envelope

Chö 4


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No, will do it this way.

The Short Vajradhara Prayer

Great Vajradhara, Tilo, Naro,
Marpa, Mila, Lord Gampopa,
Dusum Chenpa, totally aware Karmapa,
Holders of the four great and eight lesser lineages,

Masters of the profound path of mahamudra,
The Instruction Lineages of Dakpo, the peerless protector of beings,
Trikung, Taklung, Tsalpa and the glorious Drukpa,
I pray to you. Teachers of the Instruction Lineage,
I follow your lineage. Give me the energy for spiritual freedom.

Disgust and disenchantment are the legs of meditation,
So the teachings say.
To this meditator who does not yearn for comfort and wealth
And has severed ties to this life
Give me the energy to stop longing for money or prestige.

Respect and devotion form the head of meditation,
So the teachings say.
To this meditator who continuously prays
To the teacher who opens the doors to the treasury of pith instructions
Give me the energy to discover uncontrived respect and devotion.

Non-distraction is the substance of meditation,

So the teachings say.
To this meditator who lets the essence of any movement
Rest fresh right there, in the moment, not doing anything with it,
Give me energy to be free from working at meditation.

The essence of thought is what is,

So the teachings say.
To this meditator who arises as an unceasing play,
Being nothing at all, but arising as anything,
Give me energy to know that samsara and nirvana are not separate.

Now, as we’ve done before, form the intention of awakening mind for yourself and all the disruptive forces and disturbances in your own mind, which is to say the totality of your experience—everything—to come to the direct understanding of the Supreme Mother which is a way of saying buddhahood or full awakening. So we form that intention as we recite this verse.

All of us, beginning with our enemies that provoke anger,
impediments that generate harm, conditions that cause interruptions,
obsessions with mortality, local disturbances,
physical disturbances, and our own parents.
In short, all sentient beings whose numbers are as infinite as space
will attain the direct understanding of the Supreme Mother.
Consequently, I take up the profound practice of the holy ground
where obsessions are cut down.

Now we invite all of these sources of irritation and disturbances in our lives, and we imagine them gathering around us. Don’t forget the kangling sounds at the end of “Listen to me!” So.

All spirits weak and small, don’t be afraid, don’t be frightened.
Don’t be frightened at all.
All sentient beings from the highest planes of existence
down to the depths of the worst hells, listen to me! [Ken blows kangling]

Come here, all of you. [Ken blows kangling] Come here quickly, all of you. [Ken blows kangling]

So, you imagine that they come swarming out of the whole universe, from the sky, from the ground, in-between. Everything that has bothered and irritated and disturbed you for your whole life, and more than that, is all around you right now. And with one intention, you and all of these disturbances pray for refuge.

All of us, beginning with our enemies that provoke anger,
impediments that generate harm, situations that cause interruptions,
obsessions with mortality, local disturbances,
physical disturbances, and our own parents.
In short, all sentient beings whose numbers are as infinite as space.

We go for refuge in the teacher
We go for refuge in the buddha
We go for refuge in the dharma
We go for refuge in the sangha

We go for refuge in the teacher
We go for refuge in the buddha
We go for refuge in the dharma
We go for refuge in the sangha

We go for refuge in the teacher
We go for refuge in the buddha
We go for refuge in the dharma
We go for refuge in the sangha

We go for refuge in the glorious teachers of the chö lineage
who attained mastery.
We go for refuge in the dakinis of the three levels.
We go for refuge in the buddhas and bodhisattvas
who abide in the ten directions.
We go for refuge in the sugatas of the five families.
We go for refuge in the lords of the three families.
We go for refuge in the teacher of Vajra Dakini and her retinue.
We go for refuge in the Kagyu teachers and their retinue of dakinis.
We go for refuge in our kind root teachers and their retinue of dakinis.
We go for refuge in mind itself, empty unborn dharmakaya.
We pray for refuge. Please take us under your protection.

I and all sentient beings rely on the buddha,
we rely on the dharma,
we rely on the sangha.
May what all beings do be virtuous.
May what they say be virtuous.
May what they feel be virtuous.
May they be cured of their 404 kinds of illness.
May they be free from the 91 kinds of unexpected disturbances.
May they not be disrupted by the 360 emotional states.
May the 80,000 kinds of interruptions naturally die down.
May they naturally let go, and may they naturally go away.

I pay homage to the three jewels.
I take refuge in the three jewels.
I give offerings to the three jewels.
I confess all unwholesome actions.
I rejoice in the good works of others.
I rely on buddhas and bodhisattvas.
Until awakening I take refuge in the buddha,
dharma, and supreme assembly.

