Absolute Purification of Vajrasattva

“In the absolute sense there is nothing to be purified, no one purifying, and no act of purification. But since we cannot seem to leave it at that, the defilements and obscurations arise. In the illusory perception of our ego-clinging, we experience endless suffering. Since we feel a need for purification, we have this practice as a relative skillful means.

Vajrasattva arises from our nondual awareness, and we visualize his flowing nectar cleansing our defilements. Along with the visualization we say the hundred-syllable mantra, and at the end Vajrasattva dissolves into one’s being, so that ultimately we reach the level of rigpa. In this state there is no defilement that needs to be purified, there is no Vajrasattva who purifies, there is no hundred-syllable mantra as the means of purification. In the natural state of things, in the state of what is, everything is primordially pure like the sky. This is the absolute purification of Vajrasattva.”

“Ngondro Practice According to the Dzogchen View”
His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche

Excerpted from Venerable Khenpo Rinpoches’ book, Illuminating The Path


Faults and Downfalls in the Secret Mantra Vehicle


There is not one of us who has not entered the door of the Secret Mantra Vehicle. And once we have done so, if we do not subsequently keep the commitments, we will go to hell; if we do keep them, we will attain Buddhahood. There is no other destination than these two.

The Secret Mantra Vehicle commitments are very subtle, numerous, and difficult to keep. Even Lord Atisha said that after he had entered the Mantra Vehicle, he committed fault after fault in rapid succession.

So for us who have few antidotes, weak mindfulness, and no vigilance (we do not even know the different categories of vows, nor the point at which we break the precepts), there can be no doubt that breaches of our vows are falling on us like rain.

We should therefore do the practice of Vajrasattva every day and recite the hundred syllables twenty-one times. By doing so, our downfalls will be blessed and their fully ripened effect will be prevented from growing greater. And by reciting the hundred-syllable mantra one hundred thousand times, all our downfalls will be eradicated, as the Ornament of the Essence says:

Clearly visualize Vajrasattva
Enthroned on a white lotus and moon:
By reciting twenty-one times
The hundred syllables according to the ritual,
Downfalls and the like will be blessed
And therefore not grow greater.

Thus the greatest accomplished beings have taught,
So do this practice constantly.
If you recite it one hundred thousand times,
You will become the very embodiment of total purity.

Even if, for your own part, you have managed — through your stability in the generation and perfection phases, your mindfulness and vigilance, and so forth — to keep faultless commitments, there are others who may have broken the root commitments, and by mixing with them in conversation, joining with them in the same activities, and even drinking the water from the same valley as they, you will get the faults of transgression by association and of incidental transgression. As the tantra says,

I have kept the company of transgressors, fulfilled their wishes,
Given teachings to them and to those unsuitable.
I have thought nothing of those who’ve broken the commitments
And have in turn been tainted by their defilements and faults.

It is also said:

Like one drop of sour milk
That turns all the milk sour,
One degenerate practitioner
Spoils all the other practitioners.

Breaches of Mantra-Vehicle commitments are easy to purify if we part from them properly. The teachings say that if a single root downfall of the vows of individual liberation occurs and is concealed, it is impossible to repair, like a shattered earthen pot. Root downfalls of the Bodhisattva vow are like broken objects made of a precious metal: they can be repaired with the help of someone else, namely a spiritual friend.

Faults and downfalls in the Secret Mantra Vehicle are like slight dents in a precious metal object: one can completely purify them oneself, using the deity, mantra, and concentration as supports. As long as one parts from them immediately, they are easy to purify, but the longer one waits, the more the fault grows, and the harder it becomes to part from it. After three years, they cannot be purified, even if one attempts to part from them.

Dudjom Rinpoche –
A Torch Lighting the Way to Freedom

Essential Advice for Solitary Meditation Practice Part 1

Direct Instructions on practice explained in a manner easy to understand called Extracting the Very Essence of Accomplishment.

