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Mahamudra Ocean of Certainty

Given by the 12th Kenting Tai Situpa at Palpung Sherabling, December 2004. Transcribed by Chang Chin & Changchub Saldon

From today on, I will be teaching the Maha Mudra. Maha Mudra for practice, not for intellectual understanding only. Maha Mudra for practice. Particular text that I am using to teach you the Maha Mudra practice is the text called Chagchen Ngedon Gyatso. It translates as Maha Mudra Ocean of Certainty. The text is compiled by the ninth Gyalwa Karmapa, His Holiness Gyalwa Karmapa, the ninth reincarnation. He did not write it but he compiled it from all the practices of Maha Mudra, that was there already, which came to him, which he had received and practiced and which had the unbroken lineage of transmission up to him. To continue this, he put this text in such way that the future followers, which mean us, will be able to practice step by step. The particular text starts with first teaching chapter and first practice chapter, which is precious human life. The text ends with last teaching chapter, which is chapter 98. But when it comes to the practice, the practice chapter 45th. I was requested by Very Venerable Thutop Rinpoche to conduct this teaching here in Palpung Sherab Ling Monastery. And I with honor accepted his request and today I start the teaching. It is honor for me for a very simple reason, because the teaching of Maha Mudra is the all-encompassing teaching of Lord Buddha--Theravada, Mahayana, Vajrayana. The essence of all of it is taught in Maha Mudra, all taught as Maha Mudra, and practiced as Maha Mudra. I wanted to make it very clear that from the 45th practice chapter, then it cannot be taught as a course. It cannot be scheduled, because it depends on individual person's realization. Therefore we cannot teach further than 45 th practice chapter as an organized practice. I make it very clear and precise. Emphasize to all of you this is a practice teaching, because I received it as a practice teaching, therefore I will only give it as a practice teaching. I received the reading transmission and some very important essential transmission from my supreme Vajradhara, His Holiness the 16 th Gyalwa Karmapa. And then I received the detailed transmission of the practice of the Maha Mudra Ocean of Certainty from my very precious, dear guru, late, Very Venerable Salje Rinpoche. He received the teaching from 16 th Gyalwa Karmapa as well as 11 th Tai Situ. But the detailed instructions he received from Palpung Khyntse Rinpoche. And Palpung Khyntse Rinpoche received the transmission, the full transmission from 15 th Gyalwa Karmapa, Khakhyab Dorje. So this

lineage is very precious, like all the other lineages, of course. And this is alive, this is living lineage, like all the other living lineage. I said it is for the practice because Maha Mudra is everything. Even you learn how to walk as a little baby, that is also Maha Mudra. And even you learn how to talk, that is also Maha Mudra. Even you learn how to think clearly, that is also Maha Mudra. Everything is Maha Mudra. But the difference between that kind of Maha Mudra and the practice of Maha Mudra Ocean of Certainty is Maha Mudra Ocean of Certainty is for the enlightenment, enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings to attain enlightenment. Therefore, there is nothing which is not part of Maha Mudra. You wanted to learn to get a job. You wanted to learn to get a PhD degree. You wanted to learn so that you would have worldly glory. There is many many many who can help you for these. And I am giving the transmission of Maha Mudra to all of you, doing my best as my masters taught me by doing their best. I am very far away from Buddhahood, very far away. But I definitely received the transmission and blessing of my beloved gurus. I try my best to uphold their honor, up to today. No matter what happens, and no matter who says what. And I committed to do so unless I go mad. If I go mad, I have no control and I don't know what to do. I don't have any feeling or any sign that I am going mad. So I will be here for some time. But life after life, I wish to be part of this great teaching. And life after life, I wish to uphold the great honor and great Samaya of the Maha Mudra. So it will be similar to you as well. I believe that, therefore I accept to teach. Many of you I know personally for past some time, and I think you will be. But many of you I don't know that well. But I know Thutop Rinpoche, who brought you here, so I trust him because he trusts you. I'm serious. So I made lots of jokes. That is my habit. Sometimes good, sometimes a little too much. But it makes me feel happy. Even worst thing happened to me, I think I can have a good laugh at it. I think so. But when it really happened, I don't know. I have to pray that it would not happen. Then if it happened, I have to wait and see. So many little little pathetic things happened, I managed to laugh at it, up to today. Now Maha Mudra is not here to play with. And Maha Mudra is not here for sale. And Maha Mudra is not here for a rent. Maha Mudra is here for practice. I have said it, so now it is up to you. Don't tell me I didn't say. I am not asking you for anything. I am not asking you for anything. I am asking you a very simple thing. You came here to learn Maha Mudra, then you uphold it and by practicing it, that's all. I am quite sure all of you know a lot about Maha Mudra, otherwise you wouldn't be here. But some of you, not a lot, but few pieces of puzzles are missing, I like to fill them up for you. Now listen very carefully. Every sentient being is equal to Buddha in their essence ultimately. But relatively it depends on the individual realization of that. Everything is equally sacred as the environment of Buddha, the manifestation of Buddha. But it depends to the perceiver of the things whether it is or it is not, now. In Maha Mudra, there is no ultimate negativity. There is no ultimate evilness. There is no ultimate badness. Ultimately, everything and everyone is perfect. Relatively, I don't have to tell you. There is good thing, there is bad thing, there is evil thing, there is wonderful thing,

there is kind thing, there is cool thing, so on and so forth. I don't have time to talk about them, too much to talk about. So I think each one of you knows much more than I do. The relative. I personally don't know whether I have blessing or not, that's for you to perceive. But I can tell you one thing, the lineage of Maha Mudra has blessing, and limitless blessing. More than 2500 years ago, Prince Siddhattha became Buddha Sakyamuni because of the blessing of Maha Mudra. Before that on this earth, six Buddhas, six individuals became Buddha because of the blessing of Maha Mudra. And out of the seven, four of them, part of the thousand Buddha. From the fifth Buddha, Lord Maitreya, who is going to be enlightened about two million years from now. And there will be thousand Buddhas attaining enlightenment on this earth before the destruction of the earth by the sun. So all of them will be enlightened because the blessing of the Maha Mudra. And In between each one of these Buddhas, there will be countless sentient being will attain Buddhahood as the influence of the teaching by each of those Buddhas. That is by the blessing of the Maha Mudra. In the past, everybody is calling their place is the center of the universe. Every religion, every community, every civilization describes their place and themselves as the best of all and center of everything and center of the universe. Regardless of their intention, whether it is out of wisdom, or whether it is out of ignorance, doesn't matter. It is true. You cannot find center of the universe except where you are. Otherwise, you will have to find the end of universe, too. There is no end of universe, therefore there is no center of universe. And space is filled with countless universes. Sky has no end. Space has no end. Therefore it doesn't have center neither. So every universe is the center of all universes. Now that is Maha Mudra as well. And you can't find Buddha anywhere, truly, except inside you. True temple of Buddha is you. When you realize who you truly are, not because you become crazy. Not because you have a delusion, not because you become hallucinated. But if you truly realize and recognize your essence, then that is the Buddha. Of course, I am telling you this because I know your mind is clear. I believe, I believe, I don't know. I believe. Otherwise, I have interesting experiences. I know some people go into retreat, and they said they will not come out for ten years. After one week, they showed up. They said: I am enlightened. You tied them down to their bed, still they insisted they are enlightened. And I can laugh at it, because after sometime, they got well. Doing well right now. So this way that is not enlightenment. You have to be truly enlightened. Now, in order to reach the true enlightenment, that is only through meditation, only . I can tell you only through meditation. You cannot just study and become Buddha. No. You only work and do things and become Buddha, no. And you research and research and research and become Buddha, no. And you build machines so you put somebody in and come out as a Buddha , no . You operate on somebody's brain and then wake up as a Buddha, no. And you give somebody something to drink and knock them out and wake up as a Buddha, no. And you hire the best lawyer and win the case and become Buddha, no. And you make everybody to call you Buddha and then everyone calls you Buddha,

you become Buddha, no. You have to become Buddha by recognizing and realizing ultimate essence of you, which is ultimate essence of everything as it is. By yourself, non-dualistic, go beyond who is recognizing what and how and about whom. All answers are in you, in your essence. When we get questions such as, "Does tree have mind ?" I don't know trees have mind or not. I cannot talk to tree, I don't how to talk to tree. There is people who hug trees, there is people who talk to trees . There is. I respect them. They are nice people. But I am not one of them. Especially, if I hug one of my trees, all of my clothes will be greened. They have saps that you cannot wash. Even you send your clothes to the best dry cleaner, it will still, cannot be washed. It will still, cannot be washed. I dare not hug my trees. But I can tell you one thing, that is, every tree, every rock, every handful of dirt is part of us. Because of that, we see it. We perceive it. We have mind, we know. So therefore, if you say, "Does tree have mind or not ?" I t's like asking "Does my finger have mind or not?" "Does my hair have mind or not ?" b ecause they are part of us. When I give refuge to people, when I cut their hair, I am very careful. I just cut few strips from the top, because if I cut carelessly then they will be very upset for sometime. And same thing, if you have problem with your best jacket, you will be upset. The hair doesn't have mind, it doesn't urt when you cut. But it is part of you therefore you take lots of care, put in this way. Your cloth es doesn't have mind, but it is part of you, so you wear this kind, that kind. Same thing with your house, same thing with trees, same thing with plant. Everything is part of everyone . So no problem to say they have mind. No problem. This is a big dream, a long dream lasts for maybe 50, 60, 70, 80, 90 years. Most people wakes up when they are about 80 and 90. I am not talking about they die, even they live . Those of us who are still dreaming think they are senile. T hey are talking funny. But it's a natural process of showing up the truth. So I ask you a question that you don't have to answer certainly . When in your shortest dream, which lasts about 4, 5, 6, 7 hours. You are in a beautiful countryside, with lots of horses, lots of cows, lots of trees, lots of birds flying in the sky, and lots of trees. Does these trees have mind? Difference between that tree and this tree is only the time. No difference whatsoever. I am not talking ultimate, even relatively, no difference whatsoever. And somebody have something in their brain, we call them crazy. They see these pillars walking, talking to each other and some of them even after them . T hey see the floor is getting up and walk around . T hey see the roof disappear. And in the coldest winter, they feel sunburned. And hottest summer they feel freezing cold. We call them crazy. But that is the way the ir brain works, it's different from ours. Some connections are short-circuited. Some connections are broken. So we call it crazy because we are majority. If we are minority, they would call us crazy. And they will lock us up, I guarantee you. So it is like that. Samsara is like that. So Maha Mudra is to help all of us to realize the ultimate truth through the relative truth. And relative truth is the relative truth of the ultimate truth. Ultimate truth is the ultimate truth of the relative truth. Now this way, Maha Mudra. Although it is part of Vajrayana Buddhism, i t is actually far beyond any title, any label. Buddha Sakyamuni talked not only in tantra, and even in sutra. Buddha Sakyamuni in sutra he said, every moment,

countless sentient beings attain Buddhahood in the endless universe, and countless universe in the endless space. Now this means : are they Buddhist? Buddhist, Buddhism, Buddhism is a very strange mixture of language. "Buddha" is Sanskrit; "ism" is English. So Buddh, ism, is mixture. So do they speak English? Do they speak Sanskrit? The sentient beings who reach Buddhahood are million light years away from here right now. Do they speak English? Do they speak Sanskrit? It has nothing to do with Buddhism. But Buddhism has everything to do with it. You get the difference? Human race, our planet earth, if we are more than eight feet tall, we are odd. If we are four and half feet shorter, we are odd, very odd. You know I am talking, O.K. So average, you know, average is O.K. We have more than two arms, odd. And we have more than two eyes, odd too. But how can we be so presumptuous that all the human beings in all the universe just look like us. I am not scientist, but if the earth is much, much, much bigger, the planet is much, much, much bigger than ours. It has less gravity pull than ours, then people will look totally different. And the requirement and the environmental process there, evolutionary process there, human beings will be totally different, they will not look like us . So does the language. Some of those universes can be so bright, so they cannot have our kind of eyes. Some of them are so dark, so our kind of eye doesn't work. So that way, the Buddha of their place will be that kind of being. But it will be perfect for them, just as Prince Siddhattha was perfect for us. But if Prince Siddhattha manifest there, it would be perfect for them. If their Buddha manifest here, it would be perfect for us. If Prince Siddhattha manifest there, they will hear the teachings in their language. If their Buddha manifest here, we will hear in our language. That is Maha Mudra. So it has nothing to do with the Buddhism that we know, but Buddhism that we know has everything to do with it. Maha Mudra describes that. "Maha" means great." Mudra" has many meanings. One meaning is gesture, movement. Another meaning is harmony. Another meaning is seal. So all put together, it means the great seal, great gesture, great manifestation, great harmony. How it appears and what it truly is in harmony. What it sounds and what it means in harmony. Ultimate and relative in harmony, every relative manifestation bears the signature of the ultimate essence. Everything is masterpiece of the ultimate essence. Everything and everyone is sacred and perfect ultimately. So I think I have said a lot, so that now you have to get it. Now I have to land somewhere. So when you land down on the planet earth and look around, because there is no reason to be timid and coward ly because we are perfect. I am not talking about, when I say we I don't mean Tibetans. You know, I am not talking about Tibetans are perfect. I am not talking about that. We, each one of us, the sentient beings, each one of us, whether we have yellow hair here, black hair there, brown hair there, curly hair there, big nose, small nose doesn't matter, we are all perfect ultimately. T herefore there is no reason for us to have our shoulders lower; we can stand tall. Shoulders up, we are perfect. And Smile, big smile on your fac e. There is no reason to be like that, you know. You know like moon up not down, Waving moon, not other way around. We stand like a mighty dragon, or mighty eagle, or mighty lion or might y tiger,

or in India we have cobra. Not the venom, you know, forget about the venom, that is relative truth. Like a mighty cobra, we stand because we are perfect in our essence. That is our confidence. That is our self- esteem. Nothing can corrupt our ultimate essence, nothing. Nothing. One million atom bombs put together cannot destroy our Buddha nature. Our body will be finished. B ut our Buddha nature, nothing can corrupt it. Nothing can destroy it. We'll never lose it. Even everybody say you are nothing, you will never become nothing. You are everything. Each one of us sentient beings, remember sentient beings, each one of us is better than the best that we can ever imagine. And we are immortal. Our flesh and blood body might last 60, 70, 80, 90 years, but our mind is timeless. People make such a big deal about immortality. I personally know we are all immort al. So why we have to look for immortality ? We are all immortal. When this body becomes bad and doesn't work anymore, aches here, aches there, then it will be gone. And we will have a new body . What's wrong with that. But it is guaranteed that as long as we are in this body, that we have precious human life. We should take good care of it. We should try our best to live as long as possible. And taking very good care of it, I am not the best example. I am not the best example. My doctors tell me. So we do our best to take good care of it, and live as long as we can. When the time comes, go happily because we know we will come back. And if we have done our best, we will come back better. If we have done lots and lots of nice things, then I think we have no reason to be afraid . Then we have to whisper to our doctor, please, please, try everything that you know, so that I can get well and live another one year so that I can finish my four foundations. Something likes that. Something likes that. So now, when we land down, then it comes down to Buddhism. In Buddhism, in Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism. In Vajrayana Buddhism, the highest tantra, Anuttarayoga tantra. So the essence of the all levels of Anuttarayoga tantra is Maha Mudra. But it does not mean it is not the essence of Kriya tantra, it is not the essence of Uppa tantra, or it is not the essence of sutra, it is not the essence of Abhidharma, it is not the essence of Vinaya. It doesn't mean that. Because when we are the essence of the roof, that means you are the essence of all the floor including the basement and the foundation. In Vajrayana Buddhism, there are eight major lineages. And all of these eight major lineages have some aspect of terminology and description about Maha Mudra. All of them. But out of the eight major lineage of Vajrayana Buddhism of Tibet , then two of them emphasize very, very clearly, precisely about Maha Mudra. So that is Marpa Kagyu and Shangpa Kagyu. So eight major lineages of Tibetan Buddhism are: Nyingma, one, Nyingma, first is Nyingma, and second is Kadampa . Kadampa until Tsongkhapa is Kadampa . And after Tsongkhapa is Gelu g pa. That is the second. The third is Lamdre. Until the great temple in Dsang Sakya is built, it was Lamdre, after great temple in Dsang Sakya is built, then it is Sakyapa. Then Mar p a Kagyu, from Marpa Lotsawa . The Shangpa Kagyu, from Khedrub Kyungpo Naljor of Shang. Then after that, now Nyingma, Kadam, Lamdre, Mar p a Kagyu, Shangpa Kagyu, then Shi Che. Shi Che is Phadampa

Sangye, Machik Labkye Dolma, etc. and now there is people call it "chot". The seventh is jor druk. So now they have called it "jho nang pa". And the eighth is dorje nyen drub. And now they have also called it "Ugen pa". These are the eight major lineages of Vajrayana Buddhism. Out of which four are the main functioning. Superficially, they call it Nyingma, Kagyu, Sakya, Gelu g . Then Shangpa Kagyu lineage is continued and further flourished. Now jho nang pa is also reviving. But lineage is something that we have to have we cannot just revive it. So Shangpa Kagyu and jho nang pa have lineage, so that we revived. And Chot lineage is there, but it does not become one of the school yet. So on and so forth. The Mar p a Kagyu, for example, the great master Tilopa, his main master, he has many great masters. And his main masters through their transmission, then one of them is Maha Mudra, one of them is known as tumo. The Tumo means, people describes it as fire. Another one is clear light, another one is great union, great unity. So these four main lineage transmissions, Tilopa has received from his great masters, such as Dombi Heruka etc, Guhyepa, Dharikapa, Dombi Heruka , etc. So this lineages that is continued from them. Then after Tilopa, in that the Maha Mudra is one aspect of the main lineage of transmission. And of course, Tilopa transmitted to Naropa, and Naropa transmitted Marpa Lotsawa, that is Marpa Kagyu. Maha Mudra, tumo, clear light, and great union. Never mind, Dharikapa, Dombi Heruka , etc. You can read it in Tilopa's life story. To read history, you don't need to have reading transmission exactly. You have it, very good; But even you don't have it, you can read history. Now when it comes to the Shangpa Kagyu. The Khedrub Kyungpo Naljor received transmission from his great female master, enlightened Mahasiddi of India. Of course, Naropa is also India Maha Siddha. So the Niguma and Sukhasiddhe, from them, he received all the transmission. And plus many other masters. And these teachings are described with an example of a tree. The Shangpa Kagyu's teaching is described with an example of a tree. So root is six yogas of Niguma. The trunk is the Maha Mudra. The branch is the three practices which make everything as a path, which transform everything as a path. In Tibetan, describes as "lam kyer nam s o m", that one. In Tibetan, it is described as "lam kyer nam s o m" , the branch, "lam kyer nam s o m". And the flower , on the branch, is described as Khachotma, the Vajravarahi , Vajrayogini aspect. The white Khachotma and red Khachotma are like flower s. Yogini or Ginahamo, similar. And then the fruit is Chimay, Chukmay. Chimay means no death, Chukmay means no mistake. Never miss, no mistake, or never miss, accurate. So out of eight lineages of Vajrayana Buddhism of Tibet , then two, the Maha Mudra is the main teaching. All others also have Maha Mudra in their teaching. Now with this, I think you have the basics of the Maha Mudra. And now the Maha Mudra being the essence of Lord Buddha's teaching, this I have to tell you briefly. After the enlightenment of Prince Siddhattha, then he became Buddha Sakyamuni. And after he became Buddha Sakyamuni, he manifested Dharma, he manifested teaching. For us, Buddha's teaching is not repeating somebody's word. Buddha's teaching is not his idea. Buddha's teaching is the manifestation of the limitless primordial wisdom. And according to the limitation of the receiver, then Buddha's teaching manifests. When Buddha

manifests teaching, does not need translator. And when Buddha's disciples, many of them, when they receive teachings, it goes into them like recording. Don't have to make notes. We call it zung . Zung. So after Buddha's Pari nirvana, then his teachings were put on papers. All of these Bodhisattvas and Arhats , they all came together, and through their zung able to repeat Buddha's teaching, and put it onto paper. My zung is terrible sometimes very embarrassing, because I know many people and I don't remember their names. And I know them very well, but sometimes I don't remember where they came from. But there is also positive side to it. My mind is quite empty. I must tell you I kind of like it. When someone gets offended, then I don't like it. Anyway, Buddha's teaching is spontaneous manifestation of the primordial wisdom, which is outcome of his original aspiration. When he took the Bodhicitta, he said I wish to reach Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings to liberate them to Buddhahood. So when he reached the Buddahood, that is what happens. He manifest in the form of teaching; he manifest in the form of Mandala; he manifest in Dharmakaya. No, I mean he manifest in Sambhogakaya, Nirmanakaya, l imitless manifestation. Buddha's manifestation is not limited to one good smiling, pleasant manifestation. It has no limitation. Whatever benefits beings, that way Buddha manifests. Buddha manifests in numerous manifestations, physical, oral and all kind of environmental manifestation. Some of my very good friends, Buddhist professors, they describe Buddha as a very intelligent, little bit, how do you say, very intelligent. And ittle bit like going against what is there already. You know, what is there already, so going against it. So how do you say? Sort of progressive, progressive thinker. Intelligent progressive thinker and who somehow make a new thought, create a new way of thinking. They sincerely believe that and we discuss . And I tried to tell them from the Maha Mudra point of view. They are not convinced. So it's ok. They think that way, it's ok. But it's not true. But it's O.K. Makes them happy, it's ok. It's not terribly wrong. It's not accurate, but it's not terribly wrong. So when Buddha manifested the Dharma, then at the beginning, it manifested to the beginners. Beginning, you have to manifest to the beginners, right? So four noble truths, manifested first for the beginners; then later manifested sutras, such as Prajnaparamita sutra, about emptiness, about compassion. All of these manifest. It is very clear to us how Buddha's teaching manifest. First everybody has to have something very, very dualistic to the point, square right there. Then that square thing they can take home, clean it, put it on the head, look at it, appreciate it, again clean it, wrap it with cloth, the best cloth and keep it very, very, very precious and hold on to it, you know, guard it. It is the first thing. Now once that job is done, then you have to have the sharpest knife, say, that square is nothing. Because if you don't have that square nice thing, then you will be holding on to me, my friend, my enemy, my attachment, my anger, my jealousy, all these things. Now when you have this

square thing, all those things somewhere disappear temporarily. And this square sacred thing, you know, it is positive attachment. But if you don't get that undone, then you get, you know, the positive attachment becomes negative attachment. You will guard that square thing. If anybody touches it you will kill that person. Anybody goes near it, you want it to do all kinds of things. And if anybody disrespects it, you get very offended, and you might do things for protecting that precious square thing. So when its job has done, it has to be dismantled. So emptiness. Everything is emptiness. No attachment. No clinging. I am not saying I don't have attachment, I don't have clinging. I have my fair share of attachment and clinging. You know. But somehow, you know, one has to recognize that. And my doctor tells me and helps me to overcome my attachment. You know what I mean. You guys can not be that dumb. I don't like to eat the food that I don't like for so many times. One time ok. Two time ok. Three time ok. But then I have to have what I like. And I don't like dirty clothes, you know, I have a washing machine. And I don't like to exercise, this is very bad problem, I know. I am doing my best. I tell you. And also I have a lot of attachment for my lineage. I think I have to. I have, so no problem. If I don't have, and I think I have to then I have to force myself, it will drive me mad. Don't have to, I have it. But if I become Buddha, I have to overcome that also. But that is maybe after a few hundred life times. If I improve in this life by 1%, then in 100 life times. It is very ambitious. It will be only 100 life times for me to become Buddha. So up to today, each one of us live countless, countless, countless, times of countless life times, and we got it here so far. So for me to become Buddha, at least I have to do much as Milarepa did, Marpa did, Guru Rinpoche did, and Buddha Sakyamuni did, at least that much, right? I am not complaining, I am very happy, I am very happy with the way it is. In 100 life times I become Buddha, I would be very, very, very, very happy. On top of that, each life time, I will be 1% better. 1% more happier, 1% more wisdom, 1% more everything, you know, more positive. So I think will be very happy. So then Buddha taught the second aspect - the emptiness. Then he taught, together with that, somehow somewhere there he taught about the Bodhicitta. So no Bodhicitta, and you know everything is nothing. Then where do you end up? You know everything is empty, right? Everything is nothing, and then no Bodhicitta. Then what happen? You know. So therefore, the teaching manifested spontaneously there was about the Bodhicitta. But Bodhicitta, of course, is little bit misunderstood by many people these days, because Bodhicitta is a little bit politicized sometimes. Bodhicitta. Bodhicitta means I wish to reach Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings to reach Buddhahood. That is Bodhicitta. So if that is not there, just plain compassion does not mean Bodhicitta. Bodhicitta is like a temple; Compassion is like cement. Loving kindness is like steel. Joy is like wood; Impartiality is like glass. So of course Bodhicitta in practice through compassion, loving kindness, joy, impartiality, because you cannot build a temple without wood, cement, glass and steel. But loving kindness, compassion, all of them are

not necessarily the Bodhicitta. You can build a hotel with cement, wood, steel and glass. You can even build a factory with it, and factory will be making food, or factory will be making something, I better not say. But cement, steel, wood, glass will be the same. Even the wolf who eats everything has compassion to her baby. So even a snake who has venom that can kill you in 5 minutes, has compassion to his baby, who never bite the baby. Bodhicitta means unconditional compassion, unconditional loving kindness, unconditional joy, unconditional impartiality for the enlightenment of all sentient beings. For the sentient beings from highest heaven to lowest hell, you have compassion to all. And that is not limited to food, clothes or health, but it is limitless until they all are enlightened. So the second turning of the wheel, third turning of the wheel, Buddha taught all about these, including mathematics, astronomy, medicine, science, and psychology. Everything. So now the last aspect of Lord Buddha's teaching is tantra. So once you have all of these, now what you need is transformation. You have to transform from how you appear to what you really are. So the cement, and steel, and glass, and wood have to transform into the sacred temple. All of us are big lump of rock. The sacred image of Buddha has to manifest from it. It's in there. It's in there. Everything is in there. We can also manifest monster out of the big lump of rock. So potential is limitless. So limitless potential is fully manifesting with its ultimate essence, uncorruptable, and undescriable, nondualistic, that essence manifests. So when that happens, we call that reach the Buddhahood. So all of this is possible because of the Maha Mudra. If it is not Maha Mudra, then the Buddhism may be two thousand different. No more than that. Basic Buddhism will be 84 thousand different religions, because Buddha taught 21 thousand various methods and teachings to overcome attachment, 21 thousand for anger, 21 thousand for ignorance, and 21 thousand for all together. So put altogether 84 thousand. So each one of them will become one solid little square thing somebody holds so precious. There will be 84 thousand religions. So this way all teaching of Buddha, of the most basic, I am talking about Buddha Sakyamuni, from the most basic to the highest is all manifestation of the ultimate, limitless wisdom of the Buddha. So it is all Maha Mudra. And now starting from this afternoon, I am going to teach you the practice of it, step by step. So all the 84 Mahasiddas of India and the 8 great, enlightened, learned masters like Nagarjuna of India, and also all of the female enlightened masters of the India . There are 20 of them. All of these great masters of India who attained enlightenment to the Vajrayana practice but started from the Theravada practice. So essence of all of their teachings put together. And the essence of all their teaching and practice put together. And the Ninth Gyalwa Karmapa put it together in order. So that is what you are going to learn. I want to make this very clear to you so that you know what you are getting involved to. And you know you have to practice. You have to. You know. Only one thing I am requesting all of you, is to spend two hours everyday practicing Maha Mudra what you are going to learn. It sounds a lot, but it is not. Because average people in developed country and in city life, they watch television five hours a day. And undeveloped society, outside the city life, average person gossips every day five hours. Talking about everybody, which is none of their business. Most of time causing lots of stress and

problems. So still you can watch television three hours, you can gossip three hours, but practice two hours. One day has 24 hours, take out two hours for the practice of Maha Mudra. You have 22 hours. How many hours you are working, how many hours you are sleeping. There is plenty of extra time. Just get organized. Just get disciplined. And I can almost guarantee you, after little while you will enjoy it. I say that because I enjoy it. There is nothing like a retreat. It is absolute divine holiday. Good for mind, good for body. And very good for speech. You are not talking to anybody. That is the best speech: silence. All the good things that happen in the world also comes from talking and all the bad things that happen in the world also comes from talking. If you practice two hours everyday, you have average good physical health, then you will be able to complete the teaching that I am going to teach this time in one year. Little bit over one year. So next year's time will not be exactly the same as this year. Because I calculate everything, every minute, you know, and so that way little bit more, but not so much, not one and half year. Little bit over one year. This I will discuss with Rinpoche and he will make the schedule that fits with your schedule also. Now this is very interesting, you know? Dharma has to fit with your schedule. This is other way around. Your schedule has to fit with Dharma. But now, you know, in 21st century, Dharma has to fit in your schedule. I respect that. I respect that. But it's not 100% correct. But a little bit of incorrectness is sometimes entertaining. Not so boring. Everything is perfect can be boring. So it's acceptable. But if some of you have real, true physical problem, then that is, of course, has to be taken into consideration. But I don't think so. Everybody looks very fit. Most of you are more fit than me. I tell you. So if you say you have problems, most of you, I will take it as an excuse, because you are more fit than me. But some of you might really have a problem, like knee problem, or hand problem, or something. That way practice like prostration might be difficult. That has to be adjusted. We are not fanatics, you know. We are serious, sincere, dedicated practitioner. But we are not unreasonable, blind, fanatics. O.K.? So this is for the morning. See you afternoon.

Precious Human Life Contemplation

Given by the 12th Kenting Tai Situpa at Palpung Sherabling, December 2004. Transcribed by Chang Chin & Changchub Saldon

Teaching Chapter 1 and Practice Chapter 1 Precious human life is the first contemplation. I use the word contemplation because there is slight difference between meditation and contemplation, I think. In Tibetan language we call this Chedgom. Chedgom means, Chedpa means you analyze, you think, you go through, and you confirm . So that kind of meditation is called Chedgom . And my limited knowledge of English, I think it is quite appropriate, contemplation. You contemplate. And another aspect of mediation is Jogom, so Jogpa. And there you are not analyzing. You try to maintain one particular state of being and try to go deeper. And try to develop or awaken the deeper, more profound wisdom from within so that is Jogom.

