We are now in the second half of 2021. June marks the change of season, Wound Healing Awareness Month, and the birthday of Bhaiṣajyarāja, the Medicine King. We want to warmly welcome you to this month’s Medicine Buddha Meditation sessions.
The statue of Medicine Buddha is the second biggest statue in Jinyin Temple’s meditation garden. His name Bhaiṣajyaguru means the master (guru) who has limitless therapeutic knowledge (bhaiṣajya भैषज्य). He attained buddhahood upon fulfilling his vows to help all sentient beings eradicate pain, disease, and disabilities of all kinds, as well as promote good health and optimal flourishing. Medicine Buddha meditation is a healing practice that can be used for both ourselves and people we care about who are ill.
As we are now in the second year of the pandemic, the world has been difficult and complicated for people all over the globe this year. We are facing problems with the current political shift, racial violence, climate catastrophe, and economic disparity. Many of us did not ever anticipate any of these happening, and maybe it will take many years for us to access the lessons, the wisdom, and the insight that have been churned up from the bottom of our heart and deep consciousness of this time.
As most of us find ourselves in the process of meeting a pervasive sense of loss, a reshaping of the experience of death, and what it means to care, to love, and to connect, the practice of turning inwards and meeting our suffering with kindness and non judgemental awareness can support us in letting go of our well-constructed defenses. So that we are able to be open to realize the great compassion and love within our nature and receive blessings from all enlightened beings.
In times like these, we hope to offer everyone in need a welcoming and safe space for inner cultivation practices. We do not want to just bear witness to suffering nor just connect to suffering but to be resilient and continue to serve the local community and beyond on the path of compassion and service. We warmly welcome you to join Jinyin Temple’s weekly online practices and monthly outdoor in-person practices and to share experiences of how we can integrate the developed loving awareness from our practices into our life as a source of wisdom.
The teachings on the Medicine Buddha are intended most particularly for those who are suffering from illnesses or wounds for which no successful medical treatment has been found, but which are curable through the practice of profound spiritual techniques.
The Twelve Vows of the Medicine Buddha upon attaining Enlightenment are:
I vow that my body shall shine as beams of brilliant light on this infinite and boundless world, showering all beings, dispelling their ignorance and worries with my teachings. May all beings be like me, with a perfect status and character, upright mind and soul, and finally attain enlightenment like the Buddha.
I vow that my body shall be like crystal, pure and flawless, radiating rays of splendid light to every corner, brightening up and enlightening all beings with wisdom. With the blessings of compassion, may all beings strengthen their spiritual power and physical energy, so that they can fulfill their dreams on the right track.
I vow that I shall grant by means of boundless wisdom, all beings with the inexhaustible things that they require, and I shall relieve them from all pains and guilt resulting from materialistic desires. Although clothing, food, accommodation, and transportation are essentials, they should be utilized wisely as well. After self-consumption, the remainder should be generously shared with the community so that all can live harmoniously together.
I vow to lead those who have gone astray back to the path of righteousness. Let them be corrected and returned to the Buddha way to enlightenment.
I vow that I shall enable all sentient beings to observe precepts for spiritual purity and moral conduct. Should there be any relapse or violation, they shall be guided by repentance. Provided they sincerely regret their wrong-doings, and vow to change with constant prayers and strong faith in the Buddha, they can receive the rays of forgiveness, as well as recover their lost moral and purity.
I vow that all beings who are physically disabled or sick in all aspects be blessed with good health, both physically and mentally. All who pays homage to Buddha faithfully will be blessed.
I vow to relieve all pain and poverty of the very sick and poor. The sick shall be cured, the helpless shall be helped, the poor shall be assisted.
I vow to help people who are undergoing suffering and torture and seek spiritual transformation. By hearing my name, paying homage and praying, their wishes shall be granted, and they will ultimately attain Buddhahood.
I vow to free all beings from evil thoughts and their control. I shall lead them onto the path of light through inculcating them with righteousness and honor so that they will walk the Buddha way.
I vow to save prisoners who have genuinely repented, as well as victims of natural disasters. My supreme powers will bless those who are sincere. They will be freed from suffering.
I vow to save those who suffer from starvation and those who committed a crime to obtain food. If they hear my name and faithfully cherish it, I shall lead them to the advantages of Dharma, and favor them with the best food. They will eventually lead a tranquil and happy life.
I vow to save those who suffer from poverty, tormented by mosquitoes and wasps day and night. If they come across my name, cherish it with sincerity and practice Dharma to strengthen their merits. They will be able to achieve their wishes.
The practice of worshipping Medicine Buddha and Medicine Buddha meditation are not only powerful methods for healing and increasing healing powers both for oneself and others, but also for overcoming the inner sickness of attachment, hatred, and ignorance. Through these practices, we address both our physical symptoms and mental illnesses to eliminate and purify pain, disease, obstacles, and suffering.
namo bhagavate bhaiṣajyaguru-
arhate samyaksaṃbuddhāya tadyathā:
oṃ bhaiṣajye bhaiṣajye bhaiṣajya-samudgate svāhā.
— Medicine Buddha Dharani
May the merits of the our practice
Benefit all beings
May we be purified of all poisons, disease, pain, and suffering
May all beings enjoy good health, peace, and happiness
Oṃ bhaiṣajye bhaiṣajye bhaiṣajya-samudgate svāhā