Prayer Practices

Join us for our daily, weekly and monthly chanted prayers

Pujas (chanted prayers) are an important component of training in a spiritual life. They help us to still our mind, connect with enlightened beings, and receive blessings. Below are some of the pujas we regularly practise together at the centre. Please check the online calendar for any schedule changes. All pujas are free of charge. Everyone is welcome.

These events take place in the Meditation Room at Atisha Kadampa Meditation Centre, 81 Victoria Road, Darlington, DL1 5JQ – please see the calendar for times.

Meet the Buddhas
Mondays 7:30-8:30pm (time may change if we have another event the same day)
These pujas will have a different focus each week so you can experience the prayer practices associated with different Buddhas.

First Monday of the monthTara prayers, Liberation From Sorrow
Tara is a female Buddha, a manifestation of the ultimate wisdom of all the Buddhas.

Second Monday of the month Medicine Buddha Prayer.
A special practice focussing on Medicine Buddha for helping others through healing actions.

Third Monday of the month Powa Ceremony
Praying for those who have recently died to take rebirth in a Buddha’s Heaven

Fourth Monday of the monthThe Bodhisattva’s Confession of Moral Downfalls
A powerful practice that focuses on the Thirty-five Confession Buddhas to purify our mind of even the heaviest negativities. This practice includes making physical prostrations. 

If a month includes a fifth Monday we will engage in Heart Jewel – How to overcome obstacles and difficulties on the spiritual path by developing compassion, wisdom and spiritual strength.

Wishfulfilling Jewel with tsog offering 

Sundays 5-6pm (times may vary depending on what else we have scheduled so please check the calendar)

Includes beautiful chanted prayers during which we offer food and drink to the Buddhas and then share afterwards. Feel free to bring an offering with you, ideally something that can be shared immediately afterwards without needing to be cooked – no meat or alcohol please.

Heart Jewel with Lamrim

Tue & Thu 5:15-6:15pm, Wed 4-5pm (see calendar for times)
A special Guru yoga of Je Tsongkhapa combined with the condensed sadhana of his Dharma Protector and a 15 minute silent meditation. This puja includes two practices revealed by the Wisdom Buddha Manjushri. The first is a special Guru yoga in which we visualize our Spiritual Guide as Je Tsongkhapa, who himself is a manifestation of Manjushri.
By relying upon this practice, we can purify negativity, accumulate merit, and receive blessings. In this way, we will naturally accomplish all the realisations of the stages of the path of Sutra and Tantra, and in particular we will attain a very special Dharma wisdom.


Offering to the Spiritual Guide

Held on the 10th and 25th of each month (check calendar each month for times)
This is a special Guru Yoga of Je Tsongkhapa in conjunction with Highest Yoga Tantra that is a preliminary practice for Vajrayana Mahamudra. The main practice is relying upon our Spiritual Guide as a Buddha and making praises and requests, but it also includes all the essential practices of the stages of the path and training the mind, as well as both the generation stage and completion stage of Highest Yoga Tantra. By relying upon Je Tsongkhapa our compassion, wisdom, and spiritual power naturally increase. Everybody is welcome, this practice includes a tsog offering so you can bring a vegetarian food offering with you if you wish.


Wishfulfilling Jewel with Tsog offering

This practice is the heart essence of Kadampa Buddhism. In the first part we visualize our Spiritual Guide as Je Tsongkhapa and make prayers and requests to purify negativity, accumulate merit, and receive blessings. We then make prayers and requests to our Dharma Protector, Dorje Shugden and a special offering of food and drink. Through this we can overcome obstacles to our practice and create favourable conditions so that we can nurture and increase our pure Dharma realizations.

Powa – Transference of consciousness 

Held once a month (check calendar each month for times).
The practice of transference of consciousness, known as ‘powa’, is performed on behalf of those who have recently died, traditionally within forty-nine days of their death.
We understand that throughout this world millions of humans and billions of animals die every day from so many different causes.  If these living beings have the opportunity to take rebirth in a Buddha’s Pure Land they will attain permanent liberation from suffering and experience pure and everlasting happiness.
Our practice of this powa offers them this precious opportunity.  By engaging in this practice we ourselves will create a great collection of virtue, which will also lead us into the pathway to the Pure Land of a Buddha.
This powa is done in conjunction with prayers to the Buddha of Compassion, Avalokiteshvara, following the prayer booklet, “Powa Ceremony”

Liberation from Sorrow

Held on the 8th of each month (check calendar each month for times).
Tara is a female Buddha, a manifestation of the ultimate wisdom of all the Buddhas. Her name means “Rescuer” because she rescues us from all outer and inner fears. Ultimately she rescues us from all suffering and guides us to full enlightenment. Like a mother she protects us from all internal and external dangers; she provides us with all the necessary conditions for our spiritual training, and guides us and inspires us with her blessings as we progress along the spiritual path. These prayers include praises to the twenty-one manifestations of Tara.

Bodhisattva’s Confession of Moral Downfalls

Because of the negative actions that we have created in the past under the influence of deluded minds we now experience suffering and problems, as well as difficulties in developing faith and conviction in spiritual practice and in making progress on the path to enlightenment. But no matter how negative our mind is we have the opportunity to purify it completely by engaging in purification, the root of future happiness and spiritual realizations. One of the most powerful purification practices is the Mahayana Sutra of the Three Superior Heaps, also known as The Bodhisattva’s Confession of Moral Downfalls. In this practice, we visualize the Thirty-five Confession Buddhas and practise purification in their presence. Through the power of their blessings and prayers, we can swiftly purify even the heaviest negative actions simply by faithfully reciting their names.


Eight Mahayana Precepts

Held on the 15th of each month 6:30am
The practice of taking and keeping the eight Mahayana precepts is a special practice of moral discipline that is performed with bodhichitta motivation – the supreme good heart. The essence of the practice is to take eight precepts – promising to abstain for twenty-four hours from eight actions: (1) killing, (2) stealing, (3) sexual activity, (4) lying, (5) taking intoxicants, (6) eating after lunch, (7) sitting on high or luxurious thrones or seats, and (8) wearing ornaments, perfume, singing and dancing and so forth – and to keep them purely for this period of time.