This is the thirteenth entry from my fieldwork diary. The original date is 26.08.2010.
"If you are able to visualize the Medicine Buddha very clearly you do not even need to chant the mantra. It's even better when you do this together with other people because it brings about a good atmosphere.
When you breathe it (the blessing from the Medicine Buddha) will go to all the channels of the body and the wind will open these channels. But when you're upset these channels become narrow. So we need to forget about samsaric life and bad thoughts during the Medicine Buddha practice.
The Medicine Buddha practice is good for stress or unhappiness. It's also a cure for mental sicknesses. But mental sicknesses are difficult to handle, they're more damaging than physical sicknesses.
High masters who practice the dharma immediately visualize the Medicine Buddha. They are aware of the 5 poisons which cause suffering and mental sicknesses. When we have negative thoughts we have a lot of mental garbage. You need the Medicine Buddha's blessing to become free of this. When we have good motivations we receive good merit.
This mantra can be recited aloud or in silence. Visualize the Medicine Buddha's light going to your heart. It can be bluish or rainbow-coloured.
Devotion, faith and trust bring miracles. So we need to have a pure mind during practice. When you have doubts you can confess by purifying yourself through a mantra.
Tibetans recite mantras even after drinking butter tea because this comes from the animals. If a high yogi drinks alcohol he'll offer it to the rest of the village.
Alcohol destroys our Buddha-nature. It's the most unvirtuous thing because it brings confusion. It can make you vicious, it's like the devil's poison because it gives rise to many desires. Alcoholics are not able to tell the good from the bad and vice versa. Alcohol also damages the practice of dharma."
Then Drupon Sangyas told us an interesting short story. He said that at one time during his retreat he met a group of hippies who used drugs. These hippies thought that they were liberating themselves through these drugs and that the experience of "getting high" was a state of reaching true happiness. They believed that this was the path towards enlightenment and maintaining a good feeling.
Drupon Sangyas pointed out that they both (the yogis and the hippies) seemed to have the same goal yet their methods reaching that goal were vastly different. Tibetan yogis are able to reach a sense of true joy and enlightenment without the use of drugs - instead of consuming something that could be harmful they have profound techniques of meditation (such as the Six Yogas of Naropa).
"These hippies did not realize that they were destroying their own Buddha-nature by using drugs," said Drupon Sangyas.
*Important side note: These diary entries do not reflect every word the teacher said, and there may be some mistakes or misunderstandings, for which I am sorry and accept responsibility. In a few instances, I have interjected my own interpretation or explanation.