Guide to A Shower of Blessings

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Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

Guru Padmasambhava

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The Quintessence of the Profound Path

A Concise Guide to the Stages of Visualization for the Guru Yoga of the Seven-Line Supplication, A Shower of Blessings

by Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

Namo mahāgurubhyaḥ![1]

The wisdom embodiment of the knowledge and love of all buddhas and bodhisattvas is the omniscient one who knows the three times, the majestic Vajra Guru, Sovereign of Oḍḍiyāna. The supplication to him in seven lines is the root of all vajra verses, a singularly sufficient prayer that is the basis of all accomplishment, both common and extraordinary. A Shower of Blessings is a guru yoga based upon this most majestic of prayers. Here I shall elucidate the important points for putting it into practice.

The sādhana begins with taking refuge, the pledge of bodhicitta, and the four immeasurable thoughts. Thereafter, the place where you practice, the outer environment along with all its inhabitants, shouldn’t be viewed as ordinary. Instead, view them as a pure realm, an inconceivable place of great wonder. There, in front of you, is the Dhanakośa Lake, its beautiful grassy banks filled with flowers, buzzing bees, chirping birds, and frolicking deer. The lake itself is miraculous, deep and expansive, its divine water possessed of eight qualities. At its centre is a lotus; the fruit, leaves, petals, stalk, and stamen are composed exclusively of precious gems. Upon its vast pollen bed is a full-moon disk, upon which sits your root guru indivisible from Guru Rinpoche, Vajra Tötreng Tsal. Replete with the complete marks, and signs of the sambhogakāya, he is deep blue; his right-hand holds a vajra at his heart, his left a skull cup, within which is a longevity vase and nectar, at his lap. He embraces his consort, Yeshe Tsogyal, who is white in colour. She is naked – wearing only ornaments of bone and the five mudrās. Adorned in divine silks and jewellery, they sit in union amidst an expanse of five-coloured wisdom light. Their mere recollection causes all ordinary perception and thought to cease; such is their blessing, brilliance, and magnificence.

In the space immediately above them sit buddhas and bodhisattvas who bestow empowerment with wisdom nectar and scatter flowers of auspiciousness. In the surrounding sky, the guardians of the world, together with myriad goddesses, make copious offerings of all the riches and splendours of this world and the peaceful state that lies beyond. Oceanic hosts of the root and lineage gurus, yidam deities of the six classes of tantra, ḍākas and ḍākinīs of the three places, along with the dharma guardians, surround them; gathered together like clouds and rainbows filling the entire sky.

Imagine that your principal guru and his entire entourage look at you compassionately, their eyes filled with love. Recall how their wisdom aggregate is beyond birth and death. He is a vajra-kāya, arisen with the sole purpose of aiding those in difficulty and protecting those who suffer, wherever they may be throughout the far reaches of space. Recall the extraordinary qualities of this sole refuge with extraordinarily strong devotion.

  • Imagine as many forms of yourself as there are dust molecules in the universe and offer prostrations.
  • With your body, possessions, and merit accrued over the three times serving as the cause, proffer the entire world visualized as pure, the play of Samantabhadra’s wisdom.
  • Recall all the negative actions you have committed throughout time without beginning – those that are naturally negative and the failings and downfalls of the vows of individual liberation, bodhisattva conduct, and tantric samayas – and with intense feelings of remorse, confess them all and vow to restrain yourself in future.
  • The qualities of all buddhas who are equal in number to the infinity of the dharmadhātu are perfected within Guru Rinpoche. Therefore, with faith arisen from reflecting on his life and liberation, rejoice wholeheartedly in his endeavours and aspire that you, along with all others, may follow his example.
  • Supplicate this extraordinary protector – the embodiment of all objects of refuge throughout the whole of space and time – to remain continuously as the object of your faith and devotion.
  • Request the activity of the speech vajra, unceasing as it is throughout the three times, to continually turn the wheel of the profound and vast dharmas, both directly and indirectly.
  • Finally, seal the practice by gathering the virtue accumulated by all beings throughout the three times and dedicating it to continued benefit – the taming of the unruly, such that all sentient beings emulate Guru Rinpoche and awaken.

