Thursday, May 27, 2010

Free, Free, Set Them Free

So, then.

Today is Saga Dawa Duchen, and it is our shared belief that the effects of one's actions, positive or negative, are magnified ten million times on this day. Thus, if you need an excuse to do something positive, now you have one.

I have been thinking what we could do here to celebrate, and I have decided to reprint an item we ran a couple of years ago. I hope this inspires you to jump up from behind the computer, and run out to set some critters free. 

May it be auspicious.

When the Wind Moves Across the Grass:
A Perfectly Natural Reaction to the Cries of
Small Creatures of the Water, Air, and Earth


Freed from the idea that compassion is a deity;

Freed from the idea of a deity as an external being;

Freed from the idea of separate compassion;

We hear, and rapidly take careful notice of the cries of frightened beings throughout the six realms.

We think that we cannot bear to have them remain in fear for even one millisecond longer.

Like the wind moving across the grass, we express a perfectly natural reaction to their state, and offer them a self-created expanse of tranquility in which to approach.

With complete gentleness, we extend refuge, simultaneously releasing them into the freedom from all fear, assured that they will be reborn as humans, will hear the Dharma, and will reach enlightenment for the benefit of others.

Wasting no moment, with no thought of wisdom, and no time for method, we are confident of the spontaneously correct activity in which we engage together with the Buddhas of all times and directions.

Our minds melt into the minds of the suffering beings, bringing them solace, instantaneously setting them to rest. We do not pause to consider that we have done anything at all.

Do not ask how you will remember these words. When the wind moves over the grass, it is Buddha’s mercy remembering you.



Abbreviated Commentary

With this practice, we articulate the intention to help beings; we perform the action of helping beings; we are satisfied with the action we have performed; we dedicate the results of the action to others.

Line-by-Line Commentary

This arises and is defined primordially.

Freed from the idea that compassion is a deity;

We realize that compassion is not a deity, such as Chenrezigs for example. Chenrezigs is the deity of compassion, may embody, or personify compassion, and may evoke, or activate compassion. Nevertheless, although Chenrezigs is the essence of compassion, in the sense here, compassion is a naturally ever-present heart-stream.

Seeing a deity may signal the moment we fully enter the heart-stream, or when that stream enters us, but the deity neither defines nor delimits compassion. Rather, compassion defines the deity. Do you understand that the deity is but one expression of compassion, and that you are another?

Freed from the idea of a deity as an external being;

We realize that we are constantly abiding in a state beyond duality, where the forms of compassion no longer appear as gods or demons, separate from ourselves.

Freed from the idea of separate compassion;

We realize that compassion is not something we pick up and put down; we do not go to and from compassion.

Compassion is not something separate from us. If there is compassion, then it is right here, right now, and if there is to be an embodiment of compassion, then we are that embodiment.

The meaning of these three opening lines is that we do not go to somebody to do our compassionate work for us, because there is no “somebody” to approach.

Further, there is no “compassionate work” because compassion is not a “thing” or “status” we can use or not use, as the case may be. In fact, we are the compassion, and we are accepting the condition where other beings may come to us.

What we fundamentally admit is our recognition of the expressive character of realization inherent in the different states of “needing help” and “giving help.” We are saying that we leave our bewilderment and delusions behind in order to help other beings that urgently require our help. We become the very source of help.

We hear, and rapidly take careful notice of the cries of frightened beings throughout the six realms.

We are in the middle of emptiness, and we hear a cry for help. We cannot pretend we do not hear this. We cannot abdicate our responsibility to someone or something else.

What, precisely, is needed? It is not enough to merely hear the cry. We must also simultaneously apprehend the correct response.

Note that although this practice focuses upon fish, birds, animals, insects, and so forth, we also encompass beings of the other realms.

We think that we cannot bear to have them remain in fear for even one millisecond longer.

The clock is ticking and the situation seems grave. Our sense of obligation does not permit us to just stand there, wringing our hands, agonizing about what to do.

