Dalai Lama Imparts Chenrezig Empowerment to Taiwanese Buddhists

The Buddhist Channel, 6 October 2023

Dharamsala, HP (India) – On a crisp morning bathed in the radiant light of the rising sun, His Holiness the Dalai Lama graced the Tsuglagkhang with his presence, bestowing a Chenrezig empowerment upon a gathering of eager disciples.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama addressing the congregation on the third day of teachings requested by Taiwanese Buddhists at Thekchen Chöling in Dharamsala on
October 4, 2023. Photo by Ven Zamling Norbu

Gently acknowledging the assembled well-wishers with a smile and wave, His Holiness took his seat, swiftly initiating the preliminary rituals for the empowerment. Simultaneously, the mesmerizing 'Heart Sutra' resounded, first in Chinese and then in Tibetan.

Addressing the gathering, His Holiness shared his thoughts, focusing on the presence of their Taiwanese Dharma friends. He acknowledged the rich history of Buddhism in Tibet, Mongolia, and China, recalling his 1955 visit to mainland China, where he encountered numerous Buddhist temples and monasteries.

Despite the suppression of Buddhism in Tibet by Chinese Communists, His Holiness noted the resurgence of interest in Buddhism in contemporary China, emphasizing the enduring connection between Tibet, China, Mongolia, and Avalokiteshvara.

His Holiness, often referred to as the 14th Dalai Lama, revealed his intention to provide a brief Avalokiteshvara empowerment, underlining the significance of the six-syllable mantra instilled from an early age due to their connection with Avalokiteshvara.

He delved into the importance of nurturing a warm heart, irrespective of one's religious affiliation, asserting that compassion, embodied by Avalokiteshvara, profoundly influences the virtuous and warm-hearted people of the Himalayan region.

Reflecting on the global pursuit of peace, His Holiness emphasized that achieving inner peace is a prerequisite for world peace. He stressed the essential role of cultivating compassion, particularly through the recitation of the six-syllable mantra, "Om mani padme hum," which helps nurture compassion within individuals.

His Holiness shared his personal practice of meditating on bodhichitta and combining it with insight into emptiness from the moment he awakens each morning. He drew inspiration from verses in 'Entering into the Middle Way' and emphasized the pivotal role of compassion in one's journey toward peace and enlightenment.

Recalling King Songtsen Gampo's connection with Avalokiteshvara, His Holiness commended the preservation of Tibetan culture and the development of the Tibetan script to facilitate the translation of Indian Buddhist literature. He reiterated that the core teachings of this literature revolve around cultivating a good heart.

His Holiness, acknowledging the challenges he has faced throughout his life, affirmed that a good heart contributes significantly to one's well-being. He concurred with scientific findings suggesting that a kind heart is conducive to good health, reiterating that bodhichitta not only fulfills personal goals but also benefits others, ultimately leading to inner peace.

Commencing the empowerment, His Holiness paid tribute to local spirits by offering a ritual cake to include them in the proceedings. He administered the Bodhisattva Vows, following Terdag Lingpa's method, and subsequently conducted the Tantric Vows.

Guiding the congregation through a series of empowerments, including the Vase, Crown, Secret, and Word Empowerments, he concluded with permissions to benefit others, punctuated by a heartfelt verse expressing his core aspiration from Shantideva's 'Entering into the Bodhisattva Way.'

In closing, His Holiness encouraged the assembly to uphold their pledges and commitments in line with the guidance of the principal deity. Chinese disciples chanted a prayer for His Holiness's long life, translated into Chinese.

As His Holiness rose from his seat, he recited two dedication verses:

"Just as the brave Manjushri and Samantabhadra too
Realized things as they are,
I also dedicate all these merits in the best way
So that I may follow their perfect example.

I dedicate all these roots of virtue
With the dedication praised as the best
By all the Buddhas who appear in the three times
So that I might perform the noble Bodhisattva's deeds."

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