Guru Rinpoche Day Teachings

The Confession of Negative Actions

Dear friends near and far

I hope every one of you is well and happy. It has already been a month since I wrote to you last on Guru Rinpoche Day. And like the previous month, I would like to draw your attention once again to the timeless verses of Śāntideva who is of great inspiration to me and hopefully to you in following the compassionate path of the bodhisattvas.

The Confession of Negative Actions

To perfect Buddhas and to Bodhisattvas,
In all directions where they may reside,
To them who are the sovereigns of great mercy,
I press my palms together, praying thus:

In this and all my other lives,
While turning in the round without beginning,
Blindly I have brought forth evil,
And incited others to commit the same.

Deceived and overmastered by my ignorance,
I have taken pleasure in such sin,
And seeing now the blame of it,
O great protectors, I confess it earnestly!

Whatever I have done against the Triple Gem,
Against my parents, teachers, and the rest,
Through force of my defilements,
In my body, speech, and mind,

All the evil I, a sinner, have committed,
All the wicked deeds that cling to me,
The frightful things that I contrived
I openly declare to you, the teachers of the world.

It may be that my death will come to me
Before my evil has been cleansed.
How then can I be freed from it?
I pray you, quickly grant me protection!

—Śāntideva, The Way of the Bodhisattva

Keeping you all close to my heart and in my prayers.

Sarva Mangalam,

Phakchok Rinpoche

Suggested Reading

Dudjom Rinpoche, The Nyingma School of Tibetan Buddhism, trans. and ed. by Gyurme Dorje and Matthew Kapstein (Boston: Wisdom Publications, 1991), vol. 1, pages 468–474.

Ngawang Zangpo, Guru Rinpoche: His Life and Times, Ithaca: Snow Lion, 2002.

Nyoshul Khenpo, A Marvelous Garland of Rare Gems: Biographies of Masters of Awareness in the Dzogchen Lineage, trans. Richard Barron (Junction City: Padma Publishing, 2005), pages 41–48.

Padmasambhava, Legend of the Great Stupa, Berkeley: Dharma Publishing, 1973

Padmasambhava & Jamgön Kongtrul, The Light of Wisdom, trans. by Erik Pema Kunsang (Boudhanath: Rangjung Yeshe Publications, 1986-1999), pages 43-47 & Appendix 5.

Taranatha, The Life of Padmasambhava, Shang Shung Edizioni, 2005

Tulku Thondup, Masters of Meditation and Miracles, Shambhala, 1996.

Yeshe Tsogyal, Life and Liberation of Padmasambhava, translated by Kenneth Douglas and Gwendolyn Bays (Emeryville: Dharma Publishing, 1978, republished 2008).

Yeshe Tsogyal, Lotus Born: The Life Story of Padmasambhava, Rangjung Yeshe Publications, 2004.

‘The Life of Guru Padmasambhava’ in A Great Treasure of Blessings, The Tertön Sogyal Trust, 2004.