What the teachers say about restarting your Buddhist practice: overcoming obstacles, bringing back the enthusiasm, re-establishing faith and commitments
Video mantra chanting: Lama Tsongkhapa’s Migtsema wonderfully chanted by Yoko Dharma. Benefits: healing, compassion, metta, wisdom
Video teaching: Metta and Karuna, the “most important” Buddhist practices of Love and Compassion, from H.E. Zasep Tulku Rinpoche with Lama Tsongkhapa Migtsema mantra chanted by Yoko Dharma
Sacred outlook – Seeing beyond ordinary perception in modern culture, and American Buddhism
Why is pride a poison, and when can pride of accomplishment be considered a good thing? With full Ambattha Sutta “Pride of Birth and its Fall.”
Vajrasattva, the Great Purifyer, among the most powerful and profound healing and purifications techniques in Vajrayana Buddhism
Family lay Buddhism: What the Teachers Say about keeping motivated in your Buddhist Practice as parents — and coping with every-day family life in a modern stressful world
Reconnecting with nature to reboot our “spiritual self” activates a feeling of self-transcendence
Video: Buddhist Teachings on Ngondro, The Foundation Practices with Venerable Zasep Rinpoche
Kucchivikara-vattha: The Monk with Dysentery (Sutra teachings) “If you don’t tend to one another, who then will tend to you?”
“Putting Compassion on the Scientific Map”: Compassion Boosts Happiness/Health; and Research Indicates That Practicing Buddhists Are Happier than Average.
Video with wonderful mantra chanting: Om Gate Gate Paragate Para Samgate Bodhi Soha, the essence of Heart Sutra and Emptiness
Music Mantra Video: Taking Refuge in Buddha, Dharma and Sangha and the Four Immeasurables wonderfully sung by Yoko Dharma with video visualizations
Broken Commitments: 3 Teachers weigh in on practice “overload” and breaking Vajrayana practice promises. What do we do about it?
Dalai Lama and Lama Tsongkhapa: teachings on calm abiding meditation that go beyond “the breath” as the focus — targeting the main affliction
Music Mantra Video: Om Mani Padme Hum wonderfully chanted by Yoko Dharma, the sacred sound of compassionate Buddha Chenrezig
Tara Book excerpt and teaching: Who is Tara and how can She help us? An introduction to Tara, Karma, Shunyata, Dependent Arising, and Buddha Nature by Venerable Zasep Tulku Rinpoche
What’s with all this consort union in Tantric Buddhism? No, it’s not about sexual fantasies. The psychology of Yab-Yum consorts, union of wisdom and compassion
Video: “How do I deal with my anger? Sometimes it consumes me and hurts others”: a Buddhist student asks teacher Ven. Zasep Tulku Rinpoche
Video: “Experience Buddhism” with Namdrol Rinpoche “Buddhism emphasizes, and lays its very foundations on, equanimity.”
Lama Zopa Rinpoche and other teachers recommend Kṣitigarbha mantra and practice for times of disaster, especially hurricane and earthquake, because of the great Bodhisattva’s vow
Medicine Buddha healing mantras chanted by the amazing Yoko Dharma
Why 35 Confessional Buddhas practice and “The Bodhisattva’s Confession of Moral Downfalls” is a critical purifying practice for Buddhists
What the Dalai Lama and Patch Adams Have in Common: Laughter, and Compassion, the Best Medicine
“Preliminary practices… clear and enrich our minds, allowing practice to progress smoothly” — Thubten Chodron. Why Ngondro is a lifetime practice, and a “complete path”
Tantra Helps “Stop Ordinary Perception”, and is the Fast Path to Enlightenment. But How Do Modern Buddhists Relate to Deities?
Painter and digital Thangka artist Jampay Dorje aims to bring “Thangka painting into a modern era” with spectacular art, lessons for students, and a life-long project to illustrate all of the 11 Yogas of Naropa
Buddha teaches us to view every meal as if we were reluctant cannibals: Samyukta Agama Sutra 373, the Four Nutriments
Letting Go — letting go of past, letting go of future, letting go is the hardest thing to do: Na Tumhaka Sutta
Becoming Gesar, the fearless Buddhist: How to overcome fear in uncertain times, according to Pali Sutta, Mahayana Sutra and Tantra
The Hand of Buddha defeats the three poisons : Vajrapani (literally, “Vajra Hand”) — Guardian of Shakyamuni Himself; Vajrapani, the power of the mind to overcome obstacles such as pride, anger, hate and jealousy
Tonglen video: Why giving and taking practice is an important kindness meditation and Bodhichitta practice; how to do it: taught by Zasep Rinpoche
Understanding Dependent Co-Arising is critical to Buddhist practice: The Great Causes Discourse Maha-nidana Sutta
Pali Sutta for Our Age: Old Path White Clouds: Walking in the Footsteps of the Buddha by Thich Nhat Hanh, a Book Review of a Classic
The bridge between science and Buddhism, atoms and no atoms, theism and athiesm; Yidam deity meditation and the Cognitive Science of Tantra
“Every one has Buddha Nature.” A teaching video: Venerable Zasep Rinpoche with mantra chanting by Yoko Dharma
Advice from the Teachers Video 10: Struggling with Visualizing Your Heart Bond Yidam. How to Choose One, How to Improve Clarity and Concentration.

Advice from the Teachers Video 10: Struggling with Visualizing Your Heart Bond Yidam. How to Choose One, How to Improve Clarity and Concentration.

In the tenth 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 on Yidam visualization.

What advice do you have for students who have difficulties visualizing their Yidam to help them improve clarity and stabilization? Can you speak about how to pick a personal Yidam for your practice?

