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Introduction (preparatory exercises)

The right word here would actually be implementation, because this introduction includes everything. In my own way, not in your own way. You still have to work out your individual approach. But maybe you can pick up and exploit some of what's in the introduction here.


After you have decided to start with the basic exercises or Dzogchen, you should, if possible, visit one or more gurus (teachers) of your choice to obtain the necessary empowerments. But what if this option does not exist for you? In spite of everything, at least try to obtain empowerment for a Yidam practice. If you are well acquainted with a Yidam practice, you can then, if necessary, get the necessary authorizations from the Yidam. In that case, the Yidam will then be the guru who gives you this empowerment. But beware!!! Only do this if you cannot help it.


In Buddhism and Bön, one often speaks of «secret» or «secret teachings». Why are these teachings secret? The problem is that students are often not mature enough to develop their understanding of meditation, which simply means that they would not understand or misunderstand these «secret teachings». With a wrong understanding, one not only does not progress on the path, but can also be thrown back on the path by behaving wrongly.


Here is a stark example that you should not take up, namely mine: In the case of vows that I have given, I do not count the breaking of these vows, since it would be easier to count the vows daily that I did not break have. It seems easy at the moment to make a vow, such as the Bodhisattva vow or the promise to live a healthy life, but in fact these vows cannot really be sustained in the long term. It always comes back to misconduct. Of course, if you make a vow and can keep it, you can move faster on the path, but what happens if you cannot keep the vows clean? Okay, for one thing, you can redeem the vows, but does it make sense to know that there is a danger that you could break it again?


Well, Dzogchen's point of view is that «both good and bad are emptiness in their nature», so keeping vows and breaking vows have the same nature. This helps to concentrate on the aspect of voidness in Dzogchen meditation, but does not prevent you from accumulating bad karma or good karma; these impressions are mostly stored in Alaya consciousness, a consciousness outside of our body, from which they come to bear after death for a karmic rebirth. Lingering in emptiness, however, in turn has a purifying effect on karma, which sometimes goes as far as the Alaya.


Bardo means intermediate state, which lies between the beginning and the end of a certain event. There are four major types of Bardo states: the Bardo of this life, the Bardo of dying, the Bardo of the luminous Dharmata, and the Bardo of becoming, where we have a new birth in one of the six realms of existence (of the gods, half-gods, humans, animals, Pretas (hungry ghosts) and the hell areas). Furthermore, in this Bardo, the Bardo of this life, there are two more Bardos: the Bardo of Dreaming and the Bardo of Meditation. In each of these Bardos it is possible to achieve liberation (nirvana) or enlightenment. The most important Bardo, however, is the Bardo of this life, as we have it here, by our behavior, in the hand to set the course for the subsequent Bardos.


I think this is sufficient background information, so I would like to introduce you to my daily practice in order to talk about the announced implementation.



Daily meditation practice


First, stand ready for the prostrations and say or think:


First, I look at this precious body, which is difficult to obtain and easy to destroy. I think about the transience of all things, only the open clearness of my mind is permanent, no one knows how long conditions remain to recognize them. I think about cause and effect: Past actions, words and thoughts became my world today. I constantly sow the seeds for my future. Finally, I visualize why I meditate: Enlightenment is timeless supreme joy and I can do little for others as long as I'm still confused or suffering by myself.


This includes the practice of meditation on transience.





Take refuge

Since I do not always experience the world the way I want it, I want to learn from those who can. For the best use of all man and all, I take refuge. In front of me, above the middle of a lake, is Tönpa Shenrab, surrounded by all the important lamas and laminis. Above are the strings of pearls. In front of him are the Yidams, Dakas and Dakinis. To his right are the Buddhas, behind him is the authentic Dharma and to his left are the Bodhisattvas, our friends on the way. Slightly deeper are all Dharma Protectors and Guardians. To my right is my father, to my left is my mother, behind and beside me are all the sentient beings of the four realms, my former mothers, as limitless as heavenly space.


Usually three areas, but I add the animal kingdom here, the two other lower areas I omit, as this can lead to complications.


With one-minded mind I take refuge and develop the enlightenment mind:


This includes the Bodhichitta too.


I and all beings in the four areas take refuge in the victorious Sherab Chamma and all the important lamas and laminis. These are the source of Dharma teachings and combine blessing, means and protection for the meditations.


Then follow the prostrations, as described in «Prostrations». However, here I do not use the words for the prostrations, but the praise for the refuge:


The highest teacher is the source of the three bodies of enlightenment,
All the enlightened of the three times are the liberators of the sentient beings,
The three symbols of body, mind, and speech are the reliable source of the bliss of the enlightened,
The great spiritual warriors of the ten directions are the lights on the path of enlightenment,
All beings prostrate themselves and take refuge in the Four Highest Objects of Refuge.


and, as the sixth:




With this text I turn 12 rounds, in which I visualize 72 aspects. Then I stand again in front of the complete refuge and gradually concentrate on 12 lamas, as I say the following:


Until I reach the highest enlightenment, I take refuge in the Buddhas. In the same way, I take refuge in the teaching and assembly of Bodhisattvas. Just as the previous Buddhas have developed and practiced the spirit of enlightenment in the same way, I too will develop the spirit of enlightenment and practice the exercises.


