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Yoga of Eating Food According to Mahayana Tantra

From Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia
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Yoga of Eating Food According to Mahayana Tantra

Practice Requirements To do the yoga of eating food according to tantra, one must have received a great initiation in either a lower class of tantra or highest yoga tantra. Then, within emptiness, arise as the deity inseparable from the guru to bless, off er, and enjoy the offerings. If your empowerment

is not a highest yoga tantra empowerment, then bless the food as nectar within a jeweled vessel (as on p. 21) rather than transforming the fi ve meats and fi ve nectars in a skullcup as contained within the practice included here. Instructions Each ti me you partake of food and drink, off er it to yourself as

the guru-deity. In this way, especially when making offering to yourself as the guru-deity, you collect merit far greater than having made offerings to

all the numberless past, present, and future Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha; and to all the holy objects, statues, scriptures, and stupas of the ten directions. With this yoga practice, the food does not pollute your mind, become poison to be reborn in the lower realms and a cause to block realizations.

This way, eating only becomes a great purification and collects the most extensive merit; with each ti me you eat or drink bringing you closer to enlightenment and making your life most beneficial.


According to Mahayana tantra, there are two ways to do the yoga of eating:

(1) As a tsog offering to yourself as the guru-deity. Off er the blessed nectar to the seed syllable at your heart or to the deity’s body mandala (if there is one). Yourself as the guru-deity, the seed syllable at the heart and/or the deities at the heart – all are equal to the Guru and numberless Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. By eati ng in this way, you make offerings to all of them. When you eat in the manner of tsog, it purifies negative karma, broken samayas, and collects extensive merit.

(2) Eat the food in the manner of offering a burning puja to the deity. Of the two hands – the right is the lug – the ladle that puts things into the gang, that is the left hand. From there, it is offered to the guru-deity. Then generate great bliss that understands emptiness. In this way, eat in the manner of doing a fire puja.


When you eat as offering a fire puja, this purifies negative karma and collects merit

You can also use the food as kundalini – which goes down and fuels the tummo fire whereby one experiences the four blisses.

This practice becomes an actual tsog offering if done together with the requisite tsog offering substances of bala and mandana. Lama Zopa Rinpoche has

advised that you can keep a small container of these substances on your altar. Then, any ti me you eat and drink, you can off er it as tsog, inclusive of the requisite substances. Simply partake of the bala and mandana at any ti me that day aft er the offering has been made.

This offering practice may also be done without bala and mandana but then would not qualify as an actual tsog offering.



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