The Confession Practice of Vajrasattva

Today Rinpoche is going to tell us how to meditate on Vajrasattva. First we need to know how to visualize. We should sit with legs crossed and establish mindfulness. Place your hand in the vajra mudra., press the left nostril and exhale through the right. Then press the right nostril and exhale through the left. Imagine that you are purifying all ignorance as you breathe out and that you are getting the blessings of all the buddhas as you breathe in. Then rest the mind until you relax. It would be beneficial if you do this before reciting the opening prayers each day. Then think about bodhicitta, as we discussed yesterday. Think that to benefit all sentient beings, we need to achieve enlightenment. And to do this, we need to practice Vajrasattva. Shamatha is training the mind to remain on the object you wish it to. Vajrasattva requires this concentration, so it is a kind of shamatha practice. There are many ways to do shamatha meditation. All samsaric suffering arises from thinking of the self, as in I need this or that. Buddhas, instead of thinking of themselves, think of the suffering of others. We need to view all beings with equanimity. When we breathe out imagine you are breathing out your happiness and when you breathe in, imagine you are breathing in the sufferings of all sentient beings. We should cultivate the attitude that others are more important than ourselves. So when we meditate , we should first establish the base of bodhicitta. Then on this base we can achieve enlightenment. Without this base, we could not. Not only Buddhism, but other religions cultivate bodhicitta.
To attain enlightenment, we must purify all the obstacles and stains. To do this, we practice Vajrasattva. Vajrasattva made the aspiration that all who repeat his name should be purified of their stains. That is why we meditate on Vajrasattva to purify our obstacles. Stains of afflictive emotion create the obstacle to become enlightened as an arhat. Stains of mental obscurations create the obstacle to omniscience. Vajrasattva can remove both of these.
The practice of Vajrasattva uses four powers. The first power is the outer visualization of Vajrasattva. Visualize a white lotus atop your head. The root of the lotus is in your central channel. The inside of the lotus is red. Atop the lotus is a moon disk. And atop the moon disk is a white HUM, radiating light. With a pure mind, we should make an aspiration prayer to Vajrasattva from our heart. Then we generate loving kindness and compassion and the HUM changes to Vajrasattva in union with his consort, who is holding a knife. Both beings are white. When we do the visualization, think that your root lama is appearing in the form of Vajrasattva. So this is visualization, the first power.
The second power is the power of regret or remorse. It is regretting the negative deeds one has done in the past. For example, if we drink poison by mistake, we would sincerely regret it and be willing to do anything to get the antidote. We should have this same urgency towards our misdeeds. So next in the practice, we should recall our negative deeds and make confession prayer to Vajrasattva with sincere regret. We should regret and confess all the negative actions we recall in this life. Without hiding our negative actions, we should confess them all, or otherwise they would not be purified. We may think that no one has seen our misdeeds, but they have been seen by the Buddhas and bodhisattvas. We should remember the time and date if possible and have the conviction one will not repeat them again. All sentient beings are buddhas potentially. The only difference is our negativities and obscurations. To purify them, we practice confession to Vajrasattva. So then we should think I will confess every negative action today.
The third power is the power of the commitment or vow. It is the promise not to repeat the action again. Realizing that non-virtuous actions lead to bad karma, one vows not to repeat them. We think that we will not repeat the non-virtuous action, even at the cost of one's life. It is not enough to say this with one's mouth, it needs to come from the bottom of one's heart. So thinking this way, we strictly keep this commitment. The commitment needs to be very powerful, thinking that one will not commit the action even if someone threatens to kill us. Reviewing each of the ten non-virtuous actions, we should make a commitment not to repeat them.
The fourth power is the inner visualization. Visualize a moon disk inside Vajrasattva's heart. Atop it is a white HUM. Circling it clockwise in a spiral is the hundred syllable mantra, the letters upright on the moon disk. We recite the mantra and through its power a nectar like white milk drips from the syllables. The white nectar fills Vajrasattva's body and then it fills the body of the consort. The milk drops from the lotus flower into its root. From the root, it fills the central channel, and from the central channel, it fills our body. Visualize that it purifies all our negativities and diseases which are then washed out of our body. If we are possessed by spirits, think that they are expelled in the form of worms. Visualize that the negativities are expelled through the anus into a crack in the ground. and that they enter the mouth of a bull. Then visualize that the the bull feels satisfied by these negativities. Through this, think that the debts we owe to others from previous lives are being repaid. Then we should visualize our bodies are as clear as glass. Visualize your central channel which goes from the top of your head to the central place. There are 32 channels in your head, 16 in throat, 8 at heart, 62 channels at your navel branching from the central channel. The nectar has filled all the channels, bringing happiness.
So we have discussed the four powers. Whenever we practice Vajrasattva meditation, these four powers must be applied. If they are not, the meditation will not be successful. Just as when we want to drink tea, wishing to have tea is not enough. We need to make a fire, boil the water, add the tea, and add sugar or milk.
Then we make prayers to Vajrasattva, saying whatever wrong doing I have done through ignorance, I confess and I vow no to repeat them again. Think that Vajrasattva is satisfied by this prayer and blesses us. Then Vajrasattva and his consort dissolves into us and we become Vajrasattva. Think that we are really, truly, Vajrasattva. Have confidence in this. Inside ourselves is a moon disk with a white syllable OM. In front of it is a white HUM, to the right is a BENDZRA colored yellow, behind it is a red SA, and to the left is a blue TO. From these syllables, rainbow colored light radiates to the buddhas of the ten directions. The light carries all kinds of offerings, such as flowers and fruit to the buddhas and returns, carrying the blessings of the buddhas.
Again the light radiates to all sentient beings, purifying their negativities. Then all beings become Vajrasattva too. We should see and respect them as Vajrasattva. All external objects are purified and become the pure land. Whatever sound we hear become the teaching of Vajrasattva. Whatever thought arise in our minds is transformed into the bodhisattva.
So now Rimpoche will explain how to do the concluding prayers. By thinking that all beings have become Vajrasattva, oneself is also truly Vajrasattva. Our form dissolves into the heart. That dissolves into the HUM. The HUM dissolves from the bottom to the dot at the top. Then relax your mind When thoughts arise again, visualize Vajrasattva in the sky in front of you. Whatever good result one gets, one dedicates to all sentient beings. Vow to liberate all sentient beings, not leaving one behind. Dedicating in this way, the merit of the practice is increased and made safe from afflictive emotions.
Even when you are walking, think Vajrasattva is on your left shoulder and whatever you do will be successful. Whatever you eat, first offer your food to Vajrasattva. Visualize Vajrasattva as you fall asleep. When you wake, visualize him again. By visualizing in this way all the time, when you die, your practice will be meaningful. To purify stains, there is no better way than the practice of Vajrasattva. This completes the teaching. You all probably already know the practice and I am teaching just as a reminder. Even though we don't wish to, we do negative actions every day. That is why it is important to do the practice of Vajrasattva and why it is beneficial. It will be helpful to your other meditations. The main point of meditation is to hold the mind and then purify it. That is why Vajrasattva is important.