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?
It would seem that we are doomed to fall further and further into a vicious circle of increasingly intense involvement in negative actions and results. This is true except for the fact that we have the power to uproot negative tendencies and we need to train in exercising that power. Continue reading Article: How can a change of heart change our world?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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?
There is a lot of symbolism associated with this gesture, not simply the idea of prayer (as is the case in the West).The main point of the gesture is to open yourself to receive the adhistana (blessing, power) and express your appreciation and gratitude for it. Continue reading Why do people bow and make prostrations to shrines?
It is important to take note of what is happening and often persistent thoughts and patterns of thinking and emoting can be freed up by using some of the wonderful methods that are emerging in the West these days… Continue reading Another question about ‘spiritual bypassing’ and meditating with anxiety and depression