Like the wind moving across the grass, we express a perfectly natural reaction to their state, and offer them a self-created expanse of tranquility in which to approach.
Here is the heart of this practice; this moment fuels this practice. There is no more time for the neurotic fantasy of Samsara versus Nirvana, or what we do or do not understand.

There is no more time for the agitated game of enlightened or not enlightened.

We cannot run home and ask our big brother to come help.

Plainly speaking, we must kick ourselves out of the entire equation, stop being lazy and stupid, and actually become something useful to others.

I suddenly throw a ball at you, and I say, “Look sharp!”

You will not sit there thinking, “I wish I was a professional ballplayer. Then I could really catch this ball.”

You will not sit there thinking, “I better get somebody over here to help me catch this ball.”

Without thinking, you reach up your hand and catch the ball before it hits you on the nose. That is a perfectly natural reaction.

In this case, our obligation is to stop threatening the immediate environment, and instead allow our ever-present bodhicitta to become perfectly accessible to others. We accomplish this instantaneously, by effortlessly relaxing into the state of equipoise that is always available to us.

With complete gentleness, we extend refuge, simultaneously releasing them into the freedom from all fear, assured that they will be reborn as humans, will hear the Dharma, and will reach enlightenment for the benefit of others.
This is where we grow up. We hear beings crying for refuge. We do not say, “Please wait, let me go get the Buddha, or the Rinpoche, and then he will give you refuge.” We are now a source of refuge and we must act accordingly.

Wasting no moment, with no thought of wisdom, and no time for method, we are confident of the spontaneously correct activity in which we engage together with the Buddhas of all times and directions.
We must be immediately and supremely confident that the continuous activity of the Buddhas includes our activity. We cannot mire ourselves in discursiveness. Whatever we do, we must strongly do.

Our minds melt into the minds of the suffering beings, bringing them solace, instantaneously setting them to rest.
We enjoin a state of complete empathy, becoming indivisible with those we seek to help. We comfort them and believe they come to rest.

We do not pause to consider that we have done anything at all.
We immediately transfer any merit gained by our thoughts and actions to the welfare of all sentient beings. We do not pause to consider that we have done anything special or extraordinary.

Do not ask how you will remember these words. When the wind moves over the grass, it is Buddha’s mercy remembering you.
This is how the deity communicates.

In this context, the buddhas and bodhisattvas of all times and directions descend into the minds of the sentient beings.

Extended Commentary

Below, I discuss certain elements of the framework of practice in classical terms, i.e. comparing all sentient beings to one's parents. This is how it has been evoked for centuries: this is the traditional exposition.

Yet--- and I have briefly touched on this elsewhere--- I do recognize that many westerners fancy themselves to experience great difficulty using the memory of their parents to rouse bodhicitta. In fact, many westerners believe this to be a "uniquely western" circumstance, and demand that lamas make all sorts of accommodations. However, I would like to point out that this is not a peculiarly or uniquely western situation. For example: in Tibet, it was not uncommon to wrench youngsters from their parents at a very early age and send them off to the monastery. Many of these children -- some as young as five or six -- never saw their parents again. As they became older, they would of course hear these comparisons and they would think, "I don't even know my mother. How can I equate my experience of my mother with my feelings toward all sentient beings." More often than not, these were private thoughts -- in the old days one didn't have the luxuries one has now: one didn't confront teachers or go strutting about, mouthing off. Tibetan monasteries were not democratic institutions, you know?

In recent years, I have come to understand that a seemingly large number of people have very conflicted feelings about their parents. I have been absolutely astounded to hear stories about parental abuse. These things are so foreign to my own experience that I confess I was shocked. I simply had no frame of reference.

I do not think it is useful to avoid these feelings. It would seem that many people are still struggling with issues of forgiveness, and that their struggle is clouding their understanding of bodhicitta. So, I think one should confront these issues head on, and come to some sort of emotional resolution as quickly as possible. I recognize that this is not necessarily a "quick" process, but I still think a certain speed is essential. It is a medical certainty that people who exercise forgiveness live longer, healthier lives than those who do not or cannot.

In a worst-case scenario, let us assume that you were abused by a parent, and now you don't know how to grip the unconscious aspects of the experience. You may have intellectualized the conscious aspects, but the unconscious aspects keep evading you. For example: you may have a particularly disturbed or suspicious thought process around the holidays. You may be playing the perfect host, or hostess, but something comes up to throw you off.

Holidays in your childhood may have been a nightmare of drunken beatings. You may be overtly attempting to rectify this by making your own version of the holidays picture perfect, but something always comes up to throw you off. Maybe you, yourself, have begun drinking. Maybe you, yourself, are unconsciously seeking to return to the chaos in order to fix it. Maybe you are unconsciously and continually seeking cathartic episodes -- like the ones in your childhood -- simply because that is your only experience with love or what passes for love. So, you are covertly derailing what you are overtly trying to fix.

Please look at an image of Padmasambhava, or of your teacher, or of your yidam. I can assure you that you are loved unconditionally. I can absolutely promise you this. There is no mistake. Somewhere in this universe, you are loved unconditionally. What you must do is learn to gradually exchange your experience of broken love for this other love -- this unconditional love that is continually being offered to you by all the buddhas and bodhisattvas of the ten directions.

People usually take one of two approaches to an injury. Either they say, "I'm going to find a way to help others who have received, or are about to receive this injury," or they become quite cold and callous. In the case of parental abuse, this is insidious, because the childhood coping mechanism may include withdrawal, or the deadening of one's emotions.

So, along with the exchange of experience -- or "replacing memory" -- there is the additional task of confronting the experiences head on and putting them to good use.

Thus, if your mother beat you without mercy in a drunken rage, brought sailors home to join in the horror, and if you simply cannot work up any family feeling for her at all, then try thinking that all sentient beings have, at one time or another, experienced like and similar abuse. Try thinking that the poor creatures in front of you have been abused, and that it is likely they will be abused again --- it is likely they will be killed -- but, because they have met you, they have the opportunity to experience something beneficial.

They have this opportunity because you are a Buddhist, and in some respects, that makes you a messenger of that unconditional love of which I spoke earlier.

I want to add that, as time goes by, you will stop being the messenger and you will become the message.

To do otherwise is to become that thing you find it difficult to forgive.

I am always praying for your happiness.

Framework of Practice

As an example, we consider a live turtle in a market. Because the cycle of existence is unfathomably broad, this turtle was our mother at one time or another.

While it is true that our fathers cared for us by working to supply necessities, or teaching us various things, it is equally true that our mothers carried us within their own bodies, enduring pain and suffering for our benefit.

After giving birth, still weak from exertion and loss of blood, our mothers gladly fed us from their bodies. Thereafter, they gently cleansed us of urine and excrement when we soiled ourselves. When we consider how unselfishly our mothers have loved us, tears fall at the sight of our helpless mother struggling in a terrifying environment.

Insensitive hands roughly throw our mothers into a filthy tank with but an inch of stale water; she is surrounded by dozens of others who have equally been our mothers.

There is no food.

Their fate seems certain.

They either will die in this tank—of injury, starvation, shock, or asphyxiation—or be killed for food. Some lucky ones will have their heads chopped off. Most will be thrown alive into boiling water. As their skin burns, the salt in the water increases the pain of their wounds. They die in utter agony, amid the callous laughter and idle chatter of beings who care nothing of their torment.

Our mother does not know what is happening to her. She is wracked with uncertainty and anxiety. She feels pain, hunger, and fear. She cannot communicate these feelings to anything or anybody. She wishes to escape, to find a place of safety, far from the threatening sounds, sights, and smells.

A hand belonging to a being she is powerless to fight reaches in and lifts her from the tank. She cannot prevent this from happening. She is placed in a container, and taken into a vehicle. She struggles frantically, to no avail.

The experience is foreign to her normal life. The last time this happened, she wound up in the hellish tank. There, at least, others of her own species surrounded her. Now, she is utterly alone.

