Buddhist Prayer: An Anthology

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Collection of Buddhist Prayers


Buddhist PrayerAn AnthologyJason Espada, editor

for the good of the world


Buddhist Prayer An Anthology

Table of Contents

page 1

Preface An Introduction in Three Parts: Buddhism and Prayer An Outline of Buddhist Traditions, and Buddhism in the West The Contents, in brief:


16 29 36

Part I. The Prayers of the Historical Buddha, and Prayers in the Theravada Tradition Part II. The Bodhisattva Vow, and Producing the Mahayana Motivation. Part III. Prayer in Zen; Prayer in Japanese Buddhism; Prayer in the Chinese, and Vietnamese Mahayana Tradition; and, Prayer in Pure Land Buddhism Part IV. Prayers in the Tibetan Buddhist Tradition Part V. Dedication Prayers Sources

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The Contents, in more detail Part I (A) The Prayers of the Historical Buddha, and (B) Prayers in the Theravada Tradition


I (A) The Prayers of the Historical Buddha The Discourse on Love - The Metta Sutta, Suttanipata Selections from The Dhammapada From the Mahasihanada Sutta Verses of Homage to the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha, from the Anguttara Nikaya. X.92 A Reflection from The Dhammapada A Selection from the chapter called Happiness, from the Dhammapada The Jewel Sutta, The Sutta Nipata, 2.1 The 'Banner' Sutta - The Top of the Standard, Samyutta Nikaya, 11.3 The Transference of Merit, from the Tirokudda Kanda 45 46 48 48 49 49 50 54 57

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page I (B) Prayers in the Theravada Tradition

From 'A Chanting Guide' of the Dhammayut Order The Sublime Attitudes; Blessings From 'The Book of Protection', by Piyadassi Thera The Value of Paritta From Bhavana Vandana, compiled by Gunaratana Mahathera: Offering; Closing Recollection; Asking for Pardon; Great Verses of Joyous Victory; Verses on The Buddha's Joyous Victories; Protection by The Factors of Enlightenment

59 61

67 76 87 90 91 92

Practicing Loving Kindness, By Dr. Henepola Gunaratana Nayaka Thera From The Jewel of the Dhamma, by S.N. Goenka Sharing Merits, from Bhavana Vandana Dedication from 'A Chanting Guide' of the Dhammayut Order From 'Teachings of The Buddha', edited by Jack Kornfield: A Blessing Chant; Sharing Blessings

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page Part II. The Bodhisattva Vow, and Producing the Mahayana Motivation From Preparing for Tantra, by Chadragomin From A Guide to the Bodhisattvas Way of Life, from Chapter 1, The Benefits of the Awakening Mind, by Shantideva Making Space with Bodhicitta, by Lama Yeshe Stabilizing in the Bodhimind, by Shantideva From A Guide to the Bodhisattvas Way of Life, by Shantideva The Excellence of Meditation upon the Bodhimind, by The Seventh Dalai Lama A Daily Prayer, from Advice from A Spiritual Friend A Prayer by His Holiness The Dalai Lama, from Ethics for a New Millenium Selections for Contemplation: I Live in This World Tonglen Practice - from The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, by Sogyal Rinpoche 115 119 94

96 99 101 106

107 111 114

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page From Ultimate Healing, by Lama Zopa Rinpoche Taking and Giving Prayer Nine Short Prayers 129 133 135 136 138 140 149 163 168 176

This is what bodhicitta does Twenty-Two Illustrations of the Mind of Enlightenment, by Haribhadra Three bodhicitta poems Prayers of Universal Aspiration A Bodhisattvas Garland of Jewels, by Atisha Contemplation: Twenty-Seven Verses On Mind Training, by Tsong Khapa Aryasura's Aspirational Prayer in Seventy Stanzas

Part III. Prayer in Zen; Prayer in Japanese Buddhism; Prayer in the Chinese, and Vietnamese Mahayana Tradition; and, Prayer in Pure Land Buddhism Prayer in Zen From Not Always So, by Shunryu Suzuki, from the chapter entitled, Supported From Within


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page Selections from 'Opening the Hand of Thought', by Uchiyama Roshi, On Vow Contemplation: Inspiring Yourself to Practice, by Won Hyo From Dogens teacher, Nyojo, as quoted in Classics of Buddhism and Zen From The Bodhisattva Ceremony (San Francisco Zen Center) To-Rei Zenji's Bodhisattva Vow The Meal Chant (2 versions) Small Verses Frequently Used at Zen Center: Robe Chant; Before Lecture, and After Lecture Chant Selections from 'Shikantaza', by Dogen, and Keizan Jokin Zenji

186 194

203 204 206 207 214 215

Prayer in Japanese Buddhism Jizo Bodhisattva Protector of Little Ones, by Jan Chozen Bayes 218 The Jizo Ritual 221

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page Prayer in the Chinese and Vietnamese Mahayana Tradition The Universal Door Chapter from The Lotus Sutra From The Great Compassion Repentance Service The Great Compassion Dharani Evoking the Bodhisattvas' Names May the Day Be Well Beginning Anew The Refuge Chant Sutra Opening Verse, and Sutra Closing Verse Incense Offering, and Bowing A Prayer by Thich Nhat Hanh, 1976 224 228 230 232 233 234 237 239 239 241

