There are five preliminary pujas before the Water, Land, Air Dharma Assembly every year. It is the tradition of Ling Jiou Mountain’s Water, Land, Air Dharma Assembly. Besides the collective dedication of these pujas at the end of the Dharma Assembly, an auspicious dependent arising takes place through the five preliminary pujas. By establishing a connection with the Assembly, we're attuned to this activity.
Every year, we contrite, recite sutras, and make offering through the grand offering at the Dharma Assembly. Preliminary pujas offer people the chance to get used to contrition, recitation, and making the offering. One could make an extensive positive connection with others through these three activities. We can introduce the auspicious of Dharma to beginners at the pujas. It is important to show them the virtues of Buddhadharma. As we expand the Dharmic connections, we are also guiding fortunate beings to learn about Dharma. This is a cultivation of compassion. All virtues arise from compassion. Without it, there would be no virtues. Hence, compassion is the source of all felicity and merits.
With compassion, we must learn to safeguard our minds. We can train our minds for purity, stabilization, and free from malicious intentions. That’s why we need to do Chan practice. Chan allows our mind to return to its origin. Do not attach to delusions or attachments. Our mind can reflect and realize with clarity. Let our spirituality shines through. Our primordial awareness is lost in the five poisons (greed, aversion, ignorance, pride, and doubt). We are going through samsaric cyclic existence. To transcend the samsaric ocean, we need to practice Dharma. Break free from all suffering and afflictions. At the pujas and the Dharma Assembly, we are learning and immersing. Be sure to focus piously. “Wholeheartedly" is to safeguard our minds. Chan it is. As we recite sutras piously, we are benefiting sentient beings by attending the pujas. Our compassion unfolds. Dharma practice is having the endowment of merit and wisdom. "Merit" can extend and sustain. It is an important factor for optimal management of one's life and many to come. "Wisdom" helps one to be free from afflictions. Allow our life to be filled with wisdom without obstacles.
It is a collective effort of many volunteers for a puja to happen. With their dedication and devotion, an auspicious puja can finally take place. We must be thankful and appreciative of every puja that we attend. It wouldn't have happened by the effort of a single person. Everybody contributes. Pujas offer an opportunity for us to cultivate auspicious merit. The interplay of collective conditions presents excellent joy and bliss. A puja would, therefore, be perfected. This is also the auspiciousness of a puja.
My Initial Aspiration