The Power of Ngondro

The following is respectfully quoted from “Natural Liberation” by Padmasambhava:

OM VARJASATTVA SAMAYAM ANUPĀLAYA VAJRASATTVA TVENOPATISTHA DRDHO ME BHAVA SUTOSYO ME BHAVA SUPOSYO ME BHAVA ANURAKTO ME BHAVA SARVA SIDDHIM ME PRAYACCHA SARVA KARMASU CA ME CITTAM ŚRĪYAM KURU HŪM HA HA HA HA HOH BHAGAVAN SARVATATHĀGATA VAJRA MĀ ME MUŃCA VAJRA BHAVA MAHĀSAMAYA SATTVA ĀH

This is an extremely important practice. It’s dealt with quite concisely here, but more more elaborate instruction can be found in other teachings on the preliminary practices. This practice is of very tangible benefit. There are other teachings on Atiyoga and so forth that we may consider more esoteric or advanced, but it’s questionable how deeply benefited we can be by those and how much we can truly enter into experience of the Great Perfection. Here, though, is something of practical benefit. If you are familiar with this practice, it’s good to share it with others who may be beginners. By such a practice as this, the two types of obscurations can be purified. Once all of your obscurations have been completely purified, you are a buddha; and that means you have realized the Great Perfection.

Due to ignorance, delusion and stupidity,
I have transgressed my samayas, and they have degenerated.
O spiritual mentor, protector, protect me!
Glorious Lord Vajradhara,
Merciful being of great compassion,
Lord of the world, protect us!
Please cleanse and purify the whole mass
Of sins, obscurations, faults, downfalls, and taints.
By this virtue, may I now
Swiftly actualize Vajrasattva
And quickly bring every sentient being
Without exception to that state.
O Vajrasattva, may we become exactly
Like your form, with your retinue, life span, pure realm,
And with your supreme , excellent signs.

OFFERING THE MANDALA

Once you have begun purifying the two types of obscurations, there is the task of accumulating the two collections of merit and of knowledge for one’s own benefit and the benefit of others. The welfare of others is accomplished in the realization of the Rūpakāya, or form embodiment, of the Buddha; and it is toward accomplishing that end that one offers the mandala.

OM VAJRA BHŪMI ĀH HUM
The basis becomes the powerful golden ground.
OM VAJRA REKHE ĀH HŪM
On the periphery is a surrounding jeweled iron fence.
In the center is the supreme king of mountains,
Majestic in its composition from the five kinds of precious substances.
Lovely in shape, beautiful, and delightful to behold,
Seven golden mountains are surrounded by seven concentric seas.
In the east is the continent Videha, in the south, Jambudvipa,
The west is adorned by Godàniya,
And in the north is the great Uttarakuru;
With the eight sub-continents of Deha and Videha,
Cāmara and Aparacāmara,
Śāthā and Uttaramantrina,
Kurava and Kaurava,
The sun, moon, Rāhu and kālāgni,
And this bounty of wealth and enjoyments of gods and humans
I offer to the precious spiritual mentor and his retinue.
Out of compassion, please accept this for the sake of the world.

Daily Offerings

An excerpt from the Mindfulness workshop given by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo in 1999

I’d like to talk about mindfulness in practice of making offerings.  As you know, when you do your preliminary practice of Ngondro, at some point you accumulate 100,000 repetitions of mandala offerings.  That’s a fairly elaborate practice where you sit down and you work with the mandala set and you make the mounds and you have a very extensive visualization.  So is that where your offering practice stops?  Do you make your offerings to the deities and then walk away from your practice and not be involved in your practice anymore?  No, of course not.

In order to practice truly and more deeply, what we have to do is remain mindful of the practice constantly.  Remember that we are trying to antidote ego clinging.  We’re trying to antidote the belief in self-nature as being inherently real.  We are trying to antidote the desire, the hope and the fear that results from that identification of self-nature as being inherently real and other as being separate.  Remember that this is the point of what we’re doing.  So if we were to practice accumulating mandala offerings, or make offerings at a temple and then have that practice end and no longer be a part of our lives, we wouldn’t be applying that antidote very well — at least not as well as we might.

