Protecting Body Voice and Mind of all Beings at a time of turbulence
The aim of all dharma practice is to achieve wisdom and compassion which sustain equanimity in all circumstances. We can see these days (Spring 2020) how provocation is not just a one-way street. We provoke the balance of the world by the disturbances in our own body voice and mind and the disturbed environment sets off new waves of disturbance so that many kinds of sentient beings are engulfed in sickness, famine and death.
In particular, from the dharma point of view, this virus can be seen as an invasive attacking manifestation of the bad karma of this period. ‘Bad karma’ means contempt for living beings and for the environment, manifesting as destructive activity in all the continents for many many years. The virus is another form of the disturbance that we see manifesting in intense weather events. Due to the five poisons (dullness, appropriation, aversion, jealousy and pride) the five elements (earth, water, fire, wind and space) are disturbed leading to unpredictable events which interrupt the complacent assumptions of humans and the habitual patterns of animals.
For those who practise the Guru Yoga of the White A which opens us to the integrity of manifestation with its ground while remaining in unborn openness, you can do the following in a state of relaxation: breathe in all the anxiety filling the world, dissolve it in the space of the heart and breathe out ease and joy.
The encouragements and practices below might be helpful. When saying prayers, begin by reciting three times whatever Refuge and Bodhicitta you use.
The Seven Line Prayer (Tsig Dun Soldeb) three times
The Sampa Lhundrub prayer (The Prayer which Quickly Fulfils all our Wishes)
The Barched Lamsel prayer (The Prayer which Immediately Removes all Obstacles).
All are in the book, The Seven Chapters of Prayer with a fuller version of the Sampa Lhundrub.
How you see is what you see James Low writing variations on a familiar theme.
At the request of Giovanna Santoro at Associatione Mudita of Milan I have made audio recordings of two short guided meditations for releasing stress and integrating stillness and movement. These were designed for people working in the caring professions. Since they are very busy just now they can only practise for short periods.
Each lasts 10 minutes. If you like to make use of the audio then you can extend the periods of breathing and the periods of quiet sitting to suit the time available to you. Please share this with anyone whom you think it might benefit.
Here is the same guided meditation read in German, with the German text.
Refuge Bodhicitta and Prostrations
Being in lockdown can be hard and the isolation difficult. It is always important to remember the power of taking refuge whereby we open ourselves up to the protection of the Enlightened Ones. In Tibet one of the most widely known and used general refuge and bodhicitta verse is the 4-line one attached here.
In order to support oneself and get a direct physical sense of refuge it can be helpful and meaningful to do prostrations.
Here are prostration instructions written by CR Lama can be used with the 4-line refuge and bodhicitta verse. If you choose to do this you should aim to synchronise one complete full prostration with one recitation of the 4-line verse.
No ‘lung’ is necessary for doing this practice. You can do as many as you feel able to but traditionally we do at least three. Accumulating numbers is not likely to be very helpful so focus on being present with the meaning.