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The Practice of Confessing

Shenla Ökar

 

After developing disappointment and disgust with the world and worldly life with all your futile aspirations, you come to the practice of confessing sins. In a broad sense, this practice is both powerful and effective in purifying one's own sins and veils. In the context of Dharma, whether Buddhism or Bön, the term, we translate as «sin» refers to all negative actions of the body, speech, and mind, causing pain, injury, and suffering to other living beings. Darkening cover a vision and obscures the mind-stream, distorting how one perceives the world.

 

There are mainly two kinds of veils: emotional veils from all our negative emotions or impurities (Kleshas) and spiritual veils from the perverted false beliefs and ideas that distort a clear view of reality. Just as the oil seeping into a sheet of paper prevents anything from being written on it, so our negative Karma, in relation to these sins and obscurations, prevents us from developing spiritually and coming to realize the fruits of our own practice,

 

As a practitioner, you should diligently try not to be pot with any of the following three defects:

 

➳ A pot that is turned over cannot hold or receive anything. This is like a person who turns away and does not listen when the Dharma is taught.

 

➳ A pot that has a hole in its bottom cannot hold anything. This is like a person who hears the teachings but soon loses and forgets them.

 

➳ A pot contaminated with poison will spoil everything put into it. This is like a person who, though hearing and remembering the teachings, distorts their meaning because of their negative emotions and wrong views. This will prevent them from cultivating a spiritual or Dharma-oriented way of life.

 

The practice given here is more or less identical with the meditation and the mantra recitation for Vajrasattva in the Buddhist tradition, where the function of purifying obscurations is similar. Like Vajrasattva, Shenla Ökar also represents a visible manifestation of the Sambhogakaya appearing in a purified vision. In both cases the mental exercise is based on the following four forces:

 

1. The support, which is the visualization of the Guru and the Refuge Tree, represents the witnesses to whom a confession is made.
2. The cultivation of feelings of remorse and the deep regret over our negative actions in the past.
3. The promise and obligation not to make these negative actions in the future again, and
4. The recitation of the hundred-syllable mantra by means of which one effects the effects of cleaning.

 

In order to be in good company during this time (and the following), you can download the image of the Zhang Zhung Nengyü Refuge Tree in good quality in DIN A1 format, which you can then print out in a copy shop and 'nailing' to your home or anywhere else on the wall.

 

Refuge Tree of the Zhang-Zhung Nengyü of Bön (click to enlarge)

 

How do you do this meditation?

Again, you take five-fold position for meditation and produce the visualization of the tree of refuge in heaven before yourself. First, in the process of creating, you activate the gurus and the Sugatas in the space by visualizing the luminous forms In front of you. Then, above all, countless beings of wisdom appear in similar form, which then all at once fall into the beings below and become one with them. The visualized symbolic beings are created by one's own mind, and the wisdom beings represent the blessings or spiritual energies of the enlightened Buddhas who were called to come down and dissolve into the visualized forms as if pouring water into a vessel. Thus, these symbolic forms are animated and alive. The largest figure in the middle of the tree is the Sambhogakaya of Shenla Ökar, here as Kunzang Shenla. He is surrounded by the three jewels and the three roots, as well as by the lines Gurus, as described above.

 

He is also surrounded by the great multitude of living beings who have once been our own mothers in one lifetime or another. Reflect on your past actions in this regard to examine how they have helped others to harm or help others, and enjoy the good deeds of other beings. After weighing all of this, make an explanation of confessing, and then repay all your bad deeds by reciting the hundred-syllable mantra.

 

If this visualization of the entire tree of the congregation is too complex and difficult to generate with your mind, you can simply visualize Guru Tapihritsa in the sky in front of you as described above. But what's important here is to be consistent and not constantly change the visualization. If the practitioner stays constant with a visualization, it becomes more and more obvious. You can also visualize a part of the refuge. However, there should be members of all walks of life: Lama, Yidams, Buddhas, Doctrines, Bodhisattvas, Dakas and Dakinis, Dharma Protectors and Wardens. Be smart about the characters in the Refuge Tree and choose those you like. This is also an advantage if you come to the practice of «prostrations».

 

The practice of confessing sins, as described here, is performed according to the teachings of the great master Drenpa Namkha of Zhang-Zhung, who was and is a famous exponent of Dzogchen teachings. This section is also known as an explanation of the practice of confessing, which clarifies and purifies all sins and veils.

 

Over the course of our countless lifetimes in Samsara, we have accumulated a large amount of negative karmic traces. Now, in front of our guru, the Buddha, whose knowledge is pure and perfectly wise, so that he can see everything that we have done in the past, we feel contrite and confess our sins and veils. It's like standing before a wise and omniscient judge who combines mercy with justice. In our past, we have lived since beginningless times, we were ignorant and did everything without knowledge or awareness.

 

But now we regret this and promise not to go back to that ignorant and careless mode again. Through the practice of confession, we are able to cleanse our veils and our karmic tracks, so that our wisdom and awareness increase and grow stronger. Our view of Dzogchen is becoming more and more stable. In practice, we call upon the four powers, the guru, before whom we confess our feelings of regret and regret over wrongdoing in the past, we pledge and commit not to do it again, and recite the hundred-syllable Mantra for cleaning.

 

We will certainly be born again in hell for executing the five heinous crimes of murdering our parents, killing the root guru, killing innocent children, and so on, without Bardo experience. Torturing and killing people are the most serious crimes. As well as actions such as Dharma practitioners to harm, destroying temples, religious images and sacred books, as well as burning down forests, polluting lakes and rivers, and so on, are very serious crimes. Lying, spreading slander, stealing from others and so on are also bad. All of these intentional actions create negative karmic traces that lead to suffering experienced in future lives. It is also a bad thing if we give praise to the bad actions of others. We could then acquire a similar karmic trace.

