Everyone is welcome to our group chanted prayers, or Puja in Sanskrit. These are an important component of training in a spiritual life. They help to still our mind, connect with the Buddhas, and receive blessings. Below is the list of the group prayer sessions we practice together at the Center. All pujas are chanted in English. Beginners are welcome!
If you have any questions about what to expect, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 401.400.1657. Please refer to the calendar for dates and times.
MONDAY-WEDNESDAY & FRIDAY | 5:00-5:45pm
SATURDAY and SUNDAY | 2:00-2:45pm (check calendar)
By engaging in the Guru Yoga practiced in conjunction with Je Tsongkhapa we can purify negativity, accumulate merit, receive blessings, and attain a very special compassion, wisdom, and spiritual strength. This puja includes two short silent meditations. (45 minutes)
WISHFULFILLING JEWEL with TSOG
THURSDAY | 6:00-7:15pm (check calendar)
By engaging in the Guru Yoga practiced in conjunction with Je Tsongkhapa we can purify negativity, accumulate merit, receive blessings, and attain a very special compassion, wisdom, and spiritual strength. By relying upon the Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden we can overcome obstacles to our practice and create favorable conditions. These two practices are the very essence of Kadampa Buddhism. This practice includes a tsog offering. For tsog pujas, we gather together to pray and make special offerings. Feel free to bring a food, beverage or light offering. (1 hour & 15 minutes)
OFFERING to the SPIRITUAL GUIDE
10th of each month (check calendar for day and time)
The practice of relying upon a Spiritual Guide, or ‘Guru Yoga’, is the root of the spiritual path and the foundation of all spiritual attainments. In Kadampa Buddhism, Guru Yoga is practiced in association with Je Tsongkhapa, an emanation of the Wisdom Buddha Manjushri. The principal Guru Yoga of Je Tsongkhapa is Offering to the Spiritual Guide, which is an extensive practice that is usually performed twice a month, on the 10th(at AKBC, we will be just engaging in this prayer on the 10th) and 25th days, at Kadampa Buddhist centers.
It was compiled by the first Panchen Lama, Losang Chökyi Gyaltsän, as a preliminary practice for Vajrayana Mahamudra. Although the main practice is reliance upon the Spiritual Guide, it also includes all the essential practices of the stages of the path (Lamrim) and training the mind (Lojong), as well as both the generation stage and completion stage of Highest Yoga Tantra.
Guru yoga is a special method for receiving the blessings of our Spiritual Guide. Here, the term ‘Guru’ does not imply that our Spiritual Guide should be Indian. Our Spiritual Guide is any spiritual Teacher who sincerely leads us into spiritual paths by giving correct instructions. Thus our Spiritual Guide can be oriental or western, lay or ordained, male or female. These days, for example, it is quite possible to meet a Spiritual Guide who is a western lay female. The term ‘yoga’ in this context indicates a special way of viewing our Spiritual Guide. To find out more about this practice, see the book Great Treasury of Merit. (2 hours- about the time you spend watching a film)
15th of each month (check calendar for day and time)
The essence of the practice is to take eight precepts and to keep them purely for a period of twenty-four hours.
By doing this practice again and again, we acquaint ourself with the practice of moral discipline and thereby make our human life meaningful.
We receive many great benefits from practicing moral discipline in this way. It helps us to solve the problems of this life by avoiding the causes of suffering; and it creates the cause for us to take fortunate rebirths in future lives and thereby protects us from the sufferings of lower rebirth.
In particular, because it is performed with bodhichitta motivation, this practice is very powerful for purifying negative karma. It accumulates a vast collection of merit and creates the cause for us to attain the unsurpassed happiness of enlightenment.
We first need to receive these precepts from a qualified Preceptor, and then we can take them on our own as often as we wish. Instructions on both these methods are included in this sadhana.
If we wish to take the essence of this precious human life we should strive to engage in this practice as often as we can.
An explanation of the practice
When we take the eight Mahayana precepts, we explicitly promise to abstain for twenty-four hours from eight actions:
- Sexual activity
- Taking intoxicants
- Eating after lunch
- Sitting on high or luxurious thrones or seats
- Wearing ornaments, perfume, etc, and singing and dancing, etc.
These eight, however, are merely symbolic, for in reality we promise to abstain from all non-virtuous actions for twenty-four hours.
Taking and keeping these precepts is a special purification practice. Buddha realized that all living beings’ suffering comes from their previous negative karma, and so he taught special practices to purify it.
To purify our negative karma we must practice the four opponent powers: the power of regret, the power of reliance, the power of the opponent force, and the power of promise. These are explained fully in Joyful Path of Good Fortune. Within these four, we are here emphasizing the power of promise – promising not to repeat non-virtuous actions.
There are many levels on which we can make this promise. We can promise not to commit non-virtuous actions for the rest of our life, for a year, for a month, for a week, or, in this case, for a day.
If we manage to keep our actions of body, speech, and mind pure for one day we can then extend it to two days, then to three days, and so on, until eventually we can keep pure moral discipline all the time.
If we reach the point when we can keep our actions of body, speech, and mind completely pure all the time, we shall have accomplished the Pure Land. With a pure body and a pure mind there is no basis for experiencing suffering; instead we shall experience only unceasing happiness from within.
We all want to be happy – living in a pure environment with pure friends, pure enjoyments, and so on – but this is unattainable for as long as we have negative karma in our minds.
Therefore, we need to rely upon Buddha’s skilful method for purifying our negative karma. This practice is very simple, and it lasts for only a day at a time; but it leads to very great results.