Prayer for a Burning Planet

The practice of silently offering unconditional to all who live is an established practice in many traditions of meditation. I believe it is described in greatest detail in the Buddhist Vipassana practice of Metta which is the first of the Bramavihara practices.

Before relaying the details of that practice I want to offer a note of caution that I highlight in the chapter on Affirmation in my book the Simple Path of Holiness. That cautionary note is this: don’t try to force yourself to forgive those people with whom you are angry and resentful. The day will come when you will want and need to learn how to forgive and offer love to those people who by all ordinary reckoning deserve neither love or forgiveness. But that day does not have to be today or tomorrow. It is enough that you focus on learning how to offer love and best wishes to those people you love and care about the most.

It is enough to basically know who you do not wish to forgive and those people towards whom you may harbor powerful resentments. Hate them for as long as you feel it to be necessary. Just do what you can to make sure you do not act on any aggressive urges unless a situation develops where violence is the only way to defend yourself or others from imminent attack.

As you learn to improve the quality and clarity of love to those you love and to those who you like and those whom you only moderately dislike, you will develop insight and skill.

As you learn whatever is the next level of non-violent conflict resolution skills for you to learn, you will develop additional insight and skill.

These insights and skills will allow you to find creative ways to work to soften the resentments or harsh feelings towards those people you now call “despicable”.

What I have been taught, and someone reminded me again recently, when you start your practice of silently offering unconditional love and forgiveness make sure you spend good quality time offer these wishes towards yourself. A greater degree of forgiveness of self, or affirmation of self, will go along way to allowing your mind and body to relax into the deeper states of peace that are possbile with practice.

Spend a few minutes, or half and hour, or more, with the following prayers:

May I be happy, May I be well.

May I learn to forgive myself for the foolish choices I have made that hurt me or others.

You can then proceed to those you wish to pray for:

May they be happy. May they be well.

May they come to know the joy, health and prosperity that all men and women seek for their life and for their family and community.

After a while let go of the words and simple see if you can feel yourself simply offering a silent gift of compassion and best wishes to those you are closest to an then to wider and wider circles of people you know.

Over time you will be able to make some breakthroughs and dissolve the resentments you hold towards others, even those you may feel are truly evil.

As more people learn the gift of offering love to all who live, the world will change.

If enough people take seriously the responsibility of this silent practice, we as a species  may be able to significantly mitigate the terrible catastrophies we are hurtling towards as a result of unbridled anger, fear, harsh judgement, insipid selfishness, and run-a-way technology.

Sit quietly alone or with others. Silently offer the best quality love and forgiveness you have towards your own life and to as wide a circle of people as you possibly can.

When you can make the breakthrough to offer love to all who live and all how ever have lived, and all who ever will live.

This is a Prayer for a Burning Planet.
















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