Heart Jewel is the main daily practice for prayer and meditation within the Kadampa Buddhist tradition, so this is a great place to start. The short prayer booklet (or Sadhana), Heart Jewel, includes the two meditation practices revealed by the Wisdom Buddha Manjushri.
The first part is concerned with relying upon Je Tsongkhapa as our spiritual guide, so that we can purify negativity, accumulate merit, and receive blessings. Je Tsongkhapa was a Tibetan monk (AD 1357-1419) who spread very pure Buddhist teachings showing how to combine the practices of Sutra and Tantra, and how to practice pure Dharma during very difficult times. He was an emanation of the Wisdom Buddha Manjushri, and his tradition later became known as the new Kadampa, Gelug, or Ganden Tradition.
The second part of the Sadhana is a method for relying upon the Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden. A Dharma Protector is a Buddha appearing in a protecting aspect, whose main functions are to avert inner and outer obstacles that prevent practitioners from gaining spiritual realisations, and to arrange all the necessary conditions for their spiritual development. Like Je Tsongkapa, Dorje Shugden is also an emanation of the Wisdom Buddha Manjushri, and his purpose is always to help, guide, and protect sincere practitioners by granting blessings, increasing their wisdom, and fulfilling their virtuous wishes.Through this, we can overcome obstacles to our practice and create favourable conditions so that we can nurture and increase our Dharma realisations.
There is time within the prayers for a period of around 20 minutes for your own silent meditation.
This meditation can be based on one of the meditations included in The New Meditation Handbook (we have copies at the centre if you do not have your own), or you could choose to meditate on what has been covered in a class that you have attended, or just take time to meditate on another aspect of dharma that is important to you.
You can do this practice at home, but if you would like to learn more about it, and enjoy the special experience of meditating with others, please join us at one or more of the sessions. (If you need to slip out a little bit early to get to work that is fine).
Wishfulfilling Jewel is a similar but slightly longer Sadhana and is a special practice for developing compassion, wisdom, and spiritual strength by relying on the Wisdom Buddha Je Tsongkhapa, and for overcoming obstacles and difficulties on the spiritual path by relying on his Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden. For this Sadhana it is customary to bring an offering of something to eat or drink - which is then shared following the puja.