According to scriptures, if an ordinary person receives and accepts respect from a high spiritual person, much of his merit is thereby consumed. However great the offerings made to Longchen Rabjam (a great realized master in the Nyingma lineage), he said dedication prayers but never expressed gratitude, and he said, “Patrons should have the opportunity to make merits.” So the patrons would receive merits instead of expressions of gratitude for their offerings.
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Whenever you engage in a practice, as mentioned here, for example the recitation of Manis, but actually in any activity, you should do it with the power of benevolence. This is a key point because there are those who make a mistake here: when they do a practice, their main thought is that if they do the recitation of Manis, they believe it will help them, and thereby help them develop some degree of personal attainment. It is inwardly directed, but again, it is only self-cherishing. Dharma practice, if done in this way can even reinforce self-cherishing, therefore you must avoid practicing in this way. Approach any activity with the thought that you are not just doing it for yourself, but rather, you do it explicitly for others. Your mind opens up completely, and you say mantras for all living beings, which automatically includes yourself. This is the benevolent attitude, the power of benevolence. The power of benevolence must inform all your deeds. It must be done with consistency, and constancy.
– Garchen Rinpoche
Dear Dharma friends,
As of today, we have accumulated a total of 26,737,899 Mani mantras.
Although this is still far from our hopeful target of 100 million Mani mantras, it is still a great accomplishment for all those who have been trying their best to contribute and accumulate. On behalf of everyone, I would like to thank you for your efforts and good energies for the benefit of all beings and to urge you to continue accumulating the mantra. I think it is very important to acknowledge how far a small group of us have come for these past 8 months and the kind of immense merit that has been generated from our commitment to make a bit of positive difference in this world for ourselves and others.
As we can see, many unfortunate incidents continue to unfold in this world, and from a larger perspective, its cause can be attributed to the thoughts of anger, jealousy and pride generated in the minds of beings. All actions that bring harm begin with a negative thought. Furthermore, we can see many actions that seem to be done for the benefit of others but which are inwardly motivated by the coarse afflictions of anger, competitiveness and so forth. According to the teachings, if the motivation is negative, then even a seemingly positive act will yield negative karmic repercussions.
If we examine our own minds honestly, it is clear that we badly need to purify our own minds with love and kindness. We cannot simply hope and wish for less problems in this world when we do nothing to change our own minds, letting it run out of control under its passions and emotions. If we understand the Dharma teachings correctly, all causes start from within our minds, so it is very important to address this before trying to make external changes.
At the same time, one of the best thing to do is to recite Mani mantras that bring more love and kindness into the minds of all beings. According to the Buddha, the sole cause of suffering is self-grasping and the afflictive emotions that arise from it such as anger and jealousy. The only cause of happiness is love for other beings. All merits and positive conditions come to us in our present circumstances as a result of past positive deeds done for others with a mind of love.
Therefore, we need to first develop the causes of happiness further in our own minds if we are to bring benefit to others. Then, with the wish to bring benefit to others, we invoke the blessings of all the Buddhas by reciting the Mani mantra. This is an infallible skillful method given to us by the enlightened beings to help ourselves and others. Instead of worrying too much about the state of the world or your life, work on your own mind, develop love and kindness and recite the Mani. Then you can be sure that the causes of happiness are waiting in the future.
I personally have full conviction that reciting the Mani mantra will bring indelible and immeasurable benefits to all beings both in the short term and in the long term. I hope the same conviction accompanies you always. The perspective that Buddhists hold should be very vast and far-reaching. We are not only wishing only for some temporary improvement to occur on a small scale which may not even make much a difference say 50 or 100 years from now. Instead, we are aiming for the complete liberation for all beings which is a goal which is so huge and all-encompassing that it is beyond our ordinary conception. Therefore, one with such a wide viewpoint is not easily shaken, discouraged or depressed by temporary adverse situations or obstacles.
