Simple Daily Offering

Amida150A simple altar

On a suitable table or shelf, we can place a representation (statue or picture) of the Buddha Amideva (Amitabha) at the center; a representation of the Sangha (statue or picture of a Great Bodhisattva or Pure Land Lineage Master) to the right of the Buddha; and a representation of the Dharma (text, mantra, o a bell) to His left. 

In front of the Buddha, to His right, we can place a butter lamp or candle, and a suitable vessel for water offerings, to His left. A little farther forward (or on a lower level, if possible), in the center, we can place a container for incense.  

You can adorn the altar with flowers and other offerings, as you wish. There are no hard and fast rules. 

A daily offering

Each morning, we clean the altar, and proceed to recite the Refuge formula three times, making prostrations (one prostration per full formula): 

I take refuge in the Guru.

I take refuge in the Buddha.

I take refuge in the Dharma.

I take refuge in the Sangha. 

We can recite the formula in English or Sanskrit, if that is our preference: 

namo gurave

namo buddhaya

namo dharmaya

namo sanghaya 

We then offer the lamp or candle, generating the aspiration to receive and manifest the Unbounded Light of Amideva in our lives; and offer the water, generating the aspiration to purify and nourish our own illumined nature. The light and the water remind us of Amideva’s Vow to welcome and escort all sentient beings to His Pure Land. 

Lastly, we light the incense and bring it briefly to our forehead, throat, and heart, symbolizing our desire that our thoughts, words, and deeds rise as sweet aroma in every direction. While placing the incense in its container, we generate the aspiration to manifest fully and share the grace of Amideva with all beings.  

We then recite aloud om amideva hrih ten times (or more, according to our capacity and circumstances).

About Tashi Nyima

I am a Dharma student, and aspire to be a companion on the path. I trust that these texts can offer a general approach and basic tools for practicing the Buddha's way to enlightenment. ||| Soy un estudiante del Dharma, y aspiro a ser un compañero en el sendero. Espero que estos textos ofrezcan a algunos un mapa general y herramientas básicas para la práctica del sendero a la iluminación que nos ofrece el Buda.
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2 Responses to Simple Daily Offering

  1. Sonam says:

    I suppose you mean that a Dharma representation should be placed to Buddha Amitabha’s left. In La Gran Vía the directions read, “a su izquierda.”

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