Offer these seven branches as a means of accruing great merit. Recite the liturgy as you keep all this in mind.

With single-pointed faith and devotion supplicate Guru Rinpoche using the Seven-Line Supplication – the root of all revealed treasures (terma). The heart treasure of Guru Chöwang reads:

Homage to the yidam deity! Fortunate men and women of the future, sons and daughters of an enlightened family, when you turn to me, the Guru of Orgyen, for refuge, take yourself to an isolated place, and make deep feelings arise of melancholy at impermanence, and disgust with saṃsāra—this is vital. Then rely on me completely, heart and soul. Reflect how every kind of refuge, all your hopes, are all fulfilled and complete within me, the Guru of Orgyen. Whether in happiness or in sorrow, have total trust and confidence in me. No need to make offerings or praise; set aside all accumulating; simply let devotion flood your body, speech and mind, and pray, pray with these seven lines:

Hūṃ. In the north-west of Oḍḍiyāna
In the heart of a lotus flower,
Endowed with the most marvellous attainments,
You are renowned as the Lotus-born,
Surrounded by many hosts of ḍākinīs
Following in your footsteps,
I pray to you, come and inspire me with your blessings!
Guru padma siddhi hūṃ

Pray in this way, over and over again.

Create a feeling of yearning and longing so intense that tears spring from your eyes. If the rapture of devotion overwhelms you, breathe out strongly, and then leave everything as it is. Clear and awake, focused and undistracted, look within. For children of mine who pray like this, it goes without saying that they will have my protection, for they will be the sons and daughters of the buddhas of past, present and future. They will receive complete empowerment into the awareness of their own enlightened mind. Their samādhi will be so powerful and stable, that wisdom will naturally blossom and expand.

This great blessing, which arises of its own accord, will dispel all the suffering that will ripen on you, or be experienced by others. When your mind is transformed, others’ perceptions will simultaneously change, you will accomplish enlightened activity, and all noble qualities will be complete within you.

May the sons and daughters of my heart meet with this extraordinary skilful means, one which ripens and liberates into the dharmakāya realization of my enlightened being.

This is the very root of all practice.

Generally speaking, to accomplish the meditations of secret mantra – the creation and completion yogas – the preliminary practices (ngöndro) are indispensable. Indeed, unless the essential points are thoroughly integrated, it will be next to impossible for the qualities of the practice to be born within you, and even if a slight realization does dawn, it’ll not come to much. Therefore, it is imperative to exert yourself and perfect these foundational practices. By doing so, the experiences of the actual practice will be won with relative ease. Unfortunately, these days, most people believe the preliminary practices to be simply an accumulation – a hundred thousand repetitions of the liturgies for refuge, bodhicitta, Vajrasattva, maṇḍala offering, and guru yoga. Yet this isn’t the case.

The preliminaries render the practitioners’ mind open and workable. The four thoughts that turn the mind toward spiritual practice induce renunciation, which is of great importance. The human experience that is the most complete and favourable condition for practice isn’t easily won; it wasn’t easy to obtain in the past, and it won’t be easy to come across in the future. Yet somehow, we have obtained it now. We should appreciate this as in the example of a blind, impoverished person receiving the excellence and glory of the entire world. His joy would be like that of a kingdom when a beloved and long-lost prince is found and returns to lead his people, and he wouldn’t waste a single day of this new-found fortune. Wasting life is akin to carelessly dropping a valuable gemstone. Yama, the lord of death, can strike at any moment – the time of your death isn’t fixed. Know that you now have a choice, and wasting this precious opportunity will only cause you great regret – for, at the time of death, it is too late to practice.

Now, while you have a comfortable mattress to lie on, are young, and have the things you desire, at a time like this, when all the necessities for practice have been gathered, you must apply yourself to practice. For when it is time to shuffle off this mortal coil, no amount of material wealth can deter or prevent your passing; nothing can be done about it – like being swept away by a strong current.

When death strikes, there is no opportunity to contemplate the virtuous actions you should have undertaken or the negative actions you should have avoided; nor is there the freedom to decide where you’d like to go; it’s too late! You have no choice but to follow the precious positive and negative actions karma you have done.

