Nectar of the Path A Reminder for Daily Practice By Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche
The ‘Four thoughts that Turn the Mind to the Dharma’ are referred to as the ‘common preliminary practices’ through which we orient our mind towards the truth of the path. These contemplations establish a firm basis for the entire path to awakening.
Begin by cultivating a sense of delight in the qualities of the freedoms and riches: Through this contemplation we develop confidence and the resolve to make this precious life meaningful by practicing the path.
Bring to mind the Three Jewels, the guides who will free you from the ocean of samsara's suffering: Now we begin the ‘unique’ preliminary practice. We proceed along the path upon the basis of reliance on the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. Through taking refuge in the ‘Three Jewels’ we enter the path properly and fully.
Then recite the following three lines as many times as you are able:
NAMO BUDDHAYA (Homage to the Buddha)
NAMO DHARMAYA (Homage to the Dharma)
NAMO SANGHAYA (Homage to the Sangha)
The ‘ultimate refuge’ is our own Buddha Nature. The point of this practice, and the entire path, is to become re-established in our own ‘innate wakefulness’, our own enlightened nature. Next, meditate on loving-kindness and compassion by thinking of all the infinite number of beings as members of your own family, recognizing that they share your wish to be happy and free from suffering:
The essential understanding, or ‘view’, is that all beings are just like us in that we share the same feelings, desires and goals. We all wish to be happy and free of suffering. We pause here to contemplate this truth.
‘Bodhichitta’ encompasses the boundless attitude, or intent, of boundless loving-kindness, compassion, joy and equanimity, as well as the application of the six ‘paramitas’ (generosity, right conduct, patience, exertion, meditation and wisdom). Bodhichitta also engenders the resolve to fully realize the path in order to develop the wisdom and ability needed to bring all beings beyond suffering to full awakening.
Think of me, O Guru.
But in the kindness you have shown me, you are even greater.
Then recite the following as many times as you are able:
Think of me, O Guru.
Here’s we’re ‘calling’ to the guru in order to experience the wisdom of the guru’s mind. Imagine that the guru melts into light and dissolves into you, your minds merging indivisibly. Ultimately, I am the same as the guru in essence,
To ‘rest here’ means to leave mind ‘as it is’ in the open and clear awareness that is indistinguishable from the guru’s mind. This is the essence of the practice and the very essence of the entire path. You can rest here for as long as you like.
Not meditating and not distracted, in uncontrived ordinariness,
Awareness relaxes into itself.
Here we rest again in awareness for as long as you chose.
By dedicating the virtue of having done this practice to the benefit of all beings, that virtue is never lost or diminished. Through dedication all beings benefit from you having done this practice. I dedicate all the virtue I have gathered throughout the three times Along with the virtue of the victorious ones, the bodhisattvas, and all beings, Following in the footsteps of the buddhas and their heirs,