Guru Yoga Series
Practices › Guru Yoga
Courtesy of Himalayan Art Resources
Unless the sun of devotion shines
Upon the snow peak of the master’s four kāyas,
The stream of blessings will never fall.
So strive to arouse devotion in your mind!
A series of Guru Yoga (bla ma'i rnal 'byor) practices:
- Bestower of Supreme Blessings: Guru Yoga of the Great Incomparable Lord Atiśa by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
- The Merry Sea of Blessings: A Guru Yoga of the Lord of Sages, Peerless Teacher of All, Including the Devas by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
Jamyang Khyentse wrote this guru yoga focusing on Buddha Śākyamuni (including his sambhogakāya form as Vajradhara and dharmakāya as Samantabhadra) in January 1958 at Rajgir (ancient Rājgṛha) following a visionary experience several days earlier at Bodhgayā.
A short yet profound guru yoga composed at the insistence of close students and which is still recited daily by many disciples. The practice incorporates a unique mantra based on Rinpoche's name and employs imagery associated with the Great Perfection.
Dorje Tötreng Tsal
In this guru yoga, a mind terma of Tertön Sogyal, the lama is visualized in the form of Dorje Tötreng Tsal. The text was revealed in association with the Nechung Oracle and it remains a daily practice of Nechung Monastery to this day.
This short, unelaborate guru yoga is written from an absolute perspective, according to which clear, empty awareness is the very nature of the guru, and the practice is simply to remain in such a state.
A short guru yoga in which the guru is the embodiment of all lineage masters, especially Samantabhadra, Guru Padmasambhava, Dorje Drolö, Düddul Lingpa, Dudjom Lingpa, Dodrupchen Jigme Tenpe Nyima and Lerab Lingpa himself. The text remained for many years in the possession of Tulku Dorje Dradül (1891–1959), Dudjom Lingpa's youngest son, and was copied by Kyala Khenpo (1893–1957).
Gampopa Sonam Rinchen
- The Swift Infusion of Blessings: A Guru Yoga of the Great Embodiment of Unchanging Awareness Wisdom by Mipham Rinpoche
Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
A letter to a fellow disciple of Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö offering essential advice on how to practise the celebrated Nyingtik Saldrön guru yoga, which focuses on Jamyang Khyentse in heruka form.
- Bestowing the Glory of Wisdom: A Gaṇacakra Feast for Nyingtik Saldrön by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
- The Bright Lamp of Wisdom: A Guide to the Practice of Guru Yoga (Yeshe Saldrön) by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
- The Bright Lamp of the Heart Essence (Nyingtik Saldrön): A Guru Yoga by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
Jamyang Loter Wangpo
Khenchen Jigme Phuntsok
Lochen Chönyi Zangmo
Marpa, Milarepa & Gampopa
- Vajra Net: The Ancillary Preliminary and Concluding Practices for the Three Drops, the Guru Yogas for Venerable Marpa, Mila, and Gampopa by Jokyab Pema Trinlé Nyingpo
Marpa Chökyi Lodrö
This guru yoga for Lord Marpa Chökyi Lodrö (c.1012–1097), together with his four main disciples (Tsurtön Wanggi Dorje, Ngok Chöku Dorje, Metön Tsönpo and Milarepa), is part of a series of three guru yoga practices focussing on Marpa, Milarepa and Gampopa.
- Swift Infusion of Blessings: A Guru Yoga based on Jamgön Mipham Gyatso by Shechen Gyaltsab Gyurme Pema Namgyal
Ngawang Samten Lodrö
- The Radiant Treasure of Blessings: A Guru Yoga of the Great Vajradhara Ngawang Samten Lodrö by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
This concise guru yoga centres around the famous prayer to Guru Padmasambhava known as The Prayer in Six Vajra Lines, or Dü Sum Sangye, Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa's own terma revelation. To this is added a simple visualization and a prayer to reach the Copper-coloured Mountain of Glory.
- 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 Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
- The Staircase That Leads to Lotus Light: Essential Instructions on Guru Yoga by Dodrupchen Jigme Tenpe Nyima
In twelve points, Jigme Tenpé Nyima offers detailed instructions and clarifications on The Wish-Fulfilling Jewel, the outer guru yoga practice from the Longchen Nyingtik cycle. He describes the realm of Lotus Light and its Copper-Coloured Mountain, highlights Guru Rinpoche's qualities, and stresses the importance of concentration, devotion and inspiration.
