Vajrasattva questions

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TaTa
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Vajrasattva questions

Post by TaTa » Fri Jun 20, 2014 2:54 pm

Two simple questions about vajrasattva practice.

1) How do you work with this to apparently contradicting feelings. The first one being the identification of oneself as the divinity, or divinity pride and second one being the sense of wanting to purify our bad deeds? This seems contradictory within the framework of my dualistic mind.

2) Can i accumulate 1 and a half malas each time? Two is a little bit long for me and im trying to balance quality with quantity.

ngodrup
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Re: Vajrasattva questions

Post by ngodrup » Fri Jun 20, 2014 4:24 pm

1) Vajrarasattva is the fundamentally innate mind of purity.
So if you are being that, it *is* the wisdom that purifies.
After you've done your ngondro with Vajrasattva over your head,
*then* you do self visualization. So the problem is solved by ngondro,
and by empowerment into the deity.

2) Only one or two malas a day? Sure you can, but why limit it?
If you practice for a while a mala will take 15 minutes or less.
A mala or two in the morning, and a mala or two in the evening
are recommended-- at the least.

TaTa
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Re: Vajrasattva questions

Post by TaTa » Sat Jun 21, 2014 2:33 pm

I guess im reciting it to slow, maybe ill work with that. Thank you for your answer =)

Andrew108
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Re: Vajrasattva questions

Post by Andrew108 » Sat Jun 21, 2014 2:40 pm

Is this practice part of your ngondro?
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.

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Re: Vajrasattva questions

Post by Crazywisdom » Sat Jun 21, 2014 3:18 pm

TaTa wrote:Two simple questions about vajrasattva practice.

1) How do you work with this to apparently contradicting feelings. The first one being the identification of oneself as the divinity, or divinity pride and second one being the sense of wanting to purify our bad deeds? This seems contradictory within the framework of my dualistic mind.

2) Can i accumulate 1 and a half malas each time? Two is a little bit long for me and im trying to balance quality with quantity.
Ask your lama
I got my Chili Chilaya.

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Ayu
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Re: Vajrasattva questions

Post by Ayu » Sat Jun 21, 2014 4:42 pm

TaTa wrote:I guess im reciting it to slow, maybe ill work with that.
When I started I was anxious a little bit. So i did only 21 Vajrasattva-Mantras a day. Then I found out, it was beneficial and there's no harm at all and I did one mala a day for long time, maybe one or two years.
Then I had the impression I should force the speed. At the end I did 6 Malas a day. But I never was quicker than 1 Mala/20min. :smile:
The whole thing took 3 and a half years and it was very, very beneficial.
I have decided to stick with love.
Hate is too great a burden to bear.
- Martin Luther King, Jr. -

TaTa
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Re: Vajrasattva questions

Post by TaTa » Sun Jun 22, 2014 8:51 am

And how did you manage with the visualization? Im the kind of guy who is not skilled in visualization, but i do find a huge amount of improvement in the amount of time i have been practicing. How much of the practice do you do with visualization and how much without. I guess the criteria that i would choose is to use the visualization when its not creating neurosis and at the same time without being lazy and conformist.

Andrew108
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Re: Vajrasattva questions

Post by Andrew108 » Sun Jun 22, 2014 11:01 am

TaTa wrote:Two simple questions about vajrasattva practice.

1) How do you work with this to apparently contradicting feelings. The first one being the identification of oneself as the divinity, or divinity pride and second one being the sense of wanting to purify our bad deeds? This seems contradictory within the framework of my dualistic mind.

2) Can i accumulate 1 and a half malas each time? Two is a little bit long for me and im trying to balance quality with quantity.
I guess you are doing this as part of a Ngondro. The first thing is to ask your teacher. But may be you don't have close access. So I'll answer. The first question. My answer is that for the Vajrasattva part of the Ngondro identification of oneself as the divinity is not the main point. The main point is this idea of wanting and being able to purify past deeds. The type of purification is to recognise, regret, and feel relief that they are gone. So the deeds are purified through the seeds of these habitual tendencies no longer being there. Are they no longer there? Well this is a difficult question to answer but when they are not seen to be there then there is some reinforcement through 'deity pride'. Now you identify with purity - your own purity. It's a feeling like being reborn in that you are no longer a slave to those habitual negative behaviours that you once took as being 'part of you'. It is possible that you are not as conditioned as before because you see that it is possible to not always have to identify with negativity.

Then second question. You should do as much as you can. But you don't have to only do this practice as a formal practice. At the same time that you are doing this Ngondro practice it would also be useful to study a bit. Especially what the Buddha taught (and what your tradition teaches) on anatta. Have a look at different view on emptiness. Sometimes they correspond with the practices you find in the Ngondro.
The Blessed One said:

"What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavors, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. Anyone who would say, 'Repudiating this All, I will describe another,' if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range." Sabba Sutta.

