The Confessional Samadhi of the Lotus Sutra, page 6

 

 3. Offering Service in Thought, Word & Deed1

Upon entering the Bodhimandala, one first spreads a meditation mat2 on the floor and then stands up straight before the Throne of the Dharma. One begins by having thoughts of kindness & compassion towards all living beings, desiring to help spiritually uplift them. Next, one should raise a deep mind of humility and repentance, and with perfect sincerity and good faith keep The One That Has Come3 in one's thoughts. The Three Treasures are present everywhere in the ten directions of empty space, and they are reflected in the Bodhimandala. At this time one holds an incense burner in one's hands, burning different kinds of fragrances. One scatters flowers and offers service to the Three Treasures. Then the five members of the body4 prostrate to the ground, and from one’s mouth one declares:

The mind follows the worship of the body and the mouth and, with a single mind, one’s thoughts are not distracted or scattered. One thoroughly recognizes that this body is like a reflection and not real, and that there is nothing that is the worshipper as opposed to that which is worshipped. All living beings also equally enter into this ocean that is the Spiritual Realm5, worshipping the Buddha. Having worshipped the Buddhas of the Ten Directions and bowed down, one stands up straight with a dignified bearing, and from one’s mouth one declares:

Having bowed down to the ground again, one then stands erect with a dignified bearing and from one’s mouth one declares:

Having worshipped and bowed with the same method as that described before, one then kneels with one’s right knee on the ground6. With an erect body, a dignified bearing and a single mind, one burns incense and scatters flowers. Then, with the body standing up erect and the mind straight, one declares from the mouth, saying:

Next one should reflect on this in one's mind. In thought after thought, the blossom's fragrance reaches everywhere in the Spiritual Realm and to the Buddhas of the Ten Directions, producing:

One completely fills the spiritual realm10, doing the work of the Buddha, offering service to the Buddhas and the Three Treasures everywhere in the Ten Directions as well as in the past, the present, and the future11.

One prays that the Three Treasures will accept this offering of service, and that they will perfume all living beings with the inspiration of the Bodhi Mind so that they will all see the Buddha before themselves in their very own lives. Like this, their offerings of service will be no different from one’s own. One further prays that those of the Six Paths and the Four Conditions of Birth12 will enter into my offering of service in the ocean that is the Spiritual Realm. Thoroughly understaning one's offering of service like this, one is completely without an egotistical nature being born from the mind. The mind must not hold on to or cling to anything. Having thought like this, the five members of the body fall prostrate onto the ground and from the mouth one declares:

 

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Footnotes:

1. Offering Service in Thought, Word & Deed: The three creators of one’s spiritual destiny - #1 The Body #2 The Mouth & #3 The Thinking Mind, also known as the Three Karmas

2. Meditation mat: (S. Nisidana) Floor mat or cushion used for meditation

3. The One That Has Come: (S. Tathagata) One of the ten honorific titles of the Buddha. The one that comes down to this world from the absolute reality to enlighten living beings, then reenters Nirvana, returning back to that absolute reality.

4. The five members of the body: The two arms, the two legs, and the head

5. The Spiritual Realm: (S. Dharmadhatu) The spiritual reality of the mind that pervades life everywhere, from the depths of hell to the supreme enlightenment.

6. Literally, here, in ‘Hun style’

7. Disciples: Sravakas The self-awakened: Pratyekabuddhas

8. Accepted and embraced (the Sutra): Faith (accepting) and Practice (embracing), the elements that are required for development of the Body of the Reward (Sambhoga-kaya) of Enlightenment.

9. Doors into the Dharma: Teachings and practices of Buddhism

10. The Spiritual Realm: (S. Dharmadhatu) The spiritual reality of the mind that pervades life everywhere, from the depths of hell to the supreme enlightenment.

11. The Ten Directions: Throughout space And in the past, the present, and the future: Throughout time

12. The Six Paths: The realm of desire, of good & evil #1 Hell (Damnation) #2 Hunger (Ghosts; Departed or Lost Spirits) #3 Brutality (Animals) #4 Personal Demons, Competitive Egos (Asuras) #5 Personality (Humans) #6 Heaven (Gods) And the Four Conditions of Birth: There are four classes, according to their manner of rebirth: #1 egg-born #2 womb-born #3 transformation born (e.g. pupation) #4 spawn or water born

 

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