“Then offer the seven branches of worship along with the mandala and make fervent and sincere prayers in accordance with your quintessential instructions.” ~ Path to Bliss
Note: this is a summary of the topics covered during this class. The recording is available on the Guhyasamaja Center website.
Having completed the explanation of the seven branches of worship in the 5/27/11 class, Rinpoche described the “sincere prayers”. There are four major types of prayers: 1) prayers for three great purposes, 2) prayers for opening the supreme dharma path, 3) prayer of collected heaps of blessings, 4) prayer of the penetrating dagger.
Next Rinpoche explained the visualization and supplication described on pages 5 and 6 of the text.
Rinpoche then spent some time explaining the three major steps in the lam rim practice — the three types of setting one’s intention, the 8 types of meditation, and finally, how to practice.
The Lam Rim has two main divisions: 1) relying on the spiritual teacher, 2) how to train in the path. Reliance on the guru is carried throughout the path until Enlightenment. Your lama is the source and life of your Dharma practice.
Rinpoche then discussed three recurring topics as they apply to practitioners of the small, medium and great scope:
1. actions during the meditation session, and the importance of the post-meditation session since that occupies most of the day
2. setting one’s motivation, the actual practice, the dedication practices
3. analytical meditation and single pointed meditation
Finally, Rinpoche concluded with advice on how to do a Lam Rim retreat. It was very clear from this teaching that the Lam Rim contains the entire path to Enlightenment for practitioners of all capacities to train in. Moreover, Rinpoche exhorts us to apply the lam rim teachings in our daily lives and in this way we accumulate merit and dedicate this life to our future lives.