As I am wet with sweat, a few more meditative parts follow, so that I am dry again until the meditation is over. First follow the


Eight traditional offerings


This refers to eight gifts formerly made in India for a good guest when he came to visit. These do not belong to Bön and are also difficult to find in Buddhism in the following ways, as I have updated them a bit for the present time. They are, however, a beautiful gesture and meditation. There are 7 bowls on my altar, of which 4 (not quite) are filled with colored rice and a few small glass beads, and a (not quite) small flower vase containing artificial flowers. As a preparation, you need in addition to the delivery substances also a glass jug with water and a clean jar (a clean cup), in which you pour the last used water.


Normally, before you go to bed, you should remove the gifts that you have made in the morning. But since I am usually too tired in the evening and think that the Buddhas also need water and a few things at night, I always clear the previous offers only before the actual offerings.


The gifts take place beginning at the left shell and clearing begins in the opposite direction to the right shell, though that sometimes reversed is say. Beginning with the clearing, I first say, «May the conversation have been worthy», and, after folding my palms to my heart, take a piece of cigarette paper from a shell lying on the rice from the right shell. On a cigarette paper you can whistle like a blade of grass and this is the traditional presentation of music. Then my concentration goes to the bowl to the left of it, saying «May I always have the best food and drink available», and removing the cupcake or candy. It is good if these are packed so that the rice in the shell is not contaminated. The next bowl to the left of I say, «May self-care have delighted», and pour the water in it into the prepared cup, whereupon I dry the bowl with a cloth and put it upside down. Traditionally, this «self-care» means bathing water or perfume. The palms I put together with all cleanup shortly after the wish.


The next bowl is filled with rice again and the tea light is usually already removed, but I say: «May the light of the Dharma continue to spread». It follows «May always be the best essences available» ꟷ traditionally «incense», but essences also contain essences of medicines ꟷ and clear the incense sticks. It follows «May all things be beautiful at all times», meaning the traditional flowers. The last two bowls are in turn filled with water. With «May the utility water have been useful», I empty the water from the penultimate bowl to the water in the cup. Traditionally, this is water for washing the feet, but «utility water» can also be used in childbirth. At the last bowl on the left (traditionally water for drinking) I finally say «May the drinking water always be of the highest quality and never go out». Both bowls are rubbed dry and turned over.


Yeshe Walmo - Protector of Bön


This for cleaning up. Now comes the gifts, which of course we do not want someone to spit us into the soup. That's why we use the mantra «SO MAMA RAYO DSA (3x)» to summon the Protector, Sippe Gyalmo. This appears in front of us in the room and we ask:


OM Noble, you have achieved all the perfections. Please remove disabilities and troublemakers and protect the teachings and practitioners of Bön.


Then we say SO MAMA RAYO DSA twice again and OM DU TRI SU SHUDDO YA SALLE SANGYE YE SO HA once, which is an emptiness mantra. Now everything dissolves into emptiness. We stay in this emptiness for 30 (slow) breaths.


Out of this voidness, huge Kapalas arise in front of us in the space (half turned skull shells, the hollow eyes look in our direction). These are red in and stand on gem rocks, brilliant in sun and moon. Above them are the syllables AH, OM and HUNG, still brighter and more luminous.


Together with this field of offering we are now again in the form of a pretty and lovely Dakini, that is, not with bone jewelry, but with jeweled ornaments. In front of us is the refuge, in front of it the field of offerings (the skull shells); beside and behind us are all sentient beings of the four realms, in their number immeasurable as the heavenly space.


For reasons of space, for example, you can also sit laterally offset from the refuge, which is even an advantage for the visualization. Then, for example, the Sanctuary is to your left, the field of offering above you and all the beings on the right, front right and back right of you.


Then pour into the leftmost bowl of water and then recite the following line:



May the drinking water always be of the highest quality and never run out.


visualize how the syllables AH, OM, and HUNG fall down into the skullcap, boil, and are vigorously agitated by a hurried Khatanga (long staff with a white, red, and blue head in various states of rotting on its tip). As a result, the skull shell dissolves and its essence, which is now the very best water, passes into the water.


Then pour water into the bowl to the right and then recite the following line:



May the service water be useful.


visualize how the syllables AH, OM, and HUNG fall down into the skullcap, boil, and are vigorously agitated by a hurried Khatanga. As a result, the skulls shell dissolves and its essence, which is now partially heated water (as needed), passes into the water.