Negative actions will cause a fall into the lower realms of existence, where it is difficult even to hear of the Dharma, let alone practice it. Without carrying out positive actions, rebirth in the higher realms is impossible. But no matter where you are born, be it the higher or lower realms, there is nothing but dissatisfaction and misfortune. A single cause (action or karma) will bring about its inevitable fruit, the experience of suffering. This is the bane of saṃsāra. Its contemplation should lead you to think solely of liberation.

The essence of these four thoughts that turn the mind toward spiritual practice is to inspire a deep weariness with saṃsāra. As sadness wells up from the deep contemplation of the causes and effects of contaminated existence it causes a desperate search for liberation.

Along with all other sentient beings, we find ourselves drowning in the ocean that is saṃsāra; weighed down by destructive emotion and previous actions, or karma. It’s clear that we won’t reach the shore of liberation by our strengths alone – such is our predicament! Therefore, with a strong urge to be free and a single-pointed determination to benefit all others, we must search for an infallible refuge – something rare and sublime in which to place our trust. This refuge may have the blessing of love, exalted wisdom, and the ability to enact them, but if faith and devotion are lacking, there will be no actual refuge.

Ultimately the objects of refuge are the Three Jewels, Three Roots, and so on. There are many such enumerations, yet they are all essentially found within the Sole Supreme Buddha – Guru Rinpoche – renowned as the embodiment of all refuges. Therefore, to focus upon him alone is said to be sufficient.

Moreover, it is said the objects of refuge appear in many distinct ways. However, these appearances are simply an arrangement of the single wisdom of the awakened body, speech and mind, with which they are essentially one and from which they are not at all separate. Furthermore, if you can recognize it, the supreme refuge is the indivisibility of the three kāyas – buddha, abiding within your own mind. The compassion to seek refuge in manifest wisdom, which is devoid of any obscuration, necessitates an understanding of how the natural state of wisdom can be purified of all obscuration. To trust in this entirely is to have confident faith. And, in order to develop such faith in the objects of refuge, it is essential to know their qualities.

From the Chronicles of Padmasambhava:[2]

In this extraordinary realm tamed by Buddha.
An emanation of the teacher appears before every person.
Previously, I was Amitābha, Lord of Boundless Light,
On Mount Potala, the protector, Avalokiteśvara,
And Padmasambhava, born from a lotus on the Dhanakośa Lake –
The three appear distinct, yet in reality are indivisible, without separation.

In the realm of the dharmadhātu, Samantabhadra,
In the Pure Land of Densely Arrayed, the Great Vajradhara,
And at the Vajra Seat, the Mighty Sage –
All are spontaneously accomplished and indivisible from me, Padmasambhava –
A wondrous blessing for the benefit of all.

And:

Having completed the two collections and perfected all qualities,
I am supreme amongst the Buddhas’ heirs;
And my emanations are inconceivable.

Throughout all three times – past, present and future –
They continually plant the victory banner of the Buddhas’ teaching in the ten directions.

And:

Whatever prayers you make will all be answered, for to supplicate me, Padmasambhava will fulfil your every wish.

To supplicate Guru Rinpoche like this, visualize him, surrounded by his entourage, clearly present in the space before you. To do so is to approach the practice. And to devotedly supplicate him with the wish to accomplish your body, speech and mind as the three vajras is the close approach. These two, approach and close approach, make up the creation phase of yoga.

Imagine all the infinite forms of the objects of refuge are drawn to Guru Rinpoche, attracted to him like iron to a magnet. They dissolve into him, and he, in turn, dissolves into you. This is the accomplishment of the practice. The actual realization of the indivisibility of the guru and your mind – the single taste of the wisdom of ground, path and fruition, is great accomplishment. These two, accomplishment and great accomplishment, make up the completion phase of the yoga.

If you continually practice like this, it will be as stated in The Full Assembly of the Eight Herukas:

The sole sufficient prayer is the Seven-Line Supplication;
Through the power of this prayer, you will perceive the Guru’s face directly.
If you recite this prayer continuously for seven or twenty-one days, accomplishments and blessings will shower upon you,
and you’ll be free from every obstacle.

