A Prayer by Which We Recognize Our Own Faults and Remember the Objects of Refuge by His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche


The following is from “The Lamp of Liberation: A Collection of Prayers, Advice and Aspirations”

Homage to the Guru!

Conqueror Shakyamuni, supreme guide of the universe during this fortunate aeon,
Heirs of the Conqueror, assembly of noble Bodhisattvas who
educate beings,
Revered Guru, unsurpassed protector of creatures in this degenerate time,
Together with the Three Roots, the oath-bound, and the Dharma protectors,
With yearning devotion, one-pointedly remembering you from
the depths of our hearts,
We pray again and again to invoke your attention:
Hold us with loving kindness, and by the power of your compassion,
Please bless us to accomplish our thoughts and intentions in
accord with the Dharma.
Due to former actions, by no means weak, we obtained this precious human body,
Due to merit, by no means small, we met with holy Dharma;
Accepted by the Guru, we received empowerments, blessings
and pith instructions–
Such are the jewels we hold in our hands right now!
Yet our minds, like frivolous monkeys,
Succumb to negative, deceptive demons of distraction,
And we have no ability to utilize the wealth which is our very
own.
Thus, all the instructions about the freedoms and endowments
have simply been wasted.
We are now at a crucial turning-point:
Whatever we requested, whatever we received, has all become like some kind of story;
Though our bodies appear in the posture of Dharma and we
consider ourselves as Dharma practitioners,
Our minds have not actualized the truth of Dharma.
Not knowing even a whiff of human values, let alone the view of Buddhadharma,
Having only a vague notion of the sixteen rules of proper human
conduct,
We are without conscience when we observe our bad deeds,
And our dread of being ashamed is smaller than the rear of a tail-less mouse.
Really unable to understand the ten virtuous actions of
Buddhadharma,
Full of sectarian bias, though all the doctrines come from the one Teacher,
We criticize the teachings and the sages and so accumulate bad
karma;
Thus, though relying on Dharma, we carry a great weight of sin.
Hearing a lot of teachings, our pride increases
But our mental analysis does not fathom the depth of their meaning.
Even though we think we keep the discipline of the Pratimoksha,
The four dharmas of a practitioner have been lost without a
trace.
Even though we think we possess the precious training of the
Bodhisattva,
The Four Immeasurables are only like an image of a lamp.
Even though we think we keep the samayas of the secret
Mantrayana,
The first root downfall is not guarded against and (so the rest) are
eventually discarded.
Even though we know how to voice explanations about the Four
Reflections that Reverse the Mind,
Our attachment to the appearances of this life shows there has
been no actual renunciation.
Even though we rely on a guru, our respect and devotion
gradually diminish,
And instead of having pure perception, we consider ourselves as
his equal and thus develop wrong views.
Respect, love and kindness toward our vajra brothers and sisters
decline;
Unable to tolerate a few bad words from them, we shower them
with curses.
The love and compassion generated by recognizing all beings in the six realms as our parents
Vanishes like mist when we do not practices from the depths of
Bodhicitta.
We act as though we have experienced the Development and
Completion stages,
Yet we have found no alternative to being submerged in ordinary
confusion.
We recognize that Emptiness is the ultimate teaching of both
Sutra and Tantra,
But without a decisive understanding of it our mind-streams
become hard as horns.
We are not capable of abiding in the Original Nature,
But we pay lip service to that view and throw cause and effect to
the wind.
Outwardly, we appear disciplined and well behaved, yet
inwardly, attachment, craving, desire and greed burn like fire.
Even if we keep our bodies secluded in the mountains,
Our minds stray ceaselessly, day and night, to the cities.
