Khandro Rinpoche annual retreat 2012 – morning 8/31/12- Mandala offering

mandala-viz_tnMandala offering text

OM VAJRA BHUMI AH HUM

The foundation is the perfectly pure, powerful golden earth.

OM VAJRA REKHE AH HUM

The outer periphery is a ring of iron mountains.

At the center is HUM, from which arises Mt. Meru, the king of mountains.

In the east is Purvavideha, in the south, Jambudvipa. In the west, Aparagodaniya, in the north, Uttarakuru.

Deha and Videha, Camara and Aparacamara, Shatha and Uttaramantrina, Kurava and Kaurava,

The jewel mountain, the wish-fulfilling tree, the wish-fulfilling cow, the harvest that needs no toil,

The precious wheel, The precious jewel, The precious queen, The precious minister, The precious elephant, The precious, supreme steed, The precious general, The vase of great treasure,

The goddess of grace, The goddess of garlands, The goddess of song, The goddess of dance, The goddess of flowers, The goddess of incense, The goddess of lamps, The goddess of perfume,

The sun, the moon, the precious parasol, the victory banner of complete victory in all directions.

These perfect glories and riches of gods and men without exception- I offer to all the sublime ones, the glorious root and lineage gurus, the divine assembly of the mandala of yidams and the assembly of Buddhas and bodhisattvas along with their retinues.

Please accept this with compassion for the benefit of beings. Having accepted it, I supplicate you to grant your blessings.

The earth is anointed with perfumed water and strewn with flowers. It is adorned with Mt. Meru, the four continents, the sun and the moon. By offering this visualized as a buddhafield, May all beings enjoy that pure realm.  

Being mindful of classifications, this is the inner ngondro section of the inner Mandala. We stopped at pouring mounds of offerings. You read them and do the gestures in the context of the accomplishment mandala.  These are the 2 forms of mandala heaps. In every last, the rims. When to put the rims.

After you have said:

At the center is HUM, from which arises Mt. Meru, the king of mountains.

Add the first ring immediately after:

In the east is Purvavideha, in the south, Jambudvipa. In the west, Aparagodaniya, in the north, Uttarakuru. Deha and Videha, Camara and Aparacamara, Shatha and Uttaramantrina, Kurava and Kaurava,

Then second ring, which should stand on riser. Add this at:

The jewel mountain, the wish-fulfilling tree, the wish-fulfilling cow, the harvest that needs no toil,

The precious wheel, The precious jewel, The precious queen, The precious minister, The precious elephant, The precious, supreme steed, The precious general, The vase of great treasure,

While you are saying this, you are adding rice in the second ring, which will also fill what is remaining of the first ring.

Then the Dharmakaya level ring:

 The goddess of grace, The goddess of garlands, The goddess of song, The goddess of dance, The goddess of flowers, The goddess of incense, The goddess of lamps, The goddess of perfume,

After the 8 offering goddesses, then immediately add the topper while reciting:

The sun, the moon, the precious parasol, the victory banner of complete victory in all directions.

Fill all the gaps while reciting.  This will be complete.

Then say the last verse:

These perfect glories and riches of gods and men without exception- I offer to all the sublime ones, the glorious root and lineage gurus, the divine assembly of the mandala of yidams and the assembly of Buddhas and bodhisattvas along with their retinues.

With a gesture of lifting it higher dividing assembly along with the retinue:

Please accept this with compassion for the benefit of beings. Having accepted it, I supplicate you to grant your blessings.

Then place the mandala on the shrine and read this verse:

The earth is anointed with perfumed water and strewn with flowers. It is adorned with Mt. Meru, the four continents, the sun and the moon. By offering this visualized as a buddhafield, May all beings enjoy that pure realm.

Question:  For a lefty, with this mandala practice, can I use the left hand?  Some people are particular with using right hand for offering.

Rinpoche:  I’m not going to argue with them.  The easterners use the right hand, which seems Very cultural to me. Where there is a hint of more culture than necessary in context of triggering power point, chakras, nadis, that is eventually important.  If necessary for that, then use of right as right and left and left is important.  But in offering, I think it’s more culture. The left hand was used for cleaning, and the right hand was used for consumption. In a traditional eastern sense, one wouldn’t even use a spoon with the left hand.  My personal view is that if one is a lefty, then use your left hand, especially if it’s by using the dominant hand that one’s practice isn’t interrupted. Since learning to use the other hand would be a bit awkward, use the dominant hand.

