Since any given lineage of transmission only has a single line of holders, would it be efficacious to simply gather a list of all the lineages of your particular empowerments and combine them into a single tree?
How many of you actually spend the time to go through all the individuals in the refuge tree?
To what degree do you visualize them? Does the effort put into the refuge tree correspond positively to the amount of benefit?
What kinds of benefit?
Looking forward to replies,
I personally haven't reached the point where I can visualize the whole tree. So I just picture the main figure and imagine the rest there but out of sight.
-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra
"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."
-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
There are practices that go through the individuals one by one, such as the guru yoga. There it makes sense to visualize what it's saying to the degree you can. And even though you may not be able to picture every individual clearly at one time, that way you at least have an idea of who is there.
And yes, I'd say the amount of effort does correspond positively. But the key word is effort, not visualization skill. Someone that can only picture the refuge tree as one being, but does so with utmost faith, receives more benefit than someone who can picture all the beings clearly, but with little faith.
So, if you're doing prostrations to the Dudjom Tersar refuge field following the Ngondro from that tradition, but you have some connection to Palyul, Kamtsang, whatnot, those "refuge trees" or assemblies could be off to one's left and right, slightly in front of oneself, for example....
"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."
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Be dedicated to the Ultimate Benefit of All Sentient Beings.
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