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How to make sensory offerings


How to make sensory offerings

Offerings are an important aspect of spiritual practice, and it’s good to make offerings as extensively and as frequently as we can. When we make offerings to the Buddhas, we are invoking their blessings based on their practice over countless lifetimes, which resulted in their full awakening as an enlightened being. As a result, we generate tremendous merits.

In his Fifty Verses of Guru Devotion, the great Indian master Acharya Ashvagosha wrote,

An offering placed on one’s altar
Becomes a constant offering to all the Buddhas.
By that gift, great merit arises, and with merit
The supreme accomplishment is soon achieved.

Sensory offerings can be found on almost every Tibetan Buddhist altar, and are required in most rituals, pujas and prayers. They represent offering all the things that we are attached to, to the Buddhas in order to reduce and dispel our attachments.

The eight sensory offerings are made up of eight substances in the following sequence:

  • Water (for washing)
  • Water (for drinking)
  • Flowers
  • Incense
  • Light
  • Perfume
  • Food
  • Music

Watch the video to learn more about sensory offerings and how to engage in this practice correctly.

Further reading: