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Daily Prayers to Recite During Meditation Sessions

From Tibetan Buddhist Encyclopedia
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Members of the sangha often request recitations/prayers that can be used during
practice sessions to augment their meditation. These traditional Buddhist
recitations/prayers put into words our deepest aspirations and commitments and give
our meditations a clearer focus and purpose. Cut and paste in any meaningful way to
support your practice. In addition to the prayers/recitations found below, the Plum Village chanting book is a treasure trove of prayers/poems/ceremonies for all occasions.

In the Dharma, Fred
Refuge and Bodhicitta

I take refuge in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha,
until enlightenment is achieved.

Through the merit I create by practicing generosity
and the other perfections,
May I attain Buddhahood for the sake of all living beings.

With a wish to free all beings,
I shall always go for refuge
To the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha,
Until I reach full enlightenment.
Enthused by wisdom and compassion,
today in the Buddha’s’ presence

I generate the Mind for Full Awakening

For the benefit of all sentient beings.
As long as space remains,
As long as sentient beings remain,
Until then, may I too remain

And dispel the miseries of the world.
May the supreme jewel, Bodhicitta,
that has not arisen arise and grow,
and may that which has arisen not diminish,
but increase more and more.

The Seven-Limbed Prayer

Respectfully I prostrate with body, speech and mind;
I present clouds of every type of offerings, actual and imagined;
I declare every unwholesome action I have ever committed,
and rejoice in the meritorious virtue of all beings.
Please teachers, remain until cyclic existence ends
and turn the wheel of Dharma for all sentient beings.
I dedicate the virtues of myself and others to the great Enlightenment.

Four Immeasurables

May all sentient beings have happiness and the causes of happiness;
May all sentient beings be free from suffering and the causes of suffering;
May all sentient beings never be separated from
the happiness that knows no suffering;

May all sentient beings live in boundless equanimity, free from bias, attachment and

May All Be Filled With Joy and Peace
May all be filled with joy and peace.
May all beings everywhere,
The strong and the weak,
The great and the small,
The meek and the powerful,
The short and the long,
The subtle and the gross:
May all beings everywhere,
Both seen and unseen,
Dwelling far off or nearby,
Being, or waiting to become:
May all be filled with lasting joy.
Let no one deceive another,
Let no one anywhere despise another,
Let no one out of anger or resentment
Wish suffering to anyone at all.
Just as a mother with her own life
Protects her child, her only child, from hurt,
So within yourself let grow
A boundless love for all creatures.
Let your love flow outward through the whole universe
To its full height, depth, and broad extent,
Then, as you stand or walk,
Sit or lie down,
As long as you are awake,

Strive for this with a one pointed mind:
Your life will bring heaven to earth.
Four Thoughts That Turn One’s Mind to Dharma
First, a precious human birth favorable for Dharma practice,
Is hard to obtain and easily lost.
I must make this life meaningful.

Second, the world and all its inhabitants are impermanent as the clouds of autumn.
The births and deaths of beings are like watching a dance.
The speed of human’s lives is like lightning in the sky;
It passes as swiftly as a stream down a steep mountain.
In particular, the life of each being is like a water bubble.
It is uncertain when I will die and become a corpse.
At that time, only Dharma can help,
I must practice now with diligence.
Third, when death comes there is no freedom,
And karma takes its course.

Since I create my own karma,
I should 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 the feast before the executioner leads me to my death,
Home, friends, pleasures, and possessions of samsara
Cause me vexation by means of the three sufferings.

I must cut through all attachment

And strive to attain enlightenment.

Five Remembrances

I am of the nature to grow old. There is no way to escape growing old.
I am of the nature to have ill health. There is no way to escape ill health.
I am of the nature to die. There is no way to escape death.

All that is dear to me and everyone I love are of the nature to change. There is no way
to escape being separated from them.

My actions are my only true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my
actions. My actions are the ground upon which I stand.

Eight Verses of Thought Transformation

With the thought of attaining enlightenment
For the welfare of all beings,
Who are more precious than wish-fulfilling jewels,
I will constantly practice holding them dear.
Whenever I am with others

I will practice seeing myself as the lowest of all,
And from the very depths of my heart
I will recognize others as supreme.
In all actions I will examine my mind and
The moment a delusion arises

Endangering myself and others,
I will firmly confront and avert it.
Whenever I meet a person of bad nature
Who is overwhelmed by negative energy and intense suffering,
I will hold such a rare one dear,
As if I had found a precious treasure.
When others, out of jealousy,
Mistreat me with abuse, slander and scorn,
I will practice accepting defeat
And offering the victory to them.
When someone I have benefited
And in whom I have placed great trust
Hurts me very badly,

I will practice seeing that person as my supreme teacher.
In short, I will offer directly and indirectly
Every benefit and happiness to all beings, my mothers.
I will practice in secret taking upon myself
All their harmful actions and suffering.
Through perceiving all phenomena as illusory
I will keep these practices

Undefiled by the stains of the eight worldly concerns,
And, free from clinging, I will release all beings
From the bondage of the disturbing unsubdued mind and karma.

by Lama Tangpa Dorje Senge
(11th Century meditation master)

Prayer of the Three Buddha Bodies

Whatever is seen through the eyes, the outer universe and the living beings within –

However they seem, remain in a state of non-grasping to them as real.
In such freedom from duality, all things are seen as Buddha form,
Luminous yet empty, free of desire and attachment;
I invoke the Buddha for whom desire frees itself.
Whatever sounds are heard through the ears – be they pleasant or
annoying –

Hear them as sounds of emptiness; remain in that state without

Empty sounds are the Buddha’s speech, beginningless and endless.

