Nien Fo Book: The service book of the Amida Order
For those having a karmic affinity with Amitabha Buddha wishing to practise a religious life in truly simple faith, freeing themselves of sophistication and attachment to all forms of cleverness, the method of opening oneself to Amitabha’s grace is the practice of Nien Fo with body, speech and mind,
particularly verbal recitation of “Namo Amida Bu”. This is not something done as a form of meditation, nor is it based on study, understanding and wisdom, or the revelation of deep meaning. Deep meaning is indeed there for the nembutsu is a window through which the whole universe of Buddha’s teaching can be
perceived in all its depth, but none of this is either necessary or even helpful to success in the practice. Rather such study cultivates secondary faculties to be held separate from the mind of practice itself.
The primary practice requires only one essential: realise that you are a totally foolish being who understands nothing, but who can with complete trust recite “Namo Amida Bu”; know that this will generate rebirth in the Pure Land, without even knowing what rebirth in the Pure Land truly is. This is the
practice for ignorant beings and ignorance is essential for its accomplishment. This practice automatically encompasses the three minds and the mind of contrition as a fourth. To pursue something more profound or more sophisticated, or to have a theory, or to think that understanding will yield greater
enlightenment than this is to be mislead and to fall back into self-power whereby the whole practice is spoilt. However wise, learned or skilled you may be, set it aside and be the foolish being completely in the performance of the practice. Nothing else is required and anything else is too much. Faith and practice cannot be differentiated.
The Buddha-body is delineated by the precepts. How deficient we are by comparison! By our daily difficulty in the preceptual life, we awaken to the presence of the myriad karmic obstacles without which we would already perceive the land of love and bliss, we would be as the vow-body of Buddha. Thus we
know in experience that we are foolish beings of wayward passion. This knowledge of our condition is part of the essential basis when it gives rise to contrition. Thus all obstacles become impediments to faith unless we experience contrition and letting go. Saving grace, as was made clear by Shan Tao’s dream and advice to Tao Cho, only comes through the sange-mon.
If you can perform the practice in this simple minded way, Amida will receive you and you may fear for nothing since all is completely assured. Dwelling in this settled faith you may then use your secondary faculties, your knowledge and skills and accumulated experience, as tools for helping all sentient beings. But do not then think that anything of relevance to your own salvation is thereby accomplished, nor that you are making something of yourself. Whatever merit there may be in your actions of this kind, immediately and totally dedicate it to the benefit of others, that they may enter the Pure Land and that you yourself may not be encumbered by consciousness of virtue which will only contaminate the practice. As Honen says, “without pedantic airs, fervently recite the Name.” * * *
In verse, Mujinni Bodhisattva asked, "World Honoured One, possessor of all grace, What reason is there for Holy One, Great Quan Shi Yin, to thus be so addressed?" The Honoured One made answer too in verse, "Just listen to the life of Quan Shi Yin. To calls from every quarter she responds; Of oceanic depth her holy vows. *A myriad Buddhas has she truly served For ages past beyond the thought of man And made for aye great vows of purity. When people hear her name, and see her form, And think of her not vainly in their hearts, All forms of ill, in all the worlds, shall cease. If, wishing harm, an enemy should try to push another in a fiery pit, The victim should, on Quan Shi Yin's great power, think, - and straightaway that fiery pit shall be transformed into a cool and silver lake. If, drifting in the vast great ocean's foam, - a man should be in danger of his life from monstrous fish or evil beings, Let him only
think on Quan Shi Yin's great power, - at once the sea will all compassion be. If, from the top of Sumeru, - a man be hurled down by an enemy's cruel hand, Just let him think on Quan Shi Yin's great power and, - like the sun, he will remain aloft. If, chased by wicked men, - a man should fall upon a mountain, Let him think again of Quan Shi Yin's power - and no injury will e'en a single hair of him sustain. If ringed by enemies, - a man should be threatened by
them, - all with their swords in hand, Just let him think on Quan Shi Yin's great power, - compassion then within their hearts will dwell. When tyrants persecute a man - and he stands at the place of execution, Let him think only on Quan Shi Yin's great power, - the executioner's sword will broken be. If, bound in chains, - in prison, - let a man just think on Quan Shi Yin's great holy power, At once the shackles will then set him free. When poisonous herbs,
or magic, threaten harm, The power of Quan Shi Yin, - if thought upon, - will quickly send the curse back whence it came. If poisonous creatures,- evil ones, should come, Upon great Quan Shi Yin's power gently dwell, - straightaway those evil ones dispersed will be. When snakes and scorpions attack a man, - exhaling evil poisons, scorching him, By dwelling on great Quan Shi Yin's holy power - they will be turned away with shrieks of fear. When lightning
flashes and the thunder rolls, - when hailstones beat and rain in torrents pours, The power of Quan Shi Yin, - if thought upon, - will quickly clear the heavens of the storm. If, struck by cruel disaster's evil hand - or tortured by interminable pain, - a being flees to Quan Shi Yin's gentle arms, She, being wise and full of mystic power, - will save him from all worldly grief and care. With all miraculous powers well endowed, And widely skilled in
knowledge of all things, In all the world, in all the quarters, There is not a place where Quan Yin does not go. Hells, evil spirits, - beastly creatures, - all the evil ways of living, - all the pain that comes from birth, old age, disease and death Will, for eternity, all pass away. Great Quan Shi Yin views all the world in Truth, Free from defilement, loving, knowing all, Full of compassion; She must always be prayed to, - adored for all eternity. She is a Light pure, - spotless, like the sun, With wisdom does she darkness all dispel, subverting all effects of wind and fire; Her all-illumining light fills all the world. As thunder shakes the universe does she control her loving body, And her thought of great compassion, - like a cloud from which a rain of Dharma comes, as nectar, down, - destroys the flames of evil passions all. When, threatened by court judgements or,
in camp, - the military should a man oppress, Let him but think on Quan Shi Yin's great power - and all his enemies will be dispersed. * She is a most exquisite Voice,- a Voice that all the world encompasses; The voice of Brahma, - Voice of oceans - One that all the voices of the world does much excel, Because of this our thoughts must always dwell upon her. Let us never cherish thoughts of doubt about great Quan Shi Yin Who is all pure and holy and a
refuge true, -* Protecting in all grief, - in trouble, death, disaster. She possesses merit all, - regards all things with a compassionate eye and, - like the ocean, - holds within Herself a mass of virtues inestimable, For this she must forever be adored." Then rose up from his seat Jiji Bosatsu To stand
before the Buddha, saying thus, "World Honoured One, - they, who this Scripture hear of Quan Shi Yin Bosatsu, Must indeed no small amount of merit gain For here her life of perfect action is described. This is the life of One, -Who, all endowed with powers all miraculous, Appears in all directions." When the
Buddha thus finished the recitation in the hall, Of this great Scripture which makes clearly plain - the life and work of the All-Sided One, All people present then, - a great concourse, - in number four and eighty thousand strong, +With all their hearts cherished a longing deep +For the Supreme Enlightenment with which Nothing in all the universe compares.* * * We offer the merits of this scripture reading to all So that they may be able to obtain the Truth. The supreme and endless blessings of Samantabhadra's deeds. We now universally transfer. May every living being, drowning and adrift, Soon return to the Land of Limitless Light.
