1000-armed Chenrezig deity sadhana with guided meditation
1000-armed Chenrezig deity sadhana with guided meditation
In the space in front of me is the divine form of 1000-armed Chenrezig, who is the embodiment of all the infinite buddhas’ compassionate wisdom. He stands on a lotus and moon seat. His body is in the nature of white light, youthful, and decorated with magnificent jewel ornaments.
He has eleven faces. Of the three on his shoulders, his center face is white, the right green and the left red. Above those, his center face is green, right red and left white. Above those, his center face is red, right white and left green. Above those is a wrathful dark blue face with yellow hair standing erect. On the top of that is the red head of Amitabha Buddha, peaceful and smiling.
Chenrezig’s first two hands are at his heart, palms together, holding a wish-fulfilling gem. On his right, the second hand holds a crystal rosary, reminding me to recite the mantra. The third hand is in the gesture of giving realizations and from it a rain of nectar falls, curing the hunger and thirst of the hungry ghosts. The fourth hand holds a Dharma wheel.
On his left, the second hand holds a golden lotus, the purest of flowers although it is born from the mud. The third hand holds a vase containing the nectar of his compassionate wisdom. The fourth holds a bow and arrow, symbolizing defeat of the four negative forces. The other 992 hands are in the gesture of giving the highest realizations. An antelope skin is draped over his left shoulder, symbolizing that hatred is overcome completely by peaceful, compassionate wisdom.
Taking refuge and generating the altruistic intention (bodhicitta)
I take refuge until I have awakened in the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha. By the merit I create by engaging in generosity and the other far-reaching practices, may I attain Buddhahood in order to benefit all sentient beings. (Recite three times from the depth of your heart.)
The four immeasurables
How wonderful it would be if all sentient beings were to abide in equanimity, free of bias, attachment and anger. May they abide in this way. I shall cause them to abide in this way. Guru Chenrezig, please inspire me to be able to do so.
How wonderful it would be if all sentient beings had happiness and its causes. May they have these. I shall cause them to have these. Guru Chenrezig, please inspire me to be able to do so.
How wonderful it would be if all sentient beings were free from suffering and its causes. May they be free. I shall cause them to be free. Guru Chenrezig, please inspire me to be able to do so.
How wonderful it would be if all sentient beings were never parted from upper rebirth and liberation’s excellent bliss. May they never be parted. I shall cause them never to be parted. Guru Chenrezig, please inspire me to be able to do so.
Reverently I prostrate with my body, speech and mind,
And present clouds of every type of offering, actual and mentally transformed.
I confess all my destructive actions accumulated since beginningless time,
And rejoice in the virtues of all holy and ordinary beings.
Please remain until cyclic existence ends,
And turn the wheel of Dharma for sentient beings.
I dedicate all the virtues of myself and others to the great awakening.
The objects of attachment, aversion and ignorance—friends, enemies and strangers, my body, wealth and enjoyments—I offer these without any sense of loss. Please accept them with pleasure and inspire me and others to be free from the three poisonous attitudes.
idam guru ratna mandalakam nirya tayami
O Arya Compassionate-eyed One
Who is the treasure of compassion,
I request you, please listen to me,
Please guide myself, mothers and fathers
In all six realms to be freed quickly
From the great ocean of samsara.
I request that the vast and profound
Peerless awakening mind may grow.
With the tear of your great compassion,
Please cleanse all karmas and delusion.
Please lead with your hand of compassion
Me and migrators to fields of bliss.
Please Amitabha and Chenrezig
In all my lives be virtuous friends.
Show well the undeceptive pure path
And quickly place us in Buddha’s state.
Meditation on the Eight Verses of Thought Transformation
(Contemplate each verse as you read it and apply it to your life.)
- With the thought of attaining enlightenment
For the welfare of all beings,
Who are more precious than a wish-fulfilling jewel,
I will constantly practice holding them dear.
- Whenever I am with others
I will practice seeing myself as the lowest of all,
And from the very depth of my heart
I will respectfully hold others as supreme.
- In all actions I will examine my mind
And the moment a disturbing attitude arises,
Endangering myself and others,
I will firmly confront and avert it.
- Whenever I meet a person of bad nature
Who is overwhelmed by negative energy and intense suffering,
I will hold such a rare one dear,
As if I had found a precious treasure.
- When others, out of jealousy,
Mistreat me with abuse, slander and so on,
I will practice accepting defeat
And offering the victory to them.
