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HOMETEMPLESBUDDHISMHONOR ROLLPILGRIMAGE


 
Gate/Main Hall Composite, Hsi Lai Temple, Hacienda Heights, CA, USA This single-page version of the Ascent is meant to be used by visitors to the Temple
 

 

Preparation, Approach, and Arrival
(background)

Preparation: At Home

  • Rise. 

  • Cleanse your body, maintaining mindfulness. 

  • Read a selection from a Buddhist sutra or other inspirational reading. 

  • Meditate in a form comfortable to you. Especially, contemplate this day's activities. 

  • Eat a vegetarian breakfast, OR maintain the fast. 

  • Prepare an offering for the Bodhisattva Hall at the Temple.

Approach: From Home to the Temple

  • Leave home and drive mindfully to the Temple. 

  • Maintain silence or, if you are with others, keep talk to a minimum. 

  • Be aware of your self and your surroundings, practicing interconnectedness. 

  • Consider parking down the hill, at the main intersection, and walking the three blocks up to the Front Gate. 
    OR At the least, park on the street outside the Front Gate.

Arrival at the Temple

  • Stop at the Front Gate and approach the Bodhi tree. (It is the tree with the large, heart-shaped leaves inside the wrought-iron gate, on the left.) 

  • Contemplate its leaves and form as you consider any special concerns you may have for yourself or others:

Under such a tree, the Buddha attained enlightenment. I, too, hope to become enlightened, and so I undertake this pilgrimage.

Today I especially focus on [state here your intentions for yourself and others.]

  • Clear your mind, and focus on your body and your environment.

The First Ascent
(background)
The First of Three Ascents toward Buddhahood:
From the Street to the Gate of the Universal Vows 

Move up the driveway to the bottom of the steps; you are on the Mundane Path, before passing through the Main Gate.

As you go, you may wish to repeat a Mantra or Intention, OR
As you ascend the stairs, concentrate on the broad meaning of the vows on the Main Gate:

The Bodhisattva Path is the way of Compassion.
The Bodhisattva Path is the way of Purity.
The Bodhisattva Path is the way of Wisdom.
The Bodhisattva Path is the way of Total Commitment.

Contemplate the meaning of these words as you approach the Gate.

The Main Gate
(background)
The Threshold between the Mundane and the Sacred:
The Gate of the Universal Vows

Proceed through the Gate and turn left. Stop at the furthest pillar.

Stand in front of the FIRST Pillar and repeat:

Sentient beings are numberless; I vow to save them.

Consider what it means to be compassionate. Think of some specific ways that you can show more compassion in your life.

Stand in front of the SECOND Pillar and repeat:

Desires are inexhaustible; I vow to put an end to them.

Consider what desires are preventing your progress. Think of some specific steps you can take to eliminate negative influences in your life.

Stand in front of the THIRD Pillar and repeat:

The Buddha's teachings are boundless; I vow to master them.

Consider the importance of, and the means of attaining, Wisdom. Think of some specific practices you can build into your life to help you accomplish this, such as regular reading, discussion, meditation, etc.

Stand in front of the FOURTH Pillar and repeat:

The Buddha Way is endless; I vow to follow it.

Consider what is important to you. Think of what it would mean to truly dedicate yourself to the "Buddha Way," and consider whether you are ready to do so.

The Second Ascent
(background)
The Second of Three Ascents toward Buddhahood:
From the Gate of the Universal Vows to the Front of the Bodhisattva Hall

Cross the parking lot and pass between the stone lions; you are on the Bodhisattva Path. Climb the stairs, cross another parking lot, and climb another set of stairs to the Front Porch of the Bodhisattva Hall. Turn right and approach Wei Tuo P'u Sa, the figure on the far right end of the front of the Bodhisattva Hall.

As you go, you may wish to repeat a Mantra or Intention, OR
Continue to repeat the Four Universal Vows:

Sentient beings are numberless; I vow to save them.
Desires are inexhaustible; I vow to put an end to them.
The Buddha's teachings are boundless; I vow to master them.
The Buddha Way is endless; I vow to follow it.

 

The Temple Guardians
(background)
Lesser Bodhisattvas Who Guard the Bodhisattva Hall

At the right end of the porch, offer incense to Wei Tuo Bodhisattva.

Wei Tuo, Protector of the Buddha's teachings and Guardian of all who would learn them:

Help me to learn and live by the teachings, and let me be an example that I might teach others.