Finally, please join me in rejoicing and making a dedication prayer for this vast merit of accumulating so many mantras:
By all the merits accumulated in this Mani accumulation, as well as all the merits accumulated by others, may all beings attain happiness and be free from sufferings in this life and ultimately reach Buddhahood swiftly. May the Buddha-dharma flourish and the lives of the Dharma lineage holders and authentic teachers be long. May their activities be free from all obstacles and benefit many beings. Upon passing away from their present life, may all beings be reborn in the purelands of the Buddhas immediately without suffering and obstacles at death.
For more information on the practice to generate love and kindness, please read :
Dear Dharma friends,
On the first day of the Holy 4th Tibetan month (Saka Dawa)， I am glad to inform you that our group count of Mani mantras at present is : 22,859,602 and counting…
I am glad that all of you have participated in this great accumulation for the benefit of this world and all sentient beings wherever they pervade. There is so much sufferings in this world that every effort of yours to send positive thoughts and intentions, love and kindness, mantra and blessings is very very useful. I think that is the real point of our practice. Even if the effects are not easily perceived, cause-and-effect never fails and I believe that our cumulative effort will make a ripple to help heal the world.
This year, Saka Dawa lasts from 7 May to 4 July (double fourth month in Tibetan calendar this year) and this is a time when positive and negative effects of karma are magnified. We should cultivate more positive intentions, release negative emotions and uplift ourselves and others with peace and kindness. It is a good time to practice more Dharma, to be more mindful of your conduct and to make good aspirations and prayers for others.
With much thanks to all of you,
Heart-Essence Prayer to Guru Rinpoche
Nying Zug Ma
A terma of Matrul Rinpoche
EMAHO / CHI NOD DAG PA GYAL WAY KYIL KHOR ZHING
External vessel of the pure realm of the Victorious Ones’ mandala
NYING WU’ ZANG DOG PAL GYI RI WO NAY
At its heart, within the Glorious Copper Colored Mountain
RIG PA GU RU PADMA JUNG NAY ZHUG
Resides the Guru of enlightened awareness, Padmasambhava
YE NAY DU DRAL MED PAR SOL WA DEB
Primordially there is no meeting and parting, I pray to you
RIG TONG ZANG THAL NGANG NAY JIN GYI LOB
Within unobstructed emptiness-awareness, please confer blessings
YER MED GONG LONG CHU WO CHIG TU DREY
Inseparable from ultimate wisdom, merged into one stream
THAR THUG NGA YAB PAL RI’I ZHING KHAM SU
In the ultimate realm of Chamara Auspicious Mountain
RIG DZIN DRUB THOB GYAL SEY DRANG MED KYI
Vidyadharas, accomplished beings and countless Bodhisattvas
DRAL DU KYE NAY TSHOM WU CHIG TU TSOG
Be born amongst this assembly and gather together as one
RIG DU PAD MAY KYIL KHOR ZHAL JAL NAY
Seeing the mandala of the embodiment of primordial wisdom, Padmasambhava
SUNG GI DUD TSI’I GA TON CHUD LA ROL
Celebrating the amrita of his speech and enjoying its essence
THEG CHOG YE SHE SA LA CHIN PAR SHOG
May we arrive at the state of the supreme vehicle of wisdom
This text arose naturally when the abbot of Siu-Gang monastery (one of the four great monasteries in the Nyingma Pai-yul lineage in Xi-kang) Shri-gang Matrul Rinpoche (Chokyi Nyima) saw the face of Padmasambhava in a Dzogchen state of primordial wisdom. Rinpoche stated that if any devoted disciple of the Triple Gems who has pure faith frequently prays with this text together with the recitation of 1 million Guru Rinpoche mantra (OM AH HUNG BENZA GURU PADMA SIDDHI HUNG), he/she will received sublime blessings and increase his/her accumulations of merit and wisdom, ultimately attaining to the level of the original protector Samantabhadra.
