Last night was the ending of the 3-day intensive teaching on “A-Tri Preliminary Practice of Dzogchen” at the foundation house. About 20 participants attended all the three sessions. We ended the teaching with great joy and happiness.
Rinpoche rejoiced in everyone’s effort to make a difference in their life. He said: “Please continuously check your mind, meditate on the main points and I will return next year to teach you more.”
Before we ended the session, he gave us a transmission on the three mantras on Buddha of compassion (Buddha of clear light), Eight Buddhas that lead to liberation from six samsaric realms, and Purification.
Three nine preliminary practice that constitutes the essence of dharma teaching is as follows:
1. Meditation on impermanence to turn our mind toward the path of liberation, no attachment on samsara, no turning back.
2. Meditation on cultivating mind of enlightenment by developing positive thoughts and feelings for others and engaging in wholesome actions that truly benefit others. It’s the practice to develop true compassion in our heart, which is the supreme quality that all the enlightened ones have.
3. Confession. We wholeheartedly regret our wrongdoings and we request blessings from Buddha to cleanse us from negative results. This is done by the power of the four supports, namely witness (Buddha as the witness and the one who will accept our confession), sincere regret, commitment not to do such a wrongdoing and other negative karma again, and commitment to engage in the practice. At the end of meditation, we should think and believe that we have been purified. There is no more guilt, holding back, or other negative feelings.
4. Mandala offering. Simply avoid negative karma isn’t enough, we need to accumulate merit both on the relative level and on the ultimate one. We can do so by making a mandala offering to Buddha. We imagine that we offer a Mt. Meru, four worlds and eight continents, and all the best things in the universe and those we hold dear to enlightened ones. Without accumulated merit, we don’t gain wisdom to realize our true nature.
5. Prostration. To do prostration, no matter whether it’s a half or full body, its purpose is for purification and removing obstacles. By prostrating, we also offer the best to Buddhas and masters in the merit field and request empowerments of the three doors (body, speech and mind) from them.
6. Lame Namjor (Guru yoga). We meditate on the teacher as the source of compassion, as Buddha of clear light and develop faith and trust in him or her. We visualize that we receive blessings in the form of nectar which cleanses our body, speech and mind. We meditate that our mind dissolves in the mind of the teacher, which is inseparable from Buddha’s nature.
7. Recitation of the Buddha of clear light mantra
8. Recitation of the mantra of eight Buddhas that lead to liberation from samsaric realms.
9. Recitation of purification mantra
This nine step practice is called “ngondro bumku”. Ngondro means to go first (what is required to do first) and bumku is 900,000 times. Each step requires a great effort to excel in our practice by achieving 100,000 recitations.
All the participants are encouraged to continue their practice at the foundation house (schedule will be arranged) and receive transmission of the prayer for each meditation point when Rinpoche returns to teach again.
The main points of Rinpoche’s teaching are also available in his book “Open the Door to Bon,” which is being translated and will be published by Thousand Stars Press.