SHAKYAMUNI BUDDHA MEDITATION
A meditation in the Tibetan tradition
I go for refuge to the Buddha,
I go for refuge to the Dharma,
I go for refuge to the Sangha. (3x)
SETTING THE MIND TOWARDS ENLIGHTENMENT (a prayer from the Mahayana
By virtue of giving and so forth,
may I become a Buddha for the benefit of all sentient beings. (3x)
May all sentient beings have equanimity, free from attachment, aggression
May they be happy, and have the causes for happiness.
May they be free from suffering and causes for suffering.
May they never be separated from the happiness that is free from suffering.
Respectfully I prostrate with body, speech and mind;
I present clouds of every type of offerings, actual and imagined;
I declare all my negative actions done since beginningless time,
and rejoice in the merit of all Aryas and ordinary beings.
Please, remain until cyclic existence ends
and turn the wheel of Dharma for all sentient beings.
I dedicate the virtues of myself and others to the great Enlightenment.
VISUALISATION (From Pearl of Wisdom, part 1)
Every aspect of the following visualisation is made of light - transparent,
intangible and radiant.
At the level of your forehead, about five or six feet in front of you, visualise
a large golden throne adorned with jewels and supported at each corner by
a pair of snowlions.
On the throne is an open lotus, and on that are two discs - the sun and moon
Seated on this is Shakyamuni Buddha, who has purified all defilements and
attained all perfect realisations. He is the embodiment of all enlightened
His body is made of golden light and he wears the saffron robes of a monk.
He is seated in the vajra posture (feet on top of opposite thighs).
The palm of his right hand rests on his right knee, the fingers touching the
moon cushion to symbolise his great control.
His left hand rests in his lap in the meditation pose, holding a bowl filled
with nectar, which is medicine for curing our disturbing attitudes and other
Feel that this is the real Buddha in front of you.
Buddha's face is very beautiful; his smiling, compassionate gaze is directed
towards you and simultaneously encompasses all sentient beings.
He is free of all judgmental, critical thoughts and accepts you just as you
His eyes are long, narrow and very peaceful.
His lips are red and his earlobes long.
His hair is blue-black and each hair is individually curled to the right.
Each feature of his body represents an aspect of his omniscient mind.
Rays of light emanate from each pore of Buddha's body and reach every corner
of the universe.
These rays are composed of countless miniature Buddhas, some going out to
help sentient beings, others dissolving back into the Buddha's body after
having finished their work.
Around you are seated all sentient beings in human form - friends, strangers
and enemies. You are all facing the Buddha together.
Feel the presence of the living Buddha and take refuge in him, recalling
his perfect qualities and his willingness and ability to help you.
Make a request from your heart to receive his inspiration and blessings to
help you and others become free from all your negative energy, disturbing
attitudes, misconceptions and problems.
Request to receive all the realisations of the path to enlightenment so that
you may be peaceful and happy and be able to make your life beneficial for
Recite the following three times in Tibetan or English:
Lama tönpa chomdande, dezhin shegpa, dra chompa, yangdagpa dzogpä sangyä,
pälgyälwa shakya tubpala, chagtsäl ching kyab su chiwo, chödo, jingyi laptusöl.
To the guru and founder, the endowed transcendent destroyer, the one
gone beyond, the foe destroyer,
the completely perfected, fully awakened being, the glorious conqueror,
the subduer from the Shakya clan.
I prostrate, go for refuge and make offerings.
Please bestow upon me your inspiration.
The Buddha accepts your request.
A stream of purifying white light, which is the nature of the enlightened
mind of wisdom and compassion, flows from the Buddha's heart and enters your
body through the crown of your head. The light also flows into all the sentient
beings, whom you have visualised sitting around you. Just as the darkness
in a room is instantly dispelled the moment a light is switched on, so too
is the darkness of your negative energy dispelled as the radiant white light
Continue with the visualisation while reciting the Buddha's mantra as many
times as you wish:
TAYATA OM MUNI MUNI MAHA MUNIYE SOHA
Feel that the negative energy, problems and subtle obscurations of yourself
and others have been completely purified. Your body is filled with light and
is very blissful. Concentrate on this for a while.
