Guru Rinpoche Day Teaching

~ February 3, 2020 ~

Chokgyur Lingpa’s Zangdok Palri Aspirations

Guru Rinpoche Day Teaching • Article

Dear friends near and far,

I hope this message finds you well, healthy and happy. To conclude our Copper-Colored Mountain series on this last Guru Rinpoche day of the year of the pig, I would like to share with you a very special prayer for rebirth in Zangdok Palri, written by the great tertön Chokgyur Lingpa himself.

Most of us know the short prayer for rebirth in Zangdok Palri that we always chant during pujas, which starts with dömé zhi dang yermé pemajung (Lotus-Born inseparable from the primordial way…). In Chokgyur Lingpa’s collected writings, however, this prayer is the third and last part of a threefold aspiration for rebirth in Zangdok Palri, from the outer, inner, and secret perspectives.

This threefold aspiration is very complete, and gives us the full picture of what we should aspire for in Zangdok Palri. In fact, something quite unique about it is that it specifies exactly how and where we should be reborn: Zangdok Palri aspirations always talk about rebirth there, but the problem is, it is a land of rakshasas! So the prayer clearly says that we do not want to be born as rakshasas, and instead wish to take birth from lotus flowers, so that we can then join the retinue of Guru Rinpoche. This is quite an important detail to mention! The rest of the aspiration then also explains how we should continue practicing on the path while there, to finally achieve the fruition… It is a very beautiful, inspiring prayer.

Our Lhasey Lotsawa team have translated this threefold aspiration in a rhythmic, chantable way, so that you can enjoy reciting it in English and thereby recall all the qualities of Zangdok Palri in your daily practice, to foster your faith and pure perception. You can find the prayer here.

I would also like to conclude this year’s Guru Rinpoche messages with an important reminder: Whatever you are practicing, whether it is bodhicitta, tonglen, devotion, or nature of mind, please remember the basic human values. I think one of the greatest mistakes we all make is we get so wrapped up in our spiritual paths that we forget about basic human decency. But we cannot succeed on the spiritual level if we mess everything up on the samsaric level! We can only achieve spiritual qualities if we first have simple human qualities such as being caring, trustworthy, loyal, grateful, dependable, responsible… These are just the basics!

So don’t just pray for some pure land out there and forget about the world we live in here. This is what we tend to do, we hope for something great somewhere out there (we don’t exactly know where), and we forget to fix things where we are right now, in this world that is very real to us now. And this is what we call ‘aspiration’… But that type of aspiration is incorrect. What we should aspire for is to create the purelands right here, right now, so there is no more difference between here and there. This is true pure perception. Pure perception is actually supposed to be applied to this world right here, but our pure perception is mostly out there in our imaginations. So don’t forget about this world, but enjoy it and make the best of it!

May you realize the purelands are within your own hearts. 

Sarva mangalam,

Kyabgön Phakchok Rinpoche

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2 responses on "Chokgyur Lingpa’s Zangdok Palri Aspirations"

  1. reflecting on the aspiration to reborn in Zangdok Palri, is it not safer to aspire to reborn in the Pure Land of Amitabha Buddha where we will not risk ourselves reborn as rakshas?

    As for the last part of your message Rinpoche, I am voting for them full heartedly.
    And adding my aspiration small me, to see you soon again in my country, Israel.

    Hand palm to palm and 3 deep bows, Shlomo Shantiparamita

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