Herbs and spices have been traditionally associated with healing and curative purposes for thousands of years. From the ancient Egyptian, Chinese and Greek civilisations, the use of medicinal herbs has been studied and refined. Up until today, the efficacy of Chinese herbalism is very well known and widely accepted in both the East and the West.
In the Buddhist tradition, we make offerings to the Three Jewels on a daily basis. H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche recently explained that it is very meaningful to offer herbs, spices, grains, teas and organic foods to the Three Jewels because this types of offering creates the causes for good health and the physical healing of the body from illnesses. These offerings also are very good for those in the health or medical profession, so that their healing works are especially effective. On a broader scale, these offerings also create the causes of physical and symbolic abundance as well as inner and outer growth.
We can offer these items to both our Yidam and our Dharma Protector.
When we make offerings to our Yidam, we visualise that these items are multiplied and in great abundance. As these items all come from the earth, we visualise that all positive energies from the earth are imbued in the items. As we make these offerings, we make the wish for good health and we can also pray for inner growth - which is the transformation of our minds in order to achieve spiritual growth.
When we make these offerings to our Dharma Protector, we pray for outer growth - which is the increase of resources, support, people, sponsors, buildings etc. We pray for the swift manifestation of this physical growth so that we can achieve the inner growth we are striving for through our Yidam practice.
I liked this teaching from Rinpoche very much because it is very logical. As herbs, spices, foods are grown from the earth, they are sustenance for us and provide healing and energy to our bodies. When we make offerings of these very items to the Three Jewels, we create the causes for us to receive the same things - for positive things to grow and come to fruition.
Thank you to Rinpoche for this precious teaching and Jamie Khoo also for sharing. Now, we can make these offerings at home in order to achieve the growth we all need to progress on our spiritual journey!