Mahāmudrā and Related Instructions

1. A String of Pearls: A Collection of Dharma Lectures Gampopa (1079–1153)

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1. A String of Pearls
A Collection of Dharma Lectures62

GAMPOPA (1079–1153)

I pay homage to the sacred gurus.


THIS DHARMA TEACHING can be given to anyone.

To have genuine Dharma practice, first meditate on impermanence. Otherwise, your Dharma practice might become merely an aid to your ambitions for this life.

Why should we meditate on impermanence? To turn our minds away from this life. Meditating on impermanence makes us realize that all the phenomena of appearance and existence,63 of samsara and nirvana, are impermanent. As a result, the mind does not get caught up in this life. This is the purpose of meditation on impermanence. If your mind hasn’t turned away from this life, then your meditation on impermanence has been without purpose.

First, turn your mind away from this life by meditating on impermanence. Then meditate on the faults of samsara. The purpose of meditation on the faults of samsara is to turn the mind away from the entirety of samsara.

When your mind has turned away from samsara, meditate on bodhicitta. First there is meditation on relative bodhicitta — wishing, from the depths of your heart, that all beings will have happiness, freedom from suffering, and complete buddhahood. Then view everything you do as being for the welfare of all beings. Have no concern for your own desires but develop an aspiration with the Mahayana perspective of benefiting others as your goal. That is how you meditate on relative bodhicitta.

Meditation on ultimate bodhicitta is simply remaining in the mind as it naturally is, a state in which all thoughts of perceiver and perceived, self and other, are intrinsically devoid of reality. Practicing in that way during each 32of the four kinds of behavior64 is what is called meditation on ultimate bodhicitta. Practicing in that way brings the realization and attainment of ultimate bodhicitta.

There is no Dharma other than this.


[2] This Dharma teaching can be given to anyone.

You must engage, right now, in lengthy contemplation. Think! This life is impermanent. Consider how it is fleeting, like lightning in the sky, bubbles in water, or dewdrops on the grass, so that whatever you gain in it will be of no benefit. Keep this thought in the very center of your heart.

With this thought in the center of your heart, practice. You must follow the perfect, unmistaken path until you reach buddhahood. What is this perfect, unmistaken path? It is taught to have three parts: the preliminaries, the main part, and the conclusion.

Begin with the preliminaries. First think, “May all beings have happiness and freedom from suffering, and may they attain complete buddhahood.”

Whatever main practice you then do, make that part of the path through the six perfections. For example, if you give just one thing to a beggar, that itself is generosity. Giving it in a gentle manner is correct conduct. Not generating an affliction, even if the beggar is ungrateful, is patience. Giving it quickly is diligence. Offering the gift without being distracted from love, compassion, and bodhicitta is meditation. Knowing that the recipient, the giver, the gift, and the result are all just a dream or an illusion is wisdom. Be certain that your main practice has the six perfections.

In the conclusion, you seal [your practice] with complete objectlessness. In that way everything is taken onto the path, because everything has the same nature, which is clarity and the lack of real existence.

Thus, you practice in this way: begin with the Mahayana perspective, which is to focus your mind upon the welfare of beings. It is important to develop the Mahayana perspective because buddhahood can only be attained through the Mahayana; not even the slightest fraction of buddhahood can be attained through the lower vehicles.

The main practice is the complete and unmistaken path of the perfections.

The concluding practice is the alchemy of objectlessness, through which you understand that everything is like space. That knowledge prevents 33propensities (vāsana) from being established in the ālaya. When propensities are not accumulated in the ālaya, there will be no basis for karma. Free of that basis, you will not be compelled to follow good or bad karma and will therefore not be reborn. That is what is called buddhahood. That knowledge is the perfect, unmistaken path. [3]

Even when on this perfect, unmistaken path, if you don’t practice it in order to attain the accomplishment of all benefits, then merely sleeping on the least of beds, consuming minimal food — such as drops of water — and controlling the length of your breaths will not do you any good. Therefore, summon the confidence to practice diligently, starting now.

There is no Dharma other than that.


