Ngondro Vajrasattva from the Mindrolling Dor Sem – 2/20/11 – Judy Wolfer

Khandro Rinpoche has been saying, have remorse for being pulled from the ultimate nature by passion, aggression and ignorance, knowing they aren’t made of anything.  By having allegiance to passion, aggression and ignorance, you are generating karma that will harm others and you.  Look at the fundamental nature of the passion, aggression and ignorance, and think “do I want to have allegiance to THAT?”    You should generate a genuine wish to never be separate from ultimate nature.   Don’t use Vajrasattva as a karmic washing machine. (Laughs)  Saying “I’m bad” with emotional attachment, thinking “Vajrasattva will purify me,” and then will go do the bad deed again.   Try to move past the outer meaning to this inner meaning.

(Missed beginning)…from our heart, eject a HUM. It’s our ultimate bodhichitta, bright white, like a snow covered mountain. It’s your Buddha-nature made manifest so you can relate to it. So you have something to focus on, this is the skillful means of vajrayana. Rest in that for a bit.HUM

That HUM transforms into Vajrasattva. He is brilliant white, luminous, radiating.  Energetic. He is wearing jewels like Vajradhara, only all white. Vajrasattva is your teacher, as well as all the 42 peaceful and 58 wrathful Buddhas.  Every manifestation of awakened nature is there. This is the most perfect we can do.

At his heart is a brilliant moon disk, like the moon last night. On that cool moon disk is a crystal 5-prong vajra. At the waist of that is a white, luminous HUM. All of this is your Buddha nature so you can relate to it.  Visualize it carefully with all the elements, because it is speaking about your own mind essence. It is pure and clear, nothing there yet something there.

Now for the four powers in Vajrasattva practice. When I went to school, I never got the gnomonic devices. These aren’t like that. They speak to the effort to be made at each stage.

The Four Powers

  1. Power of support. The support is the Vajrasattva.  This is the thing to which you attach your mind so you can understand your mind essence. It doesn’t let you go, if you know. It is your anchor of mindfulness and awareness.  The HUM at the heart of the vajra surrounded by the mantra garland of the 100 syllable mantra.  This is the samadhisattva.                 Samadhi– 1 pointed concentration sattva– your pure essence.    If you lose everything else in this visualization, hold on to that HUM.
  2.  Power of regret.  The mantra garland is filling the vajra with nectar, and it flows down raining on you outside and inside. Everything it touches becomes purified – just like that (snaps fingers). This crusty body gets purified. That irritation at breakfast, every attachment you have, every klesha, the passion, aggression, jealousy, pride and ignorance, every bad deed in every lifetime – they get purified. As the amrita purifies, it purifies that ignorance as a black smoke. Icky little insects come out of anus and every pour of your body. Below you in a pit are all the beings you owe a karmic debt to. This black stuff feeds them.  It sounds funky to feed them bugs (Laughs) . But it’s not them, it’s the deeds’ personification.   Later, you will do purification of the beings themselves.    The Outer view is actually purifying the things we get struck with.  Refuge is so important because you actually believe the teacher can purify these things.  The more important Inner view stressed by Rinpoche is “if you get stuck with “I stole, did Vajrasattva, do it again”, it is like Catholic confession.  This is very self-absorbed and very limited.  We need to expand our view.”  Why are we doing it in the first place? This is when we drill into our kleshas, the passion, aggression, jealousy, pride and ignorance.  Where does my aggression come from? A gazillion causes and conditions in this moment – which means in this moment, they can dissolve.  It has no true essence.  This is the key to the inner purification. If you realize your 3 or 5 poisons have no essence, then when you notice a moment of great desire, you know that it can fall apart in an instant.   The great love of your life will not be there for your death, or maybe will last until then.  The remorse- our passion, aggression and ignorance – are made up of these conditions, and we KNOW that. We let it pull us out of our gap of absolute bodhichitta.  Have remorse for being pulled from the ultimate nature by passion, aggression and ignorance, knowing they aren’t made of anything.  By having allegiance to passion, aggression and ignorance, you are generating karma that will harm others and you.  Look at the fundamental nature of the passion, aggression and ignorance, and think “do I want to have allegiance to THAT?”    You should generate a genuine wish to never be separate from ultimate nature.   Don’t use Vajrasattva as a karmic washing machine. (Laughs)  Saying “I’m bad” with emotional attachment, thinking “Vajrasattva will purify me,” and then will go do the bad deed again.   Try to move past outer meaning to this inner meaning, try to, at least.
  3. Power of determination/ resolve. At this point, your body is filling with the amrita from Vajrasattva. Your body is getting less fixed and heavy and more ephemeral, more translucent. The things that you think stick inside you become more ephemeral as well. Your nature is not these emotions; it’s this pure nature from Vajrasattva. You make determination to stay with the luminous Buddha-nature.  Khandro Rinpoche – “What is the obstacle to staying there? When you are filled with the amrita of bodhichitta, what is lacking is confidence. We don’t believe that is our fundamental nature.”  You MUST study the passion, aggression and ignorance, and see their nature. Your liberate them, you liberate every negative,    just learn to rest there.  Andre said yesterday, Khandro Rinpoche says “just rest. Stop striving.”  This moment will build your confidence and get you back to the fundamental allegiance.
  4. Power of applied antidote. We often give short shrift to the dissolution phase. This is JUST as important as the creation stage. Really give yourself time to do this. You are pure, amrita is flowing out of you, the beings in the pit are becoming Vajrasattvas too.  At this point, Vajrasattva dissolves into light, and then dissolves into your head. You become Vajrasattva. At your heart is a moon disk with a hum and a mantra garland. All Sentient Beings are being fulfilled by your effortless radiance.  It’s like mother’s milk, a natural expression. It’s just radiating.  We may made an effort, but we ARE Vajrasattva- all needs are being met, all obscurations are being purified.