So it not analyzing, not thinking about something, or not analyzing something, so that is Jogom. So I think that is more close to meditation. But I am not one hundred percent sure what is the English word equivalent. But Chedgom and Jogom I am quite sure, because that's my language. Now, the precious human life it means that the life that we have as a human being is a precious human life, because it is completed with eighteen qualities - eighteen particular qualities. So for example, there is all kind of human lives, and all of the human life, of course, is precious because they are our kind. And we will protect all human life and we respect all human life . So that way it is precious. But precious by definition of its outcome then that and its productiveness, then it is depend on the eighteen qualities. So when we don't have the eighteen qualities, our life is precious human life , far as being precious is concerned. But it is not precious to attain greater wisdom, greater realization, and being more beneficial and productive for yourself and for others. For example, if we are born as a human being, but we have no aspiration, and we don't do anything with it. And we just eat, and sleep, and talk, and walk around, and again sleep and eat, and talk, and walk around. Then that way, our live will be born and we will just die, so we call it "Milutsampowa", just human. We are born to eat, and walk around, and digest, and then talk and do things, and go to sleep and wake up and eat again, so that is just human, not precious human life . And then little bit more than that is doing things. One has some kind of aspiration to do something , but that doing something is for oneself, and for one's family, and for one's friends . And so you wanted to do something, and you don't want to do something to be a little more comfortable to yourself, to make a little more comfortable to our children, our parents, our family, and our friends. And become a little more liked and appreciated by all of them, then that is a little bit more than just human, but it is not precious human life for development of wisdom. It is not precious human life for enlightenment, but it is good, good family men, good family women, good father, good mother, that's good. But it is not going to lead you to ultimate realization of Buddhahood. It is just like all the good birds on the trees, they take care of their eggs . When they hatch them , they fly out and they feed them. And that they take pretty good care of them. So it is like that, so it is nice. But this is not the precious human life that we are talking about. Then another kind of human life is, I don't know exactly how to describe it. But just as a working title, I will describe it as a dreadful human life. Dreadful, dreadful, you know? I give you a very simple example: human beings are supposed to be intelligent. We are intelligent, we are more intelligent than any animal, you know, sheep. We are more intelligent than sheep. We are more intelligent than pig . We are more intelligent than chicken, all of that. But then this dreadful human life is now using that intelligence, using that human life for doing dreadful things. Because we are more intelligent, then we are more able to do more dreadful things than animals and others who are less intelligent ever can think of. They cannot think of good things, but they cannot think of bad things either. If they fight, they fight to survive. If they survive, they don't fight. They don't fight for fun. They don't fight for other reasons. So that is dreadful human life.

I give you one example. This is a reality, not a story. This is a reality what some people do. I will not mention the place; I will not mention anything but the action , because I don't want it to be political, and I don't want it to be offending anybody. Some places they produce meat, meat production. I am not a vegetarian. So I am not saying that as a promotion of vegetarian. No. Vegetarian is good. But I am not saying this to promote vegetarian. There is no motive there. It is just basic reality I am telling you. So, some places, some people produce meat production. Of course we see lots of meat in the can, meat in the shop, so we know they are producing meat, right? That just does come, you know? So the meat production. So what this human being do is they buy cattle, by hundreds, by hundreds, thousands, you know, thousands. From the village to the meat production place is about two days, by truck. So first thing they do is, after they bought the hundreds of cattle, then they pull out their tongues, and they had their hot, red scissors, they cut the tongue with the scissors, so no bleeding. Then they have a metal nail, this long, you know, metal nail this long in the fire, so they put right through here to here. They bend it here. So tongue is not there but not bleeding. And this is all the way nailed down, but not bleeding, because it is all burned. Now they have to load the animals in the truck. So the standing animals take too much space. They have a wooden hammer and break all their legs. No bleeding. Then they put animals in the truck on the top of each other, like boxes. No pain-killer. No pain-killer. So they drive that truck two days. No water, no food. And why they do this? Is because they cannot regurgitate, animals normally have food in the stomach, they pull it out and eat again, and swallow again so digest. They cannot do it, so they won't lose weight in two days. Then they will slaughter them and sell the meat. Maybe very nicely labeled and very nicely packaged. I don't think all the meat productions are like that. But some people do that. Even right now, even right this moment, I am sure, happening because it is continuing business. So don't you think that is dreadful ways to use the intelligence, because it is quite scientifical, quite technical, quite practical. One truck can fit more animal. Even two day no food, does not lose weight. No bleeding. So that is dreadful human life, so this kind of, and that many other kinds of use of human intelligence, human quality. Wrong use of human quality is dreadful human life, not precious human life. Listen. I am not an environmentalist. I am not a animal rights activist. O.K. I am not a vegetarian promoter. I am not of those things. But I am telling you the fact. A tiger who is very powerful, but does not have the intelligence of human being, they will not do this to us. If he is hungry, he would just jumps on us and get us by the neck and will eat us right away. And if we become a threat to tiger's cub, the mother would come and scratch us and throw us around and drive us away or even kill us. But will not do things like that. So sometimes, we also don't use our intelligence. So I got many times of the question, if human life is precious, why so many people are born here, why so much increase of population. I don't think precious human life is overpopulated. So we try our best to make those kind of human life to become precious human life. So precious human life is with the eighteen qualities, then we are precious human life. I am quite sure, most of you or all of you will find you have all that eighteen qualities already. But you have to go through each one of them one by one, contemplate one by

one. To confirm and to appreciate. And if anyone of the eighteen qualities is missing, then we can acquire them. So now the first eight which is described as eight Dalwa . Dalwa actually means you can afford, you have the time, you have the condition. So Dalwa means you can afford. So this eight Dalwa is: If we are born in hell, we don't have the time and condition as we have now. Those animals in the truck are in hell. You know? All the way going like this and everything is broken. And how do you feel. No pain-killer. Yes. So if we are born in hell, how can we think of anything but just ouch, ouch, you know. More than that. More than that. So no Dalwa . So we not in hell for sure. Therefore we have the first Dalwa . The second Dalwa is: we are not born in the hungry ghost realm. If we are born in the hungry ghost realm, we will be busy hungry, not busy with pain but busy hungry. I give you an example. If our stomach is the size of the mountain, our mouth is size of the hole of needle and our throat is size of a thread, then how hungry we would be. So if we are like that, so what will be there in our mind? Enlightenment for all sentient beings? There is all kinds of hungry ghosts, but some people are also like hungry ghost, and never get bad as hungry ghost to real one. So we are not borne in hungry ghost realm, so we have the Dalwa . We have the opportunity, we have the choice, we have the condition. Second condition. Then third, we are not born as animal. Animal, of course, we respect but animal is always busy protecting themselves, fighting for survival. And all kind of things that are mostly involved with fear. In the sea, there is, sea is filled with animals, but they are all busy eating each other. One big one eats many small ones, many small ones eat one big one. Medium size ones eat each other. And even birds, look at the birds, we say beautiful birds, cute bird. But if you really look at them, can they pick up one grain or something with no fear? No. they look right they look left they look all the places and listen. They quickly pick up and as they are eating they are listening. You Know. Eating is cute, but actually they are afraid. That's what it is. So we are not born in the animal realm, that is the third Dalwa. And the fourth Dalwa is we are not born as a barbarian. So barbarian description is totally misunderstood by most people. People think barbarian means who wears, how do you say, leaves and who live under a tree, who has hardly any cloth, and who don't have a written language. And that's barbarian, that is what people think. But that's wrong. Barbarian means who don't know what is right and what is wrong. So those who does those things to the cattle, they are barbarians. They might have very fancy hand-phone, they might drive very fancy car. They might live in a very fancy mansion. They might know Tiffany table manner by heart. They might know how to cook the meat of that animal, two hundred different ways. But still they are barbarians, because they don't know what's right and what's wrong. So they will only know what's right and what's wrong in two situations. First when there are merits manifested, so that their primordial wisdom, some part of it wakes up and they are able to see what they're doing. One way is that they realize what they are doing. So

there is a very famous song, which is one of my favorite, that is written by a slave trader. He was trading slave in a ship, so he was on the top the ship, very comfortable. Captains, you know, maybe more than captain, he is the boss. So he sat there and a very nice day, and he realized what he was doing. So he wrote the song, called Amazing Grace. You know? "Amazing grace, how sweet the sound......." Blah blah blah, "....once I was lost now I am found...." Blah blah blah. Very good. So that is way to wake up a barbarian become the precious human life. And then another way to wake up the barbarian is that the same thing he is doing to the animal, the similar thing about to happen to him. Then he will realize my goodness, you know, this is painful. I don't like it. So only that way. That is another way. But first way to wake up is much better; second way is not good, because, you know, maybe too late. Second one. So we are definitely not barbarian. Then another is if we are born as a god, then that is another shortcoming. Gods have everything. Gods are almighty. Gods are all powerful. They have no challenge. They have no shortcoming. So until their karma, of having all of that power and all of that glory, runs out, they have no way of knowing. They have no way of learning, they have no way of learning about anything. So we are not born as a god. Therefore, fifth condition. We are human being. I like to clarify here one thing. This is not from the text. I am putting it in, because they can be misunderstanding. So many religions talk about god. Right? Maybe this has nothing to do with that god. Maybe when they say god, they are talking about something like a Buddha. But I can't put words in their mouths, you know. So therefore I cannot be so presumptuous to interpret their definition of god. So I will not try that. But I want to make sure if their definition of god is something like a Buddha, like a Bodhisattva, then this is not that. This is the god realm, the highest of the six realms, the god. The realm of god, "Tan Ren" (God). But I am not trying to be apologetic here. Apologize, you know, I am not trying to apologize here. Sometimes people try to make impossible comparisons. Recently one person, I mean a couple came to see me and we talked for some time and talked about Jesus Christ. And one of them said he is like a Buddha. Jesus Christ, Christian, the first one, who main founder. One of them said he is like a Buddha, another one said no no he is like a Bodhisattva.I keel quite......So at the end, I have to open my mouth to say something. I said I respect Jesus Christ for his teaching, I don't know much. But the ten commandments sounds very good, it sounds like ten virtue. You know. He tells you not to do things to the others that you will not to yourself. Sounds very good. But comparing Jesus Christ and Bodhisattva, Jesus Christ and Buddha, for me it is nonsense. Jesus Christ is good as Jesus Christ. You know. I think that is enough. In order to be sure whether he is a Bodhisattva or not, you have to know did he take Bodhisattva vow or not, from which Buddha. Maybe he did, maybe he did, but how do we know? Maybe he didn't. And to be sure about whether he is Buddha or not, we have to know did he really wish to become Buddha for the benefit of all sentient beings to become Buddha. Did he? How do we know? Maybe he did, maybe he did. So therefore at the end, I managed to barely convince them, in front of me, but after they ran out of my room I don't know they still argued. But in front of me, I am able to make them accept that doesn't matter. Jesus Christ is good as Jesus Christ, and his teaching is Christianity. And Christianity is Christianity. It is good as it is. Christianity is Buddhism or Buddhism is

Christianity. You know I mean, what is the point? We will never know, we will never know, until we become Buddha. So now this way I tried to clarify when I use the word "god", it is the same word that everybody uses for the God. So I don't want any confusion there, so here I put this in. And it is not part of the Maha Mudra Ocean of Certainty, so I should not contaminate the Maha Mudra Ocean of Certainty. But I have to make this clarification. Because otherwise, you know, religious disharmony is the most dreadful thing that I can ever think of. And religious harmony is the most wonderful thing that I can think of. Most of problems in this world will be solved by religious harmony. And most of problems in this world is created by religious disharmony. All of you, as a Buddhist, I don't want you to have misgiving about god and this, you know, in the wrong way. This is about the god. The sixth is wrong view, the wrong perception. That is the shortcoming. If we have wrong perception like these people who treat cattle in such way, that's wrong perception. For them, cattle are just like how you pack, you know, something, you know you just bend the leg here there and then pack it nicely, and then you can undo it and put it nicely. Just like that. It's a wrong view. It's not right, it's not right view. That is very simple version of wrong view. And then more serious version of wrong view is we don't know that we have perfect, profound, primordial, limitless potential of Buddha, in each one of us. We are the temple of Buddha , and if we think of ourselves as nothing, terrible, you know, and miserable, then that is wrong view. And present life is coming from the past. Future life is coming from present. How can you have today without yesterday and today without tomorrow? You know. Everything continues from the past to the present, to the future. And how can you have result without cause? And how can you have cause without condition? So having wrong view about that is the shortcoming. And we have the right view. We know today is the continuation of yesterday. And it will continue omorrow. When we die, our body will die but our mind will not die, because dead body cannot see, but alive body can see and talk. Dead body decays, living body does not decay. Of course, dead body doesn't do terrible things. But living body does. And dead body doesn't do wonderful things and living body does. This way, it is clear, there is something more than the body we have in us. And our mind is limitless. And I can prove to you very very simply from the negative view. Your appetite of greed is impossible to be fulfilled, if you don't decide to say: enough is enough. If I have the power to make you the king of the planet earth, I guarantee, within one week, you will want to me to make you the king of the whole solar system. If I make you that, I guarantee you, within one week, you will want me to make you the king of the whole universe, which is hundreds millions solar system. Otherwise when you manage to do that, then you want to definitely build, you know, intergalactical spaceship with lots of weapon to conquer others. I am sure. And then you don't need me at that time. I don't think you need me at that time. That time you would not ask me, because you can do it yourself. So this is proof that our potential has no limitation, the negative side. But the positive side of that is when all our potential is fully developed, we are Buddha. Limitless freedom, limitless liberation. And it can only happen for limitless purpose. You can never become Buddha for yourself; you can become Buddha for all sentient beings to become Buddha. So limitless result is starts with limitless cause and aspiration. And limitless result is for the limitless outcome of

that result. So it will be limitless from all directions. So that way we don't have the wrong view. That is a very important part of the eight Dalwa. And seventh is if no beings ever attained enlightenment on our planet, then it is a very big shortcoming because we will not have the lineage. On this earth, prophesized Buddha, seven already enlightened. And unprophesized Buddha, from that prophesy. Of course, other prophesy from other universe, definitely, but not this part. Countless beings attained enlightenment, so that way that shortcoming is not there. Then the last one is that if we are deaf and dumb, then it would be very hard for us to learn the Dharma. Now there is wonderful thing is the deaf and dumb can learn, and with lots of efforts but can learn. There is all kinds of method, all kinds of signs, and all kinds of books, even blinds can read, and deaf and dumb can learn from the signs. It is wonderful. Deaf and dumb can read books now. If we are deaf and dumb, which you are not, then to acquire to overcome that shortcoming, you have to learn those things. Same way, anyone of the other, actually, six, because the seventh one Buddha already attained enlightenment here so that we don't have to do anything. The other six, if anyone of them we are shortage of, then we have to do whatever is appropriate to acquire that and overcome that shortcoming. Just like if we are deaf and dumb, we have to overcome it by learning how to read, and how to communicate, and how to learn. So at deaf and dumb, Dharma video will be wonderful, very meritorious. That is the eighth of eighteen qualities of precious human life. The other ten, five of them are related with you, within you, five of them outside of you. Now five that is related with oneself is: so this is five conditions which are related with oneself. The first of the five is we are born as human being. And the second is O Kyes. O Kyes means born in the central area. Now during the time of Lord Buddha, the central area is defined by where Lord Buddha's teaching is established and flourished. So this way, Yul O means area; Yul means area, the place; O means center. And that is described by certain cities as the edge of the central area, and center is the center of the teaching. But now we have to understand that with the meaning. So the meaning of that is during those days, those places, which are considered center, there are places where Lord Buddha's teaching is established, and Dharma is a common sense. And outside of that, the Dharma is not known and it is a new thing, and not familiar, not a basic common sense. So this way we have to understand now. Now which is not center is which is not Yul O , is we call Yul Takob. Takob means opposite to the center, where Dharma is not heard of and Dharma is not understood. Now these days, every place in the world, there is some sense of Yu Wu and some sense of Takob, because the situation change in 25 hundred year. So that there is pockets of people everywhere to whom the teaching of Buddha is commonsense: knowing that everyone has Buddha essence; kowing that everything is impermanent. Knowing that everything that we experience in this life are the result of the causes and conditions that we are responsible in the past. So on and so forth. So where these things are commonsense, then it is Yul O , and where these things are not commonsense, then it is Takob. Takob means a person would be called barbarian, but place cannot be called barbarian, so I don't know what you call that. In India , we use

a very simple term, English language, of course, we call them backwards, but then backwards can mean many things. Some places might not have electricity, no running water, and we call them backwards. But they might have great wisdom, so they are not backwards at all. So I don't know the exact word for Takob. But not necessary, we don't have to label anybody with anything. But good label, you know. We don't have to have bad label, so bad label I can't translate, so that is good sign. We all appreciate Dharma and we all understand Dharma, and therefore it is we are same as born in the central place. That is there. Sometimes people come to me and say that they want to practice Dharma, but their environment is not very conducive to Dharma. People don't understand, they feel alienated, and they don't have support for the Dharma. They feel little bit strange to be monk or nun or practicing Dharma, or carrying a mala, for these sort of thing. So that somehow shows a little bit, those surrounded are a little bit like a Takob. But that is just superficial, really what is going on in those people's heads, you really don't know exactly what it is. So doesn't matter, you are appreciating Dharma, you understand Dharma, so that is what matters. The second, I think we can say we have that condition. I have that condition. Everything around me pushes me to practice Dharma. Now third is we have all the senses, like eye, ear etc, are functioning. So nothing is missing. That is third condition. And I think all of us have everything. And those who are missing one or two things, that we know somewhere else, then of course there is ways to acquire them just like learning the sign language. So the same way, they can practice Dharma, but a little bit harder than us, because we have everything. How precious our eye is, how precious our ear is, how precious that everything we have got of all our sense is. You wouldn't know how precious it is until we miss one of them. So we have to appreciate what we have, but those who doesn't have doesn't mean they can't practice Dharma but harder for them. Because you have to somehow try very hard to learn those ways to, first they have to learn the ways to learn, you know. You already have means to learn, they have to learn the means to learn first, extra, one extra job. Now the fourth is the karmic condition is such that if our activity is contrary to the Dharma. That means if our job is to kill, if our job is to steal, if our job is to lie, if our job is to slander, then this is very, very disadvantageous for Dharma practice. So we are not. We don't have that kind of job. This way our livelihood, our activity, our karmic manifestation is according to the Dharma, conducive to the Dharma. Then the fifth of the condition that is related with you is, you have respect and appreciation for what is right. And you have devotion and appreciation to Buddha, Dharma, Sangha. Guru, Deity, Protector. This way you have the devotion upwards, and compassion downwards, and love and kindness to everyone. This is the fifth condition that is related with you. You must have all of these five. We call it rang-jor-nga, rang-jornga . Rang means yourself; Jor pa means having, acquire, and nga means five. Then now the shan-jor-nga . The other five is shan-jor-nga , the five things that are outside of you. Now the " shan-jor-nga ". The first is in this world, Buddha Sakyamuni attain enlightenment. So that is first. The second is the teaching is manifested from the Buddha. So Buddha could have attained enlightenment, but the sentient being does not

have the merit, then the Dharma will not manifest. So first seven weeks after the enlightenment, Buddha does not manifest any teaching. Then the two kings of the god, one is Brahma, another one is In-dra they came down from heaven and requested Buddha to turn the wheel of Dharma. And one of them offered golden wheel that with thousand spokes. Another one offered a conch shell that turns in clock way. When they offered these, then two beautiful unicorn deer emerged from the forest and sat next to this Dharma chakra. So that is the symbol we have on every Buddhist temple. That represents the turning of wheel of Dharma. So first seven weeks, Buddha did not turn the wheel of Dharma. And after the seven weeks, then he taught the four noble truth in Varanasi . This is the teaching Buddha taught. Then Buddha manifested other teachings such as Mahayana teaching, and Vajrayana teachings, all aspects of teaching manifested. That is the second condition outside of us. Then the third condition is the teaching of Buddha is still remaining alive. What does that mean? That means the lineage of the teaching of the Buddha is not broken. Lineage is continuing. That is the third condition. Now I'd like to say a little bit about lineage, because many people don't understand this importance of the lineage. Lineage means Buddha, the Prince Siddhattha, was truly enlightened. He became Buddha Sakyamuni. That was the beginning of our lineage. He, after the enlightenment, truly manifested teaching and disciples of all different levels heard the teachings of all different levels truly, and they practice them truly. Then these teachings that they practiced, they taught to their disciples as Buddha taught them. As they had practiced them, without contaminating. They taught them truly. So that continues from the Buddha until now, for two thousand five hundred years. More than two thousand five hundred years. And every teaching that is continued that way up to today is the Dharma that we practice. And few of the Dharma we don't have lineage, because they did not continue. So we just worship them. We can't learn them, we can't teach them, because we will never get it right. I can't say never, but once in a million chance. It is just like go to a library and pick up a meditation text and start to practice them, just like that. And then we become very funny Buddhist. Sometimes we go crazy. Even we don't go crazy, we are very strange. I don't think Buddha's teaching is meant to make us strange. Buddha's teaching is supposed to make us pleasant, happy, and better. Not meant to make us unpleasant, unhappy and confused. So therefore the teaching, the Dharma, even Buddha taught, if the lineage did not continue, then Dharma doesn't exist. No, Dharma exists, but lineage of Dharma doesn't exist, means the Buddha's teaching is not alive; lineage is broken. There is two ways the lineage discontinued. First is no teacher taught such teaching and no disciple received such teaching, then lineage is discontinued. Only takes one generation. Second is, if disciple broke the Samaya with the practice, then it is discontinued. If some body received ordination, then the person received the transmission and the lineage. Then if that person remains to be Bhikshu or Bhikshuni then can continue the lineage. If that person breaks the vow, then lineage cannot continue from that person. It is just like electricity, if the line is cut, wherever the line is cut, after that there will be no electricity. The same thing with every teaching and every practice. If the

Samaya is broken, then when it is repeated, it might sound like Dharma. When it is performed, it might look like Dharma. But it is not Dharma. There is prophesies that after some time, many of the Buddha's teaching will discontinue. It does not mean there won't be any more temple. It does not mean there won't be any more monks and nuns. It does not mean there won't be anymore Dharma text. But it means the lineage will discontinue.Build a temple is very easy. And make a monk or nun is very easy. Shave the hair and put on the dress. Very convenient, actually. The real definition of Dharma is the lineage. So Dharma is alive means lineage is alive, lineage is continuing. Therefore, it is very very serious thing for each one of us to maintain and continue the lineage. Sometimes, even my very close friends advise me and suggest to me that I am being too orthodox. And sometimes they say I am a bit too hard. But I must tell my dear friends, whoever they are, I have responsibility and I cannot compromise the lineage for anything else. Not matter what happens to me, it's ok. I will not be responsible for the discontinuation of the lineage that is alive today. I will not inflict, and cause any pain, and any suffering, and any loss to anybody to maintain the lineage. No. Because the purpose of the Dharma is to liberate all sentient beings from sufferings from samsara, but I will endure any pain and any suffering and any problem to maintain and uphold the lineage, I will. I consider that my practice, and honor, and purification, and accumulation of merits, for me. So I don't want you, any of you, to try to make my life difficult. By any reason if you do, I will endure. I am very tough on this. I have been. And I will be. Because I want the opportunity to purify my karma, I want the opportunity to accumulate merits. That's how I look at it. That's not coming from here. You know. But meaning is there. Meaning is there. So now the fourth is T ei jye juk . So that means you are following that lineage. That living lineage, you are following it, so you become part of it. Now that means even Dharma is there, if we are not part of it, if we did not receive the transmission, then for us, individually, it is same as it is not there. It is like there is plenty of food, but if we don't eat, we will starve. The same thing. Now the fifth condition from outside is, there is the general goodness in everyone, because if you wanted to be a sincere Dharma practitioner then you have to have that outer condition of general goodness. Otherwise, serious Dharma practitioner might suffer, and might not manage. And even Milarepa, when he was doing practice in the cave, and some hunters came. Hunter, you know, hunter. And first they wondered is this a ghost or is this a human being. So they got a little bit scared at the beginning and then finally they found out this is a yogi practicing Dharma. Then they provided him with everything they have got, they kept on providing him. They provided him so much. So that he ran away, to other cave. These are the five conditions, which is outside of you. Now with this, the teaching chapter one, the practice chapter one is completed. How to practice these? First you go through each one of the eighteen conditions. And then once, I am quite sure you find, each one of you have all the eighteen conditions. If by any chance, there is shortage of any one of them, you have to develop them and complete them. But I don't think that will be necessary for you because I think you all have all the eighteen conditions. Then after that, you should have a very clear, very clear outcome of

the appreciation of precious human life. Otherwise, it will be like you are a very rich person, who will not spend any money for food, any money for cloth, any money for house, any money for medicine. So that way you starve. It will be like that. Once you have the clear understanding of having the precious human life then you have to appreciate it. And the best way to appreciate it is by using it. Best way to use it is with two things. You should have developed compassion to all sentient being who does not have it. With compassion, you should develop Bodhicitta. I wish to attain Buddhahood by using precious human life to help all sentient being to become Buddha; whether they have the eighteen conditions, the precious human life or not, they all have Buddha nature. They all have primordial wisdom. They all have limitless potential. So Bodhicitta. And then devotion. Devotion is extremely important together with compassion. If you have true Bodhicitta, true compassion, you have true devotion, because it is the other side of the coin. Compassion is to those who are less fortunate than you. Devotion is to those who have more wisdom, more compassion, more devotion than you. For example, Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, Guru, Deity, Protector, we have devotion to them. Devotion we can describe in three ways. First one is Thang wa. Thang wa means when you think of Buddha, when you think of Dharma, when you think of Sangha, when you think the Guru, the Deity, the Protector, you feel such a pure presence of them. You feel such a pureness, such a sacredness about them. That is Thang wa. That is Thang wi tey pa. "tey pa" means devotion. "Thang wa". The second one is Yid chey pa. Yid chey pa means convinced. Because we have full faith and we are fully convinced about Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, Guru, Deity, Protector. We are convinced about them, we have full faith in them. That is the second aspect of devotion. Now the third aspect is we wish to be Buddha, we wish to realize the essence of Dharma and practice Dharma. And we wish to be best, and most sincere Sangha. We wish to be non-dualistic one with Guru, Deity, Protector. We wish to be unseparable. But unseparable sometimes need explanation, it doesn't mean you have to somehow be like a dog of the Guru or Deity. One means the Guru become Guru because of the lineage, no lineage how somebody becomes your Guru. Guru becomes Guru because Guru's Guru transmitted the lineage to the Guru. So the unseparable with Guru means that teaching of Guru, the transmission, is the essence of Guru so that you receive to your body, your speech and your mind. And you are unseparable from Guru by receiving the transmission of the lineage of the Dharma. And also, it is same as being one with holy Sangha, because Guru is holy Sangha. Being one with the Diety means, the Buddha's Sambhogakaya is the deity. Diety manifests and we practice the deity to transform ourselves to become the deity so that we can reach the Buddhahood. That's how Marpa reach Buddhahood, that's how Milarepa reached Buddhahood, etc , etc. Marpa, and Milarepa etc reached Buddhahood. Wisdom protectors are same as deity. It's the same thing. That is same as being one with the Buddha. Buddha, the Deity, the Wisdom Protector, all the same. But there are other kind of protector, who are not Wisdom Protector, they are different. They are like having a very good, powerful, capable team to help you to succeed in your Dharma practice. Some of them are truly invincible. Invincible. Most of them are invincible because they are invisible. If you can't see them, what can you do. They can do things to protect you

from obstacles, and nobody can see them therefore nobody can stop them. Now this is the most important of all devotion, that is you wish to become. You wish to become Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, Guru, Deity, Protector. That is the true, most sacred devotion. With these three aspects, then I think all aspects of devotion is completed. So once you are clearly convinced that you have the precious human life, then you appreciate it. And then you make it productive and meaningful by compassion and devotion. Now first teaching chapter, first practice chapter is completed.

