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 Post subject: Nyingmapa Help
PostPosted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 6:31 pm 
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Hi,

I was just looking for some help and guidance. Back in 2007 I was given the 'Gaden Lha Gyema' by a Rinpoche but since that time I have found and attended teachings of a Nyingmapa Lama and I feel the closest connection to the Nyingmapa school, Guru Rinpoche, and the Lama's instructions. I think I have decided just to try and focus on the Nyingmapa tradition and I am wondering what might be a good ritual practice to do, not sure if it would be Guru Rinpoche's seven-line prayer or any others and I am also wondering what are the popular texts within that tradition.

If you have any advice or suggestions for someone like me I would greatly appreciate.

Thank you.

~Sangyey


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 Post subject: Re: Nyingmapa Help
PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:33 am 
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sangyey wrote:
Hi,

I was just looking for some help and guidance. Back in 2007 I was given the 'Gaden Lha Gyema' by a Rinpoche but since that time I have found and attended teachings of a Nyingmapa Lama and I feel the closest connection to the Nyingmapa school, Guru Rinpoche, and the Lama's instructions. I think I have decided just to try and focus on the Nyingmapa tradition and I am wondering what might be a good ritual practice to do, not sure if it would be Guru Rinpoche's seven-line prayer or any others and I am also wondering what are the popular texts within that tradition.

If you have any advice or suggestions for someone like me I would greatly appreciate.

Thank you.

~Sangyey


Hi Sangyey,

The 7-line Prayer to Guru Rinpoche is excellent to do. Very penetrating blessings. It's also very good to recite the Vajra Guru mantra (OM AH HUNG VAJRA GURU PEMA SIDDHI HUNG). While reciting the 7-line prayer and the mantra, you can visualize five-colored wisdom lights emanating in all directions from Guru Rinpoche, dissolving into your heart and the hearts of all beings, giving blessings and removing obscurations. You can of course offer candles/tea lights, incense, flowers, or the whole 7 bowl offering (water for drinking, water for washing, flowers, incense, light, perfumed water, food, music). Also, here's a thread with a few of the commonly recited Nyingma prayers: viewtopic.php?f=49&t=1016&p=6500#p6500. I'm sure you know already the importance of beginning with refuge and bodhicitta, practicing throughout with the view of emptiness, and dedicating the merit at the end. Anyhow, hope the above helps.

Brian


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 Post subject: Re: Nyingmapa Help
PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:51 am 
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Yes, thank you very much.


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 Post subject: Re: Nyingmapa Help
PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 2:07 am 
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Are the 5 lights any specific colors?


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 Post subject: Re: Nyingmapa Help
PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 7:35 am 
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sangyey wrote:
Are the 5 lights any specific colors?


Yeah, the colors are red, white, blue, green, and yellow and they're innumerable. Each color corresponds to one of the five wisdoms, but knowing which is which is not terribly important in this context. All that's really important is having a relaxed, open, joyful confidence that Guru Rinpoche is definitely present in front of one and that one is definitely receiving these blessings and that all the Three Jewels and Three Roots are inseparable from Guru Rinpoche, and the rest will take care of itself. It's also important to remember that one's onwn true nature is no different than Guru Rinpoche's. At the end of the session, you can visualize Guru Rinpoche dissolving into pea-sized balls of light of the five colors and showering down through your crown chakra (top of your head) and dissolving into your heart, becoming inseparable from you (like water poured into water) and then just relax for a few minutes, letting whatever thoughts arise come and go without following them or trying to control them.


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 Post subject: Re: Nyingmapa Help
PostPosted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 7:51 am 
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Here's a beautiful Shakyamuni practice composed by the great Nyingma master Mipham Rinpoche: http://www.lotsawahouse.org/treasury_blessings.html

And here's a short Guru Rinpoche practice by Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo: http://www.lotsawahouse.org/guru_prayer ... ation.html

This website also has lots of other wonderful Nyingma prayers. May this be of benefit.


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 Post subject: Re: Nyingmapa Help
PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 2:07 am 
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Hi again, it's been awhile since I posted here but I am wondering since Pema Rigdzin suggested visualizing Guru Rinpoche dissolving into my heart if I should visualize while reciting the mantra that the lights are entering into my crown aperture and dissolving down my central channel clearing obscuratiosn and afterwards Guru Rinpoche becomes one with me in my heart center?

I am curious if I should do something like that because when I did Lama Tsonghkhapa's Guru Yoga and recited Migtsema at the end I would do the visualizing of the nectar light in my central channel clearing blockages and then afterwards dissolving Tsongkhapa into my heart.

Wondering if there is anything like that with the seven-line prayer to Guru Rinpoche?

Also, what is the customary seven branch prayer to do for accumulating merit and purifying obstructions?


