.Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato
(Repeat x 3, Bell)
Respectfully pay homage to the Buddha: the World-Honored One, the Worthy One, the Exalted One, the Fully Awakened or Enlightened One. (Bell)
As wonderful as the lotus flower,
as bright as the northern star,
let us come back and take refuge in
the Master of gods and human beings.
The precious lotus blossoms on the enlightened pedestal
the halo shines in all directions.
Wisdom goes beyond the dharma realms,
Loving-kindness and compassion permeate all over mountains and rivers.
I have just seen the Buddha’s perfect countenance,
My wholeheartedly sincere heart is to respectfully offer him,
I forward it to praise the Triple Gem
Diligence in the Dharma path is well cultivated.
As the incense is lit,
sandalwood perfumes the air,
making an auspicious rainbow cloud.
I, your disciple, with all my respect
offer it to the Buddhas of the Ten Directions.
May we practice the precepts seriously at all times
May we practice concentration diligently,
May we offer the precious fruit of insight as our offering of incense of the heart.
We would like to respectfully offer the incense of ethics, concentration, wisdom, deliverance, and that of deliverance with right view to the Buddha, Bodhisattvas, virtuous and noble Sangha, Dharma guardians, good gods, knowing and understanding our wholehearted minds. (Bell)
Touching the earth in deep gratitude to the Triple Gem
Praising the Buddha Jewel
The Buddha Jewel shines infinitely.
He has realized perfect understanding for countless lifetimes.
The beauty and stability of a Buddha sitting
can be in the mountains and rivers.
How splendid the Vulture Peak is!
How beautiful the light that shines forth from the Buddha’s third eye,
Illuminate the six dark paths.
The Nagapushpa Assembly will be our next appointment
for the continuation of the true teachings of practices.
We take refuge in the Buddha ever-present.
We, your disciples, wholeheartedly pay homage to the Buddha forever present in the three lifetimes and ten directions.
(Bell, one prostration)
Praising the Dharma Jewel
The Dharma Jewel is infinitely lovely.
It is the precious words spoken by the Buddha himself,
like fragrant flowers floating down from the heavens.
The wonderful Dharma is plain to see.
It is recorded luminously in the three transparent baskets
handed down from generation to generation in the Ten Directions
so that today we can see our way.
We vow to study it with all our hearts.
We take refuge in the Dharma ever-present.
We, your disciples, wholeheartedly pay homage to the Dharma forever present in the three lifetimes and ten directions.
(Bell, one prostration)
Praising the Sangha Jewel
The Sangha Jewel is infinitely precious,
a field of merit where good seeds can be sown.
The three robes and the bowl are symbols of freedom.
concentration, and insight support each other.
The Sangha dwells in mindfulness day and night,
providing the foundation for us to realize the fruit of meditation.
With one heart, we come home to the Sangha,
and take refuge in the Sangha ever-present.
We, your disciples, wholeheartedly pay homage to the Sangha forever present in the three lifetimes and ten directions.
(Bell, one prostration)
(Meditation practice around 15 minutes)
The Dharma is deep and lovely,
we now have a chance to see,
study, and to practice,
we vow to realize its true meaning. (Bell)
WATERING THE SEEDS OF JOY
My mother, my father,
they are in me.
When I look,
I see myself in them.
The Buddha, the patriarchs,
they are in me.
And when I look,
I see myself in them.
I am a continuation of my mother,
my father, and my ancestors.
It is my aspiration to preserve
and continue to nourish the
seeds of goodness, skill, and happiness
which I have inherited.
It is also my desire to recognize
the seeds of fear and suffering I have inherited,
and, step by step, to transform them.
I am a continuation
of the Buddha and my spiritual teachers.
It is my deep aspiration
to preserve, nourish, and develop
the seeds of understanding, love, and freedom which they have transmitted to me.
I desire to continue
the career of the Buddha and my Ancestral Teachers,
and do my best to realize
all that the Buddha and my Ancestral Teachers expect of me.
In my daily life,
I also want to sow the
seeds of love and compassion
in my own consciousness
and in the heart of other people.
I am determined not to water the
seeds of craving, aversion, and violence
in myself and in others.
I know that if I practice
all this in the right way,
after only seven days
I will be able to change the situation,
smile and transform some suffering and increase my happiness.
I would like to beg the World-Honored One
to witness what is in my heart.
