MEDICINE BUDDHA RETREAT (3)




MEDICINE BUDDHA RETREAT

With Khenpo Samdup Rinpoche


Khenpo Samdup Rinpoche bestowed the transmission and instructions for Medicine Buddha who encompasses the healing essence of all the Buddhas. It is said that anyone hearing his name or reciting his mantra (TADYATHA OM BEKHANDZYE BEKHANDZYE MAHA BEKHANDZYE BEKHANDZYE RADZA SAMUDGATE SVAHA) will not be reborn in the lower realms.

The healing experienced by practicing Medicine Buddha goes beyond curing our physical ailments.  It also refers to overcoming the pain of suffering and the cause of suffering referred to in the Four Noble Truths. In other words, it is medicine that helps eliminate our defilements as we progress on the path to enlightenment.

Medicine Buddha Text



*Please always treat any Dharma text with respect. This is good practice. Thank you.

Transcription of teachings below.
All rights reserved (copyright) to Khenpo Samdup Rinpoche

KSR Medicine Buddha 1 (Saturday January 27 & Sunday January 28 2024)


[Continued from Medicine Buddha Retreat (2)]


So next is the Dissolution section.


DISSOLUTION [p.11-12]


KHOR TSHOG WO ZHU TSO WO’I KU LA THIM /
MEN LE’I KU SUNG THUG KYI NE SUM LE

The assembly of the Mandala melts into light and dissolves into
the central figure. From the three special places of the body,


WO ZER KAR MAR THING GE’I YE SHE TRO /
RANG GI NE SUM THIM PE DRIB SUM DAG

speech and mind of the Medicine Buddha, white, red, and blue
transcendent awareness light radiates and dissolves into my
three special places, purifying the three obscurations.


TSO WO SHU RANG GI CHI WOR THIM /
JER ME GYEL KUN KHYEN TSE’I RANG ZUG CHE

The Medicine Buddha melts into light and dissolves into me
through the crown of my head. I become inseparable from the
great embodiment of all the victorious wisdom and compassion.


TONG ZUG CHAG GYA CHEN POR NGEL SO O

I rest in the state of Mahamudra-all pervading emptiness.


Thus rest the mind in suchness.


Commentary on the “Dissolution” section

So… “The assembly of the Mandala melts into light and dissolves into the central figure,” means all the other Medicine Buddhas, (the seven Sugatas), lineage [gurus], yidams, dissolve into the main Medicine Buddha figure. “From the three special places…,” then from the main Buddha’s forehead, throat and heart, which are the places, “of the body, speech and mind of the Medicine Buddha“. “… white, red, and blue transcendent awareness light radiates and dissolves into my three special places,“… So the inner transcendent awareness light dissolves into our three special places. “… purifying the three obscurations,”... the body, speech, and mind obstacles, [disease, sickness, negative karma]. So this “Dissolution” meditation is purification for our [debt], death karma. So in the beginning part of the generation practice, we visualise the lotus seat, moon, sun and seed syllable, this represents purification of our birth karma, [rebirth in samsara, (cyclic existence)].

And then we visualise ourselves as Medicine Buddha, [generating the deity], followed by the “Seven Branch Offering prayer”, and mantra practice, so that is purification for “living bardo” karmic imprints. And now this “Dissolution section” is death karma purification, (so, purifying the three obscurations). Then… “The Medicine Buddha melts into light and dissolves into me through the crown of my head”. So Medicine Buddha’s form becomes light, and dissolves into us, through the crown of the head. “I become inseparable from the great embodiment of all the victorious wisdom and compassion”. So, we become inseparable with the true nature state, (the Buddha’s three kayas), the Enlightened activities of Medicine Buddha. So, we visualise, meditate, and generating ourselves as Medicine Buddha, and then go into [the true nature states], Mahamudra state, “I rest in the state of Mahamudra-all pervading emptiness”.

