Monday, September 27, 2004

Devotion Ripens the Heart

I was just reflecting on how devotion really opens ones heart up to the blessings of the Buddhas and Gurus. I added some materials to my teachers website last night, and the words of Rinpoche's reflections and prayers really touched my heart deeply. Though I wasn't present at the celebration when he spoke the words, and only have some strange shapes on a computer monitor ... the words themselves ... the effect of those squiggles and shapes was quite profound. How moved I was, and how uplifted my heart!

It's amazing how deep your Guru's words go, when devotion prepares the ground. I wonder if those words had been spoken by another teacher whether they would have hit the mark in quite the same way? I'm reminded by how a thanka or rupa which you've meditated before takes on such a different character to one which I've only seen once or twice. As devotion flows in practice before the image or statue, so that representation seems to become the locus or focus of blessings, which flow into your heart and allow the flowering of such good qualities in ones mindstream.

Devotion has such profound effects. No wonder that Guru Devotion is the heart of the Kagyu path!

My Guru's profound words:

May the lights of wisdom always shine forth in the hearts and the minds of each and every one of you, fearless in the darkness of ignorance and courageously against the bitter cold winds of negative karma, obstacles, obscuration and the defilements of Samsara. May it always fill each and every one of your hearts with the warmth of boundless compassion and the bliss of infinite wisdom of The Completely Enlightened Ones!

May all be auspicious!

Shangpa Rinpoche

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