Our mother’s suffering becomes horribly intense, but suddenly her sensory experience changes.

Suddenly, instead of frightening sounds, she hears a strangely soothing sound.

Suddenly, instead of frightening smells, she detects a familiar odor.

Suddenly, she is gently released back into customary waters.

For the moment, her intense suffering is relieved and she is able to return to her normal, instinctual behavior.

Knowing the suffering experienced by our mothers, who have shown us such loving kindness, why would we prolong her experience one moment longer than necessary with abstract ritual?

I have seen many live release ceremonies—involving thousands of water creatures for example—where the beings are kept waiting in foam boxes, under the sun.

People pose for photographs; famous lamas chant sutras; people congratulate themselves for behaving as great bodhisattvas; then they dump the creatures into the water like garbage. Why do we do this? Why would we even hesitate to release beings with the greatest possible haste and care?

No matter what our intention, no matter the power of this mantra or that sutra, temporal ease will reach beings no more quickly than the time it takes to immediately return them to their natural habitat.

That should be our first priority. If we want to say prayers or mantras, we can do this on the way to the release site. This might make the beings more comfortable during transport. However, once at the release site, we should gently set them free without fanfare or delay. If you are going to do something, then just do it!

Please understand there are circumstances where you hurt beings rather than help them. I once saw two people from a temple, throwing turtles into the water like stones. They were having a contest to see who could throw the farthest. What is this?

In Thailand, where Buddhism is the state religion, many people want to release turtles into various rivers.

Unfortunately, some of these rivers are so polluted, the turtles frantically try to crawl out once they have been set free. People are standing on the bank throwing them back in. This forced the Royal Thai Police to go around to all the temples and arrest the people who sell turtles to other people who wish to gain merit.

In one California lake, another circumstance occurred, and I confess my own involvement.

Nearby, there is a notorious Chinese market selling live turtles. I used to visit this market every other week, buy as many turtles as I could possibly afford, and then go turn them loose in the lake at the local park. On alternate weeks, I would purchase prepared turtle food, and go back to the lake.

I was not the only one. Many other Buddhists in the region did the same, with the result that this lake became home to thousands of turtles. The problem was, not everyone thought to bring food. The turtles were hungry, and hungry turtles become aggressive to other species.

As the turtle population multiplied, an ecological crisis developed, ultimately causing the authorities to drain the lake and relocate all the turtles.

The point is to use common sense, and genuine care, thinking about what you do before you do it. You are releasing creatures back to their natural habitat for one reason only: to save their lives. Do not do something that might hurt them, or another species, simply because you view your acts in a vacuum.

We want to stress “natural habitat.” I release all sorts of creatures: birds, insects, reptiles, and so forth. I am always careful to put them in areas where they are native. This is quite important, so this is something you should research beforehand.

Questions and Answers

question: How do we use this text?

rinpoche: Memorize the prayer When the Wind Moves Across the Grass, and then recite it mentally as you release creatures. This reminds you what you are doing, how you are doing it, and why you are doing it. This becomes a fully formed intention. When you follow this intention with action, you create a particular result.

question: Can we say the prayer out loud? Is there any benefit?

rinpoche: There could be. If the objective is to help the creatures, and if you are sure they will hear you, then you should end by saying om mani padme hum six times.

They must be able to hear you. I am not certain that fish can hear if they are not in the water. I am not certain some insects “hear” the way we might suppose. However, the mantra will reach them on subtle levels.

Another method is to recite the mantra and then blow over water, which you keep in a water pot. You can then pour the water over the creatures. This method works in the same way the prayer works, so really, the choice is yours.

question: What other mantras are good for animals to hear?

rinpoche: The 100 syllable mantra of Vajrasattva, without question. This mantra leaves an extraordinarily powerful imprint. The Medicine Buddha mantra is also quite powerful.

In addition, you can use the essence mantra of Amitabha. There is Namgyalma’s essence mantra: om dhrum soha om amrita ayur dade soha. Some authorities recommend the Wish-Granting Wheel: om padmo ushnisha vimale hum phet.

