Free of charge and open to all.
KMC Singapore engage in these prayers regularly. Please feel welcome to join us in any of these sessions and if you need further advice regarding prayers, you can email us: email@example.com.
" We pray for everyone in the world to become friends, to maintain good relationships and live in harmony and so forth. Through receiving blessings, these prayers will definitely be fulfilled, I promise. So this is our Buddhist way of helping, to solve these kinds of problems. I believe the problems of the world will be solved gradually in this way." Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso
A Special Prayer to Buddha Shakyamuni
Without Buddha's kindness we would not know the real causes of happiness or the real causes of suffering.
Buddha taught us how all happiness and suffering depend upon the mind.
He showed us how to abandon those states of mind that cause suffering and cultivate those states of mind that cause happiness.
In other words, he taught us perfect methods for overcoming suffering and attaining happiness.
No one else taught us these methods. How kind Buddha is!
It is for this reason that Kadampa Buddhists begin every practice by reciting a special prayer to Buddha composed by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso.
We begin all our meditation sessions with the Liberating Prayer.
Prayers for Meditation
Brief preparatory prayers for meditation
We all have the potential to gain realizations of all the stages of the path to enlightenment. These potentials are like seeds in the field of our mind, and our meditation practice is like cultivating these seeds. However, our meditation practice will be successful only if we make good preparations beforehand.
If we want to cultivate external crops, we begin by making careful preparations. First, we remove from the soil anything that might obstruct their growth, such as stones and weeds. Second, we enrich the soil with compost or fertilizer to give it the strength to sustain growth. Third, we provide warm, moist conditions to enable the seeds to germinate and the plants to grow.
In the same way, to cultivate our inner crops of Dharma realizations we must also begin by making careful preparations. First, we must purify our mind to eliminate the negative karma we have accumulated in the past, because if we do not purify this karma it will obstruct the growth of Dharma realizations. Second, we need to give our mind the strength to support the growth of Dharma realizations by accumulating merit. Third, we need to activate and sustain the growth of Dharma realizations by receiving the blessings of the holy beings.
The brief prayers in this booklet contain the essence of these three preparations.
For more information on them, see the books The New Meditation Handbook and Joyful Path of Good Fortune.
Wishfulfilling Jewel Prayers:
The Guru yoga of Je Tsongkhapa combined with the sadhana of his Dharma Protector
This sadhana includes two practices revealed by the Wisdom Buddha Manjushri. The first is a special Guru yoga in which we visualize our Spiritual Guide as Je Tsongkhapa, who himself is a manifestation of Manjushri. By relying upon this practice, we can purify negativity, accumulate merit, and receive blessings. In this way, we shall naturally accomplish all the realizations of the stages of the path of Sutra and Tantra, and in particular we shall attain a very special Dharma wisdom.
The second practice is a method for relying upon the Dharma Protector Dorje Shugdän. Through this, we can overcome obstacles to our practice and create favourable conditions so that we can nurture and increase our Dharma realizations. If we rely upon the Dharma Protector Dorje Shugdän sincerely, our faith in Je Tsongkhapa will naturally increase and we shall easily gain experience of the pure Buddhadharma transmitted directly to Je Tsongkhapa by the Wisdom Buddha Manjushri.
These two practices are the very essence of the New Kadampa Tradition of Mahayana Buddhism. If we practise them regularly and sincerely, we shall reap a rich harvest of pure Dharma realizations, and eventually come to experience the supreme joy of full enlightenment.
An extensive explanation of this sadhana can be found in the book Heart Jewel, by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso.
We engage in Wishfulfilling Jewel prayers in our centre on weekday evenings. Open for all to join in. [See Calendar for timing]
Liberation from Sorrow
Praises and requests to the Twenty-one Taras
Tara is a female Buddha, a manifestation of the ultimate wisdom of all the Buddhas. Each of the Twenty-one Taras is a manifestation of the principal Tara, Green Tara. Tara is also known as the `Mother of the Conquerors'.
Tara is our common mother, our Holy Mother. When we are young we turn to our worldly mother for help. She protects us from immediate dangers, provides us with all our temporal needs, and guides and encourages us in our learning and personal development. In the same way, during our spiritual growth we need to turn to our Holy Mother, Tara, for refuge. She protects us from all internal and external dangers, she provides us with all the necessary conditions for our spiritual training, and she guides us and inspires us with her blessings as we progress along the spiritual path.
`Tara' means `Rescuer'. She is so called because she rescues us from the eight outer fears (the fears of lions, elephants, fire, snakes, thieves, water, bondage, and evil spirits), and from the eight inner fears (the fears of pride, ignorance, anger, jealousy, wrong views, attachment, miserliness, and deluded doubts). Temporarily Tara saves us from the dangers of rebirth in the three lower realms, and ultimately she saves us from the dangers of samsara and solitary peace.
If we rely upon Mother Tara sincerely and with strong faith she will protect us from all obstacles and fulfil all our wishes. Since she is a wisdom Buddha, and since she is a manifestation of the completely purified wind element, Tara is able to help us very quickly. If we recite the twenty-one verses of praise we shall receive inconceivable benefits. These praises are very powerful because they are Sutra, the actual words of Buddha. It is good to recite them as often as we can.
