West London Buddhist Centre

The Unobstructed Heart – Saturday

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Online Retreat:

The Unobstructed Heart: Freeing the Energy Within

Saturday 28 August







Saluting the Three Jewels
Refuge verses from the Avatamsaka Sutra
Tantric Precepts
Lead-in to meditation by Prajnanita
Reading from D. Antoinette Foy
Unled meditation with bells to mark 5 stages






Refuges from the Avatamsaka Sutra

I take my Refuge in the Buddha
And pray that with all beings
I may understand the Great Way
Whereby the Buddha-seed may forever thrive.

I take my Refuge in the Dharma
And pray that with all beings
I may enter deeply into the Sutra-Treasure Whereby our wisdom may become vast as the ocean.

I take my Refuge in the Sangha
And pray that with all beings
I may be brought together in Great Harmony And have nothing to check the unimpeded progress of Truth.

The Flower-Ornament Sutra, vol 1 p315
Tantric precepts
  1. I undertake not to obstruct the energy of another person
2. I undertake not to drain the energy of others and give freely of your own energy
3. I undertake not to misuse energy
4. I undertake to use for whatever purpose the energy appropriate for that purpose, not inappropriate energy.
5. I undertake not to allow energy to become turgid and to keep it bright and clear.

Breathe deeply,

until sweet air extinguishes the burn of fear in your lungs

and every breath is a beautiful refusal

to become anything less than infinite.

 D. Antoinette Foy





10.30 am

Talk by Bodhilila on the first tantric precept
Short silent reflection
Chanting individual seed syllables – OM, AH, HUM
Chanting sequence of seed syllables linked with body, speech and mind –  OM, AH, HUM
Poem by John O Donahue
Just Sitting (5 mins)




I would love to live
Like a river flows,
Carried by the surprise
Of its own unfolding.
John O’Donohue





Further thoughts and reflections from Bodhilila
Amoghasiddhi mantra led by Prajnanita
Green Tara Puja





Talk on second tantric precept part 1 (I undertake not to drain the energy of others)
Amoghasiddhi mantra led by Prajnanita
Led reflection by Prajnanita
Talk on second tantric precept part 2 (I undertake to give freely of my own energy)
Poem by Hafiz
Meditation led by Prajnanita




The Sun Never Says
All this time
The sun never says to the earth,
” You owe me. “
What happens
with a love like that,
It lights the whole sky.
Midnight Star – a Green Tara Puja written by Vessantara


Heart of compassion,

For whom no thought of self

Could ever arise,

Committed to the welfare of the world,

You encourage your devotees

To express their love for you

By serving all beings.


So, out of devotion to you,

I offer to all beings

The fruits of your heart:

To each individual being

I give without end

Cool lakes and rivers

So they may bathe in your compassion;

Sweet food and drink

So they may feast on your compassion;

The sun, moon and stars

So they may be lit by your compassion;

Rich breezes, full of perfume and flower scents

So they may breathe your compassion;

Music of birds and instruments

So their minds may be filled with your compassion.



Midnight star,

Lighting up the northern sky,

With the brilliance of your love,

You who are worshipped

Even by the loving gods,

To Tara I pay homage.


Sweet breath of all the Buddhas,

Perfuming the world

With the scent of your compassion,

You who are worshipped

Even by the compassionate gods,

To Tara I pay homage.


Great archer of the Sugatas,

Striking down the Hydra-heads of jealousy

With the unfailing arrows

Of your sympathetic joy,

You who are worshipped

Even by the joyful gods,

To Tara I pay homage.


Victory banner of the supreme Dharma,

Raised standard of the Victorious Ones,

Planted in the firm soil of equanimity,

You who are worshipped

Even by the equanimous gods,

To Tara I pay homage.



Mysterious Queen,

In the deep midnight of despair,

When there is no safety,

No clarity,

No certainty,

You appear.


With your gift-bestowing hand

You hold the double vajra

In which all opposites unite.


May I accept the wisdom that you offer,

See beyond the prison of duality,

And emulate your still activity.


Where samsara and nirvana

Fuse and disappear

There I go for refuge.


Where birth and death

Fuse and disappear

There I go for refuge.


Where wisdom and compassion

Fuse and appear everywhere

There I go for refuge.



Fearless lady, powerful queen,

You who save beings

From the Eight Great Terrors,

Please rescue me

From the thousand and eight

Fears and anxieties

That possess my mind.


Before you I confess

To all the commonplace worries and anxieties

That fill my day,

So that I rarely take

An easy breath:

The fear that stops me trying,

The fear that creates a façade,

The fear of being with others,

The fear of being alone,

The fear that makes me harsh, tight, and unkind,

The fear of not getting what I want

That makes me grabbing and self-concerned.


Before you I confess

The deep fears:

Fear of madness,

Fear of death,

Fear of life,

Fear of anything

Beyond the tortoise shell

Of my own ego.

Before you I confess

Most of all

The fears that hold me back

From giving myself to the Dharma:

Fear of commitment to the Path,

Fear of change,

Fear of renunciation,

Fear of generosity,

Fear of courage,

Fear of going deeper,

Fear of freedom,

Fear of wisdom,

Fear of devoting myself to all beings.


These fears did not arise by themselves,

They stem from a million  choices and acts

In many lives –

Choosing unawareness,

Choosing lack of courage,

Choosing to bury my head in samsara.


Please forgive me,

And help me

To lay these fears at your feet.

May you pacify them all.


O loving Tara,

Please take my shaking hand in yours,

And gently form it

Into the mudra of fearlessness.



 O joyful Tara

Titans rejoice in their own conquests,

Their one source of happiness is themselves;

You rejoice in the good deeds of all beings,

So you have infinite sources of delight.


Fearlessly and free from envy

I rejoice in the achievements

Of all those who bring

Beauty, peace and courage

To the world.


Fearlessly and free from envy

I rejoice in the spiritual heroes and heroines,

Those victorious ones

Who conquer self-conceit.


Fearlessly and free from envy

I rejoice in you,

The emerald goddess,

And in your endless selfless activity

That accomplishes all deeds.


Fearlessly and free from envy

I rejoice in your intimate care for the world,

So that every leaf,

Every blade of grass,

Is soaked with the green

Of your compassion.


Love travels faster than sound,

Swifter than light,

It traverses the galaxy

In a moment.

O Queen of Great Compassion,

Wherever your love is needed

It is instantly there.


Caught in the hurricane of suffering

Its winds tearing

At my body and mind,

I have only to call your name:

Tara, Tara, Tara!

And the gales of longing and fear

Are pacified.

Who could have imagined

That those two tiny syllables

Could contain so much love –

Tender love,

Fearless love,

The love of all the Buddhas.


May I and all beings

Always call on you:

Tara, Tara, Tara!

And in response

May you shower the Dharma

Of your great love


Upon us all.


May the merits of this praise

Ring out like a vajra bell,

Playing always Tara’s name,

The gentle heartbeat of compassion.


Vajra bell of Tara’s love,

Echoing through time and space,

May your sounding never cease

Its voyage out beyond the stars.


Vajra bell of Tara’s love,

Rescuing beings in every realm,

May your sounding never cease

Until all suffering has gone.


Vajra bell of Tara’s love,

Ringing gently in my heart,

May your sounding never cease

Till you and I

Are one at last.



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Drinking tea, sitting, quiet – ahhh. This Saturday enjoy Zen tea. More info here. Book here.