General principles in making devotion and respect the path

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It is said in the writings of the great masters of the past that if you see your teachers as Buddhas, you will receive the blessings of the Buddhas. If you see them as Bodhisattvas, you will receive the blessings of Bodhisattvas. If you see them as accomplished beings, you will receive the blessings of accomplished beings. If you see them as ordinary beings—simply as good spiritual friends—then that is the sort of blessing you will get. While if you have no devotion at all, you will not receive any blessings at all. For this reason, we should cultivate devotion, and there are four ways to do so.

🔹First, no other Buddha is greater than your own root teacher. The essence and embodiment of every one of the Three Jewels in the ten directions and three times is the teacher, and there is no end to the excellent qualities of the Three Jewels. Consider that the sublime beings who are working at present for the welfare of beings everywhere, the sun and moon, medicines, and even boats and bridges are manifestations of the teacher; that empowerments, transmissions, and instructions you receive from others, occasions when you are writing, reading, and studying, and even circumstances in which you can perform positive actions are all the miraculous display of the teacher. In short, decide that the teacher is the Buddha in person.

🔹Second, think of all the countless Buddhas there have been in the past, of the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, teachers, yidam deities, and so on at present dwelling everywhere in the ten directions, and of the former knowledge holders who were learned and accomplished. You can marvel at these inconceivable and innumerable beings, at their clairvoyance, miraculous powers, and other extraordinary qualities, and yet you do not have the good fortune to even meet them in a dream or hear them teach. Moreover, even if you were to meet them, they could not do anything more for you than do your teachers. Your root teachers are the ones who give you the pith instructions that constitute an unmistaken, complete method for attaining Buddhahood in a single body, in a single life. So even if they were to smash your body and vital force to dust, think that there is no way ever to repay their kindness.

🔹Third, it will not do to think of your teachers when they are giving you teaching, offering you material gifts, and generally taking notice of you, but after a while to forget them. Nor merely when you are sick, in difficulty, or otherwise miserable, and not when you are comfortable and happy. Instead, remember your teachers again and again, and think of nothing else, even when you are moving around, walking, lying down, or sitting, and whether you are happy or suffering.

🔹Fourth, when you are thinking of your teachers, do not just say “I take refuge” or recite one or two prayers and reckon that that will do. Instead, you should feel intense yearning, with your hair standing on end and tears welling up in your eyes—the sort of longing that can suddenly transform your awareness, make ordinary perceptions cease, and cause experiences to occur spontaneously.

When you have these four aspects together, you will have the sort of genuine devotion that allows blessings to penetrate your stream of being and is able to give rise to sudden realization.

Dudjom Rinpoche
A Torch Lighting the Way to Freedom
Translated by Padmakara Translation Group
published by Shambhala
Copyright © 2011

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Supplication to the Glorious Lama, the Original Protector

Namo ratna trayaya.

Glorious Lama, the original protector,
Essence of the ocean of kayas and wisdoms
Of all the Victorious Ones and spiritual heirs whose numbers fill space,
To you I pray:  May my aspiration prayers be completely accomplished.

Seeing cities of the six kinds of beings like a watermill’s rim,
In constant movement, a land of suffering,
Like a city of cannibals or a forest of razors—
May sincere renunciation arise from within me!

Knowing this dream-like wheel of life’s entire glory and wealth
To be fake and untrue, like an illusion,
May I never undertake these activities,
Like ephemeral rainbows in space!

May I never have the slightest trace of a sense of equality as friends
Toward the glorious Lama imbued with the threefold kindness.
May I constantly supplicate him without distraction
With respect and devotion toward him as the Buddha incarnate!

When I consider all sentient beings as my mothers of the past whose
numbers fill space,
May the precious sublime mind of awakening arise in my mindstream
Without the negative intent to accomplish my own benefit,
And may I strive for beings’ benefit!

Once I enter the door of the supreme Secret Mantra Vehicle,
May the force of my fervent prayers of acknowledgment purify my
mindstream
Of any serious obstacles that conflict with the path—
All obscurations that result from damage, violations, and transgressions
of the tantric commitments!

