Dear friends near and far,

As always, I hope this message finds you well, healthy and happy. On this Guru Rinpoche day, I would like to share some pithy advice with all the practitioners reading this email.

Sometimes, even though we do all sorts of practices, and put a lot of time and effort into it, it isn’t really going anywhere. It doesn’t carry much benefit. The reason for this is that our practice is not going to the essence—it’s missing the key points.

That is why I wanted to share with you a pithy passage from The Jewel Ornament of Liberation. In these three lines, the Omniscient Gampopa gives us three keys for creating all the positive conditions for a successful practice (the accumulation of merit):

The power of wisdom makes it superior.

The power of knowledge makes it expansive.

The power of dedication makes it immeasurable.

The power of wisdom means not conceptualizing the three spheres: whatever you are doing, you do so without clinging on the idea of a subject, an object, or an action. So, for instance, there is no ‘you’ meditating, no object of meditation, and no meditating to be done.

The power of knowledge refers to the three excellences: the excellent preparation, excellent main part, and excellent conclusion. The excellent preparation is the motivation of bodhicitta that should suffuse all of your actions, and all of your practices. The excellent main part is the absence of clinging in whatever you are doing. The excellent conclusion is to be without any hope or expectation of a result. I know we all have hopes for some kind of result, but we need to let go of those.

Finally, the power of dedication is to dedicate the merit in the same way as all the buddhas and bodhisattvas before us. This is for example the way it is done in these two verses from Samantabhadra’s “Aspiration to Good Actions:”

འཇམ་དཔལ་དཔའ་བོས་ཇི་ལྟར་མཁྱེན་པ་དང་། །

jampal pawö jitar khyenpa dang

Just as the bodhisattva Mañjuśrī attained omniscience,

ཀུན་ཏུ་བཟང་པོ་དེ་ཡང་དེ་བཞིན་ཏེ། །

küntuzangpo deyang dezhin té

and Samantabhadra too,

དེ་དག་ཀུན་གྱི་རྗེས་སུ་བདག་སློབ་ཕྱིར། །

dedak kün gyi jesu dak lop chir

all these merits now I dedicate

དགེ་བ་འདི་དག་ཐམས་ཅད་རབ་ཏུ་བསྔོ། །

gewa didak tamché raptu ngo

to training and following in their footsteps.

༈ དུས་གསུམ་གཤེགས་པའི་རྒྱལ་བ་ཐམས་ཅད་ཀྱིས། །

dü sum shekpé gyalwa tamché kyi

Just as all the victorious buddhas of past, present, and future

བསྔོ་བ་གང་ལ་མཆོག་ཏུ་བསྔགས་པ་དེས། །

ngowa gangla chok tu ngakpa dé

praise dedication as supreme,

བདག་གི་དགེ་བའི་རྩ་བ་འདི་ཀུན་ཀྱང་། །

dak gi gewé tsawa di kün kyang

so now I dedicate all these roots of virtue

བཟང་པོ་སྤྱོད་ཕྱིར་རབ་ཏུ་བསྔོ་བར་བགྱི། །

zangpo chö chir raptu ngowar gyi

so that all beings may perfect good actions.

It is most helpful to learn these two verses by heart, whether in English or Tibetan, so that you can always dedicate your good actions exactly as the buddhas and bodhisattvas have done before.

This is Gampopa’s pithy advice for a successful practice, which I hope you will all take to heart and remember, so your practice may bear fruits.

With all my love and prayers,

Sarva Mangalam.

Phakchok Rinpoche


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