Not having gained confidence in ourselves in our experience and
practice,
Trying to guide others to accomplishment is like a fairy tale.
It is impossible to be cheated by the compassion of the Three
Jewels,
Yet due to a failure of devotion, we are worried and cheat
ourselves.
In this way, towards the Guru and holy Dharma,
Although we are free from the wrong views that arise from a lack
of trust,
Yet due to these difficult times, sentient beings act negatively and
remain unfulfilled,
Understanding and realization having fallen under the power of
destructive impulses;
Not having protected mindfulness and introspection, we
suffered a great loss.
The time has come to examine ourselves!
All our actions have merely added to our confusion,
All our thoughts were tainted by emotional afflictions;
Without seeing that even our virtuous activities were always
adulterated by sin,
Where is there to end up ultimately but in the lower realms?
Recalling them now, we become despondent;
Looking towards others just increases our sadness
Since we can find no beneficial friends to assuage our distress.
If we do not look after ourselves now,
Then when caught by the messengers of the Lord of Death
No one will be able to help us, and all hope will be lost.
Waiting with such empty hopes, is this not cheating ourselves?
Whatever transgressions, faults, downfalls and degeneration of the Dharma have occurred,
We will not keep secret now nor conceal them in the future,
before those who possess the yes of wisdom.
We confess from the depths of our hearts: With your compassion,
please forgive us.
Protect us from the terror of the precipice of the wrong path,
Inspire us so that we may follow the utterly pure path of
liberation.
We spent a life busy doing this and accomplishing that,
Yet we are empty-handed, without so much as a single result.
Abandoning now the path of knowing many things but
experiencing just suffering,
Why shouldn’t we enter the path of knowing the one thing that liberates everything?
Unfailing true benefactor, our sole hope and reliance,
Root Guru, who encompasses all refuges,
Praying to you with one-pointed devotion,
Most kind and revered supreme refuge, please hold us with your compassion:
Bless us to see our own faults.
Bless us to have no desire to examine the faults of others.
Bless us to pacify all turbulent, cruel and disturbing thoughts.
Bless us to have good thoughts arise from deep within.
Bless us to reduce craving and to increase contentment.
Bless us to remember that the time of death is uncertain.
Bless us to have no concerns at the moment of death.
Bless us to generate great confidence in the Dharma.
Bless us to practice impartial pure perception.
Bless us to develop uncontrived respect and devotion.
Bless us to reduce mental activity about unobtainable things.
Bless us to establish the Dharma in the depths of our minds.
Bless us to go with diligence to the depths of Dharma practice.
Bless us to liberate our mind-streams, which is the ultimate goal
of practice.
Bless us to be free of obstacles in our practice.
Bless us to have the results of our practice ripen immediately.
Bless us so that our contacts with others may be meaningful and
beneficial.
Bless us to destroy the duality of hope and fear.
Bless us to see the non-dual primordial wisdom.
Bless us to recognize the self-face of our own primordial
wisdom.
Bless us to abide in the secure place within ourselves.
Bless us to gain the great certainty without effort.
With the vast vajra weapon of primordial wisdom, which has
been present from the very beginning,
May the hollow existence of samsara and nirvana be cut in one instant.
In the ceaseless great bliss of Nyema’s celebration,
May we always enjoy the activity which is beyond union and
separation.
In the expanse of the all pervading equalness even the name
of suffering does not exist,
So who could there be still searching for happiness?
Where happiness and suffering have the same taste and grasping
is self-liberated
Is the Kingdom of Samantabhadra: May we attain it in this very life!