This Dharma teaching can be given to anyone.

We need to practice both accumulation and purification. It is important to gather the accumulations and purify the obscurations. This life is like a flash of lightning in the sky, and so on, and thus we don’t know when we will depart and vanish. Therefore, it’s important that in the depths of your heart you are free from needing anything and that you meditate on relative and ultimate bodhicitta. Meditating on impermanence is vital because that develops relative bodhicitta.

Meditate on love and compassion by [contemplating] the faults of samsara. Then disregard your own benefit and accomplish whatever benefit you can for others.

To attain buddhahood, you must first want to benefit beings. Then, during the intermediate stage, until you attain buddhahood, you must continue to benefit beings. In the end, once you have achieved buddhahood, you will do nothing but benefit beings.

Therefore, first you meditate on death and impermanence; in the middle, you meditate on the faults of samsara; and in the end, with love, compassion, and bodhicitta, you do nothing other than benefit beings.

We need to combine three things in order to meditate on ultimate bodhicitta: (1) training in previous lives, (2) our own efforts, and (3) the blessing of the guru. Had you no training in a previous life, you would not have obtained the freedoms and opportunities of a higher existence perfectly endowed with seven qualities.65 You must have trained in previous lives, during which you continuously gathered the accumulations.


If you make no effort, you will be left behind on the path of laziness and fail to reach the path of the noble ones.

Without the blessing of the guru, you will develop no qualities; nothing will come to you. Even if something does come, it will fade away. Your merit will be like a dammed river. It is as taught in the scriptures: [4]

If you have no guru, there will be no end to existence.

If you do not have oars,

your boat will never reach the far shore.66

Therefore, you first need to have trained [in previous lives]; then you must practice through your own effort; and, as the ultimate commitment on the path of the Mantrayāna, you must rely on a genuine guru; so keep your commitments carefully.

Merely knowing the words of teachings is of no benefit; that is like a parrot reciting. Every guru has gained their accomplishment through their practice, too. Through our devotion to the guru, we too can receive blessing, and through correct practice we can gain various signs of accomplishment.

Nāropa had devotion for his guru Tilopa and was his pupil for twelve years. [Tilopa] did not actually give him any teaching, but because [Nāropa] revered his guru and did whatever his guru told him to do, he attained various signs of accomplishment. Thus, when there is a genuine guru and a worthy pupil, all qualities can be instantaneously accomplished.

First there is peace and stability; in the middle there is clarity and nonthought; and in the end there is complete freedom from all conceptual elaboration. It is taught that you will then rest, like the continuous flow of a river, in the meaning that is like space. The scriptures also say:

Complete buddhahood in an instant;

one instant makes the difference.67

Therefore, it’s important to simply practice and have faith. If you haven’t been doing this, keep in mind that when the time comes when you use your hand as a pillow and have no appetite for anything but water,68 nothing will help you except the Dharma that you’ve practiced.

Therefore, it’s taught that it’s important to practice with effort, starting now.

There is no Dharma other than that.



This Dharma teaching can be given to anyone.

In order to practice the Dharma purely, we must be aware that there is no time for leisure in this life, and we must be totally dedicated to [the Dharma].

It is vital to meditate on love and compassion. You develop them in three ways: (1) through focusing on beings, (2) through focusing on phenomena, and (3) through objectlessness. The first of these, focusing on beings, means developing love, compassion, and bodhicitta. [5] You focus on all beings, on how they suffer from not having realized the true nature, and think that you must somehow free them from suffering and help them meet happiness and attain complete buddhahood. None of your actions should be for your own benefit but should be for the benefit of “the lords” — all beings. It is the lords, all beings, who enable you to attain complete buddhahood; therefore you must focus on beings. If your mind disregards beings, you won’t be able to attain liberation and omniscience. It is taught that we should deeply cherish the love, compassion, and bodhicitta that are focused on beings, who are of the greatest importance.

