Kora is a path on which we walk around sacred object or place. Kora means circle in Tibetan and circumbulation in English. It is a path to purify our negative karma. Likewise we can get physical, mental and spiritual benefits. Tibetan circumbulate in a clockwise direction while Bon practitioner walk anti clockwise. When Master Atisha arrived in Tibet, Dromtonpa and his other disciples asked him, “Why do you attach such great importance to circumambulating Stupas in contrast with all other virtuous acts?” Master Atisha told them, “Among all relatively virtuous acts, there is none that brings about more merits than circumambulating Stupas, because it is the amassment of good karma of the body, the mind and the soul.
Circumambulating is a very powerful practice, and the very root of the practice is to circumambulate with strong devotion, and with an undistracted mind. Since we need to accumulate extensive merit in order to generate realizations and achieve enlightenment quickly, we should attempt to circumambulate as perfectly as possible. Circumambulations should be done with body, speech and mind. If your mind is distracted and you are gossiping while you are circumambulating, there is no great benefit. Mental circumambulation involves generating devotion by thinking again and again of the qualities of the object you are circumambulating, of the qualities of the Guru-Buddha. Speech circumambulation involves reciting mantras and praises over and over again. While reciting mantras we can use prayers beads, prayers wheels but it is not compulsion. With body and speech the most important one is the mental circumambulation i, e having devotion in the mind. Do not think small virtuous things are not worth your attention. Even small drops of water can accumulate and fill a big vessel. Virtue needs to be accumulated little by little; it is impossible to instantly gain all provisions required for becoming Buddha. Sutra of Wisdom and Foolishness (Damamukl Nidana Sutra)
Most of the time while circumambulating I meditate on emptiness. As with walking meditation it helps in practicing awareness of dependent arising. I question myself self, “What am I doing?—I am circumambulating. Why am I circumambulating?. Except for the fact that the body is circumambulating, there is no reason at all that I am circumambulating. It is very good to apply this reasoning. When I do this, there is suddenly some change in the concrete, independent I. Suddenly it is not so solid, not so real. It is not that the I does not exist, but there is a big change in my perception of it. In the heart there is a feeling of I, but this I is not real in the sense of being independent and existent from its own side. Others people might have different feeling. Finally, at the end of Kora I dedicate all the merit for long life of gurus and benefit of all sentient beings.
May all my actions be virtuous actions. May all my actions become cause for happiness and enlightenment. May all my actions bring happiness to all sentient beings. May all my actions bring enlightenment to all sentient beings.