Buddhist Philosophy

Building Dignity Through Supplication

Building dignity through supplication may sound contradictory. In the Vajrayana path, however, supplication is continually emphasized. Why is this so? Here, in this video clip, Phakchok Rinpoche explains how supplication can help us in building dignity. He begins by speaking from his heart, explaining how important it is to recall enlightenment. We have to know we want to change completely. We have to truly believe that enlightenment is possible. How do we know this? Because we can see the changes in our own behavior. We gain conviction that we can transform. Vajrayana practice, Rinpoche says, is really helpful for us when we lack confidence.

Without supplication, when we sit and meditate, we can feel small and alone. We may develop meditation, but we have not developed our hearts. Because we are alone, we don’t have dignity. Judgment worries us, and we care what others think about us. We aren’t really fearless. That is why the Vajrayana style of supplication is so beneficial.

Building Dignity

We need supplication to realize our innate nature. This is why we visualize all the Buddhas as one, as Guru Rinpoche, directly in front of us. Guru Rinpoche embodies all the masters in one form. We need to really feel the presence, and then we supplicate. We ask for the blessings in order to attain enlightenment and for the benefit of all beings. Then, as we receive the blessings and Guru Rinpoche dissolves into us, we know that we are not separate. With this practice, the sense of dignity and confidence grows. This is what is often translated as the “pride of the deity.” It is not worldly pride, but a steady sense of dignity.

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