Pujas are an integral part of Tibetan Buddhism, and are strongly recommended by Kyabje Thubten Zopa Rinpoche, the spiritual head of the FPMT, of which Buddha House is a member.
The Sanskrit word puja simply means offering; so a Puja is a ceremony that enables us to create the highest merit by making actual and visualized offerings, with the bodhicitta motivation, to the highest objects of offering, the Guru and the Triple Gem of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. That merit is the basis for achieving every good thing up to and including enlightenment. A puja is a ritual that helps us combine understanding and meditation with devotion that enriches and enhances all aspects of our practice and ourselves. It involves using our body, speech and mind. Kyabje Thubten Zopa Rinpoche emphasizes that by coming together to perform a devotional ceremony we create an energy that is greater than the sum of the individuals participating, and this in turn becomes an offering/puja to all kind, suffering mother sentient beings.
The two pujas that I will be leading will be the Medicine Buddha Puja and Guru Puja.
Medicine Buddha Puja
Medicine Buddha practice is important and helpful is so many ways. People associate it just with sickness and healing the body, but it is also very powerful for purifying and healing the mind. It helps purify broken vows. It is very powerful for purifying negative karma and for success in any activity we wish to engage in, including business, helping in court cases, preventing violence. And of course the most important success is to have the realizations of the graduated path to enlightenment. And this practice is extremely beneficial for the dead and dying. All this is due to the Medicine Buddha’s great compassion and the power of the great prayers he made as a bodhisattva to benefit sentient beings.
So if you want to help yourself, family, friends, those who are sick or dying, and sentient beings in general- come along to Medicine Buddha Puja. Bring some offerings to increase the merit.
Guru Puja (Tibetan: Lama Chopa)
Is an offering to the Guru that is performed twice a month, on the 10th and 25th of the lunar calendar. Although it is a practice of highest yoga tantra, Kyabje Zopa Rinpoche encourages all students to attend if they have faith in tantra. You may think that this is too advanced or not necessary because of not having made connection with a teacher yet. But as the ceremony is about the importance of the guru, seeing the guru’s qualities and kindness, it is a powerful way to create the cause to meet the perfect teacher. It involves making offerings and requests to have all the attainments of the path to enlightenment. The whole path is outlined in the form of a requesting prayer. Kyabje Zopa Rinpoche says that this practice helps purify all the obstacles to these attainments, especially the heavy negative karmas created in relationship to the guru in this and past lives. Rinpoche says: “If you are able to do Lama Chopa well, you can achieve enlightenment in this very brief lifetime”.
So considering the benefits to yourself and others, why wouldn’t you come?
Hope to see you at Buddha House pujas.