Prayer in Pure Land Buddhism From An Introduction to Pure Land Buddhism, by J.C. Cleary 242

Selections from Pure Land Buddhism The Path of Serene Trust 243

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page A quote by Master T'ien-Ju Wei-Tse 245

Self Power, Other Power I from the Amitabha Pureland website 246 Self Power, Other Power II from Zen Philosophy, Zen Practice, by Thich Thien-An 247 Prayers From A Daily Pure Land Practice Part IV. Prayers in the Tibetan Buddhist Tradition: Verses for Training the Mind; Lam Rim Prayers; Guru Yoga; Prayers for Accomplishment in Meditation; Prayers to different Deities, Buddhas and Bodhisattvas; Prayers for the time of death and transition; Swift Return and Long Life Prayers Verses for Training the Mind The Four Immeasurables Eight Verses for Training the Mind, by Geshe Langri Tangpa The Thirty-Seven Practices of Bodhisattvas, by Togmay Sangpo 254 255 257 253

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page Lam Rim Prayers The Foundation of All Good Qualities, by Tsong-Khapa Lam Rim Prayer, given to Anila Ann Guru Yoga About Guru Yoga, from An Introduction to Tantra, by Lama Yeshe Calling the Lama From Afar A Prayer to Tsong Khapa Three Guru Yoga Prayers A Prayer By Which to Recognize My Faults and Keep the Objects of Refuge in Mind, by H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche A Short Song of the Six Similes to Satisfy the Heartfelt Yearning of Devoted Disciples, by Bokar Rinpoche The Karma Kagyu Lineage Prayer 265 268

271 273 274 275

276 286 289

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page Prayers for Accomplishment in Meditation The Heart - Essence of the Great Masters, by H.H. Dudjom Rinpoche The Aspiration Prayer for the Attainment of Mahamudra, by The Third Karmapa, Rangjung Dorje Prayers to different Deities, Buddhas and Bodhisattvas Chenrezig, by Bokar Rinpoche Four Line Prayer to Tara Prayer to Tara The Twenty-One Verses in Praise of Tara A Requesting Prayer to Tara A Song of Longing for Tara, the Infallible A Deity for All Reasons Request to the Supreme Compassionate One 306 308 309 311 316 318 322 326

291 301

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page Prayers from the Chenrezig Sadhana: Refuge Prayer; Prayer of Refuge and to generate bodhicitta; Homage;The Seven-Branch Prayer; Prayer to Chenrezig I; The Six-Realm Prayer, by Tang tong Gyalpo; Prayer to Chenrezig II; Dedication Prayer Request Prayer from A Meditation on 1000-Armed Chenrezig Prayer to Chenrayzig, the Buddha of Compassion, by King Songtsen Gampo, translated by Lama Thubten Choedak 332 333 328

The Prayer Liberating Sakya from Disease, by T'ang Tong Gyalpo 336 Medicine Buddhas Aspiration A Prayer to Medicine Buddha Two Prayers from the Healing Buddha Sadhanas Homage to Manjushri, the Buddha of Wisdom Homage from a Manjushri Sadhana The Confession Sutra Prayers to Vajrasattva 338 339 339 340 341 342 346

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page Prayers for the Time of Death and Transition From The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, by Sogyal Rinpoche A prayer of forgiveness and vow From 'The Transference of Consciousness', by Lama Yeshe Swift Return and Long Life Prayers Swift Return Prayers for Bokar Rinpoche, and Geshe Kenrab Tobgye Long Life Prayers for H.H. The Dalai Lama, and For All of the Great Lamas in the World Today Part V. Dedication Prayers From Milarepa By His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from 'The Direct and Unmistaken Method' Words of Truth, by His Holiness the Dalai Lama The Door of Happiness Prayer for the Happiness of All Sentient Beings, by Ngor Kunga Zangpo 357 358 360 363

347 351 352

353 355

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page A Selection of Dedication Prayers from Lama Zopa Rinpoche From The Guide to the Bodhisattvas Way of Life, by Shantideva Dedication Prayers from the commentary on the White Tara Sadhana, by Geshe Wangdu, and from the White Tara Sadhana 366 373 374

Prayer for the Doctrine to Flourish, from The Sublime Path of the Victorious Ones 375 Prayer for Buddha's Teachings to Flow Throughout the Length and Breadth of the West, by Longdzin Ling Rinpoche





Buddhist PrayerPreface

When I set the table of contents of this book before me, I feel wonder. First, because of the range of Buddhist prayers that are here, and then because of the fact that we are all heirs to these traditions. Being born in these times, we have access to teachings such as these like never before. The way I look at it, the spiritual teachings that have come down to us are our birthright, whether we know it or not, and whether or not we lay claim to them and benefit from our good fortune. As I have thought about these teachings the last few months, Ive come to see that there are three distinct ways that people can benefit from