148 THE TIBETAN BOOK OF LIVING AND DYING devotion and realizing the nature of mind, than the practice of Guru Yoga. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche wrote, "The words Guru Yoga mean 'union with the nature of the guru,' and in this practice we are given methods by which we can blend our own minds with the enlightened mind of the master." 7 Remember that the master—the guru—embodies the crystallization of the blessings of all buddhas, masters, and enlightened beings. So to invoke him or her is to invoke them all; and to merge your mind and heart with your master's wisdom mind is to merge your mind with the truth and very embodiment of enlightenment. The outer teacher introduces you directly to the truth of your inner teacher. The more it is revealed through his or her teaching and inspiration, the more you begin to realize that outer and inner teacher are indivisible. As you gradually discover the truth of this for yourself, by invoking it again and again in the practice of Guru Yoga, a deepening confidence, gratitude, joy, and devotion are bom in you, through which your mind and the wisdom mind of the master do actually become indivisible. In a Guru Yoga practice he composed at my request, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche wrote: That which accomplishes the great purity of perception Is devotion, which is the radiance of Rigpa ... Recognizing and remembering that my own Rigpa is the master— Through this, may your mind and mine merge as one. This is why all the wisdom traditions of Tibet have placed so much importance on the practice of Guru Yoga, and all the foremost Tibetan masters have treasured it as their innermost heart practice. Dudjom Rinpoche wrote: It is vital to put all your energy into the Guru Yoga, holding onto it as the life and heart of the practice. If you do not, then your meditation will be very dull, and even if you do make a little progress, there will be no end to obstacles, and no possibility of true, genuine realization being bom within the mind. So by fervently praying with uncontrived devotion, after a while the direct blessing of the wisdom mind of the master will be transmitted, empowering you with a unique realization, beyond words, born deep within your mind. What I would like to give you now is a simple practice of Guru Yoga that anyone, whatever their religion or spiritual belief, can do.
THE SPIRITUAL PATH 149 This wonderful practice is my main practice, the heart and inspiration of my whole life, and whenever I do the Guru Yoga, it is Padmasambhava that I focus on. As Buddha himself was passing away, he prophesied that Padmasambhava would be bom not long after his death in order to spread the teaching of the Tantras. It was Padmasambhava, as I have said, who established Buddhism in Tibet in the eighth century. For us Tibetans, Padmasambhava, Guru Rinpoche, embodies a cosmic, timeless principle; he is the universal master. He has appeared countless times to the masters of Tibet, and these meetings and visions have been precisely recorded: the date, the place, and manner in which they occurred, along with the teachings and prophecies Padmasambhava gave. He also left thousands of visionary teachings for future times, which have been revealed again and again by the many great masters who have been his emanations; one of these visionary treasures, or termas, is the TibetanBookof the Dead. I have always turned to Padmasambhava in times of difficulty and crisis, and his blessing and power have never failed me. When I think of him, all my masters are embodied in him. To me he is completely alive at all moments, and the whole universe, at each moment, shines with his beauty, strength, and presence. 0 Guru Rinpoche, Precious One, You are the embodiment ofThe compassion and blessings of all the buddhas, The only protector of beings. My body, my possessions, my heart and soul Without hesitation, I surrender to you! From now until I attain enlightenment, In happiness or sorrow, in circumstances good or bad, in situations high or low: 1 rely on you completely, O Padmasambhava, you who know me: think of me, inspire me, guide me, make me one with you! 8 I consider Padmasambhava as the embodiment of all my masters, and so when I merge my mind with him in Guru Yoga, all of them are included within him. You can, however, use any enlightened being, saint, or master from any religion or mystical tradition for whom you feel devotion, whether they are alive or not. This practice of Guru Yoga has four main phases: invocation; merging your mind with the master through his heart