Brief Notes on the Visualization for the Concise Recitation of the Pure Vision Preliminary Practice

by Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche

Namo guruye!

There are two stages to the practice of this preliminary phase of the profound path: the common and uncommon.

I. Common Preliminary Practices: Meditation for the Recitation of the the Four Causes of Renunciation

Namo means ‘I pay homage’. To whom do we pay homage? To the one who is always unfailing and will never deceive us, the supreme and constant refuge or protector who is the embodiment of the Three Jewels, our precious root lama. Begin by praying to the lama in this way, with an understanding of why you do so, saying: “Care for me! You know me!”

Then reflect as follows:

“A physical support such as this, adorned with the abundant qualities of the freedoms and advantages, is extremely difficult to obtain. This body that I have now obtained, like everything else that is born, will not last forever, and is bound to die. At that time, this body will be left behind, but the mind will continue, directed by whatever beneficial and harmful actions I have accumulated, and, as a result, I will experience conditions of happiness or suffering, according to the inevitable laws of cause and effect. No matter where I might be reborn, whether in a high state or a low state, wherever I am among the three realms of saṃsāra, I will be forever beset by the turbulent waves of this vast ocean of suffering. As I recognize the reality of this situation, may my mind turn towards the sacred Dharma!”

II. The Uncommon Preliminary Practices

In this there are seven sections.

1. Taking Refuge

Consider your precious root master is actually present in the space before you. He appears in the form of Guru Rinpoche, and he embodies the Three Jewels and all the sources of refuge. Take refuge in him and offer prostrations, thinking: “From now until I obtain the essence of enlightenment, I take refuge in the Lama and the Three Jewels, respectfully, with my body, speech and mind.”

2. Generating Bodhicitta

Consider that the objects of refuge are your witness, and train your mind in bodhicitta, thinking: “From now until saṃsāra itself is empty, I shall train in the activity of the bodhisattvas in order to accomplish the benefit and wellbeing of all sentient beings (who were once my very own parents).”

3. Mandala Offering

Taking a plate that is arranged with heaps that symbolize the offerings, think: “In all my lives, my body, my possessions and all my glories, together with all the sources of my merit, I offer to the Three Jewels in order to complete the two accumulations(of merit and wisdom).”

4. Visualization and Recitation of Vajrasattva

Consider that you maintain your ordinary form and visualize the following: “At the crown of my head, is my own root lama, inseparable from glorious Vajrasattva. From his body flows a stream of bodhichitta nectar, entering at the aperture of Brahmā at my crown and filling the whole of my body, purifying all my harmful actions, obscurations, and impairments and breakages of vows and commitments, so that none remains.” Recite the hundred-syllable mantra and the six-syllable mantra as many times as possible, and then, at the end, consider that Lama Vajrasattva is pleased, and, granting his approval, melts into light and merges with your own perception, so that you become inseparably one.

5. Guru Yoga

Consider that in the sky before you your kind root lama appears in the form of Guru Padmasambhava, actually present there before you. Pray to him fervently, thinking, “The embodiment of all the buddhas of the ten directions and three times, incomparable root lama, I pray to you from the depths of my heart with fervent devotion. In this life and in the next, and in the bardo states, guide me with compassion, without ever parting, and grant me your blessings, continuously at all times.”

Recite the Vajra Guru mantra as many times as possible in order to invoke his wisdom mind. Then, consider that rays of light emanate from the three syllables at the Guru’s three centres and dissolve into you, purifying the four kinds of obscuration. While imagining that you are granted the four empowerments in their entirety, recite VAJRA GURU KĀYA VAKA CITTA SIDDHI HŪṂ and receive the four empowerments.

6. Transference of Consciousness (phowa)

Make the following prayer as many times as possible and develop the intention to transfer your consciousness: “I pray to the protector Amitābha, the Buddha of Limitless Light, who is inseparable from the lama. By your blessings may I accomplish the profound path of phowa and be reborn in Sukhāvatī.”

7. Giving One’s Body

Make the following prayer of aspiration: “Now I dedicate my body, my possessions, and all my merits and even their causes from the past, present and future, all together, to all beings. I surrender them with no feelings of remorse. May I accomplish great waves of benefit for all beings, without hindrance and according to their wishes.”

All these practices should be sealed by the three noble principles: the noble preparation, main part and conclusion.

In response to a request by Jampa Chödzin, a diligent practitioner from the Draksum area of Kongpo, I, Jñāna, wrote down whatever came to mind during a single session. May virtue abound!

| Translated by Adam Pearcey, 2006.

We cannot know who is a sublime being.

Dudjom Rinpoche Jigdral Yeshe Dorje giving teaching in Dordogne
on the field by Rinpoche’s house. This photo was selected to celebrate the return of Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche to Dordogne this August 2019.

Do not examine the faults of beings. Recognizing that they have been your mothers and thinking of their kindness, meditate on love and compassion. In particular, avoid looking for faults in those who have entered the gateway of the Dharma. Regard them as people in the same boat and reflect only on their good qualities, rejoicing at these and cultivating devotion. More especially, never look for defects in your teachers. Realizing that everything they do is full of excellent qualities, make an effort to train in devotion and pure vision.

A greater fault than stealing the possessions of all the beings in a billion worlds and destroying all the stupas there are is criticizing a single Bodhisattva. If one scorns and insults a Bodhisattva, whatever the circumstances, one will be reborn in the Screaming Hell with a body five hundred leagues in size, with five hundred heads, each with five hundred mouths, each containing five hundred tongues, and each tongue plowed by five hundred plows.

Take note of this passage from the Sublime Sutra of the Marks That Inspire the Development of Faith

In general, it is a boundless crime to criticize a sublime being.  In this respect, Bodhisattvas are particularly dangerous objects, and Secret Mantra Vehicle practitioners even more so. We cannot know who is a sublime being or whether someone is inwardly a genuine practitioner. It is said that only a fully enlightened Buddha can judge; no one else can do so. If we speak badly of anyone or criticize them, we are sweeping away our own qualities. It is in the nature of things that by finding faults in others, we ourselves are destroyed. Change your attitude, therefore, and examine only your own faults.

“For beginners, it is not the time to struggle with afflictive emotions, but time to run away from them.”

as said by the incomparable Dagpo Rinpoche

A Torch Lighting the way to Freedom
Dudjom Rinpoche Jugdral Yeshe Dorje
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