OM VAJRA BHUMI AH HUM

The foundation is the perfectly pure, powerful golden earth.

If accumulating the accomplishment mandala, you can do this 3, 7, or 21 times. And then you can stack, demolish, and redo, or stack and place on shrine.

In the case of doing 37 heaps, there are 2 styles that are prevalent. I am providing this as information about what you might see in certain places.  For example, with the central Mt. Meru and 4 continents, in many traditions, they start with the outer periphery and 4 points. Then the remainder are numbered in the outer periphery and continued, working outwards. In certain traditions, they start working inwards with the wish-fulfilling tree, the harvest and so forth. They are inside the continents, so there is a certain numbering scheme:   outside 1, 3, 4, and the 20’s 30s inside.  Yesterday, we said they are seen as symbolizing not just offering, but symbolizes from traditional cosmology. We talk about the upper realms: the deva realms, or the realms that are able to be endowed with such qualities, attainments, and objects that are the fruition of positive karma. All the patience, kindness, ethics build up to tremendous positive karma that begins to designate the realm you are to be born in.  You find even in this world people who enjoy great pleasure because of good karmas. In that way, deva realms are said to be filled with things like The jewel mountain, the wish-fulfilling tree, the wish-fulfilling cow, the harvest that needs no toil,

The wish-fulfilling tree: supplicating it grants the wishes of all sentient beings.  The harvest where no one needs to work that fulfills needs of all sentient beings.  These 4 outward are considered to be extraordinary objects that adorn the devas realms, so they are called ”the treasures of the deva realms.” So you are invoking the positive materials (?) of the deva realms, and even making that an offering to the Buddhas and bodhisattvas.  Essentially, the jewel mountain is the paramitas.  The wish-fulfilling tree is the bodhichitta, your own awakened mind’s source which is truly like a wish-fulfilling jewel. “You are a wish-fulfilling tree, can you give?” What does a wish-fulfilling jewel do? It grants wishes of beings “ to be victory over self.

Exertion, skillful means, and strong aspirations are the 7th, 8th and 9th paramitas that truly bear the qualities of the wish-fulfilling cow. The harvest is the fruition of the awareness of the harvesting of the wishes of all sentient beings.  These 4 and the wish-fulfilling cow are the 10th paramitas, the harvest, are essentiality seen as that.

The precious wheel, The precious jewel, The precious queen, The precious minister, The precious elephant, The precious, supreme steed, The precious general, The vase of great treasure,

The precious wheel is simply the wheel of truth of the dharma. The precious jewel is the unending power and possibility of your own awakened mind, and the unending possibility to benefit sentient beings.  The queen, according to Terdak Lingpa, represents “the love that is free from attachment.” The minister represents the skill with which a meditator can balance both samsara and nirvana, that quality inside you. The elephant is symbolic of nobleness in conduct and steadfastness in determination and resolve.  The steed is symbolic of agility and speed with which you travel toward enlightenment. The general represents overcoming courageously the enemies of defilements.  The vase of great treasure represents the devotion and compassion, the treasure which pacifies all duality.

Being able to reflect on the qualities these symbolize, simultaneously, one must invoke the image and qualities of all these to all the Buddhas and bodhisattvas make offerings. Of all these 7 royal emblems, be mindful of view that best offering is in cultivating the qualities of these.  In front of precious wheel, above in the sky, all the Buddhas and bodhisattvas, all the adornments are in sphere of Mandala. The entire surface of earth filled with offerings, perfect and pure.  No space left on the surface of earth.

The goddess of grace, The goddess of garlands, The goddess of song, The goddess of dance, The goddess of flowers, The goddess of incense, The goddess of lamps, The goddess of perfume,

  • In space above offering, at the sambhogakaya level, visualize in the eastern direction, the beautiful host of goddesses, not just a single one, All are radiant and white in color, Beautiful in appearance, melodious songs, offering  goddesses of beauty, goddesses of grace.
  • In the Southern direction, entire expanse of sky of sambhogakaya level is filled with beautiful goddesses- all blue in color, holding their hands garland and flowers, showering flowers making vast offering on behalf of self to all sentient beings.  Making – Malaya – goddesses of flowers/garland.
  • In western direction, hot of goddesses – red in color- singing melodious songs of practice- geeti – goddesses of song.
  • North- hosts of goddesses – green- Nirti – nryta – goddess of dance. Here are the four main – (listed).

