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Dharma Talk > Discourses on the Great Perfection Dharma

3. Great Perfection Dharma Practice Opens Channels and Meridians Leading to Good Health

2013-06-09 Rainbow Temple
(Given at Rainbow Temple, North Bend, Washington, USA on June 9, 2013 after the fire offering to Hayagriva. Translated and edited by Janny Chow, Proofread by Christine Chan)

With reverence, we first pay homage to Reverend Liaoming, His Eminence Sakya Zhengkong Rinpoche, His Holiness the Sixteenth Karmapa, Vajra Acharya Thubten Dargye, Hayagriva Heruka, and the Three Jewels at the shrine.

Shimu, masters, dharma instructors, reverends, dharma lecturers, dharma assistants, directors of local chapters, fellow school members, and students from across the internet. Our guests of honor today are: Mrs. Ambassador Daniel Liao dharma sister Judy, True Buddha Foundation's accountant dharma sister Teresa and her husband, dharma sister Xu Yaqi, producer of the Taiwan CTI television program Light the Lamp in Your Heart, and her assistant dharma sister Chen Shuyi, dharma sister Xue Wang Shumei, wife of Mr. Xue Shenghua, the chairman of the board of Overseas Credit Guarantee Fund of OCAC (Overseas Chinese Affairs Council), Professor Yeh Shuwen of National Pingtung University of Science and Technology and her son, Dr. Zhuang Junyao, and Dr. Lin Shuhua. Let us applaud everyone. You all are honored guests as it is not a simple task to come listen to the dharma. Those watching the webcast are also honored guests. Greetings to everyone from around the world! Greetings to every one (in Cantonese)!

Before picking up where I left off yesterday, I will briefly talk about Hayagriva, the deity of today's homa. This Hayagriva is very special. Hayagriva Sadhana is one of the wrathful deity (heruka) practices in Great Perfection. Hayagriva is a wrathful manifestation of Guanyin Bodhisattva, hence he can be dressed in either of two colors. Red represents his origins from Amitabha. Hayagriva's Heart Mantra is: ''Om, seh, bei-ma-da-ji, ha-ya-ji-wa, seh, hum-pei.'' The seed syllable of ''seh'' is the ''seh'' in Amitabha's ''Om, ah-mee-deh-wah-seh.'' From ''seh'' one can tell that Hayagriva has originated from Amitabha. He is an emanation of Guanyin and Guanyin emerged from Amitabha. Dashizhi Bodhisattva (Mahasthamaprapta) also emerged from Amitabha. Many herukas or vidyarajas are emanations of Amitabha. Because Hayagriva is also a heruka, his other color is either black or blue, although most of the time it is blue. Grand Master is wearing blue and black today.

Hayagriva serves two main functions. First, he is the deity that delivers the most beings in the animal realm. Second, he can destroy evil curses and black magic. When you practice the Hayagriva Sadhana, all curses and black magic cast upon you will be eliminated. Hayagriva carries out such great actions. Also, Hayagriva can be invoked for the intents of purification, enhancement, magnetization, or subjugation. No matter what kind of crisis or illness you face, you can invoke Hayagriva to purify you. Hayagriva has one face, two arms and two legs. One hand holds a skull staff and the other a vajra rope. He has a scowling face with three glaring eyes. His teeth are exposed with two protruding fangs. Atop his head is a horse head. His red and golden hair sticks up vertically as he stands atop a sun disc on a lotus. He is enveloped by blazing fire.

Hayagriva's main implement is neither his commanding skull staff nor rope, but the teeth of the horse upon his head. He has a nickname: ''Swift Heruka.'' In ancient times, there were no high speed railways, freeways or cars. What ran fastest? Horses. Lychees are now in season. There is a saying that ''lychees turn red in Lingnan and Lingbei.'' Cantonese speakers should know that Lingnan is Guangdong. Just after the lychees turned red, they were loaded onto horses and swiftly delivered eight hundred miles from Guangdong to Luoyang and Changan. Who were the lychees for? Yang Guifei. She was the emperor's favorite mistress. In order to appease Yang Guifei, the Tang emperor had ordered lychees transported with the swiftest method possible from Lingnan to Luoyang and Changan. So, the lychees were transported with horses. Hence, the Swift Heruka Hayagriva represents speed. When practicing the sadhanas, this method will achieve results. Ka-cha! With a chomping of his teeth, problems are resolved.

