In 2011, more than 30 of us from the Spirit Fire community participated in the Kalachakra in Washington, D.C. with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. As a result, I begain doing certain prayers and recitations. After a year or so, that faded into other sadhana practices, but I have come back to these recitations again. One is this:
Anything physical, verbal, or mental that I or others enjoy,
And the network of my constructive acts throughout the three times,
A splendid jeweled mandala, with a host of Samantabhadra offerings,
Taking these to mind, I present them to you,
My guru, my yidam, my Three Supreme Gems.
Accept them, please, by the power of compassion
I humbly request you for inspiration.
Guru Idam Ratna Madalakam Niryata Yami
Like anything else repeated enough, it gets into your head. Instead of someone’s voice in my mind reminding me of kindness, consciousness and shared life, phrases from the recitations and mantras waft in restating the power of the words I chanted in the morning. “Taking these to mind, I present them to you…” Who is “you”? What exactly am I “offering”?
“You” is everyone. I present my body, speech and mind to you. As a result, one is reminded that words are sacred and that the person receiving them is too. One is instructed to give one’s thoughts and heart-mind as gifts to the Divine which is everywhere and everyone, including one’s self.
With this reminder, all gets bright and spacious. Goodness fills my mind and perspective frames everything. The offering mantra reminds one that body is a gift too: one offered to others through hands, feet, smile, cooking a meal, washing dishes, creating a class or planting in the garden.
“Anything that I enjoy” refers to gratitude as well as items, moments, hot water for a shower and spices for home-made dahl. Being enjoyed, being received, let them be given into Life. If goodness has come to me, let it be shared.
Such reminders encourage a moment by moment awareness of the mandala of Life, its intricacy including my life within the whole. So it is for each of us – a life shared with and made wonderful because of others, Mother Nature, stars, spirits, challenges and understandings. These are the “host of Samantabhadra offerings.”
I present them to you, my …
- “guru” (reader, friend, mother, lover, dog, tree),
- and to you-“yidam” (presence all around me, heart-beat inside me, wisdom in the eyes of others, emptiness of Now),
- and to you-“Three Supreme Gems” (1. the Buddha-nature that is, 2. the reminders of that, and 3. those who remember it).
“Accept them please by the power of compassion.”
Photo by Darren Roth