Lama Zopa Rinpoche offering a mandala, Washington State, US, October 2016. Photo by Ven. Lobsang Sherab.

What is the most important thing to remember when doing mandala offerings?

Lama Zopa Rinpoche has explained that, “Many high lamas have made comments on [the mandala offering]. The main purpose is to create merit, so it’s important that your visualization is good quality and most extensive. Otherwise, there is not much reason to do it. Lama Tsongkhapa explained mandala offerings in the Lamrim Chenmo. The key thing regarding mandala offerings is to visualize clearly and as much as possible. The essence is clear and plenty, to create merit.”

A photo of His Holiness the Dalai Lama offering a mandala, taken at the home of Lama Zopa Rinpoche at Buddha Amitabha Pure Land, Washington State, US, 2015. Photo by Chris Majors.

If we visualize well, what happens?

Rinpoche said, “All the enjoyments in all the realms is the result. … [You should] visualize offerings on every atom (like Samantabhadra) and then from each of those atoms, beams are emitted and carry mandala offerings that fill the sky and become numberless. Everything you visualize should be big, huge!”

Rinpoche concluded,”I heard that one lama takes more than an hour to visualize the mandala. This is a great lama. … The more you can visualize, the more merit you create!”

Offering a mandala at Kopan Monastery, Nepal, March 2017. Photo by Bill Kane.

Find the complete teaching here:

Lama Zopa Rinpoche is the spiritual director of the Foundation for the Preservation of Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), a Tibetan Buddhist organization dedicated to the transmission of the Mahayana Buddhist tradition and values worldwide through teaching, meditation, and community service.