Abandoning Love: The Fourth Root Downfall

The following is respectfully quoted from “Perfect Conduct” with commentary by Dudjom Rinpoche:

4.b.3(b.4) Abandoning love:

The fourth is wishing that any sentient being should be separated from happiness and losing heartfelt love for them.

To wish any sentient being should be separated from happiness and to stop feeling heartfelt love for them is the fourth root downfall. The object can be one sentient being or many. To wish for them to be separated from happiness and to meet with suffering or misfortune, thus forsaking them and giving up any love for them at all, constitutes this downfall.

First: The Initial Virtue from “Perfect Conduct” by Ngari Panchen

The following is respectfully quoted from “Perfect Conduct: Ascertaining the Three Vows” by Ngari Panchen with commentary by Dudjom Rinpoche as translated by Khenpo Gyurme Samdrub and Sangye Khandro

The initial virtue, the intermediate virtue, and the concluding virtue are the three divisions in this and in all commentaries that are written based on the Buddha’s spoken teachings. These three divisions are similar to the three pure recollections: those of motivation, nonconceptual awareness during the actual practice, and the concluding dedication of merit. In the initial virtue there are the three divisions that explain the title of the text, the homage, and the commitment to compose.

I. The Title of the Text:

A Branch on the Path of the Natural Great Perfection Called Ascertaining the Three Vows

Within the profound expanse of the innate, unaltered, natural mind, all meanings, including the foundation, path, and result, are originally perfected. This spontaneous presence, which is unsurpassed by any other, is called “great.” The unmistaken actualization of this nature is the ultimate fruit of all paths, the atiyoga. From anuyoga on down, all the paths of sutra and tantra are practiced in order to realize this nature. In this way they are established as “branches” of the path. The three vows, the essence of the practice of all these paths, are the main subject at hand. To establish an accurate understanding of the view of the three vows through the three investigations–actual, inferential, and scriptural–is the meaning of “ascertaining.”

Sastra literally means that which has the potential to sever all negative emotions and grant refuge from rebirth in the three lower realms. Specifically, a sastra is a commentary on the Buddha’s teachings written by a perfect follower. There are three levels to be considered here. Ideally, the author of sastra must have realization of the nature of dharmata. To qualify as average the author should have had a vision of a deity. At least, the author should be perfectly learned in the five major sciences. In addition, the commentary must be eloquently written with the qualities and ability to alleviate the causes of delusion, as well as to produce the results that grant protection from inferior rebirths in cyclic existence.

The purpose of the title will vary according to the sensibility of the reader. Those of superior sensibility, just by reading the title, will be able to realize the entire meaning of the text. Those of average sensibility will derive a general idea of its contents, and those of common sensibility will become interested and inspire to begin to study the text.

II. Homage:

A. General homage to the supremely kind guru:

Namo Guruve!
Homage to the Guru-Lama!

“Namo” means to pay homage. “Guru” describes an individual whose noble qualities are limitless, whose wisdom-knowledge is unsurpassed, and whose great loving-kindness is unequalled. To such a guru-lama, with great admiration and respect from the three doors of body, speech, and mind, homage is rendered.

B. Specific homage to the great master, Padmasambhava:

By churning the treasure ocean of the glorious two accumulations, the white light of knowledge and loving-kindness brings forth the all pervasive rain of the definitive secret vehicle. To the supreme crown jewel of all scholars and accomplished masters of Tibet’s Land of Snow, to the guide of all sentient beings, the Lake-born Vajra (Guru Padmasambhava), I pay homage!

It is believed by the Vedic school of Hinduism that by churning the ocean the moon arose. The author draws from this example to poetically illustrate the qualities of Guru Padmasambhava. By churning the vast ocean of accumulation of ordinary and wisdom merit, supreme wisdom and loving-kindness arise indivisibly, forming the mandala of the moon with its cooling, moist, illuminating rays. The all-pervasiveness of a rain shower is likened to the spontaneity of the concerned action that arises from such a “moon” to reveal the secret mantra teachings in order to tame the minds of beings.

This analogy exemplifies the object of specific homage, the great master Padmasambhava, who is the very embodiment of the great ocean of the two accmulations of merit, the source from which all enlightened qualities of wisdom-knowledge and compassion arise. As the supreme crown jewel of all scholars and accomplished masters in the three realms, including the snow land of Tibet, he is well known as the Lake-born Vajra.

The Lake-born Vajra, Padmasambhava, was born from the center of a lotus without depending on parents. The word “vajra” refers to the transcendence of the concept of birth and death. Because he possesses the wisdom to guide all beings on whatever level is necessary according to their specific needs, he is known as the supreme guide of beings.

III. Commitment to Compose:

This sage, skilled in knowing how to cleanse the mental stains of beings and upholding the lapis lazuli vase of supreme intelligence, bestows the ambrosia-like explanations of the three vows. May all those with sincere interest gather here to partake of this!

The author, Ngari Panchen, refers to himself as a sage, defined as one who is wise in the worldly knowledge of what to accept and reject. As is the case with all scriptural commentaries, the author’s “commitment” must reveal with superiority the four necessities of this Dharma. The first necessity is the subject, in this case the three vows. The second necessity is a superior explanation of the subject so that the meaning and purpose can be fully understood, leading readers to embark upon the path to liberation. This bestows temporary benefit. Fourth, the interdependent relationship between each of these four is demonstrated, in that one arises in dependence upon the other and accomplished accordingly.

