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Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings Ceremony

1. Sitting Meditation (12 minutes)

2.  Incense Offering Verse (Chant)


(BBB)

The fragrance of this incense

Invites the awakened mind

To be truly present with us now.


The fragrance of this incense

Fills our practice center,

Protects and guards our mind

From all wrong thinking.


The fragrance of this incense

Collects us and unites us.

Precepts, concentration, insight,

We offer for all that is.


Namo bodhisattvehbyah.

Namo Mahasattvebhyah

(B)

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3. Touching the Earth (When you see italics, the entire Sangha chants)


The one who bows and the one who is bowed to are both, by nature, empty.

Therefore the communication between them is inexpressibly perfect.

Our practice center is the Net of Indra reflecting all Buddhas everywhere.

And with my person in front of each Buddha, I go with my whole life for refuge. (B)


(Touch the Earth one time at the sound of each bell)

Offering light to the Ten Directions, the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha, to whom we bow in gratitude. (B)


Teaching and living the way of awareness in the very midst of suffering and confusion, Shakyamuni Buddha, the Fully Enlightened One, to whom we bow in gratitude. (B)


Cutting through ignorance, awakening our hearts and minds, Manjushri, the Bodhisattva of Great Understanding, to whom we bow in gratitude. (B)


Working mindfully, working joyfully for the sake of all beings, Samantabhadra, the Bodhisattva of Great Action, to whom we bow in gratitude. (B)


Listening deeply, serving beings in countless ways, Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of Great Compassion, to whom we bow in gratitude. (B)


Fearless and persevering through realms of suffering and darkness, Kshitigarbha, the Bodhisattva of Great Aspiration, to whom we bow in gratitude. (B)


Seed of awakening and loving kindness in children and all beings, Maitreya, the Buddha to-be-born, to whom we bow in gratitude. (B)


Showing the way fearlessly and compassionately, the stream of all our Ancestral Teachers, to whom we bow in gratitude. (BB)


4. Sutra Opening Chant


(BBB)

*Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Samma Sambuddhassa

Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Samma Sambuddhassa

Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Samma Sambuddhassa (B)

The Dharma is deep and lovely.

We now have a chance to see, study, and practice it.

We vow to realize its true meaning. (B)


*Homage to him, the World-Honored One, who is worthy of offerings, the One endowed with Perfect Understanding.

5.  The Heart Sutra:  The Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore


(B) Avalokiteshvara
while practicing deeply with
the Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore,
suddenly discovered that
all of the five Skandhas are equally empty,
and with this realization
he overcame all Ill-being. (B)

“Listen Sariputra,
this Body itself is Emptiness
and Emptiness itself is this Body.
This Body is not other than Emptiness
and Emptiness is not other than this Body.
The same is true of Feelings,
Perceptions, Mental Formations,
and Consciousness. (B)

“Listen Sariputra,
all phenomena bear the mark of Emptiness;
their true nature is the nature of
no Birth no Death,
no Being no Non-being,
no Defilement no Purity,
no Increasing no Decreasing.

“That is why in Emptiness,
Body, Feelings, Perceptions,
Mental Formations and Consciousness
are not separate self entities.

The Eighteen Realms of Phenomena
which are the six Sense Organs,
the six Sense Objects,
and the six Consciousnesses
are also not separate self-entities.

The Twelve Links of Interdependent Arising
and their Extinction
are also not separate self-entities.
Ill-being, the Causes of Ill-being,
the End of Ill-being, the Path,
insight and attainment,.

are also not separate self-entities

Whoever can see this
no longer needs anything to attain (B)

Bodhisattvas who practice
the Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore
see no more obstacles in their mind,
and because there
are no more obstacles in their mind,
they can overcome all fear,
destroy all wrong perceptions
and realize Perfect Nirvana.

“All Buddhas in the past, present and future
by practicing
the Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore
are all capable of attaining
Authentic and Perfect Enlightenment.

“Therefore Sariputra,
it should be known that
the Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore
is a Great Mantra,
the most illuminating mantra,
the highest mantra,
a mantra beyond compare,
the True Wisdom that has the power
to put an end to all kinds of suffering.
Therefore let us proclaim
a mantra to praise
the Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore.

