Buddist Prayer of Kindness

Prayer

This is an ancient meditation taught by the Buddha himself, and is designed to bring unconditional love to your Self, your loved ones and even learn to send unconditional love to beings throughout the universe. It will help to bring peace to situations taking place in your life. It will also allow you to look at the world in a more positive light.

Here’s how it goes …..

You can begin by sitting down in a comfortable position and closing your eyes. Sit with your back erect, without being strained or over-arched. Just be comfortable. You can sit in a chair or on the floor, whichever works best for you.

Bring your attention to your breath. Take a few slow, deep breaths. In .. and out. In … and out. As you exhale, imagine you are breathing out all negative thoughts and emotions. Breathe in pure light, kindness, generosity and love — breathe out anger, breathe out any thoughts of harm to others or yourself or feelings of fear or failure. Relax your body. Feel your energy settle into your heart and into the moment, the present, the Now.

See if certain phrases emerge from your heart that express what you wish most deeply for yourself, not just for today, but in an enduring way. Phrases that are big enough and general enough so you can ultimately wish them for all of life, for all beings — everywhere.

The phrases of loving-kindness are things like,

“May I live in safety. May I be happy. May I be healthy. May I live with ease.”

You can gently repeat these phrases over and over again. You can have your mind rest in the phrases and whenever you find your attention has wandered, don’t worry about it. When you recognize you’ve lost touch with the moment, see if you can gently let go and begin again repeating the phrases.

“May I live in safety. May I be happy. May I be healthy. May I live with ease.”

Call to mind somebody that you care about — someone close to you — someone for whom you have positive feelings — perhaps a family member, a good friend, or someone who’s helped you in your life, or someone who inspires you. You can visualize them, say their name to yourself. Get a feeling for their presence, imagine them being with you now, here in the present, and then direct the phrases of loving-kindness to them.

“May you live in safety, May you be happy, May you be healthy, May you live with ease.”

Call to mind someone you know who’s having a difficult time right now. They’ve experienced a loss, or a painful feeling, or a difficult situation. It may be someone you know — or it may be someone who you’ve heard about. If somebody like that comes to mind, bring them here into the present with you.

Imagine them sitting in front of you. Say their name if you know it. Get a feeling for their presence and offer the phrases of loving-kindness to them.

“May you live in safety. May you be happy. May you be healthy. May you live with ease.”

Now, think of someone who plays some role in your life, someone you don’t know very well, perhaps someone for whom you have no particular feeling for, or against. Maybe the checkout person at the supermarket where you shop. It could be the gas-station attendant, somebody that you see periodically. If someone like that comes to mind, imagine them sitting in front of you, and offer these same phrases of loving-kindness to them. This could also apply to someone for whom you may be harboring negative feelings.

“May you live in safety. May you be happy. May you be healthy. May you live with ease.”

When we connect into these phrases, when we aim our hearts in this way, we’re opening ourselves to the possibility of including, rather than excluding — of connecting, rather than overlooking — of caring, rather than being indifferent. And ultimately, we open in this way to all beings everywhere, without distinction, without separation.

“May all beings live in safety. May all beings be happy. May all beings be healthy. May all beings live with ease.”

All people, all animals, all creatures, all those in existence, near and far, known to us and unknown to us. All beings on the earth, in the air, in the water. Those being born, those who are dying.

“May all beings everywhere live in safety. May all beings everywhere be happy. Mayall beings everywhere be healthy. May all beings everywhere live with ease.”

You feel the energy of this loving-kindness meditation extending infinitely in front of you, and to either side of you, behind you, above you and below you, surrounding you. As the heart extends in a boundless way, leaving no one out —

“May all beings everywhere live in safety. May all beings everywhere be happy. Mayall beings everywhere be healthy. May all beings everywhere live with ease.”

And when you feel ready, you can open your eyes and see if you can bring this wonderful, loving energy with you throughout the day, everyday.

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