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The preparatory exercises

The nine preparatory exercises are listed as follows in three groups:

 

A. The first group consists of practices that are generally valuable. You discipline your mind-stream through the three preparatory exercises, which are generally valuable:

 

1. Receiving initiations and blessings.

This is the explanation in relation to the blessings of the transmission of the initiations; also known as the explanation for the transmission of the initiations, after the receipt of which the mind stream of the individual is blessed.

 

2. The meditation on transience

This is the explanation by which one is motivated by the supplication in the traditional sense; also known as the explanation on transience meditation, which completely disciples the individual's mind stream.

 

3. The confession of sins

This is the explanation of the practice of confession, whereby all sins and obscurations are clarified and purified; also known as the explanation of the confession of sins, which leads to a purification in the mind-stream.

 

B. The second group consists of the practices that are in agreement with everything. One purifies one's mind-stream by means of the three preparatory exercises which, in the sense of the general sutra and tantra systems, are in agreement with everything:

 

4. The generating of Bodhichitta

This is the explanation for the generation of the idea of helping others, that is, by understanding the basis of compassion and the four Unlimited States, one produces the Bodhichitta or the thought of enlightenment.

 

5. The refuge

This is the explanation of taking refuge in faith and desire, that is, by understanding the basis of faith and devotion, one takes refuge.

 

6. The presentation of the mandala

This is the explanation of the mandala, which means clouds of offering, that is, by understanding the base as a purified self-manifestation one offers the mandala.

 

C. The third group consists of the particular sublime practices. You purify your mind-stream by means of the three preparatory exercises, which are especially exalted:

 

7. The ritual service of mantra recitation

This is the explanation for the recitation of the mantra and the texts that purify the obscurations, that is, the stages of the ritual practice of the textual and mantra recitation that cleanse the karmic traces and the obscurations.

 

8. The offering of one's own body

This is the explanation for the accumulation of merit through the generous offering of sacrifices, that is, the phases of transmutation of the aggregates of the body and mind to accumulate merit.

 

9. Praying to receive the blessings

This is the explanation in relation to the practice of prayer with ardent devotion to the gurus, that is, the stages of devotional prayer to receive the blessings from the gurus.