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Demystifying Buddhist Ritual

Virtual Events Virtual Events

Saturday 19 February @ 11:00 pm 11:30 pm

An illustrated and interactive beginner’s workshop on everything you ever wanted to know about Tibetan Buddhist ritual but were afraid to ask!

We may often feel awkward or even slightly embarrassed performing rituals of a culture different to our own, and until we learn the meaning and integrate it into our inner practice, they remain just pleasant artistic activities or slightly twee performances.

But with understanding, Buddhist ritual becomes a powerful connector to inner transformation and growth. It is a means of unifying body, speech and mind into a sum greater than its parts. It is also a method to confront our assumptions about reality, what’s ‘real’ and what’s merely make believe, and thus begin integrating the philosophical teachings on emptiness with our own lived experience.

This short course is a great introduction for beginners to combine Buddhist philosophy with daily practice. It is also a great refresher for returning students, to check they have all the ingredients for a stable and flourishing Dharma practice. Each session will have a half hour presentation illustrated with slides and demonstration, followed by a half hour question and answer.

5 February: Why have an altar?
Discover how to set up your own altar with all the essential elements. Develop the courage and creativity to customise it as a living practice, reflecting your own inner journey.

12 February: How and why to make offerings.
Water bowl offerings are a simple yet profound practice that gentles the mind, and a unique way to practice generosity without needing financial resources.

19 February: Meaning of Mandalas.
Universal symbols of wholeness and transformation, found across many cultures. In Buddhism this is also a way to break down our habitual ordinary view of reality.

26 February: The big one – the long mandala!
A joyful and extremely satisfying practice, building the 3-tiered pile of rice and jewel that represent a perfect world, complete with deep symbolic meaning.

5 March: Prostrations and outrageous offerings
How do we embody our devotion? And how can we do it without superstition or existential discomfort, but with humility and joy? Discover how the practice of prostrations unifies body, speech and mind into a powerful method of purification.

12 March: Mudras and bell and dorje
Discover the power of literally ’embodying’ the philosophy of tantric Buddhism, and the meaning behind the movements. Who can do mudras, when, and how to perform these transformative mystical gestures. Also, how to play the musical instruments of bell and drum in our practice.

19 March: Sangha etiquette and guru devotion
How to show fulfil our refuge commitment by respecting the sangha, and what to do if you experience difficulties. The profound purpose of guru devotion and how to tune your mind into Rinpoche’s teachings.

26 March: Daily practice and speech blessing
Putting it all together into the perfect prescription for modern-day life. Rinpoche’s tailor-made daily motivation and speech blessing (an essential if we have a family, a job, a life!)

Presented by FPMT registered teacher:

Hosted by Lhagsam Meditation Centre, Switzerland:
This course is being hosted by our sister centre in Zurich. If you are joining from overseas, please check the start time against your own time zone! Use an app such as Timebuddy.

(The class actually runs for 90 minutes, from 11 pm – 12.30 am, but I couldn’t get our calendar to display this properly!)

Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST)
Brisbane, Australia


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Just seeing a portrait or statue of Buddha purifies our mind and plants the seed of enlightenment. Whether we are believers or non-believers, we get that benefit, to be free from oceans of samsaric suffering. We have never been free from suffering, since beginningless rebirth up till now, so it gives us that incredibly precious opportunity.

Lama Zopa RInpoche
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