On this first day of the New Year, I've decided to share a few prayers from religions that might express their understanding of life and the Divine quite differently than you. And yet, even if this is the case, I think you'll find the prayers familiar and inspiring.
I begin with a story: Twelve years ago, I was fortunate to hear the Dalai Lama speak at the University of California in Irvine. The packed arena grew silent when the frail monk walked onto the stage. He smiled and chuckled and then began talking about - Love. His microphone was faulty and it was difficult to hear him because he spoke softly. But the students roared their endorsement. It was then that I realized that it wasn't his words that reached them. It was him.
We may not be monks, but each of us has the extraordinary gift of life. And we can be countercultural by risking love. Let's make 2023 a year of miracles. I suspect we're all weary of last year's struggles. Maybe a neighbor needs help or a child needs a storyteller. Small steps can lead to big leaps in transforming our world. I know this to be true, because the students showed me the possibility. ❤️
Happy New Year, dear friends!
Bodhisattva Prayer for Humanity
May I be a guard for those who need protection
A guide for those on the path
A boat, a raft, a bridge for those who wish to cross the flood
May I be a lamp in the darkness
A resting place for the weary
A healing medicine for all who are sick
A vase of plenty, a tree of miracles
And for the boundless multitudes of living beings
May I bring sustenance and awakening
Enduring like the earth and sky
Until all beings are freed from sorrow
And all are awakened.
Oh, Great Spirit, whose voice I hear in the winds
and whose breath gives life to all the world.
Hear me! I need your strength and wisdom.
Let me walk in beauty and make my eyes
ever hold the red and purple sunset.
Make my hands respect the things You have made,
and my ears sharp to hear Your voice.
Make me wise so that I may understand
the things You have taught my people.
Let me learn the lessons You have hidden in every leaf and rock.
Help me remain calm and strong
in the face of all that comes towards me.
Help me find compassion without empathy overwhelming me.
I seek strength, not to be superior to my brother,
but to fight my greatest enemy – myself.
Make me always ready to come to You with clean and straight eyes.
So when life fades as the fading sunset, my spirit may come to you without shame.
Christianity's The Lord's Prayer
Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory,
forever and ever.