The Foundation of All Good Qualities by Lama Tsongkhapa

The kind and venerable spiritual master is the foundation of all good qualities. Seeing that dependence on him or her is the root of the path, may I rely on him or her with great respect and continuous effort – inspire me thus!

A human life with leisure is obtained this once. Understanding that it has great value and is hard to find, may I produce unceasingly the mind that takes hold of its essence day and night – inspire me thus!

The fluctuation of our body and life is like a bubble of water; remember death, for we perish so quickly. After death, the effects of black and white karma pursue us as a shadow follows a body. Finding certainty in this, may I always be careful to abandon even the slightest negative action and to complete the accumulation of virtue – inspire me thus!

There is no satisfaction in enjoying worldly pleasures. They are the door to all misery. Having realized that the fault of samsaric perfections is that they cannot be trusted, may I be strongly intent on the bliss of liberation – inspire me thus!

That pure thought (to attain liberation) produces great conscientiousness, mindfulness and awareness. May I make the essential practice keeping the vows of individual liberation, the root of the doctrine – inspire me thus!

Having seen that all beings, my kind mothers, have fallen like myself into the ocean of cyclic existence, may I train in the supreme altruistic intention, assuming the obligation to free all migrating beings – inspire me thus!

Generating the altruistic intention alone, without cultivation of the three ethical practices, does not lead to enlightenment. Having realized this, may I practice with intense effort the vows of the conquerors and their spiritual children – inspire me thus!

By quieting distraction to false objects, and analyzing the meaning of reality, may I quickly generate within my mind stream the path uniting calm abiding and special insight – inspire me thus!

When, trained in the common path, I am a suitable vessel, let me enter with ease the great gateway of the fortunate ones, the Vajrayana, the highest of all vehicles – inspire me thus!

The basis of achieving the two powerful attainments is the pure vows and commitments that I have pledged. Having found true understanding of this, may I keep them even at the cost of my life – inspire me thus!

Having realized the significance of the two stages, which are the essence of the tantric path, may I steadfastly practice without laziness the four sessions of yoga, and realize what the holy beings have taught – inspire me thus!


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