This sublime practice was revealed by the Great Terton Chokyi Nyima (Matrul Rinpoche) in a profound pure state. This is an extremely concise and potent practice from amongst Rinpoche’s termas on Padmasambhava which has the power to liberate on hearing. Matrul Rinpoche has said personally that any sentient being who listens to this prayer, no matter whom, as long as he hears this prayer, his worldly fortune and merits will increase, he will receive inconceivable blessings, in the future he will definitely be reborn in Sukhavati (Amitabha’s pureland) or Guru Rinpoche’s pureland. This Guru Rinpoche prayer which liberates by hearing is extremely important and has very vast meaning. Therefore Rinpoche hopes that this prayer would be transmitted to the whole world so that everyone can receive the blessings of Guru Rinpoche and be liberated by hearing.
Matrul Rinpoche and his Dharma Heir Rigar Rinpoche has compassionately given permission that anyone who has seen this Heart-Essence Prayer to Guru Rinpoche can recite it according to its Tibetan transliteration even without having received empowerment or oral transmission. Later, when it is possible, it would be perfect and auspicious if they can receive empowerment or oral transmission from a teacher.
(Listen to the prayer here :
More about Matrul Rinpoche :
The precious Matrul Rinpoche Shri-gang Matrul Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche who lived to the age of 82 was widely recognized in Tibet as a genuine emanation of Guru Rinpoche. He was also the rebirth of one of Guru Rinpoche’s 25 disciples, Nubchen Sangye Yeshe. He was also the emanation of Black Zambhala (a wealth deity). His life was full of miraculous occurrences and he has been regarded as the son of the Machen Mountain God. Rinpoche is one of the older generation of teachers who transmit Guru Rinpoche’s teachings. We regard him as Padmasambhava in person who confers liberation on sight.
Matrul Rinpoche was the vajra brother of His Holiness Penor Rinpoche and he both gave and received empowerments from His Holiness Jigme Phuntsok Rinpoche. He was highly praised by His Holiness Jigme Phuntsok as someone who “did not need to be examined any further, he is a true Vajra Master,” and “he is truly Nubchen Sangye Yeshe’s true emanation.” His Holiness Jigme Phuntsok once said in front of the Chinese disciples, “Just like Achuk Lama of Yachen, Matrul Rinpoche of Shri-gang is the same, these are the true great Tulkus.” When Matrul Rinpoche was invited to Larung to attend the Amitabha Prayer Festival, His Holiness Jigme Phuntsok personally came down from his throne to offer a ceremonial scarf and invited Matrul Rinpoche to share his throne. His Holiness supplicated Matrul Rinpoche to give the Colleges’ students empowerments and to confer the Nyingthig Yabshi. Tenzin Gyatso Tulku of the Sertar Buddhist College who was also a disciple of His Holiness Jigme Phuntsok praised Matrul Rinpoche as being no different from His Holiness Jigme Phuntsok in terms of enlightened qualities.
When Matrul Rinpoche visited Yachen Monastery, Achuk Lama Rinpoche similarly came outside the door to received him, and frequently proclaimed Matrul Rinpoche’s wondrous qualities to the gatherings of monks and nuns. In addition, at the behest of Achuk Lama Rinpoche, Matrul Rinpoche performed practices to remove obstacles to Yachen Monastery several times. The parinirvana ceremonies of the great accomplished master Khenpo Chokyab was similarly presided over by Matrul Rinpoche. In Tibet, especially within the Nyingma tradition, Matrul Rinpoche is highly esteemed and he was approached by many teachers from other schools for teachings.
Events from Matrul Rinpoche’s life has spread throughout Tibet, as a great treasure-revealer, he has revealed so many termas that it fills an entire room. Sometimes Rinpoche would just sweep his hands in the air in front of him and his entire body and dharma robes would be filled with all kinds of termas. When Rinpoche was in Machen Mountain to retrieve terma, under the public view, his arm suddenly extended and he reached deep into the mountain and retrieved a Buddha statue. Even when Rinpoche was imprisoned, he retrieved many yellow terma parchments in his cell and benefitted his fellow-prisoners. In this way, he aroused faith in the minds of his jailers who released all the prisoners.
