In the ninth in a Buddhist practice video series, “Advice from the Teachers”, the Venerable Acharya Zasep Tulku Rinpoche, Spiritual Head of Gaden for the West Centers, answers a student’s question [play video below]:
What advice do you have for advanced students for their daily practice when they are too busy? Can you merge practices to simplify?
[Transcript below video]
Background: The student asking the question had received many initiations and commitments over the years and wanted to simplify, or even combine practices without giving up commitments or breaking vows. He also had several commitment practices with Guru Yoga, wanted to know how to simplify.
Rinpoche, in his answer emphasized the importance of commitment — “either do … or don’t do” that’s up to you — but if you do, he advised focusing intensely on the Yidam practice, while still undertaking other commitments in more concise form.
Note: For a schedule of Zasep Rinpoche’s teachings, see the end of this feature.
Play video here:
Zasep Tulku Rinpoche: “Senior students should do daily practice. Do the minimum practice, if you are having some difficulties. At the same time, it is important to choose one practice as a main practice.
Let’s say you have your particular deity, what we call Yidam, or principal deity, a deity you feel very connected to. So, you choose one as a main Yidam. Do that practice, spend more time on that. Do that practice, sadhana, mantras. Then, other mantras, as a minimum commitment. I think that would be good.
You cannot do one mantra, trying to make it as a sort of substitute for all the other mantras [and practice commitments], thinking in your mind: ‘Well, all the Buddhas are One. A lot these Buddhas are emanations of Prajnaparamita, or, let’s say, Chenrezig, or Tara, so therefore why not just say one mantra to be substitute for other mantras.’
You can’t really do that because you don’t have permission. You know, we can think about things like that, trying to debate in our mind, or trying to justify. It doesn’t really work like that.
You either do the mantra properly — or don’t do. That’s how it works.”
Student asked a clarifying question: “What if you have a commitment to do several types of practice, like Six Session Guru Yoga, Vajrayogini Sadhana and Yamantaka Sadhana?”
“Six session guru yoga is a commitment after receiving initiation in a higher yoga tantra like Yamantaka, or let’s say Guhyasamaja. That is a commitment, one has to do. One must do that.
Then, there is a little bit of guru yoga practice in Chittimani Tara practice, long sadhana; there is a little bit of guru yoga practice in Vajrayogini, long Sadhana. I would say make those practices shorter. You can make it very concise. Short. [Except for your Yidam Practice. That, you keep long.]
You see, in the short sadhanas, there is almost none. Maybe there’s a few words, a few lines about Guru Yoga. Very concise. So you can make it that way. Make it very concise.
But — you can’t completely escape all those Guru Yogas. You can make it very short. Concise.”
Next: In Part 10 of this Series, students ask Rinpoche the question: “What advice do you have for students who have difficulties visualizing their Yidam to improve clarity and stabilization? How do you pick a personal Yidam for your practice?”
PREVIOUS BUDDHA WEEKLY ADVICE FROM THE TEACHERS VIDEOS:
Teaching Schedule of Zasep Tulku Rinpoche
Zasep Rinpoche is currently in Mongolia on an extended round of teachings
Rinpoche will be teaching at Zuru Ling, Vancouver in April: “Zuru Ling is extremely pleased to announce that our precious teacher Acharya Zasep Tulku Rinpoche will be teaching in Vancouver in April 2017:
- How to do personal retreat, setting up an altar and torma making. Wednesday April 26th, 2017 starting at 7 til 9 pm.
- Green Tara Initiation – Friday 28th April starting at 7 til 9 pm.
- Black Manjushri Initiation – Saturday 29th April 2 til 4 pm.
- Teaching on healing and protection of the Black Manjushri practise – Sunday 30th April starting 10 am til 4 pm.
- Information: Zuru Ling website>>
Rinpoche will be at Gaden Choling in Toronto, Canada in May for two weeks.
- Mahamudra teachings: Saturday, May 20th, 10am to 5pm
- Lama Chopa Guru Yoga: Sunday May 21st, 10am to 5pm
- Hayagriva Highest Yoga Tantra Initiation: Thursday, May 25th, 7pm to 9pm
- Green Tara: Friday, May 26th, 7pm to 9pm
- Black Manjushri Initiation: Saturday May 27th 2-5pm
- Black Manjushri Practice and Commentary (requires initiation) Sunday May 28th, 10am-5pm
- Information to be posted soon at Gaden Choling website>>
About Venerable Zasep Tulku Rinpoche
Rinpoche is popularly known for his approachable teaching style, strong humor and teachings based on a long lineage of great lamas. His own gurus included the most celebrated of Gelug teachers: His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, His Holiness Kyabje Ling Rinpoche, Venerable Geshe Thupten Wanggyel, His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, Venerable Lati Rinpoche, Venerable Tara Tulku Rinpoche and Venerable Khalkha Jetsun Dampa Rinpoche.
Rinpoche is spiritual director of many temples, meditation centres and retreat centres in Australia, the United States and Canada. He was first invited to teach in Australia by Lama Thubten Yeshe in 1976.
Gaden for the West Meditation Centres
- Vajra Ling, Uralla, N.S.W.
- Losang Gyalwa Mandala, Sydney, N.S.W.
- Tenzing Ling Centre, Quamaa, N.S.W.
- Dorje Ling Retreat Centre, Lorina Valley, Tasmania
- Chittamani Mahayana Buddhist Meditation Centre, Ottawa, Ontario
- Gaden Choling, Toronto, Ontario
- Medicine Buddha Centre, Calgary, Alberta
- Potala Tibetan Buddhist Meditation Centre, Thunder Bay,Ontario
- Tashi Choling, Nelson, B. C.
- Zuru Ling Society, Vancouver, B.C.
- Golden Blue Lotus Tara Meditation Center, Moscow, Idaho
- TsongKhapa Center, Kalamazoo, Michigan
- Vajrayogini Center, Seattle, Washington