 

The Nature of Perception: His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche

His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche

The following is respectfully quoted from “The Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism” by His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche:

Although all these phenomena are compounded internally by the mind, their apparitional aspect and supporting foundation are the five gross elements of which external objects are compounded, and which are caused, conditioned, supported and substantiated by the fourfold process of creation, duration, destruction and dissolution. As the number of mental propensities through which they appear as objects expands, the world realm of desire containing the four continents, Mount Sumeru and perimeter appears like a dream, along with the realm of form, which originates from the contemplation of the summit of existence, and so on. In brief, the entire array of the inanimate container and animate creatures, mobile and motionless, subsumed by the three world realms, does not appear in the ultimate vision of sublime beings. Rather, it is an apparitional mode of the bewildered intellect of sentient beings, which appears by the power of the subject-object dichotomy lapsing into delusion, like water in a mirage, and into erroneous perception, like seeing a mulicoloured rope as a snake. As it is said in the Pearl Necklace (mu-tig phreng-ba, NGB Vol.9):

In this way, the diverse appearances
Resemble a rope when seen as a snake.
Though not so, by clinging to them as such
The outer container and inner essence
Are established as duality.
The rope itself, on further investigation,
Is primordially empty of container and essence.
The ultimate takes form as relative.
That perception of the snake is visually true,
The perception of the rope is genuinely true.
Enduring, for example, as a bird relates to a scarecrow,
The independent existence of the two truths
Refers only to the relative world.
It has no relation to genuine reality.
Because of the expanse of emptiness
The essence of that [reality] is that all is free.

Contempt Toward the Vajra Family: The Third Root Downfall

The following is respectfully quoted from “Perfect Conduct” with commentary by Dudjom Rinpoche:

4.b.3.(b.3) Expressing contempt toward the vajra family:

The third is becoming angry toward general, distant, close and immediate relatives; holding a grudge; and showing jealousy, disrespect and so forth.

In general, all sentient beings are considered to be our relatives. Even closer are those who have entered the path of Dharma. Closer still are those who have entered Vajrayana, since those who have the same lama are considered to be children of the same father. Those who have received empowerment together at the same time are children of the same parents. Those who received empowerment first are the elders, and those who received it at the same time are likened to twins born into the mandala simultaneously. To express or to hold anger in one’s mind toward any of these near or distant vajra relatives, or out of jealousy to harm them with body and speech, to speak harshly to them, or to argue with them and express their faults, constitutes the third root downfall. It is especially important to be careful toward the innermost vajra family, because to fight with or abuse them in any way accrues extremely negative karma that is difficult to remove.

Disrespecting the Vajra Master: From “Perfect Conduct”

The following is respectfully quoted from “Perfect Conduct” with commentary by Dudjom Rinpoche:

The fourteen root downfalls are explained as follows:

The fourteen root downfalls are likened to the trunk of a fruit-bearing tree. In dependence upon the trunk, all the branches and leaves develop. If the trunk deteriorates, the entire tree will tumble down. Likewise, the root vows are like the trunk, and if they are guarded it is through them that all noble qualities of the path develop. Otherwise, if the trunk is damaged, this becomes the root cause for falling to the lowest hell realm, where there is no chance for liberation and where unbearable suffering is endured. To avoid this, it is necessary to carefully guard against these fourteen.

4.b.3(b) An extensive explanation of the fourteen:

4.b.3(b.1) Disrespecting the vajra master:

The first concerns heartfelt disrespect for the vajra master who has been kind in the three ways. To belittle him or disturb his mind is the first downfall because of its weight.

The vajra master is one who has bestowed empowerment, transmissions, and pointing-out instructions. These are the three expressions of kindness because they make transmission complete according to inner tantric practice. In addition, the vajra master is one who has given a direct introduction to the nature of the mind. Being disrespectful to such a master, either directly through body and speech or indirectly through one’s mind, or opposing the advice given by him or harming or disturbing those who are in the lama’s immediate retinue, qualifies as the first and heaviest downfall. This is the first of the fourteen root downfalls because of the strength of the weight of negative karma it carries.

The vajra master should be cherished as the essential nature of all buddhas and should, therefore, be the principle object of one’s devotion, admiration, and respect. Moreover, in dependence upon one’s relationship with the vajra master, all noble qualities of the path, as well as the resultant qualities, are developed. If one allows the precious relationship between oneself, as the disciple, and the irreplaceable vajra master deteriorate in the ways described above, then whatever meditation one aspires to accomplish will only be the cause for birth as a rudra. One must therefore be extremely careful.