*Gate, Gate, Paragate, Parasamgate, Bodhi Svaha!
Gate, Gate, Paragate, Parasamgate, Bodhi Svaha!
Gate, Gate, Paragate, Parasamgate, Bodhi Svaha!” (BBB)


* Gone, gone, gone all the way over, gone with all beings to the other shore, enlightenment, rejoice!


6. Sanghakarman Procedure  (The Bell Host asks for a volunteer to be the Sangha Convener)


Sanghakarman Master: Has the entire community assembled?


Sangha Convener: The entire community has assembled.


Sanghakarman Master: Is there harmony in the community?


Sangha Convener: Yes, there is harmony.


Sanghakarman Master: Is there anyone not able to be present who has asked to be

represented, and have they declared themselves to have done their best to study and practice the Mindfulness Trainings?


Sangha Convener: No, there is not.


or


Sangha Convener: Yes, Brother or Sister (name, cannot be at the recitation today.

He/she has asked Brother or Sister (name) to represent him/her and he/she declares that he/she has done his/her best to study and practice the mindfulness trainings.


Sanghakarman Master: Why has the community assembled today?


Sangha convener: The community has assembled to practice the recitation of the

Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings of the Order of Interbeing.


Sanghakarman Master: Noble community, please listen. Today (...date...) has been

declared as the day to recite the Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings of the Order of Interbeing. The community has assembled at the appointed time and is ready to hear and to recite the

Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings in an atmosphere of harmony. Thus, the recitation can proceed. Is this statement clear and complete?


Everyone: Clear and complete. (B)


.


7.  Introductory Words


Bell Host:  Today I (we) have been asked by the community to recite the Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings. I ask the community for spiritual support. Please, Brothers and Sisters, listen.

The Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings are the very essence of the Order of Interbeing. They are the torch lighting our path, the boat carrying us, the teacher guiding us. They allow us to touch the nature of interbeing in everything that is, and to see that our happiness is not separate from the happiness of others. Interbeing is not a theory; it is a reality that can be directly experienced by each of us at any moment. The Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings help us cultivate concentration and insight which free us from fear and the illusion of a separate self. I ask the community to listen with a serene mind. Consider the Mindfulness Trainings as a clear mirror in which to look at ourselves. Say yes, silently, every time you see that during the past two/four weeks you have made an effort to study, practice and observe the mindfulness training read. (B)


Bell Host:   Brothers and Sisters, are you ready?


Everyone (silently): I am ready.


Bell Host:   These then are The Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings of the Order of

Interbeing:


8.  Recitation of the Fourteen Mindfulness  Trainings of the Order of Interbeing

The First Mindfulness Training: Openness

Aware of the suffering created by fanaticism and intolerance, we are determined not to be idolatrous about or bound to any doctrine, theory, or ideology, even Buddhist ones. We are committed to seeing the Buddhist teachings as a guiding means that help us learn to look deeply and develop understanding and compassion. They are not doctrines to fight, kill, or die for. We understand that fanaticism in its many forms is the result of perceiving things in a dualistic or discriminative manner. We will train ourselves to look at everything with openness and the insight of interbeing in order to transform dogmatism and violence in ourselves and the world.


Bell Host:  This is the First Mindfulness Training of the Order of Interbeing. Have we made an effort to study, practice, and observe it during the past weeks? (B)


(After three breaths, the bell host ‘stops’ the bell by bringing the inviter gently against the rim, thereby signaling the reader to continue with the next mindfulness training. This is repeated with each of the trainings.)


The Second Mindfulness Training: Non-Attachment to Views

Aware of the suffering created by attachment to views and wrong perceptions, we are determined to avoid being narrow-minded and bound to present views. We are committed to learning and practicing nonattachment from views and being open to other’s insights and experiences in order to benefit from the collective wisdom. Insight is revealed through the practice of compassionate listening, deep looking, and letting go of notions rather than through the accumulation of intellectual knowledge. We are aware that the knowledge we presently possess is not changeless, absolute truth. Truth is found in life, and we will observe life within and around us in every moment, ready to learn throughout our lives.