In order to realize the aims of all us,
I give rise to awakening mind.
I regard all beings as my guests
and engage in the actions of awakening beings.
I will attain full awakening to help all beings.

Just as the buddhas of the three times
gave rise to the supreme awakening mind
that definitely brings about pure awakening,
I also give rise to this sacred aspiration
and ask all those who have done so to think of me.
Not only to think of me but to look after me.

Now, just rest in meditation for a few moments and let your eyes close.

In the sky in front of you, imagine the syllable pam white, and it bursts into light and becomes a white lotus with eight petals. Above it, the syllable tam bursts into light and becomes the flat disk of the moon resting on the lotus. And above that, the syllable ah bursts into light and becomes Machik Labdron. She is white, holding a gold drum, which she beats with her right hand. Her left hand holds a silver bell to her hip. She’s in dancing posture, radiant with light, three eyes and black hair, some bound up, some falling freely down her back. To her right is Padampa Sangye who is a dark-skinned figure blowing a trumpet. And he is surrounded by teachers of the lineage. To her left is Vajrayogini surrounded by dakinis and yidams and teachers of the Mother Lineage. Immediately above Machik—the Green Tara and above her is Buddha Shakyamuni, surrounded by buddhas and teachings of the Non-Dual Lineage. And above Shakyamuni is Prajnaparamita, gold in color, with four arms, two joined in prayer, one holding a crystal rosary, and one holding a volume of the Perfection of Wisdom. Around Prajnaparamita are all of the buddhas of the five families. Just below Machik are all the protectors and dakinis, and below them are all of the sources of irritation, the karmic debt collectors, everybody and everything that you have wronged, disturbed. All the forces which cause disturbance in your life, whether they are from enemies or foes, or accidents, from fear of death, anxiety, reactive emotions—imagine them in any form.

Visualizing all that clearly, we can read through the liturgy together.

In the sky before me is my kind root teacher
who is one with Machik Labdron.
Her body is white like a conch shell.
She has one face and two arms.
The right beating a gold drum held high,
the left holding a silver bell to her hip.
Her three eyes staring into space.
Her hair is black, half of it tied up upon her head,
the rest falling freely over her back.
Her naked body is adorned with bone and jewel ornaments.
Her right leg is drawn and her left extended in dancing posture.
Around her are all the teachers of the Kagyu tradition.
To her right is Padampa Sangye and the teachers of the Father Lineage.
To her left is Vajrayogini and the five dakinis
surrounded by the Mother Lineage.
Above is Buddha Shakyamuni surrounded by the Non-Dual Lineage.
Above him is the Great Mother surrounded by the lineage
of attained masters ofchö.
Below Machik are all the gods and demons of existence,
including the eight classes of demons and all karmic debt collectors
listening and obeying attentively.
Every deity has at his or her forehead a white om,
at the throat a red ah, at the heart a blue hung.

Just one second.

[Ken rings bell and beats drum.]

Now, imagine light shining from the om ah hung and inviting essentially duplicates that swarm out of all the universe like snowflakes swirling in a storm, and they unite with their visualized form, so you have a profound sense of everyone really being present in front of you. And I need to find where we are in the book. There we are, okay.

[Ken rings bell, beats drum, and blows kangling.]

vajra samaya dza hung bam ho

Now, I’ll be singing this verse of praise, and you feel that you are paying homage and honoring Machik and all the teachers of the lineage, Padampa Sangye and Vajrayogini.

[Ken sings prayer in Tibetan]

Now, focusing your attention on Machik. In her heart is the flat disk of the moon, above this the letter hung, or the syllable hung, brilliantly white in color. Light radiates, shines from thehung, inviting the energy and power of all the buddhas and bodhisattvas, teachers of the lineage in the ten directions. All this energy and power comes into Machik’s heart. Around the hung are the letters of the mantra of the perfection of wisdom, om gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha. As you recite the mantra, with a strong feeling of faith and devotion in Machik, elixir drips from the hung in the mantra and fills her whole form with this brilliantly white elixir, radiating light. As her form fills, it starts coming from her toe and comes down and pours over your body and over the body of all sentient beings, particularly all of the disturbances, and washes away all of the negativity, confusion, unwholesome actions, reactive patterns—these are washed right out of your body, just as if elixir was pouring right through it. And it is flushed down, coming out of all the pores of the skin, and from under your fingernails, out of all of your orifices, pours down into the center of the earth. Through this process your body becomes clear and radiant as crystal. om gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha.


