With this video (BA2_24-25) Rinpoche gives a detailed explanation of stanzas 24 and 25 of the second chapter of the Bodhicharyavatara. This section is about performing prostrations or paying homage.
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The audio as well as the audio translations in different languages and the transcript of this teaching are all available on Chapter 2 page.
We are also studying the commentary transcript on Chapter 2, which you can download here and in the Library section. Further recommended reading: the commentary book by Kunzang Pelden (Khenpo Kunpal), The Nectar of Manjushri’s Speech, p. 79-81.
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Rinpoche, thank you for such a full explanation of the meaning of making prostrations; I had not really understood this at all before. Is it okay just to start doing a small number of prostrations while keeping in mind the meanings you describe, as part of my daily practice?
At the moment I am disabled and therefore unable to do prostrations. This is ironic as I liked the physicality of the practice. I am inclined to believe that the merit however lies with the pure intention and not the physical expression in itself. With this in mind I sit on a chair and visualise the activity and I am sure this must be OK if the intention is the criteria. Sometimes, however, I wonder if this is a denial of my condition which I don’t feel guilty about ,it just being the way it is at the moment. After all this is a situation that many folk find themselves in to varying degrees. The texts can often ignore the diversity of the human condition and assume that we function with all out faculties and physical attributes so therefore it is tempting to visualise ourselves with these but as I said above this seems to be a denial of my reality and I wonder if that is the point I should be working from. I would be very grateful for your comments on this. I would also like to add how much I and other folk who are unable to attend your teachings appreciate this shedra, a heartfelt thanks to you and those who have made it possible.
It’s always puzzling for me when I find contradictions in the teachings. I recentky received one where it was explained that we shouldn’t stay for long on the floor while prostrating because the speed at which we got up symbolizes our celerity to give up samsara. As there are many wishes to make when our head touches the floor in yours, I don’t really know what to do…
Another point is about the Ngöndro. I already find it difficult to practice prostrations with body speech and mind. I fear it could become overwhelming to add these wishes when the different members touch the floor. So I wonder if this teaching match with the Ngöndro.
I’m sure you’ll make things clear for me again, and for that I send you my thanks and hommages.
David who apologizes for the quality of his English…