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Bright Dawn Center of Oneness Buddhism
 

 

Universal teachings for everyday living.

Activities and Rituals

 

Services could begin with the lighting of a candle and incense, if used, and ringing of a bell. Service content would depend upon the occasion; e.g. informal daily or weekly service; a special occasion like a memorial service, gratitude service on the occasion of receiving a special gift or marking an achievement, etc. The service could be as simple as just sitting quietly or the chanting of a sutra from one’s preferred tradition. Participants could one by one come up and burn incense or ring the bell or make a flower offering by putting a flower in a vase. These rituals should be preceded by a respectful bow or Gassho (putting hands together).

 

An appropriate Dharma talk could be given or a reading done (e.g verses from the Dhammapada; articles from Rev. Gyomay Kubose’s books “Everyday Suchness” or “The Center Within.”)

 

A formal Opening and Closing to the service could be done. For example:

 

   An Opening Aspiration: “With deepest reverence and compassion, we are here together in the spirit of Gautama, the Buddha, the Enlightened One. Life is One. We are one with the Buddha. We are One with the Teaching. We are One in the spirit of Universal Brotherhood. We resolve to be earnest followers of the Buddha and to dedicate our lives to the Way he has pointed out. Then, may we like him attain the noblest and most peaceful state of Nirvana.”

 

   A Closing Benediction: “We surround all people and all forms of life with infinite love and compassion. Particularly do we send forth loving thoughts to those in suffering and sorrow; to all those in doubt and ignorance, and to all who are striving to attain truth. May the light of wisdom and compassion so shine within us that the errors and vanities of self may be dispelled; so shall we understand the changing nature of existence and awaken into spiritual peace.”

 

A memorial service on the annual anniversary of a loved one’s passing is a good remembrance. Use a photo of the loved one. Afterwards enjoy favorite foods of the loved one while sharing good memories.

 

If a pet dies, a memorial service is especially helpful for children in the family. A service could be done at a burial site too.

 

Instead of a bedtime prayer, children could recite The Golden Chain:

 

   “I am a link in the Buddha’s golden chain of love that stretches around the world. I must keep my link bright and strong. I will try to be kind and gentle to every living thing, and protect all who are weaker than myself. I will try to think pure and beautiful thoughts, to say pure and beautiful words, and to do pure and beautiful deeds, knowing that on what I do now depends my happiness and misery. May every link in the Buddha’s golden chain of love become bright and strong, and may we all attain perfect peace.”

 

Daily Dharma Program

 

This is a program to help individuals develop an everyday spiritual practice of using a home altar as a place to do daily Gassho every morning and evening.

 

Please access our Daily Dharma Program materials which include: Program Outline; Why Gassho?; Home Altar; Everyday Gassho; and 21-Day Program.

 

These materials are for individuals who find it helpful or necessary to use the structure of such external accountability measures as signing an agreement, following a definite procedure, submitting written reports, etc.

 

After becoming familiar with the program’s Harmony and Gratitude Gassho’s, doing Gassho can be extended or applied to many different contexts, themes and everyday activities. Examples of such Gassho’s to try are a regular feature in “Oneness” our quarterly newsletter. See YES (Your Everyday Spirituality) on the back cover. Individuals are encouraged to discover/create their own Gassho’s.