Pujas and Sutra Recitations
A puja is a ceremony during which prayers
are recited and chanted, and offerings are being made. As
these are done in a group, the prayers have a powerful energy
and present a healing force for the mind. Offerings like flowers,
food, candles and incense are presented as a practice of generosity.
Anyone can join in pujas, often they are recited in a mixture
of Dutch, English and Tibetan. Of course you are very welcome
to bring your own offerings as well.
Sutras are ancient Buddhist texts, which
are very auspicious to recite, so we regularly organise group
sessions for recitation. Of course everyone is more then welcome
to recite these at home as well!
The sutras suggest washing and wearing clean clothes for recitation,
Lama Zopa Rinpoche recommends to clean the body “mouth,
both hands and feet” and have virtuous thoughts.
Before starting the session, it’s suggested to take
refuge, set your motivation, offer a mandala and Rinpoche
recommends reciting the mantra: OM DHARE DHARE BENDHARE SVAHA
(7 times), which increases the merit by one million times!
the Golden Light Sutra (in various languages).
the Sanghata Sutra.
The following pujas and recitations are done regularly:
Pujas are mainly done in Amsterdam and Loenen.
In Amsterdam on weekdays, they start at 16:00 hrs and in the
weekend at 15:00 hrs. In Loenen, on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday
at 19:30 hrs, on Tuesday and Fridays before a course-weekend
at 17:30 hrs, during the weekends there is no fixed time for
pujas in Loenen.
Please see the Program
Calendar for the dates.
A Guru Puja is an offering ceremony to our
spiritual teachers. The practice consists of making offerings
and prayers to the spiritual masters and receiving their inspiration.
Our spiritual masters are seen as the embodiment of of the
Three Jewels (Buddha, Dharma and Sangha) and are visualised
in the form of lama Tsong Khapa, surrounded by the entire
merit field or lineage lamas and Buddhas. Our spiritual vows
and pledges that may have degenerated are restored by the
festive 'tsog' offering.
Puja literally means 'to please', so Guru
Puja means 'pleasing the gurus, the spiritual masters'. We
want to please them as they help us developing our inner potential
to enlightenment. Actually, we cannot become enlightened without
their skilled guidance, and in this sense, they are more important
then anyone else. Pleasing the spiritual teachers is to our
own advantage, not theirs. In this practice, we unite our
mind with the mind of our spiritual masters to obtain inspiration
and realisations on the path to enlightenment.
The female Buddha Tara embodies the wisdom
and the compassion of all enlightened beings. Prayers to Tara
eliminate all obstacles that block the realisation of our
wishes, especially our wishes on the spiritual path. Meditation
on Tara enables a swift way to success. Tara brings life on
our spiritual path and feeds us with endless energy so we
are able to continue on the path.
The seven medicine Boeddhas appeared to remove
obstacles on the path to temporary hapiness, liberation and
the ultimate happiness of full enlightenment. They are specifically
powerful in the healing of illnesses and the purification
of negative karma. De practice of medicine Buddha can also
be done to help other people who have deceased, in order to
liberate them from further suffering.
"Medicine Buddha practice
is not only for healing. In addition, it is very powerful
for success and for solving any problems. Medicine Buddha
practice is good for someone who has died, for family problems,
for someone who is sick, for receiving happiness and freedom
from suffering, for finding a job, for success in business,
Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Recitation of the Golden
Lama Zopa Rinpoche advises that the recitation
of this specific sutra is one of the most effective ways to
bring about world peace. Recently, Beth Simon asked Lama Zopa
Rinpoche how she could please him most. Rinpoche told
Beth to recite the Sutra of Golden Light, and also tell her
frioends to recite it. Rinpoche said: "This is what I
want. This is what I ask. This will make me happy." End
of 2007, Rinpoche added to this that reciting this sutra is
the best way to contribute to a solution to the situation
Reciting this texts usually takes over four hours.
The Sutra is recited in English. There are
copies available at the centers in Amsterdam and Loenen, but
you can bring your own text by downloading it from the FPMT
website, which contains much more background information
about the sutra, including the benefits of recitation.
Recitations of the Sanghata
The Sanghata Sutra is a collection of stories
that illustrates the effect of the wish to become a Bodhisattva;
how you can accomplish enormous results by the interaction
with others and by the power of your actions. Reciting or
even just listening to this Sutra creates a vast amount of
positive karma that can ripen quickly. The recitation of the
Sanghata Sutra lasts about three hours and is currently done
in English. The positive energy that is created with the recitation
is dedicated to the Maitreya Project of the FPMT
and the flourishing of the Maitreya Instituut. For more information