Meditation is the very heart of Buddhist practice. At Potala Centre, in addition to our ongoing schedule of meditation classes, courses and retreats we offer regular ‘Puja’s’.
A Puja is simply a special meditation session that combines meditation, and visualisation along with recitation of prayers and mantras. Pujas serve to take the mind on a special journey helping to promote mental positivity and clear negative obstructions.
Admission to our Puja’s is free of charge and our up to date schedule can be accessed by clicking here to view our events calendar.
Below is a brief summary of our three main types of Puja we offer, but as always you should keep an eye on the events calendar as special Puja’s also happen often.
For more information please contact us here.
Heart Jewel – our most frequent Puja (50 mins)
The Guru yoga of Je Tsongkhapa combined with the practice of his Dharma Protector
This puja takes place a few times a week at the centre. It includes two practices. The first is a special Guru yoga in which we visualize our Spiritual Guide as Je Tsongkhapa. By relying upon this practice, we can purify negativity, accumulate merit, and receive blessings. In this way, we shall naturally accomplish all the realizations of the stages of the path of Sutra and Tantra, and in particular we shall attain a very special Dharma wisdom.
The second practice is a method for relying upon the Dharma Protector Dorje Shugdän. Through this, we can overcome obstacles to our practice and create favourable conditions so that we can nurture and increase our Dharma realisations. If we rely upon the Dharma Protector Dorje Shugdän sincerely, our faith in Je Tsongkhapa will naturally increase and we shall easily gain experience of pure Buddhadharma.
These two practices are the very essence of the New Kadampa Tradition of Mahayana Buddhism. If we practise them regularly and sincerely, we shall reap a rich harvest of pure Dharma realisations, and eventually come to experience the supreme joy of full enlightenment.
Everyone is welcome at these prayers which include 20 minutes of silence for personal meditation.
The time of this puja varies so please see our calendar for details.
Offering to the Spiritual Guide – 10th & 25th of each month (105 mins)
Offering to the Spiritual Guide is a special Guru yoga of Je Tsongkhapa in conjunction with Highest Yoga Tantra. It was compiled by the first Panchen Lama, Losang Chökyi Gyaltsän, as a preliminary practice for Vajra-yana Mahamudra. The main practice is relying upon the Spiritual Guide, but it also includes all the essential practices of the stages of the path (Lamrim) and training the mind (Lojong), as well as both the generation stage and completion stage of Highest Yoga Tantra.
The essence of Guru yoga is to develop a strong conviction that our Spiritual Guide is a Buddha, to make prostrations, offerings, and sincere requests to him or her, and then to receive his or her profound blessings. According to the Guru yoga of Offering to the Spiritual Guide, we develop conviction that our Spiritual Guide is the same nature as Je Tsongkhapa, who is an emanation of the Wisdom Buddha Manjushri.
By relying upon Je Tsongkhapa, our compassion, wisdom, and spiritual power naturally increase. In particular, because Je Tsongkhapa is an emanation of the Wisdom Buddha Manjushri, his faithful followers never experience difficulty in increasing their wisdom. There are many other benefits from practising Offering to the Spiritual Guide. These are explained in the book Great Treasury of Merit, which contains a complete commentary to the practice.
Tara Puja – 8th of each month (45 mins)
The Tara Puja, Liberation from Sorrow, which includes a special prayers to the Twenty-One Taras, is performed regularly at Kadampa Buddhist centers worldwide.
Tara is a female Buddha, a manifestation of the ultimate wisdom of all the Buddhas. Each of the Twenty-one Taras is a manifestation of the principal Tara, Green Tara who is also known as the ‘Mother of the Conquerors’.
Tara is our common mother. When we are young we turn to our worldly mother for help, she protects us from immediate dangers, provides us with all our temporal needs, and guides and encourages us in our learning and personal development.
In the same way, during our spiritual growth we need to turn to our Holy Mother, Tara, for refuge. She protects us from all internal and external dangers, she provides us with all the necessary conditions for our spiritual training, and she guides us and inspires us with her blessings as we progress along the spiritual path.
‘Tara’ means ‘Rescuer’. She is so called because she rescues us from the eight outer and inner fears.
If we rely upon Mother Tara sincerely and with strong faith she will protect us from all obstacles and fulfill all our wishes. Since she is a wisdom Buddha, and since she is a manifestation of the completely purified wind element, Tara is able to help us very quickly.
If we recite the twenty-one verses of praise we shall receive inconceivable benefits. These praises are very powerful because they are Sutra, the actual words of Buddha. It is beneficial to recite them as often as we can.