Pasos a seguir para la práctica de las siete ramas
When we pray the seven branches, we imagine the prostrations. At other times, we physically prostrate ourselves, recite the verses (no matter in what language it is done) and think of the qualities of the Three Jewels as something we want to achieve, as something we trust we can achieve with bodhicitta, based on our Buddha nature In this sense, we throw in this direction our discourse and our mind in the same way that we do with our body. Let’s imagine this.
When we make offerings, the main themes are also shelter and bodhicitta. What are we willing to give to be able to go in that safe direction, to achieve enlightenment and to benefit others? A bowl of water is not very significant. Water is only representing something. What we are willing to give is ourselves. We want to give our time, our energy, all our effort, our heart, to go in that direction to work with ourselves to help more and more others.
This can be done in an elaborate or simple way. We often offer seven bowls of water. These can represent the seven parts of this practice of the seven branches. On another level we have what are called external offerings, which are offerings of water, flowers, incense, etc.
3Openly admitting our errors and limitations
The third branch of practice is usually translated as “confession.” But this brings unnecessary and perhaps confusing associations with other non-Buddhist systems of thought. Instead, we openly admit that we are not always able to help others; Sometimes we are lazy, we are distracted, we behave selfishly and so on. In the context of karma, we admit that on some occasions we have acted in a very destructive way, but we regret it and really wish we were not. It’s not that we should feel guilty, but that we really do not want to be that way anymore. This is very different from feeling guilty.
The fourth branch is rejoicing. I think it is very important for us as Westerners to change the order at this point. Usually, we first rejoice in the Buddhas and then the rest. It seems to me that for us, as many of us in general have problems of low self-esteem after pointing out our limitations, we need to rejoice first in our qualities. We have just admitted that sometimes we act destructively and selfishly, but other times we also act constructively. We need to reaffirm and rejoice in everything positive and constructive that we have ever done. On a more basic level, we all have the Buddha nature, which means that we all have the ability to be useful, to be compassionate, to be understanding. This is fantastic. It is wonderful! It is on this basis that we can grow and become Buddhas, through the positive and constructive things we do. It is important to feel good about ourselves and have confidence in our abilities after admitting our limitations.
5Request the teachings
The next branch is to request teachings. It’s usually called “turning on the Dharma wheel,” but that sounds a bit abstract. We are so grateful for the teachings of the Buddhas that we now say: “Please teach me! I want to learn! I am totally receptive! “We can do it before entering a class, before meditating, or before studying a Dharma text at home. By making this request we are not asking someone to guarantee us something, it is a way to inspire us. We want to get something, learn something.
6Ask teachers not to leave
The sixth branch is to beg the teachers not to enter parinirvana, which means they do not leave. What does this mean on a practical level? Buddhas and teachers are being told: “It’s serious. Do not go. Teach me everything necessary for my enlightenment. I want to go the full way. Do not leave me in the middle. ” This is the main issue: we are really going to do this, no matter how long it takes us or how many lives it takes us.
The final step is the dedication, it is the most important step of all. We dedicate the positive energy and the deep awareness that has been generated with this practice so that we as well as everyone else reach enlightenment for the benefit of all
Por: Geshe Larampa Thupten Tsondue
En AyurVida Ibiza
Bajo cita previa: 609 776 812 (whatsapp)