, it is important for us to cultivate compassion, to cultivate the mind of Bodhicitta, set our motivation in that way.

Setting our motivation is indispensable and extremely important to do before whatever practice we do. With all the Mahayana practices that we, whether the practice is dharma or not, depends on bodhicitta.

We need to understand that all the worldly and transcendent virtues of the Buddhas are all the result of Shamata and Vipassana.

What things do we need to understand Shamata and Vipassana?
To be able to practice Shamata we need to distance from physical busyness and metal concepts. In order to have Vipassana arise in our mind stream, we must rely on sublime beings and study and reflect on the teachings.

What foundation do we need to study and reflect on the teachings? “
Thadrul Tulku Rinpoche takes us step by step in explaining:

  • The Five Faults and How to identify the Five Faults
  • The Eight Antidotes to Understand to Abandon the Five Faults
  • Familiarization of the Nine Methods to Still the Mind
  • The Six Powers to Meditate
  • Four Ways to Accomplish Meditative Concentration

If we practice in this way, the five samadhis will surely arise in our mind stream.

Our minds are like untamed wild horses. we must tie them up with the rope of mindfulness, put them in the pen of equanimity, and place the bit of diligence in their mouth.”

“It is rare to find people who practice according to these instructions, but it is so good to understand these instructions, it helps with learning about the dharma, to have some knowledge and understanding about the dharma and that is why I wanted to share this with you. Later when we get into the actual main part of the meditation practice, it will be easier to understand.”

Rinpoche notes:
This teaching has been based on Patural Rinpoche’s teaching.

Familiarize or refresh yourself by listening to this March 8th teaching:
How to Meditate with Confidence, Part 3

Here are the links from the beginning of the
How to Meditate with Confidence Series

How to Meditate with Confidence, Part 1, January 25, 2023

How to Meditate with Confidence, Part 2, February 8, 2023

How to Meditate with Confidence, Part 4, May 10th at 5pm

Dudjom Tersar Ngondro Program of the Vajrayana Foundation
partial transcript by Sonam 04-24-23

The Three Supreme Methods

Whatever practices we do, whether the common ones of taking refuge and making prostrations, the various trainings in bodhichitta, the methods for purifying the defilements of body and speech, or the uncommon practices of the Secret Mantra (the visualization and recitation of Vajrasattva, guru yoga, or meditation on the yidam deity), all that we do — and this is very important—should be accompanied by the three “supreme methods.”

The first of these methods is the attitude of bodhichitta. All beings possess the tathagatagarbha, the seed of buddhahood, but this is obscured and veiled. As a result, they wander in samsara. The first method is therefore to be determined to liberate them from this ocean of suffering.

The second supreme method is to have a mind free from conceptualization, which means to practice without distraction. Even if we make only a single prostration, we should not just go through the motions mechanically, with our thoughts and words elsewhere. On the contrary, we should practice with a concentrated mind, and never be carried away by distraction.

The third supreme method is to conclude with dedication. Whatever merit has been generated must be dedicated for the sake of beings, who are as many as the sky is vast. In fact, if we forget to round off our practice with the excellent attitude of bodhichitta, dedicating the merit to others, this merit could be destroyed in a moment of strong anger or defilement.

For this reason, all positive actions should immediately be followed by an act of dedication for the welfare of all beings. The benefits of this supreme method are immense; dedication renders merit inexhaustible and causes it to increase constantly.

~ Dudjom Rinpoche
Counsels from My Heart
Padmakara Translation Group
photographer unknown

Download Dedication of Merit

Three Excellences of Guidance

How amazing! Listen, woman diligent in virtue!

In any virtue you accomplish, large and small,
the key is to have the three excellences’ guide you.

In generating compassion and the mind of awakening (bodhicitta) in your mind,
stable mindfulness is important.

Within samsara and enlightenment’s space-like nature, recognition of awareness’s essential nature as the unfabricated, dharmakaya is the view.

To settle naturally in unfabricated present awareness is meditation.

Take as the key of conduct that all your activity should accord with the sacred Dharma and practice diligently as I’ve described.

I, Jnana, spontaneously wrote this as a woman named Jnana requested.

Dudjom Rinpoche, Wisdom Nectar