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2 years ago  ::  Mar 22, 2012 - 5:03PM #1
allen-uk
Posts: 25
Just been listening to the venerable Sarah Thresher giving a talk entitled 'Healing the Pain'. Enlightening, and inspiring, but it did raise (at least) a couple of questions.

The main one is that at the end she finishes the talk with a couple of 'prayers'.

Which of course leads me to wonder 'what is she praying to?'

She's a nun, following Tibetan Buddhism. Do all Buddhists pray? Do YOU pray? What do Buddhists pray to? The Buddha says there is no soul, no supreme being, so what are the prayers aimed at?

I am puzzled!


Allen. 
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2 years ago  ::  Mar 23, 2012 - 3:23PM #2
Bob0
Posts: 482

Good question.

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2 years ago  ::  Mar 24, 2012 - 1:17PM #3
Bhakta_glenn
Posts: 772

Mar 22, 2012 -- 5:03PM, allen-uk wrote:

Just been listening to the venerable Sarah Thresher giving a talk entitled 'Healing the Pain'. Enlightening, and inspiring, but it did raise (at least) a couple of questions.

The main one is that at the end she finishes the talk with a couple of 'prayers'.

Which of course leads me to wonder 'what is she praying to?'

She's a nun, following Tibetan Buddhism. Do all Buddhists pray? Do YOU pray? What do Buddhists pray to? The Buddha says there is no soul, no supreme being, so what are the prayers aimed at?

I am puzzled!


Allen. 



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2 years ago  ::  Mar 24, 2012 - 4:44PM #4
Bob0
Posts: 482

Allen:


Good question. Good answer?


Bob

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2 years ago  ::  Mar 25, 2012 - 4:30AM #5
Bhakta_glenn
Posts: 772

To give some kind of context for Tibetan Buddhist prayers, it may be pertinent to show the lineage of one of its major extant Schools. In this case: The Karma Kagyu Lineage, which exists though an unbroken line of Teachers from the Buddha Vajradhara:



www.leksheyling.net/pages/english/Lineag...


Vajradhara is the Sanskrit term for the Primordial Buddha, who is the quintessence of Buddhahood. His name was translated into Tibetan as Dorje Chang, “Vajra-holder” in English. Vajra means “indestructibility,” i.e., “skilful means or compassion,” rdo-rje in Tibetan. Dhara in Sanskrit means “to uphold,” ‘chang in the Tibetan language. Chen-po in his full name in Tibetan means “the great one.”




Devotional Prayers


www.rinpoche.com/prayers.html


Devotion can mean praying to a great Bodhisattva or a Buddha. However, if one cannot develop Devotion in Daily Life by offering Compassion to all beings by the way they live their life, then the prayers are useless.


The main idea is to develop Bodhicitta, the Mind of Enlightenment. The Bodhicitta Teachings may be found here:


www.bodhicitta.net/


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2 years ago  ::  Mar 25, 2012 - 5:19AM #6
Bob0
Posts: 482

And what is it they are praying for?

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2 years ago  ::  Mar 25, 2012 - 7:33AM #7
Bhakta_glenn
Posts: 772

Bodhicitta.


The Buddhas and the Bodhisattvas associated with the Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism will respond to sincere prayers for the benefit of all sentient beings.


It is somewhat different to the Christian notion of praying so that one may be saved. These prayers are for developing the skilful means to save others from eternal rebirth in Samsara.


The Golden Rosary contains short biographical accounts of the Lineage Holders from Buddha Vajradhara. This is entirely voluntary, undertaken of a person's own free will. But, reading them is considered to be an act of devotion, which will bear merit which may be donated to the universal merit of all beings.


Bodhicitta is the mind which is dedicated to achieveing full enlightenment for the benefit of al lsentient beings. As a Buddha, one's ability to help others is greatly enhanced.


This is what the prayers are for.



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2 years ago  ::  Mar 25, 2012 - 11:47AM #8
allen-uk
Posts: 25

Thanks for your trouble, shakta_glenn.


I can see the difference in the form of the prayers that are offered up, as compared to Christian praying, but this has now led me to a different problem - that of the 'spiritual' world of beings and demons, of dead Buddhas in conversation with the Dalai Lama, and so on.


Like many, I have come to Buddhism for all sorts of reasons, many due to profound distrust of the 'pie in the sky' religions that have been practiced since recorded history began - and always at the expense of the downtrodden, who were continually offered salvation - once they were dead and in the 'next' world.


My early readings of what the Buddha taught showed me that he said that each of us stands alone in the universe, and must make our own decisions; and that if we are interested in reducing the suffering of all beings, we must tread a certain path.


Yet now I find I am in the familiar and disturbing realms of the supernatural. No longer can I simply see what is in your palm, without the need for belief; now I must take 'your' word for life after death, and for beings I cannot see (for example).


I am still puzzled, but I do thank you for your help.



Allen.

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2 years ago  ::  Mar 25, 2012 - 3:03PM #9
Bhakta_glenn
Posts: 772

Mar 25, 2012 -- 11:47AM, allen-uk wrote:


Thanks for your trouble, shakta_glenn.


I can see the difference in the form of the prayers that are offered up, as compared to Christian praying, but this has now led me to a different problem - that of the 'spiritual' world of beings and demons, of dead Buddhas in conversation with the Dalai Lama, and so on.


Like many, I have come to Buddhism for all sorts of reasons, many due to profound distrust of the 'pie in the sky' religions that have been practiced since recorded history began - and always at the expense of the downtrodden, who were continually offered salvation - once they were dead and in the 'next' world.


My early readings of what the Buddha taught showed me that he said that each of us stands alone in the universe, and must make our own decisions; and that if we are interested in reducing the suffering of all beings, we must tread a certain path.


Yet now I find I am in the familiar and disturbing realms of the supernatural. No longer can I simply see what is in your palm, without the need for belief; now I must take 'your' word for life after death, and for beings I cannot see (for example).


I am still puzzled, but I do thank you for your help.


Allen.




Allen thank you for your response.



This verse from the Dhammapada is fundanmental to all Schools of Buddhism.


www.tipitaka.net/tipitaka/dhp/


The Dhammapada


Verse 183: Not to do evil, to cultivate merit, to purify one's mind


- this is the Teaching of the Buddhas.






www.satipanya.org.uk/index.php?page=audi...


These Audio files may help you with your development in Buddhism. Tibetan Buddhism is quite complex, advanced.


These Audio Files contain information for Meditation and include a Foundation Course for Buddhism. Since they can be downloaded, one may listen to them in private and not have to worry about any Third Parties whom we all 'must trust'.


www.scribd.com/doc/45737846/Introduction...


The same concern for all senetient beings is there, Compassion. There is a different way of practising, with no prayers.



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2 years ago  ::  Mar 25, 2012 - 7:47PM #10
Bob0
Posts: 482

So one is faithfully praying to spirits for awakening?

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