This is a post on mysticism and I hope everyone stay safe and healthy in this covid-19 pandemic. Foremost, we have to be responsible and try to minimize mingling or social gathering. Watch our hygiene and do as the doctors recommend. Do not lose basic commonsense and wisdom.
The following are some basic simple mystical practices that you can try at home if you enjoy adding a little spiritual dimension to your life, like I do.
The practice of using water to purify the environment had been part of Buddhism since Shakyamuni Buddha’s time. Refer to Ratana sutta.
In this practice, we use water to purify our body. We can either recite a sutra or recite a mantra or both, in front of water and then we drink the water.
For people with Buddhist altar, we can place a covered cup or glass of water at the altar. Every morning, we transfer the water to our own drinking glass and drink the water. The glass or cup used to offer water at the alter is a designated offering cup or glass. We do not drink from it (Hygiene and respect?) Instead, after transferring the water to our own drinking glass, we wash the offering cup, fill it with fresh water and cover it. Then we offer the water at the altar again. Let it sit there for a day and a night. Then repeat the routine next day. In our daily practice, the water will be charged by the blessing power of the sutra or mantra that we recite.
Water that is being offered should be clean water. I use boiled water that has been cooled to room temperature. Some people offer tea. Remember health and hygiene. Use common sense.
If you do not have an altar, simply recite sutra or mantra in front of your cup of water. Remember to cover the cup for hygiene. Fill your drinking glass or jug with water. Cover it. Place it on the table. Sit comfortably in front of the water. Recite your favorite sutra or mantra, as many times as your time can afford. Focus on recitation. After that, you can drink it. We are not praying to the water. We are charging them with blessing power. Unlike other religion, the power of blessing in Buddhism is freely available to all. You do not need to be a priest or monk to recite a sutra or mantra over the water.
The presence of open flame and fire provide light and drives away darkness. Again, please use common sense and be wary of fire hazard.
The idea here is offering light to the Triple gems. Lighting candles or oil lamp in the house will bring a flame into a cold household.
It drives away dampness and illnesses. If you think about it, heat will circulate the air and the open flame will vanquish illnesses. (This is a mystical post, remember?)
For this practice, simply light candles in your living area. (If you have candles at home) If not, forget about it. There is no point risking your health by going out to buy them, ( if there is a pandemic going on out there)
Ok, back to offering of light.
Light the candles, mentally visualize or imagine the Buddha in front of you. Then imagine offering this light to Buddha. Pray thus, “May this light drive away all ignorance and stupidity in the world. May all the plague be burned away.”
Then place the candle around your living area.
You will be amazed how a little bit of open flame can change the atmosphere in the room (Please practice common sense and watch out for fire hazard) A gentle reminder not to be greedy and create a hazard by lighting too many candles.
Moderation and the middle way is the Buddhist way.
Stay healthy and well. May all be well and happy.