The Second Extraordinary Preliminary Practice:
Dorjesempa Practice

Given by the 12th Kenting Tai Situpa at Palpung Sherabling, December 2004.
Transcribed by Chang Chin & Changchub Saldon


Teaching Chapter 10 & 11 and Practice Chapter 9 & 10

Now the second extraordinary preliminary practice is Dorjesempa. This is also purification oriented practice. It is a complete practice in itself. If you practice Dorjesempa only for rest of your life, you can reach the same realisation as all the great masters like Milarepa have reached. It is a complete practice by itself. Now this is more oral and mental oriented purification practice because you are mentally visualizing and you are orally reciting the Dorjesempa's hundred-syllable mantra. And so physically you are just sitting. You are not doing prostration or anything like that. The prostration and Dorjesempa both are purification. But prostration is first because as a beginner biggest obstacles for doing retreat or doing long time practice is you feel. If you are able to do practice properly, you feel relaxed. And as a result of feeling relaxed, then you fall asleep. It is not very easy to fall asleep when you are doing prostration. Therefore, that is the first. Now you have done practice for long enough. You completed one hundred and ten thousand prostrations. Then you would be now sitting down. And you would feel it very nice and then you do Dorjesempa visualization and recitation.

When we say purification, then naturally we have to know what does it really mean. So there is a very simple common sense comes out of the word, purification. Purification, by this word, we naturally understand there is something pure inside, something that cannot become impure, something that is eternally primordial pure. So it also give us very clear understanding, common sense understanding, that there is something that is making it impure, which is something outside of that pureness. So if I give you two things to wash. One is a bowl of ink. Another one is a dirty cloth. Then if you have common sense, you will take the dirty clothes and you will give me back the bowl of ink. Bowl of ink you cannot wash. Wash , wash, and wash, it becomes smaller, smaller, smaller and then disappear. Because from outside to the inside, all is ink - black. Clothes, dirty clothes, the dirtiness is only outside. But inside there, there is clean clothes. So dirtiness is attached to it because dirt is collected on it. So you use soap, you use water and you clean it, then it becomes very clean. So our primordial essence is always pure. You cannot find one ultimately impure being in the whole existence. You will find only relatively impure beings; each one of us more pure in something and less pure in other things. But all of us are ultimately pure, same, and equal. When we become ultimately pure, we become Buddha. Until that, there is something to wash. So if we see first level Bodhisattva and Buddha, two of them in front of us, we might be more impressed by the first level Bodhisattva, because first level bodhisattva can manifest perfectly one hundred, so we can count; but Buddha manifest countless, limitless. Therefore, we don't know how to count. So first level Bodhisattva will be more dualistic than the Buddha. Buddha has no dualism whatsoever. So something hot our tongue can taste. Something sweet our tongue can taste. But something that is totally everything, we cannot taste. No dualism between the taste and the tongue that we can't taste. So this way, this way, purification is naturally describing very clearly everybody is ultimately pure right now. Relatively until we become Buddha, there is something to purify. Drubpa means complete. Minpa means fully ripened, like fruit fully ripe. Jangwa means fully mature and fully pure and fully accustomed. There is nothing more to purify. There is nothing more to develop. And everything is full so that is Jangwa. For us, we Jangwa Dikpa and Drepa. Dikpa means negative karma. And Drepa means obscuration. But Bodhisattvas, they will Shing Jung Wa, Sangye Kye Shing Jang Wa . So from one Buddha field to another Buddha field, that it is like, for us it is like pilgrimage; for them it is like maturity. From first level Bodhisattva to second level Bodhisattva: Shing Jang Wa . So now, when Dzokpa, Minpa, Jangwa all three are completed, then Buddha. So our level of purification and Arhat's level of purification, Bodhisattva's level of purification are totally, totally by millions of forms, different.

I don't have a perfect example. But I have a some very superficial example. Old days they washed clothes with ash. It is quite clean but still a little dirty. It still smells pretty bad. Then after some time, they were using some kind of soap. But not exactly soap that we know. And much more cleaner but still it is not really clean. Now we have dry clean or very special soap for cleaning. It is really clean. I am sure it is not totally clean yet. There will be better ones coming in the future. Mainly with the motivation of somebody's wallet to become bigger. So now similarly, similarly when we purify, when we purify one thing but then our dualistic perception somehow crave another thing. So the worst one is purified. But something, which with you purify, sticks to it. When we progress further, then that something will become less and less. I give you very simple example. At the beginning you will say, I want to do my prostration. But then you say aye-yor. So pain here, pain there. Oh my time. Oh I am too late. So all of that would be there. But your aspiration and your devotion make you go on. After some time, then that aye-yor will not be there. It won't be there. So it will be pleasure to do it. After some time, that pleasure is also not there. Spontaneously, you will do it. So that way, it is like washing with the ash, washing with the old soap, washing with the modern soap, like that. So Buddha's pureness will be like to become pure itself. It is not the result of cause and condition. It is beyond cause and condition. Now, the purification, it is also clearly written in the text. The sin or negative karma or in Tibetan, Dikpa, does not have anything good about it. But there is one thing good about it. That is you can purify it. So I will say the Tibetan words. You don't have to repeat for it. Don't worry.

