Instructions on Guru Yoga with Yeshe Walmo and conduct during the pandemic
Teachings by Yongdzin Lopön Tenzin Namdak Rinpoche recorded in Triten Norbutse on 7 April 2020
Namaste to all sangha members of Shenten Dargye Ling congregation!
I wanted to say: nowadays maybe everybody is very scared about the disease which I have heard is everywhere. But nowadays you have to think about the destruction that has come.
Normally, at the beginning of the teachings [it says that] this kind of destruction comes [in cycles]. The outer [container], all the external elements are disturbed and the whole of phenomenal existence is destroyed. Inner, the contents – the sentient beings – are affected by the 3 types of destruction that can arise: disease, famine and war. At the beginning of the teachings we always talk about impermanence, and so when these things come, you have to realise what impermanence means, how powerful these kinds of things are, and how powerful the elements are. This is not just something fleeting or something that is happening now; this is real. These disturbances are coming all the time, visibly. The texts are very true, you see, they tell us what will be. So it’s not necessary to be frightened or scared. I heard that many people are scared about this disease now. Obviously it is normal that fear should appear. But in our case, the best way we can protect ourselves is by practising Guru Yoga, as we normally do.
How can we practise Guru Yoga as prevention [from disease]? For example, four times a day – in the early morning, morning, afternoon and before you go to sleep – everyone should settle peacefully. That is the first point. Secondly, you should make sure you are sitting comfortably in the same posture as we usually do in the teachings. Then thirdly, your mind should not be thinking too much or be too busy at least for a while. Fourthly, don’t speak to anyone, and even stop reciting mantras etc.
Then, one meter in front of you and two metres above your head, facing towards you – as you usually do when you visualise Taphiritsa or Shenlha Wökar or any master when you practise Guru Yoga – but this time you must visualise Yeshe Walmo. She is surrounded by flaming fire. It is all around her. You can see the pictures – she is standing in the dancing posture, in her right hand she holds a sword and in her left hand she has vessel full of nectar, water. She is dark blue in colour and inside flaming fire. Focus on this as clearly as you could and visualise as clearly as you could, not just briefly once or twice; you must do this many times, intensively. Do it again and again. When you are disturbed by a thought coming, at that time think of Guru Yoga with Yeshe Walmo again.
Yeshe Walmo is not only a figure you have hanging like a thangka or an image. Her body is luminous light. She is full of the knowledge of Buddha, she is very powerful, alive and knows all the Buddha-knowledge and the whole of existence; she knows everything. You must think this. Don’t just follow what the text says; that is not enough, even if you are very thorough. Firstly you have to concentrate on this visualisation. That is one thing.
Secondly, you have to have devotion, and trust and believe. You have to be very devoted and practise determinedly. Keep int his way for as long as you can four times a day, as I have already said. It is very important to have these three: belief, trust and devotion.
Again and again, you must think of her as the Guru. She represents all the lineages, all the Gurus – everything is OK. Then you can think this. Many times. Again and again. With devotion, trust and belief.
I hope that is very clear and that everybody has heard this.
Then after some time, in a similar way as we do when we practise normal Guru Yoga, the elements fire, water and wind come from the Guru to you, but in this case instead of the elements it is only her power and blessing and whatever you need that comes from her to you. Whatever you need – blessings, nectars – you receive them all from her. Also, visualise that whoever you want to protect is inside her blessing. You can do this many times, again and again.
When you practise in this way you receive her power and blessings, everything. Do this four times a day – in the early morning, the morning, the afternoon and before you go to sleep. Always practise at these four times regularly, every day.
Also when you make offerings sometimes during the day, remember to recite MA DU-SUM SANG-GYE KA-KYONG TU-MO-CHE… have already recited this many times together, I think everybody can read it now.
Everybody should do some practise, and it is necessary to practise like this because of the current situation.
Sometimes you can put a bottle of water in front of you and keep it there. Visualise that nectar-water falls from her vessel of nectar into your bottle or whatever you have arranged in front of you. It cascades into it and mixes with it. You can also bless this water by reciting OM A BHI YA NAG O BED SÖD SOHA as many times as you can. The text says you have to recite the mantra many millions of times. Recite the mantra, blow on the water sometimes and then you can drink this water or wash with it. It can be like nectar, like medicine. But it depends on how much you have blessed it, how many mantras you have recited. This is all very necessary. It’s not enough just to arrange the material things. That is not enough [in order to] have [healing] power. So you need to do the visualisation, recite mantra, have belief and trust that everything is OK, and then it can certainly be useful and just as powerful as the text says it is.
This is the moment when it is necessary to practise for preventing [disease]. Do this as much as you could. Not just temporarily. Do it intensively. Do some real practice. Trust and believe. This is useful for our modern times. Instead of being scared or frightened – that is not so useful. This comes naturally – the elements are disturbed externally, internally there is famine or war or disease. The text always talks about this, and it is true, you see. Not just some words in a text. Normally we just listen to the text and think something, but not this has come directly and you can have practical experience, you see, about how disease comes. And still more than this – you can look back in history; there are so many ruins, and how many corpses and skeletons are inside? That is real practice. You can see this, it’s not just words.
These are the things you have to think about yourself. Don’t think too much about living for a much longer time, about doing things continuously or making long-term plans for this and that or something. Yes, you have to do something in the meantime but you also must think about and remember what the texts say will happen in the future. To everybody. It is not possible for anyone to exist eternally. You always have to think about that. You must do something. In the teachings we are always saying something will come for real, and people think, yes, maybe it will, maybe it won’t. But now it is coming directly and visibly, and so now you can understand that this is a kind of evidence, it has come and shows you [that everything is impermanent and death will come]. So now it is necessary to think about this and do something meaningful for the future, to think and practise more.
If anyone has already received the teachings properly and has found and has experience with concentrating with the Natural State, then that is very, very important. For many, many years now we have been selecting texts from our cannon. Now it is necessary to do something for preservation. I think that you are not too busy with working or with visiting people now, so I think now it is necessary to go back and read the booklets that have been translated and to the tapes. These books and tapes are not just something you should keep on a shelf; now is the time to read. To think. And practise For years and years now you have already been listening. Many people say they have heard and received teachings, and then they ask what they can practise now. This is quite strange, you see. Don’t do this. Go back to reading in the text. Read as much as you can. Stop thinking about your work or your future for a while, don’t be so busy. Sometimes it is really necessary to prepare yourself.
So that is the message I wanted to give. Hopefully, everybody is well and not too scared by this disease and the disturbances all around us at the moment, even if it seems too much nowadays. But still more things can come and destroy everything – internal, external. In the beginning the texts always say this. You have to believe what they say.
Transcribed and edited by Carol Ermakova & Dmitry Ermakov.