On purification

July 6, 2021

Thaye Dorje, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, shares the following message about purification practice:

Dear Dharma friends,

Today I would like to share with you a few of my thoughts on the practice of purification – and before doing so I would like to once again remind you to take them just as that, and not as canonical ‘dharma teachings’.

The reason why we practice the Confession to the 35 Buddhas, the Hundred Syllables of Vajrasattva, or any other purification practice, has nothing whatsoever to do with guilt.
Rather, the purpose of purification is to reveal to ourselves what is beautiful, or who is beautiful.

Of course, the classic story about purification tells us that Bodhicitta or the Buddha Nature is like gold mixed up with or covered by dirt, and that if we know how to purify, we will be able to reveal this precious gold.

But from my unusual perspective, the gold seems to be not separate from the dirt.
They are so interdependent that the revealing process or the purification process somehow induces the gold in the dirt. The dirt is the gold, and in the process of purification the beauty of the dirt is brought to light, and it is revealed to be as precious as gold.

Maybe that’s the true meaning of purification: that there is no separate gold and no separate dirt, just separate aspects of the dirt, and that the purification helps you reveal the beauty of the dirt, so that it shows itself to be as precious as gold.
To me that’s beautiful, and I feel that if you can fully immerse yourself in the process of purification with that sentiment it will be very enjoyable.

In that spirit, I would like to encourage all of you to immerse yourself in this practice and recite the Hundred Syllables of Vajrasattva as much as possible.
And of course, should some of you feel that you need a landmark, a goal; should some of you wish to think that there is something to purify then by all means feel free to use that idea.

But ultimately, there is nothing to purify – all there is is the purification, and that purification means nothing but that you find pleasure in it, nothing but that it’s really enjoyable.
So therefore, if you want to go about it the easy way just focus on the purification and not on what you want to purify, and if you do that it will never become boring, and you will be able to immerse yourself in it for eternity.