In this post, we will explore how to become an extension of the Spiritual Guide, how to make our every action of body, speech and mind be him working through us to benefit others, where we literally feel like we are an extension of him.
In the end, we can learn how to engage in the actions of a Buddha right now. Our true self is our pure potential – our Buddha seed. It is completely beyond defilement, no matter what delusions we might have. Its nature is the same as the Spiritual Guide. In other words, our true self fully developed is the Spiritual Guide and the Spiritual Guide is our own future enlightenment. A Buddha is simply an aspect or a reflection of our own pure potential. Our pure potential is like a diamond, and each Buddha is like a facet of it. The conventional aspects of Buddhas are tools which help us understand the good qualities of the Dharmakaya.
We might think, well that is nice, but I have no access to all this power, no access to myself, so what good does it do me? It is possible to gain access to all of this power and all the abilities of a Buddha right now. All it takes is faith, imagination and a pure motivation. An easy way to think about is to think we have two selves: our external self and our internal self. Your external self is your ordinary body and mind. Of course they are very limited in the sense that you have only one body and so can only do so much, and the ordinary mind is quite weak and so can’t do that much. But nonetheless, things can and should be done with them. Venerable Tharchin once advised me to get to know all the different powers and abilities of the spiritual guide. This increases our faith, helps us better understand how he can help us, strengthens our bodhichitta and shows us what we too can accomplish if we become a Buddha ourselves. Studying this enables us to know all the different ways we can invoke him. The Dharmakaya has all the powers and abilities of all the Buddhas, so we can consider any Buddha and attribute that power to the Dharmakaya. There are three principal aspects of the Spiritual Guide upon whom we rely, Guru, Yidam and Protector. Guru functions to lead us along the path of Lamrim, Lojong and Vajrayana Mahamudra. Yidam functions to bestow the realizations of Lamrim, Lojong and Vajrayana Mahamudra. Protector arranges all the perfect outer and inner conditions for our being able to practice Lamrim, Lojong and Vajrayana Mahamudra. We can invoke these three deities for ourselves or for others.
So the question is how can we develop this power right now? We know how to get our right hand to do something – we simply request it to go do something and it does so. It is exactly the same with our internal self. If we want to bestow wisdom on somebody, we just request Manjushri to do it, and so forth. Our ability to do this primarily depends upon our faith and imagination: our faith that the guru is within us and can accomplish these functions and our imagination that he goes and does so when we invoke him. If we check carefully, there is really no difference between requesting our right hand to do something and requesting one of the Buddhas abiding within us (which arise from our own pure potential) to do something. When we see this, we realize we can use the enlightened beings’ bodies, speech and minds as our own by simply requesting them to do things. When we can do this, we can engage in the actions of an enlightened being right now – long before we ourselves are an enlightened being. We can right now do and accomplish anything simply by asking with faith, a pure motivation and our powers of imagination. Once we are trained in the feeling of having a Buddha inside of us that we can invoke, we then hand over increasing levels of control until it is only him acting through us. We accomplish this by surrendering ourselves completely to him.
But is it possible to go beyond even this and actually becoming an extension of the Spiritual Guide, where our every action of body, speech and mind are his actions? The answer is yes, and I will explain how in the next and final post of this series.