The Practice That Results in Enlightenment

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The Practice that Results in Enlightenment

The kind of practice that we are talking about – that results in supreme enlightenment – is the continuous, natural, graceful effort – a happy, blissful, joyful continuous effort.

So we should always then be in the posture of the teachings.  That means that you literally walk around with your heart like a bowl, your mind like a bowl and you are in the posture of a constant wish:

“Please Lord Guru

Change me into whatever form is necessary.

Change my mind – Change my heart – Purify my karma.

Please Lord Guru

The only thing that I request that you do is to not let me remain the same.

Please Lord Guru

Constantly pour the nectar of your Dharma into me.

Lord Guru,

Do not abandon me in samsara.

Do not leave me in the condition that I am now.

Change me utterly and completely to where I do not recognize

myself as an ordinary samsaric being any longer.

Think of the Guru like a mother bird.  Constantly remain in the posture of beseeching the Guru for teachings.

The thing that you have been terrified of – the thing that you have guarded yourself against – is the very thing that you should be requesting constantly is that you should be transformed and changed according to the wishes of the Guru.

Do not let me be separate from your teachings even for a moment.

Have courage.

— Jetsunma Ahkön Lhamo

Wishing Prayers

An excerpt from a teaching by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo called Compassion is the Only Lasting Antidote to Suffering

In Vajrayana Buddhism (literally the Diamond Vehicle), which is the form of Buddhism preserved in Tibet and Mongolia and the one followed in my temple, one of the foundational teachings is the understanding and practice of compassion.  I personally find that a religious philosophy based on selfless compassion is deeply satisfying, and I believe that it strikes a chord with many Americans.

However, although there are many people who embrace the idea of compassion as love and a deep caring for others, they do not realize that to actualize the mind of Great Awakening requires a deliberate and disciplined path.  Human beings are not born with great compassion automatically realized.  Thus, the Diamond Path can be described as a technology for spiritual development.

From the Buddhist point of view, there are primarily two ways to approach compassion: aspirational compassion and practical compassion.  When one begins to practice on the Diamond Path, one begins straightaway to make wishing prayers, cultivating the idea of being of benefit to beings who are revolving helplessly through cycles of existence.   This is aspirational compassion.

Every practice in which we engage, every teaching we hear, every empowerment we receive, every prayer we chant, can all be dedicated to the liberation of all beings from all forms of suffering. Thus, aspirational compassion is practiced in the beginning by many repetitions of wishing prayers.  These prayers are meant to benefit beings through developing the sincere desire to utilize all one’s activities — from the mundane to the sublime — as a means of eliminating the causes of suffering in all its forms.  One prays for the cessation of war, poverty, sickness, death and rebirth, loneliness, hatred, greed and ignorance.  One adopts a posture of pure intention based on the idea that every portion of this life, as well as future incarnations yet to come, might somehow be useful to sentient beings.

As an example of this type of wishing prayer, I will paraphrase a famous practice:

If there is a need for nourishment, let me return as food.  If there is a need for shade, let me be a tree.  If there is a need for shelter, let me be a house.  If there is a need to cross over, let me be a bridge.  If there is sickness, may I manifest as the doctor, the medicine and the nurse who restore health.  May I be land for those requiring it, a lamp for those in darkness, a home for the homeless, and a servant to the world.

While this may sound very kind and loving, the intention here goes far deeper than the apparent words because one must strive to be of benefit not only to fulfill the immediate needs of beings, but also to bring future benefit.  Providing things such as food, housing, and medicine bring about benefit, of course, and this type of kindness is profoundly virtuous.  We should all strive to meet the needs of others in just these ways.  Yet, from a Buddhist perspective, being able to practice only this type of compassion does not bring ultimate benefit.  For instance, if it were possible to feed an entire nation or perhaps even the world and completely eliminate hunger and hopelessness, we still would not be solving the root of the problem.

According to the Buddha, there is no condition or circumstance without a cause.  Just as the fruit does not manifest without first appearing on a tree, which came from a seed, neither does any circumstance, good or bad, in which we find ourselves manifest without a cause.  These causes may not be found in this life only, but may come from previous lifetimes.

It is not possible for people to be born randomly into difficult circumstance or to suddenly experience the onset of tremendous suffering and upheaval.  These events are always the result of a tapestry of cause-and-effect relationships (karma) woven around the delusion involving the definition and maintenance of an ego.  Thus, to solve the immediate needs of beings may bring some relief, but it does not guarantee that they will not experience great difficulty in the future, because it does not break the continuum of cause and effect that ripens unexpectedly and constantly.  This continuum originates from the belief in an ego self and the desire that results from that belief.  It is through the pacification of desire that one can begin to transform one’s karma.  When the delusion of ego begins to dissolve, karma also begins to dissolve.  But if the mindstream is not purified of the karma of suffering, the potential for suffering remains.