Consider ways in which you might improve your study, and take a moment to be grateful for what you have learned so far.

At the left end of the porch, offer incense to Chien Lan Bodhisattva.

Chien Lan, Protector of monasteries and Guardian of all who live in them: Teach me to support and defend the Temple and its residents, and let me lead others to this place.

Consider the ways in which you can support the Temple's programs, and take a moment to be grateful for what the Temple has done for you.

Stand before the central door of the Bodhisattva Hall and, concentrating on both Wei Tuo and Chien Lan, offer a Confession.

O Guardians of the Dharma and the Sangha: Before I approach the Buddha, help me to leave behind any anger, fear, desire, or other passions that would prevent me from benefiting from this exercise. Especially, let me be free from [state here any specific intentions].

 

Offerings
(background)
Tangible signs of one's intentions

Enter the Bodhisattva Hall. If your Offering is cash, place it in the Donation Box, or hand it to the monastic seated at the right side of the Hall. If your Offering is flowers, food, tea, or other tangibles, walk forward and place it carefully on the "altar" table at the far side of the Hall. Step back, make a profound bow, and then recite one of these sentences, depending on which gift is presented:

 

  • Let the sweet smell of this incense purify the atmosphere and the mind.

  • Let these flowers give pleasure to all who see them.

  • As Wisdom dispels ignorance, let the light of this/these lamp(s) dispel the darkness.

  • Let this soap bring comfort, ease, and good health.

  • As this fruit symbolizes the product of the tree, let us bring forth good fruit in all we do.

  • Let this tea bring calmness, relaxation, and freedom from worry to all who drink it.

  • Let this food bring strength to those who eat it, that they may continue in good works.

  • Let this treasure be used to advance the work of this place in bringing the Dharma to the West.

  • Let these beads serve as a reminder to focus on cultivation.

  • Let these clothes bring modesty and comfort to any who wear them.

 

The "Big Five" Bodhisattvas
The Most Popular of All the Celestials

 

Samantabhadra,
the Bodhisattva of Universal Virtue

(background)
The Bodhisattva of the Great Practice 

In front of Samantabhadra Bodhisattva

O Samantabhadra, Bodhisattva of Great Practice!

I ask you to help me gain control over my body and destroy all unwholesome appetites.

Through your great discipline, you have brought your body and mind under control.

Through physical posture and controlled breathing, you have shown us that the dangerous elephant of the mind can be tamed.

Let me also, by disciplining my body, attain this excellence.

Help me to conquer bad habits.

Help me to practice right eating, right breathing, right sexual conduct, right exercise, right posture, and all other aspects of physical activity, and to develop right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration,

that I may dedicate further merit to the enlightenment of all sentient beings.

O great One of Universal Virtue, hear my prayer!

O great Samantabhadra Bodhisattva, hear my prayer!

 

Ksitigarbha, the Earth Store Bodhisattva
(background)
The Bodhisattva of the Great Vow

In front of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva

O Ksitigarbha, Bodhisattva of the Great Vow!

I ask you to help me gain control over my will and destroy all unwholesome intentions.

Through your great promise to save all sentient beings from the six hells, you have demonstrated extraordinary willpower, and you have delayed your own Buddhahood until all afflicted beings are free.

Through this great act of will, you have shown us how much merit the intentions of one person can create.

Let me also, by cultivating my will, attain this excellence.

Help me to conquer wrong intentions.

Help me to practice right decision-making, right speech, and right action,

that I may dedicate further merit to the enlightenment of all sentient beings.

O great Earth Store, hear my prayer!

O great Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva, hear my prayer!

 

Maitreya Bodhisattva--Mi-le-fo
(background)
The Bodhisattva of Great Benevolence and the Next Buddha 

In front of Maitreya Bodhisattva

O Maitreya, Bodhisattva of Great Benevolence!

I ask you to help me gain control over my feelings and destroy all unwholesome emotions.

Through your great generosity to all, you have conquered your emotions and you have become known as The Happy Buddha.

Through your great goodwill, you have shown us that happiness can be attained through giving, and you have secured your place as the Buddha-to-come.

Let me also, by cultivating benevolence, attain this excellence.

Help me to conquer greed, fear, anger, jealousy, and other destructive emotions.

Help me to practice right giving and open-heartedness, 

that I, too, may become a Buddha,
and that I may dedicate further merit to the enlightenment of all sentient beings.

O great One Who Possesses Loving-Kindness, hear my prayer!