In Words of My Perfect Teacher, it says as you radiate rainbow light 360 degrees front back everywhere, the upper half is going to all the Buddhas and bodhisattvas, and they are pleased. You are touching them with your bodhichitta, same as theirs. The lower half, the light touches the Sentient Beings, they become Vajrasattva, and then radiate, and so on.

Dissolution

All the Buddhas and bodhisattvas and sentient beings dissolve into light, which dissolves into you. You dissolve into the mantra garland. The garland dissolves into the HUM. The HUM dissolves from the bottom up, to the nada. Till the last of the nada is gone. Then, you rest in bodhichitta without reference and without effort. That is the gap. It is very important to rest there.

If you accomplish Vajrasattva, you don’t need to go on.  As you get more sense of “this is my nature,” it is portable. It is concept less but brilliant, full of compassion. The qualities aren’t dissolved, just the visualization.

Signs of Accomplishment

Awareness- the part of you that recognizes the 5 poisons.   For example, Anger: recognizing “ah! That’s just a moment of anger”.  With Vajrasattva, that has more clarity. You become less clouded by the 8 Worldly dharmas – pain, gain, etc.  Dissolving the visualization of our own body. Our ‘normal’ body is one.  Your body will be lighter, and you will be of more service to others. You will fill with more devotion to teacher, less chasing the teacher like hunting for a musk deer.  relationship to teacher is less like that. Samsaric distractions are reduced; you get more real revulsion for samsara.  Eating yourself sick with chocolate on a Friday night (Judy raises hand (Laughs))  or blowing up at a colleague or… if you are paying attention to dreams, images of water, light, purification, swimming, flying, etc.

Padmasambhava said you could recite mantra for a kalpa, but if you are not really concentrating on it, you won’t get anything.  The mantra is essentially a supplication to Vajrasattva, which is your own nature. 

The rumors about obstacles arising from ngondro

When we first start Refuge/prostrations, There obstacles we think we will encounter with ngondro.  A lot of people say “your life will fall apart.” Khandro Rinpoche has said many times that 100,000 prostrations are not enough to reverse karmic patterns. If things are falling apart when you do ngondro, you are probably paying less attention than you should to your job, or your home – things you should be paying mindfulness to anyway!  Do some self-reflection. (Laughs)    It may feel that way to you, that’s fine.  Great! (Laughs)  Really, it’s that your ngondro is bringing you more notice of how chaotic our minds are. Let it feed your revulsion. If you feel “I hate the way I’ve been,” let it feed your sense of what it will need to not do it again.  To let us let go of the passion, aggression and ignorance.

Things you will notice if you are doing ngondro whole-heartedly are becoming humbler, gentler, and kinder. You care less about putting yourself first. Those, we should be able to notice.

Those are Khandro Rinpoche’s teachings on the Dor Sem ngondro Vajrasattva.

The Vajrasattva is exactly on top of your head, the mantra garland is clockwise from your point of view.  Hold the visualization as described.   Traditionally, one sees the whole visualization. It takes work. At first, “My god, I can’t see all that!”  Keep working on it, it is only limitations of own mind that say we can’t.

Mantra garland

I tried the Mantra garland in Tibetan, since I don’t know Sanskrit.  If you see the syllables.  For those of us who don’t speak Tibetan, it helps to non-conceptualize the sounds.  The mantra is expressing your longing and supplication, and at the same time, your view of “I can do this.” It starts as “Vajrasattva, help me out here”! to the 4 Joys “HA HA HA HA HO!” – You are there.

You have exerted a whole lot of effort in passion, aggression and ignorance.  Take a bit of that exertion for this practice! “ – Khandro Rinpoche       The black smoke/ bugs are exiting to the personification of your defilements. As they get purified, every sentient being becomes Vajrasattva.

(end)

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