The Four Dharmas of Gampopa
Dear friends near and far
Firstly, on this Guru Rinpoche Day, I would like to share a personal video message. Secondly, I would also like to share some points on The Four Dharmas of Gampopa, also known as The Four Dharmas of Longchenpa:
Grant your blessings that my mind may follow the dharma.
Grant your blessings that dharma may become the path.
Grant your blessings that the path may dispel delusion.
Grant your blessings that delusion may dawn as wisdom.
Grant your blessings that my mind may follow the dharma
For this first point, to turn our minds to the dharma, we need to have interest in the dharma and in practicing. We need to make ourselves like practicing dharma.
Grant your blessings that dharma may become the path
To make the dharma—our practice—become the path, we need a genuinely positive motivation, the wish to benefit others. A compassionate, kind, and selfless motivation, free of self-importance or self-interest.
Grant your blessings that the path may dispel delusion
To help dispel our delusion and confusion, we need to cultivate mindfulness. Whether it be during a meditation session or in post-meditation, and whatever practice we may be doing—the four foundations (ngondro), shamata, compassion, emptiness—we need to maintain a stable mindfulness and awareness of the practice at all times. This will help to dispel confusion.
Grant your blessings that delusion may dawn as wisdom
If you have realized the nature of mind, then through mindfulness maintain that state, the natural state of mind. This mindfulness, maintaining this state, is called the mindfulness of dharmata.
So to summarize, to put into practice the first of these four dharmas we need to develop interest in the dharma. For the second, we need to have a compassionate motivation, for the third to rely on mindfulness, and for the fourth—delusion dawning as wisdom—to maintain the natural state of mind.
These four lines are the essence and heart of the practice, explained here according to the experience I have gained through practicing them. These are very crucial points.
I am now in Manhattan, New York, and wrote this at midnight last night while making my daily prayers and aspirations for you all, wishing that you may all be well, that your aims may be accomplished, that you may be able to practice the dharma well, become good people and benefit others, and live healthy and long lives.