This post has a religious slant to it, as I am sharing a Buddhist prayer.
Today is a full moon, which in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition is an auspicious day to practice Phowa, do Amitabha Buddha (deity) practice, to confess our non-virtuous thoughts / words / and deeds and we can say the prayer that I am including below. From my limited knowledge on this subject, various days are more auspicious to do certain practices on because of the phases of the moon. I know on Full Moons, New Moons and Eclipse days, our practice is amplified. So perhaps this is apart of the reason.
Because I am not qualified to talk about Phowa, I am not going to. However, at present it seems that conditions in China are so horrifying that people (and even more tragically perhaps – monastics) are taking to protesting via self-immolation. How bad do conditions have to be before you start setting yourself on fire? Especially when you have taken vows to cause as little harm as possible, and to live as long as possible to benefit countless sentient beings? Good grief! It is a tragedy and I pray that this form of protests cease and are unnecessary. You know it is bad when the Chinese police in Tibet start carrying fire extinguishers. Hey – why not change the policies that seem to be the “cause” of the self-immolations? Instead of curing the symptoms, why not go after the root cause of the dis-ease? Ugh!
So here is an image of Buddha Amitabha (from dharmacorner.blogspot.com):
So if you want to chant this prayer, it is especially auspicious to do so today (and on all Full Moon days). It is also a lovely prayer to do at any time, maybe we can say it before going to bed.
It is recommended to say it three times. I am including the English translation and then the Tibetan transliteration below. If you don’t understand the Tibetan, then you should say it at least once in English to understand the meaning.
E Ma Ho! Marvelous! In the center is the Buddha [Amitabha] of Boundless Light.
To his right is [Chenrezig] the Lord of Great Compassion,
and to his left is [Vajrapani] the Lord of Powerful Means.
They are surrounded by an inconceivable assembly of buddhas and bodhisattvas.
Extraordinary limitless peace and happiness is the buddha field called Bliss-Endowed [Sukhavati].
When I and all beings pass from this life, may we be born there, unhindered by another samsaric rebirth.
Once born there, may we behold the face of the Buddha [Amitabha] of Boundless Light.
By the power of all the buddhas and bodhisattvas of the ten directions,
bless me that I may attain this aspiration without hindrance.
Tayatha Pantsa Driya Awa Bodha Naya Soha
E Ma Ho. Ngo Tsar Sanggye Nang Wa Tha Ye Dang
Ye Sun Jo Wo Thug Je Chen Po Dang
Yon Du Sem Pa Thu Chen Thob Nam la
Sanggye Jang Sem Pag Me Khor Gyi Kor
De Kyi Ngo Tsar Pag Tu Me Pa Yi
De Wa Chen Zhe Ja Wa’i Zhing Kham Der
Dag Zhen Di Ne Tse Pho Gyur Ma Thag
Kye Wa Zhen Gyi Bar Ma Cho Pa Ru
De Ru Kye Ne Nang The’i Zhal Thong Shog
De Ke Dag Gi Mon Lam Tab Pa Di
Ghog Chu Sanggye Jang Sem Tham Che Kyi
Geg Me Drub Par Jim Gyi Lab Tu Sol
Tayatha Pantsa Dri Ya Awa Bodha Naya Soha!
By the way, from my limited knowledge, if we are fortunate enough to go to Sukhavati (Dewachen), the Pureland of the Buddha Amitabha, it is said that only beings who have attained some realization can actually see the face of Buddha Amitabha – the rest of us without realization would be folded comfortably in a lotus’ embrace, where we could still hear Buddhist teachings (and we could progress on the path). That is why the prayer auspiciously requests, “May I behold the Buddha’s face.”