KANZEON NAMU BUTSU YO BUTSU U IN YO BUTSU U EN BUP PO SO EN JO RAKU GA JO CHO NEN KANZEON BO NEN KANZEON NEN NEN JU SHIN KI NEN NEN FU RI SHIN
We dedicate the merits of this incense offering To all Buddhas and bodhisattvas throughout space and time May it be fragrant as Earth herself Reflecting our careful efforts Our wholehearted awareness And the fruit of understanding slowly ripening. May we and all beings be companions of Buddhas and bodhisattvas. May we awaken from forgetfulness And realise the Pure Land.
Verse on Impermanence (by Shan Tao, following the Avatamsaka) Time has passed with the swiftness of light; It is already morning Impermanence rushes upon us every moment; Mara follows every step. Oh, practitioners of the Way, Strive diligently! Attain Nirvana!
Resolution (Shan Tao - Majjhima Nikaya) Rare is it to meet with the Dharma, ultimate and profound, Even though one seeks for hundreds and thousands of aeons Fortunately we now hear and receive it We pray that we may understand the Tathagata's true meaning Let the Blessed One teach the Dharma, let the Sublime One teach the Dharma There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are wasting through not hearing the Dharma There will be those who will understand. The Buddha has said: Open for them are the doors of the deathless Let those with ears now show their faith.
Refuges & Invocation (Dharmavidya, following Shan Tao) Buddhas throughout space and time, reverently do we adore you. Dharmas to the end of time, reverently do we adore you. Sanghas so exemplary, reverently do we adore you. To this holy place, Amida Buddha, Highest One, bring your presence now I pray To this holy place, Shakyamuni, Enlightened One, bring your presence now I pray To this holy place, Tathagatas of all worlds, bring your presence now I pray
I open my heart to you, foremost disciples: Sujata, foremost in kindness, Upali, foremost in vinaya, Ambapali, foremost in understanding impermanence, Anuruddha, foremost in vision, Sona, foremost in practice, Anatapindika, foremost in generosity, Queen Vaidehi, foremost in seeing the Pure Land, Rahula, foremost in good deeds, Kacchayana, foremost in explanation, Baddha, foremost in learning Dharma, Subhuti, foremost in penetration of shunyata,
Sundarinanda, foremost in equanimity, Purna, foremost in teaching; Patacara, foremost in inspiring others, Moggallana, foremost in power of spirit, And all the other great disciples Who have revealed the Sanghakaya.
I open my heart to you, gurus of the tathagatagarbha-vada: Queen Srimala, Gunabhadra, Tan Pin, And all the other precious teachers Who taught purity of nature. I open my heart to you, gurus of the Avatamsaka: Tu Shun, Chih Yen, Fa Zang And all the other precious teachers Who have revealed the way of interknowing.
I open my heart to you, gurus of the late transmission: Soyen Shaku, Daisetz Suzuki, Tri Quang, Thubten Yeshe, Kyabjye Kalu, Ambedkar, Ananda Mettayya, Chogyam Trungpa, Achaan Chah, Nichidats' Fuji'i, Xu Yun, T'ou T'o, T'ai Hsu, Yin Kuang, Houn Jiyu, Gisho Saiko, And all the other precious teachers Who have refreshed the precious Dharma.
Please pour down your inspiring blessings To pacify all obstructions outer and inner.
Invocation Homage to Shakyamuni Buddha Namo Buddhaya * Homage to Amitabha, Buddha of Infinite Light Namo Amitabhaya * Homage to Tai Shih Chih, Bodhisattva of Wisdom Power Namo Sthamapraptaya* Homage to Quan Shi Yin, Bodhisattva of Great Compassion Namo Avalokitaya * Homage to Manjushri, Bodhisattva of Great Understanding Namo Manjushraya * Homage to Samantabhadra, Bodhisattva of Great Action Namo Samantabhadraya * Homage to Kshitigarbha, Bodhisattva of Great Vow Namo Kshitigarbhaya *
Your radiant face, Like a mountain peak catching the first burst of morning light Has awesome and unequalled majesty. Like black ink by comparison Are the sun, the moon, or the "mani" treasure. Tathagata, such is your incomparable face. The melody of your enlightenment fills the world Rare and precious are your precepts, Learning, energy, meditation, Wisdom and amazing virtue. The oceanic Dharma of all Buddhas Which you fathom to its deepest depths Dispels the three poisons from the heart – You are like a lion: valiant and divinely pure.
