Short Chenrezig Compassion Practice
A brief guided Chenrezig practice for cultivating compassion for all beings.
In Buddhism, Avalokitesvara bodhisattva is regarded as the embodiment of compassion. The Tibetans call this embodiment Chenrezig—the ‘one who watches with a steady gaze.’
To do this practice, take refuge in the Three Jewels: Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.
Recognize the universal wish of sentient beings to be from suffering and its causes—while imprisoned in the context of delusion, oppression, hatred and greed. Allow yourself to feel the tension in between their wish to be free and the seemingly impossible web of conditions that bind them to suffering and its causes. Feel this.
Give rise to the wish to free them. Can you connect with that? To taking it on? To the understanding that they can be free because they too have ‘buddha nature’, the same potential for awakening as the Buddha? Set a determination to make their compassionate liberation your most heartfelt vow.
To begin the main practice, in the space in front of you, bring to mind Chenrezig, as vividly as you can. Imagine this being of light, radiant with joy, gazing upon you with warmth and affection, delighting in your evolution of virtue and wisdom, while also filled with loving-kindness and appreciation for every being of every identification, every intersection of qualities and existence. Chenrezig is completely free from the fetters of conditioning, judgement, and prejudice. The very embodiment of impartial love and equanimity.
As you chant the mantra OM MANI PADME HUM as many times as you like, imagine a torrent of light, Chenrezig’s heart. This light is of the nature of immutable love, joy, compassion, and healing.
Imagine the light coming to the crown of your head; flowing down through your body, saturating every cell and immediately dispelling all negativity, any trace of previous unwholesome actions, and dispelling all confusion. Afflictions of the body and mind disappear, leaving only the experience of your body as light. Insubstantial.
Now, at your invitation, Chenrezig diminishes in size to the height of about an inch, and appears instantaneously on the crown of your head, facing in the same direction as yourself.
Imagine a soft, glowing, white eight-petalled lotus at your heart, in the center of your chest, and invite Chenrezig to dwell in the lotus of your heart. Accepting without hesitation, Chenrezig dissolves into light, descends through the central channel to the
heart chakra in the center of the chest, and forms again seated in the meditation posture on a lotus, facing the same direction as you.
Imagine a tiny pinpoint of radiant white light in Chenrezig’s heart, the light of your own buddha-nature, the expression of all your innate wisdom and compassion and power. Rest your awareness on that light.
Now, originating from that single point, light radiates in all directions—this light of the nature of joy, of compassion, and of purification.
It fills your body, and then extends out through every pore, above and below and to all sides, reaching out to every sentient being around you. Every. One.
As this light touches each being it fills them completely. Their suffering and the sources of suffering are removed and their most cherished wishes are fulfilled.
This light fills everyone around you, expanding in all directions, out over your home and neighborhood and city, touching every living being. It extends again in all directions over the globe, and then continues beyond this world, beyond the galaxy to all the infinite worlds. Imagine the entire universe suffused with this light. Imagine the universe in the nature of light—whole landscapes of light, and finally dissolving into a soft shimmer.
This universe of light is now absorbed back into your body and your body now rests as a body of light, with Chenrezig at your heart.
Let your own body dissolve into the body of Chenrezig.
Let the body of Chenrezig dissolve into the seed of light at the heart and let this seed of light dissolve into empty space of infinite energy.
Now from that emptiness, your own body again appears as a body of light, softly glowing, serene and yet indestructible.
For the rest of the session, place the mind simply and quietly on the sensations of the breath entering and leaving the body. End by resting without any concept or effort.
Offer the benefit of your practice to all.
Get the image of Chenrezig here.
Get the image of Chenrezig here.