A Dharma Teaching by His Holiness Rimay Gyalten Sogdzin Rinpoche

 

Section 18

 

The <- =- > 唵 啊 吽 OM  AH  HUNG Purification Practice

Instruction on a Practice of Concentration or Calm Abiding (Shinay or Shamatha) Meditation

 

As we may realize, we all have obscurations and negative karma. Therefore, we need to purify ourselves from these physical and mental obscurations and afflicting emotions.

First, we must cultivate the Mind of Enlightenment, or Bodhicitta. One way we can do that, no matter how difficult our situation may be, is to think, “I will do these Spiritual Practices and Virtuous Activities in order to achieve complete Enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings.”

Now I will teach you how to purify our Body, Speech and Mind through a meditation practice.

First, we must sit in a comfortable place and be completely relaxed. Let both our minds and bodies completely relaxed.

Just let the mind settle. Trust your mind to be what it is. Even if it is nothing, let it be nothing. And if it is something then let it be something! Rest relaxed in the natural state without attempting to alter anything.

Then we have to talk about the meditation posture and position. Remember that we should be comfortable in our meditation posture, we should not have serious discomfort or pain from our posture.

In general in Vajrayana, we have three types of meditation practice:

  1. Silent meditation, concentration, Shinay or Shamatha;
  2. Sutra chanting meditation;
  3. Mantra recitation and walking meditation.

Normally when we do Sadhana practice, we do all three of these. When we sit silently in meditation watching the breath, we are doing the first type of meditation, which quiets the thoughts. When we chant the sutra or sadhana, as we pay attention to the sound, the meaning and rhythm, we are concentrating on Virtuous activity, and avoiding non-virtue. As we recite the mantra over and over and we walk, Circumambulating a sacred image or space, we pay attention to just the present movement, one step at a time. This trains the mind towards peace and tolerance, cultivating the Six Paramitas, and avoiding the Six Poisons.

The Six Paramitas or Perfecting Accomplishments are

  1. Generosity or Giving,
  2. Morality or Ethics,
  3. Patience or Tolerance,
  4. Diligence or Effort,
  5. Meditative Absorption or Concentration, and
  6. Wisdom or Highest Awareness.

 

The Six Poisons are

  1. Attachment or Desire,
  2. Hatred or Anger,
  3. Pride or Ego,
  4. Jealousy or Envy,
  5. Ignorance, and
  6. Selfishness or Stinginess.

 

These three meditations, the Concentration meditation, Sutra chanting meditation, and Mantra recitation or walking meditation, help us train our mind to see its own perfect nature.

I will explain the position called the Seven-Point Meditation Position.

This position has been proven through thousands of years by great Masters and Yogis to be the best and most effective position for this type of meditation. But for a person not used to it, parts of it may not be too comfortable.

The most difficult part can be the sitting in cross-legged position. I ask that if you cannot do the Full-Lotus Position, then do the Half-Lotus Position, and if you cannot be relaxed or comfortable in the Half Lotus, then just sit in a position that is comfortable and stable. More people can sit in a loosely cross-legged posture with the feet beneath, but many people do not naturally have flexible joints, or may have some injuries or damage. So please do not be shy if you need to use a chair or find some other solution. I think that if you have difficulty with this, and want to improve, you should practice the more difficult postures a bit at a time, perhaps with doing some chores at home and standing up occasionally to loosen your muscles will make it easier. But for meditation practice, a level of comfort is best for good progress.

With this in mind, I will explain the Seven-Point Meditation Position, also known as the Seven Point Vairochana Position

    1. Sitting posture, preferably the Lotus position;
    2. The position of our back is straight but not tense, not too tight;
    3. The position of our shoulders is leaning back a little;
    4. The position of our hands: there are three methods,
      1. For general relaxation, our hands are in our laps, not too low, with the right hand in the left hand, palms up and the thumbs touching;
      2. For determination, our hands are flat, palms down, resting one hand on each knee.
      3. The Six Yogas of Naropa meditation hand position, which activates and frees the energy systems of the body, especially the Body Speech and Mind, each hand has the thumb touching the base of the ring finger, and the fingers closed firmly, not too tight, round the thumb, and the hand resting palm down on each knee.

Here we are using the first of these positions, our hands in our laps, not too low, about level with the tops of your thighs, with the wrists and arms resting on the tops of the thighs, with the right hand in the left hand, palms up and the thumbs touching.

    1. The position of our neck is slightly bent forward;
    2. The position of our eyes: there are three methods,
      1. Our eyes look down following the tip of our nose,
      2. Our eyes are gently closed,
      3. Our eyes look straight ahead, but very slightly lower than level or lower than the horizon.

For this meditation, all are acceptable.

  1. The position of our mouth and tongue, our mouth can be either closed, or just slightly open, so air can escape, as if you were saying softly the letter AH. The tongue is relaxed in a natural position, or it may be as taught by some Masters that, the tip of the tongue should lightly touch the area where the gums touch the upper front teeth on the roof of the mouth.

Now that we have an idea of a comfortable meditation position, we simply breathe out and breathe in and relax, and watch the breath without interfering. The traffic of our thoughts in our mind is always there. Just let the thoughts move, do not interfere or try to change anything, do not try to diminish anything, or try to increase anything. As we rest and watch the breath, the thoughts will dissolve on their own; they will diminish and dissolve to the earth, dissolve to space, and dissolve to the air. The mind will relax on its own, and become more peaceful and content.

For those who wish to really do meditation, it is crucial to understand this Tibetan saying, we must understand this Three-Point Instruction.

The saying goes,

  1. “Meditation is not meditation unless you make a habit of meditation, then it truly becomes meditation. When it, through habit, becomes meditation, it becomes the Ultimate Meditation!”
  2. “You have to spin the twisted yarn or string of the mind not too tight, and not too loose. Too tight it will be too hard and it will break, and too loose it will be too soft and it will break. When you find this balance of tightness, this becomes the Ultimate Meditation.”
  3. “If you do not stir water then it settles and remains clear, if you do not disturb the mind, it will settle and become peaceful and free. When you achieve this state, this is the Ultimate Meditation.*

 

The practice up to this point will definitely allow our mind to organize and stabilize itself, and this will allow us to gain peace, happiness, clarity and tranquility.

Now, the visualization of this meditation is quite simple; nevertheless, the results are very profound. With the proper motivation and diligence, I am sure that you will find this practice to be incredibly effective.

First we visualize a white OM at the Forehead.

Then we visualize a red AH at the Throat.

And then we visualize a blue HUNG at the Heart-Centre.

Then we will recite the mantra OM AH HUNG for three mala rounds, three rounds of 108 beads, for a total of three hundred and twenty four recitations.

During the First 108 recitations of OM AH HUNG, we visualize a white fire emanating from the white OM at our Forehead. As we watch this fire, it burns away all sickness, negative karma and the physical obscurations of the Body. When we have purified our body in this way, it is transformed into the absolutely pure Body of the Nirmanakaya.

During the Second 108 recitations of the mantra OM AH HUNG, we visualize a red fire emanating from the red AH at our Throat. This energy burns away all obscurations and negative karma that comes from Speech. When we have purified our speech it is transformed into the absolutely pure Wisdom Speech of the Sambhogakaya.

During the Third 108 recitations of the mantra OM AH HUNG, we visualize a blue fire emanating from the blue HUNG at our Heart-Centre and it grows to permeate and pervade our whole body in the fire. This fire burns away all our negative karma and obscurations of the Mind. When we have purified our mind in this way, it is transformed into the Enlightened or Awakened Mind that is the purified Mind of the Dharmakaya.

You can also do this practice by not reciting the OM AH HUNG for the three rounds, you can just sit quietly, visualize the Three Syllables at the Forehead, Throat and Heart-Centre, and visualize the purifying fire emanating from them, either in sequence or simultaneously, to totally purify your Body, Speech and Mind. This can be your daily meditation, for five minutes, 20 minutes, or half an hour, whatever is convenient for you.

Now we will rest in Meditation.

Now that we finish the meditation, the Three Syllables of the mantra, at our Forehead, our Throat and our Heart-Centre dissolve in order.

We visualize the white OM at our Forehead dissolving into the red AH at our Throat.

The red AH then dissolves into the blue HUNG at our Heart-Centre.

Finally the blue HUNG dissolves from bottom to top and disappears into Emptiness or infinite space. Now we are finished the visualization and meditation.

If we are not doing other practices that will include a dedication, to finish we should make a dedication of all merit and virtues for the benefit of all sentient beings, as we should do whenever we finish a practice or activity. Here are three wonderful ones that you can recite for a perfect dedication.

My most precious Guru, His Holiness Vajradhara 8th Drubgen Yizhin Norbu used to say these dedications,

 

May all beings be happy,

May all beings have peace,

May all beings be without suffering,

May all beings rest in perfect tranquility.

 

Let us love as the Buddha loves;

Let us help others as the Buddha helps others;

Let us give as freely as the Buddha gives;

Let us serve as the Buddha serves;

Let us rescue beings as the Buddha rescues beings;

Let us find the Buddha in each person we help.

 

May all beings limitless as space be healthy,

May their minds be free from trouble,

May their hearts be gentle and full of peace,

May they all be liberated and free from suffering.

 

I encourage you to try this purification meditation, and practice it as often as possible. Take some time, try it, and it will be beneficial. These instructions are quite straightforward, and I know that when you practice this meditation, you will discover that the results are very powerful!

 

©2020 His Holiness Gyalten Sogdzin Rinpoche Official Website.

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