A heart filled with prayer

25 March 2011 - 3:07am Comments Off

A small but busy little group have been conducting weekly practice sessions for the Heart Sutra Ritual (known in Tibetan as Sheningdundok), which we hope to be able to bring to Kechara House very soon.

Based upon the essential teachings and practice of the Heart Sutra, Sheningdundok is a puja that is often recommended as a highly effective practice to clear strong obstacles, including health problems or spirit disturbances. The rituals which have been taught by the monks include recitation of the whole puja in the original Tibetan, the corresponding ritual and hand mudras, a complex but beautiful altar set-up and hand-made tormas (ritual cakes) which are each made with specific dimensions and shapes.

Preparing the special lu tormas

In every puja practice session being done by the puja group, a full set of tormas are made and the altar is laid out exactly as it would be for a real puja. Everyone then recites the whole puja thoroughly, including all rituals, mudras and mantras. So that they all have the same opportunity to learn and practise, everyone takes turns to lead the prayers.

A special altar set-up featuring the lu tormas that are offered peacefully to the spirits

Within the puja are specific supplications to the spirits (known as lus, which are represented by 28 small tormas, made with very specific shapes and colours), requesting them to leave. There is also a large torma made in the likeness of the sponsor (the person who is being afflicted by the obstacle / disturbance). At a specific point in the prayers, the puja participants inform the spirits to follow this torma instead of the person; then all the spirit lu tormas are escorted out of the building and respectfully discarded. This marks that the disturbance has left the person and is “taken away”. Throughout the prayer, the beautiful Heart Sutra is also recited many times repeatedly – it has been explained that this is especially powerful and beneficial to beings in the spirit realms. By doing this ritual therefore, we benefit not just the afflicted person and sponsors, but spirits too.

The group of nine, comprising members from across several Kechara departments, were trained directly by monks from Gaden Shartse Monastery who had come to Malaysia to teach a range of pujas last year. Now, with His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche‘s blessings, the lineage of teachings is being passed to the next very fortunate generation – all of us at Kechara.

The puja group begin their practice

This same group were trained in the Menlha and Drolchok pujas, which have been shared with all members of Kechara House and are now being conducted weekly in the Gompa on Wednesday and Sunday respectively (please refer to the Kechara House puja schedule for more details!).

Kechara House is among very few centres – if not the only one – which has such extensive pujas being conducted by our own members. All of them are highly authentic, mirroring exactly what is done in the monasteries. As these pujas become perfected, people will soon have the option of sponsoring pujas to be done for them right here in Kuala Lumpur, by our own members, instead of arranging for them to be done from afar. Also, Kechara members will also have the honour to learn the pujas themselves which will be taught by this puja group. What could be more powerful than to engage in a puja yourself to clear your own obstacles and create tremendous merit!

Kechara House offers everyone the opportunity to partake, sponsor or assist in pujas being conducted in the gompa every week, in English and Chinese. The pujas are open to everyone and do not require any initiation…just click HERE for more information!

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