Whenever I encounter any creature, I always repeat the essence mantra of Avalokitesvara, om mani padme hum, six times. This is what my teacher taught me to do.

question: When I go to the market, I see so many beings. I cannot afford to buy all of them. How do I pick which ones to save?

rinpoche: It is a mistake to discriminate between the beings based on, “Oh, this one looks so sad,” or “This one looks so cute.” Just take whatever you see first. Do not let your personality become involved. Take them at random.

question: What does this prayer work with? When do we use it?

rinpoche: You use this prayer mentally—this prayer becomes what you are thinking as you carry out the activity of releasing the creatures. You can use this with any animals, fish, reptiles, birds, insects, or what have you. The prayer imprints your mind, so to speak, and through you, the minds of others.

question: How many times should we repeat the prayer?

rinpoche: Once is enough. If you like, you can begin repeating this prayer when you first see the creatures, and continue up to the point you release them.

question: Do we only use this prayer when we are actively releasing animals?

rinpoche: You can use it any time, to bring peace to beings of other realms. You can visualize great clouds of beings eased by your compassionate intention.

question: Will this prayer “release” ghosts?

rinpoche: I believe it will. Most people are afraid of ghosts, but actually, ghosts are afraid of people. Releasing ghosts from their fear is a valid activity.

question: How does this prayer work?

rinpoche: It is important to make yourself as calm as possible, to become the thing the creatures are seeking.

There is also another aspect, similar to riding a horse. If you are nervous, the horse becomes anxious. He becomes anxious because he wonders what he is missing. He feels your fear and he wonders what you see that he does not.

The other thing is empathy. There have been times in your life when you wished somebody could make things stop hurting. Become that “somebody” for others.

This is a deceptively simple practice, but it is actually quite profound. In many cases, you can use your own unhappiness, grief, or sorrow to awake your feelings of compassion for others.

question: Do animals read our minds?

rinpoche: In a way, they certainly do. This does not mean they are clairvoyant. In order to survive, animals become adept at reading intentions. Animals perceive intentions rather more clearly than we do sometimes.

question: Should we think about what happens to the creatures after we release them?

rinpoche: You should think about this before you release them! Do not take them out of the frying pan and put them in the fire.

question: You end the prayer with a line about not thinking we have done anything. I do not understand what this means.
rinpoche: Many people engage in this practice with the idea of extending their own life, overcoming illness, gaining merit, and so forth. Since we are giving all the merit of our action away to others, it is as if we have done nothing at all. It also means we have not done enough; that we should do more. There are other, deeper levels of meaning, but I think this is enough.

question: I have heard long ceremonies, with different mantras. What should we know about these other prayers? What do you recommend?
rinpoche: There is the Amrita of Love, by His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama. This is actually a compilation of Mipham Rinpoche’s The Glorious Gift of Longevity and Granting All Desires: A Liturgy for Saving Lives, and the First Dodrupchen Rinpoche’s Ladder to the Realm of Bliss: A Liturgy that Plants the Seed of Liberation in Animals. This is excellent.

In a sense, Dodrupchen’s blessings are flowing from the great Jigme Lingpa—who made a lifelong practice of protecting animals. He once bought an entire mountain just to protect the bees from being disturbed. So, you might also want to read Jigme Lingpa’s parable, The Hunted Deer: The Messenger of Renunciation. This is a beautifully written cautionary tale that many people feel is germane to the practice of freeing creatures.

Next, there is Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo’s Increasing Life and Prosperity: A Method for Freeing Lives. There is also the approach given in Jamgon Kontrul Lodro Thaye’s The Essence of Benefit and Joy: A Method for the Saving of Lives. This is also quite popular.

Then there is the great Chatral Sangye Dorje Rinpoche, who wrote down Thang-tong Gyalpo’s Aspiration Prayer for the Liberation of Fish. He also wrote The Benefits of Saving Lives, among others.