Bell Host:  This is the Second Mindfulness Training of the Order of Interbeing. Have we made an effort to study, practice, and observe it during the past weeks? (B) three breaths


The Third Mindfulness Training: Freedom of Thought

Aware of the suffering brought about when we impose our view on others, we are determined not to force others, even our children, by any means whatsoever – such as authority, threat, money, propaganda, or indoctrination – to adopt our views. We are committed to respecting the rights of others to be different, to choose what to believe and how to decide. We will, however, learn to help others let go of and transform narrowness through loving speech and compassionate dialogue.


Bell Host:  This is the Third Mindfulness Training of the Order of Interbeing. Have we made an effort to study, practice, and observe it during the past weeks? (B) three breaths


The Fourth Mindfulness Training: Awareness of Suffering

Aware that looking deeply at our own suffering can help us cultivate understanding and compassion, we are determined to come home to ourselves, to recognize, accept, embrace and listen to our own suffering with the energy of mindfulness. We will do our best not to run away from our own suffering or cover it up through consumption but practice conscious breathing and walking to look deeply into the roots of our suffering. We know we can only find the path leading to the transformation of suffering when we understand the roots of suffering. Once we have understood our own suffering, we will be able to understand the suffering of others. We are committed to finding ways, including personal contact and using the telephone, electronic, audiovisual, and other means to be with those who suffer, so we can help them transform their suffering into compassion, peace and joy.


Bell Host: This is the Fourth Mindfulness Training of the Order of Interbeing. Have we made an effort to study, practice, and observe it during the past weeks? (B) three breaths

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The Fifth Mindfulness Training: Compassionate, Healthy Living

Aware that happiness is rooted in peace, solidity, freedom and compassion, we are determined not to accumulate wealth while millions are hungry and dying nor to take as the aim of our life fame, profit, wealth, or sensual pleasure, which can bring much suffering and despair. We will practice looking deeply into how we nourish our body and mind with edible foods, sense impressions, volition and consciousness. We are committed not to gamble or to use alcohol, drugs or any other products that bring toxins into our own and the collective body and consciousness such as certain websites, electronic games, TV programs, films, magazines, books and conversations. We will consume in a way that preserves compassion, peace, joy, wellbeing in our bodies and consciousness and in the collective body and consciousness of our families, our society, and the earth.


Bell Host:  This is the Fifth Mindfulness Training of the Order of Interbeing. Have we made an effort to study, practice, and observe it during the past weeks? (B) three breaths


The Sixth Mindfulness Training: Taking Care of Anger

Aware that anger blocks communication and creates suffering; we are committed to taking care of our energy of anger when it arises, to recognizing and transforming the seeds of anger that lie deep in our consciousness. When anger manifests, we are determined not to do or say anything, but to practice mindful breathing or mindful walking to acknowledge, embrace, and look deeply into our anger. We know that the roots of anger are not outside of ourselves but can be found in our wrong perceptions and lack of understanding of the suffering in ourselves and the other person. By contemplating impermanence, we will be able to look with the eyes of compassion at ourselves and those we think are the cause of our anger, and to recognize the preciousness of our relationships. We will practice Right Diligence in order to nourish our capacity of understanding, love, joy and inclusiveness, gradually transforming our anger, violence, fear and helping others do the same.


Bell Host:  This is the Sixth Mindfulness Training of the Order of Interbeing. Have we made an effort to study, practice, and observe it during the past weeks? (B) three breaths


The Seventh Mindfulness Training: Dwelling Happily in the Present Moment

Aware that life is available only in the present moment, we are committed to training ourselves to live deeply each moment of daily life. We will try not to lose ourselves in dispersion or be carried away by regrets about the past, worries about the future, or cravings, anger, or jealousy in the present. We will practice mindful breathing to be aware of what is happening in the here and now. We are determined to learn the art of mindful living by touching the wondrous, refreshing, and healing elements that are inside and around us, in all situations. In this way, we will be able to cultivate seeds of joy, peace, love, and understanding in ourselves, thus facilitating the work of transformation and healing in our consciousness. We are aware that


happiness depends primarily on our mental attitude and not on external conditions, and that we can live happily in the present moment simply by remembering that we already have more than enough conditions to be happy.