Never separate from my Lama, a vast treasury of blessings and
empowerments,
And meditating that he sits at the crown of my head,
May strength from my supplications blend his mind and mine as one,
And may the sun of realization dawn within me!

All phenomena of samsara and enlightenment, existence as it is,
My own perceptions, are unborn the moment they appear.
May I gain confidence in the view of recognizing awareness without
elaboration,
The four bodies and five wisdoms of enlightenment as my own nature.

When I sustain the naturally settled state without distraction or clinging
In the uncreated state of present, empty, and clear awareness,
Unfettered by the characteristics of mental frameworks,
May I perfect the great dynamic energy of meditation on the abiding
nature!

Not favoring either the view or conduct,
May my body, speech, and mind act in harmony with the correct
teachings.
Immersed without distraction or activity in magic-like tantric practice,
May the luminosity of night and day become an unbroken circle!

When the time to die arrives,
May I be free from clinging to the things of this life,
Not experience mortal pain,
And recognize all the death-process experiences of appearance, increase,
and attainment!

During the intermediate state of the death process,
May my Lama’s profound instructions come clearly to mind, like the
Goddess of Charm gazing at her own likeness.
May the luminosity of the basis be apparent,
And may I gain liberation within the expanse of primordially pure
 dharmakaya!

However, if I do not grasp the luminosity of the original ground,
As soon as the peaceful and wrathful deities appear in the intermediate
state,
May I recognize them as my own, like a child comfortable in his
mother’s lap,
And be liberated in the stainless space of spontaneously present
sambhogakaya!

If I do not gain liberation in the intermediate state of the nature of
phenomena,
Due to faint familiarity with practice,
May my karmic propensity continue, like connecting a water pipe.
May the entrances to the lower realms be blocked, and may I search for
an excellent support for my rebirth!

May I obtain an excellent, free, and fully endowed human body, have
independence,
Meet with a qualified Lama and the secret mantra teachings,
And have the fortune to practice—
May such a supreme body be mine!

Throughout all my lifetimes, may I keep my tantric commitments
purely,
Complete the two stages of tantric meditation and accomplish the two goals,
for myself and others.
May I swiftly attain the dharmakaya, Buddha Kuntuzangpo,
Then empty the depths of samsara’s three realms!

I, Jigdral Yeshé Dorjé, wrote this in response to a request
from both Doctor
Chönyi Gyatso and Yeshé Chödron.
May this prove virtuous and
excellent!

Wisdom Nectar
Dudjom Rinpoché’s Heart Advice
The Tsadra Foundation Series
published by Snow Lion Publications
Copyright © 2005 Tsadra Foundation
Photo: Photographer unknown

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Fault in No Faith

imageThe fault in not having faith.

People who lack faith are deprived of the good fortune of being able to practice the Dharma, and their not having faith is therefore an immeasurable defect. Just as a rock on the bottom of the ocean will never appear on the surface, without faith it is impossible to reach the dry land of liberation. Just as a ferry without a helmsman will never reach the other shore, without faith it is impossible to traverse the great river of suffering. Without faith, it is as impossible to nurture good qualities in one’s being as it is for someone with no hands to pick up anything even if he were to find himself on an island of gold. Without faith, it is impossible for the shoot of bodhichitta to grow, for nothing can ever sprout from a burned seed. Without faith, one is like a blind person who finds himself in a temple: it is impossible to see the light of the Dharma. Without faith, however clever one is, one is trapped in the deep pit of cyclic existence: everything one does becomes an action that leads to cyclic existence, and it is impossible to ever attain the freedom of enlightenment.

As the Sutra of the Ten Qualities puts it,

“From roasted seeds no greenery will sprout.
In those who have no faith No virtue will appear.”

Dudjom Rinpoche
A Torch Lighting the Way to Freedom
Padmakara Translation Group
© 2011 Shambhala Publications

In the service for public disclosure,
this post has been reprinted under the Fair Use Law.