Daily Practice as advised by Geshe Dhonam
Refuge and Bodhicitta
I take refuge until I am enlightened
In the Buddhas, the Dharma and the Sanga
Through the merit I create by giving and the other perfections
May I attain Buddhahood for the sake of all beings x3
May all sentient beings have happiness and the causes of happiness
May all sentient beings be freed from suffering and the causes of suffering
May all sentient beings never be separated from the happiness that knows no suffering
May all beings abide in equanimity, free from attachment and anger which holds some close and others distant x3
Ga-Dan La-Gya Ma
(Guru Yoga Practice)
From the heart of the Protector of the Hundreds of Deities of the Land of Joy
Comes a cloud that resembles a mass of fresh, white curd
Omniscient Losang Dr’ag-pa, King of the Dharma, together with your sons
I request you to come here now.
Oh venerable Gurus with white smiles of delight
Seated on lion thrones, lotus and moon in the space before me,
I request you to remain for hundreds of eons in order to spread the teachings
And be the Supreme Field of Merit for my mind of faith.
Your minds have the intellect that comprehends the full extent of what can be known,
Your speech with its excellent explanations, becomes the ear ornament for those of good fortune,
Your bodies are radiantly handsome with glory renowned,
I prostrate to you who to behold, hear or recall is worthwhile.
Pleasing water offerings, various flowers, fragrant incense, light and scented water-
An ocean of actual and visualised cloud-like offerings,
I present to you, oh Supreme Field of Merit.
Whatever non-virtues of body, speech and mind I have accumulated from
beginningless time, and especially any transgressions of my three vows
I confess over and again with fervent regard from my heart.
From the depths of our hearts we rejoice, oh Protectors
In the great waves of your deeds,
You who strove to learn and practice in this degenerate age
And made life meaningful by abandoning the eight worldly feelings.
O Holy and venerable Lama, from the clouds of compassion
That form in the skies of your Dharmakaya wisdom,
Please release a rain of vast and profound Dharma
Precisely in accordance with the needs of those to be trained.
I dedicate whatever virtues I have ever collected for the benefit of the teachings
And all sentient beings,
And in particular for the essential teachings of Losang Dra’g-pa to shine forver.
Short Mandala Offering
By directing to the Fields of Buddhas this mandala
On a base resplendent with flowers, saffron water and incense,
Adorned with Mount Meru, the Four Continents and Sun and Moon
May all sentient beings be led to these fields
IDAM GURU RATNA MANDALA KANG NIRYATAYAMI
Sa zhi po kyi jug shing may tog tram (Tibetan)
Ri rab ling zhi nyi day gyan pa di
Sang gye zhing du mig tay ul war gyi
Dro kun nam dag zhing la cho par shog
IDAM GURU RATNA MANDALA KANG NIRYATAYAMI
Mig Tse Ma
Mig me tse wai ter chen Chenrezig
Drime khyen pai wangpo Jam pel yang
Du pung ma lu jom dze sang wai dag
Gang chen ke pai tzug gyen Tzong Khapa
Lozang Drag pai zhab la zol wa deb. Recite 7 times.
You are Ava-loki-tesh-vara, great treasure of compassion not aimed
At true existence,
And Manjus-shri, master of flawless wisdom,
As well as Vajra-pani, destroyer of hordes of demons without exception,
O Tsong-Khapa,, crown jewel of the sages of the Land of Snows,
Lo-zang Dr’ag-pa, I make requests at your feet. (English translation)
O glorious and precious root Guru,
Please take your lotus and moon seat placed here upon my head
And keep me safe in your great kindness;
Bestow on me please the powerful attainments of your body, speech and mind.
Then imagine Lama Tsong Khapa becoming rainbow light and diffusing.
May Lama Tsong-Khapa manifest as the Mahayana Guru in all ones lifetimes and may one never reject even for an instant the sublime path that pleases the Conquerors.
May all obstacles to my accomplishment of enlightenment- all adverse conditions, sickness, outer obstacles, harms, interferences and especially any inner disturbances of the heart- I humbly request you to swiftly pacify these. (literally- at your feet, I think of you- please swiftly pacify)
By this merit may I quickly attain the state of a Guru-Buddha
And may I lead unto that state every being without exception.
The Foundation of All Good Qualities
(Written by Lama Tsong Khapa this recitation is very good for making imprints of all the stages of the path from guru devotion to the tantric no more learning unified state.)
The foundation of all qualities is the kind and venerable guru;
Correctly devoting to him is the root of the path.
