South Sound Buddhist Peace Fellowship, Cultivating Compassionate Action, Olympia, Washington
South Sound Buddhist Peace Fellowship
Cultivating Compassionate Action
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The Bodhisattva Vow
Verses 3.23 and 3.24 "The Way of the Bodhisattva" by Shantideva are often referred to as "the bodhisattva vow".
- Translation by the Padmakara Translation Group

    Just as all the Buddhas of the past
    Embraced the awakened attitude of mind
    And in the precepts of the bodhisattvas
    Step by step abode and trained,

    Just so and for the benefit of beings
    I will also have this attitude of mind
    And in those precepts step by step
    I will abide and train myself.

"The words "step by step" are important here. Even the fully awakened ones trained step by step, and we follow their example. Since this vow can be broken by one harsh word or flash of anger, we would obviously be wise to be patient with ourselves and give up hope of always getting it right. We can renew our intention to stay open again and again and again. Every morning before I get out of bed, I recite these two verses three times and then I start my day."
- Commentary by Pema Chodron in "No Time to Lose"
Recitations Before Meditation Sessions
From "Guided Meditations on the Stages of the Path" by Thubten Chodron

Visualize the Buddha in front of you and recite the following verses while contemplating their meaning:

Namo Gurubhya.
Namo Buddhaya.
Namo Dharmaya.
Namo Sanghaya (3X or 7X)

I take refuge until I am enlightened in the Buddhas, the Dharma, and the Sangha. By the positive potetnial I create by practicing generosity and the other far-reaching attitudes, may I attain Buddhahood in order to benefit all sentient beings. (3X)

Four Immeasurables
May all sentient beings have happiness and its causes.
May all sentient beings be free of suffering and its causes.
May all sentient beings not be separated from sorrowless bliss.
May all sentient beings abide in equanimity, free of bias, attachment and anger.

Seven-Limb Prayer
Reverently I prostrate with my body, speech and mind,
And present clouds of every type of offering, actual and mentally transformed.
I confess all my negative actions accumulated since beginningless time,
And rejoice in the virtues of all holy and ordinary beings.
Please remain until cyclic existence ends,
And turn the wheel of Dharma for sentient beings.
I dedicate all the virtues of myself and others to the great enlightenment.

Seven-Limb Prayer
This ground, anointed with perfume, flowers strewn,
Mount Meru, four lands, sun and moon,
Imagined as a Buddha land and offered to you.
May all beings enjoy this pure land.

Mandala Offering
This ground, anointed with perfume, flowers strewn,
Mount Meru, four lands, sun and moon,
Imagined as a Buddha land and offered to you.
May all beings enjoy this pure land.

The objects of attachment, aversion, and ignorance, -- friends, enemies and strangers, my body, wealth and enjoyments -- I offer these without any sense of loss. Please accept them with pleasure, and inspire me and others to be free from the three poisonous attitudes.

Requesting Inspiration
Glorious and precious root guru, sit upon the lotus and moon seat on my crown. Guiding me with your great knindess, bestow upon me the attainments of your body, speech, and mind.

The eyes through who the vast scriptures are seen, supreme doors for the fortunate who would cross over to spiritual freedom, illuminators whose wise means vibrate with compassion, to the entire line of spiritual masters I make request.

Now do a meditation and at the end of your session, recite the following dedication:

Dedication of Positive Potential
Due to this merit may we soon
Attain the enlightened state of Guru Buddha,
That we may be able to liberate
All sentient beings from their sufferings.
May the precious bodhi mind
Not yet born arise and Grow.
May that born have no decline,
But increase forever more