What is a Puja?
Pujas are chanted prayer ceremonies which show respect and devotion. They create merit (positive karma) for yourself or others. You can join in the prayers and chanting from the sadhana (spiritual text) or simply sit, listen and enjoy the blessings. Please feel free to bring offerings (for example incense, fruit, flowers, biscuits) for the shrine – especially for the Lama Chopa Tsog pujas.
Regular Pujas at JBCL
This puja involves a visualisation of Tara and chanting praises to the 21 emanations of Tara. Tara represents the buddhas compassionate action, particularly helpful for a Buddhist Centre like ours, to remove obstacles to our stability and growth as well as removal of ones own spiritual obstacles. We were recently advised by Lama Dagri Rinpoche to do this practice for the Centre, and also to purchase 21 statues which we have now done and you’ll see displayed at the front of the main room.
Medicine Buddha Puja
The practice of Medicine Buddha, the Supreme Healer (or Sangye Menla in Tibetan) is not only a very powerful method for healing and increasing healing potential both for oneself and others, but also for overcoming the inner sickness of attachment, hatred, and ignorance.
“The Medicine Buddha encompasses all the buddhas. This means that when we practice the seven-limb prayer and make offerings with the seven limbs, we receive the same merit as we would if we had made offerings to all the buddhas. Similarly, when we recite the mantra of Medicine Buddha, we collect unbelievable merit just as when we offer the seven-limb practice to Medicine Buddha” Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Lama Chopa Tsog Puja
This puja is one of our traditions most popular practices and comes in many forms. The essence is feeling close to our spiritual guides so we too can develop minds of compassion and wisdom. This puja involves many offerings, some of which are enjoyed during the puja itself. There is a famous lamrim prayer at the end which is an important part of understanding the Buddha’s path to enlightenment.
If we want to rid our minds of negative habits and imprints built-up over many years, we need to engage in purification practices. Coming together in a group to do prostrations and mantra recitation makes purification strong and consistent. Prostrating to the 35 Confessional Buddhas and reciting Vajrasattva mantras are powerful methods for purifying negative karmic residues which taint the natural purity of our minds. The sessions are open to all, regardless of whether you have received initiations or whether you have taken refuge. All you need is a wish to move on from unhelpful actions done in the past with an openness to the power of visualisation and prayer.