from the Mindfulness Bell, by Reverend Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich Nhat Hanh is the author of many books on Engaged Buddhism, including "Being Peace," "The Miracle of Mindfulness," and "Living Buddha, Living Christ." His books are short but difficult to finish, as I keep giving my only copies away! (Every last one -- from a $30 book my sister gave me for my birthday, right down to a defective paperback with upside-down pages I bought for a dollar, thinking surely nobody would ask me for it. I never got past the table of contents!)

Nominated for a Nobel Prize by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., for his work in Viet Nam, Thich Nhat Hanh will eventually go down in history as the mediator who restored peace between my mother and me at a Buddhist retreat, when we were on the verge of strangling each other. Because of his gentle way with words, we are still alive today. And still fighting over what Buddhism is and is not.

The Nine Prayers by Thich Nhat Hanh

May I be peaceful, happy, and light in body and spirit.

May I be free from injury. May I live in safety.

May I be free from disturbance, fear, anxiety, and worry.

May I learn to look at myself with the eyes of understanding and love.

May I be able to recognize and touch the seeds of joy and happiness in myself.

May I learn to identify and see the sources of anger, craving, and delusion in myself.

May I know how to nourish the seeds of joy in myself every day.

May I be able to live fresh, solid, and free.

May I be free from attachment and aversion, but not be indifferent.

NOTE: After practicing "May I be . . . " you can practice, "May he or she be . . ." -- visualising first someone you like, then the one you love the most, then someone who is neutral to you, and finally the person whom thinking of makes you suffer the most. Then you can practice "May they be . . ." beginning with the group, the people, the nation, or the species you like, then the one you love, then the one that is neutral to you, and finally the one you suffer the most when you think of.

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Original materials created and owned by C. Johnston 1997-1999.