Great power! Deep wisdom! Awesome light! Reverberation! A prayer I make, a Buddha to become Equal to you, my Dharma king, To lead all beings to the other shore, Leaving none behind. The six paramitas to perfect With prajna at their head. Should I become Buddha: I will fulfil this prayer completely: To everyone I'll bring great peace
Though Buddha lands and worldly realms Be numberless like sand, by sheer power of aspiration I'll fill them all with light. Let me become a Buddha, and the multitude of beings Will all enjoy my primordial Nirvana world. By indiscriminate compassion, I will enlighten all. Reborn here from no matter where In my country their hearts will lighten and be joyful, happy and at ease. Oh you Buddha, witness my vow, my true aspiration, Establishing my vow on you Gives me the strength to fulfil it. Buddhas throughout space and time Of unimpeded wisdom Always witness my heart's practice. No matter the obstacles, the hardships, My practice will endure Through all, Without regret.
Bodhisattva Vow Innumerable are sentient beings: Inexhaustible are deluded passions: Immeasurable are the Dharma teachings: Infinite is the Buddha's way: we vow to save them all we vow to transform them all we vow to master them all we vow to fulfil it completely *
Refuges I take refuge in Amida, the Unimpeded Light Namo Amitabhaya I take refuge in the Buddha, the one who shows me the way in this life Namo Buddhaya I take refuge in the Dharma, the way of understanding and love Namo Dharmaya I take refuge in the Sangha, the community that lives in harmony and awareness Namo Sanghaya I take refuge in the Pure Land, the perfect field of merit Namo Buddha-kshetraya
Precepts Panatipata veramani sikkha-padam sama-diyami Adinnadana veramani sikkha-padam sama-diyami Kamesu micchacara veramani sikkha-padam sama-diyami Musavada veramani sikkha-padam sama-diyami Surameraya majja-pama-datthana veramani sikkha-padam sama-diyami *
Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammasambuddhassa Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammasambuddhassa Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammasambuddhassa Bhagavate Arhate Sugata Lokavid Anuttaraya Namo ratna trayaya Namo ratna trayaya Namo ratna trayaya *
Celebration of Amida’s Vows The original and sacred vows Are the unique and essential grace By which to enter the Pure Land. Therefore, with body, speech and mind, We are devoted to the teachings That all may attain the state of bliss.
‘World honoured one’ (blessed one) ‘One who has overcome the foe’ ‘Gone to bliss’ ‘Seer of worlds’ ‘Arrived at the uttermost’ ‘Come from thusness’ ‘Wholly and completely awakened’ ‘Perfect in illumination & conduct’ ‘Tamer of people’ ‘Teacher of Gods and humans’ ‘Homage to the triple gem’
I take great vows that are unsurpassed so that the highest truth can be real|ised Should these vows not be fulfilled I shall not gain per|fect enlightenment Should I not for infinite aeons become one so great nor offer de|light To give and save all those in need, I shall not gain per|fect enlightenment When I attain the highest bodhi all worlds shall hear my name a|right Should there be anyone who hears it not I shall not gain per|fect
enlightenment Refraining from greed, deep rooted in right thought, gaining wisdom pure, I shall pur|sue The way up to the highest enlightenment and become a master, |guide of the world. From strength divine shall radiate forth a light great that brightens the whole |world I shall root out the darkness of
illusions three and save those in suffering |and despair I shall open the spiritual eyes of wisdom and eradicate the darkness of |ignorance I shall close tight all evil paths and to lead all beings to the |realm of good. When I obtain the highest merits my light shall shine boundless in all dir|ections Even
the sun and moon will seek the darkness and heavenly lights |will be dimmed Now let us reveal the House of Dharma so that we shall share the Buddha’s |merits Among the people I will always expound the truth |in a lion’s roar. I will serve and praise all Buddhas on whom the virtues and merits are
be|stowed When I perfect my wisdom and complete my vows I shall become the |king of the three worlds The wisdom of the Buddhas is boundless and free shining brightly with none to loath or |shun I pray my power of wisdom may shine like as thine, Oh Buddha, |the exalted one. When these vows are fulfilled
We vow with all beings, from this life on throughout countless lives, to hear the true Dharma; that upon hearing it no doubt will arise in us, nor will we lack in faith; that upon meeting it we shall renounce worldly affairs and maintain the Buddhadharma; and that, in doing so, the great Earth and all living beings will attain the Buddha Way.
Although our past evil karma has greatly accumulated, indeed being the cause and condition of obstacles in practising the way, may all Buddhas and ancestors who have attained the Buddha way be compassionate to us and free us from karmic effects, allowing us to practise the way without hindrance.
May they share with us their compassion, which fills the boundless universe with the virtue of their enlightenment and teachings. Buddhas and ancestors of old were as we; we in the future shall be Buddhas and ancestors. Revering Buddhas and ancestors, we are one Buddha and one ancestor; awakening bodhi-mind we are one bodhi-mind. Because they extend their compassion to us freely and without limit, we are able to attain Buiddhahood and let go of the attainment. Therefore Dhyana Master Lung-ya said:
Those who in past lives were not enlightened will now be enlightened. In this life, save the body which is the fruit of many lives. Before Buddhas were enlightened, they were the same as we. Enlightened people of today are exactly as those of old.
Quietly explore the furthest reaches of these causes and conditions, as this practice is the exact transmission of a verified Buddha. Confessing and repenting in this way, one never fails to receive profound help from all Buddhas and ancestors. By revealing and disclosing our lack of faith and practice before the Buddha, we melt away the root of transgressions by the power of our confession and repentance. This is the pure and simple colour of true practice, of the true mind of faith, of the true body of faith.
Pavilions and gardens wondrous to behold Glistening diamond light like finest gold Sukhavati is the name of your abode Far, far away beyond the setting sun. Just as soon as from this short life released Grant me there to be born straight away Carried by the force of faith right through that light No other bardo state intervening
Entry of Celebrant
I go to the Pure Land
I pray that I may not take life
I pray that I may not steal
I pray that I may not fall into sexual misconduct
I pray that I may not fall into wrong speech
I pray that I may avoid intoxication
Verses on Impermanence (after Shan Tao) Alas, people busily engaged in secular matters, Take no notice of life wearing away, day by day, night by night, Like a lamp in the wind - how long can it last? In the six realms of vast Samsara there is no fixed abode. Until we are emancipated from the sea of affliction, How can we rest in peace? Should we not be afraid? While still young and strong let us each hear the Dharma; Let us strive and diligently seek the path to Eternity.
