Gatha Before Eating

A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue,
but the parent of all the other virtues.
~ Cicero

Gatha Before Eating

The joys and pains of all beings
are present in the gift of this food.
Let us receive it in love and gratitude…

And in mindfulness of our sisters and brothers
among living beings of every kind
who are hungry or homeless, sick or injured,
or suffering in any way.

(Buddhist prayer)

This Week’s Affirmation:

“I see all of the beauty and grace which is around me with loving gratitude.”

(For more on Affirmations, go to my Affirmations Page.)

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Prayer for Tuesday (Yom Kippur)

The Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur begins at sundown today.

Focus on the journey,
not the destination.
Joy is found not in finishing an activity
but in doing it.
~ Greg Anderson

I now intensely cultivate universal love,
wishing for all conscious beings only true happiness,
fulfillment, peace and freedom from suffering.
I experience great ecstatic joy
at the very thought of conscious
beings abiding forever in equanimity and bliss,
free from every obvious fear and subtle anxiety.
As universal love increases in this mind stream,
harmful forces cannot affect me,
and I become a protector of living beings.

I deeply rejoice in all authentic religious
and moral teachings which have elevated
any person into selfless love.
I rejoice as well in all kind actions
performed by or for even the least evolved sentient being.
I remember constantly that all societies and relationships,
in order to be fruitful, can be based upon
and sustained by loving-kindness alone.

(Buddhist prayer)

This Week’s Affirmation:

“Every atom of my being is resonating with joy and happiness now.”

(For more on Affirmations, go to my Affirmations Page.)

Prayer for Thursday

Quiet the mind,
and the soul will speak.”
~ Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati

The sound of wonder, the sound which observes the cries of the world
The supreme sound, the sound of the rising tide
The sound which goes beyond the sound of ordinary life
We should be permanently mindful of all of these

Every moment of mindfulness without doubt
The purity of the being of Avalokita*
Is the place where we need to take refuge
In times of danger and the suffering of death

Let us bow deeply to one
Who has laid the causes for every possible happiness
Who looks on the world with eyes of love
Whose ocean of well-being cannot be measured.

(from The Lotus Sutra)

* Avalokita or Avalokiteśvara (“Lord who looks down”) is a bodhisattva who embodies the compassion of all Buddhas.

This Week’s Affirmation:

“I have faith in the Universal Spirit and the Universal Spirit takes care of me.”

(For more on Affirmations, go to my Affirmations Page.)

Prayer for Thursday

“What day is it?”
“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
“My favorite day,” said Pooh.”
~ A.A. Milne

Through the working of Great Compassion in their hearts,
May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness,
May all be free from sorrow and the causes of sorrow;
May all never be separated from the sacred happiness, which is sorrowless;
And may all live in equanimity, Without too much attachment and too much aversion; and live believing in the equality of all that lives. Namo Amida Buddha

(Buddhist prayer; Source: Past Forward)

This Week’s Affirmation:

“I forgive all past experiences.
I choose to live in the joyous now.”

(For more on Affirmations, go to my Affirmations Page.)

Prayer for Tuesday (Asalha Puja)

Today is Aslalha Puja, or Dharma Day, for Buddhists.

He does not believe
who does not live according to his belief.
~ Thomas Fuller

A Blessing Chant

Just as water flowing in the streams and rivers fills the ocean,
thus may all your moments of goodness touch and benefit all beings,
those here now and those gone before.

May all your wishes be soon fulfilled
as completely as the moon on a full moon night,
as successfully as from the Wish-Fulfilling Gem.
May all dangers be averted; may all disease leave you.

May no obstacles come across your way
and may you enjoy happiness and long life.

May those who are always respectful, honoring the way of the elders,
prosper in the four blessings of old age, beauty, happiness, and strength.

(From Teachings of The Buddha, edited by Jack Kornfield)

This Week’s Affirmation:

“I have complete faith in myself.”

(For more on Affirmations, go to my Affirmations Page.)

Prayer for Wednesday

“We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.”
~ Dalai Lama XIV

I take refuge in the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha
Until I attain Enlightenment.
By merit accumulations from practicing generosity and the other perfections
May I attain Enlightenment, for the benefit of all sentient beings.

(traditional Tibetan Buddhist prayer of the Three Refuges;
more information on the Three Refuges or Jewels of Buddhism…)

This Week’s Affirmation:

“I am filled with overflowing gratitude
for all the abundance and miracles in my life.”

(For more on Affirmations, go to my Affirmations Page.)

Prayer for Friday (Good Friday/Pesach)

There are several holidays today: Passover begins at sunset for the Jewish faith; Good Friday for Western Christians; Hanuman Jayanti for Hindus. For me personally, today is the day I remember my mother, who died on Good Friday 24 years ago. I miss you, mom.

Tonglen* for Mothers

I breathe in the daily frustrations
small as they are, big as they can seem
I breath out patience for us all.

I breathe in the loneliness
of days spent mothering on our own
I breathe out connection
community, compassion.

I breathe in the brokenness
not being enough in the world
I breathe out wholeness
leaving ideals behind, truth.

I breathe in the boredom
diapers, cooking, same every day
I breathe out simple pleasure
swings, finger painting, rocks.

I breathe in the exhaustion,
the worry, the fear
I breathe out the calm energy, excitement.

I breathe in the rage
at your plight, your place, your life
I breathe out peace
contentment, courage.

~ DeLona Campos-Davis
from Honoring Motherhood: Prayers, Ceremonies & Blessings

* Tonglen is a traditional Buddhist practice of compassion. In order to have compassion for ourselves, we cultivate it for others. We take in the difficult parts of mothering, for ourselves and for all mothers and send out compassion and love.

(Source: Beliefnet)

This Week’s Affirmation:

“I am open and accepting of others.”

(For more on Affirmations, go to my Affirmations Page.)