This Buddhist Prayer for the victims of the tragedy of September 11th, 2001 was written by Rev. Source of Wisdom, DT, Hai An order. This prayer was recited during the BFF special Dharma-service on September 23, 2001 and in other Buddhist sanghas in the Northeast.
A PRAYER OF MOURNING
O Amida, Buddha of Infinite Life and Light,
Enjoining our hands and praying to you;
We mourn the death, injury and destruction,
That resulted from the terrorist tragedy,
In New York City, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania,
Caused by the bursting of the seeds of evil.
O Love, O pure deep love, be here, be here now,
For the murdered victims and their families and friends,
For the injured in hospital beds,
For the grieved families looking for the missing ones,
For the rescuers who fight fatigue in their desperation,
For our nation that still feels the shock of this tragedy,
For our leaders who must decide on the right choices of action,
So that those who are only responsible may be brought to justice.
O Lord, O great Teacher of Gods and humans,
We look into our hearts and minds for your guidance,
You have taught us that love and wisdom are greatest medicines for suffering,
That 'hatred never ceases by hating but by love alone is it healed;'
Therefore, knowing that this tragic and meaningless event,
Is causing so much grief, anger and hatred in so many of us,
Let us pause and return to ourselves and meditate on love.
O Great Wisdom, Oneness of Unhindered Light, relying on you,
Let us send forth thoughts of boundless love to the victims and their families;
Let the murdered victims pass beyond this Ocean of Life and Death,
And dwell in your Realm of Peace;
May your caring energy surround the injured and the grieving families and friends.
We also pray for the evil souls of the dead and living terrorists,
May your Boundless Compassion, guide them to repentance and awakening.
For you, Amida, save all, regardless of whether we are sinners or saints,
Believers or unbelievers, or ignorant or wise.
Your true compassion forsakes no one.
O Great Compassion, we take refuge in you.
This tragedy make us better appreciate the preciousness of life,
That each of us is like a snowflake: unique, beautiful and fragile;
Therefore, guide us to entrusting faith, Great Parent of all things,
Make us your servant, your breath and your core,
Empowered by Other Power, we dedicate our lives, practice and faith,
To kindle the Light of Dharma in all beings,
For those who have fallen into the gloom of sorrow.
Namo Amida Buddha
The Practice of the Blessed Heart
During this time of great mourning and mental anguish, let us pause and reflect on the Great Compassion of Amida for all beings. Knowing that in times of great crisis and difficulty, the Buddha's Name is always available to us as an effective means to transform our pain and confusion into a source of relief and strength. Below is a Pure Land practice allows us to stir our consciousness with Buddha's faith, love and compassion in these times of desperation and chaos. This Blessed Heart visualization practice may be performed anywhere in any circumstance. What is only needed to perform this visualization practice is sincere faith in Buddha Amida, her Primal Vow and the inner will to transform our minds and world. In order to receive healing we must be honestly open ourselves to the deep pain and grief that we all share and transform it into wholesomeness, forgiveness and the good.
First of all, while sitting, lying, walking or standing, look directly in front of you and invoke in your mind's eye the luminous, formless and living Light of Amida Buddha. Envision in your mind this Light as the embodiment of pure compassion, love and wisdom.
b. Calling out to the One who hears
Secondly, feel the warm presence of this energy touching but not yet penetrating your mind and body with its blessing and compassion. Open your heart to Amida with all the suffering, confusion and fear that you feel. If you feel the need to cry out to her, just do so. Do not hold back your tears. Just know that Amida is absolutely there for you with love and compassion, without any judgement. When you call to her in your pain or grief, recite the Sacred Name (nembutsu) of Namo Amida Buddha, which is the living manifestation of Great Compassion and healing in our world.
c. The Blessed Heart
Thirdly, imagine and then truly believe that Amida responds to your cry and grief with all of her love, compassion and wisdom. From the source of Amida's Light, envision great rays of healing energy streaming out towards you, touching your heart and transforming your entire pain into peace, happiness and trust. After this healing Light penetrates into your heart, then allow it to flow out through your entire body to the tips of your limbs and consciousness. If need be, let out your grief and recite Namo Amida Buddha in gratitude for her unconditional love for all of us. Afterwards, imagine your entire body, mind, and spirit completely permeated by Amida's Light. See yourself and becoming a completely absorbed by Amida's healing energy.
As you perform this visualization practice over and over again, permeating your heart with Buddha's unconditional love and compassion and reciting Namo Amida Buddha in faith and gratitude, you will notice that your confusion, pain and grief will slowly dissolve into confidence, joy and peace. You will slowly realize that Amida is not any entity outside of you but is really your True Nature.
d. Aiding the Suffering and Dead
Now that your entire body, mind and spirit has become completely permeated with Amida's Light, imagine and then truly believe that your heart becomes an Earthly launch pad to send out the compassionate healing Light of Amida to all suffering beings and the dead (in the case of the September 11th tragedy, to its murdered victims, injured, grieving families and friends and rescuers). Envision rays of light of the infinite healing power emanating from your heart and reaching out to the victims of the terrorist attacks in World Trade Towers, the Pentagon and airline crash in Pennsylvania. Imagine that the Buddha's compassionate Light is transforming their suffering, horror and fear into peace and joy.
Then, envision that Amida is carrying each of the murdered victims to her Pure Land of Peace regardless of religious belief, moral conduct or state of mind. Envision the caring energy of Amida surrounding the injured in their hospital beds and then grieving families and friends. Then imagine the Light of Boundless Love penetrating the evil souls of the terrorists and renewing them into understanding, repentance and awakening. Allowing ourselves to have compassion for the terrorists is probably the most difficult part of this practice. However, it is an important step to shift our anger into forgiveness and heal our minds. Remember that Buddhism does not condemn any being to hell. Amida saves all, regardless of whether we are sinners or saints, ignorant or wise or young and old. True compassion forsakes no one.
This is a powerful visualization practice that will transform your grief and feeling of impotency into comfort and encouragement. Do not expect this practice to end your grief or anger once and for all. Grieving takes time but the healing power of Amida will open your heart to her peace. By repeating this practice many times, you will gradually be empowered by Amida's Light to discover your hidden Treasure Ocean of Boundless Love, which is your true nature. With this realization born in your heart, you will become empowered to take the steps necessary to better the world we live in and to spread the Buddha's Teachings and Love to all.