Bell Host:  This is the Seventh Mindfulness Training of the Order of Interbeing. Have we made an effort to study, practice, and observe it during the past weeks? (B) three breaths


The Eighth Mindfulness Training: True Community & Communication

Aware that lack of communication always brings separation and suffering, we are committed to training ourselves in the practice of compassionate listening and loving speech. Knowing that true community is rooted in inclusiveness and in the concrete practice of harmony of views, thinking and speech, we will practice to share our understanding and experiences with members in our community in order to arrive at collective insight. We are determined to learn to listen deeply without judging or reacting, and refrain from uttering words that can create discord or cause the community to break. Whenever difficulties arise, we will remain in our Sangha and practice looking deeply into ourselves and others to recognize all the causes and conditions, including our own habit energies, that have brought about the difficulties. We will take responsibility for all the ways we may have contributed to the conflict and keep communication open. We will not behave as a victim but be active in finding ways to reconcile and resolve all conflicts however small.


Bell Host:  This is the Eighth Mindfulness Training of the Order of Interbeing. Have we made an effort to study, practice, and observe it during the past weeks? (B) three breaths


The Ninth Mindfulness Training: Truthful and Loving Speech

Aware that words can create happiness or suffering, we are committed to learning to speak truthfully, lovingly and constructively. We will only use words that inspire joy, confidence and hope as well as promote reconciliation and peace in ourselves and among people. We will speak and listen in a way that can help ourselves and others to transform suffering and see the way out of difficult situations. We are determined not to say untruthful things for the sake of personal interest or to impress people, nor to utter words that might cause division or hatred. We will protect the joy and harmony of our Sangha by refraining from speaking about the faults of another person in their absence and always ask ourselves whether our perceptions are correct. We will speak only with the intention to understand and help transform the situation. We will not spread rumors nor criticize or condemn things of which we are not sure. We will do our best to speak out about situations of injustice, even when doing so may make difficulties for us or threaten our safety.


Bell Host:  This is the Ninth Mindfulness Training of the Order of Interbeing. Have we made an effort to study, practice, and observe it during the past weeks? (B) three breaths

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The Tenth Mindfulness Training: Protecting and Nourishing the Sangha

Aware that the essence and aim of a Sangha is the practice of understanding and compassion, we are determined not to use the Buddhist community for personal power or profit or transform our community into a political instrument. However, as members of a spiritual community, we should take a clear stand against oppression and injustice. We should strive to change the situation, without taking sides in a conflict. We are committed to looking with the eyes of interbeing and learning to see ourselves and others as cells in one Sangha body. As a true cell in the Sangha body, generating mindfulness, concentration and insight to nourish ourselves and the whole community, each of us is at the same time a cell in the Buddha body. We will actively build brotherhood and sisterhood, flow as a river, and practice to develop the three real powers – love, understanding and cutting through afflictions – to realize collective awakening.


Bell Host:  This is the Tenth Mindfulness Training of the Order of Interbeing. Have we made an effort to study, practice, and observe it during the past weeks? (B) three breaths


The Eleventh Mindfulness Training: Right Livelihood

Aware that great violence and injustice have been done to our environment and society, we are committed not to live with a vocation that is harmful to humans or nature. We will do our best to select a livelihood that contributes to the wellbeing of all species on earth and helps realize our ideal of understanding and compassion. Aware of economic, political and social realities around the world, as well as our interrelationship with ecosystem, we are determined to behave responsibly as consumers and citizens. We will not invest in or purchase from companies that contribute to the depletion of natural resources, harm the earth; and deprive others of the chance to live.


Bell Host:  This is the Eleventh Mindfulness Training of the Order of Interbeing. Have we made an effort to study, practice, and observe it during the past weeks? (B) three breaths


The Twelfth Mindfulness Training: Reverence for Life

Aware that much suffering is caused by war and conflict, we are determined to cultivate nonviolence, compassion and the insight of interbeing in our daily lives and promote peace, education, mindful meditation, and reconciliation within families, communities, ethnic and religious groups, nations, and in the world. We are committed not to kill and not to let others kill. We will not support any act of killing in the world, in our thinking or in our way of life. We will diligently practice deep looking with our Sangha to discover better ways to protect life, prevent war, and build peace.