© Jetsunma Ahkön Lhamo

Prayer to the Root Guru

Padmasambhava

The following prayer is from the Nam Chö Ngondro by Tertön Migyur Dorje:

Alas

Glorious condensed essence of the miraculous activity of the Buddhas of all directions and times,

Great Lotus Guru (Padmasambhava) of loving kindness,

Myself and those like me who are without a protector and tormented by suffering,

Look upon us with your loving compassion and grant us your blessings!

In this time of extreme degeneration of this aeon, when demonic forces, corruption, incurable disease and perverted prayers are increasing,

During this terrifying time of armies and weapons in the four directions, grant us the breath to breathe fearlessly, like a vajra.

Impure sentient being’s hearts are confused and their intellects distorted. So as not to follow our ingrained habitual instincts, tame us in whatever skill means are necessary by actually arising in the Rupakaya.

Lead us upon the path to the realm of Great Bliss.

Concerning myself and all others on the path to Awakening, by pacifying our obstacles and non-conducive circumstances and greatly increasing our life span and endowments,

May our vital airs and mind be controlled to realize the common and supreme spiritual attainments.

May we never be separate from our root Lama!

…repeat this prayer with intense fervent devotion (until one’s tears uncontrollably well up from within) after which repeat the essence prayer, the Vajra Guru mantra OM AH HUNG BENZAR GURU PEDMA SIDDHI HUNG.

Stupas of KPC: A Resource for Healing, Peace and Prayer

The following is from a series of tweets by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo:

If weary, sick or sad, come to the KPC Stupas and rest and pray. Leave an offering to say “I was here!”.

Stupas are meant to heal suffering, bring peace, balance, strengthen one’s path. Come see for yourself.

I wish I had funds to build Stupas all along the Pacific Rim. They would heal, balance, purify the Earth.

Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Norbu Lhamo All rights reserved

 

Prayer to The Guru

The following prayer is from “The Great Perfection: Buddha in the Palm of the Hand

PAL DEN TSA WA’I LAMA RINPOCHE

Glorious, precious root guru,

DAG GI NYING GA PEMA’I ZE’U DRU LA

Upon the pollen heart of the lotus in my heart,

DREL WA MED PA TAG PAR ZHUG NE KYANG

Without ever separating, always remaining,

KA DRIN CHEN PO’I GO NE JE ZUNG NE

Hold me fast with your great kindness.

KU SUNG THUG KYI NGÖ DRUB TSAL DU SÖL

Pray, bestow the spiritual attainments of body, speech and mind.

PAL DEN LAMA’I NAM PAR THAR PA LA

Towards the way of life and activities of the glorious guru

KED CHIG TSAM YANG LOG TA MI KYE ZHING

May incorrect view never arise, not even for an instant.

CHI DZED CHÖ SU THONG WA’I MÖ GÜ KYI

With fervent regard, may I view all (the guru’s) actions as Dharma activity.

LAMA’I CHIN LAB SEM LA JUG PAR SHOG

May the guru’s blessings enter my mind!

KYE ZHING KYE WA DAG NI THAM CHED DU

In this and in all of my future lifetimes

RIG ZANG LO SEL NGA GYAL MED PA DANG

May I be born of excellent parents, with a clear mind,

free from pride,

NYING JE CHE ZHING LAMA LA GÜ DEN

Possessing great compassion and respectfully relying

upon the guru.

PAL DEN LAMA’I DAM TSHIG LA NE SHOG

May my samaya with the glorious guru always remain firm!

KYE WA KÜN TU YANG DAG LAMA DANG

In all lifetimes, may I never be separated from a perfectly

pure guru.

DREL MED CHÖ KYI PAL LA LONG CHÖD CHING

Utilizing the glorious Dharma to its utmost,

SA DANG LAM GYI YÖN TEN RAB DZOG NE

And by excellently perfecting all pure qualities on the stages

and paths,

DORJE CHANG GI GO PHANG NYUR THOB SHOG

May I swiftly achieve the state of Vajradharahood!

Refuge and Bodhicitta

The following is respectfully quoted from the Namcho Daily Practice book published by Palyul Ling International:

OM AH HUNG

KHA NYAM SI ZHI KYAB KUN NYING PO CHU
Of all the refuges in samsara and nirvana present throughout space, the quintessence

WANG DRAG RIG DZIN PEMA TO TRENG SAL
Is the powerful and wrathful vidyadhara, Pema To Treng Tsal.