If you are sick, practice the Hayagriva Sadhana. Visualize the horse's teeth chomping away at the illness. Of course, he is not really biting you as that would be painful. But when someone is sick, visualize that person coming before you, and take a look to see where the sickness is located. If it is a heart problem, visualize the horse's teeth biting down upon his heart. This biting eliminates sickness. This is written in the Hayagriva scripture: use teeth to bite away illness. By practicing this sadhana, you can chomp off your own illness or another's illness. This is a purification practice.

As an enhancement practice, if you wish for money or prosperity, visualize the horse flying away to bite down upon a piece of gold to bring back to you. If you desire wisdom, visualize Hayagriva biting upon hundreds of scriptures and tantras and bringing them back to you. In this way, you can increase your own wisdom.

The Hayagriva Sadhana also works as a magnetization practice. Visualize the horse flying away and bringing back the person you like in his mouth, for example a boyfriend or girlfriend. The person you like will not be able to flee because Hayagriva runs very fast! Make sure that the horse is only holding him or her gently with his teeth. This is a magnetization or harmony practice.

What about subjugation? In the city of Moses Lake in Washington state, there are ranches and pastures. When the pastures mature, the grass is cut into pieces. Send Hayagriva to chomp on your enemy and grind them down as if he were chomping on grass. Of course, if you chew your enemies to death, you must be able to deliver their souls to the Buddha Pure Land. This is what I have mentioned previously as the Hayagriva ''sha-du fa (kill and deliver method).'' When the horse holds something lightly with his teeth, it is good. When he bites down fiercely, his methods become a form of subjugation. These are the actions of Hayagriva, the Swift Heruka.

Let me tell a joke! A little kid was playing with his smart phone and it made his mom who was busy in the kitchen very mad. She reprimanded him, ''All you ever do is play with your cell phone. If you don't study hard now, you are going to end up like your dad and you won't be able to marry a good wife.'' At this point, the dad who was watching television looked up and spoke calmly, ''After all these years, you finally admit it.'' Sometimes your archenemy is not very far away, he or she may be right by your side. I am not talking about anyone in particular! Your boss sometimes is your archenemy. You may have worked very hard, but he may not appreciate or treat you well. In Buddhism, among the eight sufferings is ''suffering being together with the despised ones.'' Those you don't want to see will be in sight every day. What should you do in this scenario? Carry out the Hayagriva practice and have the horse bite down slightly on his leg. Do not bite down too hard or you will break him. Or bite his hand so he cannot use the computer. This slight punishment will do. If you know your husband or wife has been unfaithful, what can you do? Chomp down on his lip so it becomes swollen like Zhu Bajie (the character Pig in Journey to the West). Or you may say, ''Strange? Why are my lips all swollen when I woke up?'' It may be that your wife has put some black magic on you. Hence those you dislike may always move before your eyes while those you like are far away. This is the ''suffering of being apart from loved ones.'' There are eight sufferings in life. In the human world, these include always being around those you detest and separation from those you truly love. Or you may get along fine with someone on the surface, but in your heart you may be very far apart. You of course should not bite and kill your spouse. Just make his or her lips red and swollen, like Zhu Bajie, causing others to turn away. This kind of punishment should be sufficient.

This is the mudra of Hayagriva. Hold the thumb and index fingers to form a ring. With the right hand, the three remaining fingers are vertical. With the left hand, the three remaining fingers form a fist. The three vertical fingers represent the horse head. You have all seen the image of Hayagriva earlier: three wrathful eyes, teeth like this, a horse head up high, hair flying upward, and one hand holding the skull staff and the other holding the vajra rope. He is very easy to visualize. His mantra is: Om, seh, bei-ma-da-ji, ha-ya-ji-wa, seh, hum-pei. With mantra, mudra, and visualization, you can practice the sadhana.

