THE SUTRA ON THE FULL AWARENESS OF BREATHING
WE ARE TRULY PRESENT
(Gatha to be read before beginning Kinh Hanh)
We are truly present our hearts established in mindfulness
For sitting meditation, kinh hanh and reciting the sutras
May the three jewels and the holy nagas
Support this meditation centre with its four sanghas
Protecting them from the eight misfortunes and the three paths of suffering
May the four sounds and the three worlds be permeated by the great favour
May there be no place in the world at war
May the winds be favourable, the rain seasonable and the people’s hearts at peace
May the practice of the sangha be steady and diligent
Ascending the ten bhumis without hardship
May the Sanghakaya live in peace, joy and newness
The refuges and the precepts bringing happiness and wisdom
The wisdom of the Awakened mind shines out like the full moon
The body of the Awakened One is as pure and clear as lapis lazuli
The Awakened One in the world never ceases to save beings from suffering
Nowhere is there Awakened mind which lacks love and compassion
Please sisters establish your mindfulness to recite the name of the Buddha
Namo Sakyamunaye Buddhaya
(stand up and practise circumambulation while recollecting the Buddha)
Teaching and living the way of awareness in the very midst of suffering and confusion, Sakyamuni Buddha the Awakened One, to whom we bow in gratitude. (B)
Seed of awakening and loving kindness in children, sprouts and all beings, Maitreya, the Buddha to be born, to whom we bow in gratitude. (B)
Cutting through ignorance, awakening our hearts and our minds, Manjusri the bodhisattva of great understanding to whom we bow in gratitude. (B)
Working mindfully, working joyfully for the sake of all beings, Samantabhadra the bodhisattva of great action, to whom we bow in gratitude. (B)
Seeing the Buddha in everyone, Sadaparibhuta, the bodhisattva of constant respect, to whom we bow in gratitude. (B)
Showing the way fearlessly and compassionately the stream of all our ancestral teachers, to whom we bow in gratitude. (BB)
Turning to the Tathagata
I touch the earth
Having turned to the Tathagata,
The lighthouse which is able to shine over the ocean of suffering.
Lord of Compassion, in your love embrace us.
Today we sincerely determine to return home.
We your disciples
Owe much gratitude to parents, teachers, friends and all beings,
Which we have not yet had the opportunity to repay.
Looking at the three realms and the four quarters,
We see how all species are drowning in an ocean of misfortune.
It wakes us with a start and we are frightened.
Although we have turned in the right direction,
The shore of awakening still lies far away.
Fortunately everywhere in this world
Can be found the hand of the Compassionate One bringing relief.
With all our heart we return and take refuge.
We aspire to be disciples of the Tathagata,
To unify our body and our mind,
To kneel at the foot of the Buddha's throne
And to let go of all attachment.
Wholeheartedly and with great respect
We ask to receive the wonderful teachings
And we shall diligently practise every day,
Nourishing precepts and concentration to maturity,
So that the fruit of bodhi may be fully realised in the future.
We ask the great favour of the bodhisattva to protect us day and night
And we bow our heads to ask Buddha, Dharma and Sangha to show us their compassion.
We know clearly
That the obstacles of our karma are still heavy,
That the merit from our virtues is still frail,
That our perceptions are often wrong
And that the root of wisdom in us is still not yet solid.
The impurities of our mind still arise very easily.
Our listening, contemplation and practice are not yet really firm.
In this moment we trust in the lotus throne
And with our five limbs on the earth
We pray that the infinite loving-kindness
Will open its heart
So that we too may open our hearts.
We your disciples
From countless lives in the past,
Because we were not able to recognise the basis of the mind which is clear and pure,
Chased after worldly things.
Our actions of body, speech and mind have been impure.
We have drowned in ignorant cravings,
Jealousy, hatred and anger.
Now thanks to the great bell ringing out we have awakened
And we are determined with all our heart to renew our body and our mind.
All the wrongdoings, all the mistakes and the faults
We ask you to wash them completely clean.
We your disciples in this moment
Make a deep aspiration
To put an end to our old habit energies
And for our whole life to take refuge in the sangha.
We ask the Buddha to place his hand in protection over us
So that compassion and loving-kindness will help us.
We promise that when we practise meditation,
When we practise Dharma discussion,
When we stand, when we walk,
When we cook and when we wash dishes,
When we lie, when we sit, when we are working,
When we wash clothes, walk slowly,
When we recite the names of Buddhas and bodhisattvas,
When we light incense and touch the earth,
Every step will bring peace and joy to the world,
Every smile will be resplendent with freedom.
We shall live mindfully in every moment
Which is to show people
The way of liberation from suffering.
We promise to see the pure land
Lying under every step we take.
We promise to be in touch with the ultimate dimension
In every contact we have,
To take steps on the soil of reality,
To breathe in the air of true emptiness,
To light up wisdom,
Making resplendent the wonderful mind,
To draw aside the curtain of ignorance.
Our body and mind will be peaceful and happy,
Free and at leisure
‘Til the time when we leave this life
And then our heart will not be caught in regret,
Our body will not be in pain,
Our thoughts will not be darkened by ignorance,
Our mindfulness will be clear and bright,
Our six senses will be calm
And our body relaxed
As when entering meditative concentration.
If it is necessary to be born again
We shall be disciples of the Tathagata,
Continue in the career of rescuing beings
Bringing them all to the shore of awakening,
Realising the three bodies, the four wisdoms,
Using the five eyes, the six miracles,
Realising thousands of appropriate bodies,
Being present at one time in the three worlds,
Coming in and going out in freedom,
Helping all beings to transform,
Not abandoning anyone,
Bringing all to the shore of no regression.
Worlds are without limit.
Living beings are infinite.
Action and afflictions
Are also infinite.
I wish that my aspirations may also be like that
Eventually becoming infinite.
I bow to the Buddha as I make this determination
To practise to maintain virtue
And share the merit with countless living beings,
In order to repay fully the gratitude I owe,
And to teach the practice everywhere in the three realms.
I pray that I with all species of living beings
May fully realise the great awakened understanding.
I take refuge in the Buddha, the one who shows me the way in this life.
I take refuge in the Dharma, the way of understanding and love.
I take refuge in the Sangha, the community which lives in harmony and awareness. (B)
Since I have taken refuge in Buddha,
I see clearly a path of beauty in the world.
Since I have taken refuge in Dharma,
I am learning and practising ways of transformation.
Since I have taken refuge in Sangha
I have the Sangha to shine light on my practice
And support me on the path of practice.(B)
Taking refuge in the Buddha in myself,
I aspire that all people
May recognise the awakened nature
And quickly realise bodhicitta
Taking refuge in the Dharma in myself,
I aspire that all people
Can grasp firmly the ways of practice
and together go on the path of transformation.
Taking refuge in the Sangha in myself
I aspire that all people
May build four-part sanghas to transform
The suffering of numerous people. (BBB)