(x3) Walking Nembutsu
Incense Offering & Exit
Search into yourself, But froth on the stream That soon vanishes See nothing remains
Their hands they reach out In welcoming joy When we just entrust They do draw us forth. * * *
The Buddha of wisdom light That shines out measurelessly, A body of purest gold, A mountain of highest worth, I worship with all my heart, With my speech, body and mind, My hands joined in anjali To bow down low before him.
Whoever thinks of that one, The Buddha of all goodness, Whose merit is without taint, Whose virtue is of such power, Will straight 'way enter the stage From which there is no descent. Therefore am I always glad To turn my mind to his grace.
Those who are born in his land Are freed from all attachment; They do not think of themselves, Are not obsessed with what's theirs. Without discrimination Their minds are liberated. Therefore will I worship him, My body bowed to the earth.
If you would be a Buddha, Aspiring with all your heart, Then turn to Amitabha, Invite him into your life, For then immediately He will appear as your guide, Therefore you should waste no time Before you take this refuge.
Striving to make oneself good A lotus palace may make, But that lotus will stay closed If it is cut off from faith, For goodness made by the self Has not the power to bloom. Therefore to know the Buddha A lotus opens through faith.
Every Buddha there may be Sings Amida Buddha's praise For reasons that are countless, Therefore, I too will praise him. He is the most honoured one In heaven and in the earth; Even the gods bow their crowns, Therefore I seek his refuge.
The boat of the eightfold path He sails across this rough sea; Having traversed it himself, He now carries us across I place myself in his power In simple dedication, Relying just on his love Unhindered crossing to make.
Whatever merit I have Inherited from past lives Or made in this existence From deeds, good fortune or faith I'd surely give all away To join that enlightened one Whose presence ensures to all Pure heartedness without end.
No merit power is there Greater than this act of faith Unexcelled in all the world So now I let it all go So that this act of worship May be shared by all beings All indiscriminately May they enjoy his great love.* * *
Samantabhadra’s Vow Prayer (Gyatso, following Tibetan tradition) With body, speech and mind, humbly I prostrate, And make offerings both set out and imagined. I confess my wrong deeds from all time, And rejoice in the virtues of all. Please stay until samsara ceases, And turn the wheel of Dharma for us. I dedicate all virtues to great enlightenment.
Offering the Mandala The ground sprinkled with perfume and spread with flowers The great mountain, four lands, sun and moon, Seen as a Buddha land and offered thus, May all beings enjoy such Pure Lands. Idem Guru Ratna Mandalakam Niryatayami
Bodhisattva Vow Innumerable are sentient beings: Inexhaustible are deluded passions: Immeasurable are the Dharma teachings: Infinite is the Buddha's way: we vow to save them all we vow to transform them all we vow to master them all we vow to fulfil it completely *
Invocation of Achala-natha Hail to the mandala Let us so be engulfed within its praises evermore That by our own wills and vigilance May we our fetters cut away May we within the temple of our own hearts dwell Amidst the myriad mountains Hail! Hail! Hail!
and dullness the true way is varied, Yet it has no patriarch of south or north. Here born, we clutch at things And then compound delusion, later on, by following ideals; Each sense gate and * its object all together enter thus in mutual relations And yet stand apart in a uniqueness of their own,
depending and yet non-depending both. In form and feel component things are seen to differ deeply; And the voices in inherent isolation, soft or harsh. Such words as high and middle darkness match; Light separates the murky from the pure. The properties of the four elements together draw Just
as a child returns unto its mother. Lo! The heat of fire, the moving wind, the water wet, the earth all solid; Eyes to see, sounds heard and smells; upon the tongue the sour salty taste. And yet, in each related thing, as leaves grow from the roots, End and beginning here return unto the source and
“high” and “low” are used respectively. Within all light is darkness But explained it cannot be by darkness that one-sided is alone. In darkness there is light But, here again, by light one-sided it is not explained. *Light goes with darkness As the sequence does of steps in walking; All
things herein have inherent, great potentiality, Both function, rest, reside within. Lo! With the ideal comes the actual, Like a box all with its lid; Lo! With the ideal comes the actual, Like two arrows in mid-air that meet. Completely understand herein *The basic Truth within these words;
Lo! Hear! Set up not your own standards. If, from your experience of the senses, basic Truth you do not know, How can you even find the path that certain is, no matter how far distant you may walk? As you walk on distinctions between near and far are lost And, should you lost become, there will arise + obstructing mountains and great rivers This + I offer to the seeker of great Truth, Do not waste time.*
The Buddhas and the Ancestors have all directly handed down this basic Truth: Preserve well for you now have; this is all. The white snow falls upon the silver plate, The snowy heron in the bright moon hides; Resembles each the other yet these two are not the same; Combining them we can
distinguish one from other. Supreme mind, * in words, can never be defined And yet to all the trainees' needs it does respond; Enslaved by words you fall into a hole. If you should go against the basic Truth you come to a dead-end. This is as if a giant fire-ball; Never come too close nor put
yourself too far away. If you express by fancy words It is all stained. The night encloses brightness And, at dawn, no light shines; This Truth holds for beings all; Through this we free ourselves from all danger. Although not made by artifice, This Truth can find expression in the words of those who teach true Zen. It is as if one looks into a jewelled mirror Seeing both shadow and substance. You are not him; He is all of you. A baby of this world is such as this, Possessing all his five sense organs, yet goes not and neither comes, neither arises nor yet stays, has words and
yet no words. Then finally we grasp nothing For words inaccurate will be. When stacked, six sticks of ri For ever move in mutual relations in extremes and centre; Stacked three times, Return again to the first pattern after changes five. This as the five tastes of the chi-grass seems And
as the diamond sceptre's branches five. The absolute “upright” holds, as it is, Many phenomena within its own delicate balance. When a trainee asks a question Matching answer always comes from the Zen master. So that he may bring the trainee to the ultimate of Truth The master uses skillful means. Trainees embrace the ultimate, Masters contain the means; Correctly blended,
This is good. Avoid one-sided clinging; This is all the natural and superior Truth that does attach itself to no delusion or enlightenment. It calmly, clearly shows when all conditions ripen; When minute infinitesimally small becomes; when large it transcends all dimension, space; Even the
slightest twitch will surely break the rhythm. Now we have abrupt and slow, and separated do the sects become by setting up of doctrines, practices,
