Why do Buddhists recite Liturgy – prayers, chanting etc – and how can we best relate to that?

There are many benefits of reciting liturgy. One important benefit is that as we focus on the words and meaning, even just intuitively without really understanding them, our attention is naturally drawn to a single point and stabilizes. The more the words speak to our heart the easier it is to focus on them, because we are being drawn towards their significance. Continue reading Why do Buddhists recite Liturgy – prayers, chanting etc – and how can we best relate to that?

woman in blue denim jeans sitting on brown wooden chair

What practice can we do to make amends and repair our mistakes?

A student asks: When we make mistakes, what is the best practice to make amends? Would the Vajrasattva mantra be best for purification? Lama Shenpen responds: When we make mistakes it’s good to apply the powers of repentance (as explained in our booklets under the section about confession in the 7 branch prayer).  First you acknowledge the fault and repent it – feeling remorse or … Continue reading What practice can we do to make amends and repair our mistakes?

What are the Seven Branches of Prayer?

The seven branches of prayer begin with salutations, which traditionally take the form of bowing and prostrations. The idea is that we honour the Awakened ones with our body, speech and mind, giving up our pride and egocentricity in order to be open to the vision of the Buddhas. So the gesture of salutation or bowing is one of acknowledging, aligning, honouring and celebrating. Continue reading What are the Seven Branches of Prayer?

an afro haired woman sitting on a chair while praying

Do the Buddhas & Bodhisattvas hear us when we pray? What if we feel nothing is happening or changing?

Since we are inseparable from the Awakened Nature of all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and their pranidhanas and adhistana [powerful blessing] pervade the Universe and the hearts of all beings – when we pray there is no way it cannot connect to the mandala of Awakening whether that seems to us to be happening or not. Continue reading Do the Buddhas & Bodhisattvas hear us when we pray? What if we feel nothing is happening or changing?

woman sitting on wooden planks

What lies beyond avidya? If we have gone beyond suffering and seeking pleasure, what is there to do in this life?

The answer lies in being able to distinguish vidya from avidya and not confusing a beginner’s understanding with the real thing.  For a beginner’s understanding it sounds as if one might get bored – that is a sign of an incomplete understanding, lack of realisation. Continue reading What lies beyond avidya? If we have gone beyond suffering and seeking pleasure, what is there to do in this life?

silhouette of person raising its hand

When we’ve dropped our delusion, then what? What lies beyond avidya, What would be left to do, to enjoy?

Vidya is not really a point of progress along the path – it is our true nature and so of course there is nothing to do. As long as avidya is not recognised for what it is there is still something to do in a way because we are seeing things wrongly. Continue reading When we’ve dropped our delusion, then what? What lies beyond avidya, What would be left to do, to enjoy?

How should we approach online Dharma teachings and downloaded texts?

These days we surf the net and find a likely looking Dharma website and feel that parting with even a few hundred pounds is to take a risk, since who knows who the people are and what they’re are up to. So often it is with suspicion and scepticism that we embark on a course and the practice, hardly knowing what to expect and wondering if this is yet another internet scam.
Hardly the best way to approach the holy teachings! Continue reading How should we approach online Dharma teachings and downloaded texts?