By clearly seeing this and applying great effort,
Please bless me to rely upon him with great respect.
Understanding that the precious freedom of this rebirth is found only once,
Is greatly meaningful, and is difficult to find again,
Please bless me to generate the mind that unceasingly,
Day and night, takes its essence.
This life is as impermanent as a water bubble;
Remember how quickly it decays and death comes.
After death just like a shadow follows the body,
The results of black and white karma follow.
Finding firm and definite conviction in this,
Please bless me always to be careful
To abandon even the slightest negativities
And accomplish all virtuous deeds.
Seeking samsaric pleasures is the door to all suffering:
They are uncertain and cannot be relied upon.
Recognizing these shortcomings,
Please bless me to generate the strong wish for the bliss of liberartion.
Led by this pure thought,
Mindfulness, alertness and great caution arise.
The root of the teachings is keeping the pratimoksha vows:
Please bless me to accomplish this essential practice.
Just as I have fallen into the sea of samsara,
So have all mother migratory beings.
Bless me to see this, train in supreme bodhicitta,
And bear the responsibility of freeing migratory beings.
If I develop bodhicitta without practicing the three types of morality I will not
With my clear recognition of this,
Please bless me to practice the bodhisattva vows with great energy.
By pacifying distractions to wrong objects
And correctly analysing the meaning of reality,
Please bless to generate quickly within my mindstream
The unified path of calm abiding and special insight.
Having become a pure vessel by training in the general path,
Please bless me to enter the holy gateway of the fortunate ones:
The supreme Vajra vehicle.
At that time, the basis of accomplishing the two attainments
Is keeping pure vows and samaya.
Having become firmly convinced of this,
Please bless me to realize the teachings of the holy guru.
Like that, may the gurus who show the noble path
And the spiritual friends who practice it have long lives.
Please bless me to pacify completely all outer and inner hindrances.
In all my lives, never separated from perfect gurus,
May I enjoy the magnificent Dharma.
By completing the qualities of the stages and paths,
May I quickly attain the state of Vajradhara.
The Eight Verses of Thought Transformation
By Kadmpa Geshe Langri Tanpa Dorje Senge
(Especially for imprints of Bodhicitta)
With the determination to attain enlightenment
For the welfare of all beings,
Who are precious to me than wish-fulfilling jewels,
I will always practice holding them dear
Whenever I am with others
I will think of myself as the lowest of all,
And from the very depths of my heart
I will respectfully hold others as supreme
In all actions I will examine my mind
And the moment a delusion arises,
Endangering myself and others,
I will firmly face and avert it
I will learn to cherish beings of bad character
And those overwhelmed by negative energy and intense suffering,
As if I had uncovered a precious treasure
Very difficult to find
When others, out of jealousy,
Mistreat me with abuse, slander and so on,
I will learn to accept defeat
And offer the victory to them
When someone I have benefited
And in whom I have placed great trust
Hurts me very badly,
I will practice seeing that person as my supreme teacher
In short, I will offer to all beings, my mothers,
Every benefit and happiness directly and indirectly,
I will practice in secret taking upon myself
All their harmful actions and suffering
Through perceiving all phenomena as like illusions
I will keep these practices undefiled
By the stains of the eight worldly concerns
And, free from clinging, I will release all beings
From the bondage of the disturbing unsubdued mind and karma
(Tgpl have a dvd of Geshe Dhonam teaching on the eight verses available)
The Heart Sutra
(Specially to make imprints to realize emptiness)
Om namo Bhagavate Prajnaparamitaya
To the Exalted Three Jewels I bow down
Thus have I heard, at one time the Blessed One was dwelling at Rajagriha on Massed Vultures Mountain together in one method with a great assembly of ordained and a great assembly of Bodhisattvas.
At that time the Blessed One was absorbed in the concentration on the countless aspects of phenomena called ‘Profound Illumination’. At that time also the Superior Avaloketeshvara, the Bodhisattva, the Great Being, was looking perfectly at the practice of the profound Perfection of Wisdom, looking perfectly also at the practice of the emptiness of inherent existence of the five aggregates. Then, through the power of the Buddha, the Venerable Sariputra said to the Superior Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva, the Great Being, “How should a child of the lineage train, who wishes to engage in the practice of the profound Perfection of Wisdom?”