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[Ken repeats mantra]

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Now, without losing your sense of the visualization, imagine goddesses, hundreds and hundreds of thousands of goddesses pouring out of your heart, all of them holding a mirror which reflects all the forms. So you’re offering everything that arises in form to Machik and her entourage.

And through this you are asking for the power of unchanging form which is nirmanakaya. And then red goddesses pour out of your heart, offering everything that arises as sound. And you offer all of this to Machik and her entourage.

And you pray for the power of direct speech. And offer the blue goddesses that pour out of your heart and offer everything that arises as thought or feeling, you know, in any sentient being everywhere. And you offer these as symbols of awakened mind, and you pray for clear unconfused mind. And then goddesses of every conceivable color pour out of your heart, holding all of the symbols of good fortune and good luck and you offer all of the experience of happiness and suffering to Machik and her entourage.

And you pray for the welfare of all beings and pray to take on the suffering of all beings, so that they are completely free of it.

[Ken rings bell, beats drum]

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[Ken sings prayer in Tibetan]

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Okay. Now continuing to rest in attention.

Imagine that you’re standing. At the soles of your feet there’s the black syllable du. In your genital region, there’s the yellow symbol tre, and in the navel, the gray symbol da. At the heart, the red syllable nri. At the throat, the green syllable ah, and in the middle of your of head, the white syllable om.

Below your feet are two brilliant points of light, about the size of a pea each one. A red one under your left, a white one under your right. Think that these points of light are the very essence of being. And when I say the syllable phat, those points merge with the black syllable du.

At that moment, you experience all the suffering of the hell realm. But you experience it in attention, so, that suffering is transformed into attention. And these two vital sources of light begin to radiate more intensely.

phat

And then the next time I say phat, these two vital essences shoot up your legs and join together as they merge with the symbol tre, the yellow syllable tre in your genitals. And you experience all of the suffering and confusion of the hungry ghost realm. Experience that in attention and so all of that suffering is transformed into awareness and attention. And the vital essences grow larger and more brilliant and take on more colors.

phat

And now you have this single ball of energy, brilliantly bright, and on the successive phat, it moves up to the animal realm at the navel da, the human realm at the heart, where there’s the red nri, the titan realm where there’s a green ah, and the god realm where there’s the white om. And as it goes into each realm, you experience everything in that realm and transform it into attention. First going into the animal realm with the gray da at the navel.

phat.

Then the human realm with the red hri.

phat

And then the titan realm with the green ah.

phat

And the god realm with the white om.

phat

And on the next phat, this vital essence—which is what you are—goes shooting into the sky and you become one with the sky, the perfection of wisdom. [Forceful]

phat

And the perfection of wisdom takes form as the red syllable hri. You become Vajrayogini, dancing red dakini. And you look, and below you, you see your own body which is now grown huge. It’s as large as the universe.

And from your heart, dakinis of many different colors pour out. They all hold choppers in their hands. And they cut the skin of your own body, and it becomes the gold foundation of the universe, of the world. Your torso becomes the mountain at the center of the world. They cut off the four arms and legs which become the four continents around the mountain. Intestines become the seven ranges of gold mountains around the central mountain. Your fingernails become the iron mountains that surround the whole word. Your two eyes become the sun and moon which orbit in the sky around the mountain at the center of the world. Your teeth become stars and constellations. In other words, your body is arranged as a very beautiful offering of the whole world which you present to Machik and all of the teachers of the chö lineage.


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[Ken rings bell, beats drum] [Ken sings in Tibetan]

And then with a single phat everything dissolves and it’s all gone.


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Okay. Any questions?

Student: Should we do this ourselves tomorrow?

Ken: Yep [laughs]. Okay, this is called opening to the sky transference—opening the door to the sky transference—and is the form of transference practice used in chö.

There are many myths and superstitions around transference in general. This one is very, very clear in its intention and meaning. You move through the six realms. And through the power of attention, through the growing power of attention, you become free, transforming the energy and confusion of the six realms into attention and awareness. In the end, where does this leave you? Nowhere. The perfection of wisdom. So, that’s the sky that you enter. It’s the sky of the perfection of wisdom, or the space.

So, this is a way of moving directly through a visualization process [Ken snaps finger] into presence. No definition. Dissolving or transforming progressively all the realms of confusion—just as we’ve been doing in taking and sending. One manifests out of that as an expression—the perfection of wisdom is an expression of emptiness—as a dakini…

[Recording ends]


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