The second root downfall will be posted tomorrow…

 

 

Nang-jang from “Buddhahood Without Meditation” by His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche

The following is respectfully quoted from “Buddhahood Without Meditation” by Dudjom Lingpa:

First, to reach a definitive conclusion (tan la wab-pa) regarding view, the sacred key point is to come to a definitive understanding through four topics — ineffability (med-pa), oneness (chig-pu), openness (khyal-wa), and spontaneous presence (lhun-drub) — and realize these just as they are.

In the first of these topics, the process of reaching a definitive conclusion regarding ineffability has two divisions: coming to a definitive conclusion about personal identity (gang zag gi dag) and a definitive conclusion about the identity of phenomena (chho kyi dag).

Let us begin by defining “personal identity.” The impression that an identity (dag) exists, whether in waking experience, dream states, the bardo–the intermediate state of conditioned existence between death and rebirth–or the next lifetime, is termed “personal identity.” Immediately following this first impression, there is an underlying consciousness that takes this impression to be an “I” and that is termed “subsequent consciousness” or “conceptualization.” As attention is given to this, it comes to seem stable and solid. For these reasons, by trying to locate the source from which this so-called I first occurs, you will arrive at the conclusion that it has no authentic source.

In searching for a place where this identity might dwell between its origination and its cessation, you should examine in the following way to determine whether, for this so-called I, a location and something located there exist as anything that can be individually identified and characterized.

The head is called “head”; it is not called I. Similarly, the skin of the head is called “skin”; it is not I. Likewise the eyes, in being only eyes, are not I. The ears, in being only ears, are not I. The nose, in being only the nose, is not I. The tongue, in being only the tongue, is not I. The teeth, in being only the teeth, are not I. The brains are also not I. As for the muscles, blood, lymph, nerves. blood vessels, and tendons, in being referred to only by their own names, they are not labeled “I.” From this you will gain understanding.

Furthermore, the arms, in being only arms, are not I. The shoulders are likewise not I, nor are the upper arms, the forearms, or the fingers. Moreover, the spine, in being only the spine, is not I. The ribs are not I, the chest is not I, the liver and spleen are not I, the intestines and kidneys are not I, and urine and feces are not I.

As well, this label “I” is not applied to the legs. The label “thighs,” is applied to the thighs. Similarly, the hips are not I. The shins are not I, nor are the insteps of the feet or toes.

To summarize, the outer skin is not labeled “I”; the intermediate layers of muscle and fat, in being referred to as “muscle” and “fat,” are not labeled “I”; the bones within, in being referred to as “bones,” are not labeled “I”; the innermost marrow, in being referred to as “marrow,” is not labeled “I.” Therefore, you can be certain of emptiness in the absence of any location or something located between origination and cessation.

Similarly, you should come to the decision that all final destinations and anything going there are transcended. In actuality, as with impaired vision, there is the appearance that things are what they are not. Moreover, using all these labels is like speaking of the horns of a rabbit.

Second, to reach a definitive conclusion that phenomena lack any identity, you must search for some basis on which labels can be applied, abolish your concepts of the seeming permanence of things, confront the hidden flaws of benefit and harm, and collapse the false cave of hope and fear.

To begin with, if you search for something with ultimate meaning that underlies the application of all names, you will find that this amounts to nothing more than labels being applied to what, in being ineffable, is simply the natural glow (rang-dang) that underlies thought. This is because it is impossible for any phenomenon whatsoever to have ever existed as self-sustaining in terms of being a basis for labeling. For example, what does “head” refer to and why? Is the label applied because the head constitutes the first stage in the growth of the body, because it is round, or because it appears uppermost? In fact, the head is not the first stage in growth of the body, the label “head” is not applied to everything that is round, and when you examine the concepts of “upper” and “lower” there are no absolutes of upper or lower in space. Similarly, the hair of the head is not the head. The skin, in being skin, is not labeled “head.” The bones, in being called “bones,” are not labeled head, and the nose and tongue are not the head.

You might suggest that, if we isolate these parts individually, they do not constitute the head but that their collective mass is called “head.” But if you were to cut off a creature’s head, pulverize it into molecules and subatomic particles, and then show it to anyone in the world, no one would say that it was a “head.” Even if the particles were reconstituted with water, this mass would not be labeled “head.” So you should understand the situation–that there is no object that is the basis for the expression “head,” which is merely a figure of speech.