O great Maitreya Bodhisattva, hear my prayer!

 

Avalokitesvara,
Who Hears the Cries of the World

(background)
The Bodhisattva of Great Compassion

In front of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva

O Avalokitesvara, Bodhisattva of Great Compassion!

I ask you to help me gain control over my heart and destroy all apathy.

Through your great mercy, you have heard the cries of the world, and you have never failed to respond to the sincere requests of the unfortunate.

Through your willingness to help others, you have shown us the importance of caring for others.

Let me also, by cultivating compassion, attain this excellence.

Help me to conquer my indifference and laziness.

Help me to be attentive to the needs of those around me, and emulate your heart of compassion by bringing aid to those in trouble,

that I may dedicate further merit to the enlightenment of all sentient beings.

O great One Who Hears the World's Cries, hear my prayer!

O great Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, hear my prayer!

 

Manjusri, the Gentle Glory Bodhisattva
(background)
The Bodhisattva of Great Wisdom

In front of Manjusri Bodhisattva

O Manjusri, Bodhisattva of Great Wisdom!

I ask you to help me gain control over my mind and destroy all unwholesome thoughts.

Through your great wisdom, you have ensured that the Lion's Roar of the Buddha's teaching is heard throughout the world.

Through destroying ignorance you have shown us that we can overcome delusion.

Let me also, by cultivating my mind, attain this excellence.

Help me to conquer ignorance and delusion.

Help me to practice right view and right understanding, learning to see things as they truly are,

that I may dedicate further merit to the enlightenment of all sentient beings.

O great One of the Marvelous Gentle Power, hear my prayer!

O great Manjusri Bodhisattva, hear my prayer!

 

The Diamond Sutra (Emptiness)
(background)
The Final Word on the Nature of Reality

Now focus on the Chinese characters under the Bodhisattvas, as you move slowly toward the left end of the room. This is the Diamond Sutra. Contemplate the idea of emptiness, and recite these words:

This world is empty, and all things change,

Impermanent as a shooting star, or the Morning Star at Dawn;
Like a bubble in a stream, or a fleeting night's dream,
Like a candle-flame that sputters and is gone.

 

Buddhas of Five Mudras
(background)
A Brief Meditation in the Bodhisattva Hall

Brown Robe, the Meditation Mudra:

O Buddha, help me to concentrate on achieving Enlightenment.

Blue Robe, the Earth-touching Mudra:

O Buddha, help me to avoid evil.

Orange Robe, the Boon-bestowing Mudra:

O Buddha, help me to accept the gifts you offer.

GreenRobe, the Fear-allaying Mudra:

O Buddha, help me to conquer all fear.

White Robe, the Teaching Mudra:

O Buddha, help me to understand your teachings.

 

The Arhat Garden
(background)
The Garden of Wisdom 

As you walk toward the Arhat Garden, you may choose to set your mind on the Perfection of Wisdom. You may do this by contemplating the "Six Perfections" as you walk:

I seek Perfection in Generosity.

I seek Perfection in Morality.

I seek Perfection in Patience.

I seek Perfection in Effort.

I seek Perfection in Meditation.

I seek Perfection in Wisdom.

You may choose to spend more time on a particular Arhat and his trait; or you may recite all of the following brief Intentions, covering the range.

Find the first Arhat, Vanavasin, "The Arhat Under the Banana Tree," in the left foreground area of the Garden. He is an extremely old man, with his elbow leaning on two golden blocks. He is seated on a banana leaf:

O Vanavasin, you were born and achieved enlightenment under a banana tree; let me gain Wisdom from nature, and be informed by its power.

Find the next Arhat, Angaja, "The Arhat with a Sack," to the left of the previous one, holding a sack:

O Angaja, you caught snakes in your sack and removed their power to harm; let me have the Wisdom to eradicate evil wherever I find it, and turn it to good.

Find the next Arhat, Rahula, "The Arhat in Deep Concentration," behind the previous one, with his hand under his chin:

O Rahula, you learned the Path to Enlightenment from your own father; let me gain Wisdom from my parents, teachers, and other elders, and pass it on to my juniors.

Find the next Arhat, Panthaka, "The Arhat with Stretched Arms," to the right of the previous one, with his hands raised above his head:

O Panthaka, you have sought Wisdom through meditation; let me too reach for the highest.

Find the next Arhat, Pindola, "The Arhat with Long Eyebrows," to the right and in front of the previous one, holding a gnarled stick:

O Pindola, your great age symbolizes your leadership of the Eighteen Arhats; let me, too, as I grow older, develop the Wisdom to lead others to Enlightenment.

