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.

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