And:

Suppose you invoke me passionately, singing these seven lines of supplication with a yearning melody and accompanied by the beat of a skull drum, I, Padma of Oḍḍiyāna, will arrive from the Glorious Mountain in Cāmara to bless you – unable to resist, like a mother hearing her child cry. This is my pledge, and to break it would land me in the lowest hell.

It is vital to develop conviction in these and the many other promises found in the undeceiving vajra speech of Guru Rinpoche and to hold them in the core of your heart. To supplicate him will definitely bring great blessing, as Guru Rinpoche never deceives. Moreover, the transmission inscription from the Guru as the Embodiment of All Secrets (Lama Sangdü) reads:

Should you wish to gather the two collections swiftly and realize the quintessence of practice, then, it is far superior to the scriptures and tantras of the resultant vajra vehicle of secret mantra to meditate on the guru.

And:

To accomplish me is to accomplish all buddhas,
And to see me is to see all Buddhas –
For I am the embodiment of all Sugatas.

As it is said, to accomplish the guru is to accomplish all buddhas. The ability to perform activities [such as pacification] without impediment comes not through clear appearance and the radiation and retraction of light, as taught in the creation phase, nor through the blazing and dripping that arises through the manipulation of wind-mind as in the completion phase. Here, the principal practice is simply to leave the sense consciousnesses alone and, without a concerted effort, focus on the guru. Cast out all other thoughts and, with unwavering confidence, devotion, and trust, supplicate him single-pointedly. From the guide to accomplishing the Guru as the Embodiment of All Secrets:

At all times, whether happy or sad, good or bad, for those alive or passed on, for this life or for lives to come, at all times, for temporary or ultimate benefit, in good times or bad, know that there is no other hope but me. Think of me time and time again. Consider: Guru of Oḍḍiyāna, you know me! (Urgyen khyenno!)

It is just as stated here. The omniscient Mipham Rinpoche makes similar remarks in his commentary.[3]

The essence of all the sūtras and tantras can be explained in terms of preliminary, actual instruction, and conclusion. And, at whichever stage you find yourself, it is the practice of guru yoga that is cherished and emphasized time and time again by the learned and accomplished masters of the earlier and later schools of Buddhism in Tibet. Indeed, guru yoga practice has the potential to remove any and all obstacles to meditation and enhance it greatly.

The practice of guru yoga is highly praised and brings countless benefits. For example, should you rely on it alone, without following any other path, you’ll be able to bring about the common and supreme accomplishments. Accordingly, we must focus on guru yoga and make it the core of our practice.

There are many methods for the practice of guru yoga. This one, A Shower of Blessings, was written by Mipham Jampel Gyepe Dorje at the source of all auspiciousness, the supremely sacred site of Rongmé Karmo Taktsang in Kham.[4] In this secluded place, a ḍākinī appeared before him and imparted a close lineage transmission. She sang the Seven-Line Supplication in an enchanting melody, thus providing the auspicious condition for the composition, the blessings of which are said to be incomparable.

Generally speaking, there are many empowerments and instructions for the creation and completion practices connected to the Seven-Line Supplication. We find, for example, some fifty methods in the mind-treasure (gong ter) of Jamgön Kongtrul. Similarly, in the omniscient Mipham Rinpoche’s explanation of the Seven-Line Supplication, White Lotus, there are related instructions for the two phases—creation and completion—as well as the Great Perfection, all explained in a way that is profound and vast. As this indicates, the practice is the very essence of profundity and possesses such extremely powerful blessings that it is indivisible from the secret points expounded in the vajra tantras. If you aren’t able to practice all the methods mentioned above, if you take guru yoga as your principal meditation, you will definitely accomplish them all.