Let us take a similar case, that of the eyes. The label “eyes” does not apply to spheres that exist in pairs. The sclera is not the eyes. The fluids, nerves, vessels, and blood are likewise not the eyes. If you analyze these components individually, you will see that none of them is the eyes. Nor are the particles of their collective mass or the mass that would be obtained by reconstituting these particles with water. That which sees forms, in being a state of consciousness, is not the eyeballs, as is evidenced by the fact that it causes seeing to take place during dreams and the bardo.

Likewise in the case of the ears, the auditory canals are not the ears. The skin is not the ears. The cartilage, nerves, vessels, blood, lymph, in being referred to by their own names, are not the ears. The powder that would result from pulverizing them would not be the ears. The mass that would be obtained by reconstituting them would not be the ears. If you think that label “ears” applies to that which hears sounds, just observe what hears sounds during dreams, the waking state, and the bardo. It is ordinary mind as timelessly present consciousness, not the ears.

Similarly, all the component parts of the nose–nostrils, skin, cartilage, nerves and blood vessels–in being referred to by their own names, are not labeled “nose.” Since that which smells odors is a state of consciousness, you should examine what smells odors during dreams and the bardo.

In the same way, if you analyze the tongue’s individual components–the muscle, skin, blood, nerves, and vessels–in being referred to by their own names, they are not called “tongue.” The powder that would result from pulverizing them would not be called “tongue.” Even the mass obtained by reconstituting them with water would not be labeled “tongue.”

The same reasoning applies in all of the following cases: In the case of arms, the shoulders are not arms, the upper arms are not arms, nor are the forearms, the fingers and knuckles, the flesh, skin, bones or marrow. Likewise regarding the shoulders, the skin is not the shoulders, nor are the flesh and bones. Neither is the collective mass of molecules or the mass that would be obtained by reconstituting them water. Any basis on which the label “shoulder” could be applied is empty in that it does not exist as an object. When you likewise examine the upper arms and forearms, in being referred to by their respective names–“muscle” for muscle, “bone” for bone, “skin” for skin, and “marrow” for marrow–none of these has ever existed as a basis on which labels could be applied.

By examining the fundamental basis of the expressions “body” and “physical mass,” you can see that the spine and ribs are not called “body.” The heart, lungs, liver, diaphragm, spleen, kidneys, and intestines, in being described by their own names, nevertheless constitute emptiness, in that any basis on which the labels “body” and “physical mass” could be applied is empty since it does not exist as an object.

When you examine the legs in a similar way, you will find that the hips are not the legs, nor are the thighs, shins, or feet. The muscles are not called “hips,” nor are the skin, bones, nerves, vessels, or tendons. Moreover, the skin, muscle, bones, nerves, vessels, or tendons are not called “thighs.” The same is true for shins. Such terms cannot be found to apply to the powder that would result from pulverizing these tissues, nor are they used to refer to the mass that would be obtained by reconstituting the particles with water.

If you search for some basis on which the label “mountain” could be applied in the outer world, you will see that earth is not a mountain, nor are the grasses or trees, the rocks, cliff faces, or water. If you search for some basis on which the labels “building” or “house” could be applied, just as the earth-works are not the house, neither is the stone or the wood. Moreover, as for the walls, in being called “walls,” they are not labeled as “house.” Thus, “house” has never existed anywhere, externally or internally.

You might search for some basis on which such labels as “human being,” “horse,” “dog,” and so forth could be applied. Eyes, ears, nose, tongue, flesh, blood, bones, marrow, nerves, vessels, tendons, and attendant consciousnesses are referred to by their own names, but no object exists as a basis on which the label “human being,” “horse,” or “dog” could be applied.

To take another example, among material objects “drum” does not refer to the wood, the leather, the outside, or the inside. Similarly, “knife” does not refer to the steel. None of the component parts–the blade, the back of the blade, the point, or the haft–has ever existed as an object that could be so labeled. Moreover, names and functions change, as when a knife is used as an awl and its designation changes, or when an awl is used as a needle, and these previous labels all turn out to refer to what have no existence as sense objects.

