2018-07-26-festival diary-12-m

The Yoga of the Guru

Once again we had the good fortune of starting the day by engaging in Quick Path to Great Bliss in the very blessed environment of the Kadampa World Peace Temple. Each time we engage in this precious practice it feels a little more familiar and we come closer to understand its profound meaning – ultimately leading us to the experience of permanent world peace.

Before we started Quick Path, Gen Rabjor led us in a beautiful meditation developing Tantric bodhichitta wishing to attain the enlightened state of Vajrayogini for benefit of all living beings.

In her morning teaching, Gen-la Dekyong completed an essential commentary of the 11 yogas of Vajrayogini practice, starting with the yoga of the Guru. She began by saying, “I think the whole festival we are practicing the yoga of the Guru.” Then she explained the meaning and the importance of relying purely on our own Spiritual Guide.

Gen-la explained the most profound blessing of our Spiritual Guide comes when we sincerely request without distraction, “Please bless my mental continuum.” Gen-la said this practice is called definitive Guru Yoga and its real meaning is that our root Guru becomes one with our mind at our heart, transforming our mind into the union of great bliss and emptiness. At first, we accomplish this through correct imagination. Gen-la said this is the heart of Tantric practice and that there is no more powerful, transformative practice.

Then, using Venerable Geshe-la’s profound teachings from the Portugal Festival, Gen-la taught step-by-step how to self-generate as Vajrayogini. For example, she explained how to transform our experience of the clear light of death into the Truth Body of Buddha. In this meditation, we imagine we are dying – everything dissolves inwards until there is nothing left, no appearances of this life. We then imagine experiencing the clear light of death – our mind experiences immense bliss and perceives only emptiness. Then, in dependence upon this union of great bliss and emptiness, we think, ‘I am Truth Body, Vajrayogini.’

Through this special meditation, we identify ourself correctly. Through gaining deep familiarity with this meditation, we will eventually become a deathless person. Gen-la asked us, “Where is there kindness such as this?” It is clear that Venerable Geshe-la’s kindness for us is inconceivable.

In the afternoon teaching we began by engaging in The New Essence of Vajrayana sadhana, up to dissolving Guru Heruka into our heart, as the preliminary prayers. As Venerable Geshe-la says in the sadhana, “Having seen that modern practitioners need a Heruka body mandala sadhana that does not have extensive words but is easy to understand and practice, I have prepared this very essence practice of the Heruka body mandala…” Wonderful!

Later that evening, the assembly of practitioners gathered in the Temple once again to make beautiful offerings to our Dharma Protector, Dorje Shugden, by engaging in Wishfulfilling Jewel practice. Afterward, while walking through the priory and delighting in the sharing of offerings and the hum of good conversation, I heard someone say, “Another meaningful day!” Yes, indeed.