- When someone I have benefited
And in whom I have placed great trust
Hurts me very badly,
I will practice seeing that person as my supreme teacher.
- In short, I will offer directly and indirectly
Every benefit and happiness to all beings, my mothers.
I will practice in secret taking upon myself
All their harmful actions and sufferings.
- Without these practices being defiled by the stains of the eight worldly concerns,
By perceiving all phenomena as illusory,
I will practice without grasping to release all beings
From the bondage of the disturbing unsubdued mind and karma.
Purification and receiving inspiration
Chenrezig now comes on top of your head, facing the same direction as you. Chenrezig also appears on the heads of all sentient beings who are seated around you. At the heart of each Chenrezig are a lotus and flat moon disc. Standing at the center of the moon is the seed-syllable HRI, the essence of Chenrezig’s omniscient mind of wisdom and compassion. This is surrounded by the letters of the long mantra, and inside this stand the letters of the six-syllable mantra. All is made of radiant light.
From the mantras and HRI much white light and nectar, the nature of Chenrezig’s blissful omniscient mind, flow into you, permeating your entire nervous system. They totally purify all afflictions, imprints of negative karma, diseases, and obscurations. Feel completely pure and blissful. The light and nectar also fill your with all the realizations of the stages of the path to awakening, especially Chenrezig’s love, compassion, and wisdom.
Similarly, light and nectar from the Chenrezigs on the crowns of all the sentient beings flow into them, purifying all negativities and obscurations and inspiring them with all the realizations of the path to enlightenment. (Do this visualization while reciting the long mantra and then the six-syllable mantra.)
namo ratna trayaya/ namo arya gyana sagara/ berotsana buha radzaya/ tatagataya/ arhate/ samyaksam buddhaya/ namo sarwa tatagatebhye/ arhatebhye/ samyaksam buddhebhye/ namo arya awalokite/ shoraya/ bodhi satoya/ maha satoya/ maha karunikaya/ tayata/ om/ dara dara/ diri diri/ duru duru/ itte wate/ tsale tsale/ partsale partsale/ kusume kusume ware/ ihli mili/ tsiti dzola/ ahpanaye soha/
om mani padme hum
Think: “I will live my life in a meaningful way, and do all actions with the motivation to attain awakening for the benefit of all sentient beings.” Because you have such a noble intention, Chenrezig is extremely pleased. He melts into white light and absorbs into your heart.
By Chenrezig absorbing into you, your mind becomes the nature of great compassion, loving-kindness, and bodhicitta. Your body is filled with light and becomes very pure and clear, like crystal. Concentrate on this for a while.
The Chenrezigs on the heads of all the sentient beings melt into light, absorb into them, and bless them so that they may progress along the gradual path to awakening.
Due to this merit may we soon
Attain the awakened state of Chenrezig
That we may be able to liberate
All sentient beings from their sufferings.
May the precious bodhi mind
Not yet born arise and grow.
May that born have no decline
But increase forever more.
Due to the merit accumulated by myself and others in the past, present and future, may anyone who merely sees, hears, remembers, touches or talks to me be freed in that very instant from all sufferings and abide in happiness forever.
In all rebirths, may I and all sentient beings be born in a good family, have clear wisdom and great compassion, be free of pride and devoted to our spiritual masters, and abide within the vows and commitments to our spiritual masters.
In whatever guise you appear, O Chenrezig, whatever your retinue, your life span and pure land, whatever your name most noble and holy, may I and all others attain only these.
By the force of these praises and requests made to you, may all disease, poverty, fighting and quarrels be calmed. May the Dharma and all auspiciousness increase throughout the worlds and directions where I and all others dwell.
When doing your daily activities, visualize and be mindful of a small Chenrezig made of radiant light at your heart or on top of your head. Thinking that Chenrezig is a witness to all you do or say will increase your mindfulness and compassion for others. When you eat or enjoy other sense pleasures, imagine offering them to Chenrezig. Whenever you are praised, rather than get arrogant, think Chenrezig is being praised.
Venerable Thubten Chodron
Venerable Chodron emphasizes the practical application of Buddha’s teachings in our daily lives and is especially skilled at explaining them in ways easily understood and practiced by Westerners. She is well known for her warm, humorous, and lucid teachings. She was ordained as a Buddhist nun in 1977 by Kyabje Ling Rinpoche in Dharamsala, India, and in 1986 she received bhikshuni (full) ordination in Taiwan. Read her full bio.