Then focus on the flowers as you recite the following line:



May all things be beautiful at all times.


visualize how the syllables AH, OM, and HUNG fall down into the skullcap, boil, and are vigorously agitated by a hurried Khatanga. As a result, the skull shell dissolves and its essence, which is a universe of beautiful and filigree things, falls down onto the flowers as stardust and causes them to shine in all its glory.


Then focus on the next bowl in which you put an incense stick while reciting the following line:



May always best essences be available.


visualize how the syllables AH, OM, and HUNG fall down into the skullcap, boil, and are vigorously agitated by a hurried upturned Khatanga. Thereupon the skull shell dissolves and its essence, which consists of raw materials for medicines and frankincense, passes into the incense sticks.


In the next bowl to the right, place a tea light and light it, whereupon you recite the following lines:



May the light of Dharma (teaching) continue to spread.


visualize how the syllables AH, OM, and HUNG fall down into the skullcap, boil, and are vigorously agitated by a hurried Khatanga. Then the skull shell dissolves and for its essence you visualize an upside down skull shell in a black room that is filled like a burning oversized tea light. From this go out infinite number of small skulls in all 10 directions and three times, until the entire black space is completely bright. This glow then goes into the tea light set up in front of you.


A tea light burns about 4 hours, but my meditation usually lasts not so long, therefore, and for safety reasons, I make out the tea light after the meditation session and then burn it back to the next session.


Then pour water back into the bowl to the right, into which you add a few drops of essential oil, and then recite the following line:



May self-care be enjoyable.


visualize how the syllables AH, OM, and HUNG fall down into the skullcap, boil, and are vigorously agitated by a hurried Khatanga. As a result, the skull shell dissolves and its essence go now over fragrant into the water.


The last two bowls are again filled with rice and pearls. Place a small cake or candy on the penultimate bowl on the right. Then you say:



May always best food and healthy drinks are available.


and visualize how the syllables AH, OM, and HUNG fall down into the skullcap, boil, and are vigorously agitated by a hurried Khatanga. As a result, the skull shell dissolves and its essence, a huge table with the very best food, fruit juices and so on go now over in the sweetness.


Put on the last right bowl a cigarette-paper or something small that can be used to make sounds. Then you say:



May only be worthy entertainment at the right time in the entire environment.


and visualize how the syllables AH, OM, and HUNG fall down into the skullcap, boil, and are vigorously agitated by a hurried Khatanga. As a result, the skullcap disintegrates into the goddess Saraswati, riding a swan in the sky, leaving a trail of slow-moving musical instruments for the creatures. The essence of one of these instruments that you like best goes now into the «cigarette-paper».


If you have a bell, you can ring it to each one of these offerings. Since we are incredibly rich, we now add another offering:


Mudra - Hands-Position


As you form this mudra, say:


In the middle is Meru, the king of the mountains. Around it are the four continents and the eight smaller continents, the sun and the moon. At the foot of the mountain is the palace of a world ruler with all its riches. In the middle of the mountain are countless precious offerings of gods and men.




With this mantra you bring this mandala to the place where the offering field was previously available.


Although I have visualized myself as a pretty Dakini, but my beard tells me that I'm not so pure. So now, to distribute all the offerings, which also mean a lot of work, add a few beautiful helpers.


Sit in meditation posture, right hand resting on left hand, hands resting in the lap with palms up. There is emptiness in me. From this inner emptiness now appears in front of me in the outer space left a black Dakini, nicely decorated at a young age: OM AH VAJRA KAURI HUNG. This is followed by other Dakinis of this species. Second, a white Dakini: OM AH VAJRA GAURI HUNG; a blue: OM AH VAJRA VETALI HUNG; a green: OM AH VAJRA GASMARI HUNG; a purple Dakini: OM AH VAJRA PUKHASI HUNG; a red: OM AH VAJRA SCHAVARI HUNG; a yellow one holding a Damaru (hand drum) at the navel and a bell at the heart: OM AH VAJRA CANDALI HUNG and a beautiful human Dakini with ideal shapes, beautifully slit eyes and sensual lips: OM AH VAJRA DOMBINI HUNG.


Please, along with all the other deities, especially the Deities of offering accept the following offering of music as pure with the best wishes and thoughts. May that come to you completely and pure and enjoy you. And all your deities, such as the countless Rasavajra goddesses, Gandhevajra goddesses, Parshevajra goddesses and so on, please help distribute all the gifts.