These are just a few examples. There are hundreds of others. I think the message is clear: if so many realized masters think releasing creatures is important, maybe we should investigate why.

question: Do the animals know anything special is happening?

rinpoche: They certainly do. To again use turtles as an example, they will actually thank you. Turtles will swim away, but then they will turn around and nod their heads three times.

Perhaps they do three turtle prostrations this way. I have seen this happen many, many times. So has Tulku Pema Wangyal, and he has written about this.

Often, birds will thank you by flying away and then returning to fly around you. Sometimes the birds will come back to your hand.

I have also seen rabbits run for a bit, then stop, turn around, and bow their heads.

question: Should we release our pets?

rinpoche: In general, I do not think so. Our pets are not in danger and live without worry. While it is true they are not free, it is equally true they are well loved and cared for. They have come to rely on a human for food and water, so if we release them, they may not be able to care for themselves.

I recognize there are so many pets that some of them are neglected, and wind up in shelters. If nobody adopts them, the shelters kill them. Here is a case where we should adopt them rather than setting them free.

question: Do you keep pets?
rinpoche: I am unreasonably attached to rabbits.

question: You talk about small animals, but what about large animals?

rinpoche: This is a very good question. If you ever visited a slaughterhouse, you would want to do something immediately. I visited the slaughterhouse in Manila, many years ago, and the images are still in my mind. I saw dead piglets, torn out of their mother’s womb, lying in the gutter. I saw a buffalo killed with a short knife driven into its brain. The butchers were already disemboweling the animal before it hit the ground. A visit to the slaughterhouse is a good teaching.

There is a problem with releasing large animals. In India, for example, you can get away with freeing cattle. In the United States, there is no way to do this. You would be arrested and charged with animal cruelty if you tried. Therefore, you have to think carefully about the best way to accomplish your altruistic purpose.

There are large animal shelters, but there is no way they can accommodate the volume of large animals that need to be rescued. Where can we put them? In the American West, some wealthy ranchers open their ranches as sanctuaries, but this takes an enormous commitment.

question: How does becoming vegetarian, or not using animal products fit into all this?

rinpoche: The argument usually goes something like this: if we all stop eating meat, nobody will kill animals for meat, and animals will not be afraid. This ignores the simple fact that animals kill each other.

Mankind has been domesticating animals for their flesh for over 9,000 years that we can prove by archaeological means. Animals have been killing each other for as long as we can imagine. This is part of the karma of being an animal.

It is a wonderful idea to stop eating fish, birds, and the flesh of land animals. There are substantial health benefits. In addition, instead of leather shoes, belts, and hand-bags, you can wear man-made materials. This makes a statement.

These are demand issues. In the industrialized nations, on the supply side, there is always a surplus of animal products. By the time these products reach us, that surplus has already been declared. Whether these creatures should die in vain becomes an equally valid question.

I believe we must decide these issues individually, according to our own understanding. For example: merely becoming a vegetarian does not guarantee anything. Millions of beings are killed during the course of vegetable cultivation. Every time you take an antibiotic, millions of beings are killed.

In another example, I once knew a rather confused old monk who adamantly refused to allow meat products on his property—which he thought of as some sort of religious institution—yet he everywhere set out traps to kill mice, and kept electrical devices to kill flies. He also refused to put a bell on his pet cat, which killed everything that moved. Visitors in residence were forced to walk across the street to warm their canned chicken soup on a camp stove, only to witness the old monk’s blithe nonchalance when his cat tormented and killed small creatures.

In the sutras, I believe Buddha states that the eating of meat is permissible in five circumstances: (1) flesh of an animal we do not see killed, (2) flesh of an animal we do not hear killed, (3) flesh of an animal that was not killed for our sake, (4) flesh of an animal that died by itself, and (5) flesh left after others have scavenged. The concept is that these five kinds of meat are a type of transformation, devoid of any life force. Elsewhere, however, I believe the Buddha gives advice against wearing silk, leather boots, furs, and goose down, or consuming milk, cream, and butter. The idea is that when you wear something taken from a living creature, or consume something taken from a living creature, you create karmic conditions bonding you with that living creature. This advice concerns fully ordained monks, but you get the general idea.