Death Impermanence
Given by the 12th Kenting Tai Situpa at Palpung Sherabling, December 2004. Transcribed by Chang Chin & Changchub Saldon

Teaching Chapter 2 & 3 and Practice Chapter 2 & 3 Now once we have clear appreciation of the precious human life, and wish to practice Dharma, develop the compassion and devotion. Then it is important for us to contemplate on the second preliminary contemplation ~ that is Death Impermanent. Death impermanent is inevitable, can not avoid. Now First , human life, individual human life is so fragile . And it's impermanence is so.... It's, how do you say, life span is so short. So it is necessary for us to think of something a little bit more substantial and more permanent in order to comprehend this death impermanent - the manifestation of the karmic condition of all sentient being of the past, and present and future . That is the universe. So those of our kind, who have our kind of eye, who have our kind of body, who have our kind of five senses . So for us, by us, the whole universe manifests. And that universe is countless . And the space is endless . The universe is countless. And that is the manifestation of the karmic cause and condition of our type. Our type of human, our type of Gods, our type of Asuras, our type of animals, our type of hells, our type of ghosts . For our type, with one aspect of manifestation that we can see as Sun, Moon, star, etc, etc. So Buddha described one cloister of system is as third-thousand, thirdthousand, it means 100 million solar system functions together as one unit. Practically means 100 million star cloister functions together. Planets are not stars. Moon is not a star, because it doesn't have lights of its own. Light shines on it. The light of star shines on it, so you can see. Just l ike us, I can see you soon as there are sunlight. But if there's no sunlight , I don't see you. So, you're not Sun. So 100 million stars system function together . And these types are countless. Some of them are bigger. Some of them are smaller. And ours one is pretty big, a hundred million. Even this is impermanent. Several billion centuries ago, it doesn't exist. Several billion centuries after, it won't be here. Even right now, it is changing. How many species of trees, animals, plants perish , right on this planet , this earth ? They are no more. I don't mean they die; totally disappeared. No more. Unlike human, you

know, one kind, s o that kind. There is animal of some kind. There is tree of some kind . There is plant of some kind . There is micro-organism of some kind . They disappear everyday. Not just one or two, everyday by hundreds disappeared, totally disappeared. And one day this earth will be gone. Don't worry about it. It will be after thousand Buddha. Very superficially speaking, very roughly speaking, in between each Buddha is about two million years. So out of the thousand Buddha, thousand prophesized Buddha, our Buddha Sakyamuni is number four. It will be a long, long, long time before this earth disappears. So don't worry about it. But this earth is also impermanent. You remember I say "our kind" perceive? So if you die, and your body and your senses totally different in your next life. You might be born right here but you won't see any of these. Even the 100 million suns, you won't see. Something else, if all different . Not by bad karma . Not by good karma. If your karma is that, it would be different. You wouldn't see these, totally different. Reality is also limitless. This reality is one of the limitless realit y . It doesn't mean bad or good, if we are born and manifest everything totally different. It doesn't mean bad, it doesn't mean good, same as this, although it is totally different. You imagine your mind becomes somebody's mind, somebody who sits right next to you. And how that person hear, how that person smell , how that person see , how that person think , how that person feel, you will be amazed that totally different from you , similar but different. I give you very simple example. Some people are allergic to this but not to that . Some people are allergic to that but not to this. Some people have no allergy at all. Some people have allergy to everything. And some people have allergy to some people. Some people have allergy to other people, positively and negatively. And some people have no allergy to any people at all. This way you can see . Some people like to put lots of chili into their food . And some people like to eat very plain. Some people like to eat everything fried. And some people like sweet. Some people like sour. This is very clear; everybody is unique master piece . So that way it is impermanent, even the perception. Now, the main subject - Death Impermanent. So when you see that, then you can see death impermanent more clearly . Do you know anybody who did not die in the past? All the dead ones. Do you know any dead one who did not die? So I can guarantee all of us who are living today will die one day. And anybody who is not born yet, they will die too. Maybe they are long life, maybe they are short life, but they will die. And just like a butter lamp put outside in the wind, it can die anytime. For us, anything can cause our death. Eat our favorite food, because we like it so much, we eat it too quickly so blocked our wind-pipe and die. And we can't get guaranteed by anybody that tonight when you go to bad as a live person, and tomorrow morning a dead body is found there. No body can guarantee you it wouldn't happen, only. No body can guarantee. It didn't happen to us in this life; therefore, we think that it wouldn't happen. Did it happen to you in this life? Obviously not. So therefore we think it wouldn't happen, but no body can be sure. We know, we know each one of us does not know too many people, but we know this happens to somebody. Somebody went into the bathroom, does not come out, and everybody is waiting and finally start to knock the door, and then call the police and break the door and found dead. Somebody's bedroom is locked and won't open , did not

show up for the breakfast. And then you knock the door. No response. And finally, you know, it's very important, you call the police, so call the police and break the door and found dead. Each one of us knows this happens to somebody. So why wouldn't that happen to us? Of course that shouldn't happen to us, but it might. But certainly, 100 percent, one day we will die. It can be one year from now; it can be ten years from now, it can be fifteen years from now. Or it can be even thirty or forty years from now. It will happen. When that happened, then what happens? Our close relatives and friends will cry. Some countries, even they hire people to cry. Yes, they have professional mourners, they have. They have. And then there will be lots of flowers brought to our place , but not so many dare to touch us. So our dear ones will find some professional people to touch us. And they might put us in a very nice box and put under the ground. Or they might chop us into pieces and give it to the birds. That's what we do. Not here in India , no. And then, maybe they put it in the tower of silence and to be eaten by the birds . That is one particular religion called "Pakceses" . They do that. They put the dead ones on a tower of silence, so then slowly the birds will eat them and disappear. And then they might burn us, and make a handful of ashes . So that is what this precious body will become. All kinds of creams, all kinds of soaps, all kinds of clothes, and all kinds of cares that we take, all kinds of medicines, many times operations, change elbows, change knees, changes this, change that . And a t the end, it will become that. Now, if you really boil down to everything, then it will come to one simple fact. We are not sure our next life will come first or tomorrow will come first. We don't know. Of course, we don't want next life to come first . We want tomorrow , and many tomorrow, many next years, many birthday cakes, you know. Many anniversaries we want. But we are not sure . Nobody is sure. When the next life comes, when we die, what will follow with us? None of our money, none of our fame, none of our position, nothing will follow us. We can't even take one page of diploma. We can't even take one coin of money . We can't even take one grain of rice with us, nothing. What follow with us is what our mind used our body, speech, mind for. That will follow. Our thoughts, our words, our actions, whatever we have done, that will follow with us. That will not stay with our dead body. So our money will stay with our dead body. Our diploma will sit with our dead body . All of our friends and relatives will sit with our dead bodies. And then after few days of crying and all of that, then they will divide everything we left. Sometimes they will fight over it. That is the nature of Samsara. So therefore, what is more important for us to prepare for tomorrow? Or w hat is more important for us to prepare for the death? Which one is more important? So that way, of course, we have to prepare for tomorrow, of course. We all keep a fridge and we will keep food in there for tomorrow, r ight? And we all have a bank account and some money there for stormy days or rainy days. But very seriously, very seriously we have to prepare for what comes with us after our death . That is we have to think it very seriously. Of course, it's a little bit easier for me than for most of you, because you have little ones to be left behind. Little ones, you know, little ones. So you have to also prepare for their rainy days as well. You have to take those things seriously of course. But at the same

time, you have to take very, very seriously, you know, next life. What you are right now is the result of what you have done in your past. What you will be in the future is depended on what you do now. So do it together. Prepare for tomorrow as well as prepare for next life together. Don't forget to prepare for next life, by being busy preparing for tomorrow which might not come. When our time for death happens, no one and nothing can stop it. It is like sunset. No one can stop it. So when our time for death approaches us and when we reach there, then it will happen. After our death, nobody can help us. Only thing that matters there is all the things that we have done when we were alive. It is moment of truth. In life, if you dare, you can fool people. You can make good things look bad . And you can make bad things look good. But at that moment, in that situation, good is good, bad is bad. There are so many people talking about Great Day of Judgment. But Great Day of Judgment is when we die, because that is where our next life will begin. And who will judge us? No body. But our own karma will manifest. Therefore, that is the judgment. For example, when you plant rice, it will grow rice. Who decide to grow rice when you plant rice? Who decide? No body decides. But you decide it because you plant the rice. You plant rice and expect to grow potato, it won't happen. So if we plant good karma, good things will happen to us. If you plant bad karma, bad things will happen to us. So if we pretend the rice is potato, it will not happen. We put a big sign : W e are planting potato. We tell everybody that we are planting potato. Everybody believes us we are planting potato. Actually we planted rice. So after a couple of months, rice will show up. So in our lives, we can pretend all kinds of things. But whatever we are that will manifest in our next life. But between you and me, sometimes it also shows up in this life. So we don't have to wait for next life, sometimes it also happens in this life. If you lie once, you have to lie twice. If you lie twice, you have to lie four times. You cannot maintain lie by truth. If you tell the truth, you don't even have to remember anything, because it is true. And if you lie, you better remember what you say, because tomorrow you will say something else, because it is not true. So the karma is like that. And death is like that. From our birth until our death, somehow we will continue superficially in one form. But still there is a big difference between what is right and what is wrong. Even you pretend to do right if you are doing wrong it will show somewhere, somehow. Little bit abnormal, something is there. I can't quite tell, but something is there, something is going on. Somehow, we will be secured until we die. But that security is totally, totally gone. The gate that you can lock; The window that you can put bars on; Safe that you can fix the number, all gone. Everything is gone. And you are totally what you are. Everything that you pretended is gone. If you are thrown out of airplane , fifty thousand feet and only thing that you will do is scream. That is the truth. But if somebody shows you a virtual reality that you are thrown off fifty thousand feet, you might not scream. You might enjoy it. You might pay money and go back again. When it really happens, one big scream all the way from up there to down there. But there will be difference between who is screaming. Somebody who have nothing to fear, who have done his or her best in life, that person will scream, but scream will be together with laughter. Scream and laugh. Scream and laugh. But somebody who has done lots of terrible things in life, or who haven't done their best in life; it will be nothing but horrifying scream. There is nothing

funny. So that is the reality of death. I can't say I am not afraid to die . But I am more concerned about how I die than the death itself. I don't want to die, thrown off a plane, fifty thousand feet . And also , I don't want to die on a bed with lots of mucus in my throat. I hate that. It is okay how long it takes, but I want to die clean. That is my choice . That is my wish. I don't want too many tubes here and there; I don't want life-supporting machine . But I don't need mercy killing either. Just leave me alone, and I will die. So, that is my choice. Now, after you truly feel the impermanence of life, then you should apply that to everything else in life. You should make money. You should do business. You should save something for your children or your parents. And you should plan for next year and year after and so on and so forth, and also retirement. You should plan. But, you should never become neurotic about it. You should take very seriously, planning for next life. So you can do that together ; you can do that together, plan this life and next life together. You can plan it together. You can do it together by doing the right thing in everything. Not doing the wrong thing in everything. There is countless ways to make money. Choose the best, most positive, most beneficial ways to make money. There is countless ways to plan your future. I meant this life's future and plan your children's future. Countless ways. So you choose the most positive, most beneficial, most correct way. So that way, then your this life's effort also can become a very good investment for your next life. The biggest bank is your conscience. What is in your conscience ? That always is there. Even if you do something that looks good but with bad intention, that goes into the bad account. Even you might look bad , but you are really doing good thing, then that goes into the good account. Of course, you should look good, and do good. So now this way, and then on top of that, you do Dharma practice. So for next five or six or seven years, you spend twenty-two hours for preparing for this life and two hours for next life. But that twenty-two hours should be blessed by these two hours. So it also becomes positive thing. So now, as a practice, also you should imagine you are surrounded by your relatives and friends and you die. And then what happen ? You know what happen. So you think of it one after another. Then your mind is totally under the control of your karma. According to your karma, your mind will manifest. Then after your death, what happens to all your family and all your property, all your things . You imagine. You visualize. So that way, you have a very, very clear idea of what death impermanent is all about. Otherwise even we know death impermanent will happen . But somehow, you know that, you know, we are going to die. It is not a new thing, but somehow we don't have the clear understanding and clear respect for death impermanent . Now the end of the teaching and practice chapter number three. It is very clearly mentioned here . When you summarize everything about death impermanent, summarize : There is nothing left after birth except death, because after birth then we have to die. One day after, or 100 years after, then that is what would happen . And when that happens, the second thing is: when that happens, is uncertain. After death, everything that you have done is what will determine, what will make you manifest in the future. Body will be dealt with just many ways. And come to your mind will be fly around just like a feather in a storm. That storm is the storm of karma. So now this way, I think we know what is death impermanent and why Dharma is

so important. And Dharma by definition is we have the Dharma. We have the Dharma. People who don't have the Buddha Dharma, then their future will be depended, will be influenced by whatever kind of good intention and bad intention that they have. They do good things, good things will happen to them . They do bad things, bad things will happen to them. So now with this I think we talked about death impermanent. And I want to conclude by saying may all of you have a very, very long, good, healthy life. For me, talking about my death is very auspicious thing . But for many people, talking about death is kind of a little bit bad thing. There is some kind of superstition . It is very funny. People don't want to talk about death. But for me, it is very important, because I have to remind myself. I am a very happy fellow. So if I don't remind myself, I will become too happy. So remind myself, then it helps me to be happy but to be reasonably happy. My happiness has taste. I appreciate my happiness much better. Even sadness is happiness for me . As I told you this morning, it is opportunity for me to learn about suffering. So I try to have a good balance.
Karma, Cause and Result
Given by the 12th Kenting Tai Situpa at Palpung Sherabling, December 2004. Transcribed by Chang Chin & Changchub Saldon

Teaching Chapter 4 & 5 and Practice Chapter 4 & 5 Now karma, cause and result. First, we have to contemplate on precious human life. Then we have to contemplate on death impermanent , because that precious human life we cannot take for granted , because anytime we can lose it. Now the third is karma, cause and result, because after death, there is nothing then no big deal . You know. Long time ago, long time ago, when I was just building the monastery, at the beginning, like 29 years ago, I used to talk to the workers. Because that time I am living on the ground floor, just few rooms, so the workers I see them all the time, so I talked to them and I learn something from them. Nowadays totally different, because I live way up there, and so many building, so I had to walk all the way to talk to them . And when I go down there, actually they will stop working. So they all doing something very normal, I just show up, everything interrupted, abnormal. There was one man he talks a lot. And I used to think that he is very old, but maybe he's much younger than now me. You know. That those days I am in my 20's, so anybody looks old. When you are in teens and twenties, everybody looks old. So, that not so old, old man, one day he is very upset. He had a problem at home, so he said, " I have so much problems ", he is smoking and said, "I have so much problems". He said, I think I better retire", "I better give myself holiday". So what he really meant is die, he wanted to die. So I realized he thinks after death , you are finished, nothing. It is not true. We died and came here . Otherwise, where did we come from, y ou know. So you can never go for holiday. Not that kind of holiday, and not that kind of retirement. If he had good karma to be born as a human being again, you know, about 5-6 years it's a holiday, you know. You don't have anything complicated , everything that you can get hold of put in your mouth. And then slowly, slowly you learn, so no more holidays . Then fully

employed, fully slaved actually, slaved. So if we don't have the understanding of karma, cause and result, then death impermanent understanding doesn't help. You will say, "Y ah, it is true everybody dies, I know that, so what? " So that is not true. Our mind can never die because our mind is never born. Only our body is born . Therefore, our body can die, mind continues. Therefore, the karma, cause and result is very important teaching to contemplate on . So each one of us slightly different from each other. Why? We have no other answer, except each one of us have different karma. Then each one of us, when we were before, and we are now, so many times we have changed. We have no other answer, but karma. You are going to school, and learning how to read A, B, C, D, that's also A, B, C, D karma. So that karma, the result will come and we can read, you know. And we study very well, then we get very good marks. That is karma. We don't study well, we get bad marks, that is also karma, right there. And sometimes even we study very hard, and we have feel to make a very good marks but we get a very bad paper, that is also karma, you know. Very strange karma. But it is true. And we call it corruption karma. Corruption karma. You have good mark but actually you get bad mark. That is corruption karma. Somebody has bad mark but get good mark, that is corruption karma. And in the future life, those professors or whoever decide those things, will have that kind of karma. Yes, of course. Of course. They will study very hard, they pass everything on paper, and then when the results come, they don't pass anything. Yes, of course. Karma would never cheat. Quite few very intelligent people, even very intelligent people, I don't understand why they don't understand karma; but I believe that is their karma. I don't know past, I don't know future, I hardly know present, but I know everything is karma, it's very simple. Because everything has cause and condition, and past. Everything has. All of you are here in this room now listening to me teaching Maha Mudra . Right? So each one of you if you trace back, how did you get here? How did you come to know about Maha Mudra? How did you come across Dharma? If you trace back, you can trace back . You know. And after your birth, you can trace back . And then from there we don't know, because we don't have the ability. But if we have the ability, it cannot stop there . Impossible. There must be, there have to be forever tracing. And that is in the text mentioned - look at one feather of peacock , each hair has so many colors, so that it makes the one beautiful pattern. B ut each color is synchronized. The color is synchronized. And no body made it, but the karma of the peacock. Now by having very simple common sense that everything that happens now is the result of cause and conditions that took place in the past. With that common sense, we know karma. Some people have migraine headache . Migraine means permanent, chronic headache. And they ask me, some of them asked me , "Is this my karma ?" I said, "Of course, you have a head". "And you have that kind of head. " Then " Can I do something to overcome this? " "Of course." " Whatever kind of head that you have which makes you have a headache all the time, you have to fix that. Then karma is over." Some karma, doctors can fix it, that is also karma. Some karma doctors cannot fix it, that is also karma. And then you have found another method. Maybe simple as: just take it easy and calm down. Don't laugh too much, don't talk too much, don't eat too much, then maybe okay.

Now, this way, everything is karma. Only one thing that is not karma that is the Buddha nature and the enlightenment. These two things are not related to karma, because that is above and beyond karma. You cannot do such a bad karma so that you lose your Buddha nature, that is impossible; And you do such a good karma so you become Buddha, that is impossible. You have to overcome all the karma in order to become Buddha. But bad karma is obstacle, very big obstacle for progress. Therefore we accumulate good karma to be progressive, to be able to smoothly progress. And then once you reach to the highest level of karma, good karma, then you have to overcome your good karma the same way you overcame your bad karma. Just by resting, resting in the nature of mind. What do you think Milarepa doing in the cave? You think he is learning Kung fu ? Or is he torturing himself? No. How can you make lots of good karma in a cave? There is nothing. So he let his ultimate primordial wisdom which is beyond karma to manifest. For that, he followed his master's teaching. At the beginning, with lots of rituals and lots of efforts . He sat many, many days with a lamp on his head. Because if you have a butter lamp on your head until the lamp is finishes you have to sit quite still, you know. And after doing all the visualizations, all the rituals, and everything, then he rested on his nature of mind for many , many years. Then finally he attained realization, ultimate realization. So two things that is Dumajepa. Dumajepa. Duche means relative cause and conditions. Many things, many causes, many conditions come together and it happen. So Buddha nature is Dumajepa. It is not a result of cause and condition. And enlightenment is Dumajepa. It is not result of cause and condition. Therefore, for us, for all of us, it is extremely important to accumulate and conduct good karma and purify and overcome bad karma. Why did Marpa make Milarepa's life very difficult? Because Milarepa wanted to be enlightened in this life. If Milarepa thinks like me, i f I improve one percent in this life, then in one hundred lives I will be Buddha. Then it is not necessary for Marpa to put Milarepa through all of that. So Marpa, it took a long time for Marpa to accept Milarepa as a disciple. Not because Marpa is mean, because Milarepa wanted to attain enlightenment in this life. So therefore, he had to purify lots of things ; countless life times of karma have to purify in this life. So it is enormous , enormous expectation. Finally Marpa accepted Milarepa as a disciple, then first thing he told him to do was to build a house for his son. Not even for himself, but for his son. You know, if Marpa say, "You build the house for me ." It would be easier for Milarepa. But you built it for my son. That is a very odd design he gave. He told him that he cannot hire anybody , "Nobody can help you. You have to do it by yourself." So Milarepa built that odd house , not odd house, odd design house, that odd design house for Marpa's son by himself. Then one day, Marpa came and look around, walking around, then looking at Milarepa and told him, "What are you doing? " Then he said, "I am building a house for your son. " Then he said, "How dare you building this kind house for my son ?" And Marpa was so angry. And Milarepa told him "You told me to do it. " Then Marpa was very angry , and finally he said , "Maybe I was drunk that day. " "Now , you have to pull down everything, and put back all the stones, all the earth where they come from. " He sounded very an environmentalist, environmental friendly. Put back. After Milarepa have done that, then Marpa gave Milarepa another design. Same thing he did three times. So the fourth time, then it was a normal house, square, square shape. Nine stories. And it is still standing today, built by Milarepa himself with his own hands for

Marpa's son. We call it Lhodrak Saykhar Gutok. Lhodrak is name of place where Marpa lives; Say means the son; khar means castle; Gutok means nine floors, nine stories . It's not a big nine stories. It's 9 stories, not big. Each one is shrine. I remember when I am about 6, 7 years old, my nanny lama carried me and walk up the top floor. I remember. And I had some turquoise, turquoise stone . It was very scary, very windy, and very little you have to hold, my nanny had to hold to go around, hold kind of iron chain. I drop that turquoise from the ninth floor. We cannot find it later. I remember very clearly. So that way, when Milarepa got a lot done just by building up, pulling down, building up, pulling down, building up, pulling down and finally building a nine stories . That had done a lot. Then one very rich lama comes to Marpa to get some initiation , and Marpa's wife was so touched by Milarepa's devotion. So she quietly helps Milarepa to get in the initiation. Marpa immediately noticed, and she gave a very precious turquoise to Milarepa, turquoise, turquoise to gung-yang, no, to offer to Marpa as an offering. And Marpa noticed immediately. And Marpa had a walking stick made out of sandalwood, very hard wood . Red sandalwood. So Milarepa is in the room, Dhakmayma was peeping through the door closing. And then Marpa looked at the walking stick, looked at the Milarepa, looked at the peeping Dhakmayma . Again looked at the stick, looked at the Milarepa.... and then both of them ran away. Dhakmayma just ran into another room or maybe kitchen, but Milarepa really ran away . So Milarepa is missing. Then Marpa told Dhakmayma to find where he is . And she went after him looking for him, shouting, finally she found him on a cliff. Cliff, you know. Cliff. Milarepa crying and about jump off to kill himself. He told her , " I must have such a very bad karma; my guru would never teach me, now I better die . So next life maybe he will teach me. " So then Milarepa was brought back and then Marpa finally accepted him to as a disciple and gave him empowerment. And then he received the empowerment, and that time Marpa manifested the Hevajra Mandala in the space and gave him empowerment, not on the table. So after that then few other steps, then finally Milarepa received all the teachings and then he did many, many years of retreat in the caves. I think altogether 16 years, I think. In between he never went back home. So now this way, the karma is very important thing for us to know. But we only should know karma as relative truth. Relative truth. Otherwise how can one purify countless life times of karma in one lifetime? So karma is not ultimate truth. Ultimately karma is emptiness too. So sometimes we think that karma is as if it is ultimate truth . But it is relative truth. So long as we call ourselves "I", and everything else we call " others" , then karma is ultimate truth. But soon as we overcome the duality, then karma is relative truth. So it took that much time and effort for Milarepa to overcome the dualism of Marpa as teacher and Milarepa as disciple, it took that many years and that much effort. Of course, these days, it would be very difficult to imagine having that kind of devotion. If our guru gave us that kind of hard time, we will call our lawyer. So I think it takes a lot of maturity from the disciple's side to have that kind of devotion which is also result of karma. And then to find that kind of master is also result of karma, and to have that kind of environment is also result of karma. For example, with myself, I will never think of that kind of way about anybody. But sometimes when people read so much about Milarepa and Marpa, then you know sometimes when I have some difficulties, then they think that

I am giving them a test. I am not giving a test. I am not giving anybody test. I am straight black and white . That 's what I am. What I say is what I mean. Sometimes I make mistake, and I correct it if it is necessary. If it is not necessary, I'll leave it. So it depends on the situation, what is the best for everybody. But guru like Marpa, and disciple like Milarepa, they all have to be compatible. If guru is not like Marpa, then disciple will never be like Milarepa. If disciple is not like Milarepa, guru will never be like Marpa. Pretending is another thing. We also have many troupes in India . Troupes, you know troupes. Dance troupes like culture performers who perform Milarepa and Marpa and Guru Rinpoche and everything. And it is not Marpa. It is a drama. It is a show. It is something one half hour show. Cultural organization, cultural show, Cultural organization. So now this way, then you see the importance and definition of the karma. And then the karma, cause and result is what Buddha taught as basic teaching for all Buddhist as ten virtue and ten non- virtue. Ten virtue to conduct, and Ten non- virtue to renounce. This summarizes all the good karma, bad karma. So, three involving body, four involving speech, and three involving mind. So Buddha tell us not to kill, not to steal, and not to conduct sexual misconduct. And then four of the speech ~ not to lie, not to slander, no harsh words, no gossips. O.K. So many people spend five hours every day. Then three involving the mind. First is greedy kind of envy. Envy but greedy kind of envy. Not envying somebody doing good and wish to become Buddha. Not that kind of envy. But envy, the greedy kind of envy. Somebody have something good and then you like to have that of thing. Nab-Seim, we call it Nab-Seim. English, the envy is for both positive and negative. Both, O.K. So that one, Nab-Seim first, covetousness. And second one is wish to harm others. Like people like to hunt, people like to hurt others, people like to take revenge, you know, all these things, wishing others pain, wishing others problems. So that is the mind negative karma. The third is the wrong view, wrong view, wrong perception. This means, if we said, "No karma, no good, no bad, no karma, no Buddha nature" like that. Then that is all wrong. That is wrong view. So these three are three mind negative karma. So Buddha tell us to conduct these; Buddha tell us to renounce these and conduct the opposite. Instead of killing, to save, etc. So that is the summary of all the karma. So going through all of these one by one, like ten virtues, ten non-virtues one by one. Going through karma, cause and result very clearly. Now the text writes the whole things in a very simplified conclusion. If we have the full control over what we will be after our death, then everything is fine. But if not, then we have to do all the positive things, accumulate all the good karma. And we have to renounce negative things, renounce, renounce negative things. And avoid accumulating negative karma and try to purify the negative karma. Everything is summarized to that. So now it sounds very simple , "Oh, well, Maybe I can choose my next life." You know. But leave that alone. Can you choose exactly what you want to be in this life? Aftertoday, did you manage to be exactly what you wish to be ? Up to today, did you achieve that everything you wish to achieve? O.K.? I don't hear any answer, but I know. Because you are not different from me and I am not different from you. I want to be Buddha without doing any practice. Four hours of practice everyday, 2 hours in the morning, 2 hours in the evening. I want to become Buddha, didn't happen, it didn't happen. Therefore, it is absolutely obvious that we have

no control over where we're going to be born next life. Even small things, can you dream exactly what you wish to dream tonight? Very difficult. So next life, where to be born is million times more difficult. Therefore, we have to do our best to follow the Lord Buddha's teaching about the karma. That is about the karma, cause and result.
Suffering of Samsara
Given by the 12th Kenting Tai Situpa at Palpung Sherabling, December 2004. Transcribed by Chang Chin & Changchub Saldon

Teaching Chapter 6 & 7 and Practice Chapter 6 & 7 Suffering of samsara or shortcoming of samsara, that is the fourth contemplation. And before going to the teaching, we have to learn the definition of samsara . What is samsara? What is samsara? We are in the middle of samsara; therefore, it is very, it is little difficult to see what is samsara because we are in the middle of it. It is like explaining what is ocean to a jellyfish by another jellyfish. If jellyfish can see something other than the ocean, then it is not a jellyfish anymore. Of course, I am not a jellyfish, you are not jellyfish too. But anyway Samsara means everything that we know, everything that we do, everything that we hear, everything that we see, we are seeing the samsara. Samsara is translated into Tibetan language, samsara is Sanskrit language, so it is translated into some Tibetan as Khor Wa . Khor Wa . Khor Wa means just going in circle. So Samsara means, if I go with a little bit of a sentence in English, you know, short sentence: round and round in samsara's endless circle . You get it? From sorrow to sorrow our mothers go in circle . To help free them to find joy eternal; To help them to find joy eternal, eternal joy, everlasting , eternal, we must use our body, speech and mind to the full, to the full ,complete. So now being say that samsara means from the highest of the sentient being to the lowest of the sentient being, everyone is doing everything that they could just like all of us to avoid suffering and to acquire happiness, everyone. And we do that because I want to be happy, and I don't want to suffer. And my family and my friend, I want them to be happy and I don't want them to suffer. That is what everybody is doing, from the highest of the God, to the lowest of the hell, everybody is doing that. So, this way we will never attain everlasting happiness or joy. And this way we can never be free from suffering forever. We can achieve some satisfaction and some happiness. We can avoid some suffering for some period of time, but nothing everlasting will be achieved by this way. Nobody has achieved, up to today. Therefore, there is no reason to believe anybody will achieve in the future. But everyone is trying, on this little beautiful planet earth, which we call home. More than five thousand million human being working very hard everyday, three hundred and sixty-five days every year, working very hard to achieve this. We build all kind of things to make us happy. We invent all kind of things to make us happy. And we make all kind of things to avoid our suffering. We make all kind of things to protect ourselves from harm; And we do our best with best of our ability of imagination , whatever we can imagine we try to put that into practice and make all kind

of things. I give you very simple example. Every family make their home. Every community make their wall. Every country make their border. Then we try to entertain ourselves. First invention was fire to cook food . Then second invention is wheel to go from one place to the other . Third invention is club , club you know, to hit at somebody who is bothering you. And so from that kind of very basic inventions, then now we have all kind of things. For entertainment, we have DVD, and all kind of imaginations . We make into the reality and we watch them . It is very interesting to watch the latest animated expensive films, very interesting. It shows that the limitlessness of the mind. With big budget, and good actors and good clever computer animation specialists, we can make our imagination a reality in this much space. Then we can blow up to that much space, over there. If something is not there, that means that person did not manage to imagine. For communication, we have internet. It is more efficient than telephone . In telephone, it takes a long time; it is like giving a lecture. In the internet, you can just correct your friend's letter and send back and forth, just like that . Before you finish writing the full letter, you already are correcting the beginning. It is like Kung fu . Why? Because you know kung fu, that person punch and again go back and punch again. That is the old way. So samurai sort of kung fu is totally different. From the old ways, old ways. You don't waste any movement; every movement is fully efficient. That is not like cutting the tree with the axe, you know, one action, and then one preparation, and one action. So the internet is like that . Telephone is like old way. You talk, other one listen. Then other one finish, then you talk. Then other one listen. You know. We have achieved so much in samsara. You can be sitting in the desert and eating the tropical fruits fresh. And you are in the middle of the summer, forty-five degrees, and you can be drinking water with ice. Actually you don't have to fly over to see your friend, but you can see your friend and talk to your friend on your mobile phone. They can have a birthday cake for you; only thing is that you cannot blow it. They have to pretend that you are blowing, so you just go on your mobile phone. And then you cannot eat the cake, and they will eat it for you. So this way, we came very far . For health, if we have something in our stomach, they open us up and we don't feel anything and when we wake up, it is gone. Now they can even operate on you without becoming unconscious. So, you have a partition here, a curtain. You will be talking to your friend gossiping. And you can hear all the instruments things. Actually they already open up your stomach, and cut something out and put something back and sewed back. If you are a rich person, you can have a heart made out of plastic inside you. If you are not that rich, then you can have it in a box and carry it here. Like a camara. So there is so much we have. But does that make us happier than before? Does that give us more time ? Does that make us have more contentment ? No, definitely not. Just one example can confirm this. Everyday, how many movies are shown in all of the thousands of theaters all around the world? How many new movies are made every month all over the world? And how many designs of mobile phones are made? And how many new restaurants are open all over the world everyday? We are never satisfied. And how many different cars are there? You know? Every year every company makes a few new models. So it will be like this forever. And everybody will try everything faster, better, more comfortable forever. One day there might be just a suit you put on and then you fly. Definitely. Flying chair, you know, you just sit on your chair and you fly. When they manage to tap into the magnetic energy and gravity , when they are able to manipulate the gravity force, then they will be able to do

