We begin by reciting the dedication prayer.
By this virtue may I quickly
Attain the enlightened state of the Guru,
And then lead every living being
Without exception to that ground.
Through my virtues from practising with pure motivation,
May all living beings throughout all their lives
Never be parted from peaceful and wrathful Manjushri,
But always come under their care.
Again, dedication functions to protect the virtue we have created. This indicates the function of the sadhana. The sadhana functions to make all of this happen.
‘I’ refers again to our very subtle mind. ‘Enlightened state of the guru’ refers to the enlightenment we are striving for is to become a tantric spiritual guide, the highest of all the Buddhas. Geshe-la said that he would rather one of his students become a spiritual guide than a hundred become Buddhas. ‘Lead every living being’ means the reason why we become a Buddha is to lead all others to the same state. So we dedicate not just to our own enlightenment but the enlightenment of all living beings. Also, it is their very subtle minds that attain enlightenment. ‘All living beings throughout all their lives’ indicates we need to learn to think three dimensionally: all suffering, all living beings, all lives. So everything. ‘Never be parted’ means just as before we dedicated that we are never parted from this path and the guru, we make this dedication for others. By making the dedication for all living beings we create countless causes for this to happen to ourselves. ‘Peaceful and wrathful Manjushri’ refers to Je Tsongkhapa and Dorje Shugden. ‘Always come under the care’ means we imagine that Je Tsongkhapa is at the heart of all living beings, and they are all inside of Dorje Shugden’s protection circle. We dedicate so that they will remain forever with all living beings leading them to full enlightenment.
We then recite the prayers for the virtuous tradition:
So that the tradition of Je Tsongkhapa
The king of the Dharma may flourish
May all obstacles be pacified
And may all favourable conditions abound
Through the two collections of myself and others
Gathered throughout the three times
May the doctrine of Losang Dragpa
Flourish for evermore.
The essential point of this prayer is to make requests that the Dharma flourish. The effect of such dedication is it flourishes in our own mind by the number of beings upon whose behalf we dedicate.
‘Tradition of Je Tsongkhapa’ means his tradition, namely the New Kadampa Tradition. We are not requesting that it flourish for ourselves but for others. This is not doctrinal, we want the minds to flourish, and this may take place in non-dharma ways as well. ‘May flourish’ reminds us that the only place it flourishes is in the minds of living beings, so this is what we are dedicating for. ‘All obstacles be pacified’ refers to outer, inner, and secret obstacles as explained above. Most importantly are the inner and secret obstacles. We make this request on behalf of ourself and others. ‘All favourable conditions’ means whatever living beings need for their practice. So these two are mostly requests to Dorje Shugden that he do his magic for everyone. ‘Two collections’ means the collection of merit and the collection of wisdom. We need to make these two collections to become a Buddha. The collection of merit produces the form body of a Buddha, and the collection of wisdom produces the mind of a Buddha. ‘Gathered throughout the three times’ means we dedicate all of this that has ever been collected, is being collected now, and will ever be collected. ‘Doctrine’ refers to the Kadam Dharma, namely Lamrim, Lojong, and Vajrayana Mahamudra. ‘Flourish forevermore’ is our principal wish, that the Dharma flourishes in the minds of living beings so that they may be freed.
Next, it is customary to recite the nine-line Migstema prayer:
Tsongkhapa, crown ornament of the scholars of the Land of the Snows
You are Buddha Shakyamuni and Vajradhara, the source of all attainments
Avalokiteshvara, the treasury of unobservable compassion
Manjushri, the supreme stainless wisdom
And Vajrapani, the destroyer of the host of maras
O Venerable Guru Buddha, synthesis of all Three Jewels
With my body, speech, and mind, respectfully I make requests
Please grant your blessings, to ripen and liberate myself and others
And bestow the common and supreme attainments.
This is a more extensive version of the Migtsema prayer we did earlier. This can be done in one of three ways, either to the Je Tsongkhapa in the space in front of us, to the Je Tsongkhapa at our heart that we dissolved earlier, or to a Je Tsongkhapa that we imagine at the heart of all beings surrounding us, where we are in effect praying that he do for them what he has done for us.
To practice in this third way, we can reciting the prayer to the Je Tsongkhapa and imagine that we are emanating a Je Tsongkhapa into the hearts of each and every living beings as an act of wishing love. Specifically, when we recite “Buddha Shakyamuni and Vajradhara” we can send an emanation of these two into the heart of Je Tsongkhapa who is in the heart of each and every living beings. We recall that they are the source of all Dharma. Avalokitesvhara, Manjushri, and Vajrapani are the same as before, but this time with respect to these emanations in the hearts of others. ‘O Venerable Guru Buddha’ recalls that all of this is our spiritual guide, the synthesis of all Three Jewels. ‘With my body, speech, and mind’ means with Manjushri’s, Avalokitehsvara’s, and Vajrapani’s body, speech, and mind we make these requests. ‘Respectfully I make requests,’ here the most important thing is maintaining the conviction that your guru hears your requests, and that he has the complete power to fulfil your request. ‘Please grant your blessings’ means please transform all these minds into the enlightened mind of the guru-deity. ‘And bestow’ means the guru emanates these realizations in the minds of all these beings. ‘Common and supreme attainments’ refers to the common attainments are all realizations short of enlightenment and supreme is enlightenment itself.
We can likewise finish our session by making personal prayers and dedications for the problems we are experiencing in our life at that time and for others in our life, such as our family and friends.