In addition, fierce supplication through these seven lines can be used to purify obstacles and hindrances. Visualize that nectar flows from the guru and deities in front and enters your three doors, cleansing all illness, hindering spirits, obstacles, hindrances, sufferings and so forth. They leave your lower orifices in the form of blood, pus, insects, dirty water, and other filthy substances, and enter the mouth of Yama, the principal demon and Lord of Death, and the mouths of all those to whom you are karmically indebted. At the conclusion of the recitation, consider that you are completely purified, like rock salt dissolving in water. Yama and your karmic creditors are completely satisfied, harm is dispelled, and debts are paid in full. After that, meditate that everything dissolves into emptiness, and you reappear in the luminous form of Vajrasattva. The guru in front dissolves into and becomes of one taste with the indestructible drop at the eight-petalled lotus of your heart. Rest within the induced experience of the wisdom of great bliss and recite the hundred-syllable mantra as many times as you can – a hundred thousand times, for example.

Offer the pure realms of the three kāyas with the following:

Oṃ āḥ hūṃ
The pure realm of the dharmakāya, the even dharmadhātu;
The pure realm of the five families of the sambhogakāya, its unceasing self-appearance,
And the pure realms of the nirmāṇakāya, an all-pervasive array –
I offer them all as clouds filled with the extraordinarily blissful offerings of Samantabhadra.
Oṃ ratna maṇḍala pūja megha samudra spharaṇa samaye āḥ hūṃ

Should you wish to elaborate, offer the maṇḍala of thirty-seven heaps and, in this way, offer hundreds of thousands of maṇḍalas.

It is possible to accumulate the five times ‘hundred-thousand’ based on the Shower of Blessings guru yoga. In addition to the above, the Seven-Line Supplication may be recited while performing a hundred thousand physical prostrations.

As we have seen, it is perfectly fine to gather the accumulations and purify misdeeds, the essence of the preliminary practices (ngöndro), based exclusively on this guru yoga alone.

The root of refuge and bodhicitta is confident faith [in the three rare and sublime ones], and the root of virtue – the accumulation of merit or purification of misdeeds – is to renounce the negative mindset of obsessive selfishness. Accordingly, at the beginning of your practice, motivate yourself with thoughts of altruism and compassion and a determination to benefit all beings throughout the whole of space. At the end of your session, dedicate your merit toward this endeavour. It doesn’t matter, I think, whether you recite a specific number of refuge prayers and pledges to awaken (bodhicitta) when practising this way.

It is essential to know how to bring all the instructions together into a single practice. If you are incapable of many recitations, simply apply the above instructions to your daily practice, for they include all the profound points of the preliminary practices (ngöndro). Accumulate at least a hundred thousand repetitions of the Seven-Line Supplication based on this guru yoga as this will open the door to blessing.

Each of the contemplations of the common outer and inner preliminary practices should be practised according to their respective instructions. Here, however, it is important to practice according to the tradition of the omniscient and precious guru, Mipham. Accomplish the repetition of the Seven-Line Supplication as the main feature of the yoga, and on such times as the tenth days of both the waxing and waning moon, offer a gaṇacakra feast. If you are not offering a feast, at the end of the repetitions, visualize receiving the four empowerments and continue the yoga by blending your own mind with the guru; their inseparability is the suchness of your own self-nature. To sustain this vajra-mind – the natural state, free from all characteristics, definitions, and expression – is the actual, definitive guru yoga: to see your own natural face and remain there.

If, while cultivating intense devotion to the guru, you feel drowsy, dull, lethargic, or sad, forcefully exclaim ‘Ha!’, mingle your indwelling awareness with the external sphere (dhātu) and rest; this will bring greater clarity. If your mind is disturbed or wild, direct your gaze to the tip of your nose, bring the clear image of your guru to mind again and again, and so on. Be aware of your own inner experience and apply methods whenever necessary. Generally, the object of your supplication, the guru visualized in front of you, and the one generating intense devotion and faith in him are both the play of mind. Don’t view them as good or bad, as the mind itself is beyond birth, abidance, and passing; settle into and view this, for it is your own nature: awareness and emptiness conjoined. With nothing to be grasped at or fixated upon, this is the naked state of suchness, the definitive Guru Rinpoche.

The tantra Wisdom Perfected from the Depths[5] reads:

Awareness devoid of mind is the seed of all Buddhas;
it should be your constant companion.