With mind and body in perfect unity,
I bow my head and prostrate. (Bell)
THE REFUGE CHANT
Incense perfumes the atmosphere.
A lotus blooms and the Buddha appears.
The world of suffering and discrimination
is filled with the light of the Rising Sun.
As the dust of fear and anxiety settles,
with an open heart and one-pointed mind
I turn to the Three Jewels.
The Fully Enlightened One, beautifully seated, peaceful, and smiling a living source of understanding and compassion,
to the Buddha, I go for refuge.
The path of mindful living,
leading to healing, joy, and
enlightenment, the way of peace,
to the Dharma, I go for refuge.
The loving and supportive
the community of practice,
realizing harmony, awareness, and liberation,
to the Sangha, I go for refuge.
I am aware that the Three Gems are within my heart.
I vow to realize them,
practicing mindful breathing and smiling, looking deeply into things.
I vow to understand living beings and their suffering.
to cultivate compassion and loving-kindness, to practice joy and equanimity.
I vow to offer joy to one person in the morning to help relieve the grief of one person in the afternoon.
Living simply and sanely with few possessions, keeping my body healthy.
I vow to let go of all worries and anxiety
in order to be light and free.
I am aware that I owe so much
to my parents, teachers, friends, and all beings.
I vow to be worthy of their trust, to practice
wholeheartedly so that understanding and compassion will flower,
helping living beings to be free from their suffering.
May the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha support my efforts. (Bell)
Sitting here in this moment, protected by the Sangha,
my happiness is clear and alive.
What a great fortune to have been born a human, to encounter the Dharma,
to be in harmony with others,
and to water the Mind of Love in this beautiful garden of practice.
The energies of the Sangha and mindfulness trainings
are protecting and helping me not make mistakes
or be swept along in darkness by unwholesome seeds.
With kind spiritual friends, I am on the path of goodness,
illumined by the light of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.
Although the seeds of suffering are still in me
in the form of afflictions and habit energies,
mindfulness is also there, helping me touch
what is most wonderful within and around me.
I can still enjoy mindfulness of the six senses:
my eyes look peacefully upon the clear blue sky,
my ears listen with wonder to the songs of birds,
my nose smells the rich scent of sandalwood,
my tongue tastes the nectar of the Dharma,
my posture is upright, stable, and relaxed,
and my mind is one with my body.
If there were not a World-Honored One,
if there were not the wonderful Dharma,
if there were not a harmonious Sangha,
I would not be so fortunate
to enjoy this Dharma happiness today.
My resources for practice are my own peace and joy.
I vow to cultivate and nourish them with daily mindfulness.
For my ancestors, family, future generations,
and the whole of humanity, I vow to practice well.
In my society, I know that there are countless people suffering,
drowned in sensual pleasure, jealousy, and hatred.
I am determined to take care of my own mental formations,
to learn the art of deep listening and using loving speech in order to encourage
communication and understanding and to be able to accept and love.
Practicing the actions of a Bodhisattva,
I vow to look with eyes of love and a heart of understanding.
I vow to listen with a clear mind and ears of compassion,
bringing peace and joy into the lives of others,
to lighten and alleviate the suffering of living beings.
I am aware that ignorance and wrong perceptions
can turn this world into a fiery hell.
I vow to walk always upon the path of transformation,
producing understanding and loving-kindness.
I will be able to cultivate a garden of awakening.
Despite impermanent life,
Despite birth, sickness, old age, and death,
I have had a path of practice,
There is nothing to fear any longer.
It is a great happiness to be alive in the Sangha
with the practice of mindfulness trainings, concentration, and wisdom
to live every moment in stability and freedom,
to take part in the work of relieving others’ suffering,
the career of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.
In each precious moment, I am filled with deep gratitude.
I bow before the World-Honored One.
Please bear witness to my wholehearted gratitude, embracing all beings with arms of great compassion. (Bell)
The Heart Sutra of Insight that Brings Us
to the Other Shore
Avalokiteshvara, while practicing deeply with the insight that brings us to the other shore, suddenly discovered that all of the five Skandhas are equally empty. After this penetration, he overcame all ill-being. “Listen, Sariputra, this body itself is emptiness, and emptiness itself is this body. This body is not other than emptiness, and emptiness is not other than this body. The same is true of feelings, perceptions, mental formations, and consciousness.
