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Seven branches

Reverently, I prostrate with my body, speech and mind And present clouds of every type of offering, actual and mentally-transformed. I declare all my negative actions accumulated since beginning-less time And rejoice in the merits of all holy and ordinary beings. Please remain until samsara ends And turn the wheel of Dharma for sentient beings. I dedicate the merit created by myself and others to the great enlightenment. 2 accumulations: The Need for the Two Accumulations', pages 283-285 WMPT 1. Prostration, the antidote to pride 2. Offering, the antidote to avarice/intense greed 3. Confession, the antidote to aggression 4. Rejoicing, the antidote to jealousy 5. Requesting to turn the wheel of Dharma, the antidote to ignorance 6. Requesting not to pass into parinirvana, the antidote to wrong views 7. Dedication of merit, the antidote to doubts Words of My Perfect Teacher Page 317-328 Patrul Rinpoche uses the context of Guru Yoga, the most essential practice of Dzogchen to set the stage for these seven practices. 1. Prostration, the antidote to pride a. Prostration i. Tibetan: chak tsal 1. Chak: sweep away 2. Tsal: receive b. Pride is essentially a sense of self-importance. i. The pride of thinking that you are the equal to your peers ii. The greater pride of thinking that you are better than your equals iii. Exceeding pride, thinking you are even better than those who are great iv. The pride of thinking "I exist" I AM v. Blatant pride, thinking you have greater qualities than you actually do vi. The pride of thinking that you are slightly inferior, thinking you are slightly inferior to those who are great, but that you are still excellent vii. Unfounded pride, taking pride in what is actually a fault Put your hands together and place them on the crown of your head, then at your throat, and then at your heart, to purify the obscurations of body, speech and mind respectively. Then touch the floor with your body at five points, the forehead, the palms of the two hands and the two knees, in order to purify the obscurations of the five poisons and obtain the blessings of body, speech, mind, qualities and activity. 1. Additionally: By binging the ground with the five points of our body we purify the five poisons, and we receive the blessings of the five kayas and the five wisdoms.

2.

Offering, the antidote to avarice/miserliness/intense greed a. b. Offering is essentially the act of giving. Greed i. Because of attachment, being incapable of enjoying ones own possessions and other material objects, clinging to them and being unwilling to part with them or share them with others. filling the entire world and the whole of space with all the offerings of the human and celestial realms: flowers, incense, lamps, perfumed water, nourishment, palaces, landscapes, mansions, pleasure gardens, and the eight auspicious symbols, with the sixteen vajra goddesses dancing and singing, each one playing her own particular musical instrument This is what is called "noble Samantabhadra's cloudbanks of offering. Whatever we have the power to offer, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas have the power to accept. So mentally take all the wealth that has no owner in all the human and celestial realms throughout the universe and make an offering of it. Then manifest as much wealth as you can with your imagination and offer that too. You can accumulate exactly the same merit in this way as you would if all those things were your own real possessions. You never need to think that you have nothing to offer. Whatever you or others have, and whatever you see, let your first thought always be to offer it to the Three Jewels and the root and lineage teachers. Mentally take whatever you find beautiful as you pass by, even pure flowing water or fields of flowers, and offer it all to the Three Jewels, thus perfecting the accumulation of merit and wisdom in the midst of your other activities.

3.

Confession, the antidote to anger a. Confession is to expose and admit your negative deeds and deal with them directly by taking responsibility for your actions and their result. b. c. Anger, one of the three root afflictions based on ignorance, is a feeling that you have been wronged, injured or suffered an injustice in some way. Four Powers are the method to confess. i. Four powers or four strengths the essential elements in the practice of confession as explained in the Vajrasattva practice. 1. Reliance a. On the support of the transformative power of Vajrasattva practice your own true nature/the clear light nature of mind. 2. Regret a. Understand the consequences of negative actions for yourself and others and recall that they are contrary to the way of the Buddha. 3. Resolve a. Decide right then and there not to repeat the pattern of negativity by giving into your habituations. 4. Remedy (is positive actions as an antidote)

4.

