Chanted Prayers (Pujas)
Prayers are an important component of training in a spiritual life. They help us to still our mind, connect with enlightened beings and receive blessings. This special method for generating positive states of mind and can be used as a basis for successful meditation on any of the stages of the path to enlightenment. Buddhist prayers are often referred to as 'sadhanas', which means 'ritual prayers for spiritual attainments'. A sadhana is practised by reciting the verses and deeply contemplating their meaning. Through regular practise a sadhana acts as a method for attaining realizations that enable us to progress along our spiritual path.
Below is a list of a few of the pujas we practice together. Please check the online calendar for the dates and times of pujas each month. All pujas are free of charge. Everyone is welcome!
Held the 29th of the month. This monthly practice consists principally of prayers to our Dharma Protector, Dorje Shugden. A Dharma Protector is an emanation of a Buddha or Bodhisattva whose main functions are to avert the inner and outer obstacles that prevent practitioners from attaining spiritual realizations, and to arrange all the necessary conditions for their practice. Dorje Shugden always helps, guides, and protects pure and faithful practitioners by granting blessings, increasing their wisdom, fulfilling their wishes and bestowing success on all their virtuous activities.
Offering to the Spiritual Guide (OSG)
Held on the 10th and 25th of the month. This is a special Guru Yoga of Je Tsongkhapa in conjunction with Highest Yoga Tantra that is a preliminary practice for Vajrayana Mahamudra. The main practice is relying upon our Spiritual Guide as a Buddha and making praises and requests, but it also includes all the essential practices of the stages of the path and training the mind, as well as both the generation stage and completion stage of Highest Yoga Tantra. By relying upon Je Tsongkhapa our compassion, wisdom, and spiritual power naturally increase.
Tara Prayers, Liberation From Sorrow
Held on the 8th of each month. At Kadampa Centers worldwide, the eighth of the month is Tara Day. Tara is a female Buddha, whose name means “Rescuer. She is the embodiment of swift compassion. If we rely upon Tara sincerely and with strong faith, she will protect us from all obstacles and fulfill all our wishes. Everyone is welcome and invited to join us for Tara’s chanted prayer practice, Liberation from Sorrow
This practice is the heart essence of Kadampa Buddhism. In the first part we visualize our Spiritual Guide as Je Tsongkhapa and make prayers and requests to purify negativity, accumulate merit, and receive blessings. This prepares our mind for meditation on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment. After the meditation we make prayers to our Dharma Protector, Dorje Shugden. Through this we can overcome obstacles to our practice and create favorable conditions so that we can nurture and increase our pure Dharma realizations.
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. You can find more information about Precepts practice at http://kadampa.org/en/buddhism/taking-precepts