Who are the offering goddesses? They are your expression, your ayatanas, your elements, your senses, your sense perceptions, your sense consciousness, your sense objects. Each of them can never become a conduit of bodhichitta if they are not graceful and melodious, excellent, perfect.  How can you be able to express kindness to sentient beings if what you of it nor beautiful, what you say not be melodious?

The offering goddesses are not some angel-looking, faire-looking nymphs floating in sky (laughter).  They are evoking symbolism.  You all have to be offering goddesses in your lives.  You can’t be kind to another person looking monstrous, throwing stones, saying all kinds of harsh things.

For your goodness to be expressed, needs beautify. To express your ?????, you need to walk that path, walk the path of beauty.  It’s an offering. Why do we bathe and clothe nicely before going to a teaching?  When you bring yourself as you are to a situation, it is a beginning.  If you take a soccer ball or football, and pour water over it, because it is round, nothing will stay on it.  In the same way, when mind is full of self, when coming to teaching, empowerments, and so forth, nothing will stick. It doesn’t help with you are full of yourself. If you are full of yourself, where will wisdom fit?  Not empty space beyond preoccupation of self. Body of meditator is an offering.  As a Vajrayana meditator, your body is a ganachakra feast, an offering to all sentient beings.  The body is made beautiful as an offering to all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Don’t say”this is me, like it or leave it.” That shuts all the doors to compassion and wisdom. The sense of self is an impediment for Enlightenment.  Your love for self, preoccupation for your body, what it has to have is a problem.  Aging is a problem, not aging is a problem,  sickness is a problem, changes are a problem, beauty is a problem, sitting is a problem, not sitting is a problem, there is no sense of cutting roots  with … body.   In the goddess of beauty, your body transforms into as perfect as you can imagine. This is the beauty of yourself offering to all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.

Likewise, with the goddess of flowers.  In weddings, when you shower flower petals on each other.  if you met all sentient beings,  like you met a bridge- brdie (????????)  You need to meet them like this, rather than meeting with a sharp retort and one’s own need and self-grasping. Just as you would offer a vase of flowers to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, may ones’ own qualities, and especially one’s meditation sessions be like showering of flowers.

Goddesses of songs, anything you say must be soothing giving happiness to others, like a melodious song helping sentient beings.

Goddesses of dance.  Everything you do should be like a magical dance- an expression of that dance you are doing solely to benefit sentient beings,

In same way, the host of goddesses, you must invoke and carry the meaning into one’s mind when making offering of Mandala.

  • SE- host of goddesses in white, in hands holding flowers as offerings. Pushpe.
  • SW- host of goddesses in yellow, in hands holding incense as offerings. Duphe.
  • NW- host of goddesses in red, in hands holding lamps as offering. Alokhe.
  • NE- host of goddesses in green, holding in their hands fragrant perfume as offering.  Ghande.

As I mentioned earlier, each of these symbolizes something.

  • Pushpe – flower- symbolizes generosity.
  • Duphe- incense- symbolizes fragrance of ethics.
  • Alokhe- lamp – symbolizes patience and clarity dispelling ignorance through wisdom.
  • Ghande – perfume – symbolizes joyous effort that inspires all sentient beings.

These later four offerings, pushpe, duphe, alokhe, ghande, symbolize these qualities that you commit to generating. ”May I generate in my mind experiences, my bodhichitta with beauty and expression of body, speech and mind from non- attachment.  May I generate generosity, ethics, patience, effort, Samadhi, and wisdom, and the 8 goddesses.

The sun, the moon, the precious parasol, the victory banner of complete victory in all directions.

In front of goddess of beauty- at very higher level- at dharmakaya level, almost reaching the feet of the Buddhas and bodhisattvas you are offering to, the sun radiating light in all directions.

In front of the goddess of song, the Mandala of the soothing moon.

In front of goddess of …., visualize a vast white parasol/umbrella, vast, white in color. The vastness completely converting the…covering the entire realm of existence of all kinds, symbolizes the expansive projection of the commitment from harm and causes of harm for all sentient beings.  In other words, your commitment to protect all sentient beings from harm and the causes of suffering.