Now the definition of Dikpa and Drepa. Dikpa means negative karma, a sin, bad karma i.e . that is Dikpa . Drepa means obscuration, the obstacle, that is Drepa. So the definition of these two is quite important. Killing something, stealing something, lying, all these kinds of things are Dikpa . Dikpa. So they will prevent you from having greater rebirth and they will make you to be born in lower birth. Even you are born in a higher birth, it will prevent you from having positive and conducive conditions for the Dharma practice for the realization. Drepa means obscuration. Drepa like: when somebody have a cataract on their eye. So their eye did not for blind. But their eye is Drepa by the thin layers of new skin that it grows there. So eye is Drepa. Mik Drepa. Mik Drepa and Mik Longwa is different. Mik Drepa so cannot see any more, just like a thin plastic sheet put inside the eye, so you can't see. So that is Drepa, obscuration. So Drepa is obscuration for wisdom. It will obscure you from developing wisdom. And that simply means it will be obscuration for your enlightenment for your Buddhahood. And so Geywa and Dikpa. Geywa means virtuous. Dikpa means non-virtuous. Geywa means good positive karma. Dikpa means negative karma. So even some of the Geywa, the positive karma also can become a Drepa, not become a Dikpa, but Drepa. So, if when we do Dharma practices for us to be more famous, more healthy, more rich, then it is not Dikpa. But it is Drepa. Because of the good karma, you will have good health. Because of the good karma, you will be richer. Because of the good karma, you will be more popular, more famous. But then it will keep away, keep us away from realisation because you will enjoy it. And why we wanted it? Because we wanted to enjoy it. But then if you have motivation of becoming richer, healthier and more popular for benefits of sentient beings, then that is not that much of a Drepa. But still it is a little bit of Drepa. I give you very simple example. If you are famous, what happens? You have thousands of people who you don't know them and they like you. And then you have thousands of people who you don't know them, they don't know you, but they're jealous of you. And then you would have thousands of other people, you don't know them, they don't know you, but they hate you. That is what famous is. So it is an obstacle. How much of the obstacle it depends.

Four strengths of purification

Now for the purification, there is four particular we call strength, Tob. Tob means strength, four strengths for purification. The four things, four particulars, that has the power, the strength to purify; four ways. So the first one is known as in Tibetan, known as Soon Jen Pe Tob, Soon Jenpa. Soon Jenpa means like, you know, overpowering, overpower, strength to overpower. So this is when you have a sincere, pure regret or repentance or regret for the negative deeds that you might remember or you might not even remember. So you have sincere regret for it. So that is the overpowering because your rejoice for that negative deed and your regret for that negative deed, the regret is more powerful. Then the rejoice of the negative deed is overpowered. But I give you this. This is very simple. For example: you steal something and you are happy that you manage to steal. But later you regret that you stole it. So that regret is bigger than the joy that you had. Then that is one very important strength for purification.

Now that the second is called Nyenpo. Nyenpo means antidote, an antidote. Like you have one sickness and there is one medicine which is antidote for that sickness. Like poison, one poison then you'll have an antidote for that poison. So, of course, the Dorjesempa practice is encompassing all of the four strengths, all of them. But out of the four, particularly, it is Nyenpo Kundu Chot Pe Tob. It is the antidote strength, antidote particularly. Because it is a method you visualize and you recite. So this way it is a method and antidote.

Visualization - Dorjesempa


Now the visualization of the Dorjesempa is: You yourself remain as yourself, no self visualization. So on top of your crown, there is a letter PAM . So Tibetan letter or Sanskrit letter PAM , and we do Tibetan letter. Which is very similar, which is created, Tibetan letter is created from Sanskrit letter. So that P AM , visualized clearly and then the PAM , white, of course, white PAM. And that white P AM transforms into white lotus like this. And then on top of that lotus, there is letter Ah , that also white. And that Ah, when you have very clear visualization, then that Ah transformed into a moon disc, moon crystal disc but white. Crystal is transparent, white like a marble, white. So on top of that crystal disc, there is letter HUNG , again white HUNG. So the HUNG white then transforms into a vajra, white vajra. That vajra is white color Dorje and with five spoke. One spoke in the middle and four spokes in four directions. Then of course up , also down, you know a full dorje. The dorje has nine spoke dorja and five spoke dorje. It is the five spoke dorje with HUNG in the stomach of the dorje. So that dorje, the vajra, has a round thing in the middle.

