Wedding Ceremonies – Tibetan Buddhist
Updated: Sep 1, 2020
Buddhism is a path of transformation, in order to access one’s inner potential. At first, our spiritual growth is a solo journey where we get to know our own unique qualities and talents and realise that we can use them to bring benefit to the world around us.
“We actively nurture our love by working wholeheartedly on ourselves” (Karmapa).
Later on, love itself is a spiritual practice and marriage is the practice ground where we learn to support others, committing as much to their happiness as to our own. Marriage can be challenging, yet our inner potential is developed through facing life’s challenges, and not just seeking joy.
In Buddhism, we take refuge in the Buddha (the teacher who inspires us), the Dharma (the teachings that help us in our transformation) and the Sangha, the community of support, represented by all here at this marriage ceremony.
Buddhism places a strong emphasis on mindfulness, and appreciating the present moment. So let’s begin by connecting with this moment, so that we are fully present and can recognise the sacred nature of this special occasion. When we become more mindful of the present moment, it can feel like slowing down time, giving us the opportunity of savouring it fully.
Om Mani Peme Hung
The Elements and Relationships
Within Tibetan Buddhism, we often see prayer flags hanging on buildings or over doorways. They carry our prayers via the wind, and help bless the area in which they are displayed. Each colour of the flag symbolises an element. When the elements are in balance, there is health and harmony, when they are out of balance, there is disharmony and disease. The balance is continually changing within us; physically, emotionally and mentally. Once we become aware of the balance of the elements within us, and how we affect and are affected by the balance of the elements in others, we may find that this awareness guides us to take care of ourselves and to act more skilfully towards our partner. As the community supporting the married couple, we provide the space – the holding place – in which they can grow.
Irwin, Edie (1993) ‘Working with the Elements‘ based on the teachings of Dharma Arya Akong Rinpoche: Tara (Rokpa Trust)
Within a marriage, we need to help balance each other. And there is also one invisible force of profound importance in a marriage – the energy (prana) which moves through everything. The life force of a marriage is loving-kindness and compassion.
“For love to last, it is better not to have too many expectations. It is better just to offer love.” (Karmapa)