Rejoicing, the antidote to jealousy a. Rejoicing is to take delight or become joyful. b. Jealousy, one of the 5 poisons, is a combination of attachment and anger. As I have repeated here many times, it is the intention of the doer alone that determines whether actions are positive or negative-not the actual physical or verbal execution of that intention. For this reason the Buddha explains in detail that simply observing the good that others have done with a pure mind, sincerely rejoicing in it and dedicating its power to the complete enlightenment of all beings will bring more merit than ostentatious good deeds poisoned by the eight ordinary concerns

5.

Requesting to turn the wheel of Dharma, the antidote to ignorance a. Dharma is the word used to refer to the teachings of the Buddha. It has many shades of meaning, including the spiritual path, or spirituality in general. It also refers to phenomena, meaning things and events. See also ten meanings of Dharma. i. The Dharma has three collections (tripitaka): Vinaya, Sutra and Abhidharma. 1. Vinaya: discipline. 2. Sutra: meditation 3. Abhidharma: wisdom. ii. The Dharma has three vehicles, with a subdivision of nine. Do not do anything of non-virtue, Do only virtuous deeds, Completely tame your mind. These are the teachings of the Buddha. Imagine that you are in the presence of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, teachers and all those who are able to assume the immense load of working for the benefit of other beings. Think that they have grown tired of the ungrateful and discouraging attitude of those beings and are intending to remain in the state of peace without teaching b. Ignorance or unknowing. Not recognizing our true nature, thus reifying illusory appearances. It is the first of the twelve links of dependent origination - the basis of all afflictive emotions.

6.

Requesting not to pass into parinirvana, the antidote to wrong views a. Parinirvana or 'final nirvana'. The passing beyond suffering manifested by buddhas and realized masters when their physical bodies die. b. Wrong views are anything that contradicts the Buddhas teaching, reifying illusory appearances. Essence of Dependent Origination dharani: All phenomena arise from causes; Those causes have been taught by the Tathagata, And their cessation too has been proclaimed by the Great Shramana. The Four Seals of the Buddhas teaching: All that is conditioned is impermanent, All that is tainted is suffering, All phenomena are empty of self-entity Nirvana is peace Address your request to the teachers, the Buddhas and the Bodhisattvas who have completed their work for the good of others, in this and other Buddhafields, and now wish to enter nirvana. Entreat them Then think that because of your prayer all the Buddhas stay to work for the good of beings until sarilsara is emptied.

7.

Dedication of merit, the antidote to doubts a. Merit is positive momentum created by our practice. Connected to the power of interdependence we move closer and closer to awakening by accumulating wisdom and merit. In order to seal that positive momentum, we, as Bodhisattvas, dedicate it, not just for our own enlightenment, but also for the benefit of all beings. b. Doubt is simply uncertainty. Generally applying to our own actions of virtue and non-virtue in the context of interdependence, but specifically; uncertainty as to our true nature as introduced by the Guru. Lama, think of us, behold us swiftly with compassion. Bless us that free of obscurations, our devotion increases. Our own mind is the Buddha, but we do not recognize it. All concepts are the dharmakaya, but we do not realize it. This is the uncontrived natural state, but we cannot sustain it. This is the true nature of the mind, settled into itself, but we are unable to believe it. Follow the example of Manjushri by dedicating to all beings whatever merit has been, is being and will be acquired by yourself and others, starting with the action you are doing now. Seal the dedication with the seal of non-conceptual wisdom Never forget to perform the dedication at the end of any meritorious act, great or small. Any source of merit not dedicated in this way will bear fruit only once and will then be exhausted. But whatever is dedicated to ultimate enlightenment will never be exhausted, even after bearing fruit a hundred times. Instead, it will increase and grow until perfect Buddhahood is attained.