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A while back I was at a workshop by a Yungdrung Bön abbot who taught Guru Yoga using a visualization of the Master with a crystalline body where you visualize being purified first by fire, then wind, then water followed by beams of light radiating from the Master's brow-to-your-brow, throat-to-your-throat, and heart-to-your-heart. When this happens and at several other points there are specific prayers and syllables that are prescribed.

I found a similar version in Healing With Form, Energy, and Light by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche which gives the ritual there, but without the strictly Tibetan elements. It clearly has the same bones (which is not surprising), but it doesn't contain the prayers or syllables.

My question is: Does someone know the full version with the syllables and words intact (in any version, recognizing that there may be several variations) and/or a lead on where I might find it?

  • Buddhism and yoga have two difference perspectives, This question isn’t related to Buddhism. – Maduka Jayalath Jun 19 '14 at 4:45
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    It comes straight out of the Yungdrung Bön tradition–among potentially others–and is part of the preliminary practices. Thus, it is very, very Buddhist. See also this link: rigpawiki.org/index.php?title=Guru_Yoga – Hrafn Jun 19 '14 at 4:46
  • Maybe it has some influence from the Mahayana but not with the Theravada – Maduka Jayalath Jun 19 '14 at 4:52
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    It is found in Vajrayana and Bön. I am not sure that the various forms of it are the same or I would expand the tags, but I have at least two sources on it in this form in the Bön tradition. – Hrafn Jun 19 '14 at 4:58
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I am a Vajrayana practitioner and Guru Yoga is our core practice. It has nothing to do with 'yoga'. It translates as ‘Meditation on the Lama’ (Skt. Guru Yoga, Tib. Lami Naljor) and its goal is to realize the nature of mind through identifying with the Lama.

It is a profound practice and I am not sure whether it is appropriate to share the details publicly. Normally one should receive explanations in person from a teacher or some experienced practitioner. I can imagine there are many variants of Guru Yoga as there are plenty of lineages and people have connections to various Lamas. The most important is to trust the Lama that he indeed represents perfect qualities which we want to identify with.

If you want to practise this meditation, the best would be to find a Buddhist centre from Vajrayana tradition and try to receive the explanations there. Please note that some forms of Guru Yoga can only be practised after completing Ngöndro (preliminary practices) which can take a couple of years.

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Just the prayer and syllables in question, not the surrounding prayers and other elements of the practice (e.g., the refuge prayer), but this is the prayer that I was thinking of (བླ་མའི་རྣལ་འབྱོར, called the "lamai naljor prayer", also transliterated as "lamé naljor", or translated as "Guru Yoga prayer"):

སྤྱི་གཙུག་བདེ་བ་ཆེན་པོའི་ཕོ་བྲང་དུ།
དྲིན་ཆེན་རྩ་བའི་བླ་མ་ལ་གསོལ་བ་འདེབས།
སངས་རྒྱས་སེམས་སུ་སྟོན་པ་རིན་པོ་ཆེ།
རང་ངོ་རང་གིས་ཤེས་པར་བྱིན་གྱིས་རློབས།

Transliterated:

Chi tsuk dé wa chen pö po drang du
Drin chen tsa wé la ma la söl wa dep
Sang gyé sem su tön pa rin po ché
Rang ngo rang gi shé par jin gyi lop

It has been translated as:

On the crown of my head, in a palace of great bliss
Benevolent root lama, I pray to you.
Precious one that reveals that my own mind is Buddha,
Bless me to recognize my own true nature.

I have also seen it translated a little more poetically:

From the crown of my head, palace of great bliss,
I pray to you, benevolent root lama.
O precious one, grant me the blessings
To recognize my own true nature as a Buddha.

There is a version of this practice found in Opening the Door to Bön by Latri Khenpo Geshe Nyima Dakpa Rinpoche, in the 5th preliminary practice, "Connecting With the Teacher", which provides a virtually identical prayer with a slightly different transliteration and another translation.

It also includes a lot of the surrounding details, visualizations, and prayers. This version of the practice is subtly different from the one that I learned, but the bones are very similar if not identical.

The three syllables are:

  • AH – White, Forehead
  • OM – Red, Throat
  • HUNG – Dark Blue, Mind

These are Bön-specific seed syllables and other branches sometimes use variations.

I don't own the book and so can't speak to its contents in any great detail, but Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche has written a book called Guru Yoga: According To The Preliminary Practice Of Longchen Nyingtik would seem to cover the practice from a different angle.

  • The prayer you cite is the 4th part of preliminary practices, so called Ngondro. Before doing them, one has to complete refuge (prostrations), purification and Mandala practice. Also, one normally receives lung from the teacher which is oral permission to practise this. If you want to practise Guru Yoga on your own, be sure there is permission to do so. Online you can find 16th Karmapa meditation text which can be done without preparation. – Rabbit Jun 24 '14 at 8:42
  • Since you seem very adamant on this point, I'll make it clear that I have received verbal authorization to practice it. – Hrafn Jun 24 '14 at 8:53
  • So why do you publish it publicly to others who did not receive the authorization? – Rabbit Jun 24 '14 at 8:55
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    Two reasons. 1) Different traditions view the secrecy and restrictions around it differently. Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche published a version for public consumption in 2002. Nyima Dakpa Rinpoche published a version for public consumption in 2005. It is available on the website of a retreat center and the prayer was published on their Facebook page. The knowledge is out there and not oathbound. 2) Just like with answers to martial arts questions, there is a difference between "can I learn this from a book?" and "I would like a reference to go back to." The latter is something that SE sites do well. – Hrafn Jun 24 '14 at 9:10
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    I'd suggest that continuation of this discussion go onto the meta since it will have site-wide implications in how questions get answered. – Hrafn Jun 24 '14 at 9:12

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