And these become the standards that we know of all religious conduct. Even should we penetrate these doctrines, practices, And then delusive consciousness flows through the 'ternal Truth, no progress shall we make. If outwardly all calm we do appear an yet within disturbed should be We are
as if a tethered horse or as a mouse within a cage. So, pitying this plight, The former sages teaching all dispensed. Because delusions in the trainees' minds were topsy-turvy, All the sages true did match thereto their teachings; Thus they used all means, so varied, Even so to say that black was white. Delusive thought, if lost, abandoned, Will all satisfaction bring; If you in ancient footsteps wish to walk Observe examples old. That He could take the final step to true enlightenment, A former Buddha trained Himself for ten long kalpas - gazing at the Bodhi tree. *If thus
restrained, freedom original Is like a tiger that has tattered ears or like a hobbled horse. The sage will tell a trainee, who is feeling he is low and all inferior, That on his head there gleams a jewelled diadem - and on his body rich robes hang - and at his feet there is a footrest. If the
trainee hears * this teaching with surprise and doubt, The sage assures him that of cats there are some kinds, - as also some white cows, - that perfect are just as they are. A master archer hits a target at a hundred yards because he skill possesses But, to make to meet two arrows in mid-air, head-on,
far beyond all common consciousness, Beyond all thinking. The retainer serves his lord the emperor; His father does the child obey; Without obedience there is no filial piety And, if there is no service, no advice. Such action and most unpretentious work All foolish seem + and dull But those who practise thus this law + continually shall, in all worlds, Be called Lord of Lords unto eternity.* * *
(P.T.N. H.J. Kennett – adapted Brazier/Johnson)
our leisure. Give us the courage to recognise you in pleasure and in pain, in happiness and unhappiness; Give us the wisdom to recognise you in all your myriad forms, not merely the ones we want to see; Give us compassion to understand those who are in the grip of delusion, prejudice and bigotry; Grant them the power to know the spirit of the Dharma, not merely the ability to read rules and scriptures; Give us the wisdom to know that what the Christian churches teach has also been taught by the Buddhas for thousands of years; Give us the wisdom to take the Sufis by the hand and, in their dancing, to know
the joy of meditation; Give us the understanding that the Jewish festivals are celebrated by Buddhas; Teach people to know that peace in the world can only be gained if we make peace with one another deep in our hearts; Teach us to know that we are responsible, every one of us, for the conflicts that tear the world, because of the greed and conflict in our own hearts; Teach us to face ourselves as we really are by holding up your mirror, in all your manifestations before us; Teach us that all beings, of whatever colour, religion, or species they may be, are equally loved by all the Buddhas; Teach us
to be grateful to inanimate objects for making themselves available for our use; Teach us that we have not the right to expect trees and plants to give themselves to us without our expressing our gratitude; Give us the compassion to improve the lot of animals and to desist from their exploitation; Teach
parents that their children have the right to respect, attention, love and acknowledgement of their opinions; Teach children that their parents' words should be listened to and seriously considered; Appear on the television screens and in the theatres and show us the dangers of drug addiction and the
evils of crime that we may be saved therefrom; Help us to know that all living things have the same basic fears, hopes, loves, longings, hunger and thirst; That they only pretend not to have them for fear of ostracism by society;
Give us the sight of your thousand eyes to see where help is needed and give us the strength of your thousand arms to give that help; Teach us not to look at others' faults but to see our own; Teach all Buddhists that it is better to live in harmony with each other than to argue and fight over doctrine and
dogma; Teach those who slander, curse and revile others that the only person who gets hurt thereby is themselves for all curses must, by the law of karma, return upon the heads of those who utter them; Teach those who are slandered to have compassion for those who are wretched and misguided who utter such
curses; Teach us that, in the whole universe, the only real enemies are fear and superstition; Grant to those who seek to control others the courage to face themselves and their desire for power; Give us the courage to look into the great mirror that all living things and inanimate objects hold up before us and see ourselves as we truly are; Grant us the intelligence to do something about the reflection; Teach us that the Buddhas and Ancestors undergo no conceivable harm by our living our lives naturally; Teach us to know that an enlightened person is a whole person, unfettered by the opinions of others; Teach us to love and enjoy the blue sky, the sun, the rain, the snow and the storms that nature sends; give us the wisdom to use the opportunity for perpetual training that they bring; Grant us that, in the winter of our lives, we may be able to look back down the years without too much regret; Help us
to face that which is called death truly, if one can see gods and angels at the moment of death and feel no elation; if one can be set upon by devils and demons and feel no fear, but meet with the infinite light in faith and ease, one knows true freedom. By such means as these do we live in your grace eternal. Namo Quan Shi Yin Bosat
aryavalokitesvaro bodhisattvo gambhiram prajnaparamita caryam caramano vyavalokayati sma panca skandhas tams ca sva bhava sunyam pasyati sma iha sariputra rupam sunyata va rupam rupan na prithak sunyata sunyataya na prithag rupam yad rupam sa sunyata ya sunyata sa rupamevam eva vedana samjna samskara vijnanam
iha sariputra sarva dharma sunyata laksana anutpanna anruddha avmala anuna aparpurna ta sariputra sunyatayam na rupam na vedana na samjna na samskara na vijnana na caksuh srotam na ghrana jihva kaya manah na rupa sabda gandha rasa spistavya dharmah na caksur dhatur ya van na mano vijnanam dhatur na vidya na
vidya na vidya ksayo va vidya ksayo ya van jaramaranam na jaramarana ksayo na duhkha samudaya nirdoha margajna na jnanam na prapti na bhismaya tasmai na prapti tvad bodhisattva prajnaparamita asritya viha ratya citta varano vidya ksayo na vidya ksayo ya van jaramaranam na jaramarana ksayo na duhkha samudaya
nirodha margajna na jnanam na prapti na bhismaya tasmai na prapti tvad bodhisattvanam prajnaparamita asritya viha ratya citta varano citta varano na siddhitvad atrasto vipa ryasa ti kranto ni stha nirvana tya dha vyava sthitah sarva buddhah prajnaparamitam asritya anuttaram samyaksambodhim
Generating vision I see all beings crowned with lotus Radiant with moonlight Enveloped in the sound of HRIH I see Quan Shi Yin Sublime and bright Radiant with five coloured light Smiling and gazing with tender care With one hand she pours her flask of kindness With the other holds the celestial flower From behind her figure gentle moonlight Fills all space above and around She is the essence source of refuge Example to us all.