Now you can play the Damaru and the bell (or chirp a song or play an MP3 tape if you have neither Damaru nor bell). Imagine how countless deities gather in the discos to go to the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, all the objects of refuge, to hand over to them the offerings that are actually set up and innumerable imaginary. In front of the main sanctuary objects, the previously mentioned eight offering goddesses gather, which then cause the countless Rasavajra, Gändhevajra goddesses and deities, to bring the offerings, which appear as countless clouds of rainbow light, to the main deities (Buddhas , Bodhisattvas, Yidams, Lamas, Teachers and Protectors) and the purposes of these deities. After that, the deities return to their places and everyone is happy and delighted.



Guru Yoga


Now that, as I hope, all have received the offerings and are happy, I ask that Sherab Chamma (or a preferred deity of your choice) for Guru-Yoga appear in the space before me: OM Noble, that you attain all the perfections, please show me the power that removes the ignorance and obscurations of all beings and myself, so that I can know and experience the pure clear light of the mind.


Sherab Chamma then winks at Tönpa Shenrab (actually Shenla Ökar, but I prefer the middle), whereupon a powerful firestorm comes from the heart of Tönpa Shenrab, sweeping over the heads of all beings and burning their entire negativity and their darkening into ashes , This is followed by a huge storm, which absorbs all the ashes and carries away. Finally, a strong rainstorm follows which rinses away remaining particles and completely cleanses the beings. In this way, all beings are now completely purified.


Now, from the forehead of Sherab Chamma, who is pleased with our sincere desire, a clear white light, along with a white syllable AH falls into our forehead and gives us the empowerment of the body. This light removes everything disturbing in the brain, in the nerves and the senses. Harmful habits and diseases leave us. We receive the empowerment and blessings of the body (Stay in this experience for at least 10 slow breaths).


Then, from the throat of Sherab Chamma, a clear red light, together with a red syllable OM, falls into our throat and gives us the empowerment of speech. This light removes all obstacles in our speech. Impressions of gross and sorrowful words leave us and our speech becomes a conscious means to help beings. We receive the empowerment and blessings of speech (Stay for at least 10 slow breaths in this experience).


Finally, from the heart of Sherab Chamma, a clear blue light, together with a blue syllable HUNG, falls into our hearts and gives us the empowerment of the mind. This light removes all obstacles in the mind. Disturbing emotions and rigid ideas leave us and our mind becomes original space; space and pleasure inseparable. We receive the empowerment and blessings of the Spirit, a never-ending stream of blessings (Stay for at least 10 slow breaths in this experience).


Finally, the five warrior seed syllables in the colors of the five Buddha families fall into us from Sherab Chamma.


Since the RAM is red and fiery, in this case the OM is yellow. The extra TSA is green and heads down while the other syllables are pointing up. This color suggestion cannot be found in any Bön literature.


This tells us about the condition of Sherab Chamma.




(Stay for at least 10 slow breaths in this experience).



Dissolution and re-emergence


Finally, all beings, boundless as the sky, dissolve in colorful light of all colors and shine in all the refuge objects. The entire refuge dissolves in rainbow colors, which radiate in Tönpa Shenrab. Tönpa Shenrab also dissolves in rainbow light, which shines in Sherab Chamma (or your preferred deity). Sherab Chamma shines as a rainbow-colored light into the center of our body (just above the belly button), filling us and our minds completely. Now there is only open clear glowing width (Stay for at least 30 slow breaths in this experience).


From this open clear space, a world is now condensing again. A beautiful world, pure and perfect. Every atom vibrates with joy and is held together by love. The beings that arise everywhere have Buddha-nature, whether they know it or not. Everything is fresh and new, full of unlimited possibilities. Now we emerge again from the room. In our usual form, in the right place, at the right time. There is, however, one difference: we used to be that body and vulnerable to old age, illness and death. Today we have this body; it is a container and a means of refuge, especially of our favored deity, to the best use of all peoples and all.




We want to be aware of this pure and clear simple view in all situations and now wish that all the good that has arisen becomes boundless and dedicate the resulting good impressions for the enlightenment and the there-leading good of all beings.



So, that was the explanation of my morning meditation, which does not take 2 hours. A meditation of this length is not suitable for beginners at all. It stops him immediately from meditating because the mind finds a thousand reasons not to do the meditation right now: here hurts, that should be done, what am I cooking today at noon, and so on. At the beginning it would be very good to meditate twenty minutes twice a day. Once after getting up and once in the evening. Then it can happen that not only does meditation give you pleasure, and then you feel well and well rested, but also your mind may find pleasure in it and gradually become better tamed. You will then realize that the day is somehow better if you meditate first thing in the morning instead of jumping out of bed at the last minute and letting yourself be rushed to work.


This is not about me, it's about you. Each person has a different access to all things of life, as well as a different approach to meditation. The Buddhas know that and therefore they will show you their own way if you trust these Buddhas. And so, after these two introductions, the explanations of the Bönpo practices of the Preparatory Exercises will follow so that you can study these traditional insights and work out your own approach.


That's all, there's more to it only when introduced to the next explanations of Dzogchen meditation.