Inside the round thing, there is a white HUNG again. Now this HUNG together with the dorje radiates pure white light, accompanied by all the other lights. So some people say it is difficult to visualize, but it is very easy. Just like pearl. Just like pearl. If you get a mother of pearl or pearl, it is white but all the other color there. So like that radiates all direction. All direction and that light touch all sentient beings and purify all of their sufferings. And that light touch all the Buddha and Bodhisattvas and make limitless offerings to all of them. And now all the Buddhas' and Bodhisattvas' blessings return back in the form of light, it is like light radiates and light retrieves. And as it retrieves, then it transforms, the vajra, transforms into Dorjesempa. So Dorjesempa like this (thangka in "Torch of Certainty"). Of course, without the others. But the feet is not like this. The foot is the right foot down. This is we call Vajra posture. And everybody calls it lotus posture. I don't know where that comes from. But this is the Vajra posture. The other one is half posture. That is the right foot is down towards your crown. And then Dorjesempa is representing all Three Jewels and Three Roots. And it is just like the Guru Vjaradhara. It also represents in the form of Dorjesempa. It is your root guru manifesting in the form of Dorjesempa. But it represents all the Three Jewels and Three Roots together. So Ku Sum Tse Sum Kundu, so Three Jewels, Three Roots together.

Now then way Dorjesempa holds vajra here and bell here. All of this we need a very good thangka. And this is very good except the feet is Vajra posture. On the picture it is Vajra posture. In visualization, it is not. The thangkas and statues are meant for us to use, to help us visualize as well. It is a sacred object, of course. But also it is to help us to visualize. Therefore good thangka or picture of good thangka or good statue or picture of good statue is very important. Because the measurement and everything is perfect, then it is perfect. Otherwise you will be visualizing Dorjesempa one hand a little bit longer than another. So that is not very good. It has to be totally perfect. But if you calm down and look at the thangka or the picture, then you know because you know how everything should be. So physical visualization is complete.

Now inside the Dorjesempa, in Dorjesempa's heart direction, there is a moon disc, just a moon crystal disc inside the Dorjesempa's heart direction. And on top of that which is flat, not like this. It just flat. Here also flat. You know. Here also flat. So on top of that, there is a letter HUNG standing facing front. All white and is surrounded by OM BENZA SATO HUNG. And it is clockwise. That means when you put it, you have to put it anticlockwise . OM BENZA SATO HUNG , Then it is clockwise. If it turns, it turns clockwise. If OM BENZA SATTO HUNG is a train. If it is a train, put the OM that is the engine. Here OM . Then compartment BENZA SATTO, then the last one, the cabooses at the end. You know. Engine front first, the cabooses at the end and then compartments in between. So like this. So that is when you place anti-clockwise, then letters is turning clockwise. When you place clockwise like this, then it would turn, it will turn anti-clockwise. So you have to put it anti-clockwise, so that it will be clockwise. Now outside of that OM BENZA SATO HUNG , then the long mantra, the hundred-syllable mantra. You place the same way because in the middle HUNG , then OM BENZA SATTO HUNG, then all the mantra is put the same way, but all the way from beginning to end. Visualize one by one in the Dorjesempa's heart direction. Now when we have this, very clearly we visualized. It's little hard to, quite hard actually, not little, quite hard to have the visualization of all of it very clear at one time. But it is quite easy to visualize HUNG first, then OM BENZA SATTO HUNG. Then leave it there, it's already there, so then One by one and put it in circle. That it is there. So that way it is easy. O.K.?

So if you try to see whole hundred-syllable mantra, and the central, and the first circle, and second circle, and entire Dorjesempa, everything at one time very very clearly, everything clearly, that will happen when you are very very good practitioner. But at the beginning, that is almost impossible. It is even impossible to look at this picture and see everything in this picture clearly with my own eyes at the same time. You know. I am looking at the face, I see the face. I am looking at the hand, I see the hand. I am looking at the feet, I see the feet. Cannot see everything clearly at the same time. So when I am looking at all of you, each one of you, right now I can see you. I just see your face and all of you have eyes, but I don't know where you are looking at, you know. So I just see the face of something on it. But even I wear my glasses, I cannot see all of you very clearly at the same time. I can not. So visualization also same thing. At the beginning you cannot. But once you master the visualization, then you develop the ability to see everything very clearly at the same time. That happens.

