This is a Buddhist prayer that I recently learned. May I be happy. May I be free from suffering. May I be at peace.
In some ways it seems weird to ask to be free from suffering. It seems non-Buddhist, in the little I know about Buddhism. But I guess I’m wrong.
Either way, I like it. I like the idea of being free from suffering, and I like the idea of being able to want that and ask for that. I like the idea of being happy. Who am I kidding? I love it. I start each day with the intention of being happy, and I do my best to stay there, for at least as long as I can.
I like that the prayer acknowledges our desire for happiness. I like that it gives me the opportunity to ask someone other then myself for grace and blessing. Even though I believe that happiness is a choice – a choice I can make every day and sometimes multiple times per day – I also love the feeling of trusting a power greater than myself to have a hand in my happiness. Perhaps to guide me to the things that bring a smile to my face. Perhaps to remind me to notice – to call out – things I can be happy about.
May I be free from suffering. What a glorious thought. In a world where things happen, seemingly randomly at times, how can I be free from suffering? Perhaps I can be graced with only wonderful occurrences, or perhaps I can be graced with the ability to find the good within my suffering. To make my suffering something positive, or at least partially positive. It amazes me sometimes how I can find joy in awful things simply through acceptance. Even in the midst of what I would have, a few seconds ago, called suffering.
And peace. At times peace can maybe seem boring, or uneventful, but I’ve come to believe that a sense of peace is like the warm sunshine that I bask in on a beautiful day. Not necessarily noticeable in and of itself unless you pay attention to it, but when you do pay attention to it, you realize the comfort and ease and joy that it offers. May I be at peace. This is, again, a choice and an outlook.
May I be happy. May I be free of suffering. May I be at peace. This is my prayer.
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