Once, when he was presiding over a large scale puja in Qinghai where many tens-of-thousands of devotees attended, due to the interference of non-Buddhist forces, the lightning flashed and there was tumultuous weather with rain and wind, causing much difficulties for the proceedings in the puja. At that point, Matrul Rinpoche displayed a wrathful appearance and threatened in a strident voice to bury the negative forces beneath the ground, then he brandished his Vajra implement and flung it into the space. A bluish cloud in the shape of a dragon descended and dissolved into the river and the obstacle was thus averted. After the completion of the puja, Rinpoche released the obstacle-maker. Events like this miraculous display, had it not been witnessed personally, are difficult for others to comprehend or accept. But this was witnessed by many devotees.
Rinpoche has given instructions for his disciple Rizeng Rigar Tulku to spread his terma on the Heart-essence Prayer to Guru Rinpoche to China and the rest of the world. On 24 November 2004, Rinpoche dissolved his rupakaya into the Dharmadhatu.
(Dear Dharma friends, I found this wonderful teaching on developing loving kindness. It has many benefits and is such an easy way to practice with the mind if one has no time to do much practice. Please do read and make a commitment to yourself to practice it. If more people do this simple practice, I believe there will be much more merit, kindness and happiness in this world.)
Lord Jigten Sumgon gave several volumes of teachings on Bodhicitta. They were compiled by Chenga Drikung Lingpa. Of these there are mainly works called “The Great Instruction.”
Generally we know loving kindness as the wish for all sentient beings to be happy, and compassion as the wish for all sentient beings to be free from suffering as in the Four Immeasurables. Lord Jigten Sumgon’s teachings are summarized in two parts: how to recognize bodhicitta, and how to practice bodhicitta.
It is important to know how to recognize bodhicitta. In some traditions it starts with loving oneself, but in the Mahayana tradition, Bodhicitta is primarily directed towards loving others. We recognize it as a clear loving feeling. All living beings have this feeling – that of a mother for her child, or a child for their mother.
In Buddhahood, however, there is an absence of object. It is simply a joy to benefit and help others. In order to arouse bodhicitta, we should see all beings as if they were small children, perhaps as babies, with a feeling of liking or loving, the desire to carry them in our arms and such expressions of affection.
Lord Jigten Sumgon says that it is much more difficult to develop loving kindness, than it is to develop compassion. If loving kindness arises with respect to a loved one, it is considered impure loving kindness. If it arises for all beings as it would for the most lovable small child, strangers, insects, enemies, then it is pure.
How to practice loving-kindness has three parts: practice, accomplishment and application.
The body posture should be in the seven-point position of meditation, with a slight smile on the lips, legs crossed or in the lotus position, hands in “Touching the Earth” mudra as Buddha Shakyamuni, eyes half closed, back straight.
One usually begins by contemplating the loving kindness of one’s mother. Lord Jigten Sumgon predicted that in the degenerate times this might be difficult. In that future time, he stated, that if one cannot arouse a loving feeling by thinking of one’s mother, then use the thought of any other person who has benefitted you greatly, such as a good friend or your spiritual teacher.
Because loving kindness is more difficult to fully realize than compassion, one should spend one to two weeks concentrating on recognizing the feeling of loving-kindness. For a beginner on the gradual path, raising a strong feeling of loving kindness takes an average of fifteen days. Once loving kindness is perfectly developed towards our mother, who has been most kind to us since our birth, taking care of us unselfishly, feeding us, we then extend loving kindness to all those in our town or village.
When this is accomplished we spread Bodhicitta to all people south of Mt. Meru or the southern continent; then east, west and finally north of Mt.Meru, or the whole world. This one world is considered one to be one unit. we then extend bodhicitta to 1,000 worlds. This now also becomes one unit as we extend loving kindness to 1,0003 worlds. This, too, is one unit, or one world system. We now spread loving kindness to 3,000 world systems [note: 1,000 3 multiplies out to 1,000,000,000 and not 3,000]. This is the sphere of influence of Buddha Shakyamuni, the three great One Thousand World Systems.
