This text, Ganden Hla Gyama or A Hundred Deities of the Joyful Land, is the basis for Lama Tsongkhapa’s Guru Yoga practice and an excellent introduction to tantra. It is one of the earliest texts dedicated to Lama Tsongkhapa, and includes key practices to bring us closer to him and his teachings. As Geshe la said recently, this short text is “important for us to learn.”
As always, Geshe Tashi’s emphasis in these teachings will be on how we can best experience the material for ourselves.
This is an extremely inspiring class to finish off an amazing series of teachings. Geshe Tashi packs in an enormous amount of commentary, information and advice, drawing on both the sutra and tantra teachings. This is a really helpful and approachable introduction to tantric practice.
Under the Seven Limb Prayer heading of Rejoicing, Geshe la approaches the subject of Precious Human Rebirth through discussing our Buddha Nature and the three types of spiritual teacher we have: external, internal and secret.
Using the example of Lama Tsongkhapa, he talks about how we can make the most of this life, and how we can work best with the Eight Worldly Concerns. Yes, we should acknowledge when things go well, for example, but not become arrogant. When things go badly, we acknowledge it, but without becoming down or depressed. Instead we can work with our understanding of cause and effect.
When we Request to turn the Wheel of the Dharma, what is the reasoning behind this, what are we doing this for? Geshe la emphasises the importance of working from our side to receive the teachings, from the moment of Lord Buddha’s enlightenment to today.
Commenting on Dedication, Geshe la advises at what point in this practice we can offer a Mandala Offering.
He then gives a commentary on the Miktsema Mantra, the original 5 line version, the 6 we have here, and the 9 line version. While repeating this mantra, Geshe la guides us through the four initiations we can receive and the corresponding visualisations we can do. This will be familiar to those of you who have received tantric empowerments.
The practice ends with our subtle mind and the guru’s body, speech and mind, along with the deity all merging as one, amid eight lotus petals at our heart. A beautiful commentary on a beautiful practice.
Geshe Tashi ended with a tantalising glimpse into our next series of classes in the autumn. He plans to teach from Je Tsongkhapa’s short biography, as His Holiness has done recently, to encourage and inspire us. He says this text will help show us the best way to structure our life. Certainly, something to look forward to!
With best wishes,
The Admin Team