Developing bodhicitta through focusing on phenomena: All phenomena are but dreams and illusions. Therefore, see whatever action you do as a dream or as an illusion. From the scriptures:

If you have meditated that all phenomena,

which are like illusions, are like illusions,

you will attain buddhahood, which is like an illusion.69

When you know that all phenomena are like dreams and illusions, anger will have no reality, and you will be spontaneously freed from it. Similarly, know that all attachment and aversion are like dreams and illusions, so that your mind will never engage in attachment or aversion.

If you see all actions, such as lying down and sitting, as like dreams and illusions, then your attachment to the reality of appearances will easily cease. This practice will enable you to easily attain the supreme accomplishment during your lifetime. This is called bodhicitta through focusing on phenomena.

The bodhicitta with no object is free of all conceptual elaboration. It is the practice that nothing has an existent essence. According to Guru Atiśa:


All those mistaken in the realization of this meaning are like a deer caught in a trap. Oh pity! If they do not realize that, there is nowhere to go . . . 70

If you practice the experience of there being neither coming nor going, with no conceptual elaboration of a meditator and meditation, [the bodhicitta] will come.

Those are three ways of developing love, compassion, and bodhicitta. Practice them in this way.

There is no Dharma other than that.


This Dharma teaching can be given to anyone.

If we sever our ties to this life and always have genuine faith, then every Dharma practice will be profound.

There is a verse taught by the Buddha that appears at the conclusion of the water-torma offering:

Perform no bad actions,

perfect the practice of good actions, [6]

and tame your own mind:

That is the teaching of the Buddha.71

In addition to avoiding all bad actions, we must practice accumulating good actions and tame our minds. When we have tamed our own minds, that will be buddhahood. It is said that all we ever need to practice is that one Dharma teaching. From the Wisdom upon Passing Away Sutra:

All things are impermanent, so meditate on the understanding that is free of attachment to anything. If the mind is realized, that is wisdom. Therefore, meditate on the understanding that buddhahood is not to be sought anywhere else.72

Thus, things are impermanent. Your inner cognition is impermanent because it changes. All things that are outer appearances — old people, young people, brothers, sisters, spouse, wealth, material things, and everything else — have 37no permanence. You have to practice perceiving that nothing has reality. Even your own body is impermanent, because it is only on loan from the four elements — a loan that is easily repaid. Therefore, have no attachment to anything, because all things are impermanent.

It’s taught that wisdom means understanding the mind. This is what’s known as the realization of the nature of the mind. It is also called knowing the inseparability of self and others, or of appearance and emptiness, or of the ultimate and the relative, or of space and wisdom.

You will not find this meaning if you search for it anywhere else. It is only known and realized by the mind looking at itself. That is what is called buddhahood; you will see the unseen — your own mind, which you have never seen before. [Buddhahood] is the result of realizing your own mind. That is what is meant by not searching for buddhahood elsewhere.

When you practice in this way — leaving behind all concerns for this life — you will accomplish the goal of any Dharma gateway that you enter. This is why it’s taught that it’s so important for your practice to be free of ambitions for this life.

If you teach the Dharma while having goals in this life, you will just be a wicked person who is able to talk about the Dharma. Therefore, a practice that is unmixed with this life is of the greatest importance.

There is no Dharma other than that.


[7] This Dharma teaching can be given to anyone.

We individuals who are sincerely practicing the Dharma need to think a little. It’s taught:

Life is short, and there are many things to know.

We do not even know how long our lives will be.

Eagerly obtain what you wish for,

like a goose drawing milk from water.73

Life is short, so we don’t have much time for leisure. Compared to the heavens of the Four Great Kings and so on up to Akaniṣṭha, and compared to life in the hells, human life is short. The shortest human lifespan is here in Jambudvīpa, where those over sixty are living on borrowed time.


There is such a vast number of ways to know that life is short, we would never reach the end of studying them. The shortest Dharma practice is the water-torma offering to the mukhajvālas,74 but I’ve heard that a man over in Ü has written a list of all the classes of mukhajvālas that is so long it fills an entire chest. Therefore, there is no end to learning. If there’s that much to [know about] the mukhajvālas, the shortest Dharma teaching, it goes without saying that for other teachings there will be even more.