So mind is resting in the nature of rigpa states, (as so, we meditate). In this practice we have dissolved [our form], into the seed syllable, and the seed syllable has dissolved in the nadi, [empty of self, selflessness], sound of the mantra, (emptiness). This is the short form of the Medicine Buddha sadhana practice, which is why that [particular] instruction is not given here. There are various different ways of “Dissolution” in the short sadhana forms of practice. So, it is not always the same “Dissolution”. The Dissolutions are similar, but not always completely the same. Some people use different sadhanas, that have different ways of “Dissolution,” that is also correct. And when we die, there are different ways that we die, so dissolution must also have different ways, (not always the same). Then we meditate in the Mahamudra state, after that is the “Dedication Prayer”.





DEDICATION AND PRAYERS OF AUSPICIOUSNESS [p. 13-19]

[*The verses below have been numbered, to make referencing easy, when this section is discussed in the commentary below, after the Dedication Prayer].



GE WA DI YI NYUR DU DAG /
SANG GYE MEN LA DRUB GYUR NE

[1]
By this virtue, may I quickly accomplish Medicine Buddha.


DRO WA CHIG KYANG MA LU PA /
DI YI SA LA GO PAR SHOG

[2]
May I establish all sentient beings without exception in that state.


CHO TO DE GOM GYI PA’I GE WA DI /
TSHE DIR TSHE RING NE ME DE KYI DEN

[3]
By the merit of performing the offering, praise, recitation and
meditation, may I and all sentient beings have very long happy lives,



CHI TSE BE DUR YA NANG ZHING LA SOG /
NAM DAG ZHING DU SANG GYE ZHEL THONG SHOG

[4]
free from illness. At the time of death may we see the faces of
the Buddhas of the Vaidurya Realm or other pure Buddhafields.



MA WONG PA NA DAG SOG DRO WA NAM /
SANG GYE ZHING DU PE ME’I NYING PO LE

[5]
In the future, may I and all sentient beings be born in
the center of lotuses in Buddhafields and,


THRUNG TE GYA CHEN TSHOG NYI RAB DZOG NE /
LA ME JANG CHUB GO PHANG THOB GYUR CHIG /

[6]
by completing the two vast accumulations, achieve
the state of highest Enlightenment.


DORJE CHANG CHEN TILI NARO DANG /
MARPA MILA CHO JE GAMPOPA

[7]
Dorje Chang, Tilopa, Naropa,
Marpa, Milarepa, Dharma Lord Gampopa,



PHAGMO DRUPA GYALWA DRIKUNGPA /
KAGYU LAMA NAMKYI TASHI SHOG

[8]
Phagmodrupa and Lord Drigungpa, please bestow upon us
the most auspicious blessing of all the Kagyu Lamas.



SO NAM DI YI THAM CHE ZIG PA NYI /
THOB NE NYE PAY DRA NAM PHAM CHE TE

[9]
By this virtue, may I achieve the all knowing state and
Defeat all enemies of confusion (the cause of suffering)



KYE GA NA CHI BA LONG TRUG PA YI /
SI PAY TSHO LEY DRO WA DROL WAR SHOG

[10]
Thus may migrators be liberated from samsara’s ocean
Which is agitated by the vortex of birth, aging, illness and death.



CHANG CHUB SEM CHOG RIN PO CHE /
MA KYE PA NAM KYE GYUR CHIG

[11]
May Bodhicitta, the excellent and precious mind.
Where it is unborn, may it arise



KYE PA NAM PA ME PAR YANG /
GONG NE GONG DU PHEL WAR SHOG

[12]
Where it is born, may it not decline
And may it ever increase, rising higher and higher



LA MA KU KHAM SANG WAR SOL WA DEB /
CHOG TU KU TSHE RING WAR WAR SOL WA DEB

[13]
I pray that the gurus have good health
And supremely long life, and


TRIN LEY DAR SHING GYE PAR SOL WA DEB /
LA MA DANG DRAL WA ME PAR JYIN GYI LOB

[14]
Pray that their Dharma activities spread far and wide.
Bless me to become inseparable from the gurus.


JAM PAL PA WO JI TAR KHYEN PA DANG /
KUN TU ZANG PO DE YANG DE ZHIN TE

[15]
In order to train just like
The hero Manjushri who knows reality as it is


DE DAK KUN GYI JE SU DAK LOP CHING /
GE WA DI DAK TAM CHE RAP TU NGO

[16]
And just like Samantabhadra as well,
I completely dedicate all this goodness, just as they did.


