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The daily practice

The ritual of Chenrezi.

The four fundamental notions

These four fundamental notions are four reflections or meditations which have the power to change our essential outlook on life : to liberate us from all sorts of preoccupations, more or less futile and to free us to concentrate on what matters the most. They are often called the four ideas that change our mentality.

They are the recognition of the precious human existence ; keen awareness of impermanence and death ; recognition of the reality of karma, the causes and consequences of our actions ; and the acknowledgement of the unsatisfactory aspect of Samsâra, that is the cycle of the conditioned existences : illusion. These four meditations are fundamental because, thanks to them, right practice can be properly developed.

They are often presented as being the foundations of Buddhist teaching. Without them, our practice of the Dharma is built on quicksand or a frozen lake : the building can last for some time, but once the thaw comes, it is bound to collapse. If these four realities are not fundamentally absorbed, our practice of the Dharma will be unstable and will be swept away when adverse circumstances develop.

These four considerations are fundamental because they make us available, receptive to teachings and enable us to find the inspiration to dedicate ourselves fully to the right life, without distraction.

The sâdhana of Chenrezi

The meditation-recitation of Immense Compassion was composed by the mahâsiddha Tangtong Gyelpo.

Chenrezi, Avalokitesvara in Sanscrit, is the Buddha of compassion. He is also the protector of Tibet. His sâdhana is the practice of the vajrayâna, the diamond vehicle or the Adamantine vehicle. The particular methodology of the vajrayâna uses the result of progress, in a symbolic representation, as a means of progress along the chosen path. The practice of an yidam - the deity which binds the mind to its nature - enables us to enter into the experience of enlightenment, in a world beyond confusion.

Chenrezi symbolises immense love and his sâdhana is the evocation of and brings acess to, these qualities. Its practice transforms our mind and from it emerge the qualities represented by Chenrezi : the form of the symbolic divinity gradually disappear and ultimately, his true nature appears, in its transparency, beyond all form. In the physical aspect of the practice, we meditate our own form as being the appearance of Chenrezi, and vocally, we recite OM MANI PADME HUM and we live each sound as being his mantra, mentally, we remain absorbed in the presence of his mind : immensity of love.

In homage to the Six-Armed Mahākāla

The concise ritual of Torma of the Six-armed Lord was created by Jétsün Târanâtha.

Gönpo Chadroupa, the Six-armed Mahâkâla, is the protector of the Dharma, dharmapâla, in particular in the Shangpa Kagyü and Gelug lineage. They represent the work of Chenrezi, the Buddha of compassion, manifested in a dynamic and powerful form to dispel illusions and remove all obstacles.

Symbolically this enlightened intelligence is represented in the aspect, sometimes terrifying, of the protector : black, his head adorned with five skulls symbolising the transmutation of the five poisons of the mind - pride, anger, desire, jealousy, mental opacity - into the five wisdoms of the Buddha. His six arms are the achievement of the six perfections or pâramitâ : giving, discipline, patience, effort, meditation and higher understanding. The presence of Chadrupa, with his energy and strength, has the power to submit, to reduce our confusion. His work relies much on the need to avoid aggressiveness, it is enlightened kindness manifested in order to counter aggression and the aggressiveness of the ego, of the conventional mindset. Chadrupa has the power to protect insofar as we enter into his presence, as we put ourselves under his protection. In the ritual, this gesture is represented by the offering of a torma.

The torma is the ritual cake. "Tor" means to give, to abandon, and "Ma" conveys the idea of softness and compassion. The offering of Torma is the act of letting oneself go in love, in fundamental trust. This is what expresses symbolically the offering of torma to the dharmapâlas, these energies that come from the experience of openness, of clarity, of sensitivity and which act to protect the dharma, by protecting authentic experience.

The prayer of self-liberation of Padmasambhava

The prayer of self-liberation is an essential petition to the lama, calling for inspiration to discern fully the key points of the teaching. Following in the footsteps of the Dzogchen tradition, Great Perfection, the prayer sings for self-liberation from appearances, sounds and ordinary thoughts in the experience of fundamental trust and opening without support.

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Important note
To be truly effective, the practices of the vajrayâna demands oral transmission and personal instructions.

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