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 Post subject: Re: Nyingmapa Help
PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 8:45 am 
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Hey Sangyey,

I'm sure you'd like to hear others' thoughts on this too, but I figured I'd still reply what I can. There are definitely instructions in Nyingma for Guru Yoga with Padmasambhava similar to what you described (light nectar coming down through one's crown to flush out obscurations, negative karma, disease, etc.) A great reference for this style would be a short commentary by Mipham Rinpoche translated and published with the title "White Lotus" and available at places like Amazon or Snowlion, etc. Also, in general, unless you're following a specific liturgy, there's no real wrong way to visualize receiving blessings, etc from Guru Rinpoche while reciting the 7-line prayer and his mantra, etc. It's when you are doing a specific practice that you'll not want to deviate from the instructions that go with it. You can always visualize as you described while reciting the 7-line prayer at the open of your session too, even if you plan to do some specific liturgy afterwards.

As for the 7 branch prayer, there are nearly infinite liturgies for that in Nyingma, some with a more sutra-like flavor, some more tantric, some Dzogchen. The link I posted a few posts back, which is to lotsawa house's translation of a short Guru Rinpoche guru yoga practice by the great master Khyentse Wangpo, includes a nice and concise 7 branch prayer, plus the whole liturgy is wonderful and spells out the visualizations. Hope that helps.


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 Post subject: Re: Nyingmapa Help
PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 9:02 am 
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Quote:
...or the whole 7 bowl offering (water for drinking, water for washing, flowers, incense, light, perfumed water, food, music).

I counted 8 unless my cat was involved... :tongue:
Offerings for argham & padyam are 2 separate bowls right?

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 Post subject: Re: Nyingmapa Help
PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 2:19 pm 
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plwk wrote:
Quote:
...or the whole 7 bowl offering (water for drinking, water for washing, flowers, incense, light, perfumed water, food, music).

I counted 8 unless my cat was involved... :tongue:
Offerings for argham & padyam are 2 separate bowls right?


there are 8 offerings but usually just 7 bowls. Traditionally light is not in a bowl: Tibetan put 7 bowls and one butter lamp. If you buy offering bowls set in traditional tibetan owned shop, it's 7. Some people put candle in a bowl to replace butter lamp nowadays though.
In some tradition, people put on 7 water bowls to represent 7 offerings (don't ask me why), but light/lamp can't be represented by water.


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 Post subject: Re: Nyingmapa Help
PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2010 10:06 pm 
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Thank you Pema Rigdzin for always trying to help me. Actually, awhile ago I bought 'Shower of Blessings' from Tibetan Treasures and it has a seven-limb prayer to Guru Rinpoche that doesn't require an empowerment so I have just been doing that as my daily ritual. I'm sort of new to the Nyingma Tradition I used to do Lama Tsongkhapa's Guru Yoga but I have been following a Lama from the Nyingma Tradition and if someone asked me what tradition I have the most affinity towards it would definitely be Nyingma and Guru Rinpoche so that is why I have decided to just do the prayers to him hoping to just follow that tradition.

Still a lot to to learn. Have just been listening to teachings by HH Dalai Lama as well as studying Shantideva's 'Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life' as well as the Lam Rim (even though I know it's Gelug but I find it very beneficial). Not sure what the major differences or orientations are between the traditions. I think the Gelug school emphasizes a lot on study but not sure about the other traditions.

~Sangyey


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 Post subject: Re: Nyingmapa Help
PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 11:03 am 
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I'm sure your Nyingma lama would be happy to talk with you about 7-line prayer practice.
I agree with what Pema Rigdzin is saying. White Lotus is a wonderful book, and you can keep the visualization as simple as you like. The important part is to feel the connection to Guru Rinpoche's lineage blessings, and begin to feel some sense that his wisdom is something that you can achieve yourself. That's the point of the light rays dissolving into you.
Many Nyingmapas begin all practices with prostrations to the Three Jewels, the 7-line prayer, some guru mantras, then a lineage prayer, bodhicitta motivation and then whatever practice you're doing (e.g., basic sitting meditation, counting breaths, etc.) then dedicating the merit to all beings.

As far as the differences between schools, I wouldn't worry much. Much of the substantial differences were/are political. (Tsongkhapa did have some very unique views which have been argued against by many from the other schools for hundreds of years, but "there are as many paths as sentient beings.")

They all follow Lord Buddha, and none of them have anything less than awe and respect for Guru Rinpoche as a wisdom being. It may have been true in the past that the Nyingma and various Kagyu schools had less emphasis on study, but for the last couple hundred years they've promoted a balanced approach of study, reflection and meditation. (It will vary by teacher, of course.)
Also there has been an enormous amount of sharing between lineages throughout history, with the 5th Dalai Lama practicing Dzogchen, the Karma Kagyu practicing Nyingma terma, The Nyingma studying Geluk and Sakya philosophy, etc. Mipham Rinpoche (famous Nyingma polymath) had a few notable Geluk students.
[Not too sure about the Sakya school as a whole; seems they've kept to themselves mostly.]
In particular, ever since 3rd Karmapa Rangjung Dorje and (Nyingma master par excellence) Longchenpa traded teachings while studying together under Kumaraja there's been a strong kinship between these two lineages.