RECEIVING INSPIRATION AND BLESSINGS
Visualise that a stream of golden light, the essence of which is the excellent
qualities of the Buddhas' body, speech and mind, descends from the Buddha's
heart and flows into you and into all sentient beings around you via the crown
of the head. These infinite good qualities permeate every part of you.
Concentrate on this blissful experience of receiving the blessings and inspirations
of the Buddha while reciting:
TAYATA OM MUNI MUNI MAHA MUNIYE SOHA
Feel that you have received the infinite excellent qualities of the Buddha.
You have unbiased love and compassion for all beings, just as the Buddha does.
Feel that you have actualised the six perfections: generosity, ethics, patience,
joyous effort, concentration and wisdom. It is the same for all sentient beings
around you. Feel blissful and satisfied. Concentrate on this for some time.
Make a determined aspiration to live your life according to the loving and
compassionate thought to become a Buddha for the benefit of all sentient beings.
Think that Guru Shakyamuni Buddha is extremely pleased with your noble aspiration
and will guide you so that you can actualise it.
Visualise that the throne absorbs into the lotus, and the lotus into the
sun and moon discs.
They, in turn, absorb into the Buddha, who now comes above your head, facing
the same way as you do.
He melts into light and dissolves into you, thus blessing, inspiring and transforming
Feel that not even the slightest bit of selfishness remains and that your
mind has become the loving, compassionate though aspiring to attain enlightenment
only for the benefit of others.
At your heart centre appears a small Buddha, made of light.
Be mindful of the Buddha at your heart as you do all the daily activities
of your life.
By this virtue may I soon
reach a Guru-Buddha-state,
and lead each and every being
to that state of Buddhahood.
May the precious Bodhicitta
not yet born, arise and grow
may that born have no decline
but increase forever more.
From the Dharma Friendship Foundation
SEEING THE BUDDHA BY WATCHING THE BREATH
A simple, but profound variation is this version by Thich Nhat
Hanh from: The Blooming of a Lotus: Guided Meditation Exercises for Healing
"Seeing the Buddha before me in the seated meditation
position, I breathe in.
Joining my palms in respect, I breathe out.
Seeing the Buddha in me, I breathe in.
Seeing myself in the Buddha, I breathe out.
Seeing the boundary between myself and the Buddha disappear as the Buddha
smiles, I breathe in.
Seeing the bondary between the one who respects and the one who is respected
disappear as I smile, I breathe out.
Seeing myself bowing deeply to the Buddha, I breathe in.
Seeing the strength of the Buddha enter me, I breathe out.
This meditation exercise has been applied for more than a thousand years
in countries with a Buddhist tradition. In Vietnam, it is used at the beginning
of ceremonies before people bow deeply to the Buddha. The traditional wording
is: Since the nature of the one who bows and the one who is bowed to is
empty, the communication between us is perfect. This meditation is rooted
in the teachings of interbeing, emptiness and nonduality. According to the
teachings of interdependent arising, both the Buddha and the person who
bows before the Buddha are manifested by cause and condition and cannot
exist in separation from the rest of all that is. This is what is meant
when we say both are empty. In this context, emptiness means the lack of
an autonomous arising, independent entity. In myself are many elements that
are not myself, and one of those elements is the Buddha. In the Buddha are
many elements that are not the Buddha, and one of those elements is me.
It is this insight that enables me to realize the deep contact between myself
and the Buddha, and it is this insight that gives the ceremony of paying
homage to the Buddha its deepest meaning. It is rare in religious traditions
to find this equality between the one who pays homage and the one who is
paid homage stated in such an uncompromising way. When we pay homage like
this, we do not feel weak or needy. Instead, we are filled with confidence
in our capacity to be awakened in the way that the Buddha was."
Last updated:February 6, 2011