Archive | June 2014

Accumulation of the Vajra Guru Mantra

It is time again to make some aspirations and accumulate prayers for all beings.    As some readers know, I have done mini-monlams in the past.  In the Tibetan tradition, monlam (aspiration prayers) festivals are held once a year in various traditions as a kind of gathering (usually in sacred places) to generate some kind of powerful positive intent/force for the world, the universe, all sentient beings, the teachers and the Buddhadharma.  It is a very effective way to harness the minds of many practitioners at the same time, in the same place towards a common goal.  These prayer assemblies are very effective in removing obstacles and purifying negativities facing the world/country such as invasions, wars, unrest, epidemics, disasters and so forth.

Here, we in cyberspace do not really have any common place to do the prayers.  Some of us are staying in obscure areas where we can’t even find a Dharma community or like-minded people…  (if my statistics serve me right, my readers come from a wide sweep of geographical locations) But for a positive purpose, we can always commune here by using a simple site counter with our minds and positive intentions.  After all, the Buddha-nature pervades all beings and all sentient beings’ minds are really inseparable.

Therefore, I would like to ask all readers to go to this counter site (http://goo.gl/TVWUgt) and contribute to the recitation of the Vajra Guru Mantra (OM AH HUNG BENZA GURU PADMA SIDDHI HUNG), it doesn’t have to be any particular number of mantras but you can contribute a 108, 1080, 10800, 108,000 or more …

Think of it as doing your little part for all beings.  Instead of simply mouthing prayers above love, compassion and Bodhichitta, why not put it into more action by pooling your little efforts into the ocean of merits that a group of people can create.  Commit to do something over and above what you usually do.  For instance, if you usually recite 108 Vajra Guru mantras, you can commit another 108 and double your daily practice to 216.  Then, by doing that for 3 months, you can easily contribute almost 10,000 mantras.

The power of group practice is almost always impossible to match by individual practice.  By joining in a group practice, through dedications and pure intentions, one creates a vastness of merits in a very short time that cannot be attained by oneself in perhaps a whole life .  If someone in the group possesses pure Bodhichitta, that group practice is also magnified and enhanced by that quality.  If someone has the realization of emptiness and participates in this group practice, likewise all participants will benefit from the presence of this sublime quality. Therefore, in the Tibetan tradition, group practice has always been deeply emphasized.  For people with little time and many distractions, group practice may well be their only portal to great merits, purification and liberation.

In this time, Guru Rinpoche’s blessings is very much needed.  In terms of kindness, Guru Rinpoche has left behind many treasures, advice and prophecies for the future to tide over the difficult obstacles of this age. But due to a lack of merit, many of these treasures cannot be uncovered, many advices have been left unheeded and many prophecies for benefitting beings cannot be fulfilled.  We need to pray very strongly to Guru Rinpoche to reverse the negativities of this time, to strengthen our collective store of merits and to engage in purification so that circumstances can be turned around and sufferings can be allayed.  This is a very urgent matter and it cannot be overemphasized.

Many people are in some kind of stupor in terms of the direction the world is going, but this is also due to the force of our karma and a lack of wisdom and foresight.  We need to pray that there be harmony amongst the Dharma practitioners, that the teachers continue to manifest and stay a long time, that the conditions for the propagation of the Dharma continue.  Nowadays when virtue is extremely difficult to accomplish and non-virtue is performed continuously like the flow of a river, the need for some kind of powerful intervention and Guru Rinpoche’s blessings is vital.

To conclude, I pray that through our combined efforts and Guru Rinpoche’s blessings, may the light of dharma fill all sentient beings’ minds and may the Buddhadharma continue to stay for a long time and flourish.  May the teachers have long life and good health, may their Dharma activities expand and be successful.  May all negative inauspicious circumstances be reversed and may there be peace, happiness, good health and fortune in the whole universe, wherever sentient beings exist.

 

Garchen Rinpoche on Suicide

“There is no greater negativity than committing suicide–one creates a very powerful cause of intense suffering by taking one’s own life.

You must understand that all suffering has its seat in the self-grasping mind. When trying to exchange your body, it does not result in exchanging your mind–you cannot escape from your mind. Committing suicide leads to even greater suffering than you experience now; you will not be able to just erase your suffering. 

You have your karma and your lifespan. You must allow your karma to play itself out and not bring an end to your life prematurely. Moreover, by killing one’s body you are killing billions of life-forms living within your body, and you acquire the negative karma of that.

You should rather transform your mind. When you are suffering, practice tonglen; take on the suffering of others and think that by you experiencing suffering they will be released. All suffering is temporary; so is conditional happiness. The mind must gain stability in being unmoved by impermanent circumstances. It is never too late to begin to practice. We have wandered in samsara since beginningless time, and at some point we must begin to practice.

Don’t worry about how much time you have wasted for eons in the past–begin to practice now and you will die free of regrets. What you do from now on is more important. When you feel sick in your body, send your mind out into space; do not fixate on the body. Separate the mind from the body and rest in space. You can also visualize Tara in space and recite her mantra. I personally have many pains, but if I do not fixate on them, if I send my mind out into space and meditate, I do not feel them. Only when I begin to think about them do I again feel the pain.

You should moreover think that your own suffering is quite small compared to the suffering of so many other sentient beings. For example, I was kept in prison for twenty years, and you could call this a problem, but not one time did I think about when I would be released. I just practiced Tara day by day, and let alone not thinking of suicide, I was actually quite happy in my mind. If you want to become free of suffering, you must change your mind, not your body. Pray to Tara all the time and recite her mantra, so you never forget about her. Then I can also help you, as I am always practicing Tara. Whenever you experience pain and difficulty, think of Tara single-pointedly”