Auspicious Puja is awesome!
Today on 17th September 2017, our weekly Sunday Auspicious Puja in English commenced sharply at 9.30am in the main shrine hall of BW Monastery, 1 Woodlands Drive 16. Similar to the earlier Chinese puja session which is from 8am to 9am, the English puja lasts for an hour and provides an opportunity for all, not only the veteran Buddhist practitioners and also newcomers, both young and old, to take refuge in the Three Jewels, clear away accumulated seeds of future sufferings, be a happier person and gain more wisdom. The Auspicious Puja is holistic and comprehensive program that encompasses the essential Buddhist practices in bite-sizes, with the ultimate goal of attaining enlightenment.
The puja started off with the singing of a beautiful song of prayer that depicts the taking of refuge in Three Jewels, followed by Venerable Bensi’s discourse on the good qualities of the Buddha.
Next was the singing of the song of prayer “On You, I rely”. It was beautifully composed with a comforting and soothing melody and lyrics that expresses a practioner’s faith in the Three Jewels.
Lined up next was a lively sharing by Irene Ng, a member of BW Monastery, on her journey on the Bodhi path of lasting happiness. She used the analogy of a 99-year leasehold property versus a freehold property to illustrate her choice of ultimate happiness over transient ones. The audience resonated with her choice and her engagement with the audience was lively. It was fun and thought provoking for me.
Right up next was the mass repentance, where Venerable Bensi asked us to take a moment to think of specific wrong-doings that we have done and wish to confess before the Buddha. Venerable led us and all of us read out aloud the repentance verse in English together.
We also heard a “Story of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva Miracle Power”. It was vividly delivered by Jennifer Goh, one of the lecturers of the monastery.
Under the lead of Venerable Bensi, we circumambulated the Buddha and made offerings of flower and water to Buddha while singing the insightful praise of Om Mani Padme Hum. All participants respectfully held the delicate flower offerings in their hands, walked mindfully and focused on supplicating to the compassionate Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva. As I was circumambulating the Buddha in the magnificent shrine hall in the presence of the golden Buddha and Bodhisattva, I felt deeply blessed and restored.
The puja was concluded with the dedication of merits from our virtuous deeds to ourselves, our family, our country and all sentient beings. May they be free from suffering and obtain eternal bliss!
It was a morning well-spent. I felt rejuvenated, loved and energized at the Auspicious Puja after a stressful week at work. My mind is cleansed and rejuvenated, my sorrows and anxiety is comforted and I am filled with auspicious bliss and joy. It will surely become my Sunday morning go-to from now on.
By Lim Pui Yar