"Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu"
"May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and freedom for all."
My mind has been dancing to this mantra for weeks. I will start off a meditation with a particular mantra, only to find myself finishing with this peace prayer for humanity. I get fired up over something at work, and minutes later I am calmed by this practice of wishing well upon others. This mantra has taken on a deeper level of meaning after watching the documentary, "The Buddha" which tells the story of Siddhartha Gautama's spiritual journey and enlightenment.
The core of Buddha's story is that everybody understands suffering. It is an utterly intimate and shared experience. And yet instead of allowing that to connect us in universal support, we continue to identify and separate ourselves from one another based on race, age, education, religion, status and gender. Compassion comes from understanding impermanence and interconnectedness. Our relationships with all things should be beneficial if we desire happiness and liberation from suffering. Instead of seeking ways to avoid interaction with others (my method of choice is putting my headphones on), can we stop to see our reflection in others? Can our busy lives be put on hold to really see someone, and authentically wish them well?
Buddha points out 3 poisons that divide us- greed, anger and ignorance. The way out is to recognize and practice the opposite- generosity, compassion and wisdom. The potential for awakening and exercising these qualities is in every moment. But it IS a choice, sometimes a very difficult choice when someone really pushes our buttons. This is why I have found "Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu" to be such a compelling and helpful mantra. It puts me in check and reminds me that the divine dwells within all of us (Sometimes just buried deep underneath a pile of... ) How do I choose to react to this moment or situation? How can I live so that my thoughts, words and actions contribute to the happiness of another? Because no true or lasting happiness can come from causing unhappiness to others.
Remembering that we all share the desire for happiness and freedom, we begin to develop empathy and perform actions that benefit all beings and not just ourselves.
Wishing you all abundant happiness today and everyday!- aloha nui xo