 [Transcript below video]

Note: In Vajrayana advanced meditation, the student activates the mind’s enlightened qualities by visualizing him/herself to be an already Enlightened Buddha — tapping into their own Buddha Nature — by choosing one Yidam (heart bond deity) as a focus, based on their own propensities. This method utilizes all three of Body, Mind and Speech in intense guided meditation.

Rinpoche, in his answer emphasized the importance of devotion and passion for intensifying the visualization — “passion… without attachment.” He compared the feeling of joy to be achieved to that of a child in a toy store. He emphasized Atisha’s advice, it’s best to have practice mainly one Yidam, and then offered some guidance on how to choose a Yidam.

Note: For a schedule of Zasep Rinpoche’s teachings, see the end of this feature.

Play video here:

 

Transcript

“Breath slowly, and visualize step by step. So, you develop skill of visualization, this way. This isn’t easy to do, unless you have a good imagination, you have good skill of visualization, and/or you have done this kind of visualization before — then you could have a better experience. And, also, some people develop skill of visualization faster. You can develop your concentration faster.

Some people feel, how can I do this visualization? My visualization is no good at all. I can’t see anything. My meditation is not good, concentration is not good, I don’t have clarity, I have no stable mind, my mind is all over the place and so on and so forth. I experience various obstacles: dullness of mind, sinking mind, wandering mind, etcetera.

 

Zasep Rinpoche teaching on Yidams.

 

That is true. Everybody has the same problems. Everyone has the same type of difficulties, struggling. But, this is practice. This is the path. This is how it is. Don’t blame yourself, don’t blame anybody, just keep practicing. This is how everybody has to learn.

Choosing the Right Yidam is Important

It helps achieve good visualizations faster… if you have strong faith, devotion and passion. You have to have a passion. Some people have this passion. Some people don’t have the passion, but can develop it.

When I say passion, it doesn’t mean attachment. It’s more like devotion. Devotion, joy and excitement. You can call it passion.

 

Green Tara is a very popular Yidam, representing the activity of Compassion of all the Buddhas.

 

So, when you have that, it’s like a child, a little child, fantasizing about toys. You go to the toy shop, and all you think about are toys. Like a little boy with his toy truck.

Automatically, boom, your mind is gone. Drawn in. Because you want this, you like this, you are so excited. Yogis, or Yoginis, should have this kind of excitement or passion.

 

Probably the most popular meditation deity is Avalokitesvara, renowned around the word as the very embodiment of compassion. Lovely and peaceful Chenrezig practices are easy visualizations for most meditators.

 

If you have that inspiration, that energy, then you can visualize — faster. That means your visualization skills will improve faster. Your concentration will improve.

This is why you have to choose your Yidam. The word Yidam means ‘heart bond deity.’ So, you have to choose a Yidam that resonates with your heart or mind. Some people are so attracted to Yamantaka. Some people are so interested in Heruka. Some people are so much into Guyusamaya. Or, Kalachakra, Vajrayogini, Black Dakini and so forth. It’s you.

 

Vajrayogini, an aspect of Tara, is the Mother of All Buddhas as she embodies Blissful Wisdom.

 

It depends on you. It’s your mind. Your connection. Your karmic connection. Your devotion. Everybody’s a little different, so there’s no question of right or wrong, better or worse. It’s you. When you have the ‘heart-bond’ connection, then you choose your yidam.

You Don’t Need Many Yidams

You don’t need so many Yidams. That’s why Atisha said ‘It’s better to practice one Yidam.’ If you practice properly one Yidam and you achieve that, then you achieve all of them together.

Because, they are all one essence, right? So, that’s why you need to think about ‘who is my Yidam?’

Those of you have received initiations of five different Yidams, and you still don’t know which one is your main Yidam, you should figure out which one you feel more connected to at your heart level.

That doesn’t mean you give up the commitment of the other ones. They are all the same, right, but each has a different apparent quality or specialty. You still practice all the mantras, do the minimum commitment, but focus your mind into one main Yidam

Some people don’t know how to choose one. In that case you can ask your Guru and he can arrange for you. (Laughs.) Choose one for you.”

Advice from the Teachers Video Series

Don’t miss the other nine videos in the “Advice from the Teachers video series from Buddha Weekly, featuring advice from the most Venerable Zasep Tulku Rinpoche.

Video 1: Advice for Students on Karma>>

Video 2: Advice for Students dealing with loss of a loved one>>

Video 3: Advice for Students coping with memory loss, Alzheimers or early dementia>>

Video 4: Advice for Students coping with the loss of a beloved pet>>

Video 5: Advice for Students coping with aggressive illnesses such as cancer, looking for supportive practices>>

Video 6: Advice for the New Student to Buddhism>>

Video 7: Advice for Keeping Motivated in Your Daily Practice>>

Video 8: Purifying Negative Karma>>

Video 9: Advice for Advanced Vajrayana Students on Managing Commitments>>

Teaching Schedule of Zasep Tulku Rinpoche

Mongolia

Venerable Zasep Rinpoche just returned from a visit to Mongolia, where he was welcomed at the Ulaan Baatar School for the Disabled. He is spiritual director of Gaden Relief, who donated new kitchen equipment for the school. Rinpoche visits Mongolia for both teachings and relief efforts each year.
Venerable Zasep Rinpoche on a previous trip to Mongolia (2016). He is currently teaching in Mongolia 2017, then on to Zuru Ling, Vancouver BC (November 2017) and Gaden Choling Toronto (December 2017).

Zasep Rinpoche is currently in Mongolia on an extended round of teachings

Vancouver, Canada

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>>

 

bout 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.

More on Zasep Tulku Rinpoche>>

Gaden for the West Meditation Centres

Australia

  • 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

Canada

United States

 

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