Chanting Ceremony

Evening Chant  (Leader)

 

With posture upright and solid, we are seated at the foot of the Bodhi Tree.

Body, speech, all are one in stillness;  there is no more thought of right and wrong.

Our minds and bodies dwell in perfect mindfulness.

We rediscover our original nature, leaving the shore of illusion behind.

Noble Sangha, diligently bring your mind into meditation.

 

(All Repeat After Leader)

 

Namo Shakyamunaye Buddhaya

Namo Shakyamunaye Buddhaya

Namo Shakyamunaye Buddhaya

 

(Sitting Meditation) [12 Minutes]


Incense Offering  (Sangha member)

 

(Three Bells)

In gratitude, we offer this incense to all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas

throughout space and time.

May it be fragrant as Earth herself, reflecting our careful efforts,

our wholehearted mindfulness, and the fruit of understanding,

slowly ripening.

May we and all beings be companions of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.

May we awaken from forgetfulness and realize our true home.

(Bell)


Touching the Earth

 

Opening Gatha  (Leader)

The one who bows and the one who is bowed to

are both, by nature, empty.

Therefore the communication between them

is inexpressibly perfect.

Our practice center is the Net of Indra

reflecting all Buddhas everywhere.

And my own person reflects in all Buddhas

to whom with my whole life I go for refuge.

(Bell)

 

Prostrations (All rise)

(Touch the earth one time at the sound of each bell)

Offering light in the Ten Directions,

the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha,

to whom we bow in gratitude.

(Bell)

 

Teaching and living the way of awareness

in the very midst of suffering and confusion,

Shakyamuni Buddha, the Awakened One,

to whom we bow in gratitude.

(Bell)

 

Cutting through ignorance, awakening our hearts and our minds,

Manjushri, the Bodhisattva of Great Understanding,

to whom we bow in gratitude.

(Bell)

 

Working mindfully, working joyfully for the sake of all beings, Samantabhadra, the Bodhisattva of Great Action,

To whom we bow in gratitude.

(Bell)

 

Responding to suffering, serving beings in countless ways,

Avalokiteshavara, the Bodhisattva of Great Compassion,

to whom we bow in gratitude.

(Bell)

 

Seed of awakening and loving kindness

in children, sprouts, and all beings,

Maitreya, the Buddha to-be-born,

to whom we bow in gratitude.

(Bell)

 

Showing the way fearlessly and compassionately,

the stream of all our Ancestral Teachers,

to whom we bow in gratitude.

(Two Bells)

(Resume sitting)


Sutra Opening Verse (All)

 

(Three Bells)

Namo Tassa Bhagavato  Arahato Samma Sambuddhassa

Namo Tassa Bhagavato  Arahato Samma Sambuddhassa

Namo Tassa Bhagavato  Arahato Samma Sambuddhassa

(Bell)

 

The Dharma is deep and lovely.

We now have a chance to see, study, and practice it.

We vow to realize its true meaning.

(Bell)

 

Heart of the Prajnaparamita

 

 

Prajnaparamita Hridaya, Heart of Perfect Wisdom (Leader)

(Bell)

 

(Mokugyo Begins)

 

(All) The Bodhisattva Avalokita,

while moving in the deep course of perfect understanding,

shed light on the Five Skandhas and found them equally empty.

After this penetration, he overcame ill-being.

(Bell)

 

Listen Shariputra,

Form is emptiness, emptiness is form.

Form is not other than emptiness, emptiness is not other than form.

The same is true with feelings, perceptions, mental formations,

and consciousness.

(Bell)

 

Listen Shariputra,

all dharmas are marked with emptiness.

They are neither produced nor destroyed,

neither defiled nor immaculate,

neither increasing nor decreasing.

Therefore in emptiness there is neither form, nor feelings,

nor perceptions, nor mental formations, nor consciousness.

No eye, or ear, or nose, or tongue, or body, or mind.

No form, no sound, no smell, no taste, no touch,

no object of mind.

No realms of elements (from eyes to mind consciousness),

no interdependent origins and no extinction of them

(from ignorance to death and decay).