Now let us continue with the discourse of the Nine Stages of Great Perfection. What are the functions of Great Perfection Dharma? There were two kings very good at bragging. The king of the bigger country said, ''We have an army five million strong. Will you surrender?'' The king of the smaller country replied, ''We will of course surrender. Our country is just too small to hold five million prisoners of war.'' Great Perfection teachings are ''big.'' They can be described as the most expansive and profound Tantrayana teachings. Kagyu has Mahamudra, Gelug has Yamantaka, Sakya has Lamdre, and Nyingma has Dzogchen. Nyingma's Dzogchen is the most ancient. It is possible that the other three meditation systems were derived from Dzogchen. I can only describe it this way.

The Great Perfection practices are expansive. In Buddhist scriptures, we often see the words ''very well, very well!'' The practices of Great Perfection are ''very good, very happy.'' People who cultivate this practice will be very happy and cheerful. This is a wonderful, ''number one'' practice. I do not know how else to describe it. Dzogchen holds many wonderful things. It is so perfect, that it is called the Great Perfection without any drawbacks. Great Perfection practices will enable you to attain happiness, arrive at the summit, realize perfection, and enjoy the most ingenious and remarkable pleasures. If you don't study such a practice, you will have lived this life in vain. If you don't study the Great Perfection Buddhadharma, you will have wasted this lifetime in the human world.

Why are Great Perfection practices so wonderful? First, they will make you very healthy. Why? In general, it is hard to say whether a certain practice is good for someone's health, as every individual is different. In Great Perfection, there are practices that will open up all the channels and meridians in your body including the seven chakras, central channel, and the left and right channels. In Great Perfection, these are called ''posture practices (asana).'' When you pose a certain posture, like extending your arm (Grand Master demonstrates), the channels and meridians in your arm will extend. When you lift, or lower your arm, the channels and meridians will be affected. Doing the posture practices of Great Perfection enables you to open up all the channels and meridians in your body. For example, the Vajra Fists Exercises I perform are posture practices. There are many posture practices such as sitting, standing, lying, turning, and lifting that will open the channels and meridians to make you healthy. The qi and blood in your body can run smoothly throughout your body without any obstruction. For some older folks, blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, etc. are always going up and another thing is always drooping. This drooping is due to insufficient qi and blood flow. If qi and blood supply to the area are sufficient, it will rise up with the other indices. This type of Great Perfection practice circulates your qi and blood everywhere in the body without obstruction. If there is blockage to the flow of qi and blood to your internal organs, your internal organs will be weak. If qi and blood cannot reach the heart, one will die. If qi and blood cannot reach the lungs, you will have trouble breathing; if qi and blood do not reach the liver, you will have cirrhosis. Whichever organ the qi and blood cannot flow to, it will deteriorate and die off. Great Perfection has posture practices that bring a full supply of qi and blood to the entire body, so your body will be healthy.

In addition, your mind and spirit will be in a very happy state. How does this happen? Our mind and spirit are invisible, yet they will remain forever in a blissful state. Great Perfection allows you to understand your original mind. As explained before, as long as you are enlightened, you will understand your own mind. When you understand your own mind, you will not hold on to any woes. All sorrow will be wiped away and you will remain in a state of eternal happiness. Great Perfection enables you to be enlightened and attain realization. When you are enlightened, you will be very happy and healthy. Body and mind will be in unity and whatever the mind wants, the body will manifest (audience applause).

Great Perfection enables your body and mind to merge. The physical and the spiritual are in total harmony. Even the elderly, in cultivating the Great Perfection practices, can achieve this harmony between body and mind. With a thought, the body will manifest a condition in harmony with your thought. Many people do not have a balanced body-mind. The higher their education, the higher their knowledge, the smarter they are, the more disconnected their body-mind. This is a very important point. Do you know that many criminals are very highly educated? They may be doctorates or famous lawyers or scientists, but they have created great karmic defilements. Why? Because their body-mind is unbalanced. Someone who has harmony in mind and body will be very happy and will not harbor hatred against others. If you have hatred, your mind (heart) is already corrupted and you will have woes. This is an important point! Yesterday, when I was outside the True Buddha Quarter, I said, ''Whatever you are grasping onto that will be the bane of your existence. When you are not grasping onto anything, when you have not a care, you will have no woe.'' Whatever you care for will be your source of suffering. If you love a person, you will definitely be bound by this love. If you have hated a person, you will absolutely be bound by this hatred, and you will be unhappy. Hence, after practicing Great Perfection and attaining enlightenment, you will know: ''Oh! Ah-so! I have no attachment.'' At that time, nothing can tie you down, and your woes will disperse.