I believe we have to be flexible. We cannot go around telling people what to do. We cannot be didactic. We cannot coerce people. Throwing red paint on a woman wearing a mink coat, or ramming a whaling boat on the high seas seems terribly romantic. However, the long-term results are questionable. We need to find a middle ground, between extremes, and then lead by example.

Speaking personally, I would be happier if fewer beings were killed for human consumption. This includes beings of the land, sea, and air.

question: What about breaking in laboratories to rescue animals?

rinpoche: Violence just breeds violence. The use of animals in laboratories seems reprehensible, but the best we can do is educate people.

For example: blinding rabbits to test cosmetics for women is unconscionable.

Nevertheless, we will not accomplish the goal of educating people if we anger them by breaking into their laboratories.

If we have the opportunity, we can adopt the laboratory animals whenever possible, and then show them love. However, this is a delicate matter. In some cases, the laboratory animals are bodhisattvas who have deliberately chosen this form in order to use their bodies for the benefit of others.

question: I am not a Buddhist. Do you have to be Buddhist to set animals free?

rinpoche: No, you do not. If you like, you can visualize yourself working together with Saint Francis, and believe that all the creatures will go to heaven. You can even visualize yourself as Saint Francis. I am sure Saint Francis would not mind. After all, he visualized himself as Saint Francis and it apparently worked quite well.

question: Are the benefits of doing this somewhat exaggerated, just so people will do something good?

rinpoche: To avoid killing creatures is within the ability of any gentle person. To protect lives, rescue the helpless, and free beings from fear is the business of bodhisattvas.

question: If that is true, why don’t we free condemned prisoners?
rinpoche: Why not?

Another Brief Method

Here is another approach that has the benefit of being fast. The creatures do not need to be inconvenienced any more than is minimally necessary. This comes from the Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.

Refuge and Bodhicitta:
sang gye chö dang tshok kyi chok nam la. jang chup bar du dak ni kyap su chi. dak gi jin sok gyi pay sö nam kyi . dro la phen chir sang gye drup par shok.
(Recite three times)
Until I reach enlightenment, I take refuge in the Buddha,
In the Dharma, and the noble Sangha.
Through the merit of accomplishing the six perfections,
May I achieve awakening for the benefit of all sentient beings

Prayer of Praise to Chenrazig:
jo wo kyön gyi ma gö ku dok kar,
dzok sang gye kyi u la gyen,
thuk jey chen gyi dro la zik,
chen re zik la chak tshal lo.
(Recite three times)
Lord, not touched by any fault, white in color,
Whose head a perfect Buddha crowns,
Gazing compassionately on all beings,
To you, Chenrazig, I prostrate.

om mani pame hum
(repeatedly, while releasing animals)

sö nam di yi tham che zik pa nyi.
thop ne nye pay dra nam pam je ne.
kye ga na chi ba lap thruk pa yi,
si pay tsho le dro wa dröl war shok.
By this merit may all attain omniscience.
May it defeat the enemy, wrongdoing.
From the stormy waves of birth, old age, sickness and death,
From the ocean of samsara, may I free all beings.

jam pal pa wö ji tar khyen pa dang,
kön tu zang po de yan de zhin te,
de dak kün gyi je su dak lop ching ,
ge wa di dak tham che rap tu ngo.
The courageous Manjushri, knows everything as it is,
Samantabhadra, who also knows in the same way,
And all the bodhisattvas – that I may follow in their path,
I completely dedicate all this virtue.

Copyright (c) 2007, 2008, 2010 by Tulku Urgyan Tenpa Rinpoche. All rights reserved.

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1 reader comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this, and all of your posts. I wanted to say thought provoking, but for me it's more like heart-inspiring. I also enjoy the astro for the week, the original reason i found your blog.
thanks for the generosity and time spent. all the best,p