Since there is no end to knowledge, we can’t master it all. Therefore, we must obtain what is essential, like a goose drawing milk from water. When cows cross the Ganges River in India, they drip milk into the water. A goose’s beak contains yeast, so that when it stirs that water, lumps of milk appear, which the goose can then pick out and eat. We should eagerly obtain what we want in the same way. In other words, we should extract the teaching that we desire from the diversity of knowledge.

We practice this teaching in order to gain control of our own minds and make them capable. Those who are attracted to generation and completion practices must have a mind capable [of practicing] them. This means that the mind must be capable [of practicing] the channels, winds, and drops, the relative and ultimate, the mahāmudrā, and dzokchen.

What is a capable mind? When you have gained the realization that the mind is the true nature, there will be spontaneous compassion, the realization of the sameness of oneself and others, and little attachment to appearances as real. You need to practice rigorously until that realization arises. [8] If you impulsively see things as real, it will be hard for you to obtain a happy rebirth, let alone buddhahood. It is said in the scriptures, within the Hevajra Tantra:

There is no meditation and no meditator;

there is no deity and there is no mantra;

the deity and mantra truly reside

in the nature that is free of elaboration.75

There is no Dharma other than that.


This Dharma teaching can be given to anyone.

Those who are bases [for the Dharma] must turn their minds away from 39this life and, forsaking their own desires, see whatever they do as being for the sake of beings, with no regard for themselves.

Buddhahood is attained through “the lords” — beings. You must practice developing love and compassion toward beings and think, “I do so wish that beings could become free from suffering and attain happiness.”

To summarize and analyze: In the mahāmudrā tradition, your practice must always be free from three faults. Your practice must be free from the fault of appearances, the fault of emptiness, and the fault of birthlessness.

What is such a practice like? Practicing without believing in the reality of appearances is to be without the fault of appearances. When you practice, see all appearances as dreams or illusions, and see all appearances as devoid of intrinsic natures. When you know that appearances have no reality, you will understand that suffering has no reality. Suffering will not actually disappear spontaneously, but it will be transformed into Dharma. Simply knowing that the appearances of self and others have no reality is to become free from the fault of appearances.

Freedom from the fault of emptiness is said to be freedom from attachment to emptiness. [9] If you think, “This is emptiness,” or “I am going to realize emptiness,” then there will be a desire for emptiness, which is an error. When you know that the afflictions and thoughts are empty and that the objects that cause suffering are emptiness, they will be birthless. That is freedom from the fault of emptiness.

Freedom from the fault of birthlessness is when you do not alternate between appearances and emptiness. It is the knowledge that both appearances and emptiness are birthless. This is freedom from the fault of birthlessness, also known as freedom from dualistic knowledge.

In brief, freedom from the fault of appearances is freedom from attachment to the extreme of appearances. Freedom from the fault of emptiness is freedom from attachment to the extreme of emptiness. Freedom from the fault of birthlessness is freedom from attachment to the extreme of dualistic appearances.

According to the mahāmudrā tradition, the qualities of the three kāyas are in these three freedoms from faults: freedom from the fault of appearances, freedom from the fault of emptiness, and freedom from the fault of birthlessness.

When there is freedom from the fault of appearances, the extreme of samsara ceases, and there is the union of appearances and emptiness, which is the nirmāṇakāya (emanation body).


When there is freedom from the fault of emptiness, you will not be a śrāvaka, nor be in a śrāvaka’s state of peace, and so there will be the unceasing saṃbhogakāya (enjoyment body).

When there is freedom from the fault of birthlessness, the mind’s continued desire for emptiness ceases, which is the birthless dharmakāya (Dharma body).

It is taught that the great brahman lord76 explained this way of practice.

There is no Dharma other than that.


This Dharma teaching can be given to anyone.

We have no time for leisure in this life. We must continually exhort ourselves with the hook of mindfulness. We must put our trust in the guru and in the [Three] Jewels.

How do we know that this is so? Life is impermanent. Even were we to have the rare opportunity of a long life, we would still have little time for leisure.