In practicing Dzogchen, you attain enlightenment, leading to good health and happiness and harmony. This is Great Perfection. A balanced and harmonious body-mind is Great Perfection. After that, continue to work hard, and you will attain ''Buddhahood in this Present Body.'' Even the body will undergo transmutation to become spirit. In most cases, the bardo spirit (soul) exits the body to be guided by the Yidam to attain Buddhahood. How does the body become spirit? How does something that is a composite of earth, water, fire, and wind become spirit? Dzogchen can transmute the body to the spirit. The body will disappear and only the inherent Buddha-essence will remain. By transforming into a rainbow light and attaining Buddhahood - this is called ''Buddhahood in this Present Body.'' There is also the term ''Buddhahood in this Present Life.'' Practice Dzogchen in this life and attain Buddhahood in this life.

Let me tell a joke! It is so hot that you all want to doze off. Lily the secretary was always late for work. When it is about closing time, the manager asked Lily, ''Lily, are you free tonight?'' Lily had a crush on this handsome young manager, and as soon as the manager asked, she was so happy she almost fainted. She replied immediately, ''I am free. I am free every single night.'' The young and handsome manager then said, ''In that case, will you please go to bed earlier so you won't be late to work every day.'' Her hopes were dashed. If you work diligently on Great Perfection practices, your wishes will not be dashed and you will attain enlightenment in this life.

Vajrasattva says that there are three kinds of tantras: action tantra, performance tantra, and yoga tantra. If you only practice the action tantra, it will take seven lifetimes to attain Buddhahood. Not seven years, as seven years pass quickly, but seven lifetimes. Practicing performance tantra will take five lifetimes to attain Buddhahood. Practicing the One Taste yoga tantra will take three lifetimes to attain Buddhahood. So, cultivation is not easy. Only Great Perfection will enable you to attain Buddhahood in one life.

In Great Perfection, there are two ways of attaining Buddhahood. The first is by transmuting the body to light, as exemplified by Padmasambhava. Padmasambhava is the lineage holder of Dzogchen, and when he wanted to enter nirvana, he simply transmuted his body into the rainbow body and ''xiu!'' transported himself to his Urgyen Pure Land. Even the body vanished. This is ''Buddhahood in this Present Body.'' On the other hand, if you are less accomplished, you can also achieve ''Buddhahood in this Present Life.'' I have mentioned that when Acharya Yiming was cremated, his entire body turned into sariras. After cremation, the body of course disappeared. But his bones, composites of earth, water, fire, and wind, had transformed into sariras. We can't say they piled up like a mountain, but there were so many sariras that it took several water buckets to carry them! In the United States, a garbage can is very tall and can seat a person inside. Acharya Yiming's sariras almost filled a whole garbage can. This manifestation of sariras from the entire body was a very remarkable feat. In the future when Grand Master is cremated, you will find nothing there and know that the entire body has transmuted into rainbow light (audience applause). Why will there be nothing? Well, there will be at least two sariras. One here in my right ear and another in my left ear right now. There is not enough time for everyone to touch and feel them.

