Welcome to our forty first online suggested practise for the week. We are now broadcasting a live teaching each Monday evening. If you would like to participate please contact us using the contact form on the homepage.
1.0) If you feel so inclined, begin by reciting the usual prayers (please follow below links for text). Alternatively, try to think or articulate a wish for all beings to achieve liberation from suffering, etc .
Four Thoughts: contemplating each in turn – http://northantsbuddhists.com/the-four-thoughts/
Refuge Prayer: twice in Tibetan, once in English – http://northantsbuddhists.com/the-refuge-prayer/
2.0) The Wisdom of Compassion By His Holiness The Dalai Lama – Presented by William Duncan
A reading from The Wisdom of Compassion – The Yellow Holy Whip – pp 223 – 230.
2.1) Purification Through The Four Opponent Powers – Presented by Steve Reynolds
Vajrasattva Meditation An Illustrated Guide, by Khenpo Yeshe Phuntsok, pp 15-17
To maximize the potency of Vajrasattva practice, we rely on what are called the four opponent powers: reliance, regret, resolve and the remedy. We cultivate the power of reliance through taking refuge and generating bodhichitta, the altruistic thought of awakening. We develop the power of regret through examining our misdeeds and then confessing them sincerely. We generate the power of resolve by vowing to abstain from misdeeds. Then we develop the power of the actual remedy through reciting the one hundred-syllable mantra. Finally, we increase the merit of purification through dedicating it to the enlightenment of all sentient beings.
The power of Reliance
We develop the power of reliance through an inner cause and outer conditions. The inner cause is the mind of refuge and bodhichitta, the wish to become a Buddha in order to free all beings. The outer condition is the aspiration and vow of Vajrasattva, which makes him into an infallible source of refuge. First we reflect on the good qualities of Vajrasattva to generate supreme faith. This leads us to taking refuge in him with a single-pointed mind. Second, we reflect on the suffering of sentient beings in the six realms. From this we feel greater compassion and aspire to purify their negative karma, resulting in our generating bodhichitta. Without taking refuge, it is not a Buddhist practice; without generating bodhichitta, it is not a Mahayana practice. Therefore it is important to give proper emphasis to taking refuge and generating bodhichitta before we begin the practice.
The power of Regret
We know that cancer can spread and metastasize to other parts of the body if we do not treat it. In order to catch cancer in its earliest and easiest-to-treat stage, we get regular and thorough physical exams. If cancer is found, we rely on a doctor to remove it, take our medicine and try to eradicate the possible causes and carcinogens. Only in this way can the cancer eventually be cured.
Similarly, the imprint of negative karma is like a cancer in our mental continuum, causing harm to our body, speech or mind. If you do not check for it and counteract it regularly, the seeds of negative karma will mature and then even the Buddha will not be able to stop it. Therefore it is very important to track down negative karma as early as possible, before it has the chance to mature and purify it immediately.
How do we track down our negative karma? We call to mind and reflect on situations where we have committed negative deeds. After remembering them, we regret them thoroughly in our hearts, confess them with our words and show respect through bowing in front of Vajrasattva without hiding anything. If our feeling of regret is deep and sincere, then we possess the power of regret.
We should investigate as thoroughly as possible and examine all negative actions we have committed in one category, such as a the nonvirtue of killing. Then we continue reflecting in other categories, such as lying or wrong view. Finally, we confess each of them deeply from our hearts. To aid this process, the end of this book includes contemplations on each of the major categories of nonvirtue. Even if we do not find many negative actions in a given category in this life, that does not mean that we did not commit them in previous lives. We can still cultivate the power of regret for actions we no longer remember or we did unknowingly. In this way, the negative karma, can be mitigated, just as dust scatters with a puff of air.
The power of Resolve
The power of resolve is to vow with clear visualisation: “From now on, even if my life is endangered, I will never again commit this negative action.” The key here is to cultivate a sincere feeling to never do that negative action again. Only in this way can the fermentation of that negative karma be stopped. Otherwise, your confession is nonsense.
The power of Remedy
The power of remedy, the actual antidote in this practice, is to recite the hundred-syllable mantra of Vajrasattva. Like the best medicine, this mantra has matchless power to promptly destroy karmic obscurations. The goal here is to believe that the mantra and the Buddha Vajrasattva are the same, without any difference and then to calm your body, speech and mind and recite the mantra with a focused mind and clear visualisation.
Vajrasattva 100 Sylable Mantra
OM BENZA SATA SAMAYA MANU PALAYA
BENZA SATA TEY NO PA TEETA DEEDO MEY BAWA
SUTO KAYO MEY BAWA
SUPO KAYO MEY BAWA
A NU RATO MEY BAWA
SARWA SIDDI MEY PRA YA TSA
SARWA KARMA SU TSA MEY
TSEE TAM SHRI YAM KURU HUNG
HA HA HA HA HO BAGAWAN
SARWA TATAGATA BENZA MA MEY MUN TSA
BENZA BAWA MAHA SAMAYA SATA
AH HUNG PEY
Vajrasattva Six Syllable Mantra
Om Benza Satto Hum