Bell Host:  This is the Twelfth Mindfulness Training of the Order of Interbeing. Have we made an effort to study, practice, and observe it during the past weeks? (B) three breaths


The Thirteenth Mindfulness Training: Generosity

Aware of the suffering caused by exploitation, social injustice, stealing and oppression, we are committed to cultivating generosity in our way of thinking, speaking, and acting. We will learn better ways to work for the well-being of people, animals, plants and minerals and practice generosity by sharing our time, energy, and material resources with those who are in need. We are determined not to steal and not to possess anything that should belong to others. We will respect the property of others, but will try to prevent others from profiting from human suffering or the suffering of other beings.


Bell Host:  This is the Thirteenth Mindfulness Training of the Order of Interbeing. Have we made an effort to study, practice, and observe it during the past weeks? (B) three breaths


The Fourteenth Mindfulness Training: Right Conduct

[For lay members]: Aware that sexual desire is not love and that sexual relations motivated by craving cannot dissipate the feeling of loneliness but will create more suffering, frustration and isolation, we are determined not to engage in sexual relations without mutual understanding, love, and a deep long-term commitment made known to our family and friends. Seeing that the body and mind are one, we are committed to learning appropriate ways to take care of our sexual energy and to cultivating loving kindness, compassion, joy, and inclusiveness for our own happiness and the happiness of others. We must be aware of future suffering that may be caused by sexual relations. We know that to preserve the happiness of ourselves and others, we must respect the rights and commitments of ourselves and others. We will do everything in our power to protect children from sexual abuse and to protect couples and families from being broken by sexual misconduct. We will treat our bodies with compassion and respect. We are determined to look deeply into the Four Nutriments and learn ways to preserve and channel our vital energies (sexual, breath, spirit) for the realization of our bodhisattva ideal. We will be fully aware of the responsibility of bringing new lives into the world, and will meditate upon their future environment.


Bell Host:  This is the Fourteenth Mindfulness Training of the Order of Interbeing. Have we made an effort to study, practice, and observe it during the past weeks? (B) three breaths


9.  Concluding Words


Bell Host:  Brothers and Sisters, we have recited the Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings of the Order of Interbeing as the community has wished. I thank all my Sisters and Brothers for helping us do it serenely.


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10.  Dharma Sharing

Select and Practice a song from the song sheet or Plum Village/YouTube Selection

The following can be read silently:  Dharma sharing is an opportunity to share our direct experience of our mindfulness practice that may help support the practice of fellow members. To begin speaking, we make a lotus bud with our hands, say our name, and then speak from our heart.  We may speak as long as we like, speaking to the entire circle.  We can ask a question understanding that our question may or may not be directly answered.  When we are finished speaking, we make another lotus bud with our hands and bow.  Equally important as sharing, we also practice deep listening to each other which is as important as the sharing practice.   Everything we share is confidential.


Optional:  The Three Refuges


I take refuge in the Buddha,

the one who shows me the way in this life.

I take refuge in the Dharma,

the way of understanding and of love.

I take refuge in the Sangha,

the community that lives in harmony and awareness.

(B)

Dwelling in the refuge of Buddha,

I clearly see the path of light and beauty in the world.

Dwelling in the refuge of Dharma,

I learn to open many doors on the path of transformation.

Dwelling in the refuge of Sangha,

shining light that supports me, keeping my practice free of obstruction.

(B)

Taking refuge in the Buddha in myself,

I aspire to help all people recognize their own awakened nature, realizing the Mind of Love.

Taking refuge in the Dharma in myself,

I aspire to help all people fully master the ways of practice

and walk together on the path of liberation.

Taking refuge in the Sangha in myself,

I aspire to help all people build Fourfold Communities,

to embrace all beings and support their transformation.

(BB)

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11.  Sharing the Merit


Reciting the trainings, practicing the way of awareness

gives rise to benefits without limit.

We vow to share the fruits with all beings.

We vow to offer tribute to parents, teachers, friends and numerous beings

who give guidance and support along the path.

(BBB)


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* Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Samma Sambhuddassa - "Homage to him, the World-Honored One, who is worthy of offerings, the One endowed with Perfect Understanding.".

** Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha - "Gone, gone, gone all the way over, gone with all beings to the other shore, enlightenment, rejoice!"


From: "Chanting from the Heart", Parallax Press, 2007

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