Sutra of Golden Light Puja
May01

Sutra of Golden Light Puja

 Devotional text based on the Sutra of Golden Light.     1. WORSHIP AND HOMAGE I worship the Buddhas, Who are like oceans of virtues, Mountains gleaming with the colour of gold, Like Sumeru, the King of Mountains. Even with hundreds of voices, In a thousand aeons, The Buddhas virtues cannot be told; For the Conquerors qualities are supreme: They are all-encompassing and without number. The virtues of a single Buddha, Can never be told. Each Buddha is golden, Shining like pure gold. He has fine eyes, Pure and faultless like sapphire. His shapely limbs are as pure gold And his body shines With all the marks of excellence. The Buddha is a blazing fountain Of glory, splendor and renown. He is a Buddha-sun, Removing the darkness of the three realms With his rays of compassion. He sooths the tortured minds Of those consumed By the fire of the impurities With the sage’s meshes of moonbeams. Homage to the Buddha, Whose Enlightenment is pure, Who is eloquent in the pure Dharma, Who is free from all evil ways, Who has pure understanding of life’s true nature! How endless is the Buddha’s glory, Who is a bringer of joy, A bringer of good, A bringer of blessing, The source of every inconceivable blessing.     2. GOING FOR REFUGE AND GREAT ASPIRATION With my head I bow down to all the Buddhas. Now and for ever, I go for refuge To all the Buddhas. I will worship the Buddhas In the ten directions. I will deliver from all woe, All beings throughout space. I will establish in the tenth stage All the inconceivably many beings. May they then become Tathagatas. I will follow the Bodhisattva career For millions of aeons For the sake of every single being Until every one is delivered From the ocean of woe. I will make shine the Buddha-qualities. I will cross over from the ocean of existence. And I will fill the flood of the Buddha-sea, The deep ocean of virtues and omniscience, With inconceivable Buddha-qualities. May I become an excellent Buddha With hundreds of thousands of samadhis, With inconceivable mantras, With all the powers and virtues Of Supreme Enlightenment.     Refuges and Precepts Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Samma Sambuddhassa Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Samma Sambuddhassa Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Samma Sambuddhassa Buddham Saranam Gacchami Dhammam Saranam Gacchami Sangham Saranam Gacchami Dutiyampi Buddham Saranam Gacchami Dutiyampi Dhammam Saranam Gacchami Dutiyampi Sangham Saranam Gacchami Tatiyampi Buddham Saranam Gacchami Tatiyampi Dhammam Saranam Gacchami Tatiyampi Sangham Saranam Gacchami     Ten Precepts Panatipata Veramani Sikkhapadam Samadiyami Adinnadana Veramani Sikkhapadam Samadiyami Kamesu Micchacara Veramani Sikkhapadam Samadiyami Musavada Veramani...

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Art for sale at Saatchi Art
Mar23

Art for sale at Saatchi Art

Go to Saatchi Art website here or click on image...

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The Dhyanas: the path of skilfulness
Mar09

The Dhyanas: the path of skilfulness

The dhyanas are higher states of consciousness that can be experienced in meditation. Below is a video of a talk I gave on them at the Manchester Buddhist Centre on 9 March 2015. (57 mins)...

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Ethics and ‘non-self’
Mar09

Ethics and ‘non-self’

Article published in April 2015 issue of Shabda, the internal journal of the Triratna Buddhist Order.   I just gave a talk at the Manchester Centre entitled “The Dhyanas: the path of skilfulness” (the video should be available soon on the MBC website and on Video Sangha.) It was quite interesting giving that talk as it pushed my thinking along in relation to how insight (and therefore any realization of ‘non-self’) is inextricably woven together with ethics. I have come to realize that insight in Buddhism is always insight only in the context of an ethical view. The Buddha urged his monks to practise dhyana, and in his early lectures Bhante Sangharakshita talks a lot about dhyana. He focuses particularly on how to get into the dhyanas: he says one has to become integrated, both horizontally – by integrating ones emotion and reason on the conscious level – and vertically – by integrating ones conscious with ones unconscious. He says that when one does that ones’ energies flow together in the same direction and you feel quite naturally happy. He goes on to say that gradually as one ascends the dhyanas a higher element comes in. In the second dhyana ‘the purified, integrated conscious mind is itself integrated with the superconscious. And the energies of the superconscious – energies, that is to say, which are purely spiritual – begin to be tapped.’ And that this higher element gradually dominates ones experience the higher in the dhyanas one goes. We don’t really talk about dhyana very much these days. Perhaps this is because people think of them negatively, in terms of spiritual materialism, or maybe they are just confused as to what they are exactly. So in this thread I want to try to clarify what they are, and how they connect with insight. The Buddhist texts describe Gautama as firstly remembering the rose-apple experience and then as ascending through the dhyanas. There is no account of the practices he must have used to get there. There is nothing, to my knowledge, in the scriptures along the lines of: ‘I practiced loving kindness and so attained the first dhyana.’ So I want to piece together an account of the process Gautama must have gone through to get into the dhyanas. The first dhyana arises ‘in seclusion from sensuality and unskilful mental states.’ In other words it is a skilful mental state. And as the ‘superconscious element’ that Sangharakshita mentions become stronger the higher in the dhyanas one ascends, we can see each dhyana as an intensification of the skilfulness of the one before. There is however a certain danger in...

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Refuge Puja
Feb15

Refuge Puja

 Devotional text focusing on Going for Refuge within the Triratna Buddhist Community.     A Buddha has arisen in this world! The Path to the Deathless is open! The true Sangha can yet be found Amongst mankind!   My own kind teacher Has brought the Three Jewels Even to me! Burning through the ages, The Dharma’s flame, Has lit the hearts of millions. Burning in that fire Many have attained The highest wisdom. Through their inspiration The flame of the Dharma Burns brightly now Even for me.   My gratitude overflows To the Buddha, To the great teacher Who taught the end of suffering In the bliss of understanding. I worship him with all I have. I offer him now These few flowers, This incense and these candles; Let them stand For all I will give. In gratitude to you, Oh Great Shakyamuni, I will make your name known Throughout the world. I will build countless temples, Shining with beauty, Where your gracious image Shall be enthroned, Where constant worship Shall be paid to you. In gratitude to you I shall bring to every land The pure essential Dharma. I shall make the sacred scriptures known In every human tongue. I shall myself expound Your wondrous teaching In beautiful, inviting words Which all may understand, Clearly expressing, Dharma’s true meaning. In gratitude to you I shall create Communities of friends, Devotees of the truth, Who together shall fulfil Your ideal of Sangha. Through my efforts, All mankind shall live In sight of the spiritual community, Able to unite with it When they wish. All this I shall do Out of wonder and gratitude For all you have given To all mankind, Even to me. You are the supreme one, To whom all life leads. For you have attained Life’s final meaning. You have all goodness, All truth and all love, Yes, all supreme virtues Are effortlessly yours. My life’s fulfilment Is found only in you. And all I can give you Is all that I am. My life from this moment Is an offering to you. Take it, Oh take it! Great Hero, please take it, All that I am I give now to you.     GRATITUDE TO OUR TEACHERS The Dharma has come even to me! How wonderful! A path has been opened Which I too can follow. My own precious teacher, Urgyen Sangharakshita, You have made it possible Even for me To follow the Buddha and his Dharma. My teacher, You have made the path so clear. You have created the Sangha Which I too can join. How wonderful! In gratitude to you I will do...

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