Most important is to begin to tame your mind. If you've found a teacher of an authentic lineage you're headed in a good direction.


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 Post subject: Re: Nyingmapa Help
PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 2:48 pm 
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Yontan wrote:
(Tsongkhapa did have some very unique views which have been argued against by many from the other schools for hundreds of years, but "there are as many paths as sentient beings.")


So far as Madhyamaka is concerned, it is crucial to not take it for granted, but investigate, whatever your vajrayana lineage/tradition is. Here in the end you have to rely on your investigation only.


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 Post subject: Re: Nyingmapa Help
PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 10:34 pm 
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sangyey wrote:
Thank you Pema Rigdzin for always trying to help me. Actually, awhile ago I bought 'Shower of Blessings' from Tibetan Treasures and it has a seven-limb prayer to Guru Rinpoche that doesn't require an empowerment so I have just been doing that as my daily ritual. I'm sort of new to the Nyingma Tradition I used to do Lama Tsongkhapa's Guru Yoga but I have been following a Lama from the Nyingma Tradition and if someone asked me what tradition I have the most affinity towards it would definitely be Nyingma and Guru Rinpoche so that is why I have decided to just do the prayers to him hoping to just follow that tradition.

Still a lot to to learn. Have just been listening to teachings by HH Dalai Lama as well as studying Shantideva's 'Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life' as well as the Lam Rim (even though I know it's Gelug but I find it very beneficial). Not sure what the major differences or orientations are between the traditions. I think the Gelug school emphasizes a lot on study but not sure about the other traditions.

~Sangyey


Anytime, Sangyey. Glad I could help. Yes, Shower of Blessings is an excellent practice and I do it myself often, especially on Guru Rinpoche day. I think it's great and perfectly fine to prefer to meditate on Padmasambhava instead of Tsongkhapa or whatever other wisdom being if you feel especially connected to him - the only important thing being that you're not doing so thinking of Tsongkhapa or others as somehow lesser wisdom beings than Guru Rinpoche. They've all realized their true nature and manifested the fruition just the same, so it's not them that's different but your karmic affinity for each of them that's different. It sounds like you're probably already aware of that and the above was unneeded, but I figured it was important to mention just in case - even if only for other beginners who may read this thread. Also, when you get further along in your relationship with a lama, your focus will really refine into being that lama's wisdom nature as indistinguishable from the nature of the wisdom being you're practicing.

Yontan has already said just about everything I would have said, so I'm basically just gonna second the points he/she made. All the lineages are practicing the teachings of Shakyamuni and his followers, so they're all equal in terms of enlightened intent and capacity to lead one to full enlightenment. The main reasons to focus on a particular lineage is because it is the lineage taught to one by whatever lama becomes one's principal teacher, and because a particular lineage's approach particularly suits one's predilections, and because focusing on one lineage (for some time, at least) will minimize confusion due to different usages of terminology and slightly different philosophical nuances. That's pretty much it. But since they're obviously all equally the Buddha Dharma, if you find it beneficial studying the Gelug Lamrim while mainly practicing Nyingma practices, for instance, there is no contradiction there whatsoever. And as always, any questions or confusion that may come up can be discussed with the lama and he/she will help you gain a correct understanding. That's all there is to it. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Nyingmapa Help
PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 1:18 am 
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Can you possibly give some tidbits on Nyingma Tradition?


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 Post subject: Re: Nyingmapa Help
PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 7:38 am 
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sangyey wrote:
Can you possibly give some tidbits on Nyingma Tradition?
I'd be happy to share whatever I've learned about it. What do you have in mind?


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 Post subject: Re: Nyingmapa Help
PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 1:51 pm 
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I didn't really have anything in mind just some facts or something that would enhance my understanding of the Nyingma Tradition like. Maybe something like texts used, differences in ways of practice or focus, Nyingma teachers, etc...


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 Post subject: Re: Nyingmapa Help
PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 3:17 pm 
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Can anyone here expand on Padmasambhava's 'Glorious Copper Colored Mountain' or 'Zangdog Palri'?

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 Post subject: Re: Nyingmapa Help
PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 1:26 am 
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Are there any Nyingma Teachers that have video on the internet maybe something like HH Dalai Lama has on his site?


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 Post subject: Re: Nyingmapa Help
PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:41 pm 
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There are some videos and MP3s here:

http://dpr.info/teachings.htm

http://www.dharmasun.org/index.php

http://www.rigpawiki.org/index.php?titl ... P3_Library (some very long courses here :reading: )

They're from teachers who have both Nyingma and Kagyu backgrounds.

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