Thus he spoke, and the Superior Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva the Great Being replied to the Venerable Sariputra as folows:
“Sariputra, whatever son or daughter of the lineage who wishes to engage in the practice of the profound Perfection of Wisdom should look perfectly like this, also looking perfectly and correctly at the emptiness of the inherent existence of the five aggregates. Form is emptiness, emptiness is form. Emptiness is not other than form, and form is not other than emptiness. Likewise feeling, discrimination, compositional factors and consciousness are empty.
Sariputra, like this all phenomena are merely empty,having no characteristics. They are not produced and do not cease, they have no defilement and no separation from defilement; they have no decrease and no increase.
Therefore, Sariputra, in emptiness there is no form, no feeling, no discrimination, no compositional factors, no consciousness. There is no eye, no ear, no nose, no tongue, no body, no mind, no form, no sound, no smell, no taste, no tactile object, no phenomenon.
There is no eye-element, no mind-element and so forth, up to no element of mental consciousness.
There is no ignorance and no exhaustion of ignoranace, and so forth up to no ageing and death and no exhaustion of aging and death; likewise there is no Suffering, Origin, Cessation or Path, no exalted wisdom, no attainment and no non-attainment.
Therefore Sariputra because there is no attainment, Bodhisattvas rely on and abide in the Perfection of Wisdom, their minds have no obstructions and no fear. Passing utterly beyond perversity, they attain the final state beyond sorrow. Also all the Buddhas who reside in the three times, relying on the Perfection of Wisdom, become manifest and complete Buddhas in the state of unsurpassed, perfect and complete enlightenment.
Therefore the mantra of the Perfection of Wisdom, the mantra of great knowledge, the unsurpassed mantra, the equal to the unequaled mantra, the mantra which thoroughly pacifies all suffering, since it is not false,should be known as the Truth.
The mantra of the Perfection of Wisdom is proclaimed:
tadya-tha: gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha
Sariputra, a Bodhsattva, a Great Being, should train in the profound Perfection of Wisdom like this.”
Then the Blessed One arose form that concentration and said to the Superior Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva, the Great Being, that he had spoken well: “Good, good O child of the lineage, it is like that. Since it is like that, just as you have revealed, the profound Perfection of Wisdom should be practiced in that way and (all) the tathagatas will rejoice.”
When the Blessed One had said this, the Venerable Sariputa, the Superior Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva, the Great Being, and the entire assembly of disciples as well as the worldly beings – gods, humans, demi-gods and spirits, were delighted and highly praised what had been spoken by the Blessed One.
From Nagarjuna’s Text The Precious Garland
(If you don’t have time for long prayers these verses are very good for bodhicitta imprints).
May I always be an object of enjoyment
For all sentient beings according to their wish,
And without interference, as are the earth,
Water, fire, wind, herbs and wild forests.
May I be dear to sentient beings as their own life,
And may they be even more dear to me.
May all their ill deeds fructify for me.
And all my virtues fructify for them.
As long as any sentient being
Anywhere has not been liberated,
May I remain for the sake of that being,
Though I have attained the highest enlightenment.
(Short prayer for emptiness imprints).
A person is not earth, not water,
Not fire, not wind, not space,
Not consciousness, and not all of them.
What person is there other than these?
Just as a person is not real
Due to being a composite of six constituents,
So each of the constituents also
Is not real due to being a composite.
The elements do not themselves exist individually,
So how could their own individual characters exist?
What do not themselves individually exist cannot predominate.
Their characters are regarded as conventionalities.
If you have initiation for Tara or Chenrezig for example recite these mantras daily.
If you have a Highest Yoga Tantra initiation you need to recite the 6 session yoga 3 times in the morning and 3 times in the evening. Also you will need to recite your sadhanas for the deities daily for Highest Yoga Tantra initiation.
The centre can supply copies of the 6 session yoga if needed.
Practices for the sick or dying
Medicine Buddha puja and mantras
For clearing obstacles in your life (work, financial etc)
Tara puja and mantras and Mahakala practice which Geshe Dhonam can undertake on request also through Geshela this practice can be done by monks at Drepung monastery for a fee.
Practices/prayers for those who have passed away
The King of Prayers
35 Buddhas prostration practice
Medicine Buddha Puja
Shakyamuni Buddha’s name mantra
Chapter 10 of Shantideva’s Bodhisattvas Way of Life (Dedication)
Practices for purification of negative karma
General Confession Prayer
35 Buddhas prostration practice
The Heart Sutra
Vajrasattva Practice/ Mantras
The Centre can supply copies of The King of Prayers, 35 Buddhas Practice, The Heart Sutra, Medicine Buddha Puja and Vajrasattva Practice on request.