Pujas & Practices


Pujas are powerful ceremonial practices that help us achieve success and harmony in our daily lives and progress swiftly in our spiritual development. Relied on by Buddhist practitioners for centuries, pujas incorporate meditation, visualization, and prayers to help generate positive potential (merit). The strength and support of group practice magnifies the impact of the energy that pujas create, producing benefits that include:

  • Clearing obstacles to success and happiness in our daily lives
  • Contributing causes for achieving enlightenment
  • Purifying negativities
  • Helping us to meditate well
  • Building a flourishing spiritual community
  • Promoting health and long life for ourselves and others
  • Strengthening our connection to the buddhas and our spiritual teachers

Pujas are an important element of Shantideva Meditation Center’s integrative spiritual program, which also includes the philosophical, meditative, and practical aspects of Mahayana Buddhism. Pujas are suitable for all levels of practitioners, from beginner to advanced, and questions about the practice are always welcome.

We offer three different pujas regularly, and each emphasizes particular benefits:

Cittamani Tara Puja is a practice invoking Cittamani Tara, a deity well-known as a source of swift assistance in all temporal and spiritual matters. Cittamani Tara is called upon to bring success – including for situations involving family, relationships, business, and career – and for protection from all negativities and fears. She is also invoked in times of emergency, personal distress and difficulty, health problems, for the quick removal of obstacles, and when rapid wisdom is needed. Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche has specifically advised that the Cittamani Tara Puja be practiced by Shantideva Meditation Center.

Medicine Buddha Puja purifies and heals on all levels—physical, mental, spiritual, and environmental. It is considered particularly powerful for people who are sick or have recently died, and for bringing both temporal success and the ultimate success of enlightenment.

Guru Puja lays the whole path to enlightenment onto our mindstream, connects us more strongly to our teachers, and allows us to quickly and effectively accumulate merit and purify negative karma.

You are warmly invited to join our supportive community as a participant or observer in any or all of the pujas. There is no charge to participate, and you are welcome to bring a small offering of food or flowers to create further merit.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche explains:

If someone offers a small flower or rice to a Buddha statue, a stupa or scripture then the benefit extends from then up to enlightenment. Amazing, amazing. It is said in the sutra Piled Flowers, on top of that benefit, you achieve ultimate happiness — liberation from the causes of delusion and karma and on top of that full enlightenment — all the realizations, and omniscient mind.

Request a Prayer Dedication

All participants at pujas are welcome to make dedications for themselves or loved ones facing illness, death, or other difficulties. You may also make a request by contacting email hidden; JavaScript is required.

Sponsor a Puja

You are welcome to sponsor all or part of a puja. Full sponsorship is $100. Great merit is created by your contribution of any amount. To sponsor, click here.

Sutra Recitation

From time to time, FPMT centers are advised by Lama Zopa Rinpoche to recite Mahayana sutras (the canonical teachings of the Buddha) from the Sanskrit canon. Reciting even just one verse from these texts is very beneficial for developing spiritual realizations, fostering world peace, and overcoming various obstacles in life. The most powerful way to recite is as a group. Examples of sutras that Lama Zopa Rinpoche has recommended for us to recite include the Sutra of Golden Light, the Sanghata Sutra, and the King of Prayers.

Animal Liberation

Animal liberation is also an extremely strong practice for benefitting humans. Protecting life, easing the causes of suffering, and working for the happiness of animals brings many positive results.

This practice:

  • Promotes longevity
  • Is a powerful method for fighting disease and illness
  • Generates positive energy to comfort and support the dying
  • Purifies vast amounts of negative karma
  • Provides an empowering way to face health obstacles
  • Gives us the opportunity to open our hearts and eliminate suffering

Following the strong encouragement of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Lama Zopa Rinpoche, please join us in rejoicing for the lives of animals and all sentient beings through the beautiful practice of animal liberation.

Request a Prayer Dedication

If you would like to request a dedication for yourself, someone else, or a beloved animal who might benefit from this practice, please email Desmond Hosford at email hidden; JavaScript is required and indicate “Animal Liberation” in the subject line.