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Prostrations

Posted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 2:39 am
by Doko
Tendai has several different practices which involve prostrations. Some seem to offer an opportunity to purify ones karma. Others, Like the 3000 Buddha prostrations are done as an act of veneration to the Buddhas

~ Regardless of your tradition, If you are doing prostrations, please tell me a bit about it. If not, please tell me a bit about that too.

Re: Prostrations

Posted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 7:43 am
by Son of Buddha
many Monks have posted videos on you tube showing how the prostrate and reasons for such practice.

Peace and Love

Re: Prostrations

Posted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 9:39 am
by Seishin
I love doing prostrations. I practice 108 on the occasional weekend but it's not part of my regular practice. However I do three prostrations before my daily practice and after our weekly meeting. I was taught how to stand from kneeling more efficiently whilst studying martial arts. I find it saves the legs from getting too tired and it keeps your balance.

I also find that the 108 can be quite rushed and lacks finesse so I tend to do the 3 a lot slower and more consciously.

Gassho,
Seishin.

Re: Prostrations

Posted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:28 am
by catmoon
Thubten Chodron did a couple of marvellous little videos on prostrations. They convinced me to give it a try. My counts are not high, and my practice is irregular, but even so they seem beneficial. I really don't know why.... I think it has to do with breaking up the ego a bit.

Re: Prostrations

Posted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:46 am
by Seishin
Totally :) I know a lot of people who do not like the idea of bowing to anything or anyone. They think it's degrading. I can even remember someone refused to bow to our martial arts teacher :o

Re: Prostrations

Posted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 3:14 pm
by DGA
Prostrations are a fantastic skillful means: all at once, each prostration represents an act of repentance & purification, a willingness to learn, respect for the teachings & all the enlightened ones, and more.

The approach to prostrations taken in Tendai-shu, from what I've seen, differs substantially from that of the Tibetan schools DW members might be more familiar with. Let's say you're working on your ngondro: you may accumulate, on your own and at your own pace, 200 or 300 or more prostrations in a day, accumulating 100K over time, mindful of the refuge field you are visualizing in front of you. In a group, everyone may offer prostrations, but it is unlikely these will be harmonious. People prostrate when they take their seat, and when the teacher comes, they offer three prostrations, but not as a whole.

By contrast, in Tendai-shu, when we practice prostrations together, part of the practice is to harmonize with each other. Someone is at the front of the room (your teacher) keeping time and keeping count for everyone. Everyone chants together, comes up and bows together, comes down together, and so on. This requires a bit more mindfulness, and goes some ways toward breaking down that idea that this is some kind of individual accomplishment trip.

the ups and downs of prostrations...

Re: Prostrations

Posted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 3:59 pm
by Seishin
Jikan wrote:the ups and downs of prostrations...
Honestly your sense of humour is almost English :tongue:

Re: Prostrations

Posted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 4:04 pm
by DGA
:twothumbsup:

Re: Prostrations

Posted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:57 pm
by cesar
Doko wrote:Tendai has several different practices which involve prostrations. Some seem to offer an opportunity to purify ones karma. Others, Like the 3000 Buddha prostrations are done as an act of veneration to the Buddhas

~ Regardless of your tradition, If you are doing prostrations, please tell me a bit about it. If not, please tell me a bit about that too.
hi Doko,

i've done prostrations in the cycle of preliminary practices in Tibetan schools of Buddhism. i accumulated a sum in the course of about a year and half, and proceeded on to the next practices. speaking from my own experience, it was a very important practice.
done in this way, they are a practice of purification, as you say. but as we move along, there are more profound benefits, i feel.
i have continued doing them periodically, as a form of veneration and a yoga. i call it the "yoga of sweeping the floor". ;)

cheers,
c├ęsar

Re: Prostrations

Posted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 6:14 pm
by Doko
The yoga of sweeping the floor! Well put.

Re: Prostrations

Posted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:10 pm
by Doko
It seems like prostrations are a practice worth practicing. Maybe the main things stopping people from taking it up are that one might feel uncomfortable about bowing and the fact that the practice can be quite physical. (How physical it is may depend on the details, though)

Re: Prostrations

Posted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 3:24 am
by Son
Seishin wrote:Totally :) I know a lot of people who do not like the idea of bowing to anything or anyone. They think it's degrading. I can even remember someone refused to bow to our martial arts teacher :o
Oooh, bad karma.