- The Swift Infusion of Blessings: A Prayer and Aspiration for the Stages of the Path Combined with Guru Yoga by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
A simple practice of guru yoga, which features Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö indivisible from Guru Padmasambhava in the form of Orgyen Dorje Chang, the Vajradhara of Oḍḍiyāna, and which includes an aspiration for the stages of the path according to the Great Perfection, or Dzogchen.
This practice unites the recitation of the famous Dü Sum Sangyé Prayer with a corresponding visualisation of the four main forms of Guru Padmasambhava according to the Chokling Tersar’s Four Cycles of Guru Yoga (bla sgrub skor bzhi), namely Barché Kunsel, Sampa Lhundrup, Tsokyé Nyingtik and Guru Draktsal.
- The Wish-Fulfilling Jewel: The Outer Practice of Guru Yoga from the Heart-Essence of the Vast Expanse revealed by Jigme Lingpa
This simple and popular guru yoga focusing is based on the famous seven-line prayer (tshig bdun gsol 'debs) to Guru Padmasambhava first revealed in the thirteenth century by Chökyi Wangchuk (1212–1270).
- A Shower of Blessings: A Guru Yoga Practice to Accompany the Seven Line Prayer (Addendum) by Shakya Shri
This arrangement of Mipham Rinpoche's famous Shower of Blessings Guru Yoga practice adds opening verses of refuge and bodhicitta, a torma offering to the obstructing forces, visualization of the protective sphere and the descent of blessings, as well as concluding verses for the remainder offering, aspiration and dedication.
This guru yoga practice, which features Pema Lingpa with Guru Dewachenpo at his crown and Avalokiteśvara in his heart, was composed in 1956 at the sacred lake known as Pema Ling at the request of Yakzé Lama Gyurdrak (d. 1975).
Rongzom Chökyi Zangpo
Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche composed separate outer, inner and secret guru yoga practices with the great scholar, Sakya Paṇḍita as their object. Here is the outer practice, complete with visualization, prayer and mantra recitation, in which the focus is on the master as inseparable from Mañjuśrī.
While on pilgrimage through India in 1956, Jamyang Khyentse meditated at the Indian master Śavari's meditation cave in the Śītavana (‘Cool Grove’) charnel ground near Bodhgayā, resulting in a vision of the mahāsiddha. Soon afterwards he composed this guru yoga.
This guru yoga, which Sera Khandro describes as a visionary experience put it into words, is a supplement to the Dharmatā Ḍākinīs' Secret Treasury (Chönyi Khandrö Sangdzö) cycle. It includes many of the standard elements of a preliminary practice (ngöndro) and is structured around the 'Four Dharmas of Gampopa', i.e., turning the mind towards the Dharma, making progress along the path, clarifying confusion, and allowing confusion to dawn as wisdom.
Three Deities of Long Life
- A Shortcut to the Siddhi of Immortality: Guru Yoga of Union with the Three Deities of Long Life by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo
- Rain of Wisdom, Love and Spiritual Power: A Guru Yoga of the Three Mañjughoṣas of the Land of Snow by Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
A guru yoga focusing on the so-called Three Mañjuśrīs of Tibet, i.e., Longchen Rabjam (1308–1364), Sakya Paṇḍita (1182–1251) and Tsongkhapa Lobzang Drakpa (1357–1419). Here, Jamyang Khyentse further identifies Longchen Rabjam with the bodhisattva Vajrapāṇi and Tsongkhapa with the bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara.
Kyabje Trulshik Rinpoche composed this simple guru yoga, which focuses upon himself, at the request of Khachö Tsering Palmo while he was bestowing the Nyingma Kama transmissions at Shechen Monastery in Nepal.
Tsongkhapa Lobzang Drakpa
Part of the Longchen Nyingtik cycle, this Vajrasattva guru yoga is entitled 'Cultivating the Pure Realm of Abhirati (or Manifest Joy)' but is often known simply as 'Dorsem Ngön-ga' (Abhirati Vajrasattva). It includes all the standard elements of visualization, offering, mantra recitation and receiving empowerment.