Go to the Source
As Vajrayana Buddhists we are trained to scrutinize the teachings, the teachers, and lineage, because we are embarking on a very important journey. We need a teacher that we can be confident embodies the dharma teachings and can lead us safely across the ocean of suffering to our own enlightenment. Genuine teachers are motivated by bodhicitta, selfless compassion for beings. Having attained realization themselves, their teachings and prayers are the speech emanation of the Buddha, and therefore carry real potency, the potency of Buddhanature.
Today William Cassidy, a convicted felon of arson and domestic violence who calls himself Tenpa Rinpoche and used to call himself Jigme Rinpoche, wrote a prayer for the Gulf Coast in the wake of the oil spill. Creative writing is a good outlet, but it is more potent to do authentic prayers and practices than to take the opportunity to show off one’s literary prowess.
Effective prayer requires potency. And a prayer’s potency depends on its source and on the intention of the author. It is why people choose to read Psalms rather than the Simpsons in Church. Source matters. Intention matters. If you want to say prayers, then go to the Source. Say prayers that stem from the enlightened mind.