KANJIZAI BOSATSU GYO JIN HANNYA HARAMITA JI SHO KEN GO UN KAI KU DO ISSAI KU YAKU SHARISHI SHIKI FU I KU KU FU I SHIKI SHIKI SOKU ZE KU KU SOKU ZE SHIKI JU
SO GYO SHIKI YAKU BU NYO ZE SHARISHI ZE SHO HO KU SO FU SHO FU METSU FU KU FU JO FU ZO FU GEN ZE KO KU CHU MU SHIKI MU JU SO GYO SHIKI MU GEN NI BI ZETS
SHIN NI MU SHIKI SHO KO MI SOKU HO MU GEN KAI NAI SHI MU I SHIKI KAI MU MU MYO YAKU MU MU MYO JIN NAI SHI MU RO SHI YAKU MU RO SHI JIN MU KU SHU METSU DO
MU CHI YAKU MU TOKU I MU SHO TOKKO BODAISATTA E HANNYA HARAMITA KO SHIN MU KE GE MU KE GE KO MU U KU FU ON RI ISSAI TENDO MU SO KU GYO NEHAN SAN ZE SHO
BUTSU E HANNYA HARAMITA KO TOKU A NOKU TA RA SANMYAKU SAMBODAI KO CHI HANNYA HARAMITA ZE DAI SHIN SHU ZE DAI MYO SHU ZE MU JO SHU ZE MU TO DO SHU NO JO
Quan Shi Yin Bodhisattva Practises deeply "other shore wisdom", Sees the five skandhas completely empty Goes beyond the world of affliction. Oh Shariputra, Form and emptiness are not apart Emptiness is not apart from form The Form World is the emptiness The Emptiness World is this world of form. All the skandhas: regard them like this. Shariputra, See the Empty character of all: Not the birth and death world; Not the defiled and pure world; Not the gain
inexplicable mantra The great radiant mantra The unexcelled mantra Incomparable mantra Able to clear away every suffering It is true. It is not false. Proclaim the prajna paramita mantra That is proclaimed and proclaimed like this: Going, going, going beyond, Always going beyond, awakening. Svaha!*
When others out of envy Abuse me or insult me Let me take defeat upon myself And offer them the victory.
Kyo-ni lama, kyo-ni yidam, kyo-ni kadro cho-kyong-te Deng-nae zung-te jang-chob bardu, kyo-min kyap zhaen mi-tsol wae Di-dang bardo, chi-mae tar-yang, tu-je cha-kyu zung-zo-la Si-zhi ji-drol! Go-dup kuen-tsol! Taen-gyi dok-zo, bar cho sung. (x 3)
De-tar laen-sum sol-wa tap-pae-tu Lamae ku-sung-tuk-kyi nae-nam-lae Du-tzi wo-zer kar mar ting-ga sum Rim-dang chik-char jung-nae dak-nyi-kyi Nae-sum rim-dang chik-char tim-pa-lae Dip-zhi dak-ching nam-dak wang-zhi top Ku-zhi top-ching lama nyi-pa-zhik Gye-zhin tim-pae jin-gyi lap-par gyur
lama cho ge-dun-te lama-te namla cho-pa-bul
You the yidam, you dakini You protector of the way On the path of Dharma-faring You will be my refuge true With your hook like kindness hold me Through all bardos, through all lives From fear save me! With power fill me! Be by my side, Keep me true.
By virtue of this prayer from my heart May the teacher's body speech and mind Pour forth a nectar wise, pure and kind That streams out widely into the world Empowering me to do the great work. May the trikaya merge with my mind Dispelling dark, revealing Great Light Inspire me always with your blessings
For all life, in all worlds, you boundlessly care. Your pure deeds, your pure thoughts, your wisdom you share. With virtues so precious too numerous to tell, With pure light of kindness you darkness dispel.
Buddha in the Jeta grove Taught Dharma to the deva king Gods and men all want to know What is the greatest blessing For joy and love within this life, To be at peace with everything The greatest happiness is By the Buddha blest
Do not mix with foolish ones Give honour to the worthy Create a garden for the truth And in it plant a love tree. Set your foot upon the path And from all ill your mind free. The greatest happiness is By the Buddha blest
Learn and practise skilful craft And keep the precepts wisely Practise always loving speech Support your parents kindly Give generously, support good friends; Choose your acts advisedly. The greatest happiness is By the Buddha blest
Do always good and never bad And keep your body sober. Be grateful for the simple life And always learn the Dharma. Make effort and strive patiently Accumulate good karma The greatest happiness is By the Buddha blest
Live in the world with tranquil heart With all your sorrows mended. Unvanquished be where'er you go The Noble Truth attended; Nirvana shall be yours to know And all your craving ended. The greatest happiness is By the Buddha blest
4. LIVE IN PEACE (Dharmavidya)
5. INFINITE LIGHT (Dharmavidya)
(P.T.N. H.J. Kennett)
Hail, the Lord that is to come, Hail, Maitreya Buddha. Hail, to him the Conquering One Hail, Maitreya Buddha. He who once was as we are now Great Maitreya Buddha Now appears to show us how To be Maitreya Buddha.