 

But if we praise the generosity and virtuous behavior of others and try to emulate them, then we will earn a similar merit. In the past, ignorance darkened our mind because we did not know the difference between virtue and wrongdoing. By doing so, we should confess the bad deeds now, in the presence of our guru, and promise to stop doing any of these activities in the future. We feel sorry for these past actions and now accept responsibility for our actions. From now on we will go the way of the Mahayana. This is our commitment. We promise to practice virtuous actions and praise the meritorious deeds of others. If we do not, this will be an obstacle for us in the next life in relation to the Dzogchen teachings. It's like trying to write on paper soaked in oil. But this practice of confessing to the Guru is the means by which we purify and wash off our negative karmic traces.

 

One has accomplished sinful actions life after life. The most important among them are the five immeasurably heinous crimes, the four minor crimes, the four grave transgressions, the eight wrong actions, the nine deluded actions, the ten actions of non-virtue, and so on. All of our sins were previously accomplished because of ignorance and we did not understand what was right and wrong.

 

So you should offer confession in the field of your vision, accompanied by remorse and regret. Your own immaculate spirit is established as our witness. You should cultivate the roots of virtue of the subtlest degree.

 

After you in the presence of the guru have confess all your past sins and veils of body, speech and mind, countless lives accumulated due to ignorance, as well as all your broken promises, commitments, vows and Samayas, you develop intense feelings of regret and repentance of this and solemnly and sincerely promise the guru not to repeat these negative actions in the future. You should remember that your present situation in life is the entire result of your own karma. The actions you have taken in the past life and what you do now determine future existence in this life and in the next life.

 

Our destiny and our future fate depend entirely on what we do in the present. When we reflect on all this, we see that the practice of confessing in the presence of a guru is a powerful method to address the secondary causes of germination and activation of the seeds of eliminating one's own negative karma that we have accumulated in the past since beginningless times. Now make a solemn commitment to walk the path of the Mahayana in the future, to relieve the suffering of others and to free them from the prison of Samsara.

 

 

Recitation

For the purpose of confessing, you can recite the following verse, known as «the portrayal of the words for confessing the sins that have been accumulated»:

 

Me and all other living beings,
Have in our countless lifetimes, from the earliest beginning
To today, how we got this present human body,
Various sins and unrighteous act celebrated.

 

We confess these before you,
Without hiding anything and we try to atone for them;
Whatever vicious act we have committed on the basis of our veils;
Please cleanse, because of your compassion for us, all of these,
And then we will come to enjoy all the virtues!

 

This purification of the confession is confirmed by the recitation of the hundred-syllable mantra, which can be easily recited or sung aloud. It's like this:

 

SWO MU YE TRO KHYUNG YE LAM TRI TRI TAR
DAR SAL WA Ö PAG RAM SO HA (action mantra)

 

100 Syllables:
SWO MU RA TA HAN WER NI DRUM HRUN /
MU TRE MU TRE MU RA MU TRE /
MU YE MU YE HARA MU YE /
MU TRO MU TRO WER RO MU TRO /
MU NI GYER TO YE CHYAB KHAR RU /
TRO DAL HRI HRO WER NI WER RO/
SHU LA WER RO NA HU TA KA /
SHUD DHO SHUD DHO DU SHUD DHO YA /
SA LE SA LE TRI SA LE YA /
SANG NGE SANG NGE SU SANG NGE YA /
MU RA TA HÄN TRI TSE DRUNG MU /
HA HA DRUM DRUM HO HO LAM LAM HUNG HUNG PHAT PHAT!//

 

As said, the germ syllable BRUM (pronounced DRUM here) is reminiscent of the celestial palace launched, and the wrathful mantra PHAT dispels the negativity. Accordingly, the meaning of the mantra can be roughly translated as follows:

 

SWO MU YE TRO KHYUNG YE LAM TRI TRI TAR
DAR SAL WA Ö PAG RAM SO HA (action mantra)

 

SWO MU RA TA HÄN WER NI DRUM HRUN: Swo!
We pay tribute to the name of the Victorious in the palace of Shenrab, who embodies the Trikaya!

 

MU TRE MU TRE MU RA MU TRE:
The Dharmakaya, the Dharmakaya is the Dharmakaya of the dimension of space!

 

MU YE MU YE HARA MU YE:
The Sambhogakaya, the Sambhogakaya is the Sambhogakaya of the original awareness!

 

MU TRO MU TRO WER RO MU TRO:
The Nirmanakaya, the Nirmanakaya is the Nirmanakaya of the Victorious!

 

MU NI GYER TO YE CHYAB KHAR RU:
May the teacher of the Bön illuminate the perspective of the students!

 

TRO DAL HRI HRO WER NI WER RO:
May the disciples achieve the complete victory of knowledge!

 

SHU LA WER RO NA HU TA KA:
May we achieve victory over all our sins, obstacles, and obscurations!

 

SHUD DHO SHUD DHO DU SHUD DHO YA:
Clean! Clean! May the anger be cleansed!

 

SA LE SA LE TRI SA LE YA:
Remove! Remove! May the attachments be removed!

 

SANG NGE SANG NGE SU SANG NGE YA:
Clarify! Clarify! May the confusion be cleared up!

 

MU RA TA HÄN TRI TSE DRUNG MU / HA HA DRUM DRUM HO HO LAM LAM:
May we, by the power of the hundred thousand Shenrabs, receive the indestructible result of being reborn in his pure palace for the benefit of the beings!

 

HUNG HUNG PHAT PHAT:
HUNG HUNG Expel! Expel!

 

You can recite the upper action mantra at all times, for example while showering. You can also add this at the beginning if you recite the 100 syllables, but you do not have to.