No one other than the guru can teach us the path. All the buddhas in the three times rely upon a guru in order to achieve buddhahood, so it’s important to depend upon a guru.

It’s taught that:

Before there is a guru,

there is not even the name “buddha.”77

Therefore, it’s taught that we must depend upon gurus and listen to their teaching.

We must put our hopes in the refuges, the Three Jewels. We Dharma practitioners have no other refuge than the Jewels. We have to truly turn our minds to the Jewels. It’s taught that if we do, we will definitely gain everything we need and wish for in this life and in future lives. When we have placed our trust in the guru and the Jewels, we should practice as is concisely described in the tradition of Aro Yeshé Jungné,78 which teaches that we must practice these three words:

Appearances, arising, are.79


What do these three words mean? If they mean “whatever appears and whatever arises, then if you look at whatever appears, they are arising as a variety, and when you look at yourself, it is your own mind that arises as a variety [of things] and appears as a variety [of things]. Both the appearing and arising are the thoughts of your own mind. Those very thoughts are your own mind, [10] and so as they arise from your own mind, they are the true nature arising as a variety. That arising as a variety of appearances is [nothing but] the birthless nature of your own mind.

The inseparability of mind and appearances is itself the nature of the mind. It is therefore an appearance of the mind. Meditate knowing that your own mind is birthless. Even though various things occur and are experienced, meditate that they are the birthless, empty dharmakāya. Practice that the mind’s nature is birthless. There is no need to fear appearances, for they are your own mind.

Whatever bliss, clarity, or nonthought arises does not transcend the nature of the Mahayana’s dharmakāya. Meditate on this without a moment’s distraction.

If you believe all appearances are real, even though all appearances are the dharmakāya you will not transcend the three realms of samsara and could become wicked. Appearances are not like that.

Don’t develop partial compassion. Even hawks and wolves have partial compassion, which therefore will be of no benefit to you. The compassion that parents have solely for their own children is not true compassion but attachment. Attachment can be mistaken for compassion. The wise should contemplate this carefully; being without [partial compassion] can be mistaken for nonattachment.80 Therefore, don’t develop a compassion that is comprised of partial love and compassion. Meditate on all beings impartially, and do so from the very depths of your heart. Don’t let your practice transform into your own aversions and attachments.

As for practice, the dzokchen tradition has two lines of text that contain all practice:

1.The proposition that all the phenomena of appearance and existence81 are your own mind

2.The attainment of certainty in the meaning of that [proposition]

This means that all the phenomena of appearance and existence are your own cognition. When you are happy, it’s your own mind that is happy. When you are sad, it’s your own mind that is sad. As it says in the scriptures:


The higher and lower existences — the outer world and the inhabitants within — are your own mind.82

Practice in that way, with the conviction that all the phenomena of appearance and existence in samsara and nirvana are your own mind, [a conviction that] cannot be attained by just practicing this once a year. This is the nature of the practice:

1.Gain certainty that the nature of the mind is birthless. None of the phenomena of appearance and existence in samsara and nirvana have any independent existence whatsoever; they are by nature empty. Therefore, there is certainty that the nature of the mind is birthless.

2.When there isn’t even attachment to [phenomena] as being dreams and illusions, [11] and knowing arises without partiality, then you will attain certainty in the unceasing play of the mind.

3.There is no birth or cessation in the essence of the mind and so it is not dual; it is like the ocean and its waves. This is certainty in the nonduality of these characteristics of the mind.

4.The intellect is liberated in the [mind’s] essence because this nonduality isn’t an object of the intellect and cannot be analyzed by logic. This is certainty in the nonduality of the essence.

What is the purpose of teaching those four reasons?

1.The birthless nature is taught because there is the danger of seeing appearances as independent.

2.The unceasing play is taught because of the danger of the extreme of emptiness.

3.The characteristics are taught to be nondual because of the danger of falling into the extreme of dualistic appearances.

4.Their essence is taught to be nondual because the thought “They are nondual” is the intellectual view.

Therefore, the four reasons negate those four extremes, and you must practice until the intellect’s beliefs cease.

