their masters all their lives. Even at the age of eighty-two, when

Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche spoke of his master Jamyang Khyentse,

tears of gratitude and devotion came to his eyes. In his last letter

to me before he died, he signed himself "the worst disciple."

That showed me how endless true devotion is, how with the

greatest possible realization comes the greatest devotion and the

most complete, because the most humble, gratitude.



All the buddhas, bodhisattvas, and enlightened beings are

present at all moments to help us, and it is through the presence

of the master that all of their blessings are focused

directly at us. Those who know Padmasambhava know the

living truth of the promise he made over a thousand years

ago: "I am never far from those with faith, or even from those

without it, though they do not see me. My children will

always, always, be protected by my compassion."

All we need to do to receive direct help is to ask. Didn't

Christ also say: "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek and ye

shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you. Everyone

that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth"? 6 And yet

asking is what we find hardest. Many of us, I feel, hardly

know how to ask. Sometimes it is because we are arrogant,

sometimes because we are unwilling to seek help, sometimes

because we are lazy, sometimes our minds are so busy with

questions, distractions, and confusion that the simplicity of

asking does not occur to us. The turning point in any healing

of alcoholics or drug addicts is when they admit their illness

and ask for aid. In one way or another, we are all addicts of

samsara; the moment when help can come for us is when we

admit our addiction and simply ask.

What most of us need, almost more than anything, is the

courage and humility really to ask for help, from the depths of

our hearts: to ask for the compassion of the enlightened

beings, to ask for purification and healing, to ask for the

power to understand the meaning of our suffering and transform

it; at a relative level to ask for the growth in our lives of

clarity, of peace, of discernment, and to ask for the realization

of the absolute nature of mind that comes from merging with

the deathless wisdom mind of the master.

There is no swifter, more moving, or more powerful practice

for invoking the help of the enlightened beings, for arousing

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