Sunday March 29:
The Foundation organized a teaching and an empowerment on Bhaisajyaguru or Medicine Buddha at the Foundation House. It was another great event with more than 60 people attending it. We are grateful to Soraj’s mother for taking care of the vegetarian lunch.
Thanks to the Pandara staff: Yidrol, Nuch, Nut, Dream, Bo and Bank for beautifully arranging the place. As always, we thank K. Ram for simultaneous translation into English.
Rinpoche urged everyone to attend the morning session so that they understand the meaning of the empowerment. He explained that 424 illnesses are rooted in three poisons: greed, hatred and ignorance. They lead to imbalances of three processes in our body, namely lung (related to the wind element), tripa (related to the fire element), and began (related to the water element). These imbalances cause both physical and mental illnesses. In order to relieve suffering from sentient beings who fall ill, and to make best use of this perfect body for enlightenment, we seek Medicine Buddha empowerment.
He started the teaching on ten unwholesome actions to be avoided. Three of them (killing, stealing and sexual misconduct) are bodily actions. Four relate to speech, namely lying, slander, harsh speech, and idle speech; and the other three concern mental actions (envy, ill will, and clinging to wrong views). Rinpoche gave a vivid example for each type of unwholesome karma. And when he talked about taking life, as in the case of killing yaks in Tibet, a feeling of sadness arose in my heart. He urged us not to eat meat if we can. If not, eat lesser and lesser.
After lunch, Rinpoche and Yontan made three tormas, which are ritual barley cakes to be used in the empowerment. Everyone was requested to wash their face, mouth, hands and feet before they entered the deity mandala. When we were ready, Rinpoche performed a “wangdrup” ceremony, while each one of us recited Medicine Buddha’s mantra in silence.
Rinpoche asked us to have a right attitude in receiving the empowerment. It must be rooted in bodhicitta. We wanted to help others; that’s why, we seek special blessing. He emphasized that we must develop strong faith in our heart and must not have any doubt, how little it is, in the power of Buddha.
In the ceremony we made a vow to recite Medicine Buddha’s mantra at least 21 times a day. We would keep our commitments with the master by respecting him always, with one another by regarding each one of us a “vajra friend”, and with all sentient beings by regarding them our parents. In particular, we would live our life by avoiding ten unwholesome deeds.
Giving rice blessed by Medicine Buddha’s mantra
Prostrating to thank the master at the end of the ceremony
Blessing the Foundation’s stupa project