New Year’s Vajrasattva Retreat

Friday, December 29-Sunday, January 1

Vajrasattva’s purification practice is a powerful way to release mistakes of the past and step forward into the future with a good motivation and clear mind.

Suitable for beginners and experienced practitioners. Learn more about the Vajrasattva practice.

You must be registered to join the Zoom discussion on Saturday. Complete this registration form.

All Abbey programs are offered freely and your offerings are welcomed. Donate here.

Materials

Vajrasattva Retreat Schedule (Pacific Time) and Links

Friday
5:00-6:30 pm Teachings with Venerable Sangye Khadro (on YouTube)
Saturday and Sunday
5:30-7:00 am Meditation practice (on Zoom)
8:00-9:30 am Teachings with Ven. Sangye Khadro (on YouTube)
10:00-10:50 am Guided Meditation (on Zoom)
1:30-3:00 pm Discussion Groups (on Zoom)
3:30-4:45 pm Teachings with Ven. Thubten Jigme (on YouTube)
Monday
5:30-7:00 am Meditation practice (on Zoom)
8:00-9:30 am Teachings with Ven. Sangye Khadro (on YouTube)
10:00-10:50 am Guided Meditation (on Zoom)

Vajrasattva Retreat Recitations

5:30 am Session Morning mantras text

Multiplying mantra

om sambhara sambhara bimana sara maha dzawa hung/ om mara mara bimana kara maha dzawa hung

The Parinata-cakra-sutra says that if this is recited seven times, whatever virtuous actions you do that day will be multiplied by 100,000.

Blessing the rosary

om rutsira mani prawa taya hum

In the Palace of Vast Jewels, it says to recite this seven times and then blow on the rosary to increase the power of subsequent recitations.

Blessing the feet

om kraytsara ghana hum hri soha

Reciting this three times and then spitting on the soles of your feet helps any living creature that dies beneath your feet that day to be reborn in the God Realm of the Thirty-three.

Blessing the speech

To the Three Jewels I go for refuge. May I become Buddha for the benefit of migrating beings. (3x)

I am the deity. On my tongue from an AH comes a moon disc. On it is a white OM. Around that are the white Sanskrit vowels standing clockwise. Around that are the red Sanskrit consonants standing anticlockwise. Around that are the blue syllables of the heart of dependent arising mantra, standing clockwise. Visualizing this, I recite these in succession, beginning with the innermost.

Sanskrit vowels: om a a i i u u ri ri li li e ai o au am ah soha (3x)

Sanskrit consonants: om ka kha ga gha nga/ cha chha ja jha nya/ tra thra dra dhra nra/ ta tha da dha na/ pa pha ba bha ma/ ya ra la wa/ sha shha sa ha ksha soha (3x) (3x)

Heart of Dependent Arising: om ye dharma haytu prabhava haytunte shan tatagato hyawadat/ teshan tsayo nirodha ewam wadi maha shramanaye soha (3x)

(Phenomena arise from causes; those causes have been taught by the Tathagata, and their cessation, too, has been proclaimed by the Great Renunciate.)

Light from the OM and the mantra garlands summons inspiring powers of speech, worldly and supermundane, in the form of the three mantras, the seven perfect royal treasures, and the eight auspicious signs. These dissolve into the OM and the mantra garlands. Then the Heart of Dependent Arising mantra dissolves into the Sanskrit consonants, that into the Sanskrit vowels, that into the OM, and that into the moon disc. This transforms into an AH, which melts into white and red nectar and dissolves into the tongue, making it the nature of vajra.

Here’s the audio.

Vajrasattva Meditation Practice

Vajrasattva Purification

The Power of Reliance: Taking Refuge and Generating Bodhicitta

Visualize a few inches above your head an open white lotus upon which is a moon disc. Vajrasattva is seated upon this. His body is made of white light and adorned with beautiful ornaments and clothes of celestial silk. His two hands are crossed at his heart; the right holds a vajra, the left holds a bell.* At his heart is a moon disc with the seed syllable HUM at its center and the letters of Vajrasattva’s hundred-syllable mantra standing clockwise around its edge.

Holding this visualization clearly in your mind, contemplate and recite three times:

I take refuge in the Three Jewels. I will liberate all sentient beings and lead them to awakening. Thus, I perfectly generate the mind dedicated to attaining awakening for the benefit of all sentient beings.