this, very easy. Of course, right now that is not possible, because we need so much fuel to create energy to move anything from one place to another. And we have to channel the energies from one place to another to do various things. So just think of 747 aero plane that you fly to come here. How many kilometers of wires they have inside ? How many kilometers of wires? How many individual pieces are there? Just for an ordinary press button telephone has more than two hundred individual pieces. Just a press button telephone, more than two hundred individual pieces you have made and put them together to make the telephone. You can reduce these things. So at the end, it will become just one piece. Then after that, you know, they don't want any piece. So you might not have to go to school . They can download the whole thing in your brain. Of course you can. That's not miracle; that's pure physics and pure science. Still we will be not satisfied; still we want more. So this way, samsara has no end. We go in circle. So each one of us are in samsara in our own way. So in our own way, we try to achieve something. And we have many, many things, great priority, main prime priority, secondary priority, you know and then just if in case. So many things in our head. And we all really putting efforts to achieve those things. It is guaranteed that we will die before we achieve, achieve anything fully. We will achieve some part of something; we will not achieve everything of anything. In history there was nobody who had achieved everything of anything. You think of all the great people in the world, all the emperors, all the generals. All of these great people, you know, who we admire. And I also admire and respect them. But they did not achieve everything of anything that they wished to achieve. Some part of what they wished to achieve, and then they died . Floor of the great oceans of the world is littered with sunken ships. And top of every hill on this earth is littered with ruins of castles . Every valley in this world is littered with ruins of villages. If you look close enough, you cannot find any place on this earth where you cannot find a bone . And they all born and they all died without achieving everything of anything that they wished to achieve. So now this way, if we look at ourselves, then we see the samsara, not only out there the big samsara , but the little personal samsara that each one of us have. When we are happy, we are afraid we will become unhappy. When we are unhappy, we try to be happy. And when we are not happy and not unhappy, then we get bored. Actually what do you want? Honestly, what do you want? Do you know what you really want? So, now that is the definition of samsara ~ it is just going in circle.If we are successful in samsara ~ born, grow up, get old, sick, and die, that's very successful, very successful. But most people cannot even manage that. Born, yes; grow up, yes; sick and die. Some even sick for whole life .And s ome not sick but unhappy whole life . Some very happy whole life because something is wrong up here. So that way, the samara has no end and samsara has no destination, and samsara will never end, it will continue. So the essence of samsara is not like that. Essence of samsara is essence of you. Essence of you is limitless. Essence of you is complete. Essence of you is sacred, not secret, sacred. Essence of you is Buddha. Why we are in samsara Now, why we are in samsara if our essence is Buddha? Why? I also ask the same question. But the answer I get is me. The answer is me. Because I am me, I am in samsara. But can you not be me? Can you? It is impossible! It is impossible! You always

call yourself I! And I , and in Tibetan nga, dak that's more text terminology ~ dak. So now that is why. I is very limited, but my essence is limitless. But I perceive it as I. Nothing can be more limited than I. Can you find something more limited and smaller than I? I, you know? Then he is not I, he is not I, he is not I, that is not I. This is not I. This is not I. You know, so I am so small. So I that makes everything other; Even your father, your mother, your brother, your sister, your husband, your wife, are not I. You love them; you care for them . You really, it is dear things for you, but not I. So you would say, my father, my mo ther, my brother, my sister, my husband, my wife, my son, my daughter, my house, my clothes, my money. You will not say me father or me mother. Even we say, my Buddha; you never said me Buddha, or I Buddha, but you will say, My Buddha. And then you have a beautiful Buddha statue blessed. All you keep it very carefully, you protect it. That's good, we should, until we become the Buddha. When we become the Buddha, then that is irrelevant, because my Buddha and me has no separation at that time. Now you understand what is samsara . So n ow the suffering of samsara and shortcoming of samsara is elaboration of that. Suffering of samsara So now it is about the suffering of samsara. Now long as we perceive ourselves as I, then there is definitely first outcome is the attachment. Anything to do with I, I am biased , I have attachment . Everything that is to do with I. I just give you one very, very bold example: I don't want anybody to use my toothbrush. I don't want. With due respect. You are all the same, I think; I think you are all the same except your children or something, you know. And so now, therefore , once you have the attachment, then you will have something that you don't like . When you have something that you like, then naturally you will have something you don't like. So, extreme aspect of that is we call anger. But even if you are not angry, certain things you just don't want to have anything to do with. You are not interested. And then once you have something you like, something you don't like, and once you have these then you will naturally have jealousy. When somebody equal to you, equal to you get what they want more easily than you get what you want, then you get jealous. You don't get jealous to somebody much , much lower than you. Or you don't get jealous to somebody much, much higher than you , your standard. But these days, of course, you know it's very confusing time; so then people don't know who is lower than you , who is higher than you. Everybody is confused, you know. But generally you will have jealousy to the same level. Fore example, Queen Elizabeth of the Great Britain , U.K. , riding in golden chariot and many bodyguards and wearing the diamond crown, you don't get jealous, right? You actually enjoy it, you know, you enjoy watching it. Somebody give five hundred Ruppes to a beggar , you don't get jealous, right? Very hardly that happens, you know, five Ruppes, or ten Ruppes . So you don't get jealous there. You get jealous to the same level. So, when there is jealousy , then pride is the other side of jealousy. Ego pride, the other side of jealousy. When you are better than when you think you get things done and you achieve things much more better and more glorious than those you think are equal to you, then you become proud: I am better. Then when that is there, the stinginess is naturally happen. You don't want to give away so much because you worry that you will lose what you have. You give a little bit, secondhand , extras, leftovers, and things you got fed up with. So that way, everything starts

from the I, which we call ignorance. So the foundation of five defilements is I . These five defilements , when we become so influenced by them and so much controlled by them, and if we try to serve our defilement five defilements or six defilements. So when we become servant of them, then we expect that. That is called suffering of samsara. And by following and serving the five defilements or six defilements, it can never be satisfied, impossible. I give you an example. You live in a nice city, like Taipei , which has lots of restaurants with lots of good food. So if you go everyday breakfast in one restaurant, lunch in another restaurant, dinner in another restaurant, you will never be satisfied. You still want to find new restaurants and you taste if you don't decide to say enough. If you say enough, then your mind have so much power, because it is also limitless. Therefore you don't need it. Three kinds of sufferings So this suffering of samsara is so much, but Buddha summarized it into three kinds of sufferings. First one is Du jye kye duk ngal. That means even you are really not in pain, even you are not uncomfortable, long as you call yourself I, long as there is the I, then there is suffering beneath. It is like volcano eruption that is about to happen, but no smoke coming out, no steam coming out , no heat underground, but inside there, everything is boiling. So long as I, the ignorance is there, and then there is definitely going to be suffering. So that is Du jye kye duk ngal. So all levels of sentient beings from the highest to the lowest, especially the highest have this. The second aspect of suffering is Gyur wi duk ngal . Gyurwa means change or impermanent, or change. We all have it. We all have it. Every one of you, I am sure. Worry about something, I am sure. Something back home, something about you, something about your friends, something , I am sure. What's happen when back home ? What is going on with my stocks ? All kinds of things. All kinds of things. And then even happiness itself, even the most fortunate comfortable condition itself, it is suffering. You are boss of thirty companies, how much stress will be there? And each company has fifty or hundred employees, then how much stress you will have? And even you are head of one hundred Dharma centers, how much stress is there? Not the same as one hundred companies, but different kind of stress. Sometimes relatively speaking more complicated. Employees, you know you can hire and fire. Disciples you cannot hire and fire. So, it is different kind of stress. So you have to have a different kind of perception. When you have Dharma perception, you can handle it. Stress is not so bad. It becomes an opportunity to learn. Yes. But I am not encouraging you; be as nice as possible, okay? Now this way then, by knowing the suffering of samsara, this aspect which is Gyurwidukngal, which is there in everyone. When you have something you are afraid to lose it; when you don't have something you want to have it, you know. So this way, it is endless. But the text summarizes it very beautifully here. Summary of suffering of samsara Now I will go through this, but not exact translation but almost. So this is quite serious. I am not one hundred percent sure all of you can handle this one hundred percent or not, but intellectually you can. Practically some of you are quite deeply rooted in samsara, so

you cannot cut those roots so easily. So don't feel bad about it. O.K? Don't feel bad about it. But this, I cannot make it soft, you know; I have to say as it is. But some of you are not one hundred percent ready. Maybe fifteen percent ready, twenty-five perscent ready, maybe ninety percent ready. But slowly, slowly you should wish for it. You should wish for the full of it. But you should accept your shortcomings. So, I will go through it as it is. Maybe your understanding is mature and you are up to it, but you might have some responsibilities that holds you back . That way it is absolutely absolutely okay, but you have to hear this fully. "This samsara", I go through slowly slowly and you translate, " This samsara from the highest to the lowest, it is never separated from suffering. The samsaric place companioning wealth, fame, everything, they all just like the feast of the executionary . " When you are about to be executed, they give you a very nice dinner, it is just like that. "This samsara, one should see it as the pit of fire, and the doorless , windowless prison hole." They call it medieval prison, you know, in the basement . "With this one should arise one's inspiration, aspiration, to be free from samsara, to reach liberation ." Liberation means liberation from the suffering of samsara. "And realization of omniscience" , that means Buddhahood . "One should be fully inspired and aspired for this destination." So I try to be close as possible to the text. O.K. Now, how to go about it? This is very light. This is lots of stories and lots of examples. O.K. So it is written, when forest catches fire, what does all the wild animals do? They do their best to find a way out and run. When the lake is getting frozen, what does all the swans, I meant , but not the swans, all the birds who live in the water. What do you call them? Like ducks or swans, all of them. What do they do? They will fly away. When a sailor by mistake, lands on an island in which all inhabitants are carnivals, eat people, what the sailor will do ? Run, run to your boat, you know. When a person with a small boat crossing a very ferocious river, how will he hold the, What you call? Row. Yah, how did he hold that? That you know the piece of wood which you row. What you call that? Oar. How would he hold the oar? So precious. Same way, same way those who wish to be free from suffering of samsara, one should renounce the samsara like the wild animals will do when the forest is catching fire. Forest is their home. It is their food. It is their nest. Everything is there. But if forest is catching fire and they don't fly away, they will be burnt alive. They will roasted, everything. So the birds that live on the lake, if they don't fly away when lake is frozen, then they will be frozen in it. So, their feathers, their feet, everything will be in ice. And if the sailor does not run away, will become a dinner. If the person in the small boat, if he don't hold on to the.., if he loses the oar, then he will be finished. It would be more clear he would be dead. And one more example, that is a business man, of course this is written long time ago, there i s no aero plane anything. So the trader, business men are the traders they trade, they take a long journey. So trader should prepare all the food, supplies, the pack animals, everything . Trader must prepare everything; otherwise forget about the trading. He wouldn't even get half way through where he buys the thing , you know, and he will be starved to death in the middle of the desert. So if you are trading from Tibet to the Gobi Desert into Russia , you must prepare everything. Otherwise you will be handful of bones in the middle of the Gobi Desert . You cannot make money, you will be finished. So now the same way, we, who try to be free from the suffering of samsara, we try to renounce whatever we can renounce now . You can renounce many, many things. In samsara, there are so many things and you can renounce many of those things. Renounce getting drunk, very easy. If you are not drunk, your mind

will be clear; and you live in very good shape. Your face is more beautiful and handsome. Your face will not be like volcanic stones. And you can renounce gambling. You don't have to think of getting other people's money for free . And you don't have to lose your savings for nothing. You can renounce so many things and which can make your worldly life, even worldly life better. You will have more peace, you will have more time, you will have better health; your family will be in more harmony . It is good, yes. So whatever you can't renounce now, you pray, and wish and recognize, first you recognize, and then you pray and wish that you can renounce in the future. And whatever kind of samsaric responsibilities , worldly responsibilities you have, you fulfill them positively. See them and recognize them as a responsibility, not as a game. It is very strange, sometimes, in certain society. They think of children as another race and then parents treat them like a toy, like a pet. It is a responsibility, very big responsibility. What kind of human being your little baby going to become , it is your responsibility. He or she has their karma , of course. Her or his very big karma, you can't do very much. But their small karmas, you can make it big difference. So future of humanity depends on your "guchi guchi". So if you don't make them good, and clear, and capable, and kind and mature, then this world will be terrible place. Because this world will be full of them fifty years from now. They will be fifty years old, and fifty years old is one year younger than me . So prime time for doing things. So this way, you take that also as a responsibility and also as the Dharma. I am not saying that you all should have children . I am not saying that. But many of you already have , I am talking about that. So now this way whatever you cannot renounce right now, you wish that you will be able to renounce them in the future. Nothing wrong with everything, but how we deal with everything that is right or wrong? But unfortunately, we deal with everything with attachment, jealousy, anger, pride, and stinginess. That is wrong. Because it brings suffering to us and suffering to every body , now, later and forever. Nothing wrong with anything . So renounce means, renounce means that way we deal with everything, the negative way of dealing with everything, we renounce that . And we try to deal with everything positively. So this way, the suffering of samsara is a very important subject to know, and then to know how to overcome this. And the oar of the person in a small boat, crossing a very strong river, that oar is the morality, because morality is very important. Moral discipline, precepts, so you hold onto the precepts so precious like an oar, you know. Then you can get across. No moral discipline, then even if you have a very good intention, everything will be a chaos. And merit is absolutely important. Merit. That is like the provision that the long journey will need. Without merit even if you have good intention, you will not succeed. There are so many people who say, "I really like to practice, but I have no time". You know, so what is that? Why is there no time? That is the merit. I like to do Dharma practice, but I have this problem, I have that problem, I have this condition . I have that condition, so I can't. So, why is that? When you wanted to do something wrong, there is all the conditions there. If you want to lie, if you want to steal, all the condition is there. If you want to gossip, if you want to slander , all the condition is there. But when you wanted to do Dharma practice, condition is not there. I am not talking about everybody , but I am talking to those of you who feel that way. So, answer for that is: accumulation of merits . It is that the person is short of merit, not short of understanding, not short of aspiration, but short of merit. There is one thing that can take place of the merit . That is unconditional, unshakable determination. But that sometimes you also have to have merit

in order to have that. Very interesting. People ask me to make mo', make mo', divination. And their question is very funny. They said, "I have a son, should I make him monk or not?" How can I make a divination for that? I don't make divination. I said, "I don't make such divination. If you want to make your son a monk, you make it. I don't make such divination. How can I say, you son shouldn't become a monk? Then the person asked me another strange question , "What happens if he later decides not to be a monk?" I tell them , "That is his decision. So he will make his decision when his time comes". Right now it is your time, so you make your decision. Because you are not allowed to become Bhikshu until you are twenty years old. So if you make him monk, that's what you wish to. You are the father, you are the mother, you think you are doing your best to your child, so make him monk. And when he or she is twenty, then he will decide to become Bhikshu or Bhikshuni or not, and then leave that up to them. So, determination, you know, even the parents sometimes lack determination about their decision for their children. Their decision for their children is same as their decision to themselves. They have to be responsible to their children same as they have to be responsible to themselves. No more, no less. Then when children reach a certain age, they make their decision. Then parents have no responsibility for that. So that way, only determination can over cross the lack of merit. But then that determination also will lack unfortunately if the person does not have the merit to have that determination. Summary of the four preliminary contemplations So this way and the suffering of samsara, by learning the suffering of samsara, then the preliminary contemplation is complete. After this session, I completed to teach you the four ordinary preliminary contemplations. The practice schedule which I already have written down, and which will be made available for you upon the completing of our teaching here this time at the end of the month. And when you practice, you have to practice exactly in this order. First, precious human life. Because we have to know what we have, and appreciate the precious human life. Then once we learn about the precious human life, and confirm, then we have to learn about the impermanent of the precious human life. Everything is impermanent including precious human life that we have. So death impermanent is the second contemplation. Then after learning death impermanent , then we have to learn about karma cause and result, because after the impermanent of this life, then what happens? According to the karma, we will have another life . So for that reason, we have to learn about the karma cause and result. And after that, we have to learn about suffering of samsara. Even we accumulate good karma, then still we are in samsara. Therefore, we have to go beyond just accumulating good karma. We have to go beyond that. So, suffering of samsara is what we have to overcome; and we have to go beyond good karma. And we have to go , reach beyond everything that is to do with samsara. So, suffering of samsara is the fourth and last practice. So this order is very, very important . So you have to practice in this order. And another thing about this order is very simple factual reality. Generally it is very difficult for people to appreciate what they have and it is hard to see what we already have; and it is very easy to see what we don't have. So, therefore , precious human life, which we have. So to see that is very important. Then after that, then it is quite natural for us to become very happy about what we have and then forget what will happen next. So for that reason, then impermanent is

extremely important thing to know. Then we know we better use what we have efficiently, otherwise we are going to lose it . That is common sense. I have friends and also I have people who I know . They have a very good health, but they don't know that they have a very good health. So they don't take care of their good health . Then they are sick very badly. And only then they know now they have a big problem. Now their lung has to be removed and operated . And their liver has to be transplanted and all that sort of things. Of course, we cannot remove the whole lung but, you know, some part of it. And they smoke , they drink like this. They don't take care. And s o this way when you have, when you learn what you have, then you have to learn how to use it and how to take care of it. So, precious human life, death impermanent. And then about the karma. It is very important to know that karma brought us here and karma will bring us over there in the future. Karma brought us here from yesterday and karma will bring us from here to tomorrow. And this we have to know. Otherwise , then precious human life, death impermanent then stop there , then it doesn't make any sense. We, precious human life makes us very proud; and death impermanent makes us to see it very easy end if there is a problem , and then that's it. So by knowing karma cause , and result, then we would know end of this life is not the end . Because this life is not the beginning, you know. This is not the beginning, this is not the end. So when you shoot an arrow , when you shoot an arrow, it start from here to the target, so until we reach the target, the Buddhahood, every atom that it pass through is one life. And it continues like this. But then going in samsara, the arrow is not an arrow, it is a boomerang . You know boomerang. The Australian use. You know, the native Australian use wood. It is like that so you throw. And it goes like this, like this, like this, like this, like this, and come back. Then you throw again. So, it is not like an arrow, it is like a boomerang. It just goes in circle. So we have to learn about the suffering of samsara after learning the karma cause and result. Of course, I am fascinated by boomerang , it's a very , very clever tool. Anyway, now this way by knowing the suffering of samsara, then your accumulation of merit and accumulation of wisdom becomes truly healthy one. Otherwise, we just become, how do you say, midget of everything that we do. Positive things we do. We do to get something and we are afraid of something. Because of that, we do it. Dharma practice we do because we are afraid of something. And Dharma practice we do because we want to get something and something in samsara. We wanted to be lucky; we wanted to be richer in next life, more healthier in next life. Even we do lots of things in this life. For example, I myself also do certain amount of it. You look at this building, there is a door here and door there, but there's no door here . And I have a door there , not over there. I put the stupa over there instead of over there. Practically entrance should be there, because as people drive down they see the entrance. And they enter the entrance and the stupa would should be facing like this. And, you know, it's more practical. But this is the correct way. You call that Fengshui. In India , we call it "Vastoo". So when I came, I arrived at the middle night about 10:30 to 11 to Sherabling. I could have started that early, earlier one more earlier a day, one more day earlier. I could have stopped somewhere and then got here the next morning. I could stop at night somewhere and got here in the morning. But I have to start that day to come up here, and I have to arrive here that day. That is astrology. Astrology is mathematics. One and one is two. Two and two is four. Right? So then for example, our Maha Mudra teaching here started the day the sun, the day gets longer and night gets shorter. That particular day we start, that exact day. From that day onward, everyday, few

seconds, few minutes more, few minutes actually more daylight, few minutes less nights. Sun will be setting further, further and further further down. So now, all of this is dualistic, all of this is worldly, but we follow it. And same thing with everything else. I never go far away without filling the tank of my car with the gasoline. I don't want my car to be stuck in the middle of nowhere. And all the tires have to be checked. So, all of these things are worldly, and we have to do it, but only that much. And people ask me to pray because some of their family member is going through operation . People ask me to pray because they are opening a new shop or a new restaurant. P eople ask me to pray because their children having exams and all kinds of request like that. I do my best. T hat is worldly. So, but if everything becomes just that, then there is nothing for enlightenment. Therefore, Dharma is for this life as well as for next life as well as for enlightenment. Without knowing the suffering of samsara, then you will not know the most important purpose of Dharma ~ the enlightenment. Then Dharma will become only a worldly success tool, tool for worldly success. Nothing wrong. Pray for Buddha for your health, and your fortune, and for the future of your children . All of these nothing wrong. But always it should be attached to it enlightenment for all sentient being. Otherwise it is very funny Dharma. Because it has very little to do with what Buddha's teaching is all about. So this way, the fourth, the suffering of samsara is very important subject to contemplate. Now with these four contemplations, teaching will be completed.

The First Extraordinary Preliminary Practice: Refuge, Prostration, and Bodhicitta Practice
Given by the 12th Kenting Tai Situpa at Palpung Sherabling, December 2004. Transcribed by Chang Chin & Changchub Saldon

Teaching Chapter 8 & 9 and Practice Chapter 8 Now after four ordinary contemplations, preliminary contemplation is completed then you practice four extraordinary preliminary practices. What are the four extraordinary preliminary practices? The four extraordinary preliminary practices. They are extraordinary because by practicing each one of them you can reach Buddhahood. You just do the refuge, prostration, Bodhicitta practice only for rest of your life you can reach Buddhahood. Just like Milarepa. If you practice Dorjesempa only for rest of your life just like Milarepa then you will reach realization just like him; the same way with the mandala offering and the Guru yoga. And each one of them is extraordinary, complete practice. And each one of these practices is not missing anything. That's why it is extraordinary. In Tibetan Tun Mong Ma Yin Pa. Thun Mong Ma Yin Pa in extraordinary is perfect translation, perfect. Thun Mong means common, ordinary. Ma Yin Pa means which isn't. So you can't

translate that better than extraordinary; XO extra ordinary. Now why then we have to practice all four of them instead of just one? Because Maha Mudra lineage is so rich so there are so many other methods: so many meditations, so many Yidam practices. Therefore this is organized as the preliminary practice. And why prostration first, Dorjesempa second, and Mandala third and Guru Yoga fourth? Why? The reason is Prostration is more physical oriented practice. The first extraordinary preliminary practices ~ Refuge, Prostration, and Bodhicitta Main thing about prostration is refuge and Bodhicitta. Refuge is devotion, isn't it? Bodhicitta is more compassion oriented, isn't it? You cannot say may I attain Buddhahood may all Buddha to attain Buddhahood. You're saying, may I attain the Buddhahood for all sentient beings to attain Buddhahood. Therefore it is more compassion oriented. So with devotion and compassion then you are doing the prostration physically. You have to be quite dedicated, and quite devoted and sincere to do prostration. Prostration is totally on the ground. Physically there is no way to express more devotion, and more dedication and more trust than that. What else you can do; expression maximum - the maximum expression of devotion and compassion. So we do this, one hundred and ten thousand times. Refuge and Bodhicitta So it is first practice because refuge and Bodhicitta is first. Without refuge you are not even a Buddhist officially. Of course unofficially everybody is Buddha in the making. But officially you become Buddhists after taking refuge. And you become Mahayana Buddhist by taking Bodhisattva vow. You cannot be Vajrayana without refuge and Bodhicitta, impossible. That is the foundation. Visulization ~ Vajradhara Buddha And you are practicing the Vajrayana because all that you are visualizing there is Theravada, Mahayana, Vajrayana all. You are visualizing Buddhas. You are visualizing Arhats. You are visualizing Bodhisattvas. You are visualizing deities. You are visualizing Gurus. And you are visualizing Buddha in the very special manifestation, the Buddha Vajradhara. It is Vajrayana Buddha - Vajrayana manifestation or description of Buddha. So blue color, the color of emptiness, the color of space, represents Dharmakaya. Formless. All the ornaments five Dhyani Buddha crown and all the other ornaments which represent Sambhogakaya Buddha. So physical feature which wears all the ornament represents Buddha Sakyamuni that is Nirmanakaya Buddha. Holding vajra representing method and bell representing emptiness. And crossing on his heart direction representing unity, non duality. So that is the Svabhavikakaya; the Dharmakaya, Sambhogakaya, Nirmanakaya unseparable. Now as the visualization, actually this text, Maha Mudra Torch of Certainty, which is put together, compiled by first Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye of Palpung. This is the most comprehensive and detailed instruction and text on four, I meant all the preliminary practices, of course but particularly four extra-ordinary preliminary practice very clearly detail here instruction

here. I think this is available both in English as well as Mandarin. Maybe in Cantonese, too. And I am sure it is in all other languages such as Spanish, Italian, Russian, French, and German etc. Now there is no self-visualization. You don't visualize yourself as anything. You just visualize, you just maintain yourself as you are. Everything else you visualize. So now we pretend we completed the four ordinary preliminary practices contemplation already. That will be done after four weeks. So it will be the beginning of February, 2005. Okay. Refuge, Prostration, and Bodhicitta Practice Guide Now you will say refuge and Bodhicitta as usual and Dorjechang Thung Ma prayer as usual if you have time. Otherwise the details Refuge and Bodhicitta is in the prostration practice itself. It is there already. So say lineage prayer, Refuge Bodhicitta, if you have time. Then you do four ordinary thoughts very quickly as I read them. You read them and as you read them you think of precious human life, death impermanence, karma cause and result, sufferings of samsara very briefly. Because you have done already one week on each already, detail already done so very briefly as you read it you contemplate them. So all of this time you are sitting, of course. Then you dissolve everything into emptiness, but that is very natural because everything is emptiness. That is because of our skandha we don't feel, we don't see as emptiness. Otherwise reality is multi-layer reality, countless, numberless, infinite reality. This is only one of the infinite reality; relatively speaking not even ultimately even relatively. Multi-layer reality. Even right now for some sentient beings we are in the middle of a city and big subway just rushing here for some sentient being. For some sentient beings we are in the middle of a mountain totally solid. For some sentient beings we are in the deep of space in between one planet and another planet. In the middle of deep space. Nothing. So but this I am only talking as a human being because mountain, middle of space, between planets and subway and I am talking as a human being. I am imagining as a human being of planet earth of twenty-first century you know. So it can be middle of two thousand years BC where no machines nothing middle of a desert right now for some sentient beings. For example, the water that we drink, for Gods, it is amrite, nectar. For fish, it is air. Flying in, and breathe and breathe out. For hungry ghost it is the most terrible untouchable thing. And for hell this is burning lava, flowing lava. I am talking about the Gods, and human beings, and animals, and hungry ghosts and hell of our kinds. So there is countless kinds, infinite kinds. Therefore it is not only ultimately everything is emptiness but relatively everything is emptiness. You know there are some people in this world who are not enlightened; who are not Buddha, but they can walk through the wall. And they can hear, they can see what is behind this wall very clearly as we see when we are outside the wall. They are inside the wall they can see what is outside the wall as we see if we are outside. They are not Buddha. They are just like us. They are happy. They are unhappy. They have all the defilements everything. Just some physical and senses differences. That proves very clearly the infinite reality. Another example, if you give your dog one million dollar right in front of him. He will tear it into pieces because dog likes to tear paper. If you take it away, he don't care. But if it is unedible piece of dirty bone, your dog will bite it, even it bleeds his gum. He bites it. If you want to take it away, most of the dogs will bite you.

