The Three Refuges (from the Ratnagotravibhaga)
Self-awakened, who is peace beginningless,
Without middle, without end,
Having awoken, wakening the unawakened,
Revealing the eternal fearless path.
Holder of the vajra sword,
The wisdom and compassion that breaks the wall of doubt,
Concealed in the dark confusion of wrong views.
You are the only one who cuts the shoots of suffering at their source.
Sun, which is not non-existent nor exists,
It is not both, nor is it other than these two,
Impossible to analyse, escaping all description,
And realised by the self alone.
It is peace.
Namo to this light of stainless wisdom, whose rays banish darkness,
The fault arising from attachment to the various sense desires.
Because their mind is by nature clarity,
They have seen the klesha’s are essenceless,
And thus they have correctly penetrated the phenomenal world,
As non-self,||which is peace.
Their all-pervading intelligence is unveiled,
And sees Buddha everywhere,
With eyes of wisdom, beholding the infinity of pure being.
To the Buddha Dharma and Sangha I go for refuge.
Through merit acquired from practicing generosity and the other paramitas,
May I achieve Buddhahood to benefit all beings.
The Four Thoughts
First, this precious human birth so favorable for the practice of the dharma,
Is hard to obtain and easily lost. At this time I must make this meaningful.
Second , the world and all its inhabitants are impermanent.
In particular the life of each being is like a water bubble.
It is uncertain when I will die and become a corpse.
As it is only the dharma that can help me at that time, I must practice now with diligence.
Third , at death there is no freedom and karma takes its course.
As I create my own karma I should therefore abandon all unwholesome actions,
And always devote my time to wholesome actions.
With this in mind I must observe my mind-stream each day.
Fourth , just like a feast before the executioner leads me to my death,
The homes, friends, pleasures, and possessions of samsara,
Cause me continual torment by means of the three sufferings.
Aspirational Prayer For Daily Use #
May I awake to clarity and throughout this day sustain mindful awareness.
Let me observe my karmic reactivity, so that I may insert reflection before I speak or act.
May I restrain my natural pomposity, prejudice and pride, so that I may return to openness, empathy and joy.
May my words and actions reflect consideration and understanding, for the stupidities and waywardness of others.
Let me perceive the Dharma in the life of my teacher, setting aside their mundane characteristics.
Let me pay attention to my teacher’s words even if I disagree with them.
May I train my thinking so that my thought corrects itself before any harm is done.
Choosing one path with which I feel affinity, let me pursue it with diligence without self-centred picking and choosing.
Let me put all beings before me on the path to enlightenment.
Setting aside my own ambition may I sincerely help others on the path.
Leaving aside my wish for the future let me realise that life is only now.
Homage to the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.
And now may the grace of the Three Jewels of Refuge
Following on through cause and effect
Fulfill all the prayers we now send forth
And bring us across to enlightenment’s shore.
We wish all merits deriving now or in the future
From these our practices
To be distributed everywhere
For the good of all.
Our Contract Together We Well Understand #
* We vow to maintain silence at all times except those designated for talk or for the giving of essential information.
* We vow to use our silence in opening ourselves to the world.
* We vow to bow in gratitude for life for being together in this place and time. We bow knowing full well that a man or woman cannot live without suffering. We bow knowing full well that a man or woman cannot live without at some time hurting another. We bow in the knowledge that the path to peace may lead through hell. We bow in contrition, gratitude, tenderness.
* We vow to practise the dropping of all attributes in the search for no-mind, opening our eyes to all that comes in the cloud of unknowing.
* We vow to penetrate the obscurities of our personal questions and to dissolve all blocks.
* We vow to work in the spirit of giving, and to cast whatever merit we gain upon the winds for the benefit of others.
* We vow to train ourselves appropriately in accordance with our true nature, mindful of the universe in which we dwell and in compassion for all.
Our wish for one another is equanimity of spirit.
Let us now begin!
# Written by Chuan-deng Jing-di teacher of the Western Chan Fellowship