Said by the 17th Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje

Making aspiration prayers, for Buddhists, is one of our most important practices. From the Buddhist perspective and understanding, all auspicious and joyous experiences in life come from our aspirations. The more prayers of aspiration are offered the more joyous experiences it brings to people’s lives.

Aspiration prayers support us both in this life and for our future rebirth. The reason why it is essential to our practice and beneficial is because the experience of the external existence is brought about by consciousness. So, every thought that occurs matters to the outcome of the external experience. Aspirations guide the consciousness to a perfect process of the function of mind. It is a path where consciousness is not disturbed by any unnecessary thoughts or actions. The main ingredient in aspirations is the motivation, the intention to benefit others wholeheartedly out of unconditioned mind. Such a practice can be applied by anyone no matter their culture, religion, philosophy etc.

Normally in a tragedy, we are often stunned and dazed. We don’t realize the mental support that we can provide. So, the practice of aspirations is there to benefit others not only temporarily but beyond, as well.

There are many ways to help others, like through means of generosity and such but there are some things that can only really be reached through aspirations, that really soothe those victims who are present as well as those who have passed. Aspirations help those who have passed away to have a peaceful and smooth transition into the next life and give freedom for whichever way they wish to be reborn. The end result of the aspiration practice is that of peace and courage.