Some don't. So dogs with more wisdom they don't. Just like people. You know. Some dogs are more wisdom than the other dogs. Visualization - Refuge Tree So now dissolve everything to emptiness. So from emptiness, then your visualization manifests. You visualize your father on one side and your mother on another side. So all sentient beings, friends and enemies, and all sentient being, all mother sentient beings right and left and behind you like ocean of sentient beings, endless, countless. All facing same direction as you. So in front of all of you, beautiful meadow, green, flat, green. In the middle of meadow, beautiful lake filled with most sacred water we call. Something likes 'Kan Lu' (nectar). In the middle of that lake, wish fulfilling tree. And huge tree with four branches; one coming this way, one growing that way, one growing that way, one growing behind and one trunk in the middle. You can call it the four branches or you can call it five branches, because the middle one is trunk, you know. And the central trunk, the central branch, is the Guru; all the gurus of the lineage. So top is Buddha Vajradhara. Buddha manifests in the form of Buddha Vajradhara. In the middle is Guru Vajradhara. Your guru manifests in the form of Buddha Vajradhara. In between, all the lineage masters until your guru. So in this lineage guru then Marpa's Guru is actually Maitripa. Because Marpa had many great masters during his three trips to India and spending twenty-one years in India , out of which sixteen years and seven months with his gurus receiving transmissions. He has many masters. And his main masters are Naropa and Maitripa. From Naropa he received the transmission of the Kagyu, that means the oral transmission which is known as Ka Shi Gyu Pa. The four mainstreams of Ka oral transmission and one of them is named as Maha Mudra. And from Maitripa he received many transmissions but he considered Maitripa particularly his Maha Mudra Ji-Kan-SunShi (Vajra Guru). Okay. So now, but Tilopa and Naropa are also part of the lineage. So they are in the space. Here and there. Tilopa here and Naropa here; not in the Buddha Vajradhara to Guru Vajradhara kind of line, but it is in the space here and there, Tilopa and Naropa. And out of many great masters, one of his master is known as Khadroma Miru Key Gyen Chen that means Dakini who is adorned with ornament of human bones. And she is also his Maha Mudra master. But not in the. Not here. Not in the, you know. Not there. Not under refuge tree. And of course, the Maha Mudra teaching is the teaching of Buddha which is transmitted by great masters like Tilopa, Naropa, Maitripa etc. And the Maitripa's teaching is known as golden rosary. Now the visualization of the masters all the orders this thangka is the most updated accurate thangka and I think it have sixteenth Gaylwa Karmapa also here. For that way it is most updated and complete thangka. And here the front branch is for the deity. So in this thangka the Khorlo Demchog and Dorje Pagmo, the Vajravarahi and Chakrasamvara in union, is practiced here. And surrounded by field of the our main Yidams. Actually our main Yidam of the lineage is Vajravarahi. The reason is although the Chakrasamvara is the king and Vajravarahi is the queen But Vajravarahi represents the wisdom and Chakrasamvara represents the method; So in our lineage Vajravarahi is which represents the wisdom is main deity because method is for what, method is to acquire wisdom; method is to awaken the primordial wisdom. Essence of all sentient being is primordial

wisdom. Enlightenment is the full realization of the primordial wisdom; because of that, Vajravarahi is our main Yidam. Now the tree on the right, the branch on the right, that means the right of the refuge, not right of you. Right of the refuge is over here. Right of you over there. So right of the refuge tree which is facing you that is the Buddha, the Nirmanakaya Buddha. The Buddha, Dharmakaya, Sambhogakaya, Nirmanakaya, Svabhavikakaya is right on top on the lineage. But the Nirmanakaya Buddha, the Buddha Sakyamuni, is over there in the center. And who is surrounded by all the Buddha which is represented by Buddha of ten directions. So the branch which is behind, that is the Dharma, so all the teaching of Buddha the text. The Vinaya, Abhidharma Sutra and Tantra and all of the teachings of Buddha is in form of texts on the branch which is behind; grows behind. And in thangka you cannot draw. Therefore just symbolically, right side here and left side here few books shelves, you know, are shown. And we call it text style are shown here and that is just to symbolize; otherwise we don't know how to draw behind it, you know. Now the left of the refuge tree which is over there, which is your right but left of the refuge tree. On that all the Sangha and holy Sangha on top and ordinary Sangha underneath. But of course holy Sangha, ordinary Sangha the difference is the Bodhisattvas like Avalokitesvara and Manjushri they are considered holy Sangha, And then all the Arhats considered second to them. They are holy Sangha too. Very very holy. So center is Avalokitesvara Bodhisattvas surrounded by other seven Bodhisattvas which are altogether known as eight Bodhisattvas. So three main Arhants are depicted here in the middle Kungawo (Ananda). And then Ananda's right is Sariputra. And Ananda's left is Mongalputra. So they represent the eight Bodhisattvas represent all the Bodhisattvas. And these three Arhants represent all the Arhants. So now that is the refuge tree. And now the underneath the branches, below the branches facing toward you are all the Protectors. And two-arm Mahakala is in the middle, and then surrounded by all the other Protectors of the lineage. So two-arm Mahakala is our main protector. And then in the space above, then all the masters of all the lineages. Theravada, Mahayana, Vajrayana all the great masters. Like clouds. Space filled with them. Starting Prostration So in front of them, you stand up and then do the prostration and say the refuge prayer. So the first refuge prayer first prostration you can say the whole thing. So that is the full refuge prayer that you do for the first prostration. So I mean for each session each session began the whole. Then after that then you can start from 'Drn Chen Tsa Wa Dang Gyu Par Che Pai Pal Den La Ma Dam Pa......' or 'Pal Den La Ma Dam Pa......' It is the same thing. So most people start from'Pal Den La Ma Dam Pa......' because few words shorter. So of course at the beginning you will be singing very slowly, quite slowly. You doing prostration also slowly. You doing the saying the prayer also slowly because you are not used to it. And once you get used to it then you said quite fast. And you also do prostration quite fast. If you are really doing two hours of practice everyday, it would take about a week or ten days to get into that stage. Unless you are doing lots of exercise, if you are not exercising then first couple of days you will be quite painful. Every muscle could ache. If you are a little be older, and your joints will ache, too. But joint ache is a little bit more serious than muscle ache. Muscle ache once you build up and stretched then it goes away. Some people even get cramps. So after some time you're reciting

pretty fast. You have to say quite relaxed. It's very nice, smooth and fast. Many people like to do it, say the prayer very slowly but do the prostration quite fast. Fast as they can and then when they get tired then they sit down and chant the prayer for more. And then again get up and do the prostration and when they get tired they sit down and chant recite the refuge prayer like that. Many people like to do that. It is quite good. Body is just like a kid. You can spoil it. Or you can discipline. If you discipline, you know, then you can do many many things. A little be difficult then you stop, you know. A little difficult then you rest, then it would be just like that. But don't do Kunfu prostration. I saw lots of people like to do that. You know. Most of them also have their heads down. They have a permanent bump here. I don't know why but maybe they like to show you. I don't know. Or it just individual habit, you know. When I taught, I taught quite forcefully you know. So that is my habit. The same way, when they do prostration maybe they do it forcefully is a habit. I will give you some very very simple advices. Also used square like the towel sort of to slide that it is also good. Sliding. But the best is thick cotton glove with fingers open. Three fingers open that is the best. You don't have to look for the pad, you know. It goes away.Open fingers you can count the mala very easy. It has to be quite thick and you must have quite few of them, if they wore out. So wooden floor is very good and good marble is also very good but plywood is no good. Plywood. After sometimes plywood wore out then it would pieces will stick into your skin. Then you will be busy, you know, and you can't do prostration for a couple of days. You have to go to medication. Of course I don't have to tell you but sometimes people don't know. So if you need a solid wood. Planks for prostration board put the plank this way. Not like that. I don't have to tell you but some people don't know. Those of you who have the soft live which most of you do. You know. Then you need pad, you know, like something in the middle like blanket or big towel folded one in the middle so that is for the knee for the ribs and all these. But if you are young and tough you know and also you are not so fragile you don't need those. Wood is good enough. So when you do the prostration, now you are putting your hands together that means you are totally totally submitting and devoted and dedicated. You put your hands together. OK? So you put on your head, forehead, it means you confess and purify all the negative karmas of your body for the countless life time and karmas that are created to your body for countless life time. And you are requesting for blessing of the Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, Guru, Deity and Protector for your body. So same thing with the speech here, same thing with the mind here. And only three, one, two, three. I see some people do funny funny things like But one, two, three. Very simple. Not up down up down. And then, you bend down and you are totally on the ground full stretch of your body like this. And that means you totally dedicated and totally devoted to Three Jewels and Three Roots for your purification and their blessing. And for the benefit all the sentient beings to reach Buddhahood. Concluding practice and dedication And then when you wanted to stop your prostration session then you sit down, sit down. Then you say the Bodhisattva recitation, Bodhicitta, Bodhicitta recitation. It means until I attain the Buddhahood, I take refuge to Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. That is the Bodhisattva refuge. So here, you are saying 'Just as all the past Buddhas and Bodhisattvas took Bodhicitta and practiced Bodhicitta same way, I take Bodhicitta and practice

Bodhicitta.' That is taking the Bodhicitta. Bodhicitta means I wish to attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all the sentient beings to attain Buddhahood. That is Bodhicitta. So Bodhisattva have many many levels, some are until all sentient beings reach Buddhahood, they don't want to reach Buddhahood. Some they want to reach Buddhahood, and then help all sentient beings to bring to Buddhahood. All different kind of Bodhisattva aspirations. All of them is the same Bodhisattva. After this you repeat three times. Refuge and Bodhicitta you refuge recite three times. Then there three more shaloka that is related to Bodhisattva, Bodhisattva Vow. And the first is the self rejoice, second is commitment, third is the rejoice to the others. Those one you saying that I became part of Buddha's family, you know, because I have taken Bodhicitta today. So detail is in the translation. And then the second one is you're saying you will do your best to practice Bodhicitta as a Bodhisattva so you will not contaminate the lineage of Bodhisattva. And the third is you invite all sentient beings to enjoy all of your merits and wisdom, because you dedicate everything for all sentient beings. So that is rejoice to the others. And so this recitation you do one time. After that there few more prayers which are wishing all sentient beings to have Bodhicitta. And who have Bodhicitta may their Bodhicitta become more deeper and more profound. And also wishing all the Buddhas, all the Bodhisattva to fulfill their aspiration. And also wishing all the Buddhas' activities would flourish for the benefit of all sentient beings etc. They are Bodhisattvas' prayers. There is couple of them. So that, all of that prayers you said only one time. Then the last prayer that you say is four limitless thoughts. So limitless compassion, may all sentient beings be from suffering and cause of suffering. And second is the limitless loving kindness. First one, sorry, first one is limitless loving kindness. That is may all sentient beings be happy and be with the cause of conditions of happiness. That is the first one. I got it mix up. Jam Pa Tse May. So the second one is the limitless compassion. May all sentient beings be free from suffering and the cause of conditions of suffering. The third one is limitless joy. That is may all sentient beings always remain happy and with the cause of happiness and no suffering at all. Four is limitless impartiality. That is all that loving kindness, compassion, and joy is for all sentient beings, impartial. So all of this you don't have to any extra visualization, except when you're taking the refuge and Bodhicitta. You're taking it from all the Buddhas and Bodhisattva and Three Jewels and Three Root which have there already so you're receiving it from them. Only that. There's no other visualization here. Four thoughts you say three times. Then now is the conclusion of prostration practice. So here all of the refuge, Three Jewels and Three Roots, which you visualize there, under the refuge tree, included the refuge tree everything dissolve into the Guru Vajradhara, and Guru Vajradhara dissolve into light, just dissolve into light and that light dissolve into you, just like this. And you and Guru Vajradhara which is embodiment of Three Jewels and Three Roots become unseparable. And with that blessing, with that sense of blessing, you try to remain in that state of meditation for sometime. Then when you arise a thought, you know normally you would feel that, for some time that are naturally there will be thought arise, then when that happen, then you dedicate the merits for the benefit of all the sentient beings. You can say regular short dedication prayer or you can say long dedication prayer. Long dedication prayer is like Maha Mudra Prayer which is quite long. The shortest one that means because of this merit, may I realize the Maha Mudra and may all sentient beings, may I be able to lead all sentient beings to the realization of Maha Mudra. That means

Buddhahood same thing. O.K. So with that the refuge, prostration and Bodhicitta practice, the first preliminary practice is completed.

The Second Extraordinary Preliminary Practice: Dorjesempa Practice

Given by the 12th Kenting Tai Situpa at Palpung Sherabling, December 2004. Transcribed by Chang Chin & Changchub Saldon

Teaching Chapter 10 & 11 and Practice Chapter 9 & 10 Now the second extraordinary preliminary practice is Dorjesempa. This is also purification oriented practice. It is a complete practice in itself. If you practice Dorjesempa only for rest of your life, you can reach the same realisation as all the great masters like Milarepa have reached. It is a complete practice by itself. Now this is more oral and mental oriented purification practice because you are mentally visualizing and you are orally reciting the Dorjesempa's hundred-syllable mantra. And so physically you are just sitting. You are not doing prostration or anything like that. The prostration and Dorjesempa both are purification. But prostration is first because as a beginner biggest obstacles for doing retreat or doing long time practice is you feel. If you are able to do practice properly, you feel relaxed. And as a result of feeling relaxed, then you fall asleep. It is not very easy to fall asleep when you are doing prostration. Therefore, that is the first. Now you have done practice for long enough. You completed one hundred and ten thousand prostrations. Then you would be now sitting down. And you would feel it very nice and then you do Dorjesempa visualization and recitation. When we say purification, then naturally we have to know what does it really mean. So there is a very simple common sense comes out of the word, purification. Purification, by this word, we naturally understand there is something pure inside, something that cannot become impure, something that is eternally primordial pure. So it also give us very clear understanding, common sense understanding, that there is something that is making it impure, which is something outside of that pureness. So if I give you two things to wash. One is a bowl of ink. Another one is a dirty cloth. Then if you have common sense, you will take the dirty clothes and you will give me back the bowl of ink. Bowl of ink you cannot wash. Wash , wash, and wash, it becomes smaller, smaller, smaller and then disappear. Because from outside to the inside, all is ink - black. Clothes, dirty clothes, the dirtiness is only outside. But inside there, there is clean clothes. So dirtiness is attached to it because dirt is collected on it. So you use soap, you use water and you clean it, then it becomes very clean. So our primordial essence is always pure. You cannot find one ultimately impure being in the whole existence. You will find only relatively impure beings; each one of us more pure in something and less pure in other things. But all of us are ultimately pure, same, and equal. When we become ultimately pure, we become Buddha. Until that, there is something to wash. So if we see first level Bodhisattva and Buddha, two of them in front of us, we might be more impressed by the first level

Bodhisattva, because first level bodhisattva can manifest perfectly one hundred, so we can count; but Buddha manifest countless, limitless. Therefore, we don't know how to count. So first level Bodhisattva will be more dualistic than the Buddha. Buddha has no dualism whatsoever. So something hot our tongue can taste. Something sweet our tongue can taste. But something that is totally everything, we cannot taste. No dualism between the taste and the tongue that we can't taste. So this way, this way, purification is naturally describing very clearly everybody is ultimately pure right now. Relatively until we become Buddha, there is something to purify. Drubpa means complete. Minpa means fully ripened, like fruit fully ripe. Jangwa means fully mature and fully pure and fully accustomed. There is nothing more to purify. There is nothing more to develop. And everything is full so that is Jangwa. For us, we Jangwa Dikpa and Drepa. Dikpa means negative karma. And Drepa means obscuration. But Bodhisattvas, they will Shing Jung Wa, Sangye Kye Shing Jang Wa . So from one Buddha field to another Buddha field, that it is like, for us it is like pilgrimage; for them it is like maturity. From first level Bodhisattva to second level Bodhisattva: Shing Jang Wa . So now, when Dzokpa, Minpa, Jangwa all three are completed, then Buddha. So our level of purification and Arhat's level of purification, Bodhisattva's level of purification are totally, totally by millions of forms, different. I don't have a perfect example. But I have a some very superficial example. Old days they washed clothes with ash. It is quite clean but still a little dirty. It still smells pretty bad. Then after some time, they were using some kind of soap. But not exactly soap that we know. And much more cleaner but still it is not really clean. Now we have dry clean or very special soap for cleaning. It is really clean. I am sure it is not totally clean yet. There will be better ones coming in the future. Mainly with the motivation of somebody's wallet to become bigger. So now similarly, similarly when we purify, when we purify one thing but then our dualistic perception somehow crave another thing. So the worst one is purified. But something, which with you purify, sticks to it. When we progress further, then that something will become less and less. I give you very simple example. At the beginning you will say, I want to do my prostration. But then you say aye-yor. So pain here, pain there. Oh my time. Oh I am too late. So all of that would be there. But your aspiration and your devotion make you go on. After some time, then that aye-yor will not be there. It won't be there. So it will be pleasure to do it. After some time, that pleasure is also not there. Spontaneously, you will do it. So that way, it is like washing with the ash, washing with the old soap, washing with the modern soap, like that. So Buddha's pureness will be like to become pure itself. It is not the result of cause and condition. It is beyond cause and condition. Now, the purification, it is also clearly written in the text. The sin or negative karma or in Tibetan, Dikpa, does not have anything good about it. But there is one thing good about it. That is you can purify it. So I will say the Tibetan words. You don't have to repeat for it. Don't worry. Now the definition of Dikpa and Drepa. Dikpa means negative karma, a sin, bad karma i.e . that is Dikpa . Drepa means obscuration, the obstacle, that is Drepa. So the definition of these two is quite important. Killing something, stealing something, lying, all these kinds of things are Dikpa . Dikpa. So they will prevent you from having greater rebirth and they will make you to be born in lower birth. Even you are born in a higher birth, it

will prevent you from having positive and conducive conditions for the Dharma practice for the realization. Drepa means obscuration. Drepa like: when somebody have a cataract on their eye. So their eye did not for blind. But their eye is Drepa by the thin layers of new skin that it grows there. So eye is Drepa. Mik Drepa. Mik Drepa and Mik Longwa is different. Mik Drepa so cannot see any more, just like a thin plastic sheet put inside the eye, so you can't see. So that is Drepa, obscuration. So Drepa is obscuration for wisdom. It will obscure you from developing wisdom. And that simply means it will be obscuration for your enlightenment for your Buddhahood. And so Geywa and Dikpa. Geywa means virtuous. Dikpa means non-virtuous. Geywa means good positive karma. Dikpa means negative karma. So even some of the Geywa, the positive karma also can become a Drepa, not become a Dikpa, but Drepa. So, if when we do Dharma practices for us to be more famous, more healthy, more rich, then it is not Dikpa. But it is Drepa. Because of the good karma, you will have good health. Because of the good karma, you will be richer. Because of the good karma, you will be more popular, more famous. But then it will keep away, keep us away from realisation because you will enjoy it. And why we wanted it? Because we wanted to enjoy it. But then if you have motivation of becoming richer, healthier and more popular for benefits of sentient beings, then that is not that much of a Drepa. But still it is a little bit of Drepa. I give you very simple example. If you are famous, what happens? You have thousands of people who you don't know them and they like you. And then you have thousands of people who you don't know them, they don't know you, but they're jealous of you. And then you would have thousands of other people, you don't know them, they don't know you, but they hate you. That is what famous is. So it is an obstacle. How much of the obstacle it depends. Four strengths of purification Now for the purification, there is four particular we call strength, Tob. Tob means strength, four strengths for purification. The four things, four particulars, that has the power, the strength to purify; four ways. So the first one is known as in Tibetan, known as Soon Jen Pe Tob, Soon Jenpa. Soon Jenpa means like, you know, overpowering, overpower, strength to overpower. So this is when you have a sincere, pure regret or repentance or regret for the negative deeds that you might remember or you might not even remember. So you have sincere regret for it. So that is the overpowering because your rejoice for that negative deed and your regret for that negative deed, the regret is more powerful. Then the rejoice of the negative deed is overpowered. But I give you this. This is very simple. For example: you steal something and you are happy that you manage to steal. But later you regret that you stole it. So that regret is bigger than the joy that you had. Then that is one very important strength for purification. Now that the second is called Nyenpo. Nyenpo means antidote, an antidote. Like you have one sickness and there is one medicine which is antidote for that sickness. Like poison, one poison then you'll have an antidote for that poison. So, of course, the Dorjesempa practice is encompassing all of the four strengths, all of them. But out of the four, particularly, it is Nyenpo Kundu Chot Pe Tob. It is the antidote strength, antidote particularly. Because it is a method you visualize and you recite. So this way it is a method and antidote.

Visualization - Dorjesempa

Now the visualization of the Dorjesempa is: You yourself remain as yourself, no self visualization. So on top of your crown, there is a letter PAM . So Tibetan letter or Sanskrit letter PAM , and we do Tibetan letter. Which is very similar, which is created, Tibetan letter is created from Sanskrit letter. So that P AM , visualized clearly and then the PAM , white, of course, white PAM. And that white P AM transforms into white lotus like this. And then on top of that lotus, there is letter Ah , that also white. And that Ah, when you have very clear visualization, then that Ah transformed into a moon disc, moon crystal disc but white. Crystal is transparent, white like a marble, white. So on top of that crystal disc, there is letter HUNG , again white HUNG. So the HUNG white then transforms into a vajra, white vajra. That vajra is white color Dorje and with five spoke. One spoke in the middle and four spokes in four directions. Then of course up , also down, you know a full dorje. The dorje has nine spoke dorja and five spoke dorje. It is the five spoke dorje with HUNG in the stomach of the dorje. So that dorje, the vajra, has a round thing in the middle. Inside the round thing, there is a white HUNG again. Now this HUNG together with the dorje radiates pure white light, accompanied by all the other lights. So some people say it is difficult to visualize, but it is very easy. Just like pearl. Just like pearl. If you get a mother of pearl or pearl, it is white but all the other color there. So like that radiates all direction. All direction and that light touch all sentient beings and purify all of their sufferings. And that light touch all the Buddha and Bodhisattvas and make limitless offerings to all of them. And now all the Buddhas' and Bodhisattvas' blessings return back in the form of light, it is like light radiates and light retrieves. And as it retrieves, then it transforms, the vajra, transforms into Dorjesempa. So Dorjesempa like this (thangka in "Torch of Certainty"). Of course, without the others. But the feet is not like this. The foot is the right foot down. This is we call Vajra posture. And everybody calls it lotus posture. I don't know where that comes from. But this is the Vajra posture. The other one is half posture. That is the right foot is down towards your crown. And then Dorjesempa is representing all Three Jewels and Three Roots. And it is just like the Guru Vjaradhara. It also represents in the form of Dorjesempa. It is your root guru manifesting in the form of Dorjesempa. But it represents all the Three Jewels and Three Roots together. So Ku Sum Tse Sum Kundu, so Three Jewels, Three Roots together. Now then way Dorjesempa holds vajra here and bell here. All of this we need a very good thangka. And this is very good except the feet is Vajra posture. On the picture it is Vajra posture. In visualization, it is not. The thangkas and statues are meant for us to use, to help us visualize as well. It is a sacred object, of course. But also it is to help us to visualize. Therefore good thangka or picture of good thangka or good statue or picture of good statue is very important. Because the measurement and everything is perfect, then it is perfect. Otherwise you will be visualizing Dorjesempa one hand a little bit longer than another. So that is not very good. It has to be totally perfect. But if you calm down and

look at the thangka or the picture, then you know because you know how everything should be. So physical visualization is complete. Now inside the Dorjesempa, in Dorjesempa's heart direction, there is a moon disc, just a moon crystal disc inside the Dorjesempa's heart direction. And on top of that which is flat, not like this. It just flat. Here also flat. You know. Here also flat. So on top of that, there is a letter HUNG standing facing front. All white and is surrounded by OM BENZA SATO HUNG. And it is clockwise. That means when you put it, you have to put it anticlockwise . OM BENZA SATO HUNG , Then it is clockwise. If it turns, it turns clockwise. If OM BENZA SATTO HUNG is a train. If it is a train, put the OM that is the engine. Here OM . Then compartment BENZA SATTO, then the last one, the cabooses at the end. You know. Engine front first, the cabooses at the end and then compartments in between. So like this. So that is when you place anti-clockwise, then letters is turning clockwise. When you place clockwise like this, then it would turn, it will turn anticlockwise. So you have to put it anti-clockwise, so that it will be clockwise. Now outside of that OM BENZA SATO HUNG , then the long mantra, the hundred-syllable mantra. You place the same way because in the middle HUNG , then OM BENZA SATTO HUNG, then all the mantra is put the same way, but all the way from beginning to end. Visualize one by one in the Dorjesempa's heart direction. Now when we have this, very clearly we visualized. It's little hard to, quite hard actually, not little, quite hard to have the visualization of all of it very clear at one time. But it is quite easy to visualize HUNG first, then OM BENZA SATTO HUNG. Then leave it there, it's already there, so then One by one and put it in circle. That it is there. So that way it is easy. O.K.? So if you try to see whole hundred-syllable mantra, and the central, and the first circle, and second circle, and entire Dorjesempa, everything at one time very very clearly, everything clearly, that will happen when you are very very good practitioner. But at the beginning, that is almost impossible. It is even impossible to look at this picture and see everything in this picture clearly with my own eyes at the same time. You know. I am looking at the face, I see the face. I am looking at the hand, I see the hand. I am looking at the feet, I see the feet. Cannot see everything clearly at the same time. So when I am looking at all of you, each one of you, right now I can see you. I just see your face and all of you have eyes, but I don't know where you are looking at, you know. So I just see the face of something on it. But even I wear my glasses, I cannot see all of you very clearly at the same time. I can not. So visualization also same thing. At the beginning you cannot. But once you master the visualization, then you develop the ability to see everything very clearly at the same time. That happens. So then after this, visualization is complete. Then, light radiates from this mantra chakra. We call this mantra chakra. Chakra means wheel. So Khor Lo, Ngag Kye Khor Lo . So from this mantra chakra radiates same kind of light to all directions. Then it touches all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, and Guru, Deity, Protectors of all directions and they all their presence is invoked. They invoked is like invocation and your visualization the all their presences dissolve into it and then it becomes the real Dorjesempa which is the embodiment of Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, Guru, Deity, Protector. Up to this point, it is somewhat blessed but your imagination. But now it is consecrated. So you know, the

silver smith made the statue like this with their hammer, you know. Then it becomes the statue. Then you put the mantras inside. You put the blessing things inside and everything and relics inside. Then it is consecrated. Then it becomes the real holy statue. Until that, it is an idol. So the same thing for your visualization. Your imagination, the visualization now become real, become real presence of Dorjesempa. Then now when all of that is clear, then you say the prayer. Visualization - Purification You are requesting the Guru Dorjesempa and all the Buddha and Bodhisattvas to purify all the negative karmas, all levels of karmas of yourself and all sentient beings. And as a result of your very sincere aspiration and your sincere request, then from the Dorjesempa's mantra chakra, the nectar flows like fountain. So white nectar just like milk and like pearl milk, showers like a fountain, and it fills the Dorjesempa. And then it comes out from the toe of the right foot which is towards your crown and from there nectar flows into your crown and it fills your entire body. And all of your negative karma even this body which is the result of our dualistic karma is also purified. So from all of our, how do you say, exists including eyes, nose, ears everywhere including the pores, everything comes, all the negative things come out like most unpleasant color like whatever it is: green, black, brown like this. And then all goes out and goes into the earth. And then all goes into the depth of earth until where the fire is and we call it golden ground. And it all melts there. It all burns there. It all purifies there. And so your body is filled with this pure nectar. So it is like most pure crystal body of you filled with most pure pearl milk. And then as you are totally pure and filled, then the nectar flows up and touches Dorjesempa's toes. And then stops flowing the nectar. And then you remain in that a little bit. And then when you arise another thought, then again you do the same flowing the nectar again. And as you are visualizing this, you are reciting th e long mantra. You are repeating the long mantra, not repeating the short mantra. Short mantra you repeat only few malas at the end. But that you don't count as the one hundred and ten thousand. Now the crown deity of Dorjesempa is Mikyodpa. But Dorjesempa itself is crown deity of all the Buddha family. So it is the king of all the Buddha family and represents all the five Buddha family.But then of course, its crown deity is Mikyodpa . That you will see in the drawing here. Concluding practice and dedication Then when you wanted to end the session, then you end with the nectar flowing up and stopping. You end there. And after that then Dorjesempa dissolves into light and dissolves into you. And you and Dorjesempa become one. Just like during the prostration, all the five objects of prostration, you know, on the five branch all dissolved. The same way Dorjesempa dissolves into the mantra chakra and that dissolves into you: dissolving into light and mantra chakra dissolves into light and dissolves into you. And you and Dorjesempa become one. And you try to maintain that state of sacred unity for some time. Then when a thought comes up, then you will say this prayer. So the meaning is: you are requesting Dorjesempa, because of the ignorance I and all sentient beings have accumulated lots of negative karmas and some of them are described here. And so

through your compassion, through your wisdom, through your power of wisdom help us and purify us. And you confess all aspect of negativity which you remember and don't remember you have accumulated in the past. So requesting them to bless you. So as you're saying that, then you visualize Dorjesempa smiles a little bit like response to it. And then Dorjesempa says, the fortunate person you are, devoted you. My son /my daughter, your all the Dikpa, Drepa. Dikpa means negative karma. Drepa means obscuration. Nyespa means actually doing anything wrong. And Tungwa means any kind of vows you have taken that you have broken. So all of these negativities are purified. So as you say that, as you appreciate that, then Dorjesempa dissolves into light and dissolves into you. So that Dorjesempa dissolves into light and dissolves into you. And your body, speech, mind and Dorjesempa's body, speech, mind become one. So That is the part of dissolution.And after the dissolution, then you remain for some time. And then when you wake up, then you say regular short or long dedication. So now I will say that one more time. So now when you wanted to end, O.K.? Then Dorjesempa has to dissolve into you, right? So for that you say " Gon Po Dak Ni Mi She Mong Pa Yi...... " etc. And as you say that, Dorjesempa smiles and then says what we call it proclamation. So he proclaims that you are purified. And also we use another, the Tibetan word, if we translate that English directly, Wuk Yung Wa. Wuk means breathing. You know. So he breathes out. So that means like he prophesies you, he acknowledges you. And so that can be translated as proclamation as well. Then Dorjesempa dissolves into you and becomes one with you. And then you remain in that for some time. When you awake from this, then you dedicate the merits for the benefits of all sentient beings. And then you make some regular dedication or Maha Mudra short form dedication or Maha Mudra long from dedication which is pretty long. It all depends on your time. You have more time, do more. You have less time, do less.

The Third Extraordinary Preliminary Practice: Accumulation of Merits ~ By Yogi Practice

Given by the 12th Kenting Tai Situpa at Palpung Sherabling, December 2004. Transcribed by Chang Chin & Changchub Saldon

Teaching Chapter 12 and Practice Chapter 11 In the teaching this particular chapter is placed here, I am teaching it here. But in practice, I think it is more appropriate for you to practice it when you finish all the four foundations. Four extraordinary foundations, after the Guru Yoga, then you practice this. You will be more ready. Otherwise, if you are very sensitive or you are very new in the Dharma practice, maybe this will be a little bit too much. But something very strange is everybody likes this practice. This practice is to chop yourself into pieces and make offering to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, make offering to the protectors, make offering to all your mother sentient beings, make offering to all the hungry ghosts, you know? And I thought people would have difficulties, but after today, everybody likes this

practice, a lot. I think one reason is maybe you would like to overcome the attachment to your body. Maybe that's one reason. Another thing is maybe they feel this is exotic and unusual. Visualization So you say refuge and Bodhicitta as usual. Then you physically and mentally calm down. Just relax. And then you get to calm, abiding and harmonious state. Then you say "Phed" very loud and very forceful. And as you say that from your heart direction, your nature of mind manifest in the form of Vajrayogini. So when you say Vajrayogini and Vajravarahi, although it is the same thing, but there is a difference. The Vajravarahi is most sacred. It has a head of pig on her crown sticking out in between her hairs. Because pig represents ignorance. In three animals that represent three poisons in the wheel of life. Pig presents ignorance, rooster represents attachment desire, and snake represents anger. Then they are holding others tails by their mouths and going in circle in the middle of wheel of life. But don't to misunderstand it doesn't mean pig is bad; it doesn't mean rooster is bad; it doesn't mean that snake is bad. Now, the Vajravarahi, the pig represents ignorance, the transformation of ignorance is wisdom. That's why to symbolize that transformation, she has a pig on her head, sticking out of her hair. Not in the sky, not a full pig in the sky. You know, a head of pig is sticking out within her hair from the hair. Vajrayogini is exactly like Vajravarahi but no pig head. But sometimes even for Vajravarahi in the text is used the name Vajrayogini, sometimes. But Vajravarahi word is never used for Vajrayogini; Vajrayogini is never called Vajravarahi, never. It is the same thing like Buddha is sometimes called God. Deity, Buddha, they all sometimes called God or Lha, Lha Sakyatuba, Yidam Kye Lhatosk. Lha Sakyamuni, you know, Sakyamuni. But Gods are never called Yidam or Lha, Yidam or Buddha. So the same way.

