WORSHIPPING BY HOAHAO BUDDHIST FOLLOWERS
PRAYERS BEFORE THE ANCESTORS' ALTAR
Holding incense jossticks in hands and kneeling down, kowtow three times. Then pray with hands joined and touched to forehead. Recite the prayers:
"I respectfully present the incense to my revered Ancestors."
"And request them to witness my faithfulness, "
"I awaken now and take refuge under Buddha"
"And pledge to improve myself and allow myself to enjoy bliss."
Planting the jossticks in the incense-holder, then standing straight, praying with hands joined at the chest, and continue the prayer:
"I respectfully bow to my Ancestors."
"And offer my gratitude for your nurturing and raising me through so many hardships."
"From now on, I will keep my religion"
"And pray that my Ancestors have their souls released from suffering and that they may reach the Buddhist Paradise."
"I pledge to be honorable for my Ancestors"
"And pray that my Ancestors may escape the Ocean of Suffering to reach the Heart of the Lotus "
"I pray the Almighty"
"To bless me so that I may continue on resolutely, my religious faith."
Kowtow four times to end the prayers.
PRAYING BEFORE BUDDHA'S ALTAR
Holding jossticks in hands while kneeling down, kowtow three times and pray with hands joined and touched to forehead. Repeat the "Conversion" prayer (Pledge to take refuge within religion).
"Namo Buddha Shakyamuni our Master Pontiff of Saha" (repeat three times)
"Namo Buddhas of everywhere"
"Namo Buddha, our Buddha Master, the top ranking dignitaries and national heroes, and the deities who reign over mountains and lands, I respectfully pray that you witness my pledge to repent and help me distinguish good from evil, so that I may follow your path in religion according to the Buddhist teachings."
Either plant the jossticks in the incense holder then kowtow four times or plant the jossticks then stand straight with hand joined at the chest. Repeat the following prayer: (Five Prayers to the West Paradise)
"Namo Buddha Amida who reigns over the Blissful Western Paradise where sentient beings are delivered from their sufferings,"
"Our first prayer is to the King of Heaven, the King of Earth, the King of Men, the most Merciful Buddha, King of Buddhas, to bestow peace upon mankind,"
"Our second prayer is that our revered ancestors reach the Deliverance World,"
"Our third prayer is that our parents enjoy longevity and prosperity, and that the souls of our ancestors return to the Buddhist Paradise,"
"Our fourth prayer is that everyone will be kindhearted, altruistic, and free from ignorance."
"Our fifth prayer is to Buddha and our Buddha Master to mercifully and indulgently forgive the sins of the faithful, guide them out of bewilderment and confer upon them a clear mind so that they may reach enlightenment."
Prostrating oneself four times and kowtowing one time frontward recite the prayer: "Namo Buddha Amida". Kowtow to the left one time: "Namo the Most Powerful Boddhisatva". Kowtow to the right one time: "Namo Boddhisatva Goddess of Mercy."
PRAYING BEFORE THE HEAVEN'S ALTAR
After praying before Buddha's altar, we will then pray before the Heaven's altar by facing successively in four directions (the main direction will be the Heaven's altar) front, rear, left, and right.
The "Conversion" prayer is said while facing the main direction, the "Heaven's Altar," and the "Five Prayers to the West", are said while facing the three other directions (prostrate four times in each direction). Kowtow three times if prostrating is not possible.
Stand or kneel down to prostrate accordingly to one's physical conditions.
PRAYING TO BUDDHA
After worshipping, one may pray to Buddha. This may be done by sitting Indian fashion with back straight and praying:
"Namo Buddha Amida!" or:
"Namo the Buddhist Paradise, Namo the multitude of Buddhas who bestow their blessings upon mankind under the same and only Name and Title of the Merciful Buddha, Buddha Amida.
(The amount of praying time varies depending on one's health, and done only in silence).
"NAMO BUDDHA AMIDA," can be pray at any moment, anywhere, whether you are standing, walking, or lying down.
PRAYING AND OFFERINGS TO ANCESTORS
Before every meal, even if the meal is as simple as bread and water, one must pray to our ancestors and our deceased parents to invite them to share the meal. This is to express our filial piety.
On the remembrance anniversary days of our ancestors, one may make offerings with anything that is available. It may be rice or fruit or cake. As long as it is from the heart.
Fasting on the 14th, 15 th, 29th, and 30th (for the short months- the 1st and 29th) according to the Lunar Calendar. Offer incense jossticks if available, otherwise prayers are sufficient.
On the occasion of the New Year, fasting on the 29th and 30th of the Twelfth month and the 1st day o f the First month. During these fasting days, make only vegetarian offerings to our ancestors until the 2nd then after this date anything can be offered. However, do not kill animals on the 3rd for offerings. For the worshipping of God and Buddhas, only flowers are offered.
If it is time for worshipping while one is working out in the fields, turn Westward to pray then kowtow in four directions. When away from home, prayers said in silence are sufficient.