The-Tibetan-Book-of-Living-and-Dying

realjannaweiss

The-Tibetan-Book-of-Living-and-Dying

BRINGING THE MIND HOME 71

One of his qualities is that he has the power to give his blessing

instantly to whoever prays to him, and whatever we may

pray for, he has the power to grant our wish immediately."

Inspired by this, fix a copy of this picture at your eye level

and lightly set your attention on his face, especially on the

gaze of his eyes. There is a deep stillness in the immediacy of

that gaze, which almost bursts out of the photograph to carry

you into a state of awareness without clinging, the state of

meditation. Then leave your mind quiedy, at peace, with

Padmasambhava.

2. Reciting a Mantra

A second technique, used a great deal in Tibetan Buddhism

(and also in Sufism, Orthodox Christianity and Hinduism), is

uniting the mind with the sound of a mantra. The definition

of mantra is "that which protects the mind." That which protects

the mind from negativity, or that which protects you

from your own mind, is called mantra.

When you are nervous, disoriented, or emotionally fragile,

chanting or reciting a mantra inspiringly can change the state

of your mind completely by transforming its energy and atmosphere.

How is this possible? Mantra is the essence of sound,

and the embodiment of the truth in the form of sound. Each

syllable is impregnated with spiritual power, condenses a spiritual

truth, and vibrates with the blessing of the speech of the

buddhas. It is also said that the mind rides on the subtle

energy of the breath, the prana, which moves through and

purifies the subde channels of the body. So when you chant a

mantra, you are charging your breath and energy with the

energy of the mantra, and so working directly on your mind

and subde body.

The mantra I recommend to my students is OM AH HUM

VAJRA GURU PADMA SIDDHI HUM (Tibetans say: Om Ah

Hung Benza Guru Pema Siddhi Hung), which is the mantra of

Padmasambhava, the mantra of all the buddhas, masters, and

realized beings, and so uniquely powerful for peace, for healing,

for transformation, and for protection in this violent,

chaotic age. 7 Recite the mantra quietly, with deep attention,

and let your breath, the mantra, and your awareness become

slowly one. Or chant it in an inspiring way, and rest in the

profound silence that sometimes follows.

Even after a lifetime of being familiar with the practice, I

am still sometimes astonished by the power of mantra. A few

years ago, I was conducting a workshop for three hundred

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