Most of the time, when we are doing a refuge prayer, we often do it in a very comfortable way, a little bit like, ‘Oh, my stomach is full, therefore I’m OK right now, and I want to benefit all the sentient beings, not very sure… but you know, you are my guru, you are the three Jews, so I pray to you, it’s kind of my tradition and culture, and my obligation from the family as well. Ok. Now I finished my refuge, I would move to the next part of the text.’ If you are making a prayer by being so comfortable, then it’s just like uncooked. It is just there.
If you are just doing a prayer as a family culture, then it’s your choice. But if you really want to do it as a practice, then try to focus sentence by sentence, on the meaning of that, with the visualization in the front, with devotion from the bottom of your heart, and don’t think about what is on the next sentence. Then the sense of devotion, sense of joy, sense of impatience, and wanting to be protected, yet at the same time be fearless and wanting to benefit all the sentient beings, that kind of positive attitudes mixed together. That is very important, that’s my experience.
If you are doing it from the bottom of your heart, when you read once, it sounds like you have recited it a thousand times. However, many of us when we read a thousand times, it sounds like we haven’t even finished one.
With Love and Respect from Kalu Rinpoche
Teachings @Hong Kong, Jun. 2018