How would it be possible for us to avoid this ego clinging?  How would it be possible to avoid simply reinforcing samsara’s unfortunate message when we go around and simply enjoy ourselves?  Remember that it is a worthy thing to notice, when you perceive something like a house or a tree or a flower, how automatic your reaction and response to that is.   How is this flower going to affect me?  This flower, this tree, how is it going to be meaningful if it doesn’t affect me?  That is its meaning: it affects me.  That is how we think.  The practice that I’m suggesting is something that you can do without ever sitting down and meditating, so for those of you that have no time, this is a great practice.

When we’re doing anything, no matter what it is, we see appearances.  Images come to us.  They are sometimes very favorable, sometimes very beautiful, sometimes wonderful, and we enjoy them, and sometimes not.  When we enjoy them, we enjoy them by clinging, by taking that experience, in a sense, and holding onto it, grabbing it.  We’re grasping that experience.  That tree is only relevant because I see it.  Out of sight, out of mind.  When the tree is out of my sight, it no longer exists.  We think like that.  My suggestion is that rather than just doing your practice when you’re sitting down, why not be mindful constantly? When you see the appearance of any phenomenon, when you see any kind of beautiful thing — like for instance when you look outside and you see how lovely it is out there, how gorgeous it is, the trees and the flowers and the sweetness of the air — how can you not let that beauty simply reinforce our clinging to ego, that clinging to identity?

One way to do that is to develop an automatic habit, and again, those habits start small and end up big.  We start at the beginning, and we simply increase.  Develop the habit of offering everything that you see. You think, “Huh?  How can I offer it if it’s not mine?”  Well, that’s not the point.  Whether it’s yours or not, your senses will grab it as yours.  You will react to it, you will respond to it, you will judge it, and so it becomes, in a way, your thing.  You collect it.  When you see something, you collect it, and you hold onto it.  The experience is what you take away.  Maybe we can’t take away the tree, but that doesn’t mean anything because we’ve taken away our experience of the tree.  It has become ours, and it reinforces that delusion of self and other.  Instead of doing that, isn’t it possible upon seeing something beautiful, upon taking a walk, having a good feeling, accomplishing something wonderful, seeing beautiful things, having meaningful relationships with other people, any kind of pleasure that is part of your life, that it can be offered?  It can be thought of in a different way.

For instance, if I were to walk down the street and see a field of flowers, but didn’t know about any of these teachings of the Dharma, then maybe I might pick some of the flowers think that’s a meaningful experience because I feel good about it; I’m really happy with that.  The only reason these flowers have become meaningful is because they’ve affected me in a certain way, and it continues the delusion.  Having heard about Dharma, we have another option.  When we see and enjoy a whole field of flowers, we can visualize in a very simple way, making it an offering to all the Buddhas and bodhisattvas.  Instead of that automatic clinging to this image and trying to take it with us, trying to make it part of us, there can be an instant habit that we form of offering this to all the Buddhas.  “This field of flowers is so wonderful.  I love it so much.”

If we work on it, instead of clinging to it in some subtle way, our automatic habit can be to offer it to the Buddhas and bodhisattvas.  Take any good taste, for instance, a good flavor in your mouth; a lot of times when we have a pleasurable experience like good food or good taste you may have noticed that ultimately it’s not so good.  The food turns into…well, you know what it turns into, doo-doo. The experience does us no good because when we were tasting it, we were clinging to it.  That’s mine.  You see?  I’m tasting it.  It’s in my taste buds.  It’s that relationship between my taste buds and that food that’s really important: we’re stuck in that delusion.  We’re stuck in that dream.

Suppose we were able, instead, to develop the habit that when we eat something we are practicing as well by automatically offering the flavor and the taste of that to the Buddhas and the bodhisattvas?  Then you’re not grabbing onto it, you’re not making it your experience.  Offering it, you’re not reinforcing that dynamic of self and other, but rather when you taste, you’re just simply offering it.  You can learn to do it very quickly.  When you first start, it’s a little bit cumbersome because you take a bite of food, and you say, “Okay, I offer this to the Buddhas and the bodhisattvas.”  You take another bite of food, saying, “I offer this to the Buddhas and the bodhisattvas.”  At first, it may seem a little dry and uncomfortable, but there’s an inner posture that can be developed that’s an automatic response, as automatic as deciding whether or not you like that taste.  As the taste hits you, the experience of that can be just offering it to the Buddhas and the bodhisattvas.  It can be so immediate that no words are required.  At that point, you’ve developed the habit of making this constant, constant, constant offering.