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Ayu
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Re: Vajrasattva questions

Post by Ayu » Sun Jun 22, 2014 11:23 am

TaTa wrote:And how did you manage with the visualization? Im the kind of guy who is not skilled in visualization, but i do find a huge amount of improvement in the amount of time i have been practicing. How much of the practice do you do with visualization and how much without. I guess the criteria that i would choose is to use the visualization when its not creating neurosis and at the same time without being lazy and conformist.
I know, that I am not as strict as other deciples in these matters. But my teacher agrees with my approach, because his motto is "Better you do a practice than not doing it, because it might be too dificult".
So I think, the correct answer on this question is: it depends on the individual, please ask your teacher.

I didn't have permission to do the full self-visualisation. I only visualized Vajrasattva on top of my head. This was a matter of trying and training - not a matter of perfection. For to do a visualisation that is good enough I don't have to sit inevitably. It is also possible to visualize while walking in a calm place like a forest or a park. While working in the garden the visualization was drifting away and coming back in waves. I consider that as a good training also.
But it depends.
I know many people who have very strikt opinions about this and they say, you have to sit while reciting and visualizing and nothing else is possible.
But I think, if my practice was not "good enough" I would better like to do it again. Better than trying to do it perfectly and then stopping it because of missing time and opportunity for practice .
I have decided to stick with love.
Hate is too great a burden to bear.
- Martin Luther King, Jr. -

togg
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Re: Vajrasattva questions

Post by togg » Sun Jun 22, 2014 12:36 pm

I find this discussion very valuable! :rolling: :twothumbsup: :rolling:

I have just started, Gyalwa Karmapa (Ogyen Thrinley Dorje`s) Ngondro - and i´m using about 20 minutes on
27 long mantras…. And that´s about what i can do on a day, very poor health,you see.
I thought one was to pronunce the 100 syllable Vajrasattva mantra
clear and not too fast? (Lama yeshe, Jamgon Kongtrul)

How long time do you people use on ONE mantra?!
I use kinda 20sec.ish on one. More than 1hour for 2 malas,then…

Another thing, at the last stage,when Vajrasattva dissolves into you,
i feel like Vajrasattva…being the deity - just some milliseconds,though! AMAZING.

I was in Germany and received Vajrasattva empowerment from Gyalwa Karmapa (Ogyen Thrinley Dorje)
As i have no guru within reach here in Norway to ask; was that empowerment
authorizing one to vizualize oneself as Vajrasattva?!
Anyone here at the forum that was in Germany this spring?

(Hey, hope i´m not hijacking...)

Thanks a lot,T :bow:

smcj
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Re: Vajrasattva questions

Post by smcj » Sun Jun 22, 2014 3:32 pm

More than 1hour for 2 malas,then…
Personally I do about 3 malas an hour, but YMMV.
As i have no guru within reach here in Norway to ask; was that empowerment
authorizing one to vizualize oneself as Vajrasattva?!
Anyone here at the forum that was in Germany this spring?
I don't know about the empowerment given, but generally visualizing oneself as a deity is a more advanced level of practice than NgonDro. So it is safe to say that the empowerment you received is appropriate to visualize the deity above you, for now.
...his motto is "Better you do a practice than not doing it, because it might be too dificult".
Good advice. Doing what you can sincerely is better than being overly ambitious and then not doing anything at all. Personally I'd rather do a practice with an open mind and sincerity than with proficiency and arrogance. That might just be a rationalization on my part to get me off the hook for being lame at it, but you get the idea.
*****
Also not well explained in the texts, but I've heard from lamas, is that there are two "flushes" from the deity above your head in the Karma Kagyu NgonDro. The first pushes out the black yuck, and the second fills you with amrita. I've heard that both flushes are done per each mantra, but that is a little ambitious for me at this point, so I take more time with it. So anyway check with you lama(s), don't just take my word for it.
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

ngodrup
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Re: Vajrasattva questions

Post by ngodrup » Sun Jun 22, 2014 3:57 pm

Generally speaking, beginners following ngondro
envision Vajrasattva over their heads with themselves
in their usual form (what you habitually call "me."
Dudjom Rinpoche said that if beginners can imagine
light over their heads, that is enough. You envision
either single or yab-yum form according to the text
you follow.

If you have the empowerent, you may visualize self
as Vajrasattva. In that case, if you are still doing ngondro,
most of the time the deity will be over your head, but after
say 27, 54, 108, 1000, etc... you *may* self visualize some.
In the Longchen Nyingtik or DT, for example, after completing
the 100 syllable part, you then self visualize and recite the six
syllable mantra of Vajrasattva as Vajrasattva. In which case,
you still only count long mantras. In that second phase light
goes out from you as VS to purify others. Then there's a somewhat
detailed dissolution-- you can find all this in "Words of my Perfect Teacher"
by Patrul Rinpoche.

How much importance on details of visualization? Dzongsar Khyentse writes
that if you recall your mother, you don't necessarily see every detail, but
you *do* have a clear sense of her. That is what is important. Vajra-pride
is being the deity, and if you have the empowerment, it is necessary to
self identify as the deity. That is what you are *really* practicing-- not whether
you burp or mispronounce once or twice. That's why you do 10% more-- to make up
for any shortcomings. I hope this is helpful. Please read Words of my Perfect Teacher,
Not for Happiness, and/or A Cascading Waterfall of Nectar.

smcj
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Re: Vajrasattva questions

Post by smcj » Sun Jun 22, 2014 4:19 pm

You envision
either single or yab-yum form according to the text
you follow.
In the NgonDro the different schools have different details about the visualization.