In front of goddess of dance is the all victorious banner, golden, fluttering, magnificent, filling the entire expanse of the sky, offered to all the Buddhas and bodhisattvas, symbolizes mindful victory over discursiveness.

8 Auspicious offerings

As text says, in the center in between all the visualized offerings, which fills earth, sky and beyond, in between these, fill with vast offerings anything you can visualize – pure, excellent.  If one must, can bring in offerings of the 8 auspicious kinds.

  1. Any empty gaps, fill with beautiful conches. The icons you will see throughout Vajrayana symbolize the beautiful, deep, melodious, penetrating, pervasive sound of the dharma that awakens sentient beings from the deep sleep of ignorance.
  2. Fill furthermore, the offering of symbols of the endless knot, symbolizing intertwining mutual dependence of wisdom and compassion.
  3. Visualize the third auspicious symbol of 2 golden fishes, which symbolizes the generation of the 2 truth which gives birth to fearlessness while abiding in the ocean of samsara. 2 golden fish rising above the ocean is the symbol of 2 truths arousing fearlessness allowing one to rise above samsara.
  4. The fourth auspicious symbol is the lotus which symbolizes remaining in samsara untouched by 3 root poisons of ignorance, anger and Desire.
  5. The fifth auspicious symbol is the parasol, which as I already mentioned, symbolizes protection from harm.
  6. The sixth auspicious symbol is the precious vase which symbolizes the Buddha nature intrinsic of this body. Just as a vase contains the space, in the same way, ones’ body contains Buddha nature.
  7. The seventh auspicious symbol is the wheel of 8 spokes, which symbolizes the engagement and perfection of the eight-fold path.
  8. The eighth auspicious symbol is the victory banner, which again symbolizes mindful victory over discursiveness.

Visualize all these and anything else excellent; make vast offerings to the Buddhas and bodhisattvas. Everything clean perfect, vast.  Make offerings with sincere devotion, thinking “although feeble in one’s own capacity to non-attachment, by the virtue and merit of engaging in vast Mandala offering, my liberation of all sentient beings arise.”

When making this offering, 1st time, generating this whole sense and view is brought in to the first section, Mandala of accomplishment.  So when you do 37 heaps, do it slowly enough during Mandala of accomplishment that you actually think what it symbolizes, gather it all, hold it up and if possible think in this way:

From each grain of rice on the Mandala, another Mandala. Eminate1000s of Mandala from each Mandala. Billions and billions of Mandalas, and just as innumerable particles of earth, innumerable Mt. Merus, offering, training one’s mind to maintain limitless generosity beyond any avarice or stinginess.

This is done since we see how limited we are in samsara. Limited by materials, Limited by aggregates, lack of power, limited by lack of courage of one’s own mind.  At least during this meditation, offering of Mandala, may I not be constricted by limitation of physical body and feeble mind. In visualizing, may I be free of such limitation, in following the instruction from Bodhisattva Samantabhadra’s instructions, the outer form of the Mandala’s practice.

For those of you studying Vajrayana, this is the Mandala offering, you just placed it on the table. Not outer Mandala. Now, must work with inner Mandala and secret Mandala.

Inner mandala:  As soon as you have finished Mandala of accomplishment – 3, 7, etc., and made supplications, as soon as you sit down, inner Mandala Bringing your mind to meditation immediately.

Begins with essence of knowing the aspect of accumulation and offering mandalas, beginning with accomplishment Mandala.

Immediately invoke in one’s awareness, the nature of ones’ own body, comprised of aggregates, elements, and ayatanas.  The reality of our body is just that, forms of different kinds gathered together.    In the teaching of sutra, Buddha himself, in the 4 Foundations of Mindfulness, said “just as a butcher cuts the different places of the body to sell, this is tail, the head and so forth, in same way, the physical body is nothing but a grouping of all different forms.”

So, taking in one’s own mind all different forms – say ‘this is beautiful” look at the flower.  Each petal is a form. Each petal is made of minute… that detail is of many forms. Rest the minds in thinking of from “ugly is form, beauty, here, there, physical, verbal, mental – generate sense of manifold and diverse forms that are there.

Then take mind into continent feelings- everything arising in mind, is a nice thought, not a nice thought, seeing all the diverse kinds of feelings.