As parents, when we bond with our children and hold our children and have that wonderful, pleasurable experience of cuddling our kids and feeling wonderful, as ordinary human beings we think, “Oh, this is my child.  This is the extension of my ego.  I made that.  I made an egg, and look what happened.”  So we have very great pride about that, and our family becomes an extension of our ego, an extension of what we call ourselves.  What if were able to offer that as well?  As we hold our beloved children, as we feel that feeling, rather than putting another star in our own crown and thinking, “Oh, yeah, this is my kid and I’m holding her now” – what if we could offer that feeling? What if we could even offer the connection, the incredible, powerful connection between mother and child?  That, too, can be offered to the Buddhas and the bodhisattvas.   When you offer something to the Buddhas and the bodhisattvas, it’s not as though it disappears.  It’s not as though the feeling disappears once you offer that feeling of loving your child to the Buddhas and the bodhisattvas, and suddenly you don’t love your kid anymore.  It’s not like that.  Anything that we offer, really in some magical way becomes multiplied.  It becomes even more than it originally could have been.  In not using what we see with our five senses as a way to practice more self-absorption, but instead using what we see with the five senses as a way to accomplish some kind of Recognition, this is a very powerful practice and a very excellent, excellent adornment for the sit-down practice that we do.

© Jetsunma Ahkön Lhamo

Baby Steps to Recognition

An excerpt from the Mindfulness workshop given by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo in 1999

Sometimes when we begin to make offerings of what we experience to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, we may think it’s not a good idea to offer something that’s not ours, but that’s only because we’re materialists and have this idea of ownership.  We really don’t understand how things are.  We’re kind of sick and deluded with this idea of the self being the center of all experience.  So that being the case, when we offer a tree or a field of flowers that isn’t ours or even offer an experience that you have with someone else that’s wonderful and pleasurable to you or to see a friend of yours that has not one, not two, but three cars — for you to offer any of those things to the Buddhas and the bodhisattvas in your mind, is that illegal because you don’t own them?  Of course not.  The idea isn’t about ownership.  It isn’t about defining that, yet again.  It’s about allowing these five senses to participate in Recognition in some way, even if it’s only in a small way.  To offer anything that one sees, any image that is formulated in the eyes, any sound – the sound of the beloved’s voice, maybe your beloved friend, your beloved spouse or child – the sound of that voice that is so comforting and so wonderful to us, that very sound can be offered when it meets your ears.  Rather than owning it and saying this is about me and my children or me and my spouse or me and my stuff, instead make that kind of ongoing process of offering.

In a very real sense, you’re not so much offering the object as you are offering your response to the object.  You’re allowing your senses, your thoughts, and your sensibilities to work in a different way than they have worked before, so then you can feel free.  You can offer someone else’s money.  You can do anything you want to in that way as long as you are truly sincere and it’s done in a profound way.  Remember, we’re keeping in mind the faults of cyclic existence, and practicing that kind of renunciation because we have seen the faults of cyclic existence.

Perhaps you meet somebody really rich, and you may notice, because of the contemplations you’ve been doing on the faults of cyclic existence, that those people are so connected to their money that there is some real clinging going on there. Maybe you notice that that person is all about their money and maybe, because you’ve practiced Recognition, you can see that this is a non-virtue.  You can see that this is not making that person happy, that literally the money has no power to make that person happy.  So knowing that, in your practice you can visualize that money and offer it to the Buddhas and the bodhisattvas.  What good does that do?  Does the money disappear out of the banks?  No.  Perhaps there is some small blessing.  Perhaps more importantly, you, by making such an offering and by thinking that way, can begin to differentiate, to distinguish between clinging and some form of Recognition that there is something more precious than our egos. Maybe it’s a baby step, but many of those baby steps make for big movements.

Cultivate the habit of constantly offering everything that you see, all pleasure, and even hardship.  When we come into a place in our life where it’s very uncomfortable, where there’s some hardship and we survive and perhaps overcome that hardship, that very event can also be offered.  That event can be considered practice, a manifestation of an opportunity to have made offerings, to have been more mindful, and to have been in a better state of Recognition.  Then, that very difficulty that you just survived becomes a form of practice.  It becomes sacred.