So now when you are calm, then you make the word "Phed" very loud. And then from your heart direction, then your ultimate Buddha essence limitless wisdom manifest in the form of Vajrayogini. And then she manifests in front of you and facing you in the space. So in right hand, she holds a very sharp blade, which is like a cut hooked blade, like a half moon, but top is a little bit hooked. And in the left hand she holds a skullcap filled with nectar. So in between Vajrayogini and you, manifest three skulls, three full skulls facing three directions. Sitting on the, you know the chin, so it's not upside down skulls , just like this but skulls facing three directions. Very clean, white, and very big, the size of each one is like a mountain. So then the Vajrayogini who holds the blade here like this, with the vajra on top as a handle. And holds the Kapala here, and her right foot is up and standing on her left foot. Then she makes this gesture, like this, is one gesture, like this. And it cut your skull from here to here very clean. And that sits on top of the three skulls and it become a huge skull cup container. Huge. Because those three are like three mountains so it is very big skull. But this part is facing you, this part is facing you. And very clean, outside is white; inside is red, very clean. And here, this part has a letter Ah, long Ah which represents emptiness. Ah. So the skull is like this, that means your head is

upside down, right? So Ah is correctly like this, not upside down Ah correctly. And red color, shining. Then Vajrayogini will use her blade, and first she is standing this way, so now she did this so your skull is cut, right? Making offering to Buddha, Bodhisattva, and Deity Then she makes that kind of movement, and so from here to here is cut. And then this kind of movement, so from here to here is cut. And then pushed and it lands in the skullcup. This part, the right part of your body, here to here. That she will cut it into pieces like this, and it all becomes many, many small pieces. So you see the movement, one, then two, then three, then like this. You say that, after that visualization. So it means this is your karmic body, countless life time of karma manifest as this body. And so it is cut into, the upper part is more, how do you say, this part is most sacred. And upper part is second most sacred, and the right side is more sacred than the left side. So that way it was in the skull cup which is already purified and became a container with an Ah which represents emptiness.

Then as you say which you are already taught then. So this purifies this meat, which is the result of the countless life time of karma, meat and bone and everything, and transforms into wisdom nectar. Because essence of this is nectar; there is nothing ultimately negative. Ultimately everything is positive. So, ultimate essence of everything is emptiness and perfect. So it transforms into nectar, ocean of nectar, the color is perfect, the smell is perfect and taste is perfect, and everything is perfect, everything is most clean. Which is ganlu (nectar), not meat soup. So then again, it is blessed by Om , Ah, Hung, Om blesses the physical aspect of it; Ah blesses the manifestation of it, the perfect ocean of nectar; And Hung blesses the essence of it as the supreme joy, supreme non-duality essence. Om , Ah, Hung. So you say Om , Ah, Hung three times. So as it is purified, then all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas of all directions is invoked, invoked by your sincere offering, so they are invoked. Invocation is only our perception, because they are allpervading, and for them they don't have here and there. So the translation after that is the practice of yogi merit accumulation. Refuge prayer, Bodhicitta prayer, lineage prayer optional, meditates until calm. "Phed", say loudly, see the transcription for visualization, but see your note for visualization in this case. Then first offering the right upper half of, half to the Buddha, upper half means upper half of your body, Buddha, Bodhisattva, and Deity, see the transcription in this case in notes for visualization. Transformation, see the transcription for visualization, now you have your notes. This is also one of the thing everybody so familiar and they really enjoys this practice, this particular visualization. So from all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and Deities, a light like a rainbow straw, you know, manifest from their mouths, straw, like when you drink Coca Cola with a straw, you know, like that, manifest from their mouths

and go into the ocean of nectar. So their tongue vajra tube, you know, so that's what it means, that's how we visualize. And for our perception, then they all received our offering, and it was the most sacred offering for them. Offering of devotion; offering of compassion; offering of non-dualism; offering of transformation. So as this is happening, what you say is t hat means to the gurus. The root of blessing, the gurus of the lineage. Offering this great ocean of wisdom nectar to all the gurus of the Kagyu lineage. Then next is it means I offer this to the root and base of attainment and Siddhi, the Deities assembly of the Gods. So here the Lha Tsok means assembly of Gods, but here it means Deity. Doesn't mean Dai Wa. It means Dai Wei Ta, the Deities. Then you also spell out the particular offerings which are in the most trantric text and ritual. First drinking water; second, the washing water, water to wash the feet, to wash. Shab Sil we call it. When Buddha came to visit devotees, devotees washed Buddha's feet with very clean water. Also we need water to wash. which means flowers, which represent beauty. it means incense, it represents smell, and smell to expel the dirtiness and make the environment clean and fresh, smell; means lamp, that means expel the darkness and reveal the light. Then, that means perfumed water, perfumed water, representing again purification and smell to stay, water would stay, incense would move but perfume would stay, apply. means food, it is nourishment; And music, to harmonize everything, to harmonize. Then when you say this, then all the offerings is made and all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and Deities and Gurus received my offerings. Then they dissolved into emptiness. Buddhas and Bodhisattvas we invoke them, so they manifest, and we make offerings, then we offer them and now the manifestation dissolves. Then we keep in that state of being one with all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and Gurus and Deities so in that oneness we try to remain for a little bit. And then the next offering. Making offering to Wisdom and Dharma Protectors So now the first one is, like this, like this, like this, like this and like this, right? Now the second one is like this, and no two movements, just like this, and then just push into the, throw into the Kapala. The container, the left part of upper body. Vajrayogini like this means from here to here, not from here to there, here to here. Then the purification, transformation, blessing all of these is the same. which is second left upper half of the half to the Dharma protector, see the transcription here in the note. Transformation So again it is filled with sacred, precious nectar and just like before, and it is blessed. Everything the same. So then in front of you, in front, you know, that means in front of Vajrayogini, there is a skullcup. In front of the skullcup above, then all the Protectors manifest. So all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas also manifest. This you don't have to translate. This is Tibetan word for that. So all the wisdom protectors, as well as their retinues to protect the Dharma, they all manifested like clouds in the sky, so many. And then you make sincere offering, they also take your offering the same way as Buddhas and Bodhisattvas did. So they accepted your offerings, and they are filled with stainless great union, the joy, and they are filled with it. So then after that, then they dissolve into emptiness. Again, of course, you say ...... etc. But the same as the Gurus and Deities.

Then they dissolve into emptiness. In this space all wisdom and Dharma Protectors manifest, and you make offering and then dissolve. Making offering to all mother sentient beings Now, the third offering. So then Vajrayogini only have to make one blow, straight blow, straight cutting. The lower half of your body, straight, then she throw away like this. So that way right part throw into the Kapala. Now only left part of lower part of body is left. In the skull again, cuts it into pieces. Then the purification and transformation into nectar, the mantra and everything is same. So your, all of our mother sentient beings (mother, father, brother, sister, all sentient beings) they all invoked. And then whatever kindness that they shower on us for countless lifetimes, you know. In the teaching it says: how many times your mother cries for you because she cares for you and you don't behave, so or you go sick, or she cries for you, that tear is more than all the oceans in the whole universe. So we are repaying them, mother sentient beings. We say mother sentient beings because we can't say everything, you know. We have to say mother sentient being, father sentient being, brother sentient being, sister sentient beings, husband sentient being, wife sentient beings, son sentient being, you know, daughter sentient being. It's true. It's true and so we cannot say all of that. So therefore, mother is the most closest to us. She kept us inside of her for nine months, then she gave birth to us, and she gave us her milk. And she cares for us until we, you know, long as she lives. Let's put it that way, long as she lives. Some mothers are more capable; some mothers are less capable, but they all care. Now then we say the special blessing mantra. Because offering to Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and wisdom protectors is one thing. But giving to all sentient beings is another thing, because they have to receive it. And receive it, so therefore, they has to be Buddha and Bodhisattva's blessing to receive it. Otherwise, how can we make them receive it, you know. So therefore we say mantras and names of particular Buddhas and specially to bless this offering and that they receive it. So we use four particular Bodhisattvas' names. And at the same time, Avalokitesvara's the mantra, and then also, of course, all these Bodhisattvas are un-separable from all the other Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and Avalokitesvara as well. So this mantra and this pray is like, you say cha tsa low, cha tsa low means I prostrate, you know. So salutation these Buddhas. So the mantra, the prayer, and the prostration and salutation. So it means I prostrate to the Buddha Rinchenmang; I prostrate to the Buddha Sukdhampa; I prostrate to the Buddha Kujamley; I prostrate to the Buddha Jikpa Thamchat Thangtalwa. And then you make this gift and offering to all mother sentient beings, from heaven to hell. And they all receive according to their needs, not necessarily drink with a straw, you know. But whatever it is; who is lacking food, it is food; who is lacking money, it is money; who is lacking clothes, it is clothes; who is lacking house, it is house; who is suffering in hell, then it is liberation from that, who is lacking wisdom, it is wisdom; etc, etc. Whatever they need, it becomes that. So it becomes whatever you need, and then your mind should be filled with stainless bless. So bliss. So that it is pure harmony may arise within you. Sometimes that happens to us as well. When something that we wish for very long, when

it really happens then that moment we feel so contented, so much in harmony, so peace, so much in peace, and so much joy, it is almost non-dualistic. But of course, ours one, most of the time is not sak may, not stainless, it is stainful. Sak may is translated as stainless; sak chey is translated as stainful, but it is not exactly stain. Sak Pa means fall down, you lose it; So you get up, lifted somewhere, and then you can again fall down. So it's Sak pa thang cheypa. And Sak pa may pa means you only progress further. So ours one because we are attached to it, we are so happy with it, we really like to hold on to it, then it becomes another samsaric thing. And then it will glue us further in the samsara. Our Gaeywa becomes sak chey gi gaeywa not sak may je gaeywa, so we are praying for sak may je gaeywa. I give this the greatest gift whatever is the most beneficial and necessary and wishful by all mother sentient beings. And make this gift of my beady, most wish-fulfilling gem for all sentient beings. And may this fulfill all of your wishes and may it fill you with stainless joy and comfort. Making offering to hungry ghosts Then the fourth stage of yogi accumulation of merit. Then Vajrayogini again, straight, the blade straight down, and throws away our left side which is like this by the Vajrayogini, so into the Kapala and cut into pieces, and then it is purified, and blessed into the nectar, ocean of nectar. Now the transformation and Om Ah Hung just like before. The translation is: the left lower half to hungry ghosts and beings like hungry ghost. Transformation, then after that, then the mantra and also the Buddhas' names blessed the nectar. So that all the hungry ghosts, led by the queen of the hungry ghost, which is described the king and queen of the hungry ghosts, which is known as Kala May Bar, that means from whose mouth the fire is burning, so mouth is burning with fire, and so king and queen of the hungry ghost is that one, and so then and all the hungry ghosts, so we give this nectar to them, so they will not be hungry ghosts anymore. Then the amount of hungry ghosts is countless, and it is described by millions and millions of river Ganges , grain of sand equivalent. That means river Ganges is all the way from the beginning to the ocean, how many grain of sand will be there. So Millions and millions of river Ganges sand, that means millions and millions times more. So it means countless. So they all invoked and then they will receive this nectar according to whatever is their need. And so for that Buddhas names' blessing, Avalokitesvara mantra blessing will make that happened and with your devotion and your compassion to make that happened. So that is the recitation, here what you are saying is: may all these hungry ghosts be totally satisfied and their joy become stainless joy and finally may they all reach the realization of Buddhahood. Concluding practice and dedication And then the concluding prayer, of course, after that then all the hungry ghosts disappear, and then concluding prayer. So that is the conclusion recitation, and then now I will recite the translation. May all the glorious ones be pleased with the offerings. May all the glorious, glorious ones means Buddha. So may all the holders of the Samaya their samaya be fulfilled. So protectors' Samaya is the Protector of Dharma. May all the wishes

all desires of the six realms be fulfilled, it means mother sentient beings. Then particularly for our parents, may the kindness of our parents be returned. So the last one is a little bit long; so I have to do it part by part. Any spirit who comes here, wherever they may live, on land or in space, may they be kind and compassionate to all sentient beings. May they conduct themselves at all times according to the Dharma day and night. So after that, then the skullcup and the skull everything dissolves, and then Vajrayogini also dissolves, and what remains there is the emptiness. Of course, who is visualizing all of this, who is dissolving all of this, that is your nature of mind, so that remains. So you remain in that state of emptiness and clarity and union for some time. And then you can do regular dedication prayer, or longer dedication. Now that is the yogi accumulation of merit. Because the yogi means who renounce everything or samsara, samsaric activity; And who wish to attain Buddhahood in this life if possible, so everything is given up and only practicing Dharma, that is yogi, real yogi. And we all wish to be yogi. And we all maybe in our heart, seventy percent is yogi; but in our environment and in our action, in our sort of habit, we are five percent yogi. We wish to be yogi in our heart, but in our real life, we are not exactly yogi. One hundred percent yogi, no; some percent yogi, yes. Yogi actually means practitioner, but in the real, highest of yogi is like Milarepa. That is a really yogi. So sometimes a little bit funny these days. So people learn about these things from maybe books or something, and then they think they have to implement it which is true we have to implement it, but implementation becomes little strange. They go to the shops where they sell old things and look for an old Buddha which is made out of wood and all cracked. Because they know, they know, they should not have attachment even to the Buddha. So they put that in their very fancy shrine, but they are wearing Patek Philippe watch and driving Jaguar. So it is very funny. So that is like up side down. So we should, long as we have attachment for anything, then we should make Buddha the best possible way. If we can, we make Buddha out of solid gold. But attachment should be seen as attachment of all kind. Not attachment for this against this, attachment for this against that, it is the same thing, all attachments for and against is same attachment. If you are a true yogi, does not matter your Buddha is made out of emerald or made of out of a piece of stone. Same. If we are not, then we better make Buddha out of emerald, not out of ordinary stone. Accumulation of merit. When I have diamonds on my finger and I make Buddha out of rock that is pretty bad karma actually, not exactly bad karma, but sort of. So we are not one hundred percent yogi, but yogi accumulation of merit is very very sacred practice. And if you are ready for it, it would be very good to practice; But if you are not ready for it, then you shouldn't do it. That's why in the regular four foundation, it is not there. But in the Maha Mudra Ocean of Certainty, it is there. It does not mean even you are not ready, you do it, your body will fall into pieces, it doesn't mean that. Nothing will happen. But if you have too much attachment for your body, and your perception is very worldly and solid, you will not do it sincerely. You can't do it sincerely. So when you can't do it sincerely, then there might be strange side effects. Therefore, I recommend you not to do it before the Mandala offering; do it after the guru yoga. And I put a very short time for it, I think it was one week or ten days very short time.

But I am not discouraging you to practice this. I really like this kind of practice. You know, the other Chot. The body, giving the body away to all the spirits and making offering, that a huge big, big practice of chot. In which your body is put down like, your skin is put down like a big earth, golden earth, and then on top of that all your organs, and head and everything is like a mountain, Milu, sun, moon, you know, all the continents like that. And then you make offering. It is wonderful. But those people who are not ready for it, who don't understand it clearly, who have different perception of Dharma practice, different perception of life, and for them it is quite something. I like to tell you one story; it's a real story. There was one master practice chot and he was practicing in cemetery at night. Then his friend went there, and he saw his skin is down, everything is like that, exactly. He took a small stone and put it in the corner and went home, back to the monastery. Then his friend came back from the cemetery after finishing the chot and complaining there is pain. He didn't say anything, he knows what it is. Then that night the yogi went again to do the chot in the cemetery, then he slowly went after then the stone is here he took it out. And he came back and said today I am very well. So with this I will conclude the yogi accumulation of merit. Visualization Supplement When "Phed", you know, then your mind becomes the Vajrayogini, then your body is just the body, no more mind in there. That is one thing, your mind becomes the Vajrayogini, so your body is just there, body. That is one thing, maybe that wasn't that clear for you. Maybe you understood that, maybe you still think your mind is still in your body. The "Phed", then your mind becomes the Vajrayogini, so body is just body, no mind. During the dissolution, then first the skull, three big skulls, size of mountain, or size of moon, or whatever it very big, and skull itself very big, inside everything is offered already, so everything dissolves into the Ah, and Ah dissolves into the Vajrayogini, and Vajrayogini dissolves into the Ah, that Ah dissolve into the Bindu, just the energy, like tip of a candle light, you know? Very very energetic, but not the candle light, the tip of candle light. and that dissolves into emptiness and then remain in that state of mind. Which will nothing left but nature of your mind.
The Third Extraordinary Preliminary Practice: Accumulation of Merits ~ Mandala Offering Practice
Given by the 12th Kenting Tai Situpa at Palpung Sherabling, December 2004. Transcribed by Chang Chin & Changchub Saldon

Teaching Chapter 13 and Practice Chapter 12 Now the third foundation - the Mandala Offering, it is accumulation of merit. Why it is accumulation of merit is because your offering,your whole solar system together with all the good things of the universe to Three Jewels and Three Roots, one hundred and ten thousand times. And it is true because the whole universe belong to us, because it is our karmic manifestation. And therefore we sincerely offer the whole solar system, if we are

sincere, if our devotion is sincere, if our compassion is sincere, if we have the lineage of the practice, we practice sincerely, exactly, same as truly offering of the whole solar system. If you own, I ask you a question, you don't have to answer, but I ask you a question - a formal question. If you own one hundred and ten thousand solar system and you want to offer this to Three Jewels and Three Roots, how would you do it? Would you put in on the plate, you know? Would you wrap it in a box? How would you do it? If you have money you write a check, you know? If you have food, you put in a box or in a plate; But the whole solar system, how do you offer? It has to be something like that. If you're owner of the one hundred and ten thousand solar system, writing on the paper and signing, doesn't make anything because you are the boss, there is no body above you, so there is no one to enforce behind the paper, you know? So therefore it doesn't mean anything, so something like this. So this way it is true offering of whole solar system one hundred and ten thousand times. So the greatest way to accumulate merit, greatest merit, in a most pure way and sincere way, no strings attached. And you know no strings attached? You know? What did it mean? You offer one hundred and ten thousand universe, and then you want a receipt, you want what you call Account, you know, where did the one hundred and ten thousand universe spent, and all those sort of things, you know, the strings attached, you know. No strings attached, purely offer, and you don't even think about it. You don't think -Oh I'm very, very, very, very important, how do you say? ~ Patron. I offered one hundred and ten thousand universe, you know, I'm great, I need special VVIP, so VVVVIP, so there is string attached, so none of that is there. It is very pure, very, very pure and very, very big. So for example I have heard from masters, that Tsongkapa, Tsongkapa, Lobsang Drakpa, the great master, he made Mandala offering as one of his main practice. And he did not have a good Mandala plate, so he used stone, slate, slate. So he worn out thirteen slates by making Mandala offering, he worn out thirteen stone slates. Preparation for Mandala Offering The practitioner needs two Mandala plates, two mandala plates. This is mandala plate. One to put on the altar, and one to use for the offering. So if it is precious metal, precious material, then it shouldn't be smaller than this much. You hold and should be like this and not like this. And if this is not precious material, it cannot be smaller than your- this. So, whether it is precious material or not, it has to be in between, something like this to this. Too big then, you know, then you have to do lift activity before you can do it, you know. Very difficult to, too big. I saw, when I went to Tibet , some monasteries they made Mandala offering, two people have to hold it, and one person have to do it, really, so big, two people have to hold like this. So now out of two, if both of them are of the exactly same quality, same size, then it doesn't matter which one is for the altar, which one is for you to make offering. If there is differences in quality and the size, the better one is for the altar; and the lesser one is for you to make offering. OK?

So now the altar Mandala represents the same as the refuge tree, but this time there's no refuge tree, there is refuge palace. And it is very beautiful palace with four gates. And the four gates will mean five areas inside- central, front, right, left, back chambers. So the visualization is exactly same as refuge tree, but not tree, it's in the palace. Only difference is all the protectors are in between these five chambers, five areas, and in between like guards. They're all like guards in between, inside that palace ~ all the Protectors. And outside the palace, in the space, it's just like the refuge tree, filled with, filled by all the Buddhas, and Buddhisattvas, and masters of the lineage, and Arhats, and all of them fill the sky, just like stars and clouds. And the best material to make Mandala offering is jewels. Second best is like mother of pearls from the water, and the small, small, small beautiful shells, and then the third the last is the edible grains. But barley, wheat, rice, that is what we use, and corn. Corn is very sacred, but it is, maybe true, maybe not true, but in Tibetan culture, we consider corn very scared because we don't have to plow the ground, like all the other crops. Other crops we have to plow the ground and kill so many insects, and put the water and kill so many insects, like that. And for corn you don't have to do that, you just put a little hole and drop one corn in there, and close it, then it will grow. That's what they say, I'm not sure it's true or not, but that's what Tibetans believe. Because corn does not grow in most part of Tibet , only very small place in the south eastern tip of Tibet , in Yun-nang there corn grows, other places corn doesn't grow. So we call it mamupe lotok. Lotok means crops, mamupa means- not plowed. Unplowed crops, less bad karma. So when it is grain, we will use saffron, saffron- they call it Tibetan red flower . It actually, it doesn't grow in Tibet , it grows in Kashmir but you call it Xi Tsang ( Tibet ). Tsang Hong Hwa. But it doesn't grow in Tibet , it comes from Kashmir . So nowadays they also grow in Spain , I think. But originally it grows in Spain or not, I don't know. So we believe that one of the Arhats called Nima Gongpa, Nima Gongpa. And he, through his miracle, covered the whole Kashmir with his saffron robe, and as the blessing of that, all the flower grew there. So for us is very sacred, very, very, it has blessing. So if it grows in Spain , and also another Arhat put the saffron there. So that makes it yellow and very nice smell, it also makes it precious because saffron is precious. Each flower has only three pieces inside. The best one is the powder that is on these three things, in the middle, the powder on it, that is the best, the best saffron. And the smell of the saffron resembles the smell of the Buddha. So now this kind of the grain, if you use then from time to time, you should change it. You should use it for maybe one, two weeks, then you change and you make new ones, and you use it again, then you change it. You don't use one for all the time, use it up, when you change it, I mean you don't eat it, you know. You take it to a clean place and throw it into a clean place, so birds and other animals can eat it, and you cannot throw it into the garbage. If you're using the shells, and mother of pearls like that, so if that bread and chips and then becomes like a power and dusty, then you'll have to throw that away and have to have a clean one, not dusty one, clean one. So if you're using precious and semi-precious stones and materials, then I think it will last through out the Mandala. I don't think you would want to change every So and some people like to mix it all, then it's a little complicated, because you have to change the grains. So every three or four

weeks you will work very hard. But one thing which is quite easy, if you put it in the water and then you can separate the jewels and grains very easily. If you want to do it by hand, very difficult, takes long time. And Mandala plate should not be totally flat, it should have a little bit high, a little bit high in the middle, and a little bit low on the side; too high everything will fall down, a little bit. And it should have a central in the middle. It should have enough rim to hold on, rim. Now first you prepare the altar and then you prepare the altar Mandala. So first you say a hundred syllable mantra, and clean the altar Mandala. And then you put the saffron water on the altar Mandala, then you make five heaps on the altar Mandala: bigger one in the middle, and then one, two, three, four. And that you put on the altar, so altar has to be higher than you. Then you have another Mandala for offering. So in front of the altar Mandala, you can put offering, offering bowels and the lamp. So it is very simple, from left to right, altar's right to left, but your left to right. So when you place the bowls, water, water, grain, grain, water, grain, grain. So you say- water, water, grain, grain, water, grain, grain. Seven. So then you put the lamp, you put the lamp, it's not the same, you put the lamp separate, you know. So water, water, grain, grain, water, grain, grain. So after water, water, grain, grain, then you put the lamp there, not on top of the bowl, but the lamp by itself, on a plate or something. You get that kind of bowls only seven, you don't get eight, you only get seven, and then you get the lamp on top of it, separate. So according to different tantras, there is different arrangement, but this is most general. Altar Mandala

Now I will go to the text- the Mandala offering text. Of course just like prostration, each one of the preliminaries we start with refuge, Boddhichitta, and then four ordinary thoughts etc. And then when you reach the Mandala practice. Then we, we first time, we prepare the altar Mandala, and during that time you clean it and say......clean it. And then altar Mandala you put five heaps, and you visualize a letter Drum. And Drum transforms into a Manda, into a palace, beautiful palace with four gates, one this way, one that way, one behind, one that way. And the beautiful palace, with beautiful roofs which is high. And then, in which, so that is for the first time, physically you prepare. But then you leave it there until you finish your Mandala offering, or until you have to move to another place. If you have to move to another place, then you have to do that all over again. But otherwise if you're in the same place, you keep that altar Mandala there, you don't have to do it everyday. Mandala Offering Practice Then, visualization I've already explained to you. And then in front of that, you have no self visualization, you're just yourself. So there is two ways to do it, one way is you and all sentient beings, just like the prostration, doing the Mandala offering together; Or you

manifest countless times, representing countless sentient beings and doing the Mandala at the same time. But I think most of the time we practice just like prostration. You surrounded by all sentient beings, ocean of sentient beings, altogether, led by you, making the Mandala offering. That is the most of the time, so I think you stick to that. Visualizing yourself will be easy but you know we're already used to the first one, so I think that...that's done, so let's stick to that. So you hold your offering Mandala like this, you know? without the rice. And then you hold the whatever. So you have to have a some kinds of cloth, square cloth, in which you have all the jewels and whatever you're using for the Mandala offering in there, and you also put the Mandala together with it and hold it, and put it next to the altar. Then when you sit down, you put this on your leg here, and you open it up, and then you hold the Mandala here. It should be pretty big, because if things fall down, you can collect it back easily; if it falls on the floor, then you have to throw it away, cannot re-use it. So then you hold a handful of whatever you are offering, then you use this part to clean the Mandala. like this, one hundred syllable mantra, clockwise three times, and anticlockwise one time. So in the small container, you keep saffron, put it in the water. So you use something, or your finger, to put that on the Mandala one time, after you clean it. So then when you say....... Yo u depends on what you are using, how far you have to go. If you are using jewels and like that, should be pretty low, otherwise, you put all over there, you know. But if you're using grains, you can go little high, ground. So you just slowly let it go so it would cover the whole Mandala. So that is the base, we call golden ground. And then after that then you take another handful, and then you So the ...... is the each solar system have a wall, wall, and wall that keeps it together. It doesn't mean physical wall but there's a wall to keep it together. Otherwise all the planets will be here and there, you know. So the field that keeps together and moving together with one sun, so that wall. That you make a wall, you make some slowly let go, very close to the Mandala, that go like this, near, and this, and this the wall, and you should do anti clockwise, not clockwise. Then next is, so you say...... So the central, the mountain view , you put a handful, like a big heap in the middle. So now then east, east, so the front is always east, it has nothing to do with where the sun come from. When you practice, when you visualize, when you say east means the front, south is right, west is behind, and then north is left. So now you are making offering to the Three Jewels and Three Roots in the palace, which is represented by altar Mandala, so you're towards that. So altar Mandala is facing you, and you're facing the altar Mandala, so you are making the offering, so east is there. Then next to that this, the small continents of the each one of the planet. this. So it goes like that. Now the rest is very easy, just going like this, going like this, going like this, going like this, and so four directions, four corners. So combination of that which is very clearly written here. So this one. Inside one have numbers, so thirty-seven heaps, so slowly build up, so it becomes like, you know Borobudur in Indonesia ? A little bit looks like that, you know? Heaps up, and heaps up, and heaps up ...then one in the middle, so like this, thirty

seven. Of course Borobudur stupa is not the Mandala offering. It is square not round. Now this reader is here, and I'll read the text. So after thirty seven finished, then you hold it with two hands, because now you are finished with thirty seven, and you hold it with two hands and say the rest of the prayer. And then again Sashi Pochu. Sashi Pochu is we call seven heaps, seven heaps. So Sashi Pochu. And then after that again you hold. And then you hold again, on top of the thirty seven you do again the seven, and then you still hold and you say......Then you take a little bit of, little bit of the offering, like the rice, or something like this, you know. Then you throw that towards the altar. You know, a few towards the altar. So now after this, so normally in retreat we do this like three times or seven times. And then we do the Sashi Pochu, the seven points like a few mala, and then again we do the long one. But in your case, you only have two hours. So at the beginning, maybe you do the long one one time or three times, depends on your capacity. And then normally we say from here until here, and then we count. But this is optional actually. You can end here and that means you can start counting the Sashi Pochu right here. But these few lines wouldn't make any difference, you know. So when it is complete. Then now you can start counting the Sashi Pochu. So when you, when you finish the whole thing, then you just slowly push this like this like this, onto your cloth, you know. Don't like that, you know. It has to be done in the utmost respect and appropriateness, and you keep everything clean. Then we take up a handful and...... That is what you are reciting. So it's seven heaps, very simple. Look carefully you know. Like this. In the middle, in the east, in the south, in the west, in the north, in the north east, in southwest, and then this. So mountain in the middle, the east continent, the south continent which is earth, and west continent, and north continent, no, planet, planet, and north planet, and then sun, and the moon, and then finished. So this you repeat. So you hold the Mandala here, you can hold the mala here, and then you can count, that is the easiest way. Other way you can have the mala here, so like this. Then again you do it again, and like this, you know. That is other way, but here it is easiest. Mala hanging in here and you're just doing like this, easiest. This is one way, and that is another way but a little bit difficult. This one is. Or just put it here nicely, and then this like this, like this, you know. So this is the easiest way, not so big. You have to have all of this, this and this, otherwise you don't know. So this means one hundred, when finished means one thousand. That's one hundred. So one thousand I count this one, you know? Then again one thousand like this, so when this is completed, it is ten thousand, right? S o that way it is easy. And this is each ten thousand one of these goes, and so each million, each million one of this goes, so when this is completed, I completed one hundred million. So this one, two, three, four, can count one hundred million. And lots of eights, given up. Each time one eight is given up. You have one hundred and eight. So eight we don't count. So mala, all mala we count as hundred, not as one hundred and eight, no precise counting. You are the counting the seven heap one hundred and ten thousand times. But prayer chanting and Mandala offering together, like prostration, but it will be perfect. Like that. It will be pretty much exact, very short, recitation. And at the end we'll do another three long Mandala, and then we end the session. I said that because you have very limited time so that's why that way. Otherwise every one mala of Mandala we do one or three long

Mandala in between, and then again we do the short Mandala. Then also we do one or three long Mandala, that's in retreat. If you are doing retreat, that' how you will do it. At least one then three, one or three, not two, and then you do again the short Mandala. But because you only have two hours, so three long Mandala at the beginning, three long Mandala at the end, in between all short Mandala. Mandala is very fast, it is out of all the practices, preliminary practices, Mandala is the fastest. finished, O.K. So you copy me. Then when you wanted to end. One thing I think I forgot to mention yesterday, because I was explaining many many things. That is one thing particular about Mandala visualization. Visualization Supplement

After you finished all the palace and all the refuge, five refuge, I mean Three Jewels and Three Roots all visualized there. And you finish everything, then all of them have Om , Ah, Hum in each one of them, O.K.? And from their Om, Ah, Hum, light radiates all directions and there actual presence of each one of the Three Jewels and Three Roots come back and dissolve in the form of light to them. There to their Om , Ah, Hum and they are consecrated, there your visualization is consecrated, so that part I think I missed yesterday. So it sounds difficult but you have already done the prostration, during which you've done all the visualization one by one. And by now you're quite familiar with the Three Jewels and Three Roots visualization. So try to visualize Om , Ah, Hum in each one of them one by one, two hours is not enough, just for that visualization. So you visualize the Om , Ah, Hum in the Guru Vajradhara, the main one, and then at the same time, you simultaneously visualize Om , Ah, Hum in all of them. But focus on Guru Vajradhara then it is easy. It goes in one time, O.K.? So I think I left that out yesterday, did I? Ya, right? I am right, O.K. Very important part but left out, so that's consecration of your visualization. Concluding practice and Dedication Now when you wanted to end your Mandala offering session, then you do three long Mandala, and then you say this particular text and towards the end. So that is the Seven Branch Prayer, request for the blessing and the Seven Branch Prayer. But of course, I presume that you understand that after you do the long Mandala, you throw few grains to the altar, these things you remember. Just like I taught you at the beginning, time is the same. Towards the end you say that prayer and Seven Branch prayer, and after that then the dissolution. So you say this. So when you say this, then you are in visioning that because of this offering of the Mandala, yourself, and all sentient beings accumulation of merits and accumulation of wisdom is fulfilled. And then the entire Three Roots and Three Jewels in the palace, including the palace dissolved to, dissolved into light, and that light dissolved into you, just like that, not one by one, not Om Ah Hum, not like that. Just light, dissolved into light and dissolved into you, and you and Three Roots and Three Jewels become one. And you maintain that state of blessing, that state of oneness, that

state of non duality as long as you can. Now when you have, when you're maintaining this non dualistic sort of blessing presence, then when you have an ordinary thought arise, which will happen, then we dedicate all the merits for the benefit of all sentient beings, by saying short prayers. And then you can add regular dedication prayer, or you can even add the Mahamudra prayer towards the end of that. That is, whether you do the long one or not, it's always up to your time. So I don't think I have to say too much about this but I just remind you. At the beginning of each session, and at the end of each session, you sit down and calm down a little bit is very important. It is just like everything, you know. Everything in life if you do it calmly and orderly is much more efficient than otherwise. So during our practice, if we calm down at the beginning just give few seconds and then after dedication you give few seconds before you get up and do things is very good. And if you can maintain the effect of the practice, technical, technical effect, I'm not talking about merit, but the technically effect. Practical effect of the practice for much longer, even superficially speaking, very superficially speaking, the slowly get up is much better than you just get up fast. But for practice, as a meditation session practice I think, slowly is very good, then maintain the awareness, you know? And then after some time, of course, the technical effect of the two hours of practice will fade slowly, but of course merit will not fade. But the technical effect of calmness, and harmony will fade away, depends on the environment. Now I think the teaching on Mandala offering is complete. And I remind you again the Yogi Accumulation of Merit you do it at the end after the Guru Yoga. I don't expect anything to go wrong if you do before but after all the practice, then you can do it much better.
The Fourth Extraordinary Preliminary Practice: Accumulation of Merits ~ Guru Yoga Practice
Given by the 12th Kenting Tai Situpa at Palpung Sherabling, December 2004. Transcribed by Chang Chin & Changchub Saldon

Teaching Chapter 14 & 15 and Practice Chapter 13 & 14 Now out of four foundation. The Guru Yoga is the last and the final extraordinary foundation. It is through first three foundation then the last Guru Yoga foundation practice, would be more profound and it will become more complete, if we completed the first three foundations more profoundly and precisely. As I told you at the beginning, all the Dharma practices are the purification and accumulation. Purifying countless life times of all aspects of karma including the subconscious perceptions. And then accumulating the relative condition for ultimate realization that relative condition is we call accumulation of merit. And the more deeper aspect of relative condition is accumulation of wisdom. And of course, ultimate aspect of final outcome is the realization of primordial wisdom.

