(May 10, 2020) During this time of the Covid-19 crisis, let us keep the people who are on the front-line, the people who are directly affected by this crisis, and particularly people in places such as Nepal and Africa in our prayers. Their challenges are much worse than ours.
Physically, we should now focus to boost our own immune systems. And that depends on our minds. We should focus our approach on compassion and kindness towards ourselves and the world, as well as wisdom understanding reality. This is be the ultimate answer to the question of how do we manage during these times.
Through the Medicine Buddha practice, we can create a pure state of mind, dangwé dépa. This pure state of mind becomes the perfect element for our spiritual immune system to grow and strengthen. That is fundamental.
Connecting with the Medicine Buddhas and Their Dedications
The Medicine Buddhas generated bodhicitta and made dedications to benefit beings during degenerate times. We are currently living in degenerate times. Therefore, in this time period, through their prayers and dedications, we are connected to them.
During the Medicine Buddha Puja, essentially what we are trying to do is to connect with the Medicine Buddha.
We connect with their dedications and prayers through the seven-limb process. We connect with them not as a person or as an enlightened being. We connect to their motivation, which is ultimate compassion, as well as wisdom and their dedications.
We refresh this karmic connection through the process of making prayers and offerings and in particular, making requests for their prayers to ripen for us. Keep this in mind. We karmically connect with them so that we can make ourselves visible to them. In this way, their dedications are able to meet us. This is fundamental.
From our side, making requests and prayers based on faith and devotion for Medicine Buddha is very important.
Also, each Medicine Buddha has made specific prayers and dedications. Hearing and reciting their names and making other expressions of faith or devotion is the vehicle to connect with their wisdom and compassion. This becomes the lineage connection, which allows our positive karma to awaken. This is fundamentally what we are trying to do. Through that kind of karma, we dedicate the prayers for liberation and enlightenment of all sentient beings.
Each Medicine Buddha has its own description in the ritual, so try to keep that visualization in front of you. There is no need to worry about left or right or things like that. That is not necessary.
Giving Full Attention to Compassion and the Welfare of Others
When we do this prayer, we should also keep in mind that it is not so much about how I can do my meditation or how I can improve my concentration. This prayer is not the time for this. Rather, it is about what I can transform.
This prayer and dedication is about going beyond our needs, remembering the situations of other living beings, remembering loving kindness and compassion and giving our full attention to the welfare of another. That has to be fundamental. It is what leads our practice. That is it. It is not more than that.
Only two things need to be done: first, keep this awareness, attention, and compassion, and second, recite the Medicine Buddha’s names, recite their prayers and then dedicate.
It is not necessary to have a clear visualization. All those details are secondary. Compassion and prayers is key.
The Essence of the Medicine
There are two layers. The first is the medicine of faith and devotion. What are faith and devotion?
This is a pure state of mind, a mind that is free from fear, a mind that is not caught in distractions. This is the first layer of the medicine. In the ritual of Medicine Buddha, there are a lot of expressions of making dedications and offerings through a positive and pure state of mind.
Then, beneath this pure state of mind is wisdom and compassion. This is the second layer of the medicine. This is the kind of faith that arises through ultimate wisdom and compassion. The manifestation of wisdom and compassion as devotion or faith is the medicine we talk of here.
Through this kind of energy and force, transmitting the teachings and making prayers and dedications becomes very powerful and impacts sentient beings.
That is the medicine.
The Medicine Buddha practice that we have been doing every week is a very strong collective positive karmic accumulation. We can dedicate that karma to peace in the world in general and particularly for the challenge we are facing right now to heal.