Find the next Arhat, Maitreya, "The Tiger Taming Arhat," far to the right of the previous one, seated on a tiger and holding a golden ring in the air:

O Maitreya, you have tamed the tiger and attained the prize; let me tame my passions and attain Wisdom.

Find the next Arhat, Kanakavatsa, "The Jolly Arhat," to the left and in front of the previous one and playing cymbals, the left raised high in the air:

O Kanakavatsa, you have found inner Joy through the Dharma; let Wisdom lead me to such Bliss.

Find the next Arhat, Ajita, "The Arhat Riding a Deer," to the left of the previous one, seated on a deer:

O Ajita, you ride the deer, symbol of longevity; let me live long that I may attain the greatest store of Wisdom in this very life.

Find the next Arhat, Nakula, "The Silently Seated Arhat," to the left of and behind the previous one, with bronzed skin and a hood over his head:

O Nakula, you sit silently in meditation; let me also attain Wisdom through stillness and listening to my inner voice.

Find the next Arhat, Bhadra, "The Arhat Who Crossed the River," to the right of and behind the previous one, standing straight and holding a staff:

O Bhadra, you have crossed the river and transcended the ocean of suffering; let me attain the Wisdom to cross over from Samsara to Nirvana.

Find the next Arhat, Kalika, "The Dust Cleaning Arhat," to the right of the previous one, seated, with a dusting implement in his right hand:

O Kalika, you have cleaned the dust from the mirror; let me attain the Wisdom to see things as they really are.

Find the next Arhat, Cudapanthaka, "The Door Watching Arhat," to the right of the previous one, standing with both hands stretched forward in a warding off gesture:

O Cudapanthaka, in your innocence you destroyed a door, but later learned to act with care; let me attain the Wisdom to curb destructive tendencies and learn that even the simplest acts can accomplish good.

Find the next Arhat, Jivaka, "The Heart Exposing Arhat," to the right of the previous one, with a face emerging from his chest:

O Jivaka, as your heart is open to the words of the Buddha, let me also open my heart that I may attain Wisdom.

Find the next Arhat, Vajraputra, "The Persuading Arhat," to the right of the previous one, holding a censer:

O Vajraputra, as you persuaded Venerable Ananda to balance Learning and Practice, let me develop the Wisdom to persuade others of the virtues of a balanced life.

Find the next Arhat, Subinda, "The Pagoda Holding Arhat," to the right of the previous one, holding a small pagoda in his right hand:

O Subinda, you knew the Buddha on the earth for only a short time, but cherished his memory all your life by carrying a pagoda; let me never forget the Buddha and his teachings, the I may attain Wisdom.

Find the next Arhat, Mahakassapa, "The Dragon Subduing Arhat," to the right and in front of the previous one, seated on a dragon, and with his arms in a banishing gesture:

O Mahakassapa, you have controlled your deepest impulses; let me through Wisdom master my inner dragon.

Find the next Arhat, Kanakabharavaja, "The Alms Holding Arhat," to the right and in front of the previous one, with an alms bowl upraised:

O Kanakabharavaja, you accept alms from all; let me gain the Wisdom to graciously accept gifts as tokens of the interdependence of all beings.

Find the next Arhat, Nagasena, "The Ear Cleaning Arhat," to the right and in front of the previous one, at the far right front of the Garden, with his left hand up to his ear:

O Nagasena, you clean your ears to ensure proper hearing of the Dharma; let me be ever-attentive to the teachings, that I may gain Wisdom.

When you are finished, turn to your right, and proceed to the other end of the transverse corridor, where you will find the Avalokitesvara Garden.

 

The Avalokitesvara (Kuan Yin) Garden
(background)
The Great Compassionate Mother
The Bodhisattva and Her Two Attendants

Face the figure of Kuan Yin and say:

O Kuan Yin! From your place on Mount Potala, hear the cries of all sentient beings.

Come swiftly to our aid.

Send your attendants Lung Nu and Shan Ts'ai to help us.

Send the Four Deva Kings of Heaven to help us.

Send the Four Dragon Emperors of the Deep to help us.

And help us, too, to help others when they call, being your eyes, ears, and hands.

Now turn your attention to each of the figures in turn, starting with the Dragon Maiden Lung Nu and the Virtuous Talent Shan Ts'ai:

O Lung Nu, Grand-daughter of the Great Dragon King of the Eastern Ocean:

You have dedicated your life to serving others through serving Kuan Yin;

Let me do the same.

