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

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

THE SPIRITUAL PATH 139what gives your master the extraordinary power to illumineyour mind and heart. He or she is nothing less than thehuman face of the absolute, the telephone, if you like, throughwhich all the buddhas and all the enlightened beings can callyou. He or she is the crystallization of the wisdom of all thebuddhas, and the embodiment of their compassion directedalways toward you: the rays of their universal sunlight aimeddirectly at your heart and mind in order to liberate you.In my tradition we revere the master for being even kinderthan the buddhas themselves. Although the compassion andpower of the buddhas are always present, our obscurationsprevent us from meeting the buddhas face to face. But we canmeet the master; he or she is here, living, breathing, speaking,acting, before us to show us, in all the ways possible, the pathof the buddhas: the way to liberation. For me, my mastershave been the embodiment of living truth, undeniable signsthat enlightenment is possible in a body, in this life, in thisworld, even here and even now, the supreme inspirations inmy practice, in my work, in my life, and in my journeytoward liberation. My masters are for me the embodiments ofmy sacred commitment to keep enlightenment foremost in mymind until I actually achieve it. I know enough to know thatonly when I reach enlightenment will I have a completeunderstanding of who they really are and of their infinite generosity,love, and wisdom.I would like to share with you this beautiful prayer, thewords of Jikmé Lingpa, a prayer we say in Tibet to invoke thepresence of the master in our heart:From the blossoming lotus of devotion, at the center of my heart,Rise up, O compassionate master, my only refuge!I am plagued by past actions and turbulent emotions:To protect me in my misfortuneRemain as the jewel-ornament on the crown of my head, thechakra of great bliss,Arousing all my mindfulness and awareness, I pray!THE ALCHEMY OF DEVOTIONJust as Buddha said that of all the buddhas who attainedenlightenment, not one accomplished this without relying onthe master, he also said: "It is only through devotion, anddevotion alone, that you will realize the absolute truth." Theabsolute truth cannot be realized within the domain of the

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