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Created on 29 December 2012
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Guru Yoga & Tsok Offering Practice

 

Many people believe that enlightenment is impossibly far away, but Vajrayana Buddhism teaches that we must keep enlightenment near to us at all times.  Guru Yoga practice is one of the most important and effective methods for bringing enlightenment into our mindstreams, and we do this by strengthening our connection with the teacher, or “guru.”

 

Lord Jigten Sumgon instructed thus: "From today on, with one-pointed devotion pray to your great master and practice according to what he teaches. Thus, it is certain you will achieve the ultimate accomplishment." The enlightened master Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche wrote: The words 'Guru Yoga' mean 'union with the nature of the guru,' and in this practice, we are given methods by which we can blend our own minds with the enlightened mind of the master. Remember the master—the guru—embodies the crystallization of the blessing of all Buddhas, masters, and enlightened beings. So to invoke him or her is to invoke them all; and to merge your mind and heart with your master's wisdom mind is to merge your mind with the truth and very embodiment of enlightenment.

 

The practice is a complete meditation for purifying one's body, speech, and mind into the pure enlightened state. We also offer tsok, a ritual feast offering showing our profound love and respect to the teacher, when we do the Guru Yoga practice. In a tsok practice, we visualize that the Buddhas and other beneficial beings come and accept our offerings. Then we enjoy the food offerings together. You may wish to bring an offering of food or flowers when you attend the practice.