SANG GYE KU SUM NYE PAY JYIN LAB DANG /
CHO NYI MI GYUR DEN PAY JYIN LAB DANG

[17]
By the blessing of the Buddha who attained the three kayas;
By the blessing of the truth of the unchanging Changeless nature

GE DUN MI CHE DU PAY JYIN LAB KYI /
JI TAR NGO SHIN MON LAM DRUB PAR SHOG

[18]
by the blessing of the indivisible assembly of the sangha,
May these prayers be accomplished as I have dedicated.



DAK DANG KHOR DAY THAM CHAY KYI /
DU SUM DU SAG PA DANG / YO PAY GE WAY TSA WA DI

[19]
By the virtuous accumulations of the three times
of myself and all beings in samsara and nirvana


DAG DANG SEM CHEN THAM CHAY NYUR DU LA NA ME PA /
YANG DAG PAR DZOG PAY CHANG CHUB RIN PO CHE /
THOB PAR GYUR CHIG

[20]
And by this root of virtue, May I and all sentient beings swiftly attain
Unsurpassed, perfect complete, precious Enlightenment.


SHE JA KUN ZIG KUN KHYEN CHO KYI JE /
TEN DREL NE LA WANG THOG THOG DRI KUNG PA

[21]
May the teaching of the great Drikungpa Ratna-Shri
The Master of interdependent abiding, The Dharma Lord who sees and


RIN CHEN PAL GYI TEN PA SI TAY BAR /
SHER DRUB THO SAM GOM PEY ZIN GYUR CHIG

[22]
Knows all objects of knowledge, be upheld through teaching, practice,
Hearing reflection and meditation until the end of cyclic existence.



Commentary on the “Dedication Prayer”


The “Dedication Prayer” in the Medicine Buddha practice is very beautiful. The sadhana follows a format of practice. (The first four lines in this “Dedication Prayer,” can be used, at the end of practicing the other Yidam deities and Buddhas also). For example, for practicing to accomplish, Chenrezig, Buddha Shakyamuni, Manjushri, Vajrapani and so forth. So, for whichever Yidam deity you are practicing, that name can be used here. [Verse 1] “By this virtue, may I quickly accomplish …”. [In this case we are practicing to accomplish Medicine Buddha]. And then… [Verse 2] “May I establish all sentient beings without exception in that state”. So these lines of “Dedication Prayer” are used in general, after practicing any of the different yidam deities. In the last section of our morning daily prayer text, there are many collections of short prayers to the different Yidam Deities. We can use this “Dedication,” (after reciting the mantras), at the end of those practices. As this is a “Dedication Prayer” for all the Yidam deities, so we recite the “Dedication Prayer” at the end of the morning practice, (and not after each of the different Yidam deities prayer sections). In the morning prayer practice book, this “Dedication” is then after, the “Prayer to Vajrapani”. (So, after the Vajrapani short prayer, we make this “Dedication”).

The point is, when practicing any of the sadhanas of the different yidam deities, after that Buddha mantra section, generally you chant this “Dedication Prayer”. Then the next line: [Verse 3] “By the merit of performing the offering, praise, recitation and meditation, may I and all sentient beings have very long happy lives,…” So this sadhana has all of these different sections: offering, praise, recitation, and meditation. “… may I and all sentient beings have very long happy lives,…” so we dedicate the merit of accomplishing this yidam deity practice, for the welfare of all sentient beings. [Verse 4] free from illness. At the time of death may we see the faces of the Buddhas of the Vaidurya Realm or other pure Buddhafields”. So, free from illness, (that is the aspiration). And, when death comes, we see Medicine Buddha, the Vaidurya Realm (Medicine Buddhas Pureland), or the other pure Buddhafields, [liberating the mind]. This has very profound meaning, (which is not so easy for us to understand, [due the dualistic self-grasping mind]).



