Dr. Orest Pelenchaty is a friend of our temple and a long time practicing Buddhist. He runs an organization all Odhayana Kondroling in Benson VT. (www.oldkingfarm.org). Dr. Pelenchaty has invited us to perform Goma in May and was kind enough to write a blog article for us.
Goma is the Japanese Buddhist version of the ancient Indo-Persian fire sacrifice ritual. In keeping with our very eclectic mission at Odhyana Kandroling Foundation, we have invited Fudosan Kongo-Ji (I don’t use my name on the site or in the blog because I am often googled by business clients) to help us dedicate a Nature Spirit Sanctuary.
We already are developing a Bee Sanctuary and also a Healing Plants Sanctuary and a Wildlife Corridor Reforestration Project. Our founding members have a strong
base in Pranic Healing and Rei Ki and allied arts. The land has been seriously prepped with innovative Bio-Dynamic farming techniques. In this time of planetary crisis we are “calling all angels” in support of Earth healing!
We at OKF maintain an ongoing tradition of relating to fire in sacred and meditative ways
Whether it is in the more mundane way of gathering around the stove on a cold Vermont night or the regular lighting of votive candles on the Buddhist shrine or appreciating good company around a campfire under the infinite starfields. We have also had numerous occasions when visiting lamas performed fire ceremonies, whether it was the famous Mountain of Burnt Offerings ( Riwo Sang Cho in Tibetan) or the sumptuously elaborated fire puja of Vajrapani ( Bodhisattva of Enlightened Power) or the simpler regular smoke offerings we do for the protective deities and to bless the environs. We also make use of incense to raise the vibration for meditation, smudging to purify the living space, and moxibustion to bolster the Ki ( prana) of patients seeking healing.
The homa rite can be traced back through ancient Brahmanic practices to the central Asian steppe cultures. Recent discoveries at Gonor Tepeh show clear evidence of temple complexes dedicated to the offering of the Soma elixir as a sacrifice to Agni, the deity of Fire. This is the origin of ceremonies at the heart of both Zoroastrian ( Persian) and Vedic ( classical Indian) religions. One can safely suppose that the lines of such visionary activities go back to much earlier times when humans were keenly aware of the raw power of Nature and respected the Elemental energies forming and enlivening our universe.
All indigenous and most ‘classical’ cultures have some recorded version of a spiritual/religious/magical role for burnt offerings. In the Mahayana (the Greater Vehicle of Buddhism) one seeks to develop service for others’ by focusing on engaged “skillful means”. Based on universal altruism , the Tantrayana ( Esoteric Vehicle of Buddhism) incorporates many techniques for accelerating spiritual evolution while simultaneously helping relieve suffering for many beings along our way to the goal of enlightenment. One such yogic doorway is working via any of the archetypal Elements. Here we touch on the very beautiful ceremonial method of relating to sacred energies thru working with Fire, called Goma. Such methods are very shamanic and the blessing waves of pure intent and loving energy generated in such a way radiate across the universe and the positive karma is dedicated for the welfare of everyone everywhere.
So we are pleased to have Rev. Tanaka’s North American disciple coming to visit on Sunday May 22nd to perform a Goma to inaugurate Vermont’s first Nature Spirit Sanctuary. Thus we are bringing a powerful ancient tradition to assist us in harmonizing with Nature and the Elements in the 21st century in our corner of Turlte Island.
May all beings benefit.