Last week, I wrote about the “FIFTEEN MERIT DAYS: A GIFT FROM THE HEAVEN TO HELP PROTECT US FROM THE ILL EFFECTS OF THE YEAR!” I suggest before you read on about today’s post, please read the first two parts of the said post to understand it better. Just click here (Part 1) and here (Part 2).
Throughout the first fifteen days, there are going to be some special days wherein we celebrate or honor a day of a Buddha or Bodhisattva. I suggest you continuously check this blog every morning for 15 days (which started last Feb. 8, 2016) to know whether there is a special ritual for the day. It’s not everyday that we have this ‘special days’ within the Fifteen Merit Days.
Today is a special light and incense-offering day, and simply lighting a candle or incense in front of an image of Buddha or Bodhisattva or both will definitely earn you some merits.
If you do this everyday, I suggest doing it twice or offering more than what you normally do. You can also do this at home altar or you may want to go to a temple.
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Let me address first the questions about the Vajrapani Empowerment Ritual. The two – day Sutra and Mantra retreat is going to be from 6:30AM to 2:30PM, I think I wrote 2:30AM as pointed out by some readers. The Vajrapani Empowerment Ritual meanwhile is from 6:30AM to 11:30AM followed by a vegetarian lunch then we will resume at 1:00PM to 5:00PM. From 5PM onwards, Guru Lama will do short one – on – one blessings and handing over of a special Bodhisattva Vajrapani pendant, again everything is for free.
In my previous post I said Guru Lama will give out free Lama Atisha Amulet or Four Dharmakaya Relic Mantras Amulet, this is going to be given to those who attended the 2 – day sutra and mantra retreat. These will be given only on the second day.
Going back to the Vajrapani Empowerment Ritual, at 6PM we will have a vegetarian dinner. Again all these are free.
However, as clarified with my Guru Lama during the Vajrapani Empowerment Ritual we will have the following:
It is encourage for all participants to participate in all 5 offerings or in any of the offerings, but this is purely voluntary. For the incense offering, a donation of five pesos is requested to cover the cost of the incense, and 50 pesos as a donation for the lamp. For the fruit and flower you can bring your own fruits (except durian, marang, rambutan) and flowers. For the gem offering you can bring a mala, or any small gem or semi – precious stone, either real or faux will do. All these items will be donated to the host temple. I’m currently talking two different temples and possible three. We need a big hall because of the number of interested participants. I would like to clarify that the Vajrapani Empowerment Ritual is open to only those who has the Vajrapani Ruel but that person can bring as many people as he/she wants as long as they register in advance. For those coming abroad we can help suggest a hotel near the temple and as of now we are trying to look for a sponsor who will shuttle those coming from other countries.
Another clarification, NAMO AMITUOFO is not only for the dead or dying. You can chant Namo Amituofo any time and it will bring you immense blessings and protection but chanting to the dying will ease his transition to his next life. A reader called me alarmed because she chanted Namo Amituofo and she thought it might bring her bad luck because she thought it is for the dead only.
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