NASBA Fellowship Manual

Element IV: Prayer or Responsive Reading

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Spirit of Shin Practice
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Element I: Opening the Dharma
Element II: Go For Refuge
Element III: Meditation
Element IV: Prayer or Responsive Reading
Element V: Chanting
Element Vb: (optional ceremonies)
Element VI: Discussion
Element VII: Sharing the Merit
Element VIII: Fellowship
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Element IV: (prayer or responsive reading)

 

 

BUDDHIST PRAYERS

 

Choose one of the following Buddhist prayers to be read just before you chant the Juseige and Nembutsu chants. These prayers serve as aspirations to further internalize the dharma with the goal of embodying the nembutsu.  

 

 

RINGING OF THE MINDFULNESS BELL (3X)

 

 

 

GOLDEN CHAIN PRAYER

 

Leader              We are a link in Amida’s golden chain of love that stretches,

Around the world; we will keep our link bright and strong.

 

Everyone          We will be kind and gentle to every living thing and protect all,

Who are weaker than ourselves.

                       

We will think pure and beautiful thoughts,

Say pure and beautiful words, and do pure and beautiful deeds.

 

May every link in Amida’s chain of love be bright and strong,

And may we all attain perfect peace. Namu Amida Butsu. (bell & bow)

 

 

METTA-KARUNA PRAYER

 

Leader             Oneness of Eternal Life and Light,

 

Everyone          Entrusting in your Great Compassion, 

                        May you shed the foolishness in myself, 

Transforming me into your conduit of eternal love.        

 

                        May I be a medicine for the sick and weary,

Nursing their afflictions until they are cured;

May I become food and drink during time of famine,

                        May I protect the helpless and the poor,

May I be a lamp for those who need your Light,

May I be a bed for those who need rest,

And guide all seekers to the Other Shore.

 

May all find happiness through my actions,

And let no one suffer because of me.

Whether they love or hate me,

Whether they hurt or wrong me,

May they all experience true entrusting,

Primal Vow of Other Power,

And realize the Pure Land.

Namou Amida Butsu. (bell & bow)

 

                                                                        Adapted from Shantideva’s Bodhicaryavatara

                                                                                                8th century, India

 

 

UNIVERSAL LOVE PRAYER

(from the Metta Sutta)

 

Leader             The Buddha said,

 

Everyone          “May all beings be filled with joy and peace.
May all beings everywhere,
The strong and the weak,
The great and the small,
The mean and the powerful,
The short and the long,
the subtle and the gross:

May all beings everywhere,
Seen and unseen,
Dwelling far off or nearby,
Being or waiting to become:
May all be filled with lasting joy.

Let no one deceive another,
Let no one anywhere despise another,
Let no one out of anger or resentment
Wish suffering on anyone at all.

Just as a mother with her own life
Protects her child, her only child, from harm,
So within yourself let grow
A boundless love for all creatures.

Let your love flow outward through the universe,
To its height, its depth, its broad extent,
A limitless love, without hatred or enmity.

Then as you stand or walk,
Sit or lie down,
As long as you are awake,
Strive for this with a one-pointed mind;
Your life will bring heaven to earth.”

Namu Amida Butsu (bell & bow)

 

 

         RESPONSIVE READINGS

 

 

FOUR RELIANCES

 

Leader             Let us remember what the Buddha told us.

 

Everyone:         Rely on the message of the teacher, not on his personality;

Rely on the meaning, not just on the words;

Rely on the real meaning, not just the provisional one;

Rely on your wisdom mind, not on the false, judgmental mind.

 

Namu Amida Butsu. (bell)

 

 

THE BUDDHIST BEATITUDES

(Adapted from The Gospel of Buddha, Chapter III, Verses 12-16 by Paul Carus, 1894)

 

 

Leader             There is suffering in the world of samsara; there is much misery and pain.

 

Everyone          But greater than all the misery is the bliss of dharma. Dharma gives peace to the yearning mind; it conquers error; it quenches the flames of desires; it leads to Nirvana.

 

Leader             Blessed is she who has found the peace of Nirvana.

 

Everyone          She is at rest in the struggles and tribulations of life; she is above all changes; she is above birth and death; she remains unaffected by the evils of life.

 

Leader             Blessed is she who has realized enlightenment.

 

Everyone          She conquers, although she may be wounded; she is glorious and joyful, although she may suffer; she is strong, although she may break down under the burden of her work; she is immortal, although she may die. The essence of her being is purity and goodness.

 

Everyone          Blessed is she who has attained the state of Buddhahood, for she is free to work out the liberation of her fellow beings.

 

Leader             The dharma has taken its abode in her. Perfect wisdom illumines her understanding, and integrity enables the purpose of all her actions.

 

Everyone          The dharma is a living power for good, indestructible and invincible!

 

Leader             Work the dharma out in your mind, and spread it among humankind, for the dharma alone is the liberator from evil and misery. The Buddha has found the truth and the truth has been proclaimed by the Buddha!

 

Everyone          Blessed be the Buddha! (bell)

 

THE UNIVERSAL VOW

(Hymn of the Sacred Name Liturgy in Fivefold Harmony by Tz’u-min)

 

 

Leader:            That Buddha, in his Bodhisattva stage, made the Universal  

                        Vow: When beings hear my Name and think on me, I will 

                        come and welcome each of them,

 

Everyone:         Not discriminating at all between the poor and the rich and wellborn,Not discriminating at all between the inferior and the highly gifted,

 

Not choosing the learned and those who uphold pure          

precepts,Nor rejecting those who break precepts and whose

negative karma is profound,

 

Solely making beings turn about and abundantly say the

Name, I can make bits of rubble change into gold.

(bell & bow)

 

Copyright 2008. Buddhist Faith Fellowship, All Rights Reserved

The BFF grants permission to copy this document for personal and BFF Chapter uses only.