Chanted Prayers (or Puja in Sanskrit) are an important element of our spiritual training. They help to still our mind and receive blessings from enlightened beings in order to create the best internal conditions for our meditation practice to bear fruit. Prayer, “monlam” in Tibetan, simply means “wish path”. The prayer booklets we use are known as ‘sadhanas’ meaning “methods for accomplishing attainments”. Using ancient prayers translated into English, these practices help us to purify our negativity and fill our mind with positive energy.
Chanted Prayers sessions combine guided meditation with the prayers, as well as a talk about how to engage in the practice. The sessions are suitable for beginners as well as those with experience. No need to book, just come along and relax. Chanted prayers also help us create a direct connection with enlightened beings so that we can receive their special blessings, guidance, and protection as we travel along the spiritual path.
Heart Jewel / Wishfulfilling Jewel
The Heart Jewel practice is the heart essence of Kadampa Buddhism. In the first part of this practice, we visualize Je Tsongkhapa and make prayers and requests to purify negativity, and accumulate merit. This prepares our mind for a period of silent meditation on the Lamrim, or stages of the path. The second part of this practice contains prayers to the wisdom Buddha and Dharma Protector, Dorje Shugden, to help us overcome obstacles to our practice.
Wishfulfilling Jewel is an extended version of Heart Jewel, which we practise on Wednesday evenings with tsog offerings.
Prayers of Compassion for the Deceased
Powa is a special ceremony to help those who have recently died experience peace of mind after death and be cared for by the Buddha of Compassion, Avalokiteshvara. During this ceremony we engage in the traditional Buddhist practice of transference of consciousness in conjunction with the prayers, “Path of Compassion for the Deceased”.
Everyone is welcome, you do not have to be Buddhist to attend these prayers or to derive benefit from them.
If you would like to attend, then it is traditional (but not required) to bring a white offering, either food, flowers, candles, etc and if you wish, we can make specific dedications for friends or relatives that have recently died.
Prayers to the Swift Protector, Arya Tara
Tara is an enlightened Buddha, and her name means ‘Rescuer.’ She is considered the Spiritual Mother of all the Buddhas. There are many previous accounts of Tara protecting and averting dangers and obstacles, and even today people who rely sincerely upon her will definitely receive her direct care, guidance, and protection.
Everyone is welcome to join us in these beautiful prayers and meditations. This practice is called “Liberation from Sorrow” and printed prayer booklets are provided to follow along with.
Offering to The Spiritual Guide Puja
with Tsog Offering
Offering to the Spiritual Guide Puja (or Lama Chopa in Tibetan) is traditionally done on the 10th and 25th of every month. The main practice within the sadhana is relying on the Spiritual Guide, but it also includes all the essential practices of the stages of the path (Lamrim) and training the mind (Lojong). We develop a strong conviction that our Spiritual Guide is a Buddha, in particular the same nature as Je Tsongkapa. We make prostrations and requests and receive profound blessings. In this way, our compassion, wisdom and spiritual power naturally increase. Because Je Tsongkapa is an emanation of Manjushri, his faithful disciples never experience difficulty in increasing their wisdom. There are many other benefits of engaging in this beautiful practice. It is customary but not required to bring an offering to this event.
Melodious Drum Victorious in All Directions
Please note an extended version of Wishfulfilling Jewel, called “Melodious Drum Victorious in All Directions” or “Kangso” in Tibetan, is often held on 29th of the month – the Protector Day – a special day in the Buddhist calendar. Please feel to come to all or part of this puja if you wish. It is customary but not required to bring an offering to this event.