So then after this, visualization is complete. Then, light radiates from this mantra chakra. We call this mantra chakra. Chakra means wheel. So Khor Lo, Ngag Kye Khor Lo . So from this mantra chakra radiates same kind of light to all directions. Then it touches all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, and Guru, Deity, Protectors of all directions and they all their presence is invoked. They invoked is like invocation and your visualization the all their presences dissolve into it and then it becomes the real Dorjesempa which is the embodiment of Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, Guru, Deity, Protector. Up to this point, it is somewhat blessed but your imagination. But now it is consecrated. So you know, the silver smith made the statue like this with their hammer, you know. Then it becomes the statue. Then you put the mantras inside. You put the blessing things inside and everything and relics inside. Then it is consecrated. Then it becomes the real holy statue. Until that, it is an idol. So the same thing for your visualization. Your imagination, the visualization now become real, become real presence of Dorjesempa. Then now when all of that is clear, then you say the prayer.

Visualization - Purification

You are requesting the Guru Dorjesempa and all the Buddha and Bodhisattvas to purify all the negative karmas, all levels of karmas of yourself and all sentient beings. And as a result of your very sincere aspiration and your sincere request, then from the Dorjesempa's mantra chakra, the nectar flows like fountain. So white nectar just like milk and like pearl milk, showers like a fountain, and it fills the Dorjesempa. And then it comes out from the toe of the right foot which is towards your crown and from there nectar flows into your crown and it fills your entire body. And all of your negative karma even this body which is the result of our dualistic karma is also purified. So from all of our, how do you say, exists including eyes, nose, ears everywhere including the pores, everything comes, all the negative things come out like most unpleasant color like whatever it is: green, black, brown like this. And then all goes out and goes into the earth. And then all goes into the depth of earth until where the fire is and we call it golden ground. And it all melts there. It all burns there. It all purifies there. And so your body is filled with this pure nectar. So it is like most pure crystal body of you filled with most pure pearl milk. And then as you are totally pure and filled, then the nectar flows up and touches Dorjesempa's toes. And then stops flowing the nectar. And then you remain in that a little bit. And then when you arise another thought, then again you do the same flowing the nectar again. And as you are visualizing this, you are reciting th e long mantra. You are repeating the long mantra, not repeating the short mantra. Short mantra you repeat only few malas at the end. But that you don't count as the one hundred and ten thousand. Now the crown deity of Dorjesempa is Mikyodpa. But Dorjesempa itself is crown deity of all the Buddha family. So it is the king of all the Buddha family and represents all the five Buddha family.But then of course, its crown deity is Mikyodpa . That you will see in the drawing here.

Concluding practice and dedication

Then when you wanted to end the session, then you end with the nectar flowing up and stopping. You end there. And after that then Dorjesempa dissolves into light and dissolves into you. And you and Dorjesempa become one. Just like during the prostration, all the five objects of prostration, you know, on the five branch all dissolved. The same way Dorjesempa dissolves into the mantra chakra and that dissolves into you: dissolving into light and mantra chakra dissolves into light and dissolves into you. And you and Dorjesempa become one. And you try to maintain that state of sacred unity for some time. Then when a thought comes up, then you will say this prayer. So the meaning is: you are requesting Dorjesempa, because of the ignorance I and all sentient beings have accumulated lots of negative karmas and some of them are described here. And so through your compassion, through your wisdom, through your power of wisdom help us and purify us. And you confess all aspect of negativity which you remember and don't remember you have accumulated in the past. So requesting them to bless you. So as you're saying that, then you visualize Dorjesempa smiles a little bit like response to it. And then Dorjesempa says, the fortunate person you are, devoted you. My son /my daughter, your all the Dikpa, Drepa. Dikpa means negative karma. Drepa means obscuration. Nyespa means actually doing anything wrong. And Tungwa means any kind of vows you have taken that you have broken. So all of these negativities are purified. So as you say that, as you appreciate that, then Dorjesempa dissolves into light and dissolves into you. So that Dorjesempa dissolves into light and dissolves into you. And your body, speech, mind and Dorjesempa's body, speech, mind become one. So That is the part of dissolution.And after the dissolution, then you remain for some time. And then when you wake up, then you say regular short or long dedication.

So now I will say that one more time. So now when you wanted to end, O.K.? Then Dorjesempa has to dissolve into you, right? So for that you say " Gon Po Dak Ni Mi She Mong Pa Yi...... " etc. And as you say that, Dorjesempa smiles and then says what we call it proclamation. So he proclaims that you are purified. And also we use another, the Tibetan word, if we translate that English directly, Wuk Yung Wa. Wuk means breathing. You know. So he breathes out. So that means like he prophesies you, he acknowledges you. And so that can be translated as proclamation as well. Then Dorjesempa dissolves into you and becomes one with you. And then you remain in that for some time. When you awake from this, then you dedicate the merits for the benefits of all sentient beings. And then you make some regular dedication or Maha Mudra short form dedication or Maha Mudra long from dedication which is pretty long. It all depends on your time. You have more time, do more. You have less time, do less.

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