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

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

BRINGING THE MIND HOME 71One of his qualities is that he has the power to give his blessinginstantly to whoever prays to him, and whatever we maypray for, he has the power to grant our wish immediately."Inspired by this, fix a copy of this picture at your eye leveland lightly set your attention on his face, especially on thegaze of his eyes. There is a deep stillness in the immediacy ofthat gaze, which almost bursts out of the photograph to carryyou into a state of awareness without clinging, the state ofmeditation. Then leave your mind quiedy, at peace, withPadmasambhava.2. Reciting a MantraA second technique, used a great deal in Tibetan Buddhism(and also in Sufism, Orthodox Christianity and Hinduism), isuniting the mind with the sound of a mantra. The definitionof mantra is "that which protects the mind." That which protectsthe mind from negativity, or that which protects youfrom your own mind, is called mantra.When you are nervous, disoriented, or emotionally fragile,chanting or reciting a mantra inspiringly can change the stateof 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. Eachsyllable is impregnated with spiritual power, condenses a spiritualtruth, and vibrates with the blessing of the speech of thebuddhas. It is also said that the mind rides on the subtleenergy of the breath, the prana, which moves through andpurifies the subde channels of the body. So when you chant amantra, you are charging your breath and energy with theenergy of the mantra, and so working directly on your mindand subde body.The mantra I recommend to my students is OM AH HUMVAJRA GURU PADMA SIDDHI HUM (Tibetans say: Om AhHung Benza Guru Pema Siddhi Hung), which is the mantra ofPadmasambhava, the mantra of all the buddhas, masters, andrealized 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 becomeslowly one. Or chant it in an inspiring way, and rest in theprofound silence that sometimes follows.Even after a lifetime of being familiar with the practice, Iam still sometimes astonished by the power of mantra. A fewyears ago, I was conducting a workshop for three hundred

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