Here we offer guided deity meditations, talks, and other audio and written resources, for some of the most popular meditational deities.
Deity practices used in what is called Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism, deal with transformation, and therefore, symbolism is widely used. There are representations of some deities, which are manifestations of the Buddha, that are expressing desire or wrath. The sexual imagery is not to be taken literally, according to worldly appearances. In Vajrayana, deities in sexual union represent the union of method and wisdom, the two aspects of the path that need to be developed in order to attain enlightenment.
White Tara meditation
Miffi Maxmillion, from Langri Tangpa Centre in Brisbane, guides us through a White Tara meditation session. This was part of the White Tara for Long Life retreat held at the centre in Easter 2021. By relying upon this aspect of Tara, one’s negative karmas and obscurations are purified, thereby increasing one’s lifespan and merits.
Green Tara practice
Green Tara is the action mother of the Buddhas. She has great control over her desires and is ready to swiftly come to the aid of all beings. Ven Amy Miller takes us through the whole Tara practice, (which is shared onscreen) and explains the benefits and meaning of Tara’s various aspects. This was recorded in May 2020, as much of the world was in lockdown.
Tara mantra audio download
Venerable Dechen was asked by Lama Zopa Rinpoche to record her singing of various prayers and mantras. Here she sings the Tara mantra with her beautiful pure voice.
OM TARE TUTTARE TURE SOHA
Instructions from Lama Zopa to help those who are ill
(These instructions were for a student’s friend and child).
Visualize the deity [White Tara] above your friend and visualize nectar purifying both the mother and baby. Nectar is emitted with loving compassion to them, purifying all their sickness, spirit harm, negative karma and defilements collected from beginningless rebirth. It’s like dirty water coming out from the mother and baby; so much comes out. Then nectar, like milk, gradually fills up the mother and baby.
Recite one mala of White Tara mantra.
OM TARE TUTTARE TURE MAMA AYUR PUNYE JNANA PUSHTIM KURU YE SVAHA
At the end of the mala, think they are totally filled with long-life immortal nectar.
Think they receive not only long life, but also all of White Tara’s qualities, the whole path to enlightenment, method and wisdom, and at the end, they achieve dharmakaya and rupakaya—White Tara’s holy body and mind.
More advice on tantra can be found here.
Harnessing the Power of Visualisations with Wai-Cheong Kok (a helpful tool for deity practice)
Visual images are especially potent symbols that can affect us in powerful ways. Hence, there are many meditation techniques that make use of our natural ability to visualise. In deity practice this is particularly true. Wai-Cheong explores how to tap into our ability to visualise, overcome obstacles that hinder us, and explore the different ways we can meditate with visualisations. This excellent course is highly recommended for those who have a regular meditational deity practice or those just beginning. Visit Vajrayana Institute’s YouTube channel here to view these sessions.
Medicine Buddha Empowerment by His Holiness
This was recorded in 2008 when His Holiness the Dalai Lama bestowed the Medicine Buddha empowerment. His Holiness explains all the stages of the ceremony of this widely popular deity, the Medicine Buddha, and his seven aspects, in an accessible and easy to comprehend way. This event was organised by the Foundation of Universal Responsibility.
Medicine Buddha mantra recitations
Lama Zopa Rinpoche chants the Medicine Buddha mantra very sonorously and clearly for around 40 minutes, with the image of the Medicine Buddha deity in the background. Wonderful to listen to during activities, or as a meditation practice to help benefit those who are sick or suffering, including oneself.
Chenrezig Retreat with Geshe Rabten
These teachings from Atisha Centre, Bendigo’s resident Tibetan lama, Geshe Thubten Rabten, are from the Atisha Centre Chenrezig Retreat 2020. They are translated by Venerable Lobsang Dorje, and offer us a wonderful in-depth understanding of the practice of this deity of compassion, including an explanation of the image of Chenrezig and the meaning of his various aspects.
Motivation for Mani (Chenrezig retreat) and Praises to Chenrezig
In this session Geshe Tenzin Zopa gives an introduction to, and motivation for the one month Mani retreat organised by Chag Tong Chen Tong centre, Hobart, as well as Praises to the Compassion Buddha.
Chenrezig Guided Meditation (& 8 Verses Thought Transformation)
Venerable Yonten guides us through this 1,000 Arm Chenrezig Sadhana (front generation only) accompanied by the 8 Verses of Thought Transformation. Of particular benefit are the visualisation aids.
1,000 Armed Chenrezig commentary
Lama Thubten Yeshe gave this 1,000 Armed Chenrezig Commentary at Vajrapani Institute, California in May 1980. Chenrezig embodies fully enlightened compassion.
Teaching on Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche)
Lama Zopa Rinpoche gave this teaching on Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche) at Chenrezig Institute, Eudlo, in 2018. Rinpoche began by explaining the prayers, tunes and meditations to do when reciting prayers to Guru Rinpoche. He gave the story of Tso Pema lake and Boudhanath stupa, and explained that it was due to the kindness of Padmasambhava that Rinpoche met the Dharma. This teaching was part of the Hayagriva initiation.
OM AH HUM BENZA GURU PADMA SIDDHI HUM
Guru Bhumtoks in Australia
FPMT Australia has organised three national Guru Bhumtsok events since 2017, in partnership with Chag Tong Chen Tong centre, Hobart, and Buddha House, Adelaide. This was on the advice of Lama Zopa Rinpoche and these were led by Geshe Tenzin Zopa. Guru Bhumtsok means 100,000 tsok offerings to Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava). At the last Guru Bhumtsok all the FPMT Geshes residing in Australia attended (except for one) which was a great honour. Below is the prayer book that was compiled, containing preliminary, dedication and long life prayers, the extensive Prayers to Guru Rinpoche to Dispel Obstacles, the abbreviated tsok offering and mantra, and also a Tsur practice which is done at dusk for pretas, or wandering spirits.
Healing the World with Thang Tong Gyalpo prayers
Chenrezig Institute in Eudlo, sponsors this weekly 24 hour prayer-athon of the Thang Tong Gyalpo Prayer to avert the Covid19 pandemic, organised by the International Mahayana Institute (IMI), the FPMT organization for monks and nuns. Thang Tong Gyalpo is believed to have been a great Buddhist adept, a Chöd master, physician, blacksmith, architect. He is considered a mind emanation of Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava).
‘One thing I want to tell you, each time, before you do any commitment or practice, make sure to generate strong bodhicitta; generate compassion as strongly as you can for other sentient beings.’
Lama Zopa Rinpoche giving advice on the practice of tantra
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We welcome back Geshe Sherab who has returned to virtually teach in Australia.