Feel free to join us on the 8th of each month in this prayer. [See Calendar for timing]
Path of Compassion for the Deceased (Powa)
We perform this practice of transference of consciousness, known in Tibetan as “powa”, on behalf of someone who has recently died. It is traditionally done within forty-nine days of a death.
To prepare for this ritual practice, we begin by arranging offerings and other necessities. Whether the offerings are small or extensive will depend upon the amount dedicated by the relatives of the deceased. Using the money of the deceased person is a powerful method for increasing his or her merit, and for enabling him or her to make a special connection with the holy beings.
On a piece of paper we draw a lotus. In the centre of this, we write in red ink the initial letter of the deceased’s first name, and draw a canopy above it. We attach the paper to a stick to resemble a flag, and place this name-flag in a suitable container such as a small vase. In front of this, we place a photograph or drawing of the deceased to symbolize his or her presence.
On a saucer we arrange a tablespoon of black sesame seeds in the shape of a scorpion, and we prepare a fire in a small container, preferably using charcoal. The name-flag, sesame seeds, and fire should be arranged on a table in front of our seat. Finally, we stand a small candle on a saucer in front of the photograph of the deceased.
Now, with a mind of strong compassion for all sentient beings in general and for the deceased in particular, we begin the sadhana.
A full and practical explanation of the practice of powa can be found in the book Living Meaningfully, Dying Joyfully.
If you have family or friends who is recently deceased and would like to dedicate for them, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This prayer is engaged in each month to pray for the deceased and is open for all. [See Calendar for timing]
Offering to the Spiritual Guide (Lama Chopa)
A special Guru yoga practice of Je Tsongkhapa's tradition
Offering to the Spiritual Guide is a special Guru yoga of Je Tsongkhapa in conjunction with Highest Yoga Tantra. It was compiled by the first Panchen Lama, Losang Chökyi Gyaltsän, as a preliminary practice for Vajra-yana Mahamudra. The main practice is relying upon the Spiritual Guide, but 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.
The essence of Guru yoga is to develop a strong conviction that our Spiritual Guide is a Buddha, to make prostrations, offerings, and sincere requests to him or her, and then to receive his or her profound blessings. According to the Guru yoga of Offering to the Spiritual Guide, we develop conviction that our Spiritual Guide is the same nature as Je Tsongkhapa, who is an emanation of the Wisdom Buddha Manjushri.
By relying upon Je Tsongkhapa, our compassion, wisdom, and spiritual power naturally increase. In particular, because Je Tsongkhapa is an emanation of the Wisdom Buddha Manjushri, his faithful followers never experience difficulty in increasing their wisdom. There are many other benefits from practising Offering to the Spiritual Guide.
These are explained in the book Great Treasury of Merit, which contains a complete commentary to the practice.
This special offering practice is on every 10th & 25th of each month. Please feel welcome to join us. [See Calendar for timing]
Melodious Drum Victorious in all Directions (Kangso)
The extensive fulfilling and restoring ritual of the Dharma Protector, the great king Dorje Shugdän, in conjunction with Mahakala, Kalarupa, Kalindewi, and other Dharma Protectors
This practice consists of five parts: Praise to Manjushri, the Guru Yoga of Je Tsongkhapa, Self-generation as Heruka, the Fulfilling and Restoring Ritual of the General Protectors, and the Fulfilling and Restoring Ritual of the Great King Dorje Shugdän. Of these, the last is the principal practice.
A Dharma Protector is an emanation of a Buddha or a Bodhisattva whose main functions are to avert the inner and outer obstacles that prevent practitioners from gaining spiritual realizations, and to arrange all the necessary conditions for their practice. Beings in this present time have a strong karmic link with Dorje Shugdän, and so he is the Dharma Protector who is most able to help them. Therefore it is said that, Now is the time to rely upon Dorje Shugdän. Dorje Shugdän 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.
There are many brief and middling-length sadhanas of Dorje Shugdän, such as Heart Jewel and Wishfulfilling Jewel. This extensive sadhana is called Kangso in Tibetan, which means Fulfilling and Restoring Ritual, and it is usually performed once a month in Dharma Centres. During this puja we make extensive offerings and perform other practices:
To fulfill our heart commitment to rely upon the Protector sincerely, regarding him as inseparable from the Guru and Yidam, and to practice the pure Dharma of Lamrim, Lojong, and Mahamudra
To restore any degenerate or broken commitments we may have incurred
We begin the practice with Praise to Manjushri to remember that the Guru and Protector are in reality emanations of the Wisdom Buddha. We then perform the Guru yoga of Je Tsongkhapa and, after dissolving the Guru into our heart, perform self-generation as Heruka. We then invite the general Dharma Protectors such as Mahakala, Kalarupa, and Kalindewi, before beginning the actual sadhana of Dorje Shugdän. The fulfilling and restoring ritual of the general Protectors is interwoven with the sadhana of Dorje Shugdän.
Further information on the Guru yoga of Je Tsongkhapa and on the Dharma Protector Dorje Shugdän can be found in the book Heart Jewel, and further information on self-generation as Heruka can be found in the book Essence of Vajrayana.