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Anapanasati Retreat 2004 - Puja by Viveka

by Viveka


Written by Viveka For Dhanakosa Retreat 2004


I recollect Shakyamuni Buddha,
who renounced luxury and privilege
to face the truth of suffering,
and discover a pathway out.

After years of struggle and practice,
meditating under a bodhi tree,
breathing in and out,
he saw countless past lives,
like so many waves on the ocean,
now arising, now passing.

Understanding the cause of suffering
he released all clinging to ego
becoming a Buddha, Fully Awake.

Two and a half thousand years later,
Under silver birch and oak
breathing in and out
we receive his teachings.
Through the Anapanasati Sutta
we meet an enlightened mind.

Shakyamuni, compassionate teacher
the beauty of this place,
we offer to you.



Entering the shrine room
we bow to the shrine.
A Buddha image points to
our own deepest nature

Sitting in the shrine room
we hear and meditate on
the Anapanasati Sutta.
Gradually realizing
the dharma behind the words,
truly meeting the Buddha.

Stepping outside the shrine room
the teaching of the sutta rolls on.
Intimate with all we see,
hear, smell, taste
touch and think,
Sensitive to breath and body,
[to vedana and mind],
[to our deepest nature],
Everything is the dharma.

I bow to all the teachings
Experience in meditation
both welcome and unwelcome.
Experience while sitting, walking
standing and lying down.
All of it humbly received
As a gift for awakening.


Life has inevitable difficulties.
No one can control it all.
This body is impermanent.
Death is certain.
The karma I create,
shapes the course of my life.
This human birth is precious,
An opportunity to awaken.

These 4 reminders,
expose my pre-occupations.
Things that at death,
will mean nothing to me.

Let me also remember.
the power of mindfulness.
Once well established,
in one such as me,
every moment becomes,
pregnant with awakening

Therefore I endeavor,
again and again,
to turn to reality,
simply willing to experience,
the truth of the breath
the truth of the body
the truth of vedana
the truth of the mind.


The deep grooves of habit
are well worn in my mind
with mindfulness I see
attachment, aversion and confusion
coming into being
and dissolving away.
These states are but waves
On the deep ocean of mind.

I recognize craving
for comfort and entertainment
for food and for sex
And spiritual experience.

I recognize negativity
directed internally and externally.

I even catch glimpses
of willful ignoring
chasing distraction
dreaming and sleeping.

Too often I act on
these mental poisons
and in the world all around
I can see the same

All of this can be held
in kind awareness
remaining a flux
not “me” and “mine”

Breathing in patiently
I welcome what’s happening

Breathing out, relaxing
I release all

One breath at a time
I purify [liberate] my mind.


When Shakyamuni became enlightened
his right hand touched the earth.
She witnessed his past efforts,
his sincerity and perseverance.

Flowers rained from the sky
and the ground quivered.
10,000 worlds celebrated
the fruit of his practice

Sitting here now
let the earth be my witness.
May I not forget
past efforts, the years of seeking

In a moment of awakening
from a crowd of confusion
it seems instantaneous
like good luck or chance.
But it is dependent
on all my past practice
even the sits
I label as “bad”

So let me rejoice in
the practice I’ve developed
with steady effort
it will certainly bear fruit

And let me rejoice in
the practice of others
from Shakyamuni to his disciples
and all who followed
including those sitting
here with me now


In order to be here
I had to find time
untangling myself
from obligations and projects
and pleasant diversions.

Like the Buddha’s disciples
who journeyed to Savatthi
we have come here
a silent community
devoting ourselves
to in and out breathing
opening heart and mind.

Let the wheel of dharma turn



With each breath we take here
the whole world is breathing
the trees and grasses
deer, fish and buzzards,
loved ones, strangers, enemies,
all beings breathing,
far and near.

May the merit we accumulate
ripen all beings
may all swiftly realize
full Buddhahood.


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