55. Method of Removing Sickness and Redeeming Life from Death
Longchen Nyingtik Meditation 55
Take refuge and arouse bodhichitta.
The Main Part
In emptiness, visualize in the sky in front of you a jeweled throne upheld by great lions. Seated upon the throne, on a seat consisting of lotus, a sun disc and a moon disc, and layers of soft silken cushions is your own glorious root guru inseparable from all the lineage masters. Surrounding the guru are ocean-like yidams, deities of mandalas, multitudes of dakas, dakinis, and Dharma protectors. Below them are beings of the six realms and those who harm you.
Next visualize: Your mind takes the form of the Tibetan character “ཧཱུྂ” (pronounced as “Hum”) in your heart, which shoots out from the aperture of Brahma at the top of your head and transforms into the dakas of the five buddha families. Brandishing curved knives, they slice off your skull at the level of the eyebrows, invert the half skull as a cup, and place it on a tripod made of three human skulls, each as large as Mount Meru. They then lift your corpse with the curved knives and place it in the skull cup, under which fire blazes, cooking your flesh and bones. From the buddhas and bodhisattvas above falls a rain of amrita, filling the skull cup and purifying away all impurities, transforming all its content into immaculate food and amrita that can satisfy all possible desires.
Next, visualize from your heart you send out numerous offering goddesses who offer a wisdom skull-cup filled amrita to each of the buddhas and bodhisattvas, pleasing them immensely. As a result, you complete the two accumulations of merit and wisdom, and attain the common and exceptional accomplishments.
Next the amrita is offered to all the beings of the six realms of existence, satisfying them and filling them with joy. Your debts since time without beginning are repaid. You have placated the avenging spirits, pacified their malicious intents, and cast off all obstacles.
From the buddhas and bodhisattvas and beings of the six realms, joyful light rays radiate and shine on you; all sickness, evil spirits, and obstacles are pacified; death is ransomed, and siddhi is attained. At the end, everything, like a cloud, dissolves into empty space.
When we suffer from ill health or encounter obstacles on our spiritual journey, this is the practice to do, which entails visualizing our body as amrita and offering it to the disease-causing spirits or obstacle makers. This is a highly ranked practice, and a detailed account can be found in the “Kusali” section in The Words of My Perfect Teacher. Here, however, this practice and the four enlightened activities are taught in the context of guru yoga as essential steps for our spiritual trainings.
Some Dharma friends suffer from frequent nightmares. Some suspect malevolent spirits or demons are hovering around or possessing them. In these cases, if they visualize their own body as amrita, making it an offering to the deities and a gift to the afflicting spirits, their problems will be resolved.
This specific meditation, the Chod, transmitted down by Padampa Sangye and Machik Labdron, is a tantric ritual of cutting through the ego based on the prajnaparamita. It is a superb practice and we should always practice it well. By so doing, we’ll accomplish the two accumulations of merit and wisdom, reverse death, be free from illnesses and harms, and recognize luminosity in the bardo.
Dedicate your merit in a non-conceptual state.