The Power of Regret

Review harmful physical, verbal, and mental actions you have done, both those you can remember and those you created in previous lives but cannot recall. Generate deep regret for having done these. Have a strong wish to be free from their suffering results and to avoid causing harm to others and yourself in the future.

Seeing Vajrasattva as a combination of the wisdom and compassion of all the Buddhas and as your own wisdom and compassion in fully developed form, make this request:

“O Bhagavan Vajrasattva, please clear away all negative karma and obscurations of myself and all living beings and purify all degenerated and broken commitments.”

The Power of Remedial Action

From the HUM at Vajrasattva’s heart, light radiates in all directions, requesting the Buddhas to bestow their inspiration. They accept the request and send white rays of light and nectar, the essence of which is the knowledge of their body, speech, and mind. The light and nectar absorb into the HUM and the letters of the mantra at Vajrasattva’s heart. They then fill his entire body, enhancing the magnificence of his appearance and increasing the brilliance of the mantra.

While reciting the mantra, visualize that white rays of light and nectar stream continuously from the HUM and mantra at Vajrasattva’s heart. They flow down through the crown of your head and fill every cell of your body and mind with infinite bliss. Recite the mantra at least 21 times, and more if possible:

om vajrasattva samaya manu palaya/ vajrasattva deno patita/ dido may bhawa/ suto kayo may bhawa/ supo kayo may bhawa/ anu rakto may bhawa/ sarwa siddhi mempar yatsa/ sarwa karma su tsa may/ tsitam shriyam kuru hum/ ha ha ha ha ho/ bhagawan/ sarwa tatagata/ vajra ma may mu tsa/ vajra bhawa maha samaya sattva/ ah hum pey

If you have not yet memorized the long mantra, or if you are pressed for time, you may recite the short mantra:

om vajrasattva hum

While reciting either of the mantras, continue to visualize the flow of light and nectar, and perform the following four visualizations alternately:

Purification of body. Your afflictions and negativities in general, and particularly those of the body, take the form of black ink. Sickness takes the form of pus and blood and disturbances caused by spirits appear in the form of scorpions, snakes, frogs, and crabs. Flushed out by the light and nectar, they leave your body through the lower openings, like filthy liquid flowing from a drainpipe. Feel completely empty of these problems and negativities; they no longer exist anywhere.

Purification of speech. Your afflictions and the latencies of negativities of speech take the form of liquid tar. The light and nectar fill your body as water fills a dirty glass: the negativities, like the dirt, rise to the top and flow out though the upper openings of your body—your eyes, ears, mouth, and nose. Feel completely empty of these negativities; they are gone forever.

Purification of mind. Your afflictions and the latencies of mental negativities appear as darkness at your heart. When struck by the forceful stream of light and nectar, the darkness instantly vanishes. It is like turning a light on in a room: the darkness does not go anywhere; it simply ceases to exist. Feel that you are completely empty of all of these negativities: they are non-existent.

Simultaneous purification. Do the three above visualizations simultaneously. This sweeps away the subtle obscurations that prevent you from seeing correctly all that exists. Feel completely free of these obscurations.

The Power of Determination

Take refuge in Vajrasattva:

“Through ignorance and delusion I have broken and degenerated my commitments. O spiritual master, be my protector and refuge. Lord, Holder of the Vajra, endowed with great compassion, in you, the foremost of beings, I take refuge.”

Then make the determination: “I shall do my best not to do these destructive actions again in the future.”

Vajrasattva is extremely pleased and says, “My spiritual child of the essence, all your negativities, obscurations, and degenerated vows have now been completely purified.”

With delight, Vajrasattva melts into light and dissolves into you. Your body, speech, and mind become inseparable from Vajrasattva’s holy body, speech, and mind. Concentrate on this.

Dedication

Due to this merit may we soon
Attain the awakened state of Vajrasattva
That we may be able to liberate
All sentient beings from their sufferings.

May the precious bodhi mind
Not yet born arise and grow.
May that born have no decline,
But increase forever more.

 

Explanation of the mantra

Om: the qualities of the Buddha’s holy body, speech, and mind; all that is auspicious and of great value.

Vajrasattva: the being who has the wisdom of inseparable bliss and emptiness.

Samaya: a pledge that cannot be transgressed.

Manupalaya: lead me along the path you took to awakening.

Vajrasattva deno patita: make me abide closer to Vajrasattva’s vajra holy mind.

