Devotion

Forms include chanting, pilgrimage, honoring one's teachers and the teachings, and deity worship
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    Bowing: A Portfolio By Steve McCurry Paid Member

    [A devotee worshipping at Bodh Gaya, India, the site of the Buddha's enlightenment.] Bowing is a common practice in Asia, both within and outside religious circles, a way of expressing respect and reverence, as well as a form of greeting. Tibetans bow and say tashi delek, meaning “excellent luck and auspicious good fortune to you.” Disciples and devotees bow to their teachers, to the gods, and to holy icons. More »
  • Released from All Bounds Paid Member

    Tibetan Buddhist monk Konchog Tendzin was born Mattieu Ricard in Aix-les-Bains, France, in 1946. As a young man he trained as a classical harpsichordist and pursued interests in wildlife photography, astronomy, and animal migration. At 26 he earned a Ph.D. in molecular biology. His interest in Tibetan Buddhism began in 1967, when his friend the French filmmaker Arnaud Desjardins made a film about Himalayan Buddhist masters for French television. More »
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    The Zen of Confidence Paid Member

    My hope is that all practitioners of the Way completely believe in their true self. You should neither lack confidence nor give rise to pride.Mind is fundamentally equal and the same, and thus there is no real distinction between "ordinary people" and "sages." Nevertheless there are, in reality, those who wander in darkness and those who have been awakened to their true nature, thus distinguishing "ordinary people" from "sages." Following the instruction of a teacher, a practitioner may attain, in an instant, his true self, thereby realizing that he is ultimately no different from the Buddha. Hence it is said, "Originally, there is nothing," which means simply that one must not underestimate oneself, and lack confidence. This is the teaching of "sudden enlightenment." More »
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    Mothers of Liberation Paid Member

    THE RADIANT WISDOM-MOTHER Prajnaparamita, golden and serene, represents the transcendent understanding of reality that crowns the spiritual quest. The savioress Tara, sparkling emerald green, nurtures beings to the full flowering of joy and perfection. Vajrayogini, a red female Buddha, dances in a ring of yogic fire that consumes all negativity and illusion. In the Buddhist pantheon of India and the Himalayas, goddesses preside over childbirth, agriculture, prosperity, longevity, art, music, and learning. There are goddesses who specialize in protection from natural and supernatural dangers; others directly support practitioners in their quest for spiritual awakening. More »
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    Why Do We Bow? Paid Member

    Many people have this question the minute they walk into the zendo and are told to make full prostrations to the Buddha image on the altar. They come with an idea that Zen is beyond words and letters, beyond religion, beyond rules, beyond piety, and so the idea of such a thorough-going and outrageous display of what seems like religious fervor seems quite disturbing to them. More »
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    Prayer: Gareth Sparham Paid Member

    The most basic Buddhist prayer is “may all beings find peace,” which expresses the positive mental state of lovingkindness. It is not a prayer directed to some higher power outside the meditator, but the articulation of an attitude; at a deeper level, an aspiration; and at a still deeper level, a commitment. Lovingkindness is cultivated by the inner expression of this “prayer,” so that the meditator not only feels the peace of an open heart, but also in order that the meditation itself is not just another act dominated by narrow, selfish aims. In the earliest Buddhist literature, such basic prayers are called brahma-viharas (“the grounds of a spiritual person”), because they are the basic underpinning of a spiritual life, turning the activity that follows into a spiritual one. Such prayer is not particularly Buddhist at all, but expresses the basic attitude of spiritual life. More »