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Sadhana of The Lord Buddha

Cloudbanks of Merit

by Lama Karma Thinley Rinpoche



NAMO SHAKYAMUNIYE! It has been said:
"Whoever sets up before him mindfulness of the Lord Buddha, is always receiving his blessings and comes to be free from all suffering." Likewise, recollect the Lord Buddha with the aspiration to follow his example and accomplish his vast deeds of virtue. Thus, with faith and devotion, confidence and one-pointedness, go for Refuge to the Lord Buddha and generate bodhichitta.

To the Buddha, Dharma and Supreme Assembly
I go for refuge until enlightenment.
May I, through merit gained by gifts and so on,
Accomplish buddhahood for the sake of all beings.

Recite the above and following verses 3 times each:

May all sentient beings have happiness and the causes of happiness.
May they be free from suffering and the causes of suffering.
May they be inseparable from the great bliss that is beyond suffering.
May they rest in the great state of equanimity that is beyond any partiality, desire or aversion.

Ah: Not established as inherently real phenomena,
But just like the reflection of the moon on water,
The external world becomes the Buddha-field of Great Bliss.
Amid a vast array of rainbow lights, flowers and clouds of offerings,
In the precious inconceivable palace, beautifully decorated and arranged,
On a vajra-lion throne, on top of a lotus, sun and moon,
Is he who embodies all the Victorious Ones,
The Supreme Lord, crown ornament of the Shakyas.

His complexion is of pure gold as if enveloped by the sun's rays.
Exceedingly handsome, with all the marks and signs,
He is dressed in the three dharma robes.
Smiling cheerfully, he teaches the Holy Dharma in a melodious voice.
With the peaceful gaze of his compassionate eyes
He continuously looks with love and compassion upon all beings throughout space.
His right hand is in the earth-touching gesture,
And his left, in the gesture of equanimity
Holds an alms bowl made of lapis lazuli, full of nectar.
Through its continuous stream, all beings' poverty and the like,
As well as physical and mental suffering is washed away,
And they become satisfied by bliss.
He sits with his legs crossed in vajra posture under the bodhi tree,
Clearly visible amid the ocean-like assembly of bodhisattvas.
From the syllable Ah, the essence of non-origination,
In the center of his heart, sun-like rays radiate
And invite the form bodies from the dharmakaya,
which appear rainbow-like in the sky and are absorbed into him.

The Seven Branch Prayer:
To the supreme field of merit, to the Bhagavan and his retinue,
I offer praise and prostrate with devotion,
In bodies as numerous as the atoms in all realms.
I present to you clouds of offerings of phenomenal appearance,
The play of bliss and emptiness.
I confess all transgressions and downfalls
Committed regarding each of the three yanas.
I rejoice in the virtues of both bodhisattvas and ordinary beings.
I beseech you to turn the wheel of the deep and vast dharma.
Until all is subdued, I pray that your form bodies not enter nirvana.
I dedicate this virtue to the enlightenment of all beings.

Then meditate that his form, although appearing is empty like the moon's reflection on water, and in the state of equanimity direct your mind to the syllable Ah:


Recite as much as possible, then:

To the Lama, the Teacher, the Blessed One, the Tathagata, the Conqueror of Enemies, the Most Perfect Buddha, the Glorious Victor, Lord Buddha Shakyamuni,
I prostrate, I make offerings, I go for Refuge:
Please bestow upon me your blessings.

Say this many times. Then, to take the bodhisattva vow, do the long mandala offering and purification. If you don't have much time, do it as follows reciting the following verse 3 times:

A mandala of the infinite universe with its worlds and beings therein,
Adorned with my body, my merit and wealth,
I offer with devotion to the mighty Holder of the Vajra:
Please bless me so that the two bodhichittas arise within me.

Then generate the bodhichitta by reciting the following verse 3 times:

Just as the Blessed Ones engendered and practiced bodhichitta,
So do I, for the benefit of all beings,
Give rise to bodhichitta and train in the perfections
Such as generosity and so on.
Through complete ripening and purification,
May I achieve the two aims.

Prayer of Aspiration:
On the anthers of the lotus of unchanging faith and devotion,
You remain permanently firm in your supreme vajra body.
From now until I attain enlightenment,
Please clear away all obstacles,
So that my wishes and aims may be realized.

You have taught that giving characteristics to victory
Is an attachment and is to be abandoned,
Because you understand the equality of all things,
And that the arising of dependent origination is unceasing compassion.
Please bless me so that I may see Buddha's own face.

First you awakened the thought of supreme enlightenment,
On the bodhisattva path you perfected the accumulations of merit and wisdom,
And after completely conquering the four demons
You appeared clearly as a Buddha.
May I quickly achieve the level of the Supreme Mighty One.

May all aspirations and excellent qualities without exception
That have been gathered by all the Victorious Ones
In the ten directions and three times, be quickly accomplished by me,
So that I may realize the buddha activities that arise from knowledge and love.
May I be able to liberate the ocean of sentient beings, not one left behind.

Dedication of Merit and Good Luck Prayer:
Through this merit, may sentient beings' mental suffering
And the continuous stream of their tears and wailing be stopped
And become a great ocean of well-being, prosperity and happiness.
May this good fortune arise from the most precious Triple Gem!

Carrying the Blessings on the Path:
Whether going out, staying, eating, lying down or doing anything,
Stay in the samadhi of remembering the Lord Buddha.
At the crown of your head, atop a white lotus and moon-seat,
Visualize the clear yet empty form of the Lord Buddha.
Think that light radiates from his body
Blessing all the worlds and beings therein,
So that sickness and suffering of all sentient beings is pacified.
The external world is completely transformed into a pure land,
And all beings' intentions become of 'one taste' with the Lord Buddha.

Having recited this, recollect it again and again.

At dawn I dreamt that I was supplicating Lord Buddha in a strong and pleasant voice, and that morning one of my students telephoned and asked me how to perform the recitation of Lord Buddha's mantra. I considered this to be a good omen. Thus this Sadhana of the Lord Buddha was written by me, Karma Thinleypa on Dec. 17th 1986. By the blessings of the Lord Buddha, may it spread far and wide!

Lama Karma Thinley Rinpoche

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Last Updated February 4, 2021