Dido may bhawa: please grant me the ability to have a firm and stable realization of the ultimate nature of phenomena.

Suto kayo may bhawa: please have the nature of being extremely pleased with me.

Supo kayo may bhawa: may I be in the nature of well-developed great bliss.

Anu rakto may bhawa: please have the nature of the love that leads me to your state.

Sarwa siddhi mempar yatsa: please grant me all powerful attainments.

Sarwa karma sutsa may: please grant me all virtuous actions.

Tsitam shriyam kuru: please grant me your glorious qualities. 

Hum: the vajra holy mind.

Ha ha ha ha ho: the five transcendental wisdoms**

Bhagawan: one who has destroyed every obscuration, attained all realizations, and has passed beyond suffering.

Sarwa Tatagata: all those who have gone into the realization of emptiness, knowing things just as they are

Vajra: inseparable, indestructible.

Ma may mu tsa: do not abandon me.

Vajra bhawa: the nature of inseparability.

Mahasamaya sattva: the great being who has the pledge, the vajra holy mind.

Ah: the vajra holy speech.

Hum: the transcendental wisdom of great bliss.

Pey: clarifies the transcendental wisdom of inseparable bliss and emptiness and destroys the dualistic mind that obstructs that.

Summary of the meaning of the mantra

O great being whose holy mind is in the indestructible nature of all the Buddhas, having destroyed every obscuration, attained all realizations and passed beyond all suffering, the one gone to the realization of things just as they are, do not forsake me. Please make me closer to your vajra holy mind, and grant me the ability to realize the ultimate nature of phenomena. Please help me to realize great bliss. Lead me to your state, and grant me all powerful attainments. Please bestow upon me all virtuous actions and glorious qualities.

* The vajra symbolizes great bliss and the bell represents the wisdom realizing emptiness. Together, they signify his attainment of awakening, the inseparable unity of the truth body and the form body of a Buddha. Vajrasattva may also be depicted with his right hand holding a vajra at his heart and his left hand holding a bell in his lap.

** The five transcendental wisdoms are:  mirror-like wisdom, equalizing wisdom, discriminating wisdom, all-accomplishing wisdom, wisdom of the sphere of reality.

Monastic Mind Motivation

Monastic Mind Motivation

Having a “monastic mind” benefits our Dharma practice whether we are monastics or lay practitioners.
A monastic mind is one that is humble, imbued with the Buddhist worldview, dedicated to cultivating mindfulness, clear knowing, love, compassion, wisdom, and other good qualities.

Being mindful of the kindness I have received from all sentient beings, I will relate to them with patience, kindness, and compassion.
I will be mindful of my precepts and values and will cultivate clear knowing of my thoughts and feelings, as well as how I speak and act.
I will take care to act and speak at suitable times and in appropriate ways, abandoning idle talk and disruptive movements.
With respect for others and confidence in my good qualities, I will be humble and easy for others to speak to.
In all these activities, I will endeavor to remember impermanence and the emptiness of inherent existence and to act with bodhicitta.

8 am Session - Recitations before & after teachings

Before Teachings

Refuge and Bodhicitta

I take refuge until I have awakened in the Buddhas, the Dharma and the Sangha.
By the merit I create by engaging in generosity and the other far-reaching practices,
may I attain Buddhahood in order to benefit all sentient beings.  (3x)

The Four Immeasurables

May all sentient beings have happiness and its causes.
May all sentient beings be free of suffering and its causes.
May all sentient beings not be separated from sorrowless bliss.
May all sentient beings abide in equanimity, free of bias, attachment and anger.

After Teachings

Dedication of Merit

Due to this merit may we soon
Attain the awakened state of Vajrasattva,
That we may be able to liberate
All sentient beings from their sufferings.

May the precious bodhi mind
Not yet born arise and grow.
May that born have no decline,
But increase forever more.

3:30 pm Session - Recitations before & after teachings

Before Teachings

Refuge and Bodhicitta

I take refuge until I have awakened in the Buddhas, the Dharma and the Sangha.
By the merit I create by engaging in generosity and the other far-reaching practices,
may I attain Buddhahood in order to benefit all sentient beings.  (1x)

After Teachings

Dedication of Merit

Due to this merit may we soon
Attain the awakened state of Vajrasattva,
That we may be able to liberate
All sentient beings from their sufferings.

May the precious bodhi mind
Not yet born arise and grow.
May that born have no decline,
But increase forever more.

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