There are so many benefits to doing the Great Perfection practices. You will have good health, happy state of mind, balanced body-mind, ''Buddhahood in this Present Body,'' ''Buddhahood in this Present Life,'' and also ''transformation of the body into the rainbow light.'' When the sixteenth Karmapa was cremated, a rainbow appeared in the sky. Recently after I announced that I would be transmitting the dharma of Pindola, the arhat with long eyebrows, a horizontal strip of cloud in the shape of a long eyebrow appeared in the sky above Ling Shen Ching Tze Temple in Redmond. We have taken a photograph of it. At that time, the entire sky was clear and sunny for miles around except for that long strip of eyebrow cloud. That cloud appeared twice altogether as eyebrows come in pairs! It was a great manifestation. In the past when I was to start the discourse on the Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch in Taiwan, six black footprints appeared in the sky above the Taiwan Lei Tsang Temple. At that time, it was also clear and sunny for miles around. The Sixth Patriarch is Liu Zhu (which is a homophone of liu zhu, six foot prints). These are unusual phenomena appearing in the sky. So, you see, it was sunny and clear for miles around, except for that long eyebrow appearing twice. First it appeared directly above the Ling Shen Ching Tze Temple, then it appeared in the sky across from the temple. Two strips of long brows. After taking a look at this eyebrow cloud, we went inside the temple. After a little while, when we came out, the long horizontal strip of cloud was nowhere to be seen. It had vanished. So, you see, every time when I am to start a new teaching, there will be unusual phenomenon in the sky (audience applause). A father asked his son, ''This is just the beginning of a school term, how did you already get a zero score?'' The son was very smart, and he replied, ''The teacher said that everything has to start from zero.'' Today we are also starting from zero. Great Perfection also has to start from zero. We will transform zero to Great Perfection.

I personally feel that Great Perfection is a wonderful, profound, and ''number one'' practice. A perfect practice. In the future, as this discourse of Dzogchen continues, many remarkable and exquisite things will take place. How was Dzogchen brought to China? During the Tang Dynasty, three masters: Subhakarasimha, Vajrabodhi, and Amoghava had arrived in China and brought Esoteric Buddhism to the height of its popularity there. In modern times, it was Lama Bai Puren, then Thubten Nima who had come to China to propagate the dharma. Thubten Nima, a disciple of Kanjurwa Khutughtu, taught Thubten Darli who in turn taught Thubten Dargye. Thubten Dargye then taught Thubten Qimo, Living Buddha Lian-sheng Sheng-yen Lu. Now Thubten Qimo (Grand Master himself) will transmit the dharma and lineage to Thubten Ksiti. I also have the lineage from Thubten Nima who had come to teach in China.

On the other hand, Norlha Rinpoche also has travelled to China because he believed that Esoteric Buddhism should peak in China. He told Gangkar Rinpoche, ''You also have to teach the dharma in China.'' Hence Gangkar Rinpoche followed Norlha Rinpoche's footsteps to travel to China to teach. It was in Sichuan that Norlha Rinpoche and Reverend Liaoming met. Rev. Liaoming explained the Diamond Sutra to Norlha Rinpoche, and Norlha Rinpoche of Nyingma taught him Dzogchen and gave him the empowerment. After receiving the empowerment, Rev. Liaoming then gave me the empowerment and passed the lineage to me. This is Grand Master's Dzogchen lineage within the human world (audience applause).

When Gangkar Rinpoche was in China, he had taught in cities such as Chengdu, Chongqing, Kunming, and Nanjing. Although he is a Kagyu rinpoche of the Mahamudra lineage, he also has studied Dzogchen and received the empowerment of Dzogchen from Norlha Rinpoche. These rinpoches all have the lineage of Dzogchen. As for Grand Master, my human lineage of Dzogchen is mainly from Norlha Rinpoche who had transmitted it to Rev. Liaoming then to me. My other lineage is trans-generational, from many lifetimes ago. Also, there is the lineage from the ''most profound Samadhi of pure awareness.'' After attaining enlightenment, when I practice the Nine Round Breathing (jiujiefofeng), Vajra Chanting (jingangsong), Treasure Vase Qi (baopingqi), I will be bringing my mind to a focus and entering naturally into samadhi. In this deep state of meditation, buddhas and bodhisattvas appear to teach me the secret keys to Dzogchen. They simply need to speak a sentence and the teaching will be understood. You will be able to utilize it. This kind of lineage is from the ''most profound Samadhi of pure awareness.'' Very few people in the world have this kind of lineage.

I have explained today what Dzogchen can bring you. With it, you will attain health, happiness, harmony in body and mind, enlightenment and realization, Buddhahood in this Present Body, Buddhahood in this Present Life, and transformation of the physical body into a rainbow light body. With it you can attain Buddhahood directly in the future as well as in one lifetime.

Om Mani Padme Hum.
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