I invoke the Buddha’s speech of sound and emptiness;
Whatever thoughts stir within the mind

Whichever emotion-laden thoughts of the five poisons arise –
Do not alter the mind by retracing the past or anticipating the future.
When thoughts settle naturally into themselves, liberation into the
body of ultimate truth is attained.

I invoke the Buddha of intrinsically liberated awareness;
May grasping to what seems outer – the world – be purified.
May fixation on what seems inner – the mind – be liberated.
May what lies between – clear light – be self-aware.
Buddhas of the three times, through your compassion, may the minds
of all beings like me be freed.

Dedication Prayers

By this virtue of this my practice,
may I quickly attain the state of a Buddha (Enlightenment),

And then may I lead every being,
without exception, into that state.
May the most precious and supreme bodhicitta, awakening mind,
Which has not yet been generated now be generated.
And may the precious mind of bodhicitta which has
been generated never decline, but always increase.

Prayer for Freedom from Suffering

May all beings everywhere plagued
with sufferings of body and mind
quickly be freed from their illnesses.

May those frightened cease to be afraid,
and may those bound be free.
May the powerless find power,
and may people think of befriending
one another.
May those who find themselves in trackless,
fearful wilderness--

the children, the aged, the unprotected--
be guarded by beneficent beings,
and may they swiftly attain Buddhahood.
Dedication from Guide to a Bodhisattva's Way of Life
May all beings everywhere
Plagued by sufferings of body and mind
Obtain an ocean of happiness and joy

By virtue of my merits.

May no living creature suffer,
Commit evil or ever fall ill.
May no one be afraid or belittled,
With a mind weighed down by depression.
May the blind see forms,
And the deaf hear sounds.
May those whose bodies are worn with toil
Be restored on finding repose.
May the naked find clothing,
The hungry find food.
May the thirsty find water
And delicious drinks.
May the poor find wealth,
Those weak with sorrow find joy.
May the forlorn find hope,
Constant happiness and prosperity.
May all who are ill or injured
Quickly be freed from their ailments.
Whatever diseases there are in the world,
May these never occur again.
May the frightened cease to be afraid
And those bound be freed.

May the powerless find power
And may people think of benefiting each other.
For as long as space endures
And as long as living beings remain,
Until then may I too abide
To dispel the misery of the world.
Mindfulness Gathas for Daily Life
Waking Up

Waking up this morning, I smile.
Twenty four brand new hours are before me.
I vow to live fully in each moment
and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion

Starting a Meal: The Five Contemplations

This food is the gift of the whole universe - the earth the sky, and much hard work.
May we eat in mindfulness so as to be worthy to receive it.
May we transform our unskillful states of mind and learn to eat with moderation.
May we take only foods that nourish us and prevent illness.
We accept this food to realize the path of understanding and love and joy

Meditating or Walking

I have arrived.
I am home.
In the here,
In the now.
I am solid. - I am free.
In the ultimate
I dwell.

Beginning to Sit in Meditation
Breathing in, I calm my body.
Breathing out, I smile.
Dwelling in the present moment,
I know this is a wonderful moment!

Inviting the Bell to Sound (Version 1)

Body, speech, and mind held in perfect oneness,
I send my heart along with the sound of the bell.
May the hearers awaken from forgetfulness
and transcend all anxiety and sorrow.

Inviting the Bell (Version 2)

May the sound of this bell penetrate deeply
into the cosmos.

In even the darkest spots, may living beings
hear it clearly,

so their suffering will cease,
understanding arise in their hearts,
and they can transcend the path of anxiety
and sorrow.

Namo Shakyamunaye Buddhaya.

Morning Meditation

The Dharmakaya is bringing morning light.
Sitting still, my heart at peace, I smile.
This is a new day.
I vow to go through it with awareness.
The sun of wisdom will soon be shining everywhere.
Sisters and brothers, diligently bring your mind
into meditation.
Namo Shakyamunaye Buddhaya (three times).

Evening Meditation

At the foot of the Bodhi tree,
I keep my back straight and my posture stable
Body, speech, and mind are calmed.
There is no longer any thought of right
and wrong.
Mindfulness is shining on the five skandhas.
The original face will be found,
and the shore of illusion will be left behind.
Sisters and brothers, diligently bring your mind
into meditation.
Namo Shakyamunaye Buddhaya (three times