The Confessional Samadhi of the Lotus Sutra, page 17
With a single mind one kneels with one’s right knee on the ground. With an erect body and a dignified bearing, one burns incense and scatters flowers. With all one’s heart, one makes this thought:
“I pray that the Buddhas & the Bodhisattvas teach the Dharma to save living beings”.
The mind thinks about this as the mouth declares the words. The three other steps1 are also like this. One should make these words:
"With all of my heart, I request encouragement from the limitless Buddhas of the Ten Directions in the Spiritual Realm. I only pray that they ever remain to turn the Wheel of the Dharma, that all living beings will embrace it and return to their original purity, and that in the end The One That Has Come remain among us forever”
Having made the request, one worships the Three Treasures. Having spoken like this, the five limbs fall prostrate onto the ground. When one desires to get up, one expands on this idea using one's own thinking mind. The three other steps are also like this.
“With all my heart, I accept and rejoice in the many merits and virtues of the Buddhas and the Bodhisattvas. People's common disorders are subdued, and they manifest signs of good spiritual karma, whether or not they have still have afflictions. Everywhere I accept and rejoice in these merits and virtues.”
Having joyfully accepted, one worships the Three Treasures.
“With all my heart, I turn my life over to Bodhisattva Universal Virtue and the World Honored Ones. In thought, word and deed2 I will cultivate all that is good and offer service to the Buddhas in the Ten Directions that are as numerous as the sands of the Ganges. I vow to return their blessings, seeking the Path of Enlightenment forevermore in the empty space that is the Spiritual Realm.”
Having turned and faced them, one worships the Three Treasures.
“With all my heart, I raise a vow. I vow that in the last moment of my life, my spirit will not be disordered and that with proper presence of mind, I will go straight into my next life of service, reverently facing Amitabha3, cherishing all that is noble, cultivating the practices of the Ten Groundings4, and attaining Eternal Bliss.”
Having raised the vow, one worships the Three Treasures. In raising the vow, one should have the Bodhisattva Universal Virtue and all of the World Honored Ones before oneself. The mind reflects, the mouth speaks, and in the mind there are many prayers. These include:
Like this, there are various kinds of prayers that accord with the mind’s wishes. One should follows one's own ideas and expound upon them for oneself. It is impossible to describe one way for all.
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1. The three other steps: joyful acceptance, the transfer of merit, and raising the vow
2. In thought, word and deed: The Three karmas - the creators of one's spiritual destiny - the body, the mouth, & the thinking mind
3. Amitabha: (‘Infinite Light’) Buddha of the Western Paradise of Ultimate Bliss in Nirvana
4. The Ten Groundings: (S. Dasa Bhumika) The Ten Final Stages of Bodhisattva development - #1 Rejoicing (Pramudita) #2 Freedom From Defilement (Vimala) #3 Emittig the Light (Prabhakari) #4 Blazing Insight (Arcismati) #5 Overcoming the Greatest Difficulties (Sudurjaya) #6 Manifesting Before Others (Abhimukhi) #7 Far Reaching (Duramgama) #8 Unshaken or Steadfast (Acala) #9 The Finest Insight Possessing the Ten Powers (Sadhumati) #10 The Cloud of Dharma (Dharmamegha) See The 42 Stages
5. The three obstacles: #1 The obstacles of karmic deeds (causes made) #2 The obstacles of retribution (effects received) #3 The obstacles of emotional distress
6. The Four Devils: Luring one away from the Path of Enlightenment #1 The Devil of Emotional Distress and Sensual Desire #2 The Devil of the (Five) Accretions of Self – the self or ego that one serves #3 The Devil of Mortality – the fear of death that holds one back #4 The Devil that is the lord and master of desire. The first three are the manifestations and the last one is the source.
7. Samadhi: Deep concentration of mind
8. Doors to the Dharma: (S. Dharmaparyaya) The means to enlightenment, Buddhist teaching/practice
9. Proper presence of mind: (S. Smriti) remembrance, mindfulness
10. Still at Home: Laity Having Left Home: Monk or nun
11. Paramitas: Also called the Ten Practices of Virtue - The Bodhisattva perfections: #1 Giving of oneself (Dana) #2 Morality (Sila) #3 Endurance or Forbearance (Ksanti) #4 Diligence (Virya) #5 Meditative concentration (Dhyana) #6 Insight (Prajna) #7 Skillfulness in Ways & Means (Upaya) #8 Vows (Pranidhana) #9 Spiritual Powers (Bala) #10 Spiritual Wisdom (Jnana). See The 42 Stages and the Bodhisattvas
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