For Westerners, our biggest problem is that lack of a deeper understanding of how to practice.  We still think that you go to church on Sunday, and so you practice on Sunday.  You do your religious thing on Sunday and maybe on the other holidays.  We still have that division in our mind.  We are deeply materialistic people, and that is the worst, most horrible delusion that we’re stuck in: that inability to recognize any distinction because of our material outlook.  Practicing in the way I’ve described gives us the opportunity to develop constant mindfulness, purification of the mind, and constantly creating new habitual tendencies.  It’s perfect for Westerners to practice in this way in addition to their sit-down practice because we have such limited time to sit down.  In addition, in this culture we’re taught that when you’re sitting down, you’re being lazy, and our whole commitment, therefore, is to be busy all the time.  So one way to begin to counteract that is to practice in this way of constantly making offerings.

© Jetsunma Ahkön Lhamo

Offer It Up


An excerpt from a teaching by Jetsunma Ahkön Lhamo from The Spiritual Path

We never lose sight of how we feel. We are always monitoring ourselves. We want to feel free of suffering, free of stress. Sentient beings strive endlessly to be happy, so it is very difficult to achieve a sustained, sincere practice of generosity. Think what you have done over the last 24 hours. Work? Practice? Television? Family time? Social obligations? Was your first and foremost thought to benefit sentient beings? Or were you doing things to strengthen your ego in some way, to make you feel better? Mostly the latter, I think. Even our Dharma activity is often done to make us feel better about ourselves—to make us feel busy, wanted, necessary, energetic. Or, perhaps, spiritual, holy, and pure. We always have our selfish purposes, so it is difficult to be generous.

How should one be generous? How should we think about generosity? To begin with, we should not consider phenomena something we can have or not have, something that attracts or repels us. We should view all phenomena as a pure celestial offering that we can actually make to the Three Precious Jewels. We should view our entire world as an exquisite, vast celestial mandala. We should think of phenomena as Mt. Meru, surrounded by its beautiful continents. We should think of all sights, smells, sounds, sensations as precious jewels that we offer to the Three Precious Jewels themselves. It is a more profound version of what we do in our Ngöndro as mandala offering. The deepest way to engage in the practice of generosity is to offer one’s environment continually. But how many of us do that?

Think, for instance, about the way we react to food. We eat food with desire. We taste it with lust, more lust than we think. Shopping for food, we want the best apples, don’t we? The purest, the finest. We want the best carrot cake, the best vegetables. We even lust after color. Our eyes, our feelings are drawn to it. We think we look good or bad in a certain color. We perceive color with attraction or repulsion. All our senses function like that. Actually, generosity should be practiced in such a way that we offer the very senses that we have. But do we offer our taste? Our hearing? Well, we might say that. But we can’t wait for the next sound, the next taste. We cling to our existence as a sentient being, a feeling being.  We long for the next touch, the next sight. When you go for a walk, what do you do? You look at the flowers and trees. You sniff the air, smelling everything. The senses are yours. And you have no idea of offering, no intention of offering them to the Three Precious Jewels. And yet, that would be true generosity.

What is the basis of that generosity? How can such an offering be of benefit? You may think: “If the Buddha wanted my taste, my sight, my hearing, my touch, he’d get his own! A truly enlightened being can manifest all kinds of incredible siddhis, or powers. So why do I have to offer this phenomenal existence to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas?”

Well, why do you have to do that? There’s a real logic behind it. How long are you going to have your senses? You’re going to have sight until your eyes go. Even if your eyes last until the end of your life, they will die when your head dies. You will only have touch as long as you have skin to touch with. Your perceptual experiences will not outlast your body. So what are you holding on to? The traditional teaching says that at the time of death, we cannot take with us so much as a sesame seed. You take only your cause-and-effect relationships and habitual tendencies. So if you have clung to your experiences, establishing your particular neuroses at every moment, that is what you will continue to do in the bardo. If it has been your habit to look for approval and to gather things, situations, people around you for that purpose, you will not be able to take any of that into the bardo. All you will have is the habit of that longing, that desire—and the karma you have engendered from reacting to that need.

How much better to practice generosity—to offer your five senses and all phenomenal existence to the Three Precious Jewels. Why? You create a stream of merit. Offering is one of the major ways to accumulate merit, and that merit can be dedicated to benefit sentient beings. In fact, you can visualize yourself and all sentient beings offering the five senses, offering consciousness itself as we know it. You can think of all sentient beings gathered together with you making offerings of the three thousand myriads of universes purified into a precious jeweled mandala.