THE CONTINUATION OF THE CONSCIOUSNESS AT DEATH (ARISING AS CAUSE & EFFECT & CONDITIONS RELATIONSHIP)


When we die, the physical form is not there. We have a delusion form, (the mental form body). It is no longer hindered by the physical body. If mind is not realised in the true nature state, it still has this relationship with the delusional form, (as a mental form body). The mental continuum (mindstream), follows in the cause and effect arisings, of the karma (action), of this life and previous lives, [which is why the opportunity of purifying our karma in this life is so precious]. What we have not purified continues as cause, effect, conditions arisings, (relationship). In this state after death, when there is no physical form, just a mental form body, the mind goes wherever the arising thoughts take it. So that, when we have practiced to accomplish the yidam deity in this life (for example), at death, mind has the opportunity to go to, (it corresponds with), that merit field (realm), (which has been created by the Buddhas Enlightened activities, and arises from that intention). The Purelands are not physical realms, but are reached by certain accomplished states of practice. So, that beings who have done certain practices in their lives, can go there at the time of death. The conditions in Amitabha’s Pureland, (Dewachen) for example, are such that the sentient beings who go there, can easily purify their remaining karma, and accomplish the practices.

If we have made connections to the different Buddhas, [in this life], then at death, (without the physical form), the mental body, can instantly go to those Buddhas realms, [in that state]. If the Pure Realms, Buddhafields physically existed, then the mental body could not do this, (enter into one realm and then go to other realms). But when we are with a physical body, living in this world, (as we can see), if we are a citizen of one country, becoming a citizen of another country is not easy. However here we are not talking about physical realms, [the Buddhafields], are reached by accomplishing certain states of practice, (mental states realms). So for example, you practice Medicine Buddha in this life, and you arise this connection (in the mind), through this practice, then the seeds of connection to Medicine Buddha have been planted, and then we are continuing to pour water onto those seeds. Then when death comes, you feel that Medicine Buddha realm, and you receive the healing energies of the Medicine Buddhas blessings, (the Enlightened activities of the Medicine Buddhas, (the Buddhafields)), bring benefit to sentient beings.



BLESSINGS OF THE BUDDHAFIELDS


And then another moment you can go to another realm. If you have made a connection to Manjushri for example, then you go to Manjushri’s Pure Realm, and receive all the wisdom energy blessings, and so forth, (so depending on the connections and practices you have made, to the Enlightened beings and their activities). And so you have made connection to Buddha Amitabha, immediately you can go into the Buddha Amitabha realm, of Sukhavati [the blissful Buddhafield of Dewachen], and receive the blessings and energy of that Buddhafield. [In Sukhavati, sentient beings experience neither physical pain nor mental suffering and the causes for their happiness are limitless].


So that ability right now we don’t have. We stay inside our house, [living in the corpse-like shroud of ignorance], but here we are speaking about space fields experience. [Ignorance dissolved from the ice-block of self-grasping, into water, whereby mind can connect with sambhogakaya forms, enter into those Buddhafields. Water to space, is the mind which realises its own true nature, the Dharmadhatu. These fields are the manifestation of the three kayas, or bodies of a Buddha; nirmanakaya, sambhogakaya and dharmakaya. And are entered through the unification practices, of generating bodhicitta, (rigpa awareness), within the mindstream, and connecting with the blessings and energy fields of the Buddhas and the Enlightened activities, that continue ceaselessly, to bring benefit to sentient beings].



AN ACTUAL EXPERIENCE OF THE PRACTICE ITSELF


But, so as long as we stay, (locked in, due to ignorance), inside our room, our ideas continue to be, (are of where we stay), on the mental level, of our habituation. So for example, on this physical plane, (corporeal level of our being), maybe you went to the highest mountain, but you only get that experience (feeling). And you can see all the other mountains and the valleys. So that kind of “idea,” is the only idea we can get, (at that plane, or level, state), not more than that. Beyond that, we enter into the spiritual path of practice. If we don’t connect to the Enlightened activities of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, when we die we cannot go there, (that level of realised experience). So the Medicine Buddha sadhana, is visualisation, meditation, empowerment, chanting (secret mantra), ritual practice connection. Practicing this, or Amitabha sadhana practice, (and so forth), then when we die, (depending on our practice), we can take rebirth in Amitabha’s Pureland, for example.