And from the tantra Self-Arisen Awareness:[6]

Non-conceptual awareness is, in essence, the dharmakāya; The clarity of unimpeded awareness, the sambhogakaya; And awareness appearing as anything whatsoever is the nirmāṇakāya.

The meaning of such statements is illustrated here in relation to the Vajra Guru mantra:

Oṃ, essentially empty; āḥ, naturally luminous; and hūṃ, all-pervading compassion – these three kāyas may be conceptually isolated from one another, but in actuality, they are a natural unity, vajra. The guru and yourself have always been essentially indivisible; it is simply the natural way of things, which outshines and rises above everything in saṃsāra and nirvāṇa, the true sign of having perfected the Dharma. There is no need to rely on effort-based methods, for confused appearances are primordially pure, and the resultant state is spontaneously open, padma. Self-existing wisdom simply made manifest within the self-originated, and self-perfected dhātu is the siddhi. There is nothing more to it, no need to accomplish anything new. Self-existing wisdom may be divided into ground, path and fruition, but these are just concepts. Essentially, they are indivisible – individual self-awareness rendered evident, hūṃ.

The profound life-force of Secret Mantra Vajrayāna serves to point out the ultimate meaning of mind. Through the blessing of devotion, continual supplication of the relative guru of characteristics, the face of the ultimate, inner guru of your own awareness – which has always been with you primordially – will be seen directly. These two practices should be done in unison, as one will aid the other and lead to the state of supreme accomplishment.

During the post-meditation, consider all appearances to be the display of the guru, and train in pure perception, compassion and bodhicitta. In addition to what was cited above, the same text goes on to state:

If you meditate on bodhicitta and love, your mind will be blessed. If you consider your dwelling to be Uḍḍiyāna, it will be blessed. If you visualize your house as an inestimable mansion, it will be blessed. If you consider other beings as divine, they will be blessed as wisdom deities. And, by taking everything you eat and drink as amṛta, they will be blessed as offering substances. These are the five aspects of blessing, although their actual blessings lie beyond the imagination.[7]

Exert yourself in the repetition of the practice, and, with great devotion, continually supplicate the guru without the slightest distraction; this is the approach. As you continue, there will come a point when the blessing of the practice draws near; this is the close approach of the practice. After seeing definite signs of actual accomplishment – whether in actuality, meditative experience, or dreams – exerting yourself in the supplication will bring accomplishment. Once your three doors of body, speech and mind are blessed, to then realize the inseparability of the guru and your own mind is great accomplishment.

The benefits of such practice are set forth in the Instruction Manual for Accomplishing the Guru:

I, Master of Uddiyana, will appear in every region of Tibet on the tenth day of the monkey month in the year of the monkey; this is sure, for it is my promise, my pledge. Similarly, on the tenth day of each month, I’ll come. You may be sure my emanations will fill Tibet and Kham. This is my sacred promise, and I, Padma, do not deceive.

If you have devotion for me, think of me at these times and, as an offering, make a torma from delicious substances and set it in the shape of a blazing jewel.

Invoke me with the rhythmic beat of a skull drum and the yearning prayer of the Seven-Line Supplication, and I, master of Uḍḍiyāna, will come from the glorious mountain in Cāmara – unable to resist, like a mother hearing the cries of her beloved child. This is my pledge, and should I fail, hell awaits.

In the Vidyādhara Terdak Lingpa’s history of his Wrathful Guru treasure (terma), we read:

Should you desire special blessings and swift accomplishment, make offerings to, and meditate on me, Padma. And, just as the needs of those who supplicate a wish-granting gem are met, oceanic hosts of Buddhas will bless and protect you as if you were their only child. Dharma guardians and ḍākinīs will shower accomplishments upon you, the proud and haughty gods of the world will do your bidding, and your spontaneous activities will serve to free all beings. All of these benefits come through reliance on me. So cast off your doubts and redouble your efforts in practice. Dear king and faithful subjects gathered here, if I’m deceiving you, Padma isn’t worth much.

And:[8]

To the king and court, my disciples in Tibet,
I declare that on the tenth day of the waxing moon
I shall come to Tibet;
and Padmasambhava doesn’t deceive.