And Guru Yoga is very much of an empowerment. It is initiation, empowerment. And Guru Yoga is more devotion-oriented practice. And it's naturally easier to have compassion than the devotion, because compassion is more ego friendly. Devotion is totally the antidote for ego, bigger the ego, less the devotion. And therefore the practice of the Guru Yoga which is practice of devotion, that is the last practice. Of course, compassion is also antidote for ego but it is much easier because you can put yourself above others and then you have compassion to them. They are poorer than me, so I have compassion to them. They are less fortunate than me, so therefore I have compassion to them. And they are suffering, so therefore I have compassion to them. You never say they are better than me therefore I have compassion to them. They are more happier than me therefore I have compassion to them. They enjoy more than me, so I have compassion to them. Normally that is not the case. We have compassion to those sentient beings are suffering, and those sentient beings are less than you. So you have compassion to them because you like you are up there and looking down and have compassion. It is very difficult to have devotion without the foundation of compassion. Without foundation of compassion the devotion doesn't really have clear purpose. It becomes, like, simply emotional feeling. So when you have compassion then devotion becomes true, healthy devotion. I can give you a very simple example. Devotion without compassion is like devotion of a dog to a master. Because your dog will bite everybody for you. Your dog will bark at everyone for you. Your dog has to follow you everywhere. And when you come home, the dog goes crazy. And if you go away, your dog doesn't eat for three, four days. So it is devotion but without compassion. So it is emotional loyalty. So old days, war lords have very devoted warriors who fight for them and die for them. It becomes something like that without compassion. But when you have compassion developed then on top of that the devotion developed, then it is not like that. It is like devotion of the Ananda to Buddha. Each time Buddha smiled, his face up asked why do you smile? It is very interesting because in many of sutra are written that during that time, in front of Buddha, there was ten thousand Bodhisattvas and five thousand Arhats except Ananda. So it says in Tibetan, it means except Kungawo, except the Ananda, everybody is Bodhisattva and Arhat. But Kunga Ananda's devotion was very pure therefore then afterwards he became Arhat. It becomes like devotion of Milarepa to Marpa, then it is based on compassion. Relatively speaking, Milarepa has developed tremendous compassion out of regret, regret. His uncles and aunties treated him and his mother and his sister so bad, so that his mother became very, very, very upset. So his mother want him to take revenge. But how can such a poor, dependent person like Milarepa's mother and sister, and that time he is not Milarepa, So how three of them, so poor and so powerless can take revenge against such a big clan of powerful relatives. Impossible. And therefore, mother found out that there is a way to take revenge that is by learning black magic then they can take revenge. So mother sent Milarepa, who is not Milarepa at that time, her son to learn black magic. He became master of black magic. So he, through the power of black magic, destroyed all of their enemies. They even chose a perfectly terrible time, during the marriage of their son. So, when a big family gets marriage then all the relatives gather and all the friends will be invited. So the big party will be held. So in the middle of that, then the black magic was unleashed. So his mother was so happy. They were staying in a very small house but she

climbed on the roof and she took a long stick and one old clothe she tied up like a flag, and then waving it and shouting from the roof. "Now you got what you deserved", that sort of thing. Also he was requested by others to perform black magic also. One time he was requested to make hailstorm to destroy the entire village's harvest. And one day he did that. And then after wards, he went there, then he saw what happened. Because hailstorm was so severe and so big the hailstorm. So all the birds and trees and thousands of them are dead. And the ground was the littered by dead birds. He tried to pick up the dead birds but it's too many. Then he found out what he was doing is wrong. Then with that regret, repentance, regret, then he left home and then went to search for Dharma. And when he heard the name of Marpa, so his devotion was spontaneous. And he felt very strong, undescribable joy when he heard the name of Marpa. It's all connected. If those things didn't happened to them, then mother would not ask what she asked. If she did not ask, then he wouldn't do what he has done. If he hasn't done what he has done. Then he wouldn't realize what he had done. So if he didn't realize what he had done, then he would not look for anything. When he doesn't look for the Dharma, he will not hear the name of Marpa. Because there were so many Marpas. Marpa is one particular area and it is like the surname. His real name is Cho Kye Lo Dro. And so when he did not hear the name of Marpa, Cho Kye Lo Dro, and he would not have that devotion of feeling. So all of these things are connected. So each one of us, how we come to Dharma, how we are practicing Dharma like now, where we are. Each of us has all kind of connections. One thing links to another thing. And some of us already arrive somewhere. Some of us yet to arrive somewhere. Some of us just beginning. Some of us half way. Some of us almost there. I sincerely pray none of us are going backwards. Why do we practice Guru Yoga? Now this way, the practice of Guru Yoga is devotion practice and this is for the accumulation of wisdom. Accumulation of wisdom. Although there is countless way for accumulation of wisdom. But wisdom, actually, regardless of the countless ways, actually, what happen is the wisdom is within us all the time. Primordial wisdom is our essence, so it has to be flourished, it has to be awakened. It has to manifest from within. Let's put it this way. Why we are still here in the samsara? Since, relatively speaking, seven Buddhas have attained enlightenment already on this earth, seven Buddha. Why we are still here in samsara? Not because Buddha doesn't have the compassion to us. Not because we did not shout loud enough. But because of our own compassion and devotion is lacking. Essence of Buddha and essence of us are same, equal. Ultimate equalness. Therefore relatively, even Buddha's blessing cannot be forced into us. Buddha's blessing is spontaneous and we have to become spontaneous. And our compassion is spontaneous and our devotion is spontaneous, then Buddha's blessing is spontaneous. So if we think of Buddha as an intelligent scholar then that kind of befit we will get. If we think of Buddha as a powerful miraculous, top person then we will get that kind of blessing. If we perceive Buddha as manifestation of limitless compassion and limitless wisdom, then that kind of blessing we will get it, will receive it. For example, during the monsoon rain if you put a pot outside, upside down for ten days, it will still be empty. If

you put a dirty pot outside, but even it is put properly it will be filled with dirty water. If you have a pot, if you put a pot that is stained with poison, then you will have poison water, a pot full of poison water. If you put out a clean pot then you will have a very clean pot full of water. So Buddha's blessing is limitless. Ten billion people ask Buddha, ten billion things at the same time with sincere devotion, it will happen. Buddha's wisdom will not get mixed-up because of too many requests. For example, when sunshine doesn't matter how many people go out there and sit in the sun and how few go out and sit in the sun, doesn't matter. It's same thing. So now that way the devotion has to be pure as possible and genuine as possible. Now how can we forge a genuine devotion? We can forge it by following the text of the lineage, which describes the pure devotion, word by word. But or even we try our best to forge the purest devotion. If we are not that pure, the effect of that skillful text and skillful means to forge a pure devotion is temporary. That is why we have to do all these purifications and accumulation of merit, all of these things. So that when we practice the Guru Yoga, then the whatever is written in text, whatever we receive from the lineage does not become just a forged devotion but a true devotion. Wisdom is very precious, blessing is very precious but if we don't have the right capacity to receive it, we cannot receive it. So most of you, I think all of you know about the money, money. So I give you an example with money. So a person in order to really have a lot of money and handle it, able to handle it, positively you have to have merit. You have to have merit so that you have all of conditions to take care of it. Otherwise you give a lot of money, let's say, you know, big, big amount, hundred million dollars, that's a lot, lot of money. So hundred million dollars to a homeless person who is uneducated and who don't know anything. Then what will happen? There will be hundred opportunists that will be after that person and will eat up everything. And that person might become worse than homeless. What is worst than homeless? Lifeless. Yes. So he might lose his life. Yes. So what have to have a certain amount of merit, even in order to have worldly thing such as money So when it comes to wisdom, it is millions and billions times more precious than the money. You cannot buy wisdom, no matter how much money you pay, you can not buy wisdom. You can buy knowledge, of course. All the colleges, all the universities, they are all for, you know, there are the college education industries, very interesting, We call health industry, education industry, information industry, you know, very interesting. But it is. But there is no wisdom industry. You cannot buy wisdom. You cannot train for wisdom. You cannot win the wisdom, you know, wisdom is inside of you. It's not outside, so you cannot get it from anywhere. It is inside of you, it's in you. You are the lotus seed, so lotus has to grow from you. Lotus seed cannot go out and buy lotus. It is like buying a Buddha's statue. You go out and buy Dharma book. You go out and buy Buddha's statues. That is like lotus seeds go out and buy lotus. But the true lotus is in you, it has to grow from you within. So why we buy Buddha's statue? Why we buy text? It's because the lotus wanted to know what does really he has and how he really look like, you know. It helps you to somehow to gets some idea of what you are. Now I am teaching you the lotus how to grow you. So we have the lineage from the Buddha who even gave the sutra, called Lotus Sutra. And whose full realization is the source of the lineage and we receive it from the master to disciple. So I am just continuing it and

transmitting it to you. So with the right condition, the lotus leaves grow very big but might not grow any flower . And with certain condition lotus leaves might grow very big and grow very small flower . And with the perfect condition, the lotus leaves will be very big and the lotus flower will be very big. And with perfect condition, it will last forever. So the leaf for the big leaf is like Arhat. Small lotus is like Bodhisattva. Big lotus is like Bodhisattva of ten levels, but lotus forever is Buddha. But that we can only imagine, because I haven't seen a lotus that last forever. But we know the lotus last for sometimes, and why not forever. Practice Guide - Visualization Now the Guru Yoga starts with self visualization. So first you dissolve everything into emptiness, from the emptiness you manifest yourself as Vajrayogini, not Varahi. Yogini. And then after the self visualization as Vajrayogini, then the second step is visualizing the Guru Vajradhara to Buddha Vajradhara, all the lineage masters are on your crown. Now this meditation is very clearly translated in this text. But with due respect, the drawing is wrong. This is Vajravarahi, Dani Dorje Naljorma, it says, not Dani Dorje Pagmo. Now here says visualization, meditation, meditate everything is purified into emptiness, by means of the Sobava mantra. So with that recitation then together everything dissolves into emptiness. You then, from the out of emptiness, now emerge out of the emptiness looking like Vajravarahi, actually the Vajrayogini. And then it is described here, standing on the corpse that lotus and sun as you have not yet purified, all of your obscuration performing the Guru Yoga as your ordinary self would not net you, net you, net like net income you know, net you any blessing. It is a very good way to put it. Would not net you any blessing. But performing it as the Yidam would facilitate quick and easy receipt of blessing. That's when practice in the Guru Yoga, you should focus your attention on Yidam who appears to you. So this is, of course, other options, you can visualize as other Yidams as well but normally it's not done. Just Vajrayogini. That's all. Not as any other Yidam. You visualize yourself as Vajrayogini because Vajrayogini represents the purified manifestation of wisdom. And but not as a Vajravarahi because in order to have self visualization of Vajravarahi you must have Vajravarahi empowerment. Without that you cannot visualize yourself as a Vajravarahi. Vajrayogini is one step further, one step further, one step before the Vajravarahi. So for this, you don't need the empowerment. You don't need initiation. So the ordinary practitioner can visualize yourself as Vajrayogini, so this is described here, very clearly. From visualization, Vajravarahi and all the Yidams you have done since the prostration. For that you don't need to have initiation. But self visualization is totally different thing.

Then the following visualization according to the recitation you do it step by step. There is two ways to visualize the Guru Yoga; we call it...... means all the guru from your Guru Vajradhara to the Buddha Vajradhara, all the Guru surrounded by all the Gurus and

Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and Deities and Protectors surrounded by all of them. But it is just the lineage Guru, from your master to the Buddha, one on top of another, as it is in the painting in the refuge tree, but only the center one, only the center trunk one. All the others are not in the four different places, they are all over the places like a cloud around it. It is allowed to visualize them in front of you, because for some people, it is difficult when you are receiving the transmission Om , Ah, Hum transmission empowerment, at the end, to do it from the top. That somehow like this, like this, like this, you know, they have this problem. Because of that, it is allowed to visualize them in front. Allowed. Allowed means the most proper way to visualize it is on top of your head facing the same direction. That is most proper way but it is allowed to visualize you are here and there, like Da Ji and Du Ji. You know, the self visualization and front visualization, that manner, you can do it. It is allowed, if you have problem with visualizing like this. Ok. Now that means quite clear, isn't it? f you can, you visualize on top of your crown all the way up. If you can't, then you visualize in front. Just like you have done for all the other practices. On the crown of your head, now I am presuming you're visualizing on your crown, so, otherwise you say in front of you. So on the crown of your head sits your own root Guru as he appeared in the taking refuge. So when you did the refuge, prostration refuge visualization. So it's your root Guru but in the form of the Vajradhara so the same way. On top of sun and moon disc which is on top of the lotus and which is on top of a throne. Throne upheld by eight lions, that means each direction two lions, so four directions for eight lions. Then from the Buddha Vajradhara until Guru Vajradhara, all the lineage masters of the Maha Mudra. So now you are saying this prayer which is......You are saying this prayer. Then that is. Then now your visualization is complete. Then after that you say this prayer. So when you are saying that, when you are saying this prayer, so as you saying these prayers, then the actual, from the Buddha Vajradhara, until your Guru Vajradhara, the actual presence is invoked as you saying this. So now, as you say this, then your Guru Vajradhara and Buddha Vajradhara, everyone's Om , Ah, Hum radiates light to all directions, and then the actual Buddhas and Gurus and their presence is invoked and dissolved. So your visualization is consecrated as the true lineage, not a tree but lineage. Tsok Shing. Tsok Shing means, Tsok means accumulation of merit and accumulation of wisdom. And Shing means object. So it becomes object of accumulation, not just your created imagination. It is true, becomes true. Seven branches prayers Then after that, then you are saying the seven branches prayers which is prostration, offering, confession, rejoice, requesting Buddhas to turn the wheel of Dharma, then requesting Buddhas to live long and dedicating the merit for all sentient beings. The seven branches prayers, you recite toward the Three Jewels and Three Roots and particularly the lineage of the Gurus, all Gurus of the lineage. So the recitation for that is......So now until that is seven branches prayer. So in this seven branches prayer order, the dedication is pushed two steps back. That is dedication, after that, requesting Buddha to live long and then turn the wheel of Dharma is put after that. And now, you are requesting them to turn the wheel of Dharma and then you are requesting further.

Requesting This is about the Guru Yoga very clearly, so I have to, I'd like to translate these few sentences. It's very important. ........means may I will be fully conversing or fully develop the loving kindness and compassion which is unbiased. Unbiased loving kindness and compassion. Last word dang means and, A N D. The most important thing is this; these three words is the most important. Of course, all of them important. But it says it all. The ultimate, ultimate means born together, always with you. Then Yeshe means wisdom, primordial wisdom. The primordial wisdom which is born together with you, born together with me, always within me. So may I realize this, just like all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas have realized. You know. May I realize this primordial wisdom which is always with me, always born together with me, may I realize it. Just like all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas have realized it. So that is the main prayer. It is the main request, main wish. You are requesting the lineage to bless you, so that this have it. Then the following that, there are few details of each request, each wish, each part of wish in a little details. May I be blessed so that may I realize this illusive body as the Nirmanakaya. It means, may I realize this breathing, this life, this life you know, the body with life as long as it is breathing and the air, the movement. All caused by this. So may this Sook Tsol, the air, the life; May I realize this as the Sambhogakaya. Bless me so that may I realize this as Sambhogakaya. And then that means may I realize, please bless me, so that may I realize my mind as Dharmakaya. So now this body, speech, mind three are described here. How do we move without air? How do we speak without breathing? You know. So Sok Tsol. Sok Tsol. Sook means life. Tsol Wa means like giving effort and giver of life. So it is breathing, breathing. It means, you know, when we practice we are practicing the physical body practice as well as the breathing practice, right? And prayer is also breathing practice, right? So that, and then the mind which is the most important essence of all of it. So the third word means may I realize Dharmakaya, Sambhogakaya, Nirmanakaya are unseparable. May I realize that. May that realization dawn upon me. Char wa means dawn. So please bless me, so may the realization of three kayas as one, unseparable, be dawn on me or dawn through me. It's same meaning. Maha Mudra lineage prayer So after this, then we have lineage Maha Mudra lineage prayer. This is Maha Mudra lineage prayer. Now mentioning the names but each few sentences ends with one particular sentence, so this particular sentence is very important. So I will translate that. That you recite after every few names. And what this means Sol Wa Deb is translated in many ways. Sometimes they say supplicate. Sometimes they say pray. But it's actually means I request, I beg you, I request you. That's what actual meaning. You know. Sol Wa Deb So. So what I request is may I realize, give me the blessing, so that may I realize the primordial wisdom which was always with me, always born together with me. So even you are in human, even you are in god, even you are in animal whichever realm we are born. It is our essence at all time, all the time. So this Yeshe, the primordial wisdom. Please bless me. I request you, I beg you to bless me, so that I can realize this primordial wisdom which is my essence. I am not asking and begging for the Buddhas to give me

something that they have. But please give me blessing, so that I can realize my primordial wisdom which is always with me. Now after that, after this, then you also say the lineage prayer. This is quite short, very common lineage prayer which covers all of the Maha Mudra lineage and all the branches of Maha Mudra lineage. So here, very few, very important points are in this prayer. So in this prayer, first point, first important point is Shen Lok means the non-attachment to the samsara. And Shen Lok actually means like throw up, you know, when you don't like, see something that you don't like then makes you throw up. So the samsara, no attachment for this samsara and so that is like the feet of the meditation. And in order to successfully meditate you have to be able to be not so much attachment for the samsara is like the leg of meditation. Then the next is So the devotion and aspiration is like the head, head. So devotion to the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Deities, Protectors, Gurus and that and then aspiration to become like a Buddha, become like a Bodhisattva, reach the Buddhahood, just as Price Siddhattha has reached, so all in this case like Buddha Vajradhara. So Buddha Vajradhara and Buddha Shakyamuni is same. Buddha Vajradhara is the description of all the Buddha including the Buddha Shakyamuni. OK. So we wish to be like the Buddha Vajradhara, so that is like the head of meditation, very important, aspiration and devotion. So that means, Yeng Pa means wondering mind. So not wondering, Yeng Pa May Pa means not wondering, so stable, awareness, stable mind is the main meditation. It's like the main body of meditation, is not wondering, not wondering mind and stable mind. I give you a very simple example, definition of Yeng Pa and Ma Yeng Pa. When you are walking in a very beautiful, smooth park, you don't have to worry about the Yeng Pa or Ma Yeng Pa, Because wherever you walk, there is nothing, you will never fall down, nothing will happen, it's all smooth, big, hundreds of acres of park. Nothing will go wrong. So Yeng Pa is like this, Yeng Pa, no concentration, no awareness just Yeng Pa. Like child is taken to a X'mas street, you know, all the lights like this Yeng Pa. Ya. That is Yeng Pa. Ma Yeng Pa means opposite. Ma Yeng Pa is like you are flying three mach, three mach, you know, speed. And you are only one thousand feet above the ground. All Ma Yeng Pa, you makes little Yeng Wa , you hit the mountain. So Ma Yeng Pa. But that kind of Ma Yeng Pa is a little bit tense. Here Ma Yeng Pa is relaxed. That's the difference. Meditation Ma Yeng Pa is not a tense type, is relaxed. But the definition of Yeng Pa and Ma Yeng Pa is that. Child goes like that doesn't matter, because parents are carrying them or holding them, never get lost. How much Yeng Pa is ok. Then last is...... So this means may I realize the essence of my thought is Dharmakaya because my thought is the manifestation of my mind. Essence of my mind is my Buddha Nature. And essence of my Buddha Nature is Dharmakaya, so may I realize that. These are the important points of this prayer. I can't say important; main point, because all prayers are important, you know. Then this is very, very sacred, common, very sacred, very common prayer which is quite conducive. Everything is in this prayer. So this is very common, very sacred, all inclusive Guru Yoga prayer. Sol Wa Deb Pa Guru Yoga; Sol Deb prayer or supplication. First one is for all mother sentient beings, supplicate for the blessing of the Guru Buddha, precious Buddha, and second one is Dharma, Guru Dharmakaya, third one is Guru Sambhogakaya, fourth one is Guru Nirmanakaya, so for

all mother sentient beings. And then we say Karmapa Khyen No few. We add there because our lineage is Karma Kagyu lineage. and then Karmapa is the center of the Karma Kagyu lineage which we call Golden Rosary, Golden Rosary Lineage. For that reason, then we say Karmapa Khyen No few times. As you know, disciple of the Marpa is Milarepa. Disciple of Milarepa is Gampopa. The Gampopa had many disciples, mainly three main disciples and known as three compasses. And one of them is the first Karmapa Dusum Khyenpa, and then from the first Karmapa Dusum Khyenpa, the Karma Kagyu lineage developed. So therefore, we say Karmapa Khyen No few times. Guru Yoga Recitation Then after that, then we recite the Guru Yoga recitation. So that is Guru Yoga recitation which we recite one hundred and ten thousand times. So Sol Wa Deb, you know, right? So means precious Guru, precious because representing Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, Guru, Deity, Protector. So the next, all of the each sentence will end with Jim Gye Lob that means bless me. This each one is very, very important, so I have to tell you. What kind of blessing you want, so this is what is, these are the blessing you want. The clinging to I, I want to be able to be free from it. I want to be able to give up this. I want to be able to renounce, not denounce, renounce the clinging to the I. Then second, Go May means meaningless, so the meaningless of samsara, samsaric activity. May this be born in me naturally; Kye War means born. that means all the thought which is non-Dharmic thought, may they just does not exist. May they stop arising in me. Gak Par means cessation. So that my mind which is birthless; It also means deathless; It is primordial. So may I realize this. So all of the illusion, illusion of samsara which is my own illusion, it is the illusion of my karma all levels of the karma. May they cease by itself, peacefully. And then last is so may anything that what sees, anything that exists because we see only one kind of reality. There is countless, limitless level of reality. So may they all, may I realize them all as Dharmakaya. So your aspiration and your wish is maximum. In aspiration, you should never be modest. In practice, of course, you have to be mindful and aware. The English way of saying: Don't bite more what you can chew. So that is necessary in the practice but in aspiration, you should make it maximum. So we say: I wish to liberate all sentient beings to reach Buddhahood. You know that is enormous. That is enormous. In reality, in your family, there are just few people and there are a lot of problems, misunderstanding, all of that. At the same time, you are saying I wish to liberate all sentient beings to become Buddha. So that is a lot. That is enormous but in aspiration, we have to be enormous as possible, limitless as possible. So now the Guru Yoga, so you are reciting so you are reciting that, maintaining your devotion to the Guru, lineage and from Buddha Vajradhara to Guru Vajradhara and all the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Yidams and Protectors. So with that one point mind calmly, sincerely, clearly, you are reciting the recitation. And also recitation is, the meaning of recitation, you are focus on it, very clearly what you are saying. And reciting, reciting very quickly but you know what you are saying. Of course, it would be very, very nice to sing the loud as possible, living in a very, very remote mountain top cave, and far far away from Guru, and sing it one hundred and ten thousand times or one million times. That would be wonderful, but we don't have that kind of karma, so we have to chant it very quick in our apartment.

