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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!

Download the Golden Light Sutra (in various languages).
Download 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.

Guru Puja

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.

Medicine Buddha-puja

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, etc."
Lama Zopa Rinpoche

Recitation of the Golden Light Sutra

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 in Burma.

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 Sutra

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 see www.sanghatasutra.net.





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Last page update: 11 January, 2019  
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