You have presented Great Jewels to the Buddha and the Bodhisattvas;

Let me present my most precious things to these Great Ones.

You have grasped Enlightenment despite the doubts of others;

Let me also persevere in my progress.

O Shan Ts'ai, diligent monk who traveled far and wide to learn the Dharma:

You were willing to serve others through serving Kuan Yin even unto death;

Let me do the same.

You have sought out Kuan Yin not only for her Compassion but for her Wisdom;

Let me also keep these in balance.

You stand before Kuan Yin in reverence, with palms joined and hands upraised;

Let me also maintain my devotion.

 

The Four Heavenly Kings
(background)
Keepers of the Four Directions 

Now turn your attention to each of the Deva Kings, starting at the front left and moving clockwise to the front right:

O Virudhaka, Great Heavenly King of the South Who Defends Truth and Controls Evil!

Help me with your sword of Wisdom to conquer evil in my life.

Help me to develop greater virtue.

Help me to enhance the lives of all sentient beings.

O Dhrtarastra, Great Heavenly King of the East Who Brings Ease and Creates Harmony!

Help me to appreciate the good things life offers.

Help me to conduct my affairs in moderation.

Help me to uphold the smooth functioning of society.

O Vaisravana, Great Heavenly King of the North Who Knows All and Protects Everyone!

Help me to accumulate the Wealth of Knowledge.

Help me to focus my thoughts on the pure Dharma.

Help me to see victory.

O Virupaksa, Great Heavenly King of the West Who Sees All and Brings the Serpent-Power!

Help me to see beyond my limited preoccupations.

Help me to appreciate the benefits of change in my life.

Help me to be aware, and manifest the Bodhi mind.

Now consider the Four Dragon Emperors in the ponds:

O Dragon Emperors of the Four Great Oceans!

Protect us from disaster.

Brings us beneficial conditions.

Teach us the virtues of change.

 

The Courtyard and the Third Ascent
(background)
The Path of Cultivation
and
The Last of Three Ascents toward Buddhahood:
From the Courtyard to the Hall of the Buddhas 

Walk up the Courtyard mindfully. You may choose to clear your mind, concentrating only on your breathing and your movement; or you may choose to recite something: The Universal Vows, the Six Paramitas, or one of the other Mantras or Intentions.

Climb the stairs to the front porch of the Buddha Hall; you are on the Buddha Path.

As you climb, recite this:

I take refuge in the Buddha.
I take refuge in the Dharma.
I take refuge in the Sangha.

or this:

Namo Shakyamuni Buddha.
Namo Amitabha Buddha.
Namo Bhaishajyaguru (or Medicine) Buddha.

 

The Buddha Hall
(background)
The Pinnacle of the Ascent: The Buddhas

Focus for a moment on the Buddhas that surround you; contemplate the idea that Buddha Nature is found throughout the Universe.

Now approach the Great Buddha on the right. After a moment of silent contemplation, say:

O Bhaishajyaguru, Great Buddha of the Healing of the Body!

I ask you to help me.

Through your Twelve Great Vows, you have promised to bring healing and comfort to all.

Through this Vow, you have shown us the importance of helping others.

Let me also, by emulating your Vows, attain this excellence.

Help me to be always attentive to the needs of others.

Help me to be strong and healthy in body,

that I may fulfill my Vows with great vigor.

O Medicine Buddha, hear my prayer!

O great Bhaishajyaguru Buddha, hear my prayer!

Now approach the Great Buddha on the left. After a moment of silent contemplation, say:

O Amitabha, Great Buddha of the Progress of the Spirit!

I ask you to help me.

Through your establishing of the Western Pure Land, you have made it possible for all to share in its blessings.

Through this great endeavor, you have shown us the way to spiritual bliss.

Let me also, by chanting your name, attain this excellence.

Help me to be dedicated in making spiritual progress.

Help me to envision your Pure Land,

that I may dwell there someday, and lead others to it.

O Buddha of Infinite Light and Infinite Life, hear my prayer!

O great Amitabha Buddha, hear my prayer!

Now approach the Great Buddha in the center. After a moment of silent contemplation, say:

O Shakyamuni, Great Buddha of the Wisdom of the Mind!

I ask you to help me.

Through your teaching of the Dharma, you have opened the way to salvation for all.

Through this generosity, you have shown us the means of Enlightenment.

