Herbs and Spices for Offerings?

19 Mar

(I am not advocating Organic Green Tea with Jasmine but the use of teas, herbs and spices as offerings. Anyway, I love the packaging. Hehe!)

We instinctively know that the herbs and spices have a healing effect on our body. Even some animals know that and would instinctively look for certain fruits, plants and shrubs to eat when they have certain discomfort. We have the same instinct except our knowledge is far more superior due to centuries of experiment, exploration and advancement in medical science. Due to a 5000 year old history, the Chinese have perfected their knowledge of the herbs and use them extensively to cure common health and medical problems. So, such knowledge is widespread and not unique of any culture, new or old.

Therefore in the Buddhist tradition, we can use the very same herbs and spices as offerings to the 3 Jewels every day to collect a certain type of merit. H. E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche explained that it is very meaningful to offer herbs, spices, grains, teas and organic foods because it will create the cause for good health and the healing of the body from illnesses. Such offerings are very good practice for those in the health or medical profession, so that their healing abilities is increased. On top of that, these offerings also create the causes for spiritual and material abundance as well as inner and outer growth.

Therefore, we can make such offerings to our Yidam or our main mediational Buddha by visualizing that these items are multiplied with great abundance. This is kinda similar to the way Jesus miraculously multiplied the bread and fishes to feed the masses. So, we do this with our mind and we visualize that all the positive energies of the earth are absorbed from the earth and channeled into these offerings. As we are making the offering, we make the wish for good health and also inner growth as well so that our minds become more receptive to transform and become pliable to benefit others.

When we make this offering to our Dharma Protector (who are really like Buddhist guardian angels), we make the wish for abundant outer growth. This is so that our resources, support, people, sponsors and buildings for our spiritual organisation to grow. We pray for the swift manifestation of growth so that many can achieve inner growth with their spiritual practices. I like making offerings to the 3 Jewels on my altar although I seldom do it and particularly like the meaning behind the offering and the definitely the results. I think I will go shopping this evening for some herbs and spices to offer tonight.  Thank you Rinpoche, and Jamie Khoo for sharing this insightful teaching along with Sharon Saw for also blogging about it and I had based my blog post on yours.

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