I go for refuge and bow with devotion at the feet of my incomparably kind, glorious sublime lama.
Grant your blessings to my followers and me that the profound path’s flawless realization arises swiftly in our mindstreams, and that we may then reach the unassailable state in this very life.

In this text I present essential advice for solitary meditation practice in an easily accessible way. My words will place direct instructions for the practice of the innermost secret Great Perfection in the palm of the hands of fortunate individuals. Their previous lifetimes’ positive aspirations and pure karmic propensity have led them to feel heartfelt trust in the teaching of the profound, secret Great Perfection, and in the lama who reveals it; and they wish to take their practice to completion. For them, this text will provide an open gate to the path of Great Perfection.

This can be understood through three general topics:
1. Preparation
How to purify your mindstream: direct your mind toward the teachings after having severed all ties of attachment.
* 2. Main Practice
How to directly cultivate the experience of Great Perfection: resolve any misconceptions regarding the view, meditation and conduct.
* 3. Post-meditation
How to keep your vows and samayas, and how to include all activities of this life within the dharma.

First, the Preparation

Now I will say a little about the first topic. That which is called mind — this so very vivid awareness — appears from the very beginning at the same time as Buddha Always Noble, (Kuntu Zangpo).

Nevertheless, Buddha Always Noble knew this awareness as his own. Alas! Sentient beings endlessly wander in samsara because they do not recognize this, taking rebirth in countless forms of the six types of beings. Everything they have done has been meaningless.

Now, one time out of hundreds you have obtained a human form. If you do not do what you can now to avoid rebirth in the lower realms, your place of rebirth might be unknown, but wherever it might be among the six classes of beings, suffering will be its only sure feature.

It is not enough to have just obtained this human form. You must at once practice the authentic Buddhist path since the time of your death is unpredictable. Furthermore, at death you should have no regrets and should not be ashamed of yourself, like Jetsun Milarepa.

In my, Milarepa’s religious tradition,
We live so as not to be ashamed with ourselves.

When entering the Buddhist path, it is not sufficient to be a person who only adopts the outer appearance of a person on the path. Cut all entanglements to desirable things and to this life’s affairs. When you enter the gate to Buddhist practice without having cut these ties, you will lack determination, but not attachment to homeland, wealth, possessions, lovers, spouses, friends, relatives and so forth. Your attitude of attachment becomes an underlying cause; the objects of your attachment, catalysts. When these meet, negative forces1 will create obstacles. You will once again become an ordinary worldly person, and will turn away from creating positive karma.

The Actual Purification of One’s Mindstream

The common practices are the four thoughts that turn the mind away from samsara. The uncommon practices are taking refuge, generating bodhichitta, purifying obscurations and gathering the accumulations of merit and wisdom. Exert yourself according to each of their commentaries until experiences arise. Especially, embrace guru yoga as the vital essence of practice, and practice diligently. If you do not, your meditation will grow slowly, and even if it grows a little, obstacles will arise and genuine realization will not manifest in your mindstream. Therefore, forcefully pray with uncontrived devotion. At some time the realization of wisdom mind will be transmitted to your mindstream, and an extraordinary realization that can not be expressed by words will definitely arise from within yourself.

As it has been said by Lama Shang Rinpoche:
To nurture stillness,
To nurture spiritual experiences,
To nurture samadhi and other spiritual states—
These are common.
But by the strength of your devotion,
For realization to arise from within
Due to the lama’s blessings—
This is rare.

Therefore, for the ultimate truth of the Great Perfection to appear in your mind is dependent upon the preliminary practices. This is what Drigungpa meant when he said:
Other spiritual teachings regard the main practice as being profound.We regard the preliminary practice as being profound.
It is just as he said.

Wisdom Nectar: Dudjom Rinpoche’s Heart Advice
by Dudjom RInpoche Jigdral Yeshe Dorje
translated by Ron Garry

* 2. Main Practice  Scheduled for June 4th
* 3. Post-meditation Scheduled for June 11th