Let us hail and hail always Great Maitreya Buddha This is his great festal day Great Maitreya Buddha When we know what to do and say We are Maitreya Buddha Let us never now betray Great Maitreya Buddha
Hail, the Lord that is to come, Hail, Maitreya Buddha. Hail, to him the Conquering One Hail, Maitreya Buddha. He who once was as we are now Great Maitreya Buddha Now appears to show us how To be Maitreya Buddha.
7. ONE FAMILY (Dharmavidya)
The Buddhadharma river has A thousand tributaries; The Buddhadharma ocean holds A thousand separate seas; The Buddha taught ten thousand ways A single Truth to reach; Ten thousand people came to him; He taught a way for each.
Now sangha has so many schools In north, east, west, and south; So myriad were the miracles That flowed from Buddha's mouth. Yet, though we have koans and praise And vows and discipline These are just all expedient means The Truth to help us win.
For every path the Buddha taught Has the three wisdom's seal: Sila, samadhi and prajna Will all our suffering heal: Do only good and cease from harm The Buddhas all have taught; A mind that's pure, a heart that's strong, A life that lacks for nought.
Let us not break the Buddha's fold Which holds us all from woe, But with true faith flow as one stream And to nirvana go. The Buddha taught a thousand ways To set all people free And so we have a thousand schools Yet are one family.
8. VULTURE PEAK (Dharmavidya)
Oh, soar heart soar; oh, soar heart soar; So rich at heart tho' worldly poor Upon samadhi I will feed Away with hate, away with greed Now Dharma drunk I have no need For castle, armour, nor for steed Soar heart soar
At peace at last, beyond all war, No more to hunt, put by the claw, No need for talons, nor for knife No martial sounds, no drum nor fife, Beyond all enmity and strife In Dharma is eternal life Soar heart soar
In Buddha's Law, Truths there are four, That show what's hid in mind's deep store Whence bodhisattvas come to be To guide the world 'cross Mara's sea To him who once beneath the tree Revealed the Way for all to see Soar heart soar I praise you now, oh, perfect Law. I enter now the Dharma door. What rapture I have fallen in; Sweet wisdom's harmonies begin What bliss to be now free from sin On Buddha's path this joy we win Soar heart soar
10. MANDALA (Dharmavidya)
The mandala of Buddha Extends through all of space And drawn into its centre Our lives are fill'd with grace. The mandala within us A world that's full of light Blissfully will win us The garden of delight.
The rays of Buddha's wisdom Set everybody free The pure source that he comes from Is plain for all to see The golden light is flowing From the One Pure Mind. Hear! It makes our hearts sing Makes us all grow kind.
11. GAT É GAT É (Dharmavidya)
12. WHO SHALL CONQUER (Dharmavidya)
14. PERFECT REFUGE (Dharmavidya)
Three gems are my perfect refuge B'yond all selfish thought With such riches in me I will lack for naught. Empty is our fortress Every time we bow Letting go samsara The only time is now Three gems are my perfect refuge B'yond all selfish thought With such riches in me I will lack for naught
Buddha is my one true refuge; He shows me the way. Before his light of wisdom Mara flies away. Buddha lives within us When our hearts are free: Our most cherished teacher Of peace and harmony. Three gems are my perfect refuge B'yond all selfish thought With such riches in me I will lack for naught
Dharma is my one true refuge The pure path of peace Nirvana's doors are open When three poisons cease Dharma lives within us When our hearts are pure The raft of true Dharma Sails to the other shore. Three gems are my perfect refuge B'yond all selfish thought With such riches in me I will lack for naught
Sangha is my one true refuge; Peace on earth, indeed: In a life of service We have all we need Sangha lives within us When our hearts are kind Community most gentle With a tranquil mind Three gems are my perfect refuge B'yond all selfish thought With such riches in me I will lack for naught
15. RIGHT MEDITATION
Sweet hour of meditation The qui-et hour of peace When from life's care and turmoil I find a blest release In silent contemplation New faith and hope I win More light and deeper knowledge New strength to conquer sin.
Sweet hour of meditation When silent and alone The Master's words I ponder His truth to make my own, With earnest purpose seeking I gather more and more Of wisdom's holy treasure From his exhaustless store
WAKING BELL Om Akshobhaya Hum! Tadyatha! I vow that the sound of this bell Will fill the Dharma realms Dispel the murky darkness Penetrate the iron wall And cause the mountain of knives to crumble to dust. All who hear will truly awaken.
We dedicate the merit of this incense offering to the Guardian of Fire, Lord of the Kitchen That he may protect the Buddha Way And set our minds at ease. May all the Buddhas bless this food To nourish the bodhisattvas, worthy ones, stream enters and seekers after truth Like the nectar of the Dharma flower Homage to the Buddha. Homage to the Dharma. Homage to the Sangha.
The Lord Buddha was born in Lumbini Enlightened in Bodh Gaya Taught in Magadha Died in Kusinagara As we spread the vessels of truth We pray that those who eat, that which is eaten and the actual eating Shall be universally void of self
This food is the gift of the universe: the earth, the sky and all sentient beings. In this food is much joy, much suffering and much hard work. We accept this food so that we may follow a path of practice and help all beings everywhere.
The first bite is to cut off delusion. The second bite is so that we may grow in faith. The third bite is to help all beings. We pray that all may become enlightened. We pray for the peace of this temple (/house/family) and for the cessation of all misfortune.
(Assistant reads the following passage while Celebrant offers incense) The Buddha said to the bodhisattva Samantabhadra: "After the parinirvana of the Tathagata the sons and daughters of this virtuous family will attain the Lotus Sutra if they achieve the four necessary accomplishments: the first is to be
protected by the Buddhas; the second is to plant roots of good merit; the third is to enter a group of those who are rightly resolute; and the fourth is to awaken the thought of saving all sentient beings. These sons and daughters of this virtuous family will definitely attain this sutra after the parinirvana of the Tathagata if they perfect these four accomplishments."
