A Mala Bead Prayer By Linda Blanchard

This little meditation was written by me to be said while going around mala beads one by one. It has fifty-four lines, so it will fit most Buddhist malas. If your mala is small and has 27 beads, you can go around the mala twice. If your mala is large, and has 108 beads -- lucky you! -- you can go around the prayer twice. 

This prayer is meant to be a small study in the basics of Buddhism.  I remember the first time I went to hear a Buddhist speaker, was here in Midland at the Unitarian Church, and the monks up on the stage couldn't remember all of the Eightfold Path.  I thought if I could memorize this, next time I could help!  However, I am not an expert on Buddhism so I hope you'll forgive me if the prayer doesn't perfectly describe each principle, and let me know how you'd state it.

If you wish to use this, you may. 

  May the Buddha be my guide
  As I seek the Middle Way
  Along the Path of Awakening.
  May the Dharma be my source
  To find Buddha within and without
  That I may improve my practice.
  May the Sangha be my company
  As I discover my way
  Renewing my commitment to practice,
  So that I may know The Four Noble Truths:
  That within and without there is suffering
  All beings share this condition
  That suffering has a cause
  Grasping at illusions
  That suffering may cease
  Seeing clearly, letting go
  That there is a path to the end of suffering
  And that is the Eightfold Path:
  Right view or understanding
  To have passed through illusion
  Until there are no views.
  Right thought and resolve
  Practice skillful means: harming none,
  Reflecting both before you act and after.
  Right speech
  Rather be silent than harm others
  Shun gossip, abusive, divisive or deceitful words.
  Right action
  Do not take that which is not given
  Avoid killing, and the abuse of sex.
  Right livelihood
  Do not trade in death , drugs or another’s misery
  Make your living honestly, living within your means.
  Right effort
  Practice: not to exhaustion, nor harshly
  Practice: not casually, but steadily, focused.
  Right mindfulness
  With awareness always in the moment
  Of how your actions relate to the Path.
  Right concentration
  Focused meditation, avoiding desire, ill will
  Torpor, restlessness, or doubt.
  May I follow the Eightfold Path.
  May I know the Four Noble Truths:
  Suffering, cause, cessation and path.
  May I be guided by the Triple Gems:
  Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.
  The nature of all things is one
  Form is emptiness,
  Emptiness form
  Nothing separates us
  Guided by Buddha within and without
  So that I may know Enlightenment
  So that all may know Enlightenment.

Click here for a plain text (with tabs) version since the above is in a table which makes it hard to cut and paste.

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Date Added: March 17, 2000. Last Update: January 07, 2009