KHYOD KUR NANG SI GYAL WE KYILKHOR DZOG
The phenomenal world is totally perfected within his body as a Buddha mandala.

DRO KUN SI LE DRAL CHIR KYAB SUM CHI
We take refuge so all may cross over unenlightened existence.

Repeat three times

SANG CHOG YESHE OSAL TIG LE SHIR
We generate Bodhicitta on the fundamental ground (alaya) of the sphere (bindhu),

DRO KUN DRIB SUM DAG NE KU DANG SUNG
The supremely secret clear light and ultimate wisdom,

TUG CHI TIG LER LHUN DRUB NANG ZHI NGAG
So all beings may purify the three obscurations,

SHON NU BUM KUR DROL WAR SEM KYED DO
And attain the spontaneously self-perfected bindu of body, speech and mind, and through the four spontaneous visions, attain liberation in the youthful vase body.

Repeat three times

Request to Remain Firm

The following is a prayer from the Nam Chö Daily Practice Book from Palyul Ling International:

As the single source of benefit and bliss,
May the doctrine remain in this world indefinitely and
May those of supreme birth who uphold the precious doctrine,
Live long firm lives like banners of victory!
May the lives of the glorious spiritual teachers be firm and
May all sentient beings, who are equal in number to space, be well and happy.
Through myself and all others, accumulating merit and cleansing obscurations,
May we quickly be placed on the stage of Buddhahood.
I pray that the spiritual teachers may enjoy excellent health.
I pray for their supreme long life as well.
I pray that their enlightened activities may spread forth and expand.
Grant blessings to never be separated from my spiritual teachers.
May myself and limitless beings without exception,
By the root of this very virtue,
Completely cleanse the karmic negativities and obscurations of all lifetimes,
And be liberated in the expanse of the profound Dharma treasury.

Prayer to Manjushri

Prayer To Manjushri

Obeisance to my Guru and Protector, Manjushri,

Who holds to his heart a scriptural text symbolic of his seeing all things as they are,

Whose intelligence shines forth as the sun, unclouded by delusions or traces of ignorance,

Who teaches in sixty ways with the loving compassion of a father for his only son,

All creatures caught in the prison of samsara, confused in the darkness of their ignorance, overwhelmed by their suffering.

You, whose dragon thunder-like proclamation of Dharma, arouses us from the stupor of delusions

And frees us from the iron chains of our karma, who wields the Sword of Wisdom

Hewing down suffering wherever its sprouts appear, clearing away the darkness of ignorance.

You whose princely body is adorned with the 112 marks of a Buddha, who has completed the stages achieving the highest perfection of a Bodhisattva, who has been pure from the beginning.

OM AH RA PA TSA NA DHI
(Repeat the mantra many times through. The last time:
DHI DHI DHI DHI DHI…..SOHA)

I bow down to you, O Manjushri. With the brilliance of your wisdom, O Compassionate One,

Illuminate the darkness enclosing my mind.

Enlighten my intelligence and wisdom so that I may gain insight

Into Buddha’s words and the texts that explain them.

Sevan Part Supplication

The following prayer was taken from the Nam Cho Daily Practice from Palyul Ling International:

I pay homage to the continuously present and unmodified nature of pure presence (rigpa).
I offer the clear light, freedom from depths and limits.
I confess within the vast expanse, the equality of samsara and nirvana.
I rejoice in the great wearing out of reality, freedom from conception.
I ask you to always turn the Wheel of Dharma, the great perfection,
And to churn the depths of samsara,
Free from the limiting three conceptions, I dedicate this to reaching the far limit.

The Door of the Heart

The following is from a series of tweets by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo:

It is difficult when we love one person especially. Might as well poison yourself, grief comes. Love all beings equally, you will never be alone. There is nothing outside your own heart that will make you truly happy. Without training our hearts to love altruistically we will never recognize love. The door of heart opens from within.

Why do I say this? Because I love you. You, you.

Why do people doubt the motivation and truth of love? Because they cannot feel it. They cannot imagine it. To some, love is the enemy; the proof that all sentient beings are equal. One ego is nothing.

In truth without altruistic love we are not truly alive. This is the mark of a human life! Our capacity. Oh, Father Sun, Sister Moon kindly bless us and our Mama Earth at this time of change, deciding and endurance. Prayer needed.

May wind come as a caress. May rain gently cleanse and nurture. May the sun show his wisdom. May all sentient beings be happy.

Copyright © Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo.  All rights reserved

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