Then the bodhisattva Samantabhadra addressed the Buddha saying: "Oh Bhagavat! If there are those who preserve this sutra in the troubled world of the dark age to come, I will protect them and rid them of their heavy cares, make them attain happiness and allow none to strike at them through their weaknesses. I will not give Mara any chance to afflict them."
- Celebrant: The Light of the Buddha is increasing in brilliance and the Wheel of the Dharma is always turning. These temple buildings and this ground are guarding the Dharma and the trainees. All meditations and contemplations are full of treasure and wisdom and, because of them, we are going to pray to the spiritual ancestors:
All: * Gt Priest Amida Buddha Gt Priest Kanadeva Gt Priest Chia Tsai * Gt Priest Dipamkara Buddha Gt Priest Rahulata Gt Priest Chih Hsien * Gt Priest Shakyamuni Buddha Gt Priest Sanghanandi Gt Priest Huai Kan * Gt Priest Shariputra Gt Priest Jayashyata *Gt Priest Tzu Min * Gt Priest Ananda Gt Priest
Kumarata Gt Priest Fa Chao Gt Priest Madhyantika Gt Priest Jayata Gt Priest Pai Chang Gt Priest Shanavasa * Gt Priest Vasubandhu Gt Priest Shao Kang * Gt Priest Upagupta * Gt Priest Lu Shan Hui Yuan * Gt Priest Saicho Gt Priest Dhitaka * Gt Priest Kumarajiva * Gt Priest Ennin Gt Priest Micchaka Gt Priest Liu
I Min * Gt Priest Koya Gt Priest Vasumitra * Gt Priest Bodhiruci * Gt Priest Ryogen Gt Priest Buddhanandi * Gt Priest Tan Luan * Gt Priest Genshin Gt Priest Punyamitra Gt Priest Ta Hai * Gt Priest Saigyo * Gt Priest Parstva Gt Priest Fa Shang * Gt Priest Honen Gt Priest Punyayashas Gt Priest Ching Ying
Hui Yuan * Gt Priest Shinran * Gt Priest Ashvaghosha * Gt Priest Chih Yi * Gt Priest Bencho Gt Priest Kapimala * Gt Priest Tao Cho * Gt Priest Ryochu *Gt Priest Nagarjuna * Gt Priest Shan Tao * Gt Priest Ippen * * *
endlessly. True inconceivable faith is the awakening that benefits all beings. As we call the Buddha's name, Quan Shi Yin and all bodhisattvas become our guides. We have trained together in the way of the Buddhas, thus creating eternal karmic connections and causes for the Pure Land. Now we are going forth
with the Buddha Light enveloping us. Whatever difficulties we may encounter, we will be safe in the nembutsu way, for those seized by Amida naturally declare the Dharma, lovely in its origin, lovely in its progress, lovely in its consummation, even in the midst of blind passions. Namo Amida Bu.
May all the Buddhas in the ten quarters, all the great bodhisattvas, all the holy sages, all the devas and dragons, and sentient beings in the entire universe, come here as witnesses. We now confess our offenses and repent them. From the beginningless past up to now, we have killed or destroyed, we have
stolen property and belongings, we have approached with lascivious thoughts, we have deceived with lies, we have ridiculed with insincere words, we have slandered, abused, and rebuked with harsh words, we have caused enmity and mutual destruction with harmful words, to all the members of the Three Treasures, teachers and friends, parents and relatives, and sentient beings throughout the universe, whose numbers are beyond calculation. We have broken all the precepts and rules of conduct, the five precepts, eight precepts, ten precepts, two hundred and fifty precepts, five hundred precepts, bodhisattva precepts, and inexhaustible precepts; not only have we broken these precepts, but also we have incited others to break them, and rejoiced at seeing them do
ust as the open space is limitless, our offenses are equally limitless. Just as the means of salvation are boundless, our offenses are boundless. Just as the Dharma-nature is boundless, our offenses are boundless. Just as the Dharma- realm is boundless, our offenses are boundless. Since sentient beings are
innumerable, our offenses of robbery and slaughter are innumerable. Since the members of the Three Treasures are innumerable, our offenses of destruction, theft, and killing are innumerable. Since the precepts provided are innumerable, our breach of them has been repeated innumerable times.
Any one of the sages, from bodhisattvas down to sravakas and pratyekabuddhas, cannot know the extent of our offenses. Only the Buddha knows it. Now, before the Three Treasures and sentient beings of the entire universe, we confess and repent our errors, without hiding them. We pray that all the members of the
Three Treasures throughout the ten quarters and sentient beings of the entire universe recognize our repentance and wish that we will be purified. From today on, together with sentient beings, we wish to abandon wrong views and take right ones, awaken the Bodhi-mind, see each other with a compassionate
heart, look at each other with the eye of the Buddha, become companions of awakening, become true teachers of the Way, attain birth in Amida Buddha's land together, discontinue committing those offenses forever and never commit them again. Oh let us repent with all our heart and take refuge in Buddha Amida.
With the practice of this meritorious chanting of sutras and the Holy Names may we dedicate ourselves to repay what we owe to our parents, teachers, friends and predecessors who have done all they could for our sake. May we earnestly pray that those who are living shall continue to rejoice in happy and prosperous lives for all time, while those who are no longer living shall be released from suffering and be reborn into the Land of Utmost Bliss
Om Vajrasattva samaya, Manu Palaya, Vajrasattva teno patita Dridho me bhava, Suto kayo me bhava, Supokayo me bhava, Anurakto me bhava Sarva siddhi me prayacha, Sarva karma sucha me, Tzitam shriyan kuru hum, Ha ha ha ha ho, Bhagavan sarva Tathagata Vajra ma me muntsa, Vajra bhava Maha samaya sattva Ah Hum Phat