Prayer replaces the negative with virtue and points to the blessings of Life. It allows us to turn our hearts and minds to the beneficial, inspiring our thoughts and actions.
What is Buddhist Prayer?
The purpose of Buddhist prayer is to awaken our inherent inner capacities of strength, compassion and wisdom rather than to petition external forces based on fear, idolizing, and worldly and/or heavenly gain. Buddhist prayer is a form of meditation; it is a practice of inner reconditioning. Buddhist prayer replaces the negative with the virtuous and points us to the blessings of Life.
For Buddhists, prayer expresses an aspiration to pull something into one's life, like some new energy or purifying influence and share it with all beings. Likewise, prayer inspires our hearts towards wisdom and compassion for others and ourselves. It allows us to turn our hearts and minds to the beneficial, rousing our thoughts and actions towards Awakening. If we believe in something enough, it will take hold of us. In other words, believing in it, we will become what we believe. Our ability to be touched like this is evidence of the working of Great Compassion within us.
What's more, it can a function as a form of self-talking or self-therapy in which one mentally talks through a problem, or talks through it aloud, in the hope that some new insight will come or a better decision can be made. Prayer therefore frequently has the function of being part of a decision-making process.
O Amida, I take refuge in you,
Ocean of Oneness, Eternal Life and Light;
Entrusting with my whole heart and mind
In your Primal Vow;
I am empowered by you to live a full, Compassionate and creative life,
I dedicate myself to the service of all beings,
Striving to help others realize,
Their human potential and Enlightenment;
May your Teachings guide me
Throughout the day, in my relationships, work and play. Namo Amida Buddha
GOLDEN CHAIN PRAYER
We are a link in Amida's golden chain of love that stretches around the world, we will keep our link bright and strong.
We will be kind and gentle to every living thing and protect all who are weaker than ourselves.
We will think pure and beautiful thoughts, say pure and beautiful words, and do pure and beautiful deeds.
May every link in Amida's chain of love be bright and strong, and may we all attain perfect peace.
Namo Amida Buddha.
Pure Land Prayer
Pure Land Buddhists venerate Amida Buddha because her Sacred Story and existence is the story of our inner lives. She is not an "idol" or "God" to be supplicated or appeased but is a means for reflection and the true catalyst for inner change and spiritual awakening. Many Pure Land prayers involve self-reflection, including a sometimes painful confrontation with our own deeply-rooted destructive tendencies. As a result, we begin to discover who we really are. We recognize our inherent foolish nature at the same time awakening ourselves to the Vow of Great Compassion, symbolized as Amida Buddha. In essence, prayer practice is a process by which our intensely felt desires and sufferings are transformed into compassion and wisdom.
Buddhist Mealtime Prayer
This food is the gift of the whole universe,
Each morsel is a sacrifice of life,
May I be worthy to receive it.
May the energy in this food,
Give me the strength,
To transform my unwholesome qualities
into wholesome ones.
I am grateful for this food,
May I realize the Path of Awakening,
For the sake of all beings.
Namo Amida Buddha.
Metta Karuna Prayer
Oneness of Life and Light,
Entrusting in your Great Compassion,
May you shed the foolishness in myself,
Transforming me into a conduit of Love.
May I be a medicine for the sick and weary,
Nursing their afflictions until they are cured;
May I become food and drink,
During time of famine,
May I protect the helpless and the poor,
May I be a lamp,
For those who need your Light,
May I be a bed for those who need rest,
and guide all seekers to the Other Shore.
May all find happiness through my actions,
and let no one suffer because of me.
Whether they love or hate me,
Whether they hurt or wrong me,
May they all obtain true entrusting,
Through Other Power,
and realize Supreme Nirvana.
Namo Amida Buddha
"Daily prayer is an important practice that serves to internalize the ideals of the Buddhist Path. It should be part of our spiritual journey, transforming confusion into clarity and suffering into joy. Some mistakenly believe that the Absolute is separate and different from us. Believing this, their prayers ask for favors, such as health, salvation, fame or the winning lottery numbers. They use prayer in order to manipulate their God to work for their benefit. Wanting Him to play favorites, they beg to be blessed by Him at the expense of others. However, this attitude defeats the power of prayer. We believe that in order for prayer to be effective it must be devoid of any self-centeredness and calculation, relying strictly on the Other Power."
From "On Amida, Practice, Faith and Realization"
by Source of Wisdom
"Let the wise person do righteousness: A treasure that others can not share, which no thief can steal; a treasure which does not pass away."