Relying on what my guru, the noble and sublime Supremely Compassionate One [Avalokiteshvara], said to me in a dream, I came to a thorough realization concerning two points–that which is called “personal identity” and the search for some basis on which labels could be applied.

 

 

Heart Nectar of the Saints: His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche

The following is respectfully taken from “The Lamp of Liberation: A Collection of of Prayers, Advice and Aspirations

Heart Nectar of the Saints: A Prayer of Aspiration That Condenses the Essence of the Oral Teachings:

by His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche Jigdral Yeshe Dorje
Sole unfailing and unchanging Refuge, Lord of the Mandala,
Most precious and kind Root Guru, hold me with compassion
When I squander the freedoms and endowments,
Ignoring death, providing only for this life.

The fleeting human life, like a dream,
If it’s happy that’s all right, if it’s unhappy that’s all right.
Without concern for happiness or sorrow,
May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

This mortal existence, like a candle in the wind,
If it’s long that’s all right, if it’s short that’s all right.
Without intensifying the tight grip of the ego,
May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

These intellectual judgements, like the lure of a mirage,
If they’re suitable that’s all right, if they’re not that’s all right.
Discarding, like hay, whatever carries the eight worldly concerns,
May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

This entourage, like of flock of birds in a tree,
If it’s assembled that’s all right, if it’s scattered that’s all right.
Without letting others lead me by the nose,
May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

This illusory body, like a hundred year old house,
If it survives that’s all right, if it collapses that’s all right.
Without becoming obsessed by food, clothes and medicine,
May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

This religious position, like a child’s game,
If it’s kept up that’s all right, if it’s dropped that’s all right.
Without deceiving myself with numerous diversions,
May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

These gods and demons, like reflections in a mirror,
If they’re helpful that’s all right, if they’re harmful that’s all right.
Without perceiving my own hallucinations as enemies,
May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

This delusive talk, like a trackless echo,
If it’s pleasing that’s all right, if it’s unpleasant that’s all right.
Taking the Three Jewels and my own mind as witness,
May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

That which is useless at the time of need, like the antlers of a deer,
If it’s known that’s all right, if it’s unknown that’s all right.
Without simply relying on various sciences,
May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

These religious possessions, like virulent poisons,
If they come that’s all right, if they don’t that’s all right.
Without devoting my life to sinful, unwholesome means of survival,
May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

This form of greatness, like dogshit wrapped in brocade,
If it’s obtained that’s all right, if it’s not that’s all right.
Having smelled the rot of my own head,
May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

These relationships, like gatherings on a market day,
If they’re loving that’s all right, if they’re spiteful that’s all right.
Cutting the ties of passionate attachment from deep within the heart,
May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

This material wealth, like what’s found in a dream,
If it’s acquired that’s all right, if it’s not that’s all right.
Without deceiving others by flattery and assent,
May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

This rank, like a little bird perch on top of a tree,
If it’s high that’s all right, if it’s low that’s all right.
Without aspiring to that which actually brings sorrow,
May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

This black magic, like a sharpened weapon,
If it’s successful that’s all right, if it’s not that’s all right.
Without buying the blade that will cut off my life,
May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

These recitations, like parrot’s six syllables,
If they’re repeated that’s all right, if they’re not that’s all right.
Without counting numbers of the various practices,
May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

Mere religious discourse, like a mountain cascade,
If it’s eloquent that’s all right, if it’s not that’s all right.
Without thinking of this glibness as Dharma,
May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

The mind quick to judge, like a pig’s snout,
If it’s sharp that’s all right, if it’s dull that’s all right.
Without uselessly digging up the rubble of anger attachment,
May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

The yogi’s experience, like a stream in summer,
If it expands that’s all right, if it recedes that’s all right.
Without chasing rainbows like a child,
May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

These pure visions, like rain on a mountain top,
If they happen that’s all right, if they don’t that’s all right.
Without giving credence to illusory experiences,
May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

The freedoms and endownments, like a wish-fulfilling gem,
If I do not obtain them, there is not way to accomplish Dharma.
When I have them in hand, without letting them spoil,
May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

This glorious Guru, light on the path of liberation,
If I do not meet him, there is no way to realize the true nature.
When I know the way to go, without jumping into the precipice,
May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

The holy Dharma, like a medicine that cures sickness,
If I have not heard it, there is no way to decide what to give and what to take up.
Distinguishing the beneficial from the harmful, without swallowing the poison,
May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

