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What Drives You to Practice?

What Drives You to Practice?

An excerpt from a teaching called Bodhicitta by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo

Some of you show up for practice because you think your teacher will get mad at you if you don’t. So you make yourself visible. Some of you show up for practice because you’ve got to get it in today. When do you [...]

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Astrology for 7/24/2014

7/24/2014 Thursday

Feeling indecisive? Can’t make up your mind? Want to do something but not sure what to do? Relax, the planet of action is going through the sign of indecision. In two days you will be 100% certain about what you must do. This is a feel good time- happiness abounds. Sophocles said “Happiness [...]

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Those With Hopes of Us

Those With Hopes of Us

The following is an excerpt from a teaching by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo called “Antidoting the Mantra of Samsara”

The Buddha teaches us that there are literally so many sentient beings that, not all the great Bodhisattvas and lamas have connections with all of them. That’s how many sentient beings there are. We don’t have [...]

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Astrology for 7/23/2014

7/23/2014 Wednesday

A sudden realization or awareness gives insight into an ongoing problem. You can solve it, now that you know the facts. Act promptly and change what needs to be changed. A difficult time has ended and a new time has begun. A brighter future is here. Dress up, sparkle, be happy! Men are [...]

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Heart Sutra

Prajnaparamita

Thus have I heard.

Once the Blessed One was dwelling in Rajagriha at Vulture Peak mountain, together with a great gathering of the sangha of monks and a great gathering of the sangha of bodhisattvas.  At that time the Blessed One entered the samadhi that expresses the dharma called “profound illumination,” and at the same time noble Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva mahasattva, while practicing the profound prajñaparamita, saw in this way: he saw the five skandhas to be empty of nature.

Then, through the power of the Buddha, venerable Shariputra said to noble Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva mahasattva, “How should a son or daughter of noble family train, who wishes to practice the profound prajñaparamita?”

Addressed in this way, noble Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva mahasattva, said to venerable Shariputra, “O Shariputra, a son or daughter of noble family who wishes to practice the profound prajñaparamita should see in this way: seeing the five skandhas to be empty of nature.  Form is emptiness; emptiness also is form.  Emptiness is no other than form; form is no other than emptiness.  In the same way, feeling perception, formation, and consciousness are emptiness.  Thus, Shariputra, all dharmas are emptiness.  There are no characteristics.  There is no birth and no cessation.  There is no impurity and no purity.  There is no decrease and no increase.  Therefore, Shariputra, in emptiness, there is no form, no feeling, no perception, no formation, no consciousness; no eye, no ear, no nose, no tongue, no body, no mind; no appearance, no sound, no smell, no taste, no touch, no dharmas; no eye dhatu up to no mind dhatu, no dhatu of dharmas, no mind consciousness dhatu; no ignorance, no end of ignorance up to no old age and death, no end of old age and death; no suffering, no origin of suffering, no cessation of suffering, no path, no wisdom, no attainment, and no nonattainment.  Therefore, Shariputra, since the bodhisattvas have no attainment, they abide by means of prajñaparamita.  Since there is no obscuration of mind, there is no fear.  They transcend falsity and attain complete nirvana.  All the buddhas of the three times, by means of prajñaparamita, fully awaken to unsurpassable, true, complete enlightenment.  Therefore, the great mantra of prajñaparamita, the mantra of great insight, the unsurpassed mantra, the unequaled mantra, the mantra that calms all suffering should be known as truth, since there is no deception.  The prajñaparamita mantra is said in this way:

OM GATE GATE PARAGATE PARASAMGATE BODHI SVAHA

Thus, Shariputra, the bodhisattva mahasattva should train in the profound prajñaparamita.”  Then the Blessed One arose from that samadhi and praised noble Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva mahasattva, saying, “Good, good, O son of noble family; thus it is, O son of noble family, thus it is.  One should practice the profound prajñaparamita just as you have taught and all the Tathagatas will rejoice.”

When the Blessed One had said this, venerable Shariputra and noble Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva mahasattva, that whole assembly and the world with its gods, humans, asuras and gandharvas rejoiced and praised the words of the Blessed One.

This concludes the “Heart-Essence of the Prajnaparamita.”

If one wishes to put this Sutra into practice, in the space before one-self visualize the Tathagata with a devil taming gesture while surrounded by Avalokiteshvara and Shariputra who are conversing with each other and many other Sangha of the Greater and the Lesser Vehicles. And then recite the profound Sutra while being mindful of the emptiness meaning for seven times or more and having recited its awareness mantra to an appropriate number of times, finally do the Reversing of Devils Ritual.

TADYATHA   GATE  GATE  PARA  GATE  PARA  SAMGATE  BODHI  SWAHA

Namo! I prostrate to the guru!

I prostrate to the Buddha!

I prostrate to the Dharma!

I prostrate to the Sangha!

I prostrate to the Sublime Mother, the Prajnaparamita!

May the truth of my words be accomplished!

As when the lord of gods, Indra Sakaratu, by contemplating and chanting the profound meaning of the Prajnaparamita, repelled all negative forces and other inopportune circumstances, may I also, through contemplating the profound meaning of the Praajnaparamita, the Sublime Mother, and by chanting the text,

(clap hands at *)

Ward off all unwholesome forces and all other unfavorable conditions!*

May they be annihilated!*

May they be pacified!*

May they be utterly pacified!*

(At the end, recite the following:)

The Prajnaparamita, whose interdependent arising has no cessation or birth, has no nihilism or eternalism, has no coming or going, is not about being multiple or single entities, but has been taught as the total pacification of elaborations. Of the speeches of the Perfected Buddhas, it is the most sublime one. To this, I prostrate!

While accomplishing the perfect Buddhahood,

May the external and internal harms, and all interrupting obstacles be utterly calmed!*

Pacify the eighty-thousand classes of obstacles!*

Free us from inconsistent and harmful conditions!*

And be filled with harmonious conditions!*

By this auspiciousness, bring happiness and wholesomeness to all beings!*

(After that, recite prayers of dedication, good wishes, and auspiciousness!)

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