Formations- feelings can never be that without form. In same way, all the perceptions and cognitions need forms. Coming together in formation of all sounds, thoughts reflect on the conditional formations. The power that bring together many things only after which labeling is possible. Allow mind to open up to diversities of how aggregates function.  Perceptions- for one to perceive part form, feeling formation- bound together by mind that recognizes.  Formation- can’t be seen, can’t be found, nevertheless awaken- recognize it is the resultant from that recognizes form and feeling.

The linear perspective is me, you, them, us.  Gross ignorance is a mind that that has a tunnel vision, only able to make gross assumption.

In Longchenpa text when you sip a cup of tea, the gross feeling comes with “this is good or not good tea.” If you examine just that, how thick heavy gross our mind is –can’t go beyond like and dislike, when the tongue loses subtle capacity to taste, to look into the factors that build a flower.  In the same way, look at mind that can’t look at miraculous coming together of all factors. When the mind opens to the wonderment of all the factors building to 5 aggregates, then the meditator who sees in this way no longer can say “I like this, I don’t like that,” which part do you like and not like? Sense of exhausting dualistic biased activities. Therefore developing compassion and bodhichitta is another way to say, come out of the linear perspective, and see the vast view of seeing all the many factors, instead of seeing objects, see forms. Sense how subtleties of sensation flow – immense condition- constantly arises, manifests, and dissolves and the wonderful vividness…

Inner Mandala

The basis of your own awareness of your body as a Mandala, building up of aggregates of form, the feeling your perceive, the …you manifest, until the karmic imprints and habitual patterns and ignorance and wisdom subtle and gross wisdom- conditioned.

The basis of emptiness, the basis of consciousness that holds all together. If this isn’t the most miraculous mandala, what is?

Fundamental nature of mind is space quality, brought into the movement with your breath is the created Mandala.

If wind. The wind created the earth element- body, the earth of the body, fire; the wetness of the body blood is the water element. See the natural gross nature of the body is the elements. External is 5 elements, your own human body is the 5 elements. Look at this sand mandala, all the symbolism. In same away, your body is a mandala. The nucleus holds the world, like a mandala. Take your consciousness to understand aggregates, elements and what you think are your ideas, your opinions. When you are arrogant with- “you are making me happy, not making me happy” the possessiveness with own emotions: understand how the vast and complex way the senses works- ayatanas.

  • Eyes see a sense object, a sense object is recognized. It takes mind to see how sense consciousness of mind seem, sense of recognition of object.
  • Ears- listen to a sound; see the sense consciousness of the ears. the ear sense to hold the sounds.
  • In the same way- the nose- sense consciousness of her nose to a smell.
  • The tongue, the sense consciousness of the taste, what the taste is like.
  • The body that feels the temperature of room – sense consciousness of the skin, what the skin is feeling.
  • Then the mind. Mind generates a thought, which is sense object.

So, not such simultaneous thoughts of views, opinions,    functioning of sense consciousness, the bridging of the sense object. Don’t just see things and make an opinion. Learn how you see things, hear things, taste things, smell things, and the sense of the sense consciousness, how the forms, sense objects depend on the sense consciousness and the sense,.

The mind sees from through the sense of eyes and sense consciousness of eyes, like mind hears, feels, taste- through consciousness and sense perceptions.

So in beginning it stated that one’s own body – aggregates, elements, and ayatanas. To work with mind Mandala Of accomplishment, establish one-pointed awareness of what we mean by ‘aggregates.’ What they are, what is from? Feeling? All the aggregates, elements, and ayatanas: view one’s body as the mandalas of the deities and every goodness of the Buddhas and bodhisattvas arising in the mind of this body made up of aggregates, elements, and ayatanas. Where the mandala of the body is there, you exist, Buddhas exist, sentient beings exist.  Beyond the existence of your aggregates, elements, and ayatanas, what is the nature of all else?

Mandala should be seen as basis that holds everything, mandalas of your own existence is this, the existence of samsara. In mind of own, you exist, there is acceptance and rejection. Is samsara and nirvana. Basis of your mandalas. But its nature is elements and ayatanas. Beginning to understand structure of tantra (?).

From emptiness the coming together of aggregates, elements, and ayatanas. There comes together a temporary basis, where there is dharma, realization, and benefiting other sentient beings. In short, the essence of the inner mandala in you is teaching the path, the fruition, since you are the very core of the mandala of existence. So it is up to you, whether you remain in confusion or in the intrinsic awareness.

Think of that before we go into actually visualizing all of the inner mandalas.

(End)

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