DALAI LAMA DAY 2 – Yokohama Japan 3 day retreat – Altair Shyam

Avalokiteshvara Guan Yin


Avalokiteshvara Guan Yin Initiation

This was a completely different day to day 1.

To begin with I met up with such a diverse group of people, Mongolian and Tibetan monks and devotees who had traveled all the way to Japan to receive this initiation. Many did not speak English or Japanese so we spoke with my smattering of Tibetan and lots of gestures and acting out scenarios.

It was a day of energies and as the Dalai put it, channels, winds and bliss drops.

The actual ritual is secret so I cannot share the techniques although you can find many similar techniques documented in my favorite book by the Dalai Lama, Kalachakra Tantra: Rite of Initiation.

The Avalokiteshvara Initiation is a Secret Mantrayana Ritual. Fundamentally you visualize yourself as the deity Avalokiteshvara Guan Yin although the experience is far more profound than my words can say. Perhaps because of my karmic predisposition, although I have a very fresh beginners mind, I was able to devour the energies like a starving man and as such went through some quite startling, even shocking transformations, as if a lightning bolt had struck me. Those blessings in particular I dedicate to all beings.


The initiation begins with taking vows. These include layperson vows, monk and nun vows and Bodhisattva vows. To summarize these the Dalai Lama says, is to be kind to everyone. To not wish anyone harm in thought word or action.

I will share the one I use daily here with you, should you wish to use it. It is derived from the one I took when I did the Kalachakra Tantra.

“From my Heart I go for refuge to the three jewels, Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, Christ Krishna, Divine Mother. I will free all beings from pain and set all in final bliss. To do that I will generate an altruistic intention to attain perfect enlightenment, and thereupon will train in the learnings of Bodhisattvas, Archangels and Elders/Masters.”

Whatever Vow you take, a formal one or one that you create yourself, the Dalai Lama recommends saying this with a deep pure intention at least 6 times a day. I say it in the following way. As you open your eyes upon rising, in your morning meditation, in your midday meditation, at some point in your afternoon, in your evening meditation, and as you close your eyes to go to sleep.


The Avalokiteshvara Initiation is comprised of Secret Mantra and Secret Kriya. It comes from Tibet and the tradition of the 17 Nalanda Masters. It involves activating energies in the channels, winds and bliss drops in the physical body and light body. The Buddha tailored these techniques for specific disciples and arose in different bodies, sometimes a celibate monk and sometimes a deity to teach these.


It comes from the Hidden Terma (treasure) or Profound Vision tradition.

The initiation we took came from the 5th Dalai Lama. The 5th had many visions of deities and shared 25 cycles of visionary teachings. These are called the Father Teachings.

Each of the Dalai Lamas was famous for particular visions. The 1st had visions of white and green Tara. The 2nd had visions from childhood and composed music and chants about them. The current Dalai Lama has dreams not visions. He joked about this by saying he was the only Dalai Lama who has not had visions of deities but he takes consolation from the fact that he is the most famous Dalai Lama.


Though I cannot share the specific techniques of the initiation (the Dalai Lama asked us not to share them) I can share the visions I received as they are very personal and do not in any way reveal the secret process.

I hope that you may relate to some of them.

As many of you know, I have had a deep connection to the Fifth Dalai Lama over a long period of time. I had five visions over the course of this initiation.

The First
A dark-haired woman with tanned skin appeared suddenly with eyes blazing with light. It was quite shocking. This was a form of Palden Lhamo. She is the Protector of Tibet.

The Second
I was transported bodily to a world I did not recognize, somewhat similar to the windswept snowy slopes of the Tibetan highlands with all my senses fully on and engaged yet I feel it was not there.

The Third
I was witness to what I would describe as twin Vajras spinning horizontally with tremendous force.

The Fourth
I was aware of an enormous pillar of light we all are connected to that ran the length of my spine above and below and connected space and spacelessness. It was immovable and yet highly volatile like being connected to a God-cable through heaven and earth. My body shook as if unable to contain the voltage. This was a somewhat shocking part of the initiation and I felt as if I might pass out.

The Fifth
There was a point at which this body dissolved, and the physical body was “replaced” by another in full light body “form”. I recognized it as our ultimate truth and the energy and consciousness was overwhelming and entirely magnificent. It left me in tears.


Today the Dalai Lama told many stories.

He shared about famous Thangka (sacred art) of Avalokiteshvara and the effect it had on devotees leading them into trance and ecstacy.

He told the story of Je Tsongkhapa’s vision of Manjushri sitting in a circle of Blue Light.

He spoke about how the 5th Dalai Lama’s visions emerged from the Heart of Avalokiteshvara.

He told us about a statue in Potala that when he prayed in front of it its expression changed. He had seen the face change from serious to smiling.

He also had a dream of Avalokiteshvara where he got to ask about the depth of realization of emptiness and have many of his own personal questions about enlightenment answered.

He sees Avalokiteshvara on his own shoulder. He said “I act as Messenger for Avalokiteshvara”. And he said he was born to do this.

He told stories about Nagarjuna and his feats of moving beneath the ground and flying.

But he said the real miracle is in the transformation of the mind through the Master’s writing.

He spoke about how magnificent the true teachings and writings of all traditions are and that all religions are beneficial.

He spoke about the types of visions and that the profound visions were when deities appear to Masters when the Master’s eyes are open.

He said there is a Divine plan in place.

He said the divine plan was about spreading a spirituality that was sovereign and unified, and that all religions were part of that.

The Dalai Lama ended the initiation with the aphorism, “NO BEGINNING, NO END” in true tantra and alchemy tradition.

Love and blessings
Altair and Mother

Useful resources
You may find the following helpful.




Gratitude & Appreciation to artists ~ credit given where this is known.

