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Toronto Zen Centre

A Buddhist Community


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Toronto Zen Centre Chants

PRECEPTS AND PRAYERS

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THE THREE TREASURES


I TAKE REFUGE IN BUDDHA,
and resolve that with all beings
I will understand the Great Way
whereby the Buddha seed may forever thrive.
I TAKE REFUGE IN DHARMA,
and resolve that with all beings
I will enter deeply into the sutra-treasure
whereby my wisdom may grow as vast as the ocean.
I TAKE REFUGE IN SANGHA,
and in its wisdom, example, and never failing help,
and resolve to live in harmony with all sentient beings.
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THE THREE GENERAL RESOLUTIONS

I resolve to avoid evil.
I resolve to do good.
I resolve to liberate all sentient beings.
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THE TEN CARDINAL PRECEPTS

I resolve not to kill, but to cherish all life.
I resolve not to take what is not given, but to respect the things of others.
I resolve not to engage in improper sexuality, but to be caring and responsible.
I resolve not to lie but to speak the truth.
I resolve not to cause others to take substances that confuse the mind, nor to do so myself, but to keep the mind clear at all times.
I resolve not to speak of the faults of others, but to be understanding and sympathetic.
I resolve not to praise myself and disparage others, but to overcome my own shortcomings.
I resolve not to withhold spiritual or material aid, but to give them freely where needed.
I resolve not to indulge in anger, but to exercise restraint.
I resolve not to revile the Three Treasures, Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, but to cherish and uphold them.
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THE REPENTANCE GATHA

All evil actions committed by me since time immemorial, stemming from greed, anger, and ignorance, arising from body, speech and mind, I now repent having committed.
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MEMORIAL PRAYER

O Buddhas and Bodhisattvas,
abiding in all directions,
endowed with great compassion,
endowed with fore-knowledge
endowed with the divine eye,
endowed with love,
affording protection to sentient beings,
consent through the power of your
great compassion to come forth.
Consent to accept these offerings concretely laid out and mentally created.

O Compassionate Ones,
you who possess the wisdom of understanding,
the love of compassion, the power of doing divine deeds and of protecting in incomprehensible measure,
[name of person] is passing from this world to the next.
He/she is taking a great leap.
The light of this world has faded for him/her.
He/she has entered solitude with his/her karmic forces.
He/she has gone into a vast Silence.
He/she is borne away by the Great Ocean
of birth and death.

O Compassionate Ones,
protect [name of person], who is defenseless.
Be to him/her like a father and a mother.

O Compassionate Ones,
let not the force of your compassion be weak,
but aid him/her.
Forget not your ancient vows.

(prayer is read three times)
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THE METTA SUTTA

This is what should be done
By those who are skilled in goodness,
And who knows the path of peace:
Let them be able and upright,
Straightforward and gentle in speech.
Humble and not conceited,
Contented and easily satisfied.
Unburdened with duties and frugal in their ways.
Peaceful and calm, and wise and skillful,
Not proud and demanding in nature.
Let them not do the slightest thing
That the wise would later reprove.
Wishing: In gladness and in safety,
May all beings be at ease.
Whatever living beings there may be;
Whether they are weak or strong, omitting none,
The great or the mighty, medium, short or small,
The seen and the unseen,
Those living near and far away,
Those born and to-be-born,
May all beings be at ease!

Let none deceive another,
Or despise any being in any state.
Let none through anger or ill-will
Wish harm upon another.
Even as a mother protects with her life
Her child, her only child,
So with a boundless heart
Should one cherish all living beings;
Radiating kindness over the entire world:
Spreading upwards to the skies,
And downwards to the depths;
Outwards and unbounded,
Freed from hatred and ill-will.
Whether standing or walking, seated or lying down
Free from drowsiness,
One should sustain this recollection.
This is said to be the sublime abiding.
By not holding to fixed views,
The pure-hearted one, having clarity of vision,
Being freed from all sense desires,
Is not born again into this world.
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METTA BHAVANA (LOVINGKINDNESS) MEDITATION

May I be well, happy and peaceful. May no harm come to me. May I be free from hostility, free from affliction, free from distress. May I have the patience, courage, understanding, and determination to meet and overcome the difficulties of life. May I live happily.

May my mind be filled with the thought of loving-kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity. May I be generous. May I be gentle. May I be relaxed. May I be happy and peaceful. May I be healthy. May my heart become tender. May my words be pleasing to others.

May all that I see, hear, smell, taste, touch and think help me to cultivate loving-kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity. May they help me cultivate the thought of generosity and gentleness. May they help me be at ease and be friendly. May they be a source of peace and happiness. May they help me be healthy. May they help me be free from fear, tension, anxiety, worry, and restlessness. Throughout body, speech, and mind, [i.e., in all physical, verbal and mental activities] may I be happy, may I be well, may I be at peace, may I be full of love and understanding.

In like manner cultivate metta, or lovingkindness, toward a benefactor, a dear friend (or family member), a neutral person, a difficult person, all beings. For more information on the practice of metta bhavana, the book Lovingkindness, by Sharon Salzberg is highly recommended.
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