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Group Practice Guide


We meet via Zoom. If you have a Zoom account (it’s free), and you have Zoom installed on your computer or phone, it only takes a moment or two to connect. If you do NOT have Zoom installed, it can take a few minutes AND you’ll need a “Meeting ID” and a “Passcode”. Those numbers can be found on our website on the “Dharma Hall” page.


If you need help, there are many good videos on YouTube about how to participate in a Zoom meeting. Just search for: “How to participate in a Zoom meeting on a cell phone (or laptop)


Please arrive at least 5 minutes early. The room opens 15 minutes early. This will give you the opportunity to adjust your camera, make sure everything is working, and then sit quietly for a few minutes before practice begins. We start promptly on time. 



Opening the Altar: 


The teacher will bow, go to the altar, light candles and incense, then take 3 steps back.  

***As the teacher steps back from the altar, put your hands palm to palm (“gassho").


The teacher will then do a standing bow.

You will do a seated bow at the same time  

Return your hands to your lap. 


The teacher returns to her seat. 



Hands in gassho. (You may hold a copy of the prayers with both hands if you have not memorized them) 


All recite together, out loud: 

"May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness. 

May they be free from suffering and the causes of suffering. 

May they never be apart from the sublime bliss that is free from suffering. 

May they remain in a state of equanimity, free from attachment and aversion." 



Hands still in gassho. (You may hold a copy of the prayers with both hands if you have not memorized them) 


"May all beings everywhere 

Plagued by sufferings of body and mind 

Obtain an ocean of happiness and joy 


May no living creature suffer, 

Commit evil, or ever fall ill. 

May no one be afraid or discouraged, 

With a mind weighed down by depression. 


May the blind see forms 

May the deaf hear sounds, 

May those whose bodies are worn with toil 

Be restored on finding repose. 


May the naked find clothing, 

May the hungry find food; 

May the thirsty find water 

And delicious drinks. 


May the poor find wealth, 

May those weak with sorrow find joy; 

May the forlorn find hope, 

Constant happiness, and prosperity. 


May there be timely rains 

And bountiful harvests; 

May all medicines be effective 

And all wholesome prayers bear fruit. 


May all who are sick and ill 

Quickly be freed from their ailments. 

Whatever diseases there are in the world, 

May they never occur again. 


May the frightened cease to be afraid 

May those bound be freed; 

May the powerless find power, 

And may people think of benefiting each other. 


For as long as space endures, 

For as long as beings remain, 

Until then, may I too remain 

To dispel the miseries of the world. 


Do a seated bow. Return your hands to your lap. 

The Heart Sutra:
Moktak (wooden drum) roll
Chant Leader:  "The Maha...."
Everyone joins in: "Prajna Paramita Hridaya Sutra"

Everyone chants:

Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva when practicing deeply the Prajna Paramita

perceives that all five skandhas are empty and is saved from all suffering and distress.


Shariputra, form does not differ from emptiness,

emptiness does not differ from form.

That which is form is emptiness, that which is emptiness form.


The same is true of feelings, perceptions, impulses, consciousness.


Shariputra, all dharmas are marked with emptiness;

they do not appear or disappear,

are not tainted or pure,

do not increase or decrease.


Therefore, in emptiness no form, no feelings, perceptions, impulses, consciousness.


No eyes, no ears, no nose, no tongue, no body,

no mind; no color, no sound, no smell, no taste, no touch,

no object of mind; no realm of eyes

and so forth until no realm of mind consciousness.


No ignorance and also no extinction of it,

and so forth until no old age and death

and also no extinction of them.


No suffering, no origination,

no stopping, no path, no cognition,

also no attainment with nothing to attain.


The Bodhisattva depends on Prajna Paramita

and the mind is no hindrance;

without any hindrance no fears exist.

Far apart from every perverted view one dwells in Nirvana.


In the three worlds all Buddhas depend on Prajna Paramita

and attain Anuttara Samyak Sambodhi.


Therefore, know that Prajna Paramita

is the great transcendent mantra

is the great bright mantra, is the utmost mantra,

is the supreme mantra,

which is able to relieve all suffering and is true, not false.


So proclaim the Prajna Paramita mantra, proclaim the mantra which says:


gate, gate, paragate, parasamgate, bodhi svaha

gate, gate, paragate, parasamgate, bodhi svaha gate,

gate, paragate, parasamgate, bodhi svaha
Everyone bows together at the end of the chant


Bell X3  to begin meditation period.


Medtation – 15 to 20 minutes 


Bell X3 to end meditation bring hands to gassho   


Keep hands in gassho, and chant The Four Great Vows: 


The many beings are numberless; I vow to save them.
Greed, hatred, and ignorance rise endlessly; I vow to abandon them.
Dharma gates are countless; I vow to awake to them.
Buddha’s Way is unsurpassed; I vow to embody it fully.



Return your hands to your lap 


The teacher will get up and close the altar. 


When she takes 3 steps back, hands in gassho, bow once more with her. 


You may relax slightly. Please do not get up, stretch, shift, or move around


The teacher will return to her seat and will give a short talk.  


During the Dharma talk, if you have a question, please remember it and ask it (or any other question) after the Dharma Talk.


At the end of practice, the teacher will bow to you. All should do a seated bow.  


This concludes a practice session. 


Here is a printer-friendly .pdf of just the prayers, the Heart Sutra, and the 4 Great Vows:

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