Moon on Water-Guru Yoga Meditation Instruction
Recite three times with visualization-then meditate
Glorious Root Teacher-Precious One
Dwelling on the Lotus Seat on the crown of my head
Hold me with your (great) kindness
Please bestow the accomplishment of body, speech, and mind
Om Ah Hung Vajra Guru Padme Siddhi Hung
Guru yoga is the pinnacle of ngondro practice. It will also be used as the starting point for our meditation practice. Please remember that all techniques are exactly that-techniques. We should not confuse the technique for the “goal”, which might be a number of things including a more effortless sitting practice. Using this technique we will just sit – allowing mind to perceive whatever arises as reflection. Do not attach to thought, do not judge thought. Do not attach to reflection—and if there is no thought just rest in openness. When you sense that thought is becoming too active, too discursive, revert back to watching the out breath technique-OR repeat the guru yoga technique.
You might have a relationship with -or admiration and respect for -a spiritual friend. Some might have a formal teacher student relationship with a lama or guru. Still others might find strength and comfort in a higher power. At the conclusion of the Opening Prayers we recite the Guru Yoga section (above). During each (3) recitation there is a visualization component.
Emanating from your teacher or higher power a stream of white light is emitted, in the case of a teacher, from his/her forehead to your forehead. This white light cleanses impurities in the body channels. Next a red light is emitted from the throat chakra to your throat chakra, cleansing impurities of speech. Lastly a flood of blue light is emitted from the teacher’s heart to your heart cleansing all aspects of mind. In the Tibetan realm-heart is mind. Again, the visualization is done during each recitation.
During the recitations bask in the light. Feel light flood through your body, speech and mind. Feel cleansed and feel obscurations soften. Feel habit fade.
At the end of the third recitation/visualization there is final different visualization. A retinue of your lineage’s past and present teachers, dakinis, and dakas melt into light and dissolve into your teacher. The teacher smiles and dissolves into light, which dissolves into you. The lineage dissolves into you.
Now rest (alertly) in this space. Rest in samadhi. Tension fades and we just relax.
If possible just sit in this effortless stream for as long as possible. Don’t “do” anything. Just relax. When thoughts arise do not attach to them. Where do they come from-and where do they go? Settle into a cognitive sameness allowing mind to see whatever arises as a reflection. No good or bad. When thought becomes too discursive and the technique loses steam, follow the Guru Yoga recitation and visualization again-or go back to following out breath.
Trungpa said the goal is the path-and the path is the goal. It’s best to not get too caught up in goals and experiences. Don’t attach to them. Step after step after step is the goal. Step after step is the path. Remember the meditation that strengthens into unshakeable cool boredom – like a mountain stream? Just sit, gong after gong after gong. That said if there is to be an aspiration it is to have more expansive and open meditation. The “goal “is to try to move on from following breath or concentrating on an object and enter into more spaciousness. Sometimes in this space we might go beyond thought, beyond concept. It has been suggested “not to rest in thought-rest beyond thought.” Become intimate and comfortable with beyond thought space. This takes practice. Months, or years, or more.
We may never totally graduate from following breath. Sooner or later-discursiveness might reign-and we rein that in with the breath technique. Mirror and reflection are carried off the cushion into our busy lives. Seeing phenomena as reflection is a technique which may enable us to at least partially see through the dualistic veil. Teachers point to non duality and our true nature by illustrating for us qualities of expansiveness without boundary -combined with a lucid and luminous knowing. Big sky with intelligence. Stainless mirror with cognition.
What differentiates Vajrayana Buddhism from other religions is that the guru dissolves into you, and ultimately you become the guru.
Actually it might be more accurate to say you never become the guru because you have always been the guru. (Wisdom nature abides inherently in every sentient being.) Teachers have said it’s so close but for clouds and rain, habit and obscuration. In one sense the guru is a tool that hopefully leads us to our true nature. (Not to be too cavalier about this because in Vajrayana Buddhism ultimately guru is path.) The cosmic joke with true nature understanding might be that nothing has any inherent existence anyway. Mind, guru, higher power, self, phenomena. The emperor has no clothes! Not from a nihilistic perspective. Everything exists and not—like the moon on water. Appearance and emptiness in union! The Buddha said “nothing is as it appears-nor is it otherwise.” With this understanding sublime beings still chop wood and carry water. But sublime beings see differently than you and me.
One big caveat. I’ve done an inadequate job explaining all of this because I am not qualified to do so. I have very limited understanding. I am simply trying the best I can – passing on what I have heard and read. I am simply trying to help our meditation practice. But a bigger vaster view is necessary to accomplish this. The meditation is stainless space. Conduct is humbly helping others. Please take this with you.
In conclusion I once asked my teacher where I will be able find him if he dies before me. (I hope to be able to follow him anywhere.) I expected him to tell me to look up on Buddhafield or in another pure realm such as Copper Colored Mountain. But he said if I am able to obtain even a speck of realization, not to worry. Because my realization is his realization -and we will forever be inseparable.
may auspicious circumstances arise