There is no Dharma other than that.



This Dharma teaching can be given to anyone.

To genuinely practice the Dharma, first abandon every single thought about this life. Those who wish to free themselves and all beings from the ocean of samsara must first meditate on impermanence and turn their minds away from this life. Meditation on the faults of samsara will turn the mind away from all phenomena of samsara. Then meditate on love, compassion, and bodhicitta.

If you do not train yourself and meditate, people will scorn you, and you will fail to develop experiences and realizations. Therefore, tame your mind as much as you can. Absorb every teaching you hear. If you can internally tame your own being, the inner signs will manifest externally.

To summarize, the practice of the three words “appearances, arising, are” will accomplish all experiences, realizations, and results.

Know that the diversity of appearances has no reality. Meditate on knowing that the unborn mind is the dharmakāya. Know that the diversity of sensations is also the birthless, empty dharmakāya.

Practicing without distraction will accomplish all experiences, realizations, and results. [12]

There is no Dharma other than that.


This Dharma teaching can be given to anyone.

To have genuine Dharma practice, you must turn the mind away from this world and meditate on love, compassion, and bodhicitta. Never neglect to think, “I will free all beings from suffering, give them happiness, and lead them to complete buddhahood.”

It’s important that you focus sincerely on the welfare of beings without any self-interest. Never forsake beings in your mind. If you do, you will abandon the Mahayana and your spiritual teacher, which will bring you great harm.

To follow your own desires and see others as enemies is not the right thing to do. The Mantrayāna teaches that all beings are male and female deities, so how could generating the afflictions toward deities ever be the right thing to do? In mahāmudrā and dzokchen, the appearances of your own mind are called the “light,” “adornments,” or “great display” of the dharmakāya, 44so how could generating afflictions toward the light or adornments of the dharmakāya mind ever be the right thing to do?

Dedicate all your positive actions of body, speech, and mind to the welfare of all beings, to the purification of their bodies, speech, and minds from obscurations. [Your good actions] should not be for the sake of your own mind alone.

To sum up, you have been accompanied by these [negative] propensities for a long time, and so you must practice resolutely until you know that anything that appears is an illusion. Because the five poisons are spontaneously present, it is important to practice resolutely until the afflictions are transformed into the path.

The end of time is a long way away, and you have to continue practicing until samsara is emptied. You have become habituated to propensities over a long period of time, and so you must practice until you know that everything that appears is an illusion. Karma from propensities is coming to meet you, karma from propensities is following you, and karma from propensities is presently going [with you].83 The propensities are active in this way in the three times. If you can see that everything that appears has the nature of a dream or an illusion, then your belief in the reality of appearances will disappear like mist.

The five poisons are naturally present. That is why you need to practice until the afflictions are transformed into the path. Although anger is naturally present, [13] birthlessness is also naturally present. Therefore, you need to habituate yourself to developing birthlessness the moment that anger is arising so that it will not arise. As soon as you know that anger is a dream, it will be transformed into the path. Know all five poisons in that same way. Through simply knowing that the five poisons don’t stain, they will be transformed into the path. The five poisons have been present for a long time, so you must be resolute until samsara is emptied.

In general, it is the characteristic of the three realms84 that samsara is beginningless. One can, however, say that a specific individual has a beginning, for that beginning and end occurs when buddhahood is attained.85

You must meditate that you are practicing for the benefit of all the beings in the three realms. Meditate until you reach independent freedom. Until then, there will still be good and bad, and so there will be the danger of the bad distracting you and leading you backward. That would be like an elephant getting its tail stuck [in the doorway] as you lead it outside. Therefore, keep meditating until you cut through the bondage of samsara.

There is no Dharma other than that.



This Dharma teaching can be given to anyone.

A genuine Dharma practitioner is always ready to give away anything, because life is impermanent and there’s no time to waste.

You can train in generosity by giving away just fire or water. If you can’t even give away fire or water, you will be reborn as a thin-throated preta. If you can habituate yourself to [giving away] water, you will eventually be able to easily give away your head, legs, arms, and eyes, and this will release you from samsara.