What is the value of such an offering? It cuts to the bone. It is so profound that it transforms the entire perceptual process. This deep level of offering pacifies our habit of clinging to cyclic existence. It purifies our self-absorption and selfishness, and we can offer the merit to the countless beings who are themselves constantly involved in selfishness and self-absorption, unaware that they can make any offering at all.

Unfortunately, we are afraid. If we offer something, the Buddha might take us up on it. If I offer the experience of being the mother of my beautiful daughter, maybe they’ll take her away. If I offer all my clothing to the Three Precious Jewels, they might take that away. We fear that something will be lost to us. But you can see that this is a product of our delusion. Our experience of phenomena depends entirely upon karma. As our karma becomes more purified, more virtuous, as our minds become more spacious, more relaxed—our experience can only be better. Suffering only happens due to clinging and desire. In our delusion, we continue to lust after experience, and that lust continues to cause our suffering.

The practice of generosity is an antidote to all that. There is literally nothing to hold on to and no one to do the holding.    Everything you have ever experienced—all you will ever experience—is the result of the condition of your mind. Why not then practice this deep level of generosity? Why not view phenomenal existence for what it is? You will in the end, anyway. You’ll see it disappear before your eyes. At the time of your death, you will see the elements disappear, dissolve. Whether or not you will recognize what is happening is another story. (You may merely pass into unawareness, and that would be for one reason only: you lived in unawareness.)

© Jetsunma Ahkön Lhamo

The Happiness Machine


An excerpt from a teaching by Jetsunma Ahkön Lhamo from The Spiritual Path

Sometimes the ordained have problems with desire. When you take on robes, it doesn’t mean that desire ceases. Why not make that desire meaningful? You can offer desire to the Three Precious Jewels. It’s not a big secret that you’re feeling it. Use it as an offering! It is the most profound and auspicious offering. Of course, this is true for lay people as well. All the ego-clinging that you participate in can be offered. But what do you do instead? How many precious minutes do you waste? You sit there and think about how profound your understanding of the Dharma is, and you juggle your insights in the air. Aren’t you just continuing the habitual tendency of perceiving phenomenal reality according to you? You use your insights to increase your ego-clinging. Maybe you’re doing it right now, contriving your own version of the insight you think I want you to have. What you are not doing is offering your perception to the Three Precious Jewels. You aren’t, are you? You forgot. With this practice, you can break through the seduction of phenomenal existence. It is a way to break the cycle of desire and ego inflation. It is a way to awaken to the Nature. If you did that and nothing else, you would be an excellent practitioner, and you would achieve the auspicious result.

How can you break the cycle? If you remember just three times during the course of one day, three minutes of generosity, that’s a start. If you lose it after a minute, don’t give up. Keep climbing back on. When you fall off the horse, climb back on. That’s how you establish generosity in your mind. Write yourself a note. Put it on all your favorite places: your mirror, refrigerator, CD player. Whenever you turn on your CD player, you’ll remember to offer the experience of sound. A little at a time, day by day, you can have that experience. I have had the experience of going for a walk and doing that for an extended period of time. Each time I sensed the experience of perception, I would turn it over immediately, turn it over.

Your habit is to take a perception, hold on to it, and make something. Have you noticed that? But you can come between that moment of perceptual experience and making something. It’s tricky, and you have to practice it, but you can learn to put a little space in there. And you can use that space to turn it over, to dedicate it, to offer it. You can develop a repeatable experience. It can even become automatic. Just remember: the moment you experience your own perception, avoid forming it into a superstructure that enhances your ego. Turn it over, turn it over, offer it. What will happen? Your whole personality will change. Your behavior will change. It will have to change—because your behavior has been based on desire and on inflating your ego. Not only that, but if you engage in this kind of practice for an extended period, you can have something like a blissful experience. I say this with dread in my heart because I know what’s going to happen. You’ll go for a walk. You’ll put some minimal effort into this practice, and you’ll contrive for yourself an amazing, blissful experience. And then you’ll seize upon that experience and have a more meaningful self because of it. Don’t do that! Just engage in the practice and continually make that offering. You’ll find there’s a happiness that comes with it. There’s a joy, a spontaneous feeling of joy. But don’t cling to it. The minute you see yourself sensing the feeling, you’ve got to turn that over too. You simply make an offering. That experience of joy is an offering.  See all your connections with the world through the five senses as a kapala filled with precious jewels. But don’t contrive something out of it. Instead, find the subtle moment right before the experience. Then, once you find it, simply use that moment to make the offering.

