In Sanskrit, the name of Chenrezi is Avalokiteshvara, which means the one who sees with
compassionate eyes. His name indicates that the mind of Chenrezi is, all embracing compassion
expressing the wish to set all beings free from the sufferings of Samsara and to establish them
in the state of Supreme Enlightenment. In the meditation upon Chenrezi it is important to understand
the symbolism contained in his form and speech. Chenrezi's first and most outstanding quality is his
complete freedom from any kind of fault or defilement. He has no vestige from any kind of dualistic
clinging to objective reality or subjective existence and is completely free from any Karmic
The body of Chenrezi is the most pure brilliant white possible, raidiating from his
body in all directions, rainbow colored light symbolizing the attainment of the five
transcending awareness that brings benifit to all beings trapped within Samsara.
His smile represents his inner understanding and love as he looks with compassionate eyes upon
all sentient beings. His four hands signify the four Immeasurables: Love, Compassion, Joy and
Impartiality. The first pair are joined at his heart holding a wish fulfilling jewel signifying
his prayers to all Buddhas not to pass into nirvana but to remain in order to help all
beings. The second right hand holds up a Mala made of pure crystal quarts that symbolizes his drawing
up all sentient beings out of Samsara. In his left hand he holds a perfect white lotus, which
symbolizes his absolute purity and freedom from states of suffering. On his left shoulder is the pelt
of the antelope called a Krishnasara only found in the gods realm which signifies the peaceful and
totally non violent nature of Chenrezi. He is seated in full lotus posture completely still and calm
signifying that he does not rest in either Samsara or Nirvana but continuously acts for the benefit
of all beings He is adorned with silk and many jewels which signify the six Paramitas.
Upon receiving the complete transmission of Chenrezi through an Empowerment we are
able to transform our ordinary body speech and mind through meditation and visualizations that leads
us to identify with a pure enlightened form. When we meditate upon the Yidam Chenrezi our own
ordinary body is transformed into the pure body of Chenrezi the Bodhisattva of Compassion Here we put
aside the fixation on our own body and instead identify with a pure form body of Chenrezi and in doing so
it is important to realize that the form body we create of the Yidam deity is pure appearance and
does not partake of substantially in any way. In this meditation we become completely identified
with this form body that is empty, with out stolidly, with out self-nature or ultimate reality
beyond its pure appearance this meditative experience is called " The Union of Appearance and Emptiness."
The second part of this transformation concerns our speech. Although we consider our speech to be
intangible in that it simply appears then disappears we actuality relate to speech as some thing
very real, this is because we have become so attached to words to what we say and hear that speech
had such power over us. Mere words, which have no ultimate reality, can determine our happiness and
also be the cause of our suffering. Thus we create pleasure and pain through our fundamental clinging
to sound and speech. Through reciting Chenrezi Mantra Om Mani
Padme Hum we no longer cling to the reality of the normal sounds and speech encounter in our
daily lives but begin to experience it as essentially emptiness. Through Mantra Meditation
confusion about the speech aspect is transformed into enlightened awareness called the
"Union of Sound and Emptiness."
The final transformation concerns our minds. Ultimately speaking all of the causes of suffering
is produced by the mind and it is only the mind, which is capable of experiencing the consequences.
Yet the mind it self is fundamentally empty and is not limited, in any way yet we remain unaware
of the true nature of our mind because of Primordial Ignorance. By experiencing the empty nature of
mind and letting it rest in this awareness we can find much relief from the turmoil, confusion
and suffering that constitutes our ordinary experience. To purify our minds we meditate upon the
heart of Chenrezi where the mantra and seed syllable HIRH are locate. AS Chenrezi we visualize that
many rainbow colored lights are in being sent out from our hearts purifying the obscurations of all
beings and establishing them in the state of Enlightenment. We then dissolve the visualization of Chenrezi
into our heart and rest in a formless meditation. Resting the mind in its own empty nature
this is called the "Union of Awareness and Emptiness.
When receiving the Empowerment of Chenrezi and practicing with faith and devotion you will have
great aid and assistance in the process of realizing the true nature of mind and may then easily
transcend this cycle of Samsaric suffering. Such transcendence is possible in this very lifetime,
at the time of your death or in the Bardo of possibilities. Therefore I urge you to consider this
teaching very intently and to recall that the most beneficial thing that you can do with this precious
human existence is to become Enlightened in order to benefit all Sentient Beings.