Importance of prayer in buddhism


Where is my mind?
Reaction score
Middlesbrough, UK
In the New Kadampa Tradition of Mahayana buddhism it is considered necessary to practice the "Heart Jewel". A ritual of prayer and mediatation which praises and involks the help of the enlightened beings.

I would like to know if any other Buddhists here of other schools and vehicles have a requirement (or even a personal belief) to pray in this way?
To add to Awaiting the Fifth's question...

Is it not correct that some Buddhists have a personnnal shrine dedicated to the Buddha in place in their homes? What do these shines look like (i.e. decorations)? Is it not true that they must have three things included in it; one to represent the Buddha, one for the Dharma and one for the Sangha? The shrine, of course, would be where one would pray..
I do have just such a shrine and yes, three things are essential but not representations of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.

The actual requirement of a shrine is to have representations of Buddha's Body, Speach and Mind. On my own shrine I have placed a statue as a representation of Buddha's Body, A selection of sutras and other texts as a representation of Buddha's Speach and an image of a stupa as a representation of Buddha's mind. (An actual stupa would be better but I have not yet been able to aquire one.

In addition to these permanent fixtures, I also place on the shrine offerings to Buddha, such as water, sweets, incense, scented candles, light, flowers and generally anything which I enjoy and choose to share with Buddha.

I always sit facing the shrine and make offerings when I meditate.