Therefore, train first in giving away fire and water. Then train in giving away minor things. Then give away things to which you’re attached or feel you really need. This is how one practices on the path of the perfections.

To summarize, samsara and nirvana are nothing but two words. It is said in the scriptures:

It was taught that afflictions arise to the extent that there is fixation.

It was taught that complete purification is when the focus on “me” and “mine” ceases.86

As long as there is fixation, there will be afflictions. [14] For example, fixation on the self creates attachment, and fixation on other87 creates aversion. Fixation on children creates attachment; fixation on enemies creates aversion. Fixation on the pleasant creates attachment; fixation on the unpleasant creates aversion. Fixation on praise creates attachment, and on and on. Fixation on these various dualistic perceptions prevents liberation from samsara and will send you to a place of constant suffering. Therefore, it’s taught that you must do the opposite of fixating on “me” and “mine.”

This means that you practice by looking at the self to see whether it is real or not, whether it is permanent or impermanent, and whether the self has its own nature or not. Looking at the self in that way makes you see that it is impermanent, which frees you from attachment to the self. With no attachment to the self, you are freed from all attachment.

Until now, because of your perception of “me,” there was also “mine.” When there is “me” and “mine” you wander in samsara. Because of “me” there is a variety of “mine,” such as “my child,” “my enemy,” “my wealth,” and so on. This is why you wander in samsara.


You must know that [“me” and “mine”] are just your own dreams and illusions. When you know that “me” is impermanent, you do not focus on “me.” When you do not focus on “me,” you will not focus on any “mine.” It’s taught that complete purification is when there is no focusing on “me” and “mine.” That is what is taught in the scriptures.

As that is the case, abandon all fixations on the self and that will tear samsara into shreds. Therefore, practice with no fixation on a self.

Complete purification is a quality of nirvana. Therefore, train in generosity, starting with fire and water and continuing up to your own body, eliminating all attachment. Eliminate all clinging. Recognize and eliminate all faults. Delve into where all your faults are hidden and expose them.

We do not know when the next life will come. Sickness, distress, death, bolts of lightning, and regrets are all the results of bad karma. I beseech you to practice diligently from now on.

There is no Dharma other than that.


This Dharma teaching can be given to anyone.

During this time, think a little about how we don’t know when death will come. Once we are caught in the noose of the Lord of Death, there will be no freedom. [15] So now, while you are still free, make plans to obtain an everlasting harvest.

First, put your trust in the guru, the yidam deity, and the Jewels. Pray intensely to them with faith, aspiration, appreciation, and reverence. Fame and praise in this life will not help your mind practice the Dharma, therefore leave it all behind you. Offer your body and possessions to the guru and the Jewels. You must be single-minded about practicing.

Think, “I will practice generosity, maintain correct conduct, meditate on patience, generate diligence, rest in meditation, and develop wisdom so that all beings may attain complete buddhahood,” and practice accordingly. The thought, “I must practice the six perfections,” should be in the depths of your heart.

To summarize Dharma practice: you must understand the ultimate and the relative. It is taught in the Perfection Vehicle that, on a relative level, there is karma, the ripening of karma, all the phenomena of complete affliction, such as birth, old age, happiness, and suffering, and there is the complete purification of nirvana and the qualities of the kāyas and wisdoms.


Relatively, while there are still thoughts of self and other, all good and bad actions will be real, so you must be extremely careful when it comes to good and bad actions. All the good actions you perform from now on will ripen as good results in a future life. All the bad actions you perform from now on will ripen as bad results, as suffering in lower existences. There is no result without a cause, and buddhahood cannot come from wrong or inferior causes.

It is said in the Perfection Vehicle, within the Sutra of the Complete Gathering of Qualities:

Until you have perfected good karma,

you will not attain sacred emptiness.88

If you don’t practice the ten good actions, the ten Dharma conducts,89 or the six perfections as your causes, you will not attain buddhahood and will be in great danger of having a meaningless view and be left with an ordinary mind. All you listening here, for as l

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