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Lions Roar : January 2016
A PRAYER FOR PEACE In beauty, sitting on a lotus flower, is Lord Buddha, quiet and solid. Your humble disciple, calm and pure of heart, forms a lotus flower with his hands, faces you with deep respect, and offers this heartfelt prayer: Homage to all Buddhas in the ten directions. Please have compassion for our suffering. Our land has been at war for two decades. Divided, it is a land of tears and blood and bones of young and old. Mothers weep till their tears are dry while sons on distant fields decay. Its beauty torn apart, only blood and tears now flow. Brothers killing brothers for promises from outsiders. Homage to all Buddhas in the ten directions. Because of your love for all people, have compassion on us. Help us remember we are just one family, North and South. Help us rekindle our compassion and brotherhood, and transform our separate interests into loving acceptance for all. May your compassion help us overcome our hatred. May Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva’s love help the flowers bloom again in the soil of our country. Humbly, we open our hearts to you, so you may help us transform our karma and water the flowers of our spirits. With your deep understanding, help our hearts grow light. Homage to Shakyamuni Buddha whose great vows and compassion inspire us. I am determined to cultivate only thoughts that increase trust and love, to use my hands to perform only deeds that build community, to speak only words of harmony and aid. May the merit of this prayer be transformed into peace in Vietnam. May each of us realize this, our deep aspiration. This prayer was used throughout South Vietnam in 1965 in the “Don’t Shoot Your Own Brother” campaign to rouse the willingness to work for peace. During meetings of young people, we chanted this poem, uniting our hearts and our efforts to continue to work for peace. —Thich Nhat Hanh SHAMBHALA SUN JANUARY 2016 76