by Pema Dechen
We were honored to have our precious guru, Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche, come turn the wheel of Dharma in Vancouver over the course of three days. Rinpoche taught the Wangdü, “The Great Cloud of Blessings: The Prayer which Magnetizes all that Appears and all that Exists” by Mipham Rinpoche. He also gave Kurukulle and Eight Medicine Buddhas empowerments and teachings.
Rinpoche gave oral transmission for the Wangdü and talked about the essence of practicing the powerful aspects of Tibetan Buddhism to work with one’s inner demons and negative emotions. These negative emotions, such as jealousy and loneliness, are created by the illusion that we are not worthy. They cause sorrow and self-doubt, and they inhibit our ability to access our Buddha nature. Once we overcome our own weakness and bring about the powerful energies of love and trust within us, we can see our worth. In other words, “fall in love with yourself” first, and then you will have the power to love and be loved by others.
We learned the names and merits of the nine deities of “The Great Cloud of Blessings,” and Rinpoche also taught us how to properly chant the prayer. After the Wangdü teachings, Rinpoche wrote the related seed syllables of Tibetan Buddhism on the back of the nine deities images for each of the students in the Wangdü teachings. We were so fortunate and happy to have this gift from Rinpoche!
The following day, Rinpoche gave us the precious Kurukulle empowerment of body, speech and mind. He explained each of the stages thoroughly and discussed the reasons for and merits of receiving this empowerment. During dinner that night, Rinpoche was kind to answer our many questions. A question that stood out was whether it was appropriate to use Kurukulle mantra and practice to attract a romantic love interest. Rinpoche explained that love is an important aspect of dharma practice and that bringing others to the Dharma is a practice of Bodhisattvas. So, one could say that it is appropriate to use the practice in this way. Ultimately, however, our purpose in practicing Dharma is to be free from Samsara and to strive to become Buddhas or Bodhisattvas in this life or in future lives.
On the third and final day, Rinpoche gave us the Eight Medicine Buddhas empowerment. He explained the different merits and attributes of each of the forms of Medicine Buddha. This practice, we learned, aids us in removing negative karma of illness from body and mind, planting Buddha seeds in our hearts to help us along the path to enlightenment. Committing to this practice accumulates merit that is conducive to finding rebirth in Medicine Buddha’s pure land.
Following three days of empowerments and teachings with our precious teacher, Tulku Yeshi Rinpoche, we felt we were well on the path to the Bodhisattvas. Through his teachings and by the power of the deities, our hearts become more tender and full of compassion, our thoughts become more open and profound, our insight becomes more sensitive and precise. This was a time of deep connection with the Dharma, with our guru, and our fellow practitioners. We were inspired to practice wholeheartedly and to devote ourselves to the Dharma. We are so grateful to Rinpoche for his precious teachings and we hope to have him back again soon.