There are still many other world systems. We extend loving-kindness to the innumerable infinite world systems of the East, South, West, North, Below us and Above us. Seeing all beings of the Ten Directions, without exception, as our mothers. We extend the heartfelt wish for all beings, boundless as the sky, with no boundary or limit, to experience the Four Immeasureables.Beginning with Bodhicitta extended towards our mothers, we gradually expand this feeling to include all sentient beings. If we cannot at first extend loving-kindness to all beings, stop and begin again with the pure feeling of Bodhicitta and then, step-by-step, extend until we generate Bodhicitta fully in all 10 directions, and to all sentient beings.
Lord Jigten Sumgon was meditating in a cave for seven years, when he contracted leprosy. He became very upset, because at that time in Tibet, leprosy was a terrible and incurable disease. He was preparing to leave his body, so he prayed and venerated his yidam, Chenrezig. While doing so, he compared his condition to that of other beings. In doing so, he developed great compassion for the suffering of others. By meditating on the condition of others, that night, he went into the samadhi of loving-kindness.
He felt his sickness leaving him in the form of serpents. By the morning he had attained Enlightenment and the Mahamudra state of Vajradhara. Later he composed a song about his experience, but said that it took a period of three days, because he thought people would be unable to believe that anyone could attain Enlightenment in one night.
He went on to cure innumerable people of leprosy, and became so popular that he was called “the one who dreams away leprosy.” This took place in an early part of his life. He called this period, “Loving-kindness with unfavorable conditions.” The remainder of his life was called, “Pure Loving Kindness.”
How to Practice Accomplishment:
Having recognized Bodhicitta and practiced accordingly, go to a lonely place and sit in deep samadhi. By this meditation practice, you will receive great powers. To practice application, you then use this power to benefit all beings, overcoming disease, famine, drought, war, etc.
If you see an area of the world with such unfavorable conditions, you sit in samadhi and develop love, not only for the human beings of that place, but for all living beings in that area. In this way, unfavorable conditions are overcome. By wishing that “in this area may disease, war, etc., be subdued,” the conditions are pacified.
At the time Lord Buddha was leaving the world, through his miraculous powers, all the weapons in Shawasti were transformed into flowers. By witnessing this, even a non-Buddhist attained Enlightenment. Also, once in the country of Shawasti a great sickness was spreading, and Ananda’s loving-kindness subdued the disease. In Lord Jigten Sumgon’s instructions it states that perhaps during the time of Guru Padma Sambhava, the Mongols attacking Samaye Monastery were pacified by loving kindness.
If you experience unfavorable circumstances caused by spirits, demons or curses, sit in meditation on loving kindness to ward off obstuctors. In this way, you can overcome your difficulties. There are many stories of the efficacy of loving-kindness meditation. If you want to accomplish something for yourself and others in a certain direction, you can focus loving-kindness in that direction. You develop loving-kindness for all beings in that direction, for humans and non-humans alike. You can thus fulfill your purpose. One can overcome spirits, demons and non-humans with loving-kindness.
Loving-kindness is also very important on such special occasions as when giving empowerments, teachings and consecrating statues. On these occasions you being by meditating on loving-kindness and then extending it towards all beings – human and non-human equally – of that particular area and then extend it to the whole world, and then to all worlds. Again to begin practicing, start with a small area and gradually spread loving-kindness, like unto the ripples caused by dropping a stone in a pool of water. In this way, your meditative concentration is not lost!
When consecrating a new statue of Buddha, sit in meditation on loving-kindness, develop Samadhi of Loving-kindness, then sprinkle the statue with flowers. This is the best consecration. Similarly, in doing pujas, if you do pujas in a state of loving-kindness, then the auspicious conditions and wishes are fulfilled. Loving-kindness is especially important for spiritual teachers. When leading rituals and giving empowerments, bodhicitta is indispensable. One cannot function without it. Even if you want to heal someone from sickness, or make a torma offering, you cannot do it without loving-kindness. What small amounts of realizations you do have might be lost in the process without loving-kindness. You can see the blessing power of loving-kindness in daily life. A physician who knows the four tantras, but has not developed loving-kindness cannot effectively heal, while someone who has less knowledge and cultivates loving-kindness does heal.
