Feb. 13, 2021 Group Cultivation of Cundi Buddha Mother at Seattle Ling Shen Ching Tze Temple
#TBS Seattle Report
On the 2nd Day of the first lunar month
The world radiates with the brilliance of Buddha Mother
As the auspicious deity Great Fortune Vajra makes an appearance
Wealth pours in from all directions
Tonight marks the first group cultivation of the Xin Chou Lunar New Year. With warm new year’s greetings and best wishes pouring in from disciples and the spring seasonal snow as a backdrop, Grandmaster incisively discoursed the precious Dharma and answered questions submitted by disciples in connection with the Interaction is Power event.
Q: In Vajrapani Practice, can one visualize crossed vajra sceptres rather than a single vajra sceptre?
A: There’s not much difference between the visualizations. The key point is total concentration on the visualization. Generally speaking, the various types of Vajra sceptres include the single five-pronged sceptre, single three-pronged sceptre, crossed Vajra sceptres, and so on. Although differing in appearance, their purpose of overcoming evil is the same. Note that in Tibetan Buddhism, Vajrapani always carries a five-pronged Vajra sceptre. When visualizing Vajrapani holding crossed Vajra sceptres, the Vajra sceptres must be the same as those held by practitioners. The key point is to focus. All visualizations must be performed with concentration.
Q: Can the above mentioned visualization be performed prior to sleep as a boundary-protection practice? In other words, can one visualize spiritual union with the Dharma protector followed by mantra recitation to ensure lucid dreams and being undeluded?
A: This is entirely up to the practitioner. If this visualization enables one to have lucid dreams and be undeluded, one may perform it.
Q: Can rice that has been used in a Mandala Offering be reused for a different practice, such as the Spiritual Infliction Removal with Rice & Garment?
A: Rice that has been previously used for the Mandala Practice should not be reused. One should follow the sadhana and use fresh rice when performing the Spiritual Infliction Removal with Rice & Garment.
Q: Can one perform the Vajrasattva Practice together with the Avalokitesvara Body Shrine Calamity Evasion Practice?
A: I would advise against this because the Avalokitesvara Body Shrine Calamity Evasion Practice includes many detailed visualizations such as clear and detailed visualizations of the earth, water, fire and wind elements. Since both practices are precious and require the full attention of the practitioner, they should be performed separately.
Q: There is an elderly and sick practitioner in our family who wishes to complete 100,000 full prostrations before passing away. However, due to old age and poor health, this is impossible. Is there an expedient method to complete 100,000 full prostrations?
A: An elderly disciple can visualize their body multiplying from one to 10, 100, 1,000, or thousands of bodies. One full prostration is then transformed into 10,000 prostrations. Performing 10 full prostrations would equal 10,000 prostrations x 10 or 100,000 full prostrations. This is the most expedient method. Bear in mind that young and healthy disciples should not use this method.
Q: Is it necessary to perform full prostrations and mandala offerings in front of one’s shrine?
A: Generally speaking, it is good practice to perform full prostrations and mandala offerings in front of one’s shrine.
Q: What methods are there to attain wealth and what is the key cultivation formula to receive spiritual union with the principal deity of the Instant Wealth Practice?
A: Practicing with total sincerity is the key cultivation formula. The Instant Wealth Practice was transmitted by the gracious and compassionate Golden Mother of Jade Pond. The key formula for attaining spiritual union is that one must pray with wholehearted sincerity to Golden Mother. The Instant Wealth Practice is a wealth attainment practice. If Golden Mother is touched by one’s efforts or if Golden Mother sympathizes with the practitioner, she will not hesitate in granting whatever wishes the practitioner may have. The practitioner should bear in mind that wishes should not be excessive.
Grandmaster discoursed that when requesting a Dharma teaching, one must be respectful and proper protocols must be followed. During a spiritual consultation session, Grandmaster is acting on behalf of buddhas and bodhisattvas in helping disciples to solve problems. Therefore, disciples should follow consultation protocols by preparing basic offerings for the buddhas and bodhisattvas. Upon entering the consultation room, prior to consulting with Grandmaster, one should make respectful offerings to the buddhas and bodhisattvas. Rather than wandering about as one wishes, one must strictly observe protocols.
Grandmaster continued with a discourse on Lamdre.
Grandmaster explained that cultivation involves the following five stages:
the path of accumulation,
the path of application,
the path of seeing,
the path of cultivation,
the path of no-more-learning.
The generation stage (worldly path) consists of the path of accumulation and the path of application. The completion stage (supermundane path) consists of the path of seeing, the path of cultivation, and the path of no-more-learning. For example, when performing virtuous deeds, one is on the path of accumulation. When performing the Four-preliminaries Practice (Great Homage, Mandala Offering, Fourfold Refuge, Four Immeasurable Vows and Repentance Practice), one is on the path of application.
The supermundane path starts from the path of seeing. Why is one on the supermundane path after one sees the path? Because one realizes that everything in the saha world is illusory. To summarize in a phrase, “Nothing can be gained.” One with this enlightenment is able to enter the bodhisattva path. When a practitioner has no worldly attachments and is free of worldly desires, the practitioner can begin cultivation of the supermundane path. One must realize that everything in life is temporary; one’s spouse, fame, and fortune are as evanescent as fleeting clouds.
The Chinese edition of Grandmaster’s Book 283, The Thoughts of a 70 Years Old Monk: Dharani of Seeing the Path (temporary translation), will soon be released! Please keep an eye out for it.
Translated by TBTTs
Translator: Lynn Ang
Editors: Henry Wolf and DJ Chang