Four nails

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The four nails or “four nails that secure the life-force of the practice” (Tib. sok dom zer shyi), an important aspect of kyerim practice, are:

  1. The nail of all appearance as the deity (nangwa lha yi zer)
  2. The nail of all sound as the mantra (dra drak ngak kyi zer)*
  3. The nail of the activity of emanation and absorption (tro du trinlé kyi zer)
  4. The nail of the unchanging wisdom mind (gongpa mingyurwé zer)

(*) Alternatively, the first two are given as “the nail of concentration on the deity” (ting nge dzin lha’i zer) and “the nail of the essence mantra” (nyingpo ngak kyi zer)

According to Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche, these four points were first taught as special mengak by Guru Padmasambhava in the Kagyé Deshek Düpa.

Alternative Translations

  • Four stakes that bind the life-force (Dharmachakra Translation Committee)