BUDDHIST PRAYER– commentary

I did not  want to offer commentary re: the preceding blog on the same posting.  I wanted the power and beauty of it's content to stand alone.  Yet I do feel that some thoughts are in order.

It is a statement of Buddhist philosophy which some in the Western world might find troubling.  We are so attuned to action and defiance of all of life's experiences that some might find the prayer too passive and accepting of one's fate.  The 'never give up' mentality is a part of our tradition.  Also the notion of 'fight, fight against the dying of the light' from the poetry of Dylan Thomas resonates with most of us.

To my understanding, the prayer need not lead one into total passivity, nor does it accept life's adversities without robust response.

In a manner similar to the traditional SERENITY PRAYER it does speak of 'wisdom' and 'courage'.  Courage implies that human activity is a necessary aspect of our lives.  We don't have to accept sickness and suffering passively.  We are capable of reacting and being proactive in our lives in order to reduce our own suffering and those of others.  It is our main 'role' in any incarnation–reducing the suffering of all sentient [feeling] beings.

The power of the prayer is in the acceptance of 'what we cannot change', to paraphrase from the the SERENITY PRAYER. 

It is in this acceptance, when all possible human actions have been attempted, that ultimate healing can take place. 

There is a time when we all die and those we love will die.  It will be a tremendously sad occurrence.  But failure to accept this reality will itself only perpetuate suffering.

This, I believe, is the power of this prayer.  May it reduce the suffering of one and all. 

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