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. Please refer to the calendar for dates and times. Beginners are welcome!
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
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 beverage or food item for the offering table. (1 hour & 15 minutes)
OFFERING to the SPIRITUAL GUIDE
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.
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. 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)
This monthly practice, known as Kangso in Tibetan, 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. This practice includes a tsog offering, so you can bring a vegetarian food offering with you if you wish. (3 hours & 30 minutes)
POWA / PRAYERS FOR THE DECEASED
Powa, or transference of consciousness, is a profound method for transferring the consciousness of the deceased to the Pure Land of Buddha. After a person dies and before they take their next rebirth, there is an opportunity for those who have some connection with them to guide their consciousness’ away from the painful rebirths of samsara and into the pure lands, worlds created by minds experiencing things in a pure way.
Powa Ceremony, a beautiful and powerful ritual practice drawn from the Buddhist tantras, enables us to benefit the deceased by coming together as a group and making prayers and offerings on their behalf. Then, through the power of our compassionate intention, strong prayer, and concentration on the practice, we transfer the consciousness of the deceased to the Pure Land of the Buddha of Compassion so that they will experience a pure and lasting peace and finally be freed from the painful cycling of suffering and it’s causes.
By engaging in this practice we ourselves will create a great collection of virtue, which will also lead us into the pathway to the Pure Land of a Buddha. We perform this Powa Practice on behalf of those who have recently died, traditionally within forty-nine days of their death. If you would like to add someone to the puja dedication list so that we can pray for someone who is suffering or recently deceased please send the name(s) to [email protected]. (1 hour)
LIBERATION FROM SORROW
The 8th of the month is Tara Day. Tara is a female Buddha, a manifestation of the ultimate wisdom of all the Buddhas. Tara is one of the principal deities of Kadampa Buddhists and is our common mother, our Holy Mother. She protects us from immediate dangers, provides us with all our temporal needs, and guides and encourages us in our learning and personal development. During this practice we recite Liberation from Sorrow and deeply request the Blessed Mother to bestow her blessings on all living beings so that all sickness and other obstacles are quickly removed. Join us in person at our center (1 hour) or join our international community online for the 24-hour Tara Puja for the Welfare of the World.