Listen, Sariputra, all phenomena bear the mark of emptiness; their true nature is the nature of no Birth no Death, no Being no Non-being, no Defilement no Immaculacy, no Increasing no Decreasing.
That is why in emptiness, body, feelings, perceptions, mental formations and consciousness are not separate self-entities. The Eighteen Realms of Phenomena which are the six Sense Organs, the six Sense Objects, and the six kinds of Consciousness are also not separate self-entities.
The Twelve Links of Interdependent Arising and their extinction are also not separate self-entities. Ill-being, the Causes of Ill-being, the End of Ill-being, the Path, insight, and attainment, are also not separate self-entities. Whoever can see this no longer needs anything to attain. (Bell)
Bodhisattvas who practice the Insight that brings us to the other shore see no more obstacles in their mind, and because there are no more obstacles in their mind, they can overcome all fear, destroy all wrong perceptions and realize Perfect Nirvana.
All Buddhas in the past, present, and future by practicing the insight that brings us to the other shore are all capable of attaining authentic and perfect enlightenment. Therefore, Sariputra, it should be known that the insight that brings us to the other shore is a Great Mantra, the most illuminating mantra, the highest mantra, a mantra beyond compare, the true wisdom that has the power to put an end to all kinds of suffering. Therefore, let us proclaim a mantra to praise the Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore.
“Gate, gate, pāragate, pārasamgate, bodhi, svaha.”
(3 times, Bell)
Gone, gone, well gone, gone beyond the other shore,
got enlightenment so happily.
(3 times, Bell)
THE THREE REFUGES
I take refuge in the Buddha, the One who shows me the way of loving-kindness, compassion, and wisdom in my lifetime.
Having taken refuge in the Buddha, I clearly see the path of light and beauty in life.
Turning back and taking refuge in the Buddha in myself, I aspire to help all people soon recognize and develop their own enlightened nature.
Buddhaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi
Dutiyampi buddhaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi.
Tatiyampi buddhaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi. (Bell)
I take refuge in the Dharma, the way of practicing peace, joy, happiness, understanding, and love for the many right in the present life.
Having taken refuge in the Dharma, I am learning and practicing the Noble Eightfold Path including ethics, meditation, and wisdom interrelated very closely with right view, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration.
Turning back and taking refuge in the Dharma in myself, I aspire to help all people fully master the ways of practice and walk together on the path of liberation.
Dhammaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi.
Dutiyampi dhammaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi.
Tatiyampi dhammaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi. (Bell)
I take refuge in the Sangha, the Community of cultivated people who vow to lead their lives of ethics, harmony, and awareness to themselves and to others right here and right now in the present life.
Having taken refuge in the Sangha, I am enlightened, instructed, and supported by the Sanghabody on the way of practice.
Turning back and taking refuge in the Sangha in myself, I aspire to help all people build fourfold Communities, to embrace all beings, and support their transformation.
Saṅghaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi.
Dutiyampi saṅghaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi.
Tatiyampi saṅghaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi. (Bell)
SHARING THE MERIT
Reciting the trainings, practicing the way of awareness gives rise to benefits without limit. We vow to share the fruits with all beings. We vow to offer tribute to parents, teachers, friends, and numerous beings who give guidance and support along the path. May the merit of this practice benefit all beings and bring peace. (Bell)
Express diligent vows and pay thankful respects to the Triple Gem
We, disciples of Gotama Buddha, are always aware of ourselves by day and by night, constantly practice and recollect the light of the Buddha.
Namo Buddhaya. (Bell, one prostration)
We, disciples of Gotama Buddha, are always aware of ourselves by day and by night, constantly practice and recollect the light of the Dharma.
Namo Dharmaya. (Bell, one prostration)
We, disciples of Gotama Buddha, are always aware of ourselves by day and by night, constantly practice and recollect the light of the Sangha.
Namo Sanghaya. (Bell, one prostration)
May we be well,
May we be happy
May we be healthy
May we be peaceful
May we be free from suffering, greed, anger, delusion, hatred, violence, and ignorance.
May the Buddha and Bodhisattvas bless and protect all anytime and anywhere.
Sadhu, sadhu, sadhu
Lành thay, lành thay, lành thay
Excellence, excellence, excellence
Well-done, well-done, well-done.
(Bell, Bell, Bell)