The 7 Preliminaries with Eva Natanya - 10 Introduction to Vajrasattva Practice

Eva Natanya, 20 Apr 2020

Eva (Yangchen) begins today’s session with some clarification about the lineages of the Bodhisattva vows, and about the files that have been now uploaded to the retreat website, including the thangka of the refuge field.

She then reads the last lines on practice of bodhcitta, which take her to speak briefly about the scope of virtuous and non-virtuous deeds, and about the Mahayana motivation. Afterwards Yangchen starts the Vajrasattva guidance. She first talks about the mantra source, commentary, and translation. She draws then on Thinley Norbu’s commentary to elaborate on the need and relevance of the purification practice. What is it that makes the Buddhas manifest as differentiated beings? She narrates the story behind Vajrasattva becoming this specific bodhisattva who can purify every and any deed of every sentient being.

Eva draws on parallels to Christianity to invite us to connect with beings which pray to take on the sins of the world. In western society forgiveness is something we connect to strongly; so what does it mean to forgive ourselves, and in this way to clear away all residues, and become totally pure? This practice leads us all the way to the immaculate purity of the Buddha, and she reminds us that it is not until enlightenment that we are finished with purification practices.

Thinley Norbu further emphasizes the equality of Samantabhadra and Vajrasattva. This also happens in all the new translation schools, which equate Vajrasattva to Vajradhara. Yangchen comments on the first verse of Vajrasattva practice on A Treasure House of Blessings, and clears out that we are allowed to do the practice without a Vajrayana empowerment. With this final points we go to the guidance on the meditation and recitation in this same text, focusing only on the visualization.

Meditation starts at 49:10

After going through the first three remedial powers in meditation, Yangchen makes some comments on the visualization paragraphs, and in this way closes the session.

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