152 THE TIBETAN BOOK OF LIVING AND DYING purifying, healing, blessing, empowering, and sowing in you the seeds of enlightenment. To make the practice as rich and inspiring as possible, you could imagine it unfolding in these three phases: First, dazzling light, crystal white in color, bursts out from the forehead of the master and enters the energy center in your forehead and fills your whole body. This white light represents the blessing of the body of all the buddhas: It cleanses all the negative karma you have accumulated through negative actions of the body; it purifies the subtle channels of your psycho-physical system; it gives you the blessing of the body of the buddhas; it empowers you for visualization practice; and it opens you to the realization of that compassionate energy of Rigpa, the nature of mind, that is manifesting in everything. Second, a stream of ruby red light shines out from the throat of the master into the energy center at your throat, filling your entire body. This red light represents the blessing of the speech of all the buddhas: it cleanses all the negative karma you have accumulated through harmful speech; it purifies the inner air of your psycho-physical system; it gives you the blessing of the speech of the buddhas; it empowers you for mantra practice; and it opens you to the realization of the radiance of the nature of Rigpa. Third, a stream of shimmering blue light, the color of lapis lazuli, bursts out from the heart of the master into the energy center at your heart, and fills your whole body. This blue light represents the blessing of the mind of the buddhas: It cleanses all the negative karma you have accumulated through negative activity of your mind; it purifies the creative essence, or energy, within your psycho-physical system; it gives you the blessing of the mind of the buddhas; it empowers you for advanced yoga practices; and it opens you to the realization of the primordial purity of the essence of Rigpa. Know and feel that you are now empowered, through the blessing, with the indestructible body, speech, and mind of Padmasambhava, of all the buddhas. 4- Resting in the Rigpa Now let the master dissolve into light and become one with you, in the nature of your mind. Recognize beyond any doubt that this sky-like nature of your mind is the absolute master. Where else would all the enlightened beings be but in the Rigpa, in the nature of your mind?
THE SPIRITUAL PATH 153 Secure in that realization, in a state of spacious and carefree ease, you rest in the warmth, glory, and blessing of your absolute nature. You have arrived at the original ground: the primordial purity of natural simplicity. As you rest in this state of Rigpa, you recognize the truth of Padmasambhava's words: "Mind itself is Padmasambhava; there is no practice or meditation apart from that." I have given this practice here, as part of the natural bardo of this life, because this is the most important practice in life and so the most important practice at the moment of death. Guru Yoga, as you will see in Chapter 13, "Spiritual Help for the Dying," forms the basis of the practice of phowa, the transference of consciousness at the moment of death. For if, at the moment of death, you can unite your mind confidently with the wisdom mind of the master and die in that peace, then all, I promise and assure you, will be well. Our task in life, then, is to practice this merging with the wisdom mind of the master again and again, so that it becomes so natural that every activity—sitting, walking, eating, drinking, sleeping, dreaming, and waking—starts to be increasingly permeated by the master's living presence. Slowly, over years of focused devotion, you begin to know and realize all appearances to be the display of the wisdom of the master. All the situations of life, even those that once seemed tragic, meaningless, or terrifying, reveal themselves more and more transparently to be the direct teaching and blessing of the master, and the inner teacher. As Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche says: Devotion is the essence of the path, and if we have in mind nothing but the guru and feel nothing but fervent devotion, whatever occurs is perceived as his blessing. If we simply practice with this constantly present devotion, this is prayer itself When all thoughts are imbued with devotion to the guru, there is a natural confidence that this will take care of whatever may happen. All forms are the guru, all sounds are prayer, and all gross and subtle thoughts arise as devotion. Everything is spontaneously liberated in the absolute nature, like knots untied in the sky 9