Nyingma= the deity in yab-yum

Karma Kagyu= solo figure in bodhisattva posture, which is like how Green Tara sits with right foot down.

Sakya & Gelug= solo figure in full lotus. (99% sure about that)

I am told that the differences are not completely inconsequential, that there are subtle differences in the effects of the practice depending on the details. Also those subtle differences dovetail with the details from the other aspects of the NgonDro to make a complete "set" of effects that to be the basis for later practices as per ideal for a given school's approach. What that actually means I have no idea, but I've heard it.
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

TaTa
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Re: Vajrasattva questions

Post by TaTa » Sun Jun 22, 2014 4:41 pm

Andrew108 wrote:Is this practice part of your ngondro?
Yes it is. Short ngondro made by the karmapa.

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Ayu
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Re: Vajrasattva questions

Post by Ayu » Sun Jun 22, 2014 4:45 pm

smcj wrote: Sakya & Gelug= solo figure in full lotus. (99% sure about that)
No. It depends and is always different.
I've got an initiation in Vajrasattva yab-yum in the Gelug-line.
I have decided to stick with love.
Hate is too great a burden to bear.
- Martin Luther King, Jr. -

TaTa
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Re: Vajrasattva questions

Post by TaTa » Sun Jun 22, 2014 4:48 pm

Andrew108 wrote:
TaTa wrote:Two simple questions about vajrasattva practice.

1) How do you work with this to apparently contradicting feelings. The first one being the identification of oneself as the divinity, or divinity pride and second one being the sense of wanting to purify our bad deeds? This seems contradictory within the framework of my dualistic mind.

2) Can i accumulate 1 and a half malas each time? Two is a little bit long for me and im trying to balance quality with quantity.
I guess you are doing this as part of a Ngondro. The first thing is to ask your teacher. But may be you don't have close access.
Thank you for your answer. It has been very helpfull. Im currently working as a caretaker in a retreat center but me teacher comes when i go so dont see her to much but as soon as i can i will ask this doubts.

TaTa
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Re: Vajrasattva questions

Post by TaTa » Sun Jun 22, 2014 4:54 pm

Now the question is: Do divinty pride must be present if there is no self visualization? I dont have vajrasattva empowerment but i do have ngondro lung.

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Ayu
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Re: Vajrasattva questions

Post by Ayu » Sun Jun 22, 2014 4:57 pm

TaTa wrote:Now the question is: Do divinty pride must be present if there is no self visualization? I dont have vajrasattva empowerment but i do have ngondro lung.
Most important is the feeling of being cleaned completely at the end.
I have decided to stick with love.
Hate is too great a burden to bear.
- Martin Luther King, Jr. -

smcj
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Re: Vajrasattva questions

Post by smcj » Sun Jun 22, 2014 5:18 pm

Ayu wrote:
smcj wrote: Sakya & Gelug= solo figure in full lotus. (99% sure about that)
No. It depends and is always different.
I've got an initiation in Vajrasattva yab-yum in the Gelug-line.
Of course Gelug has yab-ym initiations for Vajrasattva. That would be an advanced practice in Gelug. I was talking about the Gelug NgonDro specifically. I used to have a Gelug NgonDro book by Geshe Rabten, but that was part of a purge when I moved, so I'm doing by memory.
Now the question is: Do divinty pride must be present if there is no self visualization?
Visualizing oneself as the deity and then having "Divine Pride" is an advanced practice to the best of my knowledge. All four schools have the deity seated above your head in their respective NgonDros, and therefore Diving Pride is not a factor in that practice.
I dont have vajrasattva empowerment but i do have ngondro lung.
In the Karma Kagyu texts I've read they say it is not necessary to specifically have the Vajrasattva initiation in order to do that practice. What is necessary is Refuge, permission/lung, and at least one Vajrayana initiation (of what class I don't remember). Of course having a Vajrasattva initiation is beneficial.
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

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kirtu
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Re: Vajrasattva questions

Post by kirtu » Mon Jun 23, 2014 12:45 am

smcj wrote: In the NgonDro the different schools have different details about the visualization.

Sakya ...= solo figure in full lotus. (99% sure about that)
In ngondro, yes. However I was surprised after several years of doing a different Vajrasattva when my Sakya Khenpo got us together and we did single figure Vajrasattva practice. At that point I had never done single deity Vajrasattva in my Sakya practices ever. You can actually enter Sakya practice and do Sakya sadhanas for years and not encounter the single deity Vajrasattva form. I'm not saying that everyone will have this expereince though. If you are introduced to Sakya ngondro right away then you definitely get the single form. But it is very common to get the typical tantric introductory initiations (Hevajra or Chakrasamvara and Vajrayogini), practice that and really just do Atisha's refuge prayer with extensive sutra lineage study for a long time. And then later begin ngondro.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

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