What to do Before Beginning Daily Meditation

Before We Begin Daily Meditation

Before we begin our daily meditation, we should clean our room and prepare our altar by cleaning it and making offerings. If we have no altar, we do not need to worry, we can simply visualize Padmasambhava in front of us.

The offerings which we make on the altar are symbolic. In our minds, we offer all pleasant things that we see, hear, taste, smell, and feel. We offer the light of the sun and the moon, all fresh flowers, all pleasing smells, all delicious food, and so forth, everything wonderful. Since these offerings are made to the Three Jewels and the Three Roots, who do not have any greed or desire for these offerings, they are made for the benefit of all sentient beings. After we have prepared our room and our altar, we begin our meditation with the common outer practice which is the four thoughts to turn the mind.

These are:
🔸The preciousness of human birth,
🔸 Impermanence and death,
🔸the cause and effect of karma, and
🔸The suffering of saṃsāra.
By meditating on these four thoughts, the mind is subdued and one is led to renounce saṃsāra.

Then we do the extraordinary inner preparation, which is the preliminary practice. Within the Ngondro, there are:
🔸going for refuge,
🔸generating Bodhicitta,
🔸Vajrasattva purification,
🔸maṇḍala offering,
🔸and the prayer of Guru Yoga


Thinley Norbu
Small Golden Key
Translated by Lisa Anderson
Shambala ©️2012

Making the Seven Shrine Offerings

  • Water for drinking (Argham)
  • Water for washing hands and feet (Padyam)
  • Flowers for adorning the head or hair(Pushpe)
  • Incense for smelling to please the nose (Dhupe)
  • Light: candlelight, butterlampsfor seeing to please the eyes (Aloke)
  • Perfume water to sprinkle on the body to refresh it(Ghande)
  • Food to please the taste (Naividya)
  • Music can me an eight offering to please the ears (Shabda)

Follow the instructions as indicated by Lama Sonam Rinpoche in the Video

How to Make the Water Bowl Offerings

Follow the instructions as indicated by Lama Sonam Rinpoche in the Video.

To make the water bowl offering, begin by wiping each bowl with a clean cloth and place the offering bowls face down on the shrine.

When “opening the shrine” fill the offering bowls beginning from the left hand side to the right side for the peaceful water offerings and from right hand side to the left side for the wrathful offerings. At the end of the day, “closing the shrine”, you will start emptying the offering bowls beginning from the right side moving to the left side for peaceful offerings and the opposite for wrathful offerings, emptying, wiping dry and placing the offering bowls face down on the shrine. Note: It is very inauspicious to have an empty offering bowl face up so remember to keep them face down when they are empty.

Water Offering Prayer written by Traktung Dudjom Lingpa called An Ocean of Blessings from Pure Vision with compliments from Bero Jeydren Publications. This prayer was translated and published by Bero Jeydren Publications.
Note: Clicking on the link will open a new page and redirect you to Shopify for a free download. If you want to make an offering for the text, Click here to make a direct donation to Bero Jeydren Publications,
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How to Make Saffron Water

Add saffron mixture to your offering bowls a drop at a time as desired.

View and order offering bowls and shrine supplies from the
Vajrayana Foundation’s  Dharma Treasures Bookstore
located at the Pema Osel Ling Retreat Center
in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Note: Clicking on the links will open a new page
and redirect you to the Dharma Treasures Bookstore website.