“People who realize Samantabhadra do not think, “Now that I’m enlightened, my work is done.” On the contrary, such people have tremendous concern and work ceaselessly for the benefit of all living beings. They radiate emanations in order to inspire and guide others to realize their innate nature. The source of these emanations is loving-kindness, compassion, and wisdom. This means that the Samantabhadra state is synonymous with bodhichitta.”
Venerable Khenpo Rinpoches
The Beauty of Awakened Mind: Dzogchen Lineage of the Great Master Shigpo Dudtsi (pgs 10-11)
What happens to the yogis and yoginis who practice and actualize this Dzogchen teaching? Their loving-kindness will become enormous. Their compassion will become unconditional. Their wisdom will be inconceivable. When we read about their life stories, we can see that many Dzogchen masters did not go to monastic colleges or engage in very much intellectual study; simply by meditating on the absolute state they spontaneously became great scholars. Their songs of realization are testaments to their profound mastery of the teachings. As your Dzogchen practice develops, your realization, wisdom, and intelligence grows, and your concern, care, and ability to help others also grows. The universe becomes magnificent—it always has been this way, and now you see it. You no longer hope to go to a pure land in the future to find nirvana. You no longer fear staying in samsara. Nirvana and samsara have merged into a single, beautiful natural state. When you have this realization, which is like sunlight dawning in the sky, rays, beams, and brilliant shine everywhere. When you discover the nature of your own mind, the universe unveils its glory to you.
Dzogchen masters have the highest realization, but at the same time their character and conduct is profound—the way they behave in the mundane world is so simple and pure. Effortlessly and spontaneously, everything they say, think, and do benefits all beings and themselves.
“With strong devotion, even a very simple Dharma teaching will cause great spiritual progress. Yet without devotion, even if we’ve received many profound teachings from many masters, we won’t change. That’s why the great master and future Buddha Maitreya said that individuals without devotion won’t develop. He likened lack of devotion to a burnt seed that cannot sprout. For this reason, the great master Patrul Rinpoche said that without devotion, even if you’re surrounded by all the teachings of the Buddha, it’s no different than being surrounded by blank paper. He also said that if you’ve received the most profound pith instruction but lack devotion, that instruction becomes mere breath or vapor, and nothing is going to happen
We all have devotion, but sometimes it’s a little shaky or fragile. We should take care of our devotion—reactivate, restrengthen, and re-glorify it. Guru Padmasambhava and Yeshe Tsogyal prayed, “May my devotion never waver, but always remain strong and steady.” We should be like this too. Keeping devotion fresh and vital is the responsibility of every practitioner and is itself great practice.
Devotion united with bodhichitta is very important. Again, when your devotion develops to the point where you’re free from doubt and hesitation, realization comes so easily. Unshakeable devotion brings blessings. This is spoken of very explicitly in Leu Dunma.
The Leu Dunma teaching is the unity of devotion, bodhichitta, and Dzogchen meditation expressed in the form of practice on Guru Padmasambhava. Leu Dunma is a Guru Yoga practice. As the great master Karma Chagme says, the absolute Guru Padmasambhava is the innate nature of mind, and the innate nature of the mind is the innate nature of everything. This means that devotion, bodhichitta, and everything else merge back into our primordial awareness, which is the innate nature of mind without any subject or object. When we reach the absolute state of Guru Padmasambhava, we’re one with Guru Padmasambhava. We will have achieved his level of realization, which is realization of the dharmakaya. Then we relax in that state.
But to achieve this, we need to increase our devotion, joy, and bodhichitta. We visualize and supplicate Guru Padmasambhava with practices like the Seven Line Prayer, then we complete everything by resting in the Dzogchen state. After this we dedicate the merit we have accumulated for our families, friends, and for all living beings. This is the way to achieve the absolute Guru Padmasambhava. It is how we can increase our inner beauty and let it shine to the world.”
Venerable Khenpo Rinpoches
Vajra Sound of Peace: Practicing the Seven Chapter Prayer of Guru Padmasambhava (pgs 30-31)
Photo of HE Terton Namkha Drimed Rinpoche and Ven. Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal Rinpoche at Phurba Khang Medicine Buddha Temple at Padma Samye Ling in 2016.
1. Introduction to Vajrayana
2. Shamatha and Vipashyana
3. Bodhichitta Activities and Aspirations
“All the great masters and practitioners said that the three kaya buddha-nature of mind is already right here with us. It is loving-kindness, compassion, and wisdom free from all duality fabrications. This was said by the Buddha, Samantabhadra, Garab Dorje, Guru Padmasambhava, the 25 disciples of Guru Rinpoche, Shabkar Tsokdruk Rangdrol, and all the great masters, one after another. The Buddha is right here with us. We only have to recognize and be that.”
Ven. Khenpo Tsewang Rinpoche
2014 Flight of the Garuda by Lama Shabkar Tsokdruk Rangdrol Retreat at Padma Samye Ling