Dear friends near and far
I hope you have all been happy and healthy. I’m writing to you all from Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling Monastery where we are performing the annual Tsekar (White Amitayus/Buddha of Longevity) Drupchen (great accomplishment), a nine-day ceremony based on a collection of liturgies belonging to the Great Accomplishment Group Sadhana of White Amitayus. This drupchen begins on the 8th day of the fist lunar month of the Tibetan New Year and brings forth auspicious circumstances for the practitioners’ twofold attainment of longevity and primordial wisdom.
The most important auspicious circumstance for practitioners to realize the correct view of emptiness is generating complete non-judgmental and genuine devotion to all the enlightened ones, and by cultivating unbounded and unfabricated compassion for all sentient beings.
Some of you may be practitioners, some interested in practicing and some just receiving this message as a piece of junk mail, for which I deeply apologize. For you practitioners and for those who are interested in practicing, when you do the practice, you need to have a certain goal, a place where you want to reach.
As mentioned countless times in my previous notes, devotion is key. For devotion, you need to have unerring certainty in the dharma, grounded pure perception, and finally a remembrance of the heartfelt kindness of the teachers and the teachings. With these intact, devotion will naturally arise. In the moment of devotion, we should sincerely bring to mind our root gurus along with the lineage gurus and think of their great qualities and with great admiration supplicate them. Knowing that it is only through the kindness of the gurus that we’ll be able to understand the ultimate nature of the mind, with great gratitude, a genuine devotion should naturally arise. Devotion should be applied through supplication; physically through putting your palms together, verbally through chanting the supplication, and mentally by aspiring to become a good practitioner in any condition whether in happiness or in sorrow. Your devotion shouldn’t be judgmental. If it is, then your devotion is not pure. Devotion is actually a measurement of how deep your realization of emptiness is.
Although all sentient beings possess self-existing wisdom, they are unaware of it and as a result, they are beaten relentlessly in the illusory experiences of samsara. This brings tremendous suffering. When seeing such, one should be overcome with great compassion and pity. At a moment like this, one should genuinely aspire with great compassion for all sentient beings to be free from suffering and the cause of suffering. Compassion should be without bounds, without attachment, without judgment, and without hope. In other words, is should be very grounded.
On this 10th day of the first month of the Iron Rabbit Year, Guru Rinpoche renounced his kingdom, practiced yoga and meditation in the great charnel ground of Sitavana and attained liberation. Gathering under the matrikas and dakinis, he is known as Guru Shantarakshita.
Keeping you all in my mind on this auspicious day of the auspicious month of the auspicious year!