Preparing to Enter the Mandala

The first day of the second week of Summer Festival begins with two meditations before lunch led by Gen Rabjor. The purpose of these meditations was to help us develop a peaceful and virtuous mind before the Heruka Empowerment Preparation session this afternoon with Gen-la Dekyong.

In the first meditation, Gen Rabjor explained the importance of overcoming our distractions. In the second meditation, Gen Rabjor continued with his light-hearted and insightful examples, skillfully helping us to understand that we can enter inside Heruka’s mandala only if we let go of our selfish intention and develop compassion for all living beings. He explained that just as a dog cannot enter the doorway with a big stick in its mouth, so too, we need to drop the big stick of our self-cherishing if we are to enter inside Heruka’s mandala!

In the actual meditation, we imagined how wonderful it would be if all living beings were permanently free from suffering and then developed the wish to attain enlightenment in order to accomplish that aim. It is this precious mind of bodhichitta that is our intention for receiving the empowerments.

In the afternoon break, everyone enjoyed catching up with old friends – and making new ones! What a great joy it is to have such meaningful Sangha friendships from all around the world. This is just one of the many great kindnesses that we receive from our precious Spiritual Guide, Venerable Geshe-la.

Then, in the late afternoon, thousands of Kadampas gathered for the actual Heruka Empowerment Preparation. Gen-la Dekyong’s wonderful teaching was so clear, powerful and blessed.

At the beginning she inspired us by explaining some of the special qualities of the practice of Heruka and Vajrayogini. In particular, we understood these Highest Yoga Tantra practices are more profound than those of other Deities. In addition, because we have a special connection with Heruka and Vajrayogini, as times become more spiritually degenerate, we receive their blessings and special care more quickly!

Gen-la reminded us of how kind is our root Guru for giving us these profound practices. She encouraged us to regard each point as an object of contemplation, like the most delicious food that we can savor and take like nectar down into our heart. Then we will receive a special blessing from our Guru to put into practice what we have learned.

After the inspiring introduction, she led us through the various stages to Heruka preparation practice. These included becoming a qualified Vajrayana disciple and taking the Bodhisattva and Tantric Vows. In particular, Gen-la explained how we become a Vajrayana disciple through imputation, understanding that everything is mentally created – so now we are ‘cutting through all this impurity’ by following the path of correct imagination which is wisdom. What joy!

She finished by encouraged us to keep this mind of joy, thinking, “I am a Vajrayana disciple!” Now we are ready for the actual Heruka empowerment tomorrow.