It common practice in most Buddhist schools to perform bowing practice. This humbling meditation unites the body and mind as one and purifies our Karma. One hundred eight bows are performed daily by priests and aspirants to purify our mind, speech, and body. One must touch the earth with a sincere heart with the intention to perceive one’s true nature and save all beings from suffering.
Description of Practice in steps:
- Standing tall like a tree we place our hands together and bring them above our heads. We begin by saying, “We purify our mind, speech, and body”.
- We bow to the ground, our forehead touches the floor, our palms face up. We say, “Kwanseum Posal”. (Other names for Kwanseum Posal: in Chinese Guan Yin, Kuan Yin, in Korean Kwanseum Posal, in Japanese Kannon, in Tibetan Chenrezig, and in Sanskrit Avalokitesvara. Kwanseum Posal is the Bodhisattva of great compassion.)
- Then we put our palms facing down and rise.
- We prostrate, or bow, 25 times then say,”Great is the problem of birth and death!” while staying on our knees.
- After 25 more prostrations we say, “Impermanence surrounds us!” while staying on our knees.
- After 25 more prostrations we say, “Be awake each moment!” while staying on our knees.
- After 25 more prostrations we say, “Do not waste your life!” while staying on our knees.
- We then rise and do 8 prostrations while reciting the Eight-Fold Path.
- “Correct View”
- “Correct Thinking”
- “Correct Speech”
- “Correct Actions”
- “Correct Effort”
- “Correct Livelihood”
- “Correct Mindfulness”
- “Correct Meditation”
- Last we bow at the hips with a humble heart, our hands together.