No ill-being, no cause of ill-being, no end of ill-being,

and no path.

No understanding, no attainment.

(Bell)

 

Because there is no attainment,

the bodhisattvas, grounded in perfect understanding,

find no obstacles for their minds.

Having no obstacles, they overcome fear, liberating themselves

forever from illusion and realizing perfect nirvana.

All Buddhas in the past, present and future,

thanks to this perfect understanding,

arrive at full, right, and universal enlightenment.

(Bell)

 

Therefore one should know

that perfect understanding is the highest mantra,

the unequalled mantra, the destroyer of ill-being,

the incorruptible truth.

A mantra of prajnaparamita should therefore be proclaimed:

 

Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha

Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha

Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha

(Bells)

 

 

 

 

Refuge Chant

(Leader)

Incense perfumes the atmosphere.

A lotus blooms and the Buddha appears.

The world of suffering and discrimination

is filled with the light of the Rising Sun.

As the dust of fear and anxiety settles,

with an open heart and one-pointed mind

I turn to the Three Jewels.

(Bell)

 

(All)

The fully Enlightened One, beautifully seated, peaceful and smiling,

a living source of understanding and compassion,

to the Buddha I go for refuge.

(Bell)

 

The path of mindful living,

leading to healing, joy and enlightenment, the way of peace,

to the Dharma I go for refuge.

(Bell)

 

The loving and supportive community of practice,

realizing harmony, awareness, and liberation,

to the Sangha I go for refuge.

(Bell)

The Five Remembrances  (All)

 

(These five remembrances help us to identify and look deeply at the seeds of fear.  They can be recited daily, read aloud as a guided meditation, or used as a silent meditation by individual practitioners.)

 

I am of the nature to grow old.

There is no way to escape growing old.

(Bell)

 

I am of the nature to have ill-health.

There is no way to escape having ill-health.

(Bell)

 

I am of the nature to die.

There is no way to escape death.

(Bell)

 

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.

(Bell)

 

I inherit the results of my actions in body, speech, and mind.

My actions are the ground on which I stand.

(Two Bells)

 

Introductory Words

 

Today the community has gathered to recite the Five Mindfulness Trainings and the Three Refuges.

 

The Five Mindfulness Trainings

 

Brothers and Sisters, please listen. The Five Mindfulness Trainings are the basis for a happy life. They have the capacity to protect life and to make it beautiful and worth living. They are also the door that opens to enlightenment and liberation. Please listen to each mindfulness training, and answer, “Yes,” silently every time you see that you have made an effort to study, practice, and observe the mindfulness training read.

 

Reciting the Five Mindfulness Trainings

 

The First Mindfulness Training

Reverence for Life

 

Aware of the suffering caused by the destruction of life, I am committed to cultivating the insight of interbeing and compassion and learning ways to protect the lives of people, animals, plants, and minerals. I am determined not to kill, not to let others kill, and not to support any act of killing in the world, in my thinking, or in my way of life. Seeing that harmful actions arise from anger, fear, greed, and intolerance, which in turn come from dualistic and discriminative thinking, I will cultivate openness, non-discrimination, and non-attachment to views in order to transform violence, fanaticism, and dogmatism in myself and in the world.

 

This is the first of the Five Mindfulness Trainings. Have you made an effort to study, practice and observe it during the past weeks?

[Three Breaths]

[Bell]

 

 

 

The Second Mindfulness Training
True Happiness

Aware of the suffering caused by exploitation, social injustice, stealing, and oppression, I am committed to practicing generosity in my thinking, speaking, and acting. I am determined not to steal and not to possess anything that should belong to others; and I will share my time, energy, and material resources with those who are in need. I will practice looking deeply to see that the happiness and suffering of others are not separate from my own happiness and suffering; that true happiness is not possible without understanding and compassion; and that running after wealth, fame, power and sensual pleasures can bring much suffering and despair. I am aware that happiness depends on my mental attitude and not on external conditions, and that I can live happily in the present moment simply by remembering that I already have more than enough conditions to be happy. I am committed to practicing Right Livelihood so that I can help reduce the suffering of living beings on Earth and reverse the process of global warming.