Let me also, by following your teachings, attain this excellence.

Help me to keep my mind fixed on you.

Help me to master all of the Dharma,

that I may teach others the way.

O Great Sage of the Shakya Clan, hear my prayer!

O great Shakyamuni Buddha, hear my prayer!

*************

 

Mantras and Intentions
(background)
Short phrases to help focus the mind

Mantras

Praise to the Temple Guardians

Namo Wei Tuo P'u Sa
Namo Sangharama Bodhisattva
Praise to you, Protector of the Buddha's teachings and Guardian of all who would learn them!

Namo Chien Lan P'u Sa
Namo Skandha Bodhisattva
Praise to you, Protector of monasteries and Guardian of all who live in them!

Praise to the Bodhisattvas

Namo Pu Hsien P'u Sa
Namo Samantabhadra Bodhisattva
Praise to you, Bodhisattva of Universal Virtue!
Praise to you, Bodhisattva of the Great Practice!

Namo Ti Tsang Wang P'u Sa
Namo Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva
Praise to you, Earth Store Bodhisattva!
Praise to you, Bodhisattva of the Great Vow!

Namo Mi-le-fo
Namo Maitreya Bodhisattva
Praise to you, Buddha-to-come!
Praise to you, Bodhisattva of Great Benevolence!

Namo Kuan Shih Yin P'u Sa
Namo Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva
Praise to you, One Who Hears the Cries of the World!
Praise to you, Bodhisattva of Great Compassion!

Namo Wen Shu P'u Sa
Namo Manjusri Bodhisattva
Praise to you, Gentle Glory Boddhisattva!
Praise to you, Bodhisattva of Great Wisdom!

Praise to the Four Kings

Namo Mo-Li Hung
Namo Virudhaka Devaraja
Praise to you, Great Heavenly King of the South Who Defends Truth and Controls Evil!

Namo Mo-Li Ching
Namo Dhrtarastra Devaraja
Praise to you, Great Heavenly King of the East Who Brings Ease and Creates Harmony!

Namo Mo-Li Shou
Namo Vaisravana Devaraja
Praise to you, Great Heavenly King of the North Who Knows All and Protects Everyone!

Namo Mo-Li Hai 
Namo Virupaksa Devaraja
Praise to you, Great Heavenly King of the West Who Sees All and Brings the Serpent-Power!

Praise to the Three Buddhas

Namo Shakyamuni Buddha
Namo Shijiamouni
Praise to you, Great Sage of the Shakya Clan!
Praise to you, Great Buddha of the Wisdom of the Mind!

Namo Amitabha Buddha
Namo Omitofo
Praise to you, Great Buddha of Infinite Light and Infinite Life!
Praise to you, Great Buddha of the Progress of the Spirit!

Namo Bhaishajyaguru Buddha
Namo Yao-Shi-Fo
Praise to you, Great Medicine Buddha!
Praise to you, Great Buddha of the Healing of the Body!

 

Intentions

"The Bodhisattva Path"

The Bodhisattva Path is the way of Compassion. 
The Bodhisattva Path is the way of Purity.
The Bodhisattva Path is the way of Wisdom.
The Bodhisattva Path is the way of Total Commitment.

The Universal Vows

Sentient beings are numberless; I vow to save them.
Desires are inexhaustible; I vow to put an end to them.
The Buddha's teachings are boundless; I vow to master them.
The Buddha Way is endless; I vow to follow it.

or this:

I vow to wake the beings of the world.
I vow to set endless heartache to rest.
I vow to walk through every wisdom gate.
I vow to live the great Buddha way.

or this:

I vow to save an infinite number of beings.
I vow to cut off an infinite number of afflictions resulting from passions.
I vow to study an infinite number of gates to the law.
I vow to attain Supreme Buddhahood.

From the Diamond Sutra

This world is empty, and all things change,
Impermanent as a shooting star, or the Morning Star at Dawn;
Like a bubble in a stream, or a fleeting night's dream,
Like a candle-flame that sputters and is gone.

"Taking Refuge"

I take refuge in the Buddha;
I take refuge in the Dharma (the Buddha's teachings);
I take refuge in the Sangha (the community of Buddhists).

The Six Paramitas (Perfections)

I seek Perfection in Generosity.
I seek Perfection in Morality.
I seek Perfection in Patience.
I seek Perfection in Effort.
I seek Perfection in Meditation.
I seek Perfection in Wisdom. 

 

 

 

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