The alternation of happiness and suffering, the changing of summer and winter,
If I do not recognize it, there is no way to develop renunciation.
Being certain I will suffer in turn,
May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

This immersion in Samsara, like a stone in deep water,
If I do not get out of it now, I will not be free of it later.
Holding on to the lifeline of the compassionate Three Jewels,
May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

The qualities of liberation, like an island of jewels,
If I am unaware of them, there is no way to develop diligence.
Seeing the unending benefits to be gained,
May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

The life stories of the great saints, like the essence of nectar,
If I am unacquainted with them, there is no way to awaken faith.
When I recognize the real gains and losses,
May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

The aspiration towards enlightenment, like a fertile field,
If I do not cultivate it, there is no way to attain Buddhahood.
Without becoming indifferent to the accomplishment of the great goal,
May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

These thoughts of mine, like a monkey’s antics,
If I do not tame them, there is no way to eliminate my afflictive emotions.
Without falling into all kinds of crazy mimicry,
May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

This attachment to ego, like an inherent shadow,
If I do not give it up, there is no way to reach a peaceful place.
When I recognize the enemy, without befriending it,
May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

The five poisons, like embers glowing in the ash,
If I do not extinguish them, I cannot abide in the mind’s self-nature.
Without breeding venomous baby snakes in my bed,
May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

This temperament of mine, like the stiff hide of a butter-bag,
If I do not soften it, the Dharma and my mind will never blend.
Without indulging the child that is born from my self,
May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

These ingrained bad habits, like the course of a river,
If I do not eliminate them, I cannot part from the profane.
Without delivering weapons into the hands of the enemy,
May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

These distractions, like the ceaseless rippling of water,
If I do not reject them, there is no way to become steadfast.
When I have the freedom of choice, without devoting myself to Samsara,
May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

The Guru’s blessing, like the warming of earth and water,
If I do not receive it, there is no way to recognize my own true nature.
When I step on the short path, without turning in circles,
May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

The solitary place, like a summer valley of medicine plants,
If I do not dwell there, there is no way for the good qualities to grow.
When I stay in the mountains, without wandering off to dark cities,
May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

This desire for comfort, like a greedy ghost lodged at the hearth,
If I do not part from it, painful efforts will never cease.
Without making, as to a god, offerings to a hungry demon,
May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

This alert mindfulness, like the key to a fortress,
If it is not relied upon, the movements of delusion will never stop.
At the time the thief arrives, without leaving the latch unfastened,
May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

The true nature, like unchanging space,
If I do not realize it, the ground of the view will not be established.
Without chaining myself in iron fetters,
May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

This awareness, like a stainless crystal,
If I do not see it, the clinging and effort of meditation cannot dissolve.
When I have this inseparable companion, without searching for another,
May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

The natural mind, like an old friend,
If I do not recognize it, all my activities will be deluded.
Without fumbling around with my eyes closed,
May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

In short, if I do not abandon the concerns of this life,
There is no way to apply the teachings for the benefit of the next life,
Having resolved to be kind to myself,
May whatever I do become the Supreme Teaching.

To doubt the Guru’s instructions that accord with the Dharma,
To feel bitterness toward the deity when bad karma emerges,
To discontinue the sadhana and so forth when adverse circumstances arise,
May such obstacles not occur as accomplishment approaches.

All this doing has no more meaning than walking around a desert,
All these efforts make my character rigid.
All this thinking just reinforces my delusions,
What worldly beings consider to be Dharma is the cause of binding myself.
All this exertion produces no result,
All these ideas bring not a single actualization,
All the numerous wants will never be fulfilled,
Abandoning activities, may I be able to meditate on the oral instructions.
If you think you want to do it, take the Victorious One’s words as witness,
If you think you can really do it, blend your mind with Dharma,
If you think you will practice, follow the example of the past saints.
You spoiled ones, is there any other way?
Taking a humble position, rich with the treasure of contentment,
Free from the binds of eight worldly concerns, firm and strong-hearted in practice,
Receiving the Guru’s blessing, realization becomes equal to space.
May we inherit the Kingdom of Kuntuzangpo.

Thus having united the meaning of the diamond words of the past saints, I have written this as my own prayer.

Jigdral Yeshe Dorje

 

 

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