If a yogi wants to heal someone with a demon or a spirit possession, and if the yogi does not have the proper knowledge of loving-kindness, he may become sick or possessed himself. It is the same with Tantric knowledge. If a practitioner tries to heal without loving-kindness, someone else might become sick or possessed. It is also the case with yogis who practice in isolation in the mountains. Whether they have good karma or not, experience demons or not, have their wishes fulfilled or not, all of this depends on their knowledge of loving-kindness.
At the time of the application of the power of loving-kindness (when giving empowerments, healing, consecrating statues, etc.) you should be very careful. While you are in samadhi, if your state is disturbed by a negative thought, or if a person disturbs you, your meditation becomes useless. While sitting in meditation on loving-kindness, with a view towards the application or that power, concentrate on that application specifically.
If your attention shifts, for example, from war to famine then the famine might be relieved, but your main aim was not accomplished. Or if, for example, a new statue is in front of you and your eyes shift to a statue in the distance, then that far statue is consecrated, and not the one you intended to consecrate. At the time of the application, you must take great care not to break your meditation. If there is a sudden break your meditation power is scattered and the energy disperses. Rather than letting this happen, maintain concentration intensely to achieve your goal. At the time of application your body, speech and mind should be controlled and disciplined.
You should be in a state of mindfulness and awareness, not distracted for even a moment. Allow only positive thoughts to arise. In the case of a statue, never lose attention to the object, even as scattering flowers over it. In certain texts relating to consecration, it is said that a long ceremony or puja is only the outer ceremony of consecration.
When a person in a state of Mahamudra watches or gazes at the statue, only then is it really consecrated. It is the same with the state of loving kindness. In developing this state there are infinite benefits for oneself and for others. One achieves one’s aims and goals as well.
The benefits of practicing loving kindness are often mentioned in the sutras. They are summarized by Nagarjuna in his “Letter to a King.” One is respected by humans and non-humans alike. One is protected by these beings, and they will never harm you. Everyone is happy with you. Your mind is filled with joy. You will never be harmed by weapons or powers. Your fame will spread in all directions. After your death you will be found in the highest realm of Brahma. By practicing loving-kindness you accumulate much merit and wisdom leading towards Buddhahood. If you practice generosity three times a day for many days, you create much merit. But if you meditate for even a short moment on loving-kindness the merit is sixteen times greater. By practicing loving-kindness, one is not attacked by spirits or demons, nor does one experience such things as fighting or quarreling.
Lord Jigten Sumgon was once in an area of Tibet when a crop failed because it was afflicted by frost. he saw this and sat in loving-kindness. Since that time, in an area that can be covered by one person in a day, there has never again been a frost.
Practicing loving-kindness is important for our private lives as well. If we can sit in loving-kindness samadhi, we can spread peace and harmony to our whole families. It is a direct antidote to fear and hatred. Everything is interconnected. In society at large, loving kindness creates peace and harmony, which overcomes war, etc.
Why are there so many unfavorable conditions? Our minds are functioning in the state opposite to loving-kindness with thoughts of fear, hatred and aggressiveness. Subdue the mind! If our minds are pacified, then unfavorable conditions in the world can be pacified. If you consider Dharma practice, the main task is to subdue the mind, in order to be free from Samsara.
The main cause of enlightenment is bodhicitta. The seed of enlightenment is bodhicitta. Lord Jigten Sumgon states that enlightenment itself is the manifestation of bodhicitta, or embodiment of bodhicitta just as the manifestation of hatred is hell. Enlightenment is also dependent on loving kindness and compassion.
In the words of Lord Phagmo Drupa, “Bodhicitta is like a plant, the earth and moisture that nourish it are loving-kindness and compassion. Bodhicitta is the result.” The essence of all of Lord Buddha’s teachings are love, compassion and bodhicitta. If we practice these, there is no doubt that we will achieve Buddhahood.
Chenga Drikung Lingpa, main disciple and attendant of Lord Jigten Sumgon, compiled many of his teachings, referred to as Gong Chik meaning One Thought. Shortly before leaving the world, he declared that the substance of all the teachings are relative and absolute levels of bodhicitta.