 

This is the second of the Five Mindfulness Trainings. Have you made an effort to study, practice and observe it during the past weeks?

[Three Breaths]

[Bell]

The Third Mindfulness Training
True Love


Aware of the suffering caused by sexual misconduct, I am committed to cultivating responsibility and learning ways to protect the safety and integrity of individuals, couples, families, and society. Knowing that sexual desire is not love, and that sexual activity motivated by craving always harms myself as well as others, I am determined not to engage in sexual relations without true love and a deep, long-term commitment made known to my family and friends. I will do everything in my power to protect children from sexual abuse and to prevent couples and families from being broken by sexual misconduct. Seeing that body and mind are one, I am committed to learning appropriate ways to take care of my sexual energy and cultivating loving kindness, compassion, joy and inclusiveness – which are the four basic elements of true love – for my greater happiness and the greater happiness of others. Practicing true love, we know that we will continue beautifully into the future.

 

This is the third of the Five Mindfulness Trainings. Have you made an effort to study, practice and observe it during the past weeks?

[Three Breaths]

[Bell]

The Fourth Mindfulness Training
Loving Speech and Deep Listening

Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful speech and the inability to listen to others, I am committed to cultivating loving speech and compassionate listening in order to relieve suffering and to promote reconciliation and peace in myself and among other people, ethnic and religious groups, and nations. Knowing that words can create happiness or suffering, I am committed to speaking truthfully using words that inspire confidence, joy, and hope. When anger is manifesting in me, I am determined not to speak. I will practice mindful breathing and walking in order to recognize and to look deeply into my anger. I know that the roots of anger can be found in my wrong perceptions and lack of understanding of the suffering in myself and in the other person. I will speak and listen in a way that can help myself and the other person to transform suffering and see the way out of difficult situations. I am determined not to spread news that I do not know to be certain and not to utter words that can cause division or discord. I will practice Right Diligence to nourish my capacity for understanding, love, joy, and inclusiveness, and gradually transform anger, violence, and fear that lie deep in my consciousness.

 

This is the fourth of the Five Mindfulness Trainings. Have you made an effort to study, practice and observe it during the past weeks?

[Three Breaths]

[Bell]

The Fifth Mindfulness Training
Nourishment and Healing


Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful consumption, I am committed to cultivating good health, both physical and mental, for myself, my family, and my society by practicing mindful eating, drinking, and consuming. I will practice looking deeply into how I consume the Four Kinds of Nutriments, namely edible foods, sense impressions, volition, and consciousness. I am determined not to gamble, or to use alcohol, drugs, or any other products which contain toxins, such as certain websites, electronic games, TV programs, films, magazines, books, and conversations. I will practice coming back to the present moment to be in touch with the refreshing, healing and nourishing elements in me and around me, not letting regrets and sorrow drag me back into the past nor letting anxieties, fear, or craving pull me out of the present moment. I am determined not to try to cover up loneliness, anxiety, or other suffering by losing myself in consumption. I will contemplate interbeing and consume in a way that preserves peace, joy, and well-being in my body and consciousness, and in the collective body and consciousness of my family, my society and the Earth.

 

This is the first of the Five Mindfulness Trainings. Have you made an effort to study, practice and observe it during the past weeks?

[Three Breaths]

[Bell]

 

Concluding Words

 

Brothers and Sisters, we have recited the Five Mindfulness Trainings, the foundation of happiness for the individual, the family, and society. We should recite them regularly so that our study and practice of the mindfulness trainings can deepen day by day.

 

Upon hearing the sound of the bell, please stand up and touch the Earth three times to show your gratitude to the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha.

[Three Bells]

 

 

Sharing the Merit (Closing Verse) (All)

 

Reciting the trainings, practicing the way of awareness

gives rise to benefits without limit.

We vow to share the fruits with all beings.

We vow to offer tribute to parents, teachers, friends, and numerous beings

who give guidance and support along the path.

[Three Bells]