I hope all this is helpful to you. I hope you will use it. This is the kind of teaching that can change your life. It can change everything about your practice. I don’t think it is arrogant to say that. It is my personal experience. This practice, I think, has contributed more to my well-being than anything, even though, if I tried, I could find reasons to be unhappy. But for me, this practice has been like a happiness machine. I feel it has deepened my mind. I feel it has made my mind more spacious, more relaxed, more peaceful. I feel it has created a lot of merit. I visualize an altar in my mind at which I can constantly make offerings. You should think of your consciousness as an altar—and all phenomenal experience as the offering. The instant you decide that you must have the best apples, make those apples count for something. Offer them and everything that is delicious and beautiful and satisfying. Offer as well all experience, in its purest form. Dedicate the value of that offering to the end of suffering for all sentient beings. You have entered the path of ultimate happiness.

© Jetsunma Ahkön Lhamo

Offering Mandala and Chod: Full Length Video Teaching by Khenpo Tenzin Norgay

The following is a full length video of a teaching by Khenpo Tenzin Norgay offered at Kunzang Palyul Choling:

 

Khenpo Tenzin Norgey teaches from the Nam Cho Ngondro practices from Terton Migyur Dorje. Each of these has the capacity, if practiced diligenly, to accru a tremendous amount of merit.

Mandala Offering Prayer from Palyul Ling Retreat Center

The following is the Mandala prayer offered by Lama Lobsang to His Holiness Karma Kuchen at the end of the retreat in New York 2011

Om Swati!

Born in the heritage of Shakya with excellent methods and compassion;

Destroyer of all demonic forces that others cannot accomplish;

Having a body magnificent like golden Mount Meru;

I forever prostrate to you, Lord Buddha, King of Shakya.

Beginning with auspicious praise to the Buddha Shakyamuni, we are gathered here today to offer the mandala and express our gratitude.

To the feet of His Holiness Karma Kuchen Rinpoche, the embodiment of the Buddhas of the Three Times, heir to Guru Rinpoche and the source of all common and supreme siddhis; and to the feet of the Tulkus, who take rebirth in samsara to liberate beings from cyclic existence; and to the feet of the Khenpos, the holders of the Buddha’s precious teachings; and to the feet of the Noble Sangha, the source of merit that results from offerings; I pay homage!

Palyul Ling and the students of the 2011 Summer Retreat, humbly make the following statement.

It is stated that “As the sole source of happiness and peace, may the Buddha Dharma remain forever in this world.”

The Buddha Dharma has two parts: the Dharma of Learning and the Dharma of Realization. The Dharma of Learning encompasses the transmission of the Buddhist teachings and the contemplation of their meaning which result in a complete understanding of Dharma that is free of any misconceptions or omissions.

With this understanding, one engages in the three trainings and practices of the secret Mantrayana and experiences the signs of accomplishments. This is the Dharma of Realization.

Seeing these two aspects of the Dharma as the authentic teachings of Lord Buddha, our unparalleled kind master, our Late Holiness Drubwang Pema Norbu Rinpoche established Palyul Ling Retreat Center, a  place for engaging in the genuine teachings of the Buddha. A perfect and auspicious place such as this is rare in our world. In this life and all future lives, we should never forget his kindness.

In this perfect place, we have the presence of perfect masters. Previously, our most compassionate supreme guide was HH Drubwang Pema Norbu Rinpoche. Today we have his heir, the twelfth throneholder of the Palyul Lineage, the Supreme Nirmanakaya HH Karma Kuchen Rinpoche.

The perfect retinue is the assembly of Khenpos, Tulkus and other members of the ordained Sangha who are endowed with the riches of virtue and devotion and possess the jewel of the three trainings. The perfect retinue also includes the Dharma brothers and sisters of the same mandala, who, with Bodhicitta as the ground, practice the generation and completion stages as the path to attain the fruition of the union of emptiness and appearance.

