Prayers, to who?

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Eddo
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Prayers, to who?

Post by Eddo » Wed Jun 27, 2018 6:33 am

As someone new to Buddhism I often wonder, Sometimes I hear people ask for prayers for example on this site. Who do the prayers go to if most Buddhists do not believe in God or believe Gods are from within our own mind? Is it to the Buddha's or something else. :shrug:

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PSM
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Re: Prayers, to who?

Post by PSM » Wed Jun 27, 2018 1:05 pm

Buddhas, bodhisattvas, gurus, etc. There are also aspirations to personally accomplish something.
"The only virtue which cannot be faked is courage" - Nassim Nicholas Taleb
"We don't want to feel the weirdness of life." - James Low

amanitamusc
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Re: Prayers, to who?

Post by amanitamusc » Wed Jun 27, 2018 1:11 pm

Eddo wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 6:33 am
As someone new to Buddhism I often wonder, Sometimes I hear people ask for prayers for example on this site. Who do the prayers go to if most Buddhists do not believe in God or believe Gods are from within our own mind? Is it to the Buddha's or something else. :shrug:
Buddha's and Bodhisattva's.

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Vasana
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Re: Prayers, to who?

Post by Vasana » Wed Jun 27, 2018 1:45 pm

There may be some aspects of Buddhism that are hard to relate to or believe to begin with like the existence of 'external beings', karma , rebirth and so on but it's sometimes best to put those aside temporarily and focus on any of the teachings that you find useful and helpful at this moment in time. You can always return to the other topics at a later time and if you have read around enough, you'll be better able to contextualize their pedagogical purpose within the body of provisional and ultimate teachings
'When alone, watch your mind. When with others, watch your speech'- Old Kadampa saying.

Eddo
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Re: Prayers, to who?

Post by Eddo » Thu Jun 28, 2018 3:02 am

PSM wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 1:05 pm
Buddhas, bodhisattvas, gurus, etc. There are also aspirations to personally accomplish something.
As I understand some(tibetan) will pray to Tara for protection as well

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Aryjna
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Re: Prayers, to who?

Post by Aryjna » Thu Jun 28, 2018 8:24 am

Eddo wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 3:02 am
PSM wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 1:05 pm
Buddhas, bodhisattvas, gurus, etc. There are also aspirations to personally accomplish something.
As I understand some(tibetan) will pray to Tara for protection as well
Tara is a Buddha

kausalya
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Re: Prayers, to who?

Post by kausalya » Thu Jun 28, 2018 2:05 pm

Eddo wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 6:33 am
As someone new to Buddhism I often wonder, Sometimes I hear people ask for prayers for example on this site. Who do the prayers go to if most Buddhists do not believe in God or believe Gods are from within our own mind? Is it to the Buddha's or something else. :shrug:
One way to look at prayers is that personal effort is being put forward to make positive imprints on the mind. The direction of the prayers doesn't matter, but the effort toward refining one's motivation using the content of the prayers does matter. When we notice a change in our mind, this is what inspires genuine faith in the method through experience.
"Open sky does not abide, nor do sentient beings."

Eddo
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Re: Prayers, to who?

Post by Eddo » Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:56 am

Thank you

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Astus
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Re: Prayers, to who?

Post by Astus » Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:58 am

A teaching to be considered here:

"Householder, there are these five things that are wished for, desired, agreeable, and rarely gained in the world. What five? Long life, householder, is wished for, desired, agreeable, and rarely gained in the world. Beauty … Happiness … Fame … The heavens are wished for, desired, agreeable, and rarely gained in the world. These are the five things that are wished for, desired, agreeable, and rarely gained in the world.
These five things, householder, that are wished for, desired, agreeable, and rarely gained in the world, I say, are not obtained by means of prayers or aspirations. If these five things that are wished for, desired, agreeable, and rarely gained in the world could be obtained by means of prayers or aspirations, who here would be lacking in anything?"

(Ittha Sutta)
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

kausalya
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Re: Prayers, to who?

Post by kausalya » Fri Jun 29, 2018 12:38 pm

Astus wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:58 am
A teaching to be considered here:

"Householder, there are these five things that are wished for, desired, agreeable, and rarely gained in the world. What five? Long life, householder, is wished for, desired, agreeable, and rarely gained in the world. Beauty … Happiness … Fame … The heavens are wished for, desired, agreeable, and rarely gained in the world. These are the five things that are wished for, desired, agreeable, and rarely gained in the world.
These five things, householder, that are wished for, desired, agreeable, and rarely gained in the world, I say, are not obtained by means of prayers or aspirations. If these five things that are wished for, desired, agreeable, and rarely gained in the world could be obtained by means of prayers or aspirations, who here would be lacking in anything?"

(Ittha Sutta)
He was telling them what they needed to hear. The fact remains that prayers are useful when they change our mental dispositions through the actions they inspire and the resulting faith they generate.
"Open sky does not abide, nor do sentient beings."

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yan kong
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Re: Prayers, to who?

Post by yan kong » Mon Jul 02, 2018 12:31 pm

Eddo wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 3:02 am
PSM wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 1:05 pm
Buddhas, bodhisattvas, gurus, etc. There are also aspirations to personally accomplish something.
As I understand some(tibetan) will pray to Tara for protection as well
Sometimes it's a straight forward as that.
"Meditation is a spiritual exercise, not a therapeutic regime... Our intention is to enter Nirvana, not to make life in Samsara more tolerable." Chan Master Hsu Yun

kausalya
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Re: Prayers, to who?

Post by kausalya » Mon Jul 02, 2018 1:35 pm

yan kong wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 12:31 pm
Eddo wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 3:02 am
PSM wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 1:05 pm
Buddhas, bodhisattvas, gurus, etc. There are also aspirations to personally accomplish something.
As I understand some(tibetan) will pray to Tara for protection as well
Sometimes it's a straight forward as that.
Indeed. It would seem to depend on the mind of the person making the prayer. As long as it's genuine, there is benefit.
"Open sky does not abide, nor do sentient beings."

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