There is a very old Tibetan saying, not from the Dharma text. Just common people saying. One get the full benefit and it is wonderful the Lama and the sun being far away. Then if you are too close to sun, you get burnt, you get sunblind. But far, far away, but you sit in the sun, oh, it is wonderful, wonderful. So now you recite the recitation as much as you can in your schedule. Most of your schedule, some of you will be doing retreat, I know, but most of your schedules, you do two hours. So at the end of your session then one time you say very, very clearly and always very clearly, but last one very, very clearly, each word, each meaning very, very clearly and from the depth of your heart All the meaning very, very clearly. Request for the four empowerments

Then you say the recitation. So this is the request for the empowerment, one thing. So what you are saying is, all the glorious Gurus, all of you, I request please give me the four empowerments, to ripen me. Ripe like fruit green, if the fruit suppose to be orange. When it is ripe, when it is green is not ripe, it's sour. So to ripen me and also, so give me, bestow upon me the four empowerment to ripen me. And what is to ripen, four aspects of me. And then grant me the activity, four activities, four activities; four activities, of course, in order to practice Dharma and attain realization efficiently without obstacle if you have the blessing of four activities. Then as you say that, then you receive the empowerment. The recitation for that is. So up to that you recite and the meaning is the four empowerment, receiving of the four empowerment. Now as you say the prayer for the request of the empowerment, then all of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and Gurus and Deities and Protectors dissolve into the, into your refuge lineage, your lineage, Maha Mudra lineage from Guru Vajradhara to Buddha Vajradhara. Then from Guru Vajradhara to Buddha Vajradhara, their Om, Ah, Hum, their everything, their body, speech, mind, everything dissolve into the Guru Vajradhara and then Guru Vajradhara transforms into the form of your Guru here. Up to now, Guru Vajradhara is your Guru manifest in the form of Dorje Chang, but here Dorje Chang manifest into the form of your Guru. So your Guru which is embodied, which Guru. So let's put it this way. So that means it looks like your Guru but it is the embodiment of all Three Jewels and Three Roots, so it's your Guru manifest perfectly like a Buddha, shining and perfect, you know, not just like your Guru. Perfect. It is with the blessing of the Buddha, blessing of the Dharma, blessing of the Sangha, blessing of all the lineage, blessing of all the Yidam, blessing of all the Protector. So it is glorious manifestation of your Guru. Your Guru as the son of his father and his mother manifest in a certain way and that manifest perfectly and many times more greater than your Guru normally look. The first empowerment ~ Bumpa Empowerment Now the first empowerment with your sincere devotion and your sincere compassion to all sentient beings, your sincere devotion to Three Jewels and Three Roots, so from the Guru Vajradhara's forehead, white color, from the Om white color light we call it light

nectar. So that dissolve into your forehead, you as the Vajrayogini, remember, you are Vajrayogini, so into your forehead, Vajrayogini's forehead and it purifies all of the negative karma, as well as all of the defilements, as well as even the subconscious dualistic obscuration which is related mainly with your body is purified and your body is blessed. So that, in the future, when you attain Buddhahood, you will manifest the Nirmanakaya. The Nirmanakaya aspect of the Buddha. This is the first empowerment which is known as empowerment of the vase, Bumpa. And during the big empowerment, in this Bumpa empowerment, there is many empowerments were given. As the first empowerment, main object is a Bumpa which represent the Mandala of the Deity but there are many detailed empowerment in it, so this present the same thing. which also as known as the first empowerment. So to make it more clear about the glorious manifestation of your Guru. I'd like to make a very simple example to make you more clear idea. Some of you might be a little bit not clear. This is not from the text, is my example. So normally people make caricature, caricature? Somebody has this big nose, you make it this big. That is caricature, right? Somebody has a little bit big here and a little bit small here, then make it very big, very small, that is caricature. So perfectly glorious means opposite to that. Look like your Guru but many, many times more perfect and good and glorious. Caricature is make it many times look worse, so opposite to that. It will very naturally become how your Guru would look when your Guru attains uddhahood. So all the marks of Buddha will be there. Milarepa when he was singing and when he was making the black magic, he looks the same as when he attain enlightenment and became the great enlightened Milarepa. He looked the same but totally transformed and glorious. That is the Nirmanakaya aspect of Milarepa. OK. Now that is. I just make it clear. Now back to the text. Text of the lineage. The second empowerment ~ Secret Empowerment Then the second is from the throat chakra of the Guru, from the letter Ah the red light we call that shower of light nectar, so that dissolve into your throat and all of the negativities, karmas, negativities, defilements, even the subconscious perceptions, dualistic perceptions which are obstacles for the enlightenment, should be purified and your speech and your expression all blessed. So that when you attain the enlightenment, you will be able to manifest the Sambhogakaya aspect of Buddha. So during the ritual empowerments that you participate, actually you received the blessing nectar from the skullcup here, blessed nectar. We call this Sang We Wang . Sang We Wang, Sang Wong means secret, secret empowerment. But these days the most of the time, the skullcup is made out of silver or something like that. The third empowerment ~ Wisdom Empowerment Now the third empowerment is then again you generate devotion just as before and from the heart direction, heart chakra of the Guru, the letter Hung manifest blue light and which is we call shower of the blue light nectar and then you receive it to your heart. And it purifies all of the negative karmas and negativities, defilements including everything that is obstacle for the enlightenment, even subconscious perceptions all purified, so that when you reach the final liberation then the most important Dharmakaya realization will

be attained. And this empowerment is known as Sherab Yeshe Jone Wang, so primordial wisdom or wisdom empowerment. During the elaborate ritual empowerment, you will have the symbol of union, will be given here as the Yeshe Jone Wong. The fourth empowerment ~Tsek Wang Then again, your devotion and the meaning of the prayer is continued. Meaning of the original prayer is continued. So from all three places of the Guru Om, Ah, Hum, all three colors, white, red and blue light manifest and shower of the light of the nectar dissolve into your all three places at the same time. And you receive the fourth empowerment and that means everything that is involved with all your body, speech and mind all together. It's actually the same thing. You can not just do a body negative karma, just do a speech negative karma, just do a mind negative karma but somehow, you know, one by one, Now it is all together, so this final, most sacred aspect is purified and fourth empowerment is received. And during the enlightenment, then Dharmakaya, Sambhogakaya and Nirmanakaya non-separable which we call Ngo Wo Nyi Kyi Ku. Ngo Wo means nature, and Nyi means itself, then Ku means the body. So it simply means unseparableness of the, oneness of the Dharmakaya, Sambhogakaya and Nirmanakaya and that empowerment is received. During the ritual empowerment, this is normally called Tsek Wang Rinpoche, the fourth empowerment and during which we will sit and meditate on nature of mind. The meanings of the four empowerments So the first empowerment will mean that you will be able to visualize. And second empowerment will mean you will be able to recite the mantras. The third empowerment means you are able to practice the great union, the unity, absolute harmony. And fourth empowerment means able to meditate on nature of the mind, the essence of Maha Mudra practice. It means that empowered for each one of that. And also the second empowerment, also mean that you are able to practice, the empowered to practice the Tsa and Lung. Tsa means Nadis, and Lung means wind, the air. So that is breathing of all different level and you are empowered for that as a meditation. At the main point of each of this empowerment it is mentioned Gom La Wang. So Gom means meditation, La is a grammar word, and Wang means empowered. Empowered to meditate on that particular, the visualization, the Tsa Lung, or the mantras recitation and the unity and the Maha Mudra, the essence of Maha Mudra. Everything is Maha Mudra, but essence of Maha Mudra in mind meditation. So Gom La Wong says you are empowered to meditate. It doesn't mean empower outside of meditation. Meditate. Concluding practice and dedication Then finally, then the Guru which represents all the Three Jewels and Three Roots dissolve into you. And your body, speech, mind and Guru's body, speech, mind become one. And then that means you are Vajrayogini visualization. You and the Guru become one and then dissolve into emptiness. So that what remains there is the Dharmakaya, Sambhogakaya, Nirmanakaya of all Buddhas, and Deities and the wisdom protectors and

of the Guru and yourself become one and remain in that for long as you can. So now when you are able to, then you continue that state. And when thoughts arise and you are not able to maintain that oneness state anymore, then you awake from it, we call it awake. That's just way of describing. Then you should have the perception, that maintain the perception that all the forms are the Mandala and all the individuals are the manifestation of your Guru that means manifestation of Three Jewels and Three Roots. And all the sounds are the Mantra, all the Sambhogakaya, and so Dharmakaya, Sambhogakaya and the Nirmanakaya. All the thoughts are the primordial wisdom, the Dharmakaya. You should try to maintain that sacred perception, the sacred presence as much as you can. Then you make the dedication such as...... And then any other dedication like Maha Mudra prayer or regular dedication as Or any other dedications you do according to your time and condition.
Four Special Conditions Contemplations: The First Condition ~ Causal Condition
Given by the 12th Kenting Tai Situpa at Palpung Sherabling, December 2004. Transcribed by Chang Chin & Changchub Saldon

Teaching Chapter 16 and Practice Chapter 15 Four special conditions contemplations Up to this point, you have completed the teachings on basic clear thinking, which will make us clearly appreciate the precious human life and understand the impermanence. And then also we are aspired to do the Dharma practice, and finally the Dharma practice is to be free from suffering of Samsara. And that four thought was first contemplation and the purpose of that is fulfilled as you practice this. After that, then four extraordinary preliminary practices, because each one of them is complete practice, through which the practitioner can be enlightened, therefore they are extraordinary. But because the Maha Mudra lineage is covering every aspect of Lord Buddha's teaching, so therefore, these particular methods are categorized and organized as preliminary practice. Then the first two are more purification-oriented practice, first is more physical, and second is more oral and mental-oriented purification practice. Last two practices are accumulation of merit - the Mandala offering and accumulation of wisdom - the Guru Yoga, the Empowerment. So up to that, then these four preliminary contemplation, sort of the contemplation, is very important, because after these then you are involving in all steps of Maha Mudra practice in detail. So these four, which we call kyen, kyen means condition, four conditions are, first of all, to make assessment that how is your condition as a Dharma practitioner. And then further, then conditions should be full and complete. Not only assessment but make it more healthy and complete. So for that, these four conditions are taught as the third preliminary contemplation, and it has four aspects of it. So kyen means condition. And so ju kyen, dhak kyen, mik kyen, de ma tak pe kyen, four kyen. The first condition ~ Causal Condition

Now the first Ju means cause and kyen means conditions. So Condition which is like the cause. First of all, we have to be very clear that when we practice Dharma, then what are we really doing, what are we really actually doing. Our ultimate aim is to reach Buddhahood; that is what we are doing. So what is the most important reason for attaining Buddhahood, why do we have to attain Buddhahood? It is quite simple because until we reach Buddhahood, we will wander in samsara, just like we are doing right now. From heaven to hell up down here there, everywhere we will wander. Maybe half of our life is gone, maybe three quarters of our life is gone, maybe one third of our life is gone, maybe ninety percent of our life is gone, and another ten percent or fifty percent left and which is also impermanent, and when the last moment comes. Then that's it. And again, we will start somewhere all over as a little puppy, or a little bird or a little human baby, or something like that we will start all over. And so now do we like to go on in samsara, just being born again and again, here there. And sometimes a little bit better, sometimes absolutely terrible, sometimes so so, just like this life. And far as I am concerned, my life is wonderful but it is up to individual perception. And do we really like to go on like this? Or we want to reach our ultimate destination, which is to truly become what we always have been as far as our ultimate potential is concerned, that is limitless liberation and freedom, primordial wisdom, realization of that, what which we call Buddhahood. So we don't want it to go on like this therefore we want to reach Buddhahood. So that is our ultimate aim. That is what we are doing. Whatever we are doing that is our ultimate goal. Then what is the most serious obstacle for this? We discover and confirm what is the most serious obstacle for this. Most serious obstacle is we don't realize what we really are. We don't realize. Sometimes we even experience what we are for moments, but then it is forgotten. So we really don't know and don't realize and not aware of what we really are. Now this is what we call ignorance or this is what we call ego. We have to have a perception about us, from heaven to hell, everybody call themselves something, and we as a human being, then in English language that is called self, I. Then when there is I, then everything becomes others. Then something that belongs to me, I called mine. And then everything else becomes something that belongs to others. All of this is a fact but it is a big, big illusion. So now until we overcome all of these, we will never be free. Even we run away from everything, we will not be free. We will miss everything. Even we decide not to say the word I or mine, we will not get anywhere, it will just make us crazy. Therefore we have to overcome the shen pa and chak pa for everything that is to do with I. Shen pa means sort of very much drawn to it, it is like you are somebody, you have a family background, you have a long history, and every one of us has a very important family background, there is nobody who doesn't have. Everybody. All of us have the best bone and the best blood, and we are very proud of it. And so that is shen pa. Shen pa. And we go at quite a lengthy process to confirm about ourselves and we have a lot of shen pa to it. Every beggar in this world who have no home, no food, no money, if you sit next to them and you are willing to listen and you talk to them, and they have a long history about themselves. And every middle class has the same, every rich person has the same, long important history. So we have lots of shen pa to it. And not only our background, but there are so many things around us, about everything including our own

religion. You know. We think Buddhism is the best, and there is nothing equal to it. We have lots of shen pa to it. This mala belonged to eighth Tai Situ, and ninth Tai Situ and eleventh Tai Situ. I always carry it with me and I always do not part from it. That is also shen pa. And then chak pa, chak pa is attachment. We have attachment for all kind of things. I don't have to tell you. Everybody knows. All of you have something that you have lots of attachment for. And the most sacred attachment is attachment to Buddha. So if I can make a Buddha fifty feet high with solid diamond still it is not good enough for me. It is so precious, it is so sacred, it is so important for me. That will never happen, I know. I am just giving you an example. Some kings in Thailand and Burma , make Buddha out of solid gold, twenty, thirty feet high. So this way, it doesn't mean it is bad. Of course shen pa and chak pa for bad things is bad, shen pa and chak pa for good things is good. It doesn't mean shen pa and chak pa for good thing is bad. No. We have to be able to renounce our shen pa and chak pa for bad things. And then slowly, we have to, when we have no shen pa and chak pa at all for worldly things, then we have to overcome the shen pa and chak pa for spiritual things. No shen pa chak pa for this, everybody take it, no. So slowly, slowly, gradually we have to overcome shen pa and chak pa for everything. So step by step, but we have to know that. If we are not able to overcome shen pa and chak pa, even for the highest thing, we will not reach Buddhahood. There is a story. There was two practitioners, very serious practitioners. They both practicing Vajravarahi but Khachotma. So they're able to, so after many years of practice, they are able to go to the pure land of Khachotma with their physical body, purified physical body. This body, don't have to die, don't have to disappear, they are able to go. Khachotma is red color. So there was miraculous ladder, red color ladder, like rainbow ladder, came down into their meditation cave. One of them had a very good coral mala, on which he had been practicing Khachotma for all his life. Because Khachotma is red color. So he climbed first and then he forgot his mala. He said, he told to his Dharma brother: "you go first, I will go down and get my mala, and then I will come after you." He went down to get his beautiful mala, and then when he went back there was no stair. His Dharma brother already in Khachotma pure land. He end up in the cave practicing for many years. Then Khachotma sent down the red ladder again for him. Maybe that time, I don't know, but maybe his mala is broken already. Maybe he made a Khachotma statue and put it on her. But anyway, so shen pa and chak pa is very, very serious obstacle. So the first contemplation is ju ye kyen. Ju ye kyen is we all wish to reach Buddhahood, the Buddha essence is in each one of us. So we should overcome all aspects of shen pa and chak pa, therefore there is no chance for attachment, anger, jealousy, pride, all these things to grow, grow. So that is the ju ye kyen. The first contemplation. We contemplate on this subject very clearly and then we know we have certain shen pa and chak pa in worldly things. They are not so good, we must do our best to overcome them. We have some shen pa and chak pa in worldly things, for the time being, necessary, not so bad and necessary. Then we somehow keep them but knowing they are obstacles, but not resenting them, not resenting them. If you resent them, then again it becomes another way of shen pa and chak pa. So somehow recognize it and wish to overcome them. And

then we develop clear objective of our practice. We are doing this not for anything else but to reach Buddhahood, for the benefit all sentient beings to reach Buddhahood. Very clear. And then this way even the shen pa and chak pa, for that we also should overcome gradually, and we should know that. Of course right now we need some shen pa and chak pa for enlightenment. We need, you know. Otherwise you have no wish to attain enlightenment, you have no desire to be better. You will never be better. So you have to have that kind of desire right now. But you should know it also you have to overcome later. Because believe it or not, now you are entering in the part, so you are some sort of Maha Mudra yogi, you know. Do you know that? You are becoming Maha Mudra yogi. Of course you are. You are. Yes, some sort of. You know. Yogi means practitioner. Otherwise you can become very strange Buddhist, because you have so much shen pa and chak pa for Buddhism. So you want to make everybody in this world Buddhist, and everybody who does not agree with you, you would be very angry, and you want to fight with them. You know. Then finished. So that is wrong. That is wrong. Everybody's essence is Buddha, sooner or later, they find it out, what is the hurry, you know. If they wish to be free, they will be free. If they don't wish to be free, it's ok. And you pray for them, and not pray to them. Pray for them and one day their essence will manifest. Maybe it will be one billion centuries later, but if they have the time, if they want to spend that much time, it's ok. No big deal, it's O.K. So you should have that compassion, you pray for them but not desperate. No shen pa and chak pa too much. So we will never have fundamental Buddhist. But if we don't know this one, we can have fundamental Buddhist, that would be dreadful. That would be end of Buddhism, the very purpose of Buddhism is finished if we have fundamental Buddhist. We wish all sentient being to become Buddha, that, and we wish all sentient being to become Buddhist, it's totally two different things. Is Prince Siddhattha Buddhist? So Buddhism derived after the enlightenment of Prince Siddhattha. But the lineage of enlightenment is what Prince Siddhattha followed. It aspired in him many, many million of life times ago. That time he saw a Buddha. I am sure the name is not Buddha, that is Sanskrit of the planet earth language. Buddha Sakyamuni was a poor beggar. When he saw that Buddha, he was so touched and he was so aspired, so the little thing that he had, a bowl full of food, whatever kind of food that he had, he offered that to Buddha, and he said: "May I become like you to make all sentient being like you". That is many, many millions of eon before earth even exists. Beginning of the earth, that I meant our solar system to the end of our solar system is one eon. Beginning of our galaxy which has one hundred million solar systems to the end of our galaxy which has one hundred million solar systems, that is a greater eon. It was many many millions of eons ago, somewhere, in another universe, the Prince Siddhattha was a beggar of that place, and he saw a Buddha there, definitely does not look like us, but look perfect. Perfect. Sakyamuni Buddha as Prince Siddhattha born here and became Buddha, looked like us but perfect. So that is the first special preliminary contemplation. If we have this understanding, this condition, even anything that supposed to make us greedy, everything that supposed to make us angry, everything that supposed to make us jealous, all will become past, all will become practice.

I give you an example. This is most inappropriate example, but it gives you an idea. We have a saying, our saying not Dharma saying, worldly saying. If you are a brave person, if your enemy is brave and powerful that is your glory. This is an inappropriate example, because this is a worldly example. But why I give you this example is that is how the negative things also become part to your enlightenment. If you are, you supposed you are famous, brave warrior and your opponent is a coward, then big problem. So greater that enemy, greater the opponent, then that much glorious the warrior. You don't want to have, a great warrior, you don't want to have a coward opponent. So having this kind of no attachment, no shen pa and no chak pa, then the greater the defilement conditions are there, that much it becomes a practice for you. Just before the enlightenment, Buddha was attacked by all the devil with all aspects of most fierce manifestation. Buddha didn't have to fight with them. Buddha's compassion, the power of compassion all their weapons became rain of flower s. What can they do? They only get convinced. And they only get aspired. So it is the first condition.
Four Special Conditions Contemplations: The Second Condition ~ Fundamental Condition
Given by the 12th Kenting Tai Situpa at Palpung Sherabling, December 2004. Transcribed by Chang Chin & Changchub Saldon

Teaching Chapter 17 and Practice Chapter 16 The second condition is dhak kyen, dhak kyen, and in detail, dhak po kyenkyen. Dhak po kyen. Dhak po literally means honor. Here it means actually as a practitioner then it is very important to have a guide. Now Dhak po means also responsibility. If you decide to adopt a child and you become the dhak po of that child. Its education, its health, its wellbeing, your responsibility. Of course by the law of today when that child reach 18, then it is not yours anymore. Until that, your dhak po. So the same way, in Buddhism our ultimate guide or dhak po is Buddha. And then second is Dharma. The third is Sangha. But Sangha represents Dharma and Buddha. Book does not teach you. Buddha we cannot learn from. Although essence of Buddha is inside us, now if we try to listen to it, all kind of words we will hear and hear. There is lots of people can hear voices. Voices. You know voices. Somebody tell them. Some of them OK. Others are very nice but not OK. For us, two and two is four, for them they don't know. Whatever voice tells them. Sometimes voice tells them two and two is one. Sometimes it tells them five. So very difficult. But very few really hear a good voice. But I don't want to take that risk, so I don't want to hear any voice. Too risky. What if I am hearing myself. Now then this dhak po kyen also involves the guru, the teacher, the guru, because we are relying on guru to teach us the Dharma, to lead us to the enlightenment. So it is asking a lot, expecting a lot, and placing very big responsibility. So I used to say this to those people who asked me: "Do you like to be my guru?" Did you hear me, "Do you like to be my guru?" You heard that, right? So I said, "no". But when they said, "I want to be your

disciple, I want you to be my guru", then I can't say anything. But if they tell me, "Do you like to be my guru?"; it's very easy for me because they are giving me a very good choice, easier choice. So I said no I am not breaking my Bodhisattva vow, I am just being honest. But if they said, "I want to be your disciple, and I want you to be my guru", if I said no, I broke my Bodhisattva vow. I cannot. Then I do my best. But most people O.K. But for some people, I have to hint from time to time, please don't be difficult. For some of them, even hinting doesn't work, so I have to spell it out. So from Vajradhara, Buddha Vajradhara until our guru is the lineage guru, gyu pe lama. So out of that, one of them our root guru. But no lineage, no guru. If you bring a book to me and ask me to teach you, and I have to check whether I have the lineage of that text or not. If I don't have the lineage, I can't teach you. If you want me to research on it, if I have time, I will do it. But no lineage, no blessing and no guru. Now the second aspect of guru is the command of the Buddha. Because if Buddha did not manifest the command or the teaching, this just people like to call it teaching or advise, they like to call the gurus, spiritual friends, you know these things are kind of egofriendly words. You know, ego-friendly words. spiritual friends, Buddha's advise. So like that. So people like us, people like me, we say Buddha's command, Buddha's teaching, guru, that's what we say. Spiritual master, that's what we say. Buddha did not manifest the command, there would be no lineage of Buddha's teaching. We call it ka ye lama or de shek ka ye lama. So the third is everything is guru. You look at the sky you see how limitless it is, it just like our mind. You look at the cloud, it just like our thought, it comes and goes, it comes and goes sometimes it is so quick even the sunlight cannot come through it. Look at the river in the very, very narrow gorge, that is like a beginner of Samadha meditation, it just works very hard to maintain your awareness, all kind of thoughts and all kind of emotion coming and going, coming and going, and you try to maintain your awareness, it's like beginner Samadha. You look at the mountain, it looks like the nature of your mind, doesn't matter, it doesn't change. Always there. Come back up one year it's there, after two years it's there, after ten years it's there. So now there are so many things. Everything is teacher, we can learn from everything. So now make it simple, everything is made out of five elements. So make an example with these five elements. Earth, like a mountain, or anything, mountain that represents, that is like devotion. It is foundation of everything. Because of earth, there can be river. Because of earth, there can be trees. Because of earth, there can be house. Because of earth, we can walk on it, we can grow food in it. It is the foundation. Then water, water makes things put together, you have just dry paste and you put water and make a pot out of it. You have dry powder flour you put it together with water and make it bread. Make it "Men Bou" (bread). So it is like compassion, compassion makes us and all sentient beings together. Brings closer. If everybody develops compassion, certain amount of compassion, there will be no conflict. If one develops compassion, other does not develop, still there will be conflict. But one who is compassion, he will not suffer. Then fire, fire symbolizes wisdom. It burns, it illuminates, means make light. So fire is like wisdom. We go into a room, which was locked for ten thousand years and no light, you

just take little small fire in there, it will light the whole room immediately. It doesn't take ten million years to light it up, or ten thousand years to light it up. Immediately. Wind is like inspiration and experience. It will make things happen. It will move you forward. It will change and transform things. When wind blows in the cloud, cloud moves like all kind of things. If wind blows in the forest, all leaves can fly. So now the last element is space. Space is like mind. It is primordial. Nothing can change it. You build a one thousand story building, the space doesn't go anywhere. And you put down that one thousand story building, space does not come from anywhere. It is miracle. But that is the nature of space. That is nature of mind. This way everything is our guru.
Four Special Conditions Contemplations: The Third Condition ~ Objective Condition
Given by the 12th Kenting Tai Situpa at Palpung Sherabling, December 2004. Transcribed by Chang Chin & Changchub Saldon

Teaching Chapter 18 and Practice Chapter 17 Now the third kyen, that is all about the second kyen. And now the third kyen is mik bei kyen, mik kyen or mik bei kyen. Gyu kyen, Dhak kyen, mik kyen. So Gyu kyen finished. Dhak kyen is described as three teachers, no. I meant four teachers. And now the third mik kyen, mik bei kyen. So Mik pa means actually your motivation, your aim. Objective, aim, motivation. Now the Mik pa of every Buddhist is to reach Buddhahood. And in order to reach Buddhahood, we have to be very clear. Buddhahood is clarity, is not ignorance. It is clarity. So no matter which path you follow, you have to be very clear. As a beginner, I give you an example with Theravada; as a more advanced, I give you an example with Mahayana. Then as the final step, then I give you example with Vajrayana. But you must know very clearly, when you say Theravada, it does not include Mahayana and Vajrayana. But when you Mahayana, it includes Theravada but not Vajrayana. But when you say Vajrayana, it includes Theravada as well as Mahayana. So it is very simple thing. Buddha's teaching is compiled into four categories. Vinaya, Abhidharma, Sutra, and Tantra. So these four is the entire teaching of Buddha, more than hundred volume. Hundred big volume, not hundred chapter, hundred volume. I am talking about the text that we have lineage and exist today is over one hundred volume. So Theravada means practice Vinaya as the main practice and Abhidharma. And Mahayana means practice Vinaya, Abhidharma and Sutra, almost all Sutra, all of the Sutra almost. Theravada has very few Sutra. Then Vajrayana means all the Vinaya, all the Abhidharma, all the Sutra and all the Tantra. So it is very obvious, Theravada are not very sure whether Vajrayana are Buddhists or not. Sometimes they think we are Hindu. I have no problem with that. Actually I like that. It is universal. No boundary. Vajrayana has no problem knowing Theravada is Buddhist or not, we have not this much doubt that Theravada are Buddhist or not. They are. They are very very very very much Buddhist. There are no problem, we have no doubt. Of course not all the Theravada think that way but some. Some even speak out, even they write and speak. So as a Maha Mudra practitioner, our ultimate aim is to reach Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings to reach Buddhahood. But we also have to see very clearly our immediate aim is to overcome our serious

defilements and purify ourselves, accumulate merits, accumulate wisdom, that is our immediate aim and objective. And our ultimate objective is to become Buddha. So one step at a time but all of that has to be very clear to us. We have to be clear about our aim. I'd like to share with you something. Lots of people like to do long retreats. Quite few of them also ask me this question before they start their retreat. "What should I do after I finish the three-year retreat?" So that means aim is not very clear, with due respect. Three year or four year or ten year or retreat or no retreat, doesn't matter. You practice Dharma until you reach Buddhahood. That's what you do. So that is brief description of ni bei kyen. Even in a very simple worldly sense, people also should have clarity. Lots of people, there are lots of people, who come to me and ask me, "I don't know what I am doing?", "What should I do?", "What is the purpose of my life?", you know, all that sort of things. These are genuine questions. But this condition will take care of that. We, as a Maha Mudra practitioner, we know exactly what is our objective and what do we want. We know very clearly. And where we are, also we know very clearly by knowing this. And then what we need to reach as the next step, we know very clearly.
Four Special Conditions Contemplations: The Fourth Condition ~ Immediate Condition
Given by the 12th Kenting Tai Situpa at Palpung Sherabling, December 2004. Transcribed by Chang Chin & Changchub Saldon

Teaching Chapter 19 and Practice Chapter 18 Now the fourth condition, the last, that is De ma tak pe kyen. De ma tak means immediately, right there, immediately. Now this has a very deep meaning. Deepest meaning of de ma tak, is the recognition of nature of mind. But more technical definition of that is moment by moment. So we have to do practice right now. We have to practice every moment. There isn't some kind of guide, waiting with holding a gong in one hand and hammer in another hand. And now you start practice, gong, then another time, ok now you finish practice, gong. You know. It is not like that. There is gong or not, always be practice. Every moment. Without the moment, there is nothing. And you shoot an arrow from a very strong bow, and the right arrow goes from here to the target, it passes through every atoms in the space. Even that is not now. Because arrow is very slow. Particles are too big. Why? Because particles, supposed to be smallest and they are supposed to create everything, right? So if the smallest things create the biggest things by many smallest things coming together, then smallest things must have six sides. Another smallest attach here, another smallest attach here, another smallest attach here, another smallest attach here, another smallest attach on top, another smallest attach underneath. Then six sides has to have, so it becomes seven, so bigger than one. Then you can cut that into six pieces. Because it has six sides. Even that, this has to have six sides, six smaller sides. Then you have to cut more. You cut forever. Long as there is somthing, you can cut. So it is impossible. So what is "now", "now", definition of "now" is the fastest thing, how much time it takes to pass through the smallest thing, that is the "now". We have to find the fastest thing and the smallest thing. We cannot find. Right now they call the

smallest thing is particle, fastest thing is light. So let's say that is it. But it is not it. Up to today that is it. Still thousands of scientist spending billions of dollars to find the smallest thing and fastest thing. I guarantee you they will never find. When they become Buddha, yes. They have to become Buddha. Without becoming Buddha, they can never find. Reality is multiple. So out of countless, limitless reality, even the smallest thing and the fastest thing of one reality, they will never find. Forget about all levels of reality. Most of them don't even believe there is other reality. So that way the moment doesn't exist. So the ultimate definition of moment is the realization of nature of mind. I can say only this much with my limited comprehension. When you reach the final conclusion of ultimate truth, through realization, there is no difference between biggest thing and smallest thing, and the slowest and fastest thing, no difference. Everything is primordial. How can there be. So as a practitioner, more practically, then try to do one's best to maintain awareness and mindfulness, moment by moment. Relatively, there is lots of time and effort it will take us for reaching the ultimate realization, but ultimately, when we reach it, then it didn't even take one moment. So countless life time is not more not less than a moment, which doesn't even exist. The true yogi, like Milarepa, of course, exactly implemented this. He decided not to waste any moment of his life. Put his body, his speech, his mind for its full capacity at all time towards practice to attain enlightenment in this life. That's why he lived in the cave; that's why he became very thin. He didn't become enlightened because he lived in the cave. He didn't become enlightened because he was thin. But he did not spend any time or anything else so he naturally became thin. And most convenient place is cave, in the highest mountain where nobody can get to him. For us that is difficult because of our karma. Therefore, if we do our best for the two hours everyday not to waste any moment out of the two hours, then if we do our best, that's the best we could do right now. O.K. so that is the last contemplation. And there is not so much meditation or visualization there, but it is sorting it out. In this, if you want to do some particular visualization and practice, then you can do that in dhak po kyen, the second dhak po kyen, dhak kyen. Out of four guru, the first guru you can do guru yoga.Not exactly necessary. Contemplate on all aspects of guru and all of that for three days is only six hours.
Given by the 12th Kenting Tai Situpa at Palpung Sherabling, December 2004. Transcribed by Chang Chin & Changchub Saldon

O.K. Now in this moment, the first year of the Maha Mudra Ocean of Certainty teaching at the request of Very Venerable Thutop Rinpoche is completed. And in this, I taught you twelve preliminary practices and contemplations. Now let us dedicate the merit of all the teachings that I have given you, and Venerable Thutop Rinpoche who asked the teaching, and all the disciples, organizers, everybody who put it together and all the monks, and laypersons, and administrators here in Sherab Ling who also put it together here. Then all of you who came from far away and spent a lot of time to get here, actually get here and get back is about five, six days already. So Spending that much time and energy. So merit of everyone I dedicate for the benefit of all the sentient beings to reach the realization of Maha Mudra. And all the great, enlightened masters of our lineage, His Holiness

Karmapa, and all the other masters live long. All the great masters of Vajrayana Buddhism, starting from the Supreme Avalokitesvara manifestation, His Holiness Dalai Lama, and all the other great masters of all the schools, live long. And all the great masters who past away, may their reincarnation return soon to continue Dharma activity. Starting with our Bokar Rinpoche who passed away very recently, so started from him, all the great masters who past away, may they return to teach Dharma for the benefit of all sentient beings and continue the activity of their predecessors. And all the great masters of Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism, may they live long and their activity flourish. May there be peace, happiness and harmony in this world. Because lots of problems in this world right now. All of them are, sorry maybe I am naive, but in my opinion, all of them are absolutely unnecessary problems, right from the beginning to the end. But because of one problem another problem happen, because of that another happens. It just like a big house, you know, that you have a very big house, one pillar falls down then beam cracked, and another pillar falls down then wall cracked, and another window breaks down, and it is like that. So it was not necessary to break the first pillar. But the first pillar is already broken, so all kind of things happen as a result of that. So we pray there will be peace and harmony in the world. So last but not the least, that all of you, may your Dharma practice go well for this year, and the next year until we meet here and of course after that. And may you finally reach the realization of Maha Mudra in this life. When your last moment comes, you are able to say to yourself, "I am O.K, I have done my best, I am happy" and you smile and go. Then I have done a very good job. I am very happy, I sincerely pray that happen.