In the last post we examined how to make our life the synthesis experience of all living beings. Now the question is how do we then make our entire life a method for purifying the samsara of all living beings. How do we practice this? The core of it is we exchange self with others, where we are identifying with their minds. When we have done this, then what arises in our mind is actually what is arising in their mind. First we say, “their delusions are my delusions” – we impute ‘my delusions’ onto the basis of the aggregate nexus of their delusions. Second, we say “my delusions are their delusions” – we impute ‘their delusions’ onto the basis of the delusions arising within our own mind. We know we have done it correctly when we experience life as both of these simultaneously and without any contradiction. My experiences are their experiences – their aggregate experiences are my experiences. Both of these simultaneously and without any contradiction. My mind is their mind, their mind is my mind, both simultaneously and without any contradiction. My subtle body is their subtle body, their subtle body is my subtle body, both simultaneously and without any contradiction. There is simply no longer any independent self or Ryan – “Ryan” becomes ‘nothing other than’ a microcosmic reflection of my vajra family.
With this recognition, we use all of the Dharma we have against ‘my delusions’ (the delusions arising within our mind). We work exclusively on our own mind. There are two different ways we can practice this: King-like bodhichitta (or Christ-like bodhichitta) – it feels like I am treating directly my delusions, and by doing so I am indirectly treating their delusions that I have taken on (so directly me, indirectly them). Christ took on the negative karma of all living beings, and then his suffering was actually the negative karma of others ripening on him so others didn’t have to experience it. By generating faith in him, one gains access to his special blessings which function to free our from our negative karma by allowing him to take it upon himself. In the same way, we take on the negativities, delusions and obstructions of our vajra family, and then the negative karma, delusions and obstructions that we experience are actually those of others ripening on us so that others don’t have to experience it. By others generating faith in us, they gain access to our special blessings which function to free them from their negative karma, delusions and obstructions by allowing us to take them upon ourself. We design our own enlightenment in this way. With divine pride thinking I am Heruka doing this we generate the feeling like we are treating directly their delusions in their mind for them, and by doing so we are indirectly treating our own delusions by creating the karma to have Buddhas do the same for us. Eventually these two methods will collapse into the same thing without any contradiction.
Technically speaking, how can we do this? We essentially take on the contaminated karma of our vajra family. This includes all the negative karma, deluded tendencies similar to the cause and their obstructions to omniscience. This is possible to do directly if we have sufficient compassion/superior intention, concentration and understanding of emptiness. We can more easily also accomplish this through requests to Dorje Shugden. We have on our mind the contaminated karma for virtually any experience. So we are essentially requesting Dorje Shugden to activate the karma in our mind that corresponds with the delusions and negative karma of our vajra family. We make requests to Dorje Shugden and dedicate, “may the delusions that arise in my mind be those of my vajra family; and when I overcome them in my mind may they be eliminated from their minds.”
What are the benefits of this practice? First, it will give our suffering meaning, so we will gladly accept it. Second, it will eliminate all of ‘our’ delusions in one fell swoop. We will no longer have any delusions, they will be those of our vajra family. Third, it will help us cut our identification with the delusions arising within our mind. They are not our delusions, they are the delusions of others that we have taken on. Fourth, with this practice, Bodhichitta comes naturally. We see the direct connection between overcoming our delusions and negative karma and benefiting others. The distinction between ourselves becoming a Buddha and our leading others to enlightenment disappears. When we engage in our practices, we are directly working on the delusions arising in our mind, but we understand them to be those of our vajra family. Finally, by overcoming the delusions arising in our mind, we gain the realizations we need to help those with these delusions overcome them.
This practice also enables us to create a special karmic connection with these beings which will ripen in the form of them being our disciples in the future. This practice will karmically draw you closer to these beings in the form of you having a special relationship with them as your disciple. This practice and this faith enables them to appear in your life. Dorje Shugden does not activate the karma for them to come into our life before we have the realizations necessary to actually help them. When we overcome their delusions in our mind, then we will know how to help them. It is at this time that Dorje Shugden activates the karma for them to appear. It is in this way that centers grow, and why Venerable Tharchin said that what we need to do to make the center grow is for ourselves, the members of the center, to gain realizations.
By eliminating others’ delusions in our mind, we eliminate them in their minds. This is so because their faults and delusions come from our mind anyway. If we understand this deeply, we will see we can directly engage in the actions of a Buddha right now. We can carry the entire vajra family forward in proportion to their karmic connection with us simply by working on our own mind.
2 thoughts on “Cultivating a true self-confidence: How do we make our life a samsaric purification system?”
I loved reading this again, I really rejoice that you are sharing this.
Dear Ryan, it’s very powerful this way to integrate taking and giving with our tantric practice. I’m very inspired. Thank you for sharing.