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Dharma Materials: Foundation of All Realizations

Well realizing that the root of the path,
The foundation for every realization,
Is to properly rely on my kind Guru,
Bless me to do so with great effort and devotion.

Knowing that this life of freedom, found but once,
Is difficult to gain and greatly meaningful
Bless me to develop the continual wish
All day and night to take its essence.

Mindful of death, this life disintegrates
As swiftly as a bubble in turbulent water
And after death my good and bad
Karma follows me like my shadow.

Having gained firm certainty of this,
Bless me to be ever conscientious
To abandon even the slightest harm
And practice every possible virtue.

Enjoying deceptive samsaric pleasure
Brings no contentment and is the door to all suffering.
Aware of its drawbacks, bless me to develop
A strong wish for the bliss of liberation.

With mindfulness, introspection, and great care
Induced by that pure aspiration
Bless me to make my essential practice
The Pratimoksha, root of Buddha's teachings.

Just as I've fallen in this sea of suffering
So have all beings, my kind mothers;
Seeing this, bless me to train in Bodhicitta,
Taking up the burden of liberating them.

And yet, just wishing this, without practicing
The three ethics, enlightenment cannot be attained.
Knowing this well, please bless me to intensively
Strive to train in the Bodhisattva vows.

Properly analyzing the correct object
And pacifying distraction to mistaken objects
Bless me to swiftly realize the path
Which unifies quiescence and special insight.

When I'm a pure vessel, trained in common paths,
Bless me to enter with perfect ease
The sacred gateway of fortunate ones,
The supreme of vehicles, Vajrayana.

Then, foundation for the two attainments
Is keeping the pure vows and commitments.
Having found unfeigned conviction in this
Bless me to guard them with my life.

Having precisely understood the essentials
Of the two stages, heart of the tantras,
Bless me to strive without break in four sessions
To practice Yoga as taught by holy Masters.

May the spiritual guides who reveal this excellent path
And the friends who practice it all live long.
Please grant blessings that outer and inner
Hindrances all be fully pacified.

In all lives may I never be parted
From perfect masters and enjoy the glory of Dharma.
Perfecting realizations of the paths and stages,
May I swiftly gain the state of Vajradhara.

By Je Tsong Khapa Lozang Dragpa

Reprinted with kind permission of the translator,
David Molk