DALAI LAMA DAY 1 – Yokohama Japan – 3 day retreat Altair Shyam

Chenrezig, Avalokiteshvara Guan Yin


Dalai Lama Day 1

Dear Enlightened Ones

It is always such a blessing to be with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, this time I was in Yokohama Japan for a 3 day retreat.

The Dalai Lama began the day with a talk about us all being One Family of Love and Compassion.

Here is the core of His teachings for today for you.

We are all One Family of Love and Compassion no matter what religion or history or scientific background.

Happiness comes from peace of mind and we cultivate happiness through love and compassion and practicing patience and kindness.

Obstacles like anger, delusion and attachment act as a veil to the mind. When we purify these we become free and see reality as it is.

The Heart Sutra of Avalokiteshvara Guan Yin is like an Ancient Mother.

She teaches us the wisdom of emptiness which means seeing that things have no external existence (at this point in my meditation and contemplation on this a bright violet blue orb appeared) and also teaches the essence and importance of Bodhicitta which means to have an altruistic intention to cherish others and then to liberate others.

In dreams we can see an elephant and when we wake up know it is not real so in life we can see a partner or friend as frustrating and be angry at them but then the next day be fine and calm around them showing us that those impressions we have of people through the impurified mind or consciousness are unreliable. When you are aware of that in the present, in that moment, you are awake. Awareness is luminous. Past and future have no existence.

Liberation of your self comes down to cherishing others. When you have compassion you see suffering in others and develop empathy because you can see how ignorant others are of how things are. So there is a strong desire to help. To take on the suffering of others.

Maitreya taught the Buddha Nature is All One so there is no division between teachings on love and compassion.

Afflictive emotions like anger can be used to see into the nature of emptiness and luminosity. When you are angry you believe your reasons for being angry are real. If you see directly into the nature of things and see that these feelings change so realize the nature of change and see that these feelings dissipate so are empty of any real existence so realize the nature of emptiness then you can use these to liberate.

Quantum physics points to things having no objective existence.

Ask yourself who is this body this voice this mind? Who am I?

We appear to each other as if we are real but where are you? Are you the body? Are you the voice? Are you the mind?

The nature of these forms is emptiness. They all change and eventually transform and dissolve.

Things exist by Name. The Dalai Lama had a “lightning bolt” of realization about the “I” the Name we give to ourself and the identity feelings thoughts we attach to it.

By cultivating the path of perfection of wisdom we make the intention to help all beings and bring love and compassion wherever we go. We see the truth of emptiness, that there is no “I” and seek to liberate ourselves by cherishing others. By letting go of self-cherishing and “I” we open to a deeper luminous awareness of All That Is.

Stages of Meditation

Past and future lives can be discovered. They are based on dependent origination. The roots of compassion in us all are a special resolve to bring all sentient beings to enlightenment.

There are different types of suffering to be free from.
Suffering of suffering. Suffering of change. Suffering of conditions or conditioning.

Then afflictive emotions.

And karma.

Cherishing others with an altruistic attitude and emptiness is helped by meditation. Meditation on equanimity, on love and kindness, on compassion and on wisdom.

Meditation practice on emptiness involves perfecting singe pointed concentration to begin with.

Training in mindfulness and introspection develops concentration.

1. To begin choose a quiet serene place.

2. Physical posture – Vajra cross legged or lotus or chair.
Hands held together in Mudra. Left hand under right and two thumbs touching against the navel.
Straighten spine.
Tip of tongue to upper palate. Eyes on top of nose or straight ahead or slightly uplifted.
Eyes Half open.
Shoulders relaxed.
This is important for later Tantric practices where you use the breath to breathe light and energy in the spine and the flow of energy in the right and left channel needs to be balanced.

3. Use an object of focus to begin with. A flame or flower or piece of wood. This uses the 6th mind, not visual consciousness for example. Focus on the image of the flower in your mind. Stay singled pointed for a long time until you can hold the object in mind with calm abiding.
The Dalai Lama joked that he had met Hindu Sadhus in the Himalayas with better focus than Buddhist monks!

4. Special insight. You begin to see things as they are in extraordinary ways. You see into the formless realms and Higher Realms that all saints and mystics and Buddhas and Christs and Mohammeds and Krishnas and Avalokiteshvara Guan Yins have spoken of. The Dalai Lama said from his conversations with all Masters they all agree on these basic points and He is on the lookout to meet many more beings who have developed single pointed focus and insight into the nature of things!

The Notion of an Independent self is the root of all delusion.

There is no self.

There is no “I”

Nothing can be found.

The innate clear light mind is not the self.

Within consciousness there are degrees of subtlety. Past and future lives are explained on the basis of self.

As the self becomes more transparent to the light the memory of these past and future lives is realized. Some children have clear memories of their past lives. There is a child in New York who has a past life memory of dying in the tragedy of 9/11.

There are meditators the Dalai Lama has met who can keep a single focus in their mind for 3-4 hours and can stay in the subtle clear light of death at the point they transitioned through long and continuous practice.

To develop calm abiding you have to calm the mind and place it again and again in that state through practice.

The main obstacles are mental laxity and mental excitation.

Alertness must be there.

If your mind is dull or lax or cloudy like daydreaming and you have lost alertness then you need to practice uplifting the mind like visualizing the Buddha or Christ in illuminated bodies. Tantric Yoga is particularly useful wheee you meditate visualizing yourself as a deity and doing it within emptiness. Some yogis can project their bodies out into other bodies.

If your mind is too excited then meditate on emptiness.

Then contemplate what arises.

And develop special insight or Vipassana.

Love and blessings
Altair and Mother with the Dalai Lama


Gratitude & Appreciation to artists ~ credit given where this is known.