Samantabhadra’s King of Prayers is a practice text composed to help us cultivate the heart qualities of kindness, care, concern, love and compassion. Developing these qualities will help bring us peace of mind, confidence and a heightened sense of purpose, as well as nurturing and strengthening our relationships.
Geshe Tashi returns to Jetsun Drakpa Shedrup to guide us through the material, who in turn references a series of commentaries including one by Nagarjuna in the 2nd century CE.
As always, Geshe Tashi’s emphasis in these teachings is on how we can best experience the material for ourselves. He takes special care to help us build up and strengthen the foundations of our mindfulness and meditation practices.
Geshe la begins this class by once again reading from The Guide to the Bodhisattvas Way of Life. He gives a guidance on the need for vigilant introspection in our meditation and mindfulness practices. Why is this this kind of mindfulness so important?
Turning to The King of Prayers, he suggests we ask ourselves, “What are the qualities of a Buddha?” This is the kind of question, he says, that will make our daily refuge practice so much more effective. He then recommends a further question to help induce a vigilant introspection, “What are the obscurations for us?”
The verses he shares asks us to contemplate
the destructive power of the unguarded mind. Is it possible our own minds
could be even more dangerous than a wild elephant on the rampage?
Verse 38 from The King of Prayers, then, looks at pacifying this destructive power. Verses 39 and 40 encourage us to expand our aspiration to be huge, ‘oceanic’ in scope – not just in one area of our practice, but across the board. In verses 41-44, with Geshe Tashi’s help, we get a glimpse into what it might mean to ‘follow in the footsteps of the Buddha.’
These are the aspirations that these verses cover this week.
13. Aspiration to the Antidotes that Pacify the Obscurations
14. Aspiration to Enlightened Activities
15. Aspiration for Training
a) To emulate the buddhas and follow in their footsteps
b) To emulate the bodhisattvas and follow in their footsteps: Samantabhadra
c) To emulate the bodhisattvas and follow in their footsteps: Manjushri
Experiencing The King of Prayers classes will continue every Sunday in January. We’ll be online from 2.15pm UK time for some social time, the class will begin at 2.30pm.
With our very best wishes,
Your Admin Team