I was asked to read a "Buddhist Prayer" for the third year in a row for the Annual Interreligious Prayer Service for Justice and Peace. Last year I read the Metta Sutta and the year before I read another short prayer that was given to me at the last minute.
This time around I decided to take a stab at writing my own Buddhist Prayer for Peace since Buddhists aren't exactly stocked with a whole lot of prayers to choose from as are Christians, Jews, Muslims, and others.
As I see it, when we pray as Buddhists we aren't petitioning some separate entity to intervene in human affairs. Rather, we're clarifying and verbalizing an intention with the understanding that the law of interdependence is always at work, so our words and intentions and actions will reverberate in ways both strong and subtle.
This is the prayer I wrote:
Buddhist Prayer for Peace.
May all beings everywhere
Awaken to the inherent goodness
That dwells within themselves and all others.
May we all attain a peaceful, even nature
Unencumbered by untamed thoughts and endless desires
Unswayed by conditions, concepts, and appearances.
May all beings dispel greed, anger, hatred, and jealousy
And cultivate a wise and open heart
Witnessing the goodness in everyone and every thing
Seeing that all beings are one and share the same true nature.
May these words reach every realm
All the ends of this Earth
From the darkest caverns to the highest plains
Through the muck of human suffering
And the chaos of endless wanting.
May all those who suffer find comfort and calm
And attain true and lasting peace
Finding clarity in the midst of confusion
And grace within groundlessness.
May everyone who hears these words be able
to live safely, to see clearly, to speak wisely
and to practice kindness and compassion
towards themselves and all others.
As the waters fill the rivers that connect all the oceans
May everyone flow with each other and all living beings
with ease and with safety
with sanity and well being.
May no obstacles befall you
and may harm never reach you.
- by Rev. Lawrence Dō’an Grecco
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