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Lions Roar : September 2018
metaphor from the late Tibetan teacher Gelek Rinpoche, when we recite a buddha’s mantra we are providing a hoop through which they can hook us into their energetic influence. Note that Medicine Buddha is a Kriya tantra practice. As such, it is helpful that you first have some familiarity with the sutra tradition, as well as receive proper initiations and teach- ings from a properly qualified teacher, if you wish to fully embody the precious Medicine Buddha lineage. How to Practice Medicine Buddha Meditation Step by Step GETTING STARTED Find a quiet place to meditate and assume the optimal medita- tion posture for you. Take refuge in the Buddha, dharma, and sangha, and then spend a short time establishing your motiva- tion in a heartfelt way. You may think or say: “By this practice of Medicine Buddha, may I (or the being for whom I am prac- ticing) be purified of all disease, pain, and suffering, and enjoy robust good health, and attain complete and perfect enlighten- ment to lead all other beings to this same state.” INVITE MEDICINE BUDDHA TO YOUR PRESENCE Visualize Medicine Buddha sitting, looking at you. He is depicted as having a dark blue (lapis lazuli) body, this being an archetypal color of healing. With his left hand he holds a bowl of healing nectars, and with his right a medicine plant. In your visualization, he is at about the height of your forehead, a few feet in front of you, gazing at you with as much love as a mother for her only child. He is everything beautiful gathered into one. I recommend having an image of Medicine Buddha in a place where you’ll see it frequently throughout the day. That will make it easier for you to “see” Medicine Buddha when your eyes are shut. After all, the more familiar you are with anything, the easier it is for you to picture it in your mind. (You can easily picture your front door, right?) Even if your visualization is not great initially, just picturing a blob of blue light is sufficient. What’s really important is to have a very real sense that Med- icine Buddha is actually there. That if you looked up, or opened your eyes, you would see him. Try and cultivate the feeling that you are in the presence of a truly amazing being. If you’ve ever had the privilege of being in an audience with someone such as the Dalai Lama, you will know that there is a palpable sensation to his being there. Try to imagine this same energetic presence with Medicine Buddha. MAKE YOUR REQUEST Ask Medicine Buddha to eliminate pain, purify disease, and/ or rebalance or restore your health (or that of the being for whom you are practicing). You don’t need precise knowledge of the anatomical changes required. What matters here is intention. Visualize that Medicine Buddha willingly responds to your request. Instantly, healing blue lights and nectars emanate from the bowl in his lap, come to the crown of your head, and flow down, filling your body, or that of the being for whom you are practicing. You can direct the lights and nectars to specific parts of the body, but there is such an abundance of them, that they will fill your whole being anyway. Imagine that this process instantly, completely, and perma- nently eliminates and purifies all disease, pain, and suffering and—importantly—the causes of disease, pain, and suffering. In addition, the causes of holistic well-being of mind and body stream in with limitless abundance. While visualizing this process, recite Medicine Buddha’s mantra. There are a few variants of the mantra, depending on lineage. This is one version of the mantra, which is in Sanskrit: TAYATA, OM BEKADZE BEKADZE MAHA BEKADZE BEKADZE, RADZA SAMUNGATE SOHA This is pronounced: Tie-ya-tar, om beck-and-zay beck-and-zay ma-ha beck-and-zay beck-and-zay run-zuh sum-oon-gut-eh so-ha. Continue the visualization and mantra recitation for at least ten minutes if you are new to the practice. If you are a seasoned meditator, you will probably wish to go on for longer. DEDICATION Conclude your session with a dedication, such as, “By this practice of Medicine Buddha, may I (or the being for whom I am practicing), and all beings, be free from pain, disease, and suffering, and quickly achieve complete and perfect enlightenment.” ♦ DAVID MICHIE is the author of Buddhism for Busy People and Buddhism for Pet Lovers. LION’S ROAR | SEPTEMBER 2018 58