Please take a few moments before you begin this teaching to settle yourself. Sit upright, yet naturally relaxed. Before listening to and/ or reading the teaching make aspirations such as: "I am extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to listen to the precious Dharma. I am doing this for the benefit of all sentient beings so that they may be free from suffering and attain complete awakening".
Belief in Dharma practice is crucial. Yet, often we approach our practice in a half-hearted or not fully committed manner. Then, if we don’t believe in what we are practicing, we may not recognize our own experiences on the path. And if we don’t believe that the practice will bear results, then we may end up abandoning it altogether. Here, in a video teaching from Malaysia, Phakchok Rinpoche points out that if we practice Vajrayāna we need to have confident belief.
How to Practice Visualization: Belief in Dharma Practice
Belief means holding the steady conviction that the guru is all-pervasive. Rinpoche reminds us that he often teaches how to see all deities as inseparable from Guru Rinpoche. Again, he explains that we can dissolve all deities into Guru Rinpoche, and then into ourselves. Furthermore, he explains that we come to regard all phenomena–a flower, a tree,–whatever we encounter, or whatever we experience– as Guru Rinpoche.
We begin with this conviction in inseparability. Guru Rinpoche dissolves into all our experiences without exception–regardless of whether we consider them good or bad, positive or negative. And we can practice by visualizing that Guru Rinpoche into absolutely everything–and then, simply rest. After a short resting then, once again–immediately, everything dissolves back into Guru Rinpoche. And then, we rest again.
Belief in Dharma Practice: Reflection Question
How often do you practice receiving the four empowerments from Guru Rinpoche? Perhaps you have been doing this in a very rushed way. During the next several weeks, make a point to slow down and develop conviction that you and the guru are inseparable. Then, as you go about your daily life, keep touching back into that experience.
Does your belief in your practice change when you are more intentional? What is different?
At the end of the teaching, please remember to dedicate the merit of receiving a Dharma teaching. As you go through your day, take a few moments from time to time to recall these instructions.
Samye Dharma relies on the kind generosity of volunteers and sponsors to produce ongoing content. Please consider making a one-time or regular donation to help fund our continued work in archiving, producing and propagating the precious teachings of Kyabgön Phakchok Rinpoche, his family and many other kind teachers and instructors. Samye is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit in the USA and donations are tax-deductible.