Q&A with HE Garchen Rinpoche during 2012 Amidewa Retreat in Singapore
Q: When we are chanting the mantra, do we keep up the entire visualisation all the time?
GR: You do not have to keep visualising all the time during mantra recitation. In the beginning when we recite the visualisation for the mantra recitation, you should generate the visualisation as explained in the text. Then you begin reciting the mantra with this visualisation. When your mind then becomes clear and calm you do not have to visualise anything. You can just sustain this state of clarity and tranquillity as you recite the mantra. If distracting thoughts or emotions again arise you should come back to the visualisation to help you mind return to focus. When there are no thoughts you can just rest in the empty natural state of mind, abide free from fixation, not separating self and others.
Q: When we do the practice at home, do we have to do all the offerings as the sadhana suggests?
GR: There is no need to assemble all the prescribed offering substances. You should assemble whatever you can such as flowers, water bowls, a statue or picture, and so forth, and the rest you can visualise. It is important to understand the meaning behind making these offerings. The point is to overcome ego-clinging. When we practice making offerings, we are practicing to give away what is precious to us, thus we release attachment. Ordinarily we are attached to the sense pleasures, for this reason we offer them. The deity actually has no need or desire for these sense pleasures, but offering them releases our own attachment and we accumulate great merit. As a result of having made offerings we will experience the result that is similar to the cause in future lifetimes, for example a beautiful complexion, or a long life span, and finally it serves as the cause for attaining awakening.
Reminders of Kindness, Compassion, and Your Own True Nature by Kyabje Garchen Rinpoche
Translated by Ina Bieler
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