Seven Sacred Water Bowls

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Offering Removed

Offering Removed

In us, Tibetan culture’s many daily life traditions as Buddhists, there is the wonderful tradition of offering seven bowls of water “yonchap” to the Buddha. Each morning, seven copper or brass bowls on the altar are filled with water. The offering is made each morning, and removed at sunset. Like any other offering, the main purpose here is also to cultivate generosity and to reduce selfishness, pride and greed. One reason that we offer water is that water in Tibet has traditionally been considered plentiful and free, and therefore painless to give. The idea is that all of our offerings should be given as freely as we would give water. One reason that we offer water is that water in Tibet has traditionally been considered plentiful and free, and therefore painless to give. The idea is that all of our offerings should be given as freely as we would give water. It is the act of offering and not the offerings themselves that focus the mind on the teachings of Buddha, and free you from worldly concerns and delusions. Though there is simplicity in giving the gift, the gesture is powerful and helps strengthen the mind. As you fill the bowls each morning, you’re reaffirming the dedication of your body and mind to the cultivation of goodness and wisdom in the world. Another way to view offering water is that the offerings are powerful reminders of the seven aspects of Buddha. Traditionally, the seven meanings of the offerings are cool water to drink; pure water to clean up, flowers or plants for the pleasure of eyes, incense symbolizing discipline, lamp symbolizing light in darkness, fragrance as devotion, and then fruits or sweets showing gratitude.

Instead of offering Water, you can also offer fruits or substance, it’s the idea of cultivating generosity and reducing selfishness and greed that should remain.

Instead of offering Water, you can also offer fruits or substance, it’s the idea of cultivating generosity and reducing selfishness and greed that should remain.