Prayers Before Teachings and Meditation

1. Refuge

I take refuge in the Gurus
I take refuge in the Buddhas
I take refuge in the Dharma
I take refuge in the Sangha 3x or 7x

2. Refuge and generating the heart dedicated to attaining enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings

I take refuge until I am enlightened in the Buddhas, the Dharma and the Sangha. By the positive potential I create by practicing generosity and the other far-reaching attitudes, may I attain Buddhahood in order to benefit all sentient beings. (3x)

(before teachings, replace the italic section with:)

listening to the Dharma…

3. The four immeasurables – short version

May all sentient beings have happiness and its causes,
May all sentient beings be free of suffering and its causes,
May all sentient beings not be separated from sorrowless bliss,
May all sentient beings abide in equanimity, free of bias, attachment and anger.

4. The four immeasurables – long version

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-deity, 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-deity, 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-deity, 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-deity, please inspire me to be able to do so.

5. Special dedicated heart

Especially for the sake of all mother sentient beings, I must quickly and more quickly – in this very life – attain the precious state of complete and perfect Buddhahood. Therefore, I shall practice the profound path of Guru-deity yoga.

6. Seven limb prayer

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 negative 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 enlightenment.

7. Long mandala offering

OM vajra ground AH HUM, mighty golden ground.
OM vajra fence AH HUM, the iron fence around the edge,
In the center is Mount Meru, the king of mountains,
in the east the continent Lupapo
in the south Dzambuling
in the west Balangcho
in the north Draminyan

In the east are the sub-continents Lu and Lupag
in the south Ngayab and Ngayabzhan
in the west Yodan and Lamchog dro
in the north Draminyan and Draminyan Gyida

Here are the precious mountain
the wish-granting tree
the wish-fulfilling cow
the unploughed harvest.

Here are the precious wheel
the precious jewel
the precious queen
the precious minister
the precious elephant
the precious horse
the precious general
the great treasure vase.

Here are the goddess of beauty
the goddess of garlands
the goddess of song
the goddess of dance
the goddess of flowers
the goddess of incense
the goddess of light
the goddess of perfume.

Here are the sun
the moon
the precious parasol
the banner of victory in all directions.

In the centre are the most perfect riches of gods and humans, with nothing missing, pure and delightful.

To my glorious, holy and most kind root Guru, the lineage Gurus, and in particular to the great Lama Tzong Khapa, Buddha who is the King of Sages, Vajradhara, and the entire assembly of deities, I offer these as a Buddha-field.

Please accept them with compassion, for the sake of migrating beings. Having accepted them, please bestow on me and on the mother sentient beings abiding as far as the limits of space your inspiration with loving compassion.

(To request teachings, replace the italic section with the name of the teacher, for example:)

to the master of the perfect doctrine, the Venerable Thubten Zopa Rinpoche, glorious and excellent, in order to receive from your mouth the great, profound mahayana teachings…

(After teachings, replace the italic section with:)

to the master of the perfect doctrine, the Venerable Thubten Zopa Rinpoche, glorious and excellent, as an offering to thank you for your kindness as we have received a profound mahayana teaching from you…

8. Short mandala offering

This ground, anointed with perfume, flowers strewn,
Mount Meru, four lands, sun and moon,
Imagined as a Buddha land and offered to you
May all beings enjoy this pure land.

9. Mandala offering to request teachings

Venerable holy Gurus, in the space of your truth body, from billowing clouds of your wisdom and love, let fall the rain of the profound and extensive Dharma in whatever form is suitable for subduing sentient beings.

10. Inner mandala offering

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.

11. Mandala offering after teachings

May the Spiritual Teachers who lead me on the sacred path and all spiritual friends who practice it have long life. May I pacify completely all outer and inner hindrances – grant such inspiration, I pray.

12. May the lives of the venerable Spiritual Masters be stable, and their white divine actions spread in the ten directions. May the light of Lobsang’s teaching, dispelling the darkness of the beings in the three world, always increase.

Idam guru ratna mandala kam nirya tayami

Requesting inspiration

13. Glorious and precious root Guru, sit upon the lotus and moon seat on my crown. Guiding me with your great kindness, bestow upon me the attainments of your body, speech and mind.

14. Buddha, unequalled teacher and guide; Venerable protector Maitreya, his successor; Superior Asanga, prophesied by Buddha; to you three Buddhas and bodhisattvas I make request.

15. Serlingpa, who found the heart of bodhi; Atisha, upholder of this great vehicle; Drom Rinpoche, elucidator of the good path; to you three pillars of the doctrine I make request.

16. Buddha, head of the Shakya clan, the foremost guide, peerless in expounding emptiness; Manjushri, embodiment of the Buddhas’ complete wisdom; exalted Nagarjuna, best of the Superiors who see the profound meaning; to you three crowning jewels of clear exposition I make request.

17. Atisha, upholder of this great vehicle, who sees the profundity of dependent arising; Drom Rinpoche, elucidator of this good path; to these two ornaments of the world I make request.

18. Avalokiteshvara, great treasure of objectless compassion,
Manjushri, master of flawless wisdom,
Tzong Khapa, crown jewel of the Snowy Lands’ sages,
Lobsang Drakpa, I make request at your holy feet.

19. Losang Yeshe, the transcendental wisdom of the good heart of all the Conquerors, principal holder of the stainless essence of the Conquerors’ teachings, protector of the essence of the ocean of profound mandalas, at your holy feet great and kind Master, I make request.

20. The eyes through whom the vast scriptures are seen, supreme doors for the fortunate who would cross over to spiritual freedom, illuminators whose wise means vibrate with compassion, to the entire line of Spiritual Masters I make request.