These explanations and chanting of the prayers as a part of the preparatory practices for meditation were recorded at a retreat on the Four Immeasurables led by Venerable Thubten Chodron in Singapore in October 2000, and at teachings in Seattle, Washington.
- Expressing our intention
- Turning to the Buddha, his teachings and the spiritual community for guidance
Homage explanation (download)
Namo Sanghaya (3x or 7x)
Homage prayer (download)
Refuge and generating the altruistic intention
I take refuge until I have awakened in the Buddhas, the Dharma and the Sangha. By the merit I create by engaging in generosity and the other far-reaching practices, may I attain Buddhahood in order to benefit all sentient beings. (3x)
Refuge and bodhicitta explanation (download)
The four immeasurables: Part one
- The four thoughts
- Developing awareness and concern for others
- Generating positive karma
Four immeasurables: Explanation I (download)
The four immeasurables: Part two
- Extending love to all beings
- Generating compassion
- Wishing all beings to be free
- Opening our hearts with impartiality
Four immeasurables: Explanation II (download)
Explanation of immeasurable joy
- The antidote for jealousy
- Rejoicing on the virtues of others
Explanation of immeasurable joy (download)
Explanation of immeasurable equanimity
May all sentient beings have happiness and its causes.
May all sentient beings be free of suffering and its causes.
May all sentient beings not be separated from sorrowless bliss.
May all sentient beings abide in equanimity, free of bias, attachment and anger.
Explanation of immeasurable equanimity (download)
Explanation of the seven-limb prayer
The seven lines of this prayer help us to purify negative karma and to create positive potential.The seven-limb prayer is from the King of Prayers: The Extraordinary Aspiration of the Practice of Samantabhadra, the prayer that contains all aspects of the bodhisattva practice.
Reverently I prostrate with my body, speech and mind,
And present clouds of every type of offering, actual and mentally transformed.
I confess all my destructive actions accumulated since beginningless time,
And rejoice in the virtues of all holy and ordinary beings.
Please remain until cyclic existence ends,
And turn the wheel of Dharma for sentient beings.
I dedicate all the virtues of myself and others to the great awakening.
Explanation of the seven-limb prayer (download)
Explanation of mandala offering
- Offering the universe and everything in it to the Three Jewels
- Freeing ourselves from the attachment
- Developing delight in giving
Mandala offering prayer explanation (download)
Short mandala offering chant
This ground, anointed with perfume, flowers strewn,
Mount Meru, four lands, sun and moon,
Imagined as a Buddha land and offered to you
May all beings enjoy this pure land.
The objects of attachment, aversion and ignorance—friends, enemies and strangers, my body, wealth and enjoyments—I offer these without any sense of loss. Please accept them with pleasure, and inspire me and others to be free from the three poisonous attitudes.
Idam guru ratna mandala kam nirya tayami
Mandala offering prayer chant (download)
Glorious and precious root guru, sit upon the lotus and moon seat on my crown. Guiding me with your great kindness, bestow upon me the attainments of your body, speech and mind.
The eyes through whom the vast scriptures are seen, supreme doors for the fortunate who would cross over to spiritual freedom, illuminators whose wise means vibrate with compassion, to the entire line of spiritual mentors I make request.
Requiring inspiration explanation (download)
Shakyamuni Buddha’s mantra
Meaning of the mantra (download)
Chanting of Shakyamuni Buddha’s mantra
Tayata om muni muni maha muniye soha (21x)
Shakyamuni Buddha mantra chant (download)
Dedication of merit
- Preparing the mind for meditation
- Requesting happiness for all beings
Explanation of dedication prayer (download)
Chanting of dedication verses
Due to this merit may we soon
Attain the awakened state of Guru Buddha,
That we may be able to liberate
All sentient beings from their sufferings.
May the precious bodhi mind
Not yet born arise and grow.
May that born have no decline,
But increase forever more.
Dedication prayer chant (download)
Prayer versus dedication
- Positive potential creation
- Having an aspiration
The difference between a prayer and a dedication (download)
Long life prayer for His Holiness the Dalai Lama
In the snowy mountain paradise
You’re the source of good and happiness
Powerful Tenzin Gyatso Chenrezig,
May you stay until samsara ends
Learn more about taking refuge, the altruistic intention, the four immeasurables and the seven-limb practice.
Venerable Thubten Chodron
Venerable Chodron emphasizes the practical application of Buddha’s teachings in our daily lives and is especially skilled at explaining them in ways easily understood and practiced by Westerners. She is well known for her warm, humorous, and lucid teachings. She was ordained as a Buddhist nun in 1977 by Kyabje Ling Rinpoche in Dharamsala, India, and in 1986 she received bhikshuni (full) ordination in Taiwan. Read her full bio.