The perfect Dharma is the Dzogchen teaching of the Namchoe Sky Treasure, The Buddha in the Palm of Your Hand. It is practiced from Ngondro through the  completion of the Trekchod and Togyal practices. The outer, inner and secret aspects of these traditional teachings have been passed on by our late Holiness in accordance with the needs of modern time.

The perfect time is the auspicious day of the First Turning of the Wheel of Dharma. That is the day on which the Buddha taught beings according to their individual levels of understanding. For us in particular, it is the time of the conclusion ceremony of our month-long summer retreat, in which students have gathered to practice the outer, inner and secret mandalas in accordance with their levels and abilities.

On this auspicious day it is appropriate to provide a brief explanation of the outer, inner and secret mandala offering.

The outer mandala is the phenomenal world mandala. It is comprised of the fundamental golden ground surrounded by an iron wall. At the center is Mount Meru surrounded by all the continents. In the east is the continent of Lüphagpo. To the south is Dzambuling, to the west is Balangchöd and to the north is Draminyen. Also included in the world mandala are the eight subcontinents, the sun, moon, seven golden mountains and the seven oceans. The heavenly realms of the gods are also included. Multiply this by a thousand, three times over to offer the three thousand myriad worlds along with all the wealth that exists in them, without attachment, to the Nirmanakaya Lama.

The inner mandala is the body mandala. It is made up of the skin, which is the golden ground; the spine, which is Mount Meru; the right hand, which is the continent of Lüphagpo to the east; the right leg, which is Dzambuling of the south; the left leg is Balangchöd of the west; and the left hand is Draminyen of the north. The two eyes represent the sun and moon. The hair of the head and the body represents the wealth of the gods and human beings. Without dualistic grasping, offer the Sambhogakaya mandala offering.

The secret mandala is the Channels and Chakras. The Chakra of Bliss along with the essence of fire, Ah Thung, is the golden ground. The branch channels are the external wall. The central channel is Mount Meru.  The Dharma Chakra at the heart is Lüphagpo to the east. The Navel Chakra of manifestation is Dzambuling to the south. The throat chakra of enjoyment is Balangchöd in the west. The crown chakra of Great Bliss is Draminyen to the north. The roma channel is the sun and the changma channel is the moon. The minor channels are the wealth of gods and humans. Without conceptualizing subject, object or action, offer the secret mandala to the Sambhogakaya Lama at the final stage of the tenth bhumi.

The secret-most Dzogpa Chenpo Mandala offering is as follows, according to the pith instruction of Marpa, the great translator:

On the immaculate natural mandala, variegated flowers are arranged.

In the mandala of pure space, flowers of unceasing dependent existence are arranged.

In the Great Bliss mandala of one’s mind, the flowers of variegated conceptualization are arranged.

As said in this verse, the fundamental ground of dharmadhatu, free of all limitations, is the golden ground. The unceasing four visions of Togyal, are the continents, subcontinents, sun and moon. The fruition of the inexhaustible activities of the wisdom body, speech and mind are all the wealth of gods and humans. In the secret-most mandala offering there is no distinction between subject and object. This mandala is created by meditating on the view and seeing the inseparable nature of the master and student. This is the ultimate mandala.

These are the different types of mentally constructed mandalas. The type of mandala to be visualized should be done in accordance with one’s own capacity.

A flower, though small, serves as an offering. Likewise, our material mandala offering is small, but it represents our gratitude to you for your kindness and the guidance provided to us during this month.Through the merit of this mandala offering, may the Buddha Dharma flourish all over the world. With the flourishing of the Buddha Dharma, may there be no famine, wars, disputes, epidemics or other undesirable conditions. May the wishes of all beings be fulfilled and may they remain in peace and happiness.

May HH Karma Kuchen Rinpoche be free from all obstacles of body, speech and mind, and live long for hundreds of kalpas, and may his Dharma activities flourish without any obstacles. May the incarnation of our teacher, the Lord of Refuge Drubwang Pema Norbu swiftly appear and take the fearless lion throne again. In addition, may all Dharma teachers live long and may their Dharma activities flourish in the ten directions

May the students who have gathered here be free from all undesirable conditions, and may their wishes be fulfilled. May all achieve the stage of the four kayas and five wisdoms.

In all life times may we never be separated from the perfectly pure guru.

Utilizing the glorious Dharma to its utmost,

And by perfecting all pure qualities on the stages and path,

May we swiftly attain the state of the Glorious Lama.

 

Facebook Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com