Protecting and Transforming

Thich Nhat Hanh
 Plum Village Chanting Book 

We, your disciples, who from beginningless time

have made ourselves unhappy out of confusion and ignorance,

being born and dying with no direction,

have now found confidence in the highest awakening.

However much we may have drifted on the ocean of suffering,

today we see clearly that there is a beautiful path.

We turn toward the light of loving kindness to direct us.

We bow deeply to the Awakened One and to our spiritual ancestors

who light up the path before us, guiding every step.


The wrongdoings and sufferings that imprison us

are brought about by craving, hatred, ignorance, and pride.

Today we begin anew to purify and free our hearts.

With awakened wisdom, bright as the sun and the full moon,

and immeasurable compassion to help humankind,

we resolve to live beautifully.

With all our heart, we go for refuge to the Three Precious Jewels.

With the boat of loving kindness,

we cross over the ocean of suffering.

With the torch of wisdom, we leave behind the forest of confusion.

With determination, we learn, reflect, and practice.

Right View is the ground of our actions, in body, speech, and mind.

Right Mindfulness embraces us,

walking, standing, lying down, and sitting,

speaking, smiling, coming in, and going out.

Whenever anger or anxiety enter our heart,

we are determined to breathe mindfully and come back to ourselves.

With every step, we will walk in the Pure Land.

With every look, the Dharmakaya is revealed.

We are careful and attentive as sense organs touch sense objects

so mindfulness will protect us all day,

so all habit energies can be observed and easily transformed.

May our heart's garden of awakening

bloom with hundreds of flowers.

May we bring the feelings of peace and joy into every household.

May we plant wholesome seeds on the ten thousand paths.

May we never have the need to leave the Sangha body.

May we never attempt to escape the suffering of the world,

always being present wherever beings need our help.

May mountains and rivers be our witness in this moment

as we bow our heads and request the Lord of Compassion

to embrace us all.

{Bell, Bell}