Welcome to our thirty second 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 – https://northantsbuddhists.com/the-four-thoughts/
Refuge Prayer: twice in Tibetan, once in English – https://northantsbuddhists.com/the-refuge-prayer/
2.0) The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche – Presented by Geoff Warren
The 2 most famous mantras in Tibet are the mantra of Padmesambhava, called the Vajra Guru Mantra, Om Ah Hum Vajra Guru Padma Hum, & the mantra of Avolokiteshvara, the Buddha of Compassion, Om Mane Padme Hum. Like most mantras they are in Sanskrit, the ancient language of India.
The Vajra Guru Mantra
The Vajra Guru mantra, OM AH HUM VAJRA GURU PADMA SIDDHI HUM, is pronounced by Tibetans: Om Ah Hung Benza Guru Pema Siddhi Hung. This explanation of its meaning is based on explanations by Dudjom Rinpoche & Dilgo Kyentse Rinpoche.
OM AH HUM – The syllables OM AH HUM have outer, inner & “secret” meanings. At each of these levels, however, OM stands for the b ody, AH for the speech, & HUM for the mind. They represent the transformative blessings of the body, speech & mind of all the buddhas.
Externally OM purifies all the negative actions committed through your body, AH through your speech & HUM through your mind. OM AH HUM grants the blessings of the body, speech & mind of the buddhas.
OM is also the essence of form, AH the essence of sound & Hum the essence of mind. So by reciting the mantra, you are also purifying the environment, as well as yourself & all other beings within it. Om purifies all perceptions, AH all sounds & HUM the mind, its thoughts & emotions.
Internally OM purifies the subtle channels, AH the wind, inner air flow of energy & HUM the creative essence.
On a deeper level, OM AH HUM represent the 3 kayas of the Lotus family of buddhas. Om is the Dharmakaya: the Buddha Amitabha, Buddha of Limitless Light, AH is the Sambhogakaya: Avolokiteshvara, the Buddha of Compassion; & HUM is the Nirmanakaya: Padmasambhava. This signifies, in the case of this mantra, that all 3 kayas are embodied in the person of Padmasambhava.
At the innermost level, OM AH HUM being the realisation of the 3 aaspects of the nature of mind: OM brings the realisation of its unceasing energy & compassion, AH brings the realisation of its radiant nature & HUM brings the realisation of its sky like essence.
VAJRA GURU PADMA
VAJRA is compared to the diamond, the strongest & most precious of stones. Just as a diamond can cut through anything but is itself completely indestructible, so the unchanging, non – dual wisdom of the buddhas can never be harmed or destroyed by ignorance, & can cut through all delusions & obscurations. The qualities & activities of the body, speech & wisdom mind of the buddhas are able to benefit beings with the piercing , unhindered power of the diamond & like a diamond, the Vajra is free of defects ; its brilliant strength comes from the realisation of the Dharmakaya nature of reality, the nature of Buddha Amitabha.
GURU means “weighty”; someone replete with every wonderful quality, who embodies wisdom , knowledge, compassion & skilful means. Just as gold is the weightiest & most precious of metals, so the inconceivable, flawless qualities of the Guru – the master – make him unsurpassable & above all things in excellence. GURU corresponds to the Sambhogakaya & to Avolokiteshvara, the Buddha of Compassion. Also since Padmasambhava teaches the path of Tantra, which is symbolised by the Vajra & through the practice of Tantra he attained supreme realisation, so he is known as “the VAJRA GURU”
PADMA means lotus & signifies the Lotus family of the buddhas & specifically their aspect of enlightened speech. The Lotus family is the Buddha family to which human beings belong. As Padmasambhava is the direct emanation, the Nirmanakaya of Buddha Amitabha, who is the primordial Buddha of the Lotus family, he is known as “PADMA” the “Lotus-born” in fact refers to his birth on a blossoming lotus flower.
When the syllables VAJRA GURU PADMA are taken together, they also signify the essence & blessings of the View, Meditation & Action. Vajra means the unchanging, diamantine, indestructible Essence of the truth, which we pray to realise in our View. GURU represents the luminosity Nature & noble qualities of enlightenment, which we pray to perfect in our meditation. PADMA stands for compassion, which we pray to accomplish in our Action.
Through reciting the mantra, then we receive the blessings of the wisdom mind, the noble qualities & the compassion of Padmasambhava & all the buddhas.
SIDDHI HUM is said to draw all the siddhis like a magnet that attracts iron filings.
HUM represents the wisdom mind of the buddhas & is the sacred catalyst of the mantra. It is like proclaiming its power & truth “so be it!”.
2.1) Subjects for Meditation – Presented by William Duncan
This evening’s presentation makes reference to ‘The Buddha’s Way’ – H Saddhatissa