And:

When you supplicate me with the seven lines,
blessing will flow to you in an unending stream.
When my blessing falls upon you, your meditation will blaze;
know this to be a sign of my presence.

And:

In truth, I neither come nor go, but you’ll only see me when your karma and obscurations are cleansed. According to prayers and the relative perception of those to be trained, I am residing in the land of rakṣasas. Yet the stream of compassion remains uninterrupted and, for those with faith in me, I am constantly before them.

And:

Invoke me fervently on the tenth day of the month.
I know you have fallen into saṃsāra,
So pledge your mind, heart, and very being to me!

As these and other statements make clear, to practice with unceasing devotion will bring about the common and supreme accomplishments – this is certain. Therefore, since this practice, which is convenient, easy to apply and meaningful, elicits the essence of a precious human birth as a dharma practitioner, this instruction is of critical importance.

In the southern region of Bhutan, Thinley Dorje, a minister of the dharma king whose mind is rich with wholesome thoughts, told me that he wished to practice the quintessence of the pith instructions and requested a convenient and straightforward practice. Accordingly, I, the kusali Tashi Paljor – who continually prays to follow and serve the Dharma-king of Uḍḍiyāna in this and all future lives, and who, through the kindness of the guru, is hopeful in his pursuit of the path to liberation – wrote down the exact guidance instructions I received from Shechen’s lord of a hundred buddha families and his two spiritual heirs.[9] It was penned in the Fortress of the Profound Secret (Sang Zab Dzong), and the scribe was the tantric monk Jigme Kalsang. May this be nothing other than a cause for all of us, represented by the one who made the request, to connect with the blessed nectar of the omniscient wisdom of the master, the second Buddha. Sarva Maṅgalam. Virtue.

| Translated by Sean Price, 2021.


Bibliography

Tibetan Edition

bkra shis dpal 'byor. "tshig bdun bla ma'i rnal 'byor byin rlabs char 'bebs kyi dmigs khrid nyung bsdus zab lam bcud dril/" in gsung 'bum/_rab gsal zla ba. TBRC W21809. 25 vols. Delhi: Shechen Publications, 1994. http://tbrc.org/link?RID=W21809 Vol. 15: 300–311

Secondary Sources

Dilgo Khyentse. Lion of Speech: The Life of Mipham Rinpoche. Translated by the Padmakara Translation Group. Boulder, CO: Shambhala Publications, 2020

Jamgön Mipham. White Lotus: An Explanation of the Seven-Line Prayer to Guru Padmasambhava. Translated by the Padmakara Translation Group. Boston & London: Shambhala Publications, 2007


  1. The Sanskrit translates as ‘Homage to the great Guru!’  ↩

  2. Padma bka' thang, a terma of Orgyen Lingpa (b. 1323).  ↩

  3. i.e., White Lotus.  ↩

  4. rong me dkar mo stag tshang. A site to the northeast of Dzongsar Monastery where Mipham Rinpoche spent many years in retreat. See Lion of Speech, pp. 62–65.  ↩

  5. ye shes gting nas rdzogs pa'i rgyud, a Dzogchen tantra.  ↩

  6. rig pa rang shar, a Dzogchen tantra.  ↩

  7. The sentence before the quotation that begins: "During the post-meditation…" and the quotation itself, are taken from the White Lotus. The quotation from The Crystal Mountain, the Body Tantra of the Lama Gongdü Cycle (bla ma dgongs 'dus sku rgyud shel gyi ri bo), a terma of Sangye Lingpa.  ↩

  8. The following quotations are taken from Ratna Lingpa’s treasure, The Tenth Day Invocation.  ↩

  9. According to Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche and Khenpo Gutse (of Shechen, Kham) this reference to three masters—a father and two spiritual children—from Shechen is not a common designation. However, it likely refers to the three masters of Shechen from whom Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche received teachings: the father, lord of a hundred buddha families, being Shechen Gyaltsab, Gyurme Pema Namgyal (1871–1926), and the spiritual children, Shechen Kongtrul, Pema Drimé Lekpé Lodrö (1901–c. 1960) and the Sixth Shechen Rabjam, Gyurme Kunzang Tenpé Nyima (1910–1960).  ↩