At that moment, (of entering Amitabha’s Pureland, for instance), we can go to all these different Buddha realms, and receive all the blessing energies of those Buddhafields, (the healing energies, wisdom, compassion and so forth, in these different realms). […] Without connections we cannot go there. So there are all these different Yidam deity practices (sadhanas), (many different yidam deities), and you can make a connection to each of these deities, and then you have the ability to go to many different realms, (and receive the blessings, (mind empowerment, energy blessings)). […] So, like you have citizenship in a country, where you have a passport, [and everything you need], the conditions are good, you have the ability to fly. But if the countries, don’t have good connections with each other, then you cannot go there, (even if you have everything that is required). In a similar way, even if we have all these seeds from the different Buddhas, if we don’t put water on those seeds, and make effort to ripen those seeds, then we may reach to some higher levels of practice, but still we do realise the true nature state. […]


HEART CENTRE CHAKRA


So the point is, that when the heart centre chakra is opened, (at that level of the practice), there are infinite realms you can go to. The Enlightened qualities of the Buddhas, [the three kayas], pervades these Buddha realms, and the energies, blessings, healing powers and so forth, that are particularly associated with each Buddha, pervades their Buddhafields. But without the connections, [from going deeper into the practices], you cannot go into many of these realms. So that is why it says, here in this sadhana prayer text, [Verse 4] “At the time of death may we see the faces of the Buddhas of the Vaidurya Realm or other pure Buddhafields”. Then, [Verse 5] “In the future, may I and all sentient beings be born in the center of lotuses in Buddhafields and, so we are wishing that each sentient being be reborn into the Buddhafields, [where there are all the conditions for their further unfoldment]. Right now for example, people have strong concepts. For example, people say, “I want to go to Amitabha’s Pureland, and not any other”. Or, “I want to go to Padmasambhava’s Pureland, I want to be reborn there”. So we have that, (at one level, this is okay, we can carry that), but that is also still narrow-minded and very small thinking. And you are not seeing outside your room. You are only seeing inside your room. So, outside [of that], the space is much, much, much, bigger, (vast), than [just] inside your room.

[Verse 6] “… and, by completing the two vast accumulations, achieve the state of highest Enlightenment”. So practicing, so that we can enter these Pureland realms, where we can complete all the attainments, and naturally we can become Enlightened. So first the “Recollection of our Purity,” and making efforts in the practices, so we can go to these Purelands. [The two vast accumulations, (also called the two collections, or two types of merit). They are the “merit of virtue,” (which develops the “method” side of the path, by practicing the first four, of the six paramitas: (generosity, morality, patience and enthusiastic effort. Enthusiastic effort is practiced in both accumulations). And the “merit of (transcendental) wisdom,” (which develops the “wisdom” side of the path), through practicing the last [three] of six paramitas, (enthusiastic effort), through meditation on emptiness, (concentration), arising [the realisation of the nondual] wisdom [state]. So making the effort to go to these Purelands; in the Purelands there are all the conditions, to easily become Enlightened. Enlightenment in this realm, [the human realm] is hard, (not that easy), because of all the samsaric conditions. As long as we have access to these other realms, (the Pure Realms), then in these Buddhafields, there is one hundred percent, positive conditions, so without a doubt, we go to Enlightenment.



PRACTICES TO BE REBORN IN THE PURELANDS


And think about it, the world has many countries, some countries everyone has access to a good education, (so that system is there). And in some countries no-one has any education, (no-one receives an education). Some countries a few people get an education, and around ninety percent are not educated. Similarly in this world, some ninety percent of people, it is not possible to be Enlightened in this life, (maybe ten percent of people have the ability to reach Enlightenment). So for those who do not have the ability to reach Enlightenment in this life, there is the opportunity to reach the Purelands, before Enlightenment; (it is easy to reach Enlightenment in the Pure Realms, because all the conditions are there). So next are all the “Dedications,” [from verse 7 onwards], the general dedications, we usually use. And now we go back to chanting the mantra together.

[On the recording this is followed by the “Dissolution”, and “Dedication and Prayers of Auspiciousness”.


Thank you everyone. We have finished Medicine Buddha practice and teachings, I rejoice for you.

(Any errors are the transcriber/ editor’s own).
Immeasurable thanks for these precious teachings.