A Prayer for Children

A Prayer for Children

Date Posted:
May 2013

Rinpoche dictated this prayer and short commentary as a response to a center’s request for a prayer for children to recite at an inter-religious event in Colombia. [Note: the actual prayer is the indented text in italics below.]

Lama Zopa Rinpoche relaxing with children and students at Waterlow Park, Highgate, London, 1983. Photo by Robin Bath.

There are seven fundamental methods to bring success for oneself and for the world. Each child can pray for happiness for themselves and also for the world. The first fundamental is kindness; to practice kindness day and night. You could say something like this:

May the precious, wonderful, dear children, who are full of potential, be able to eliminate their own problems and the problems of the world, of all living beings. May they bring all the happiness of this life and all the future lives, as well as the ultimate everlasting happiness, to all sentient beings. May they complete the cessation of all the suffering and the causes of suffering—the actions that create negative karma, and the wrong concepts, the obscurations and the disturbing attitudes.

May they complete the true path, the ultimate wisdom directly seeing the ultimate nature of the I and of all phenomena, and the peerless and perfect happiness. May they complete the qualities of the cessation of the wrong concepts and hallucinations, and may they complete the qualities of understanding in themselves. May the precious children, who are beautiful, enchanting, like a flower about to blossom, offer all the temporary and ultímate happiness to the world and to all living beings.

That is the description, now comes the prayer:

May we practice kindness day and night, forever, not only towards friends, but also to strangers, and especially to the enemy; not only towards human beings, but also to animals and other beings who want happiness and don´t want to suffer.

May we constantly enjoy our lives by rejoicing. May we constantly enjoy happiness by rejoicing in all the positive things that bring benefit to others and to ourselves. And may we especially rejoice when we see all the good things that happen to others.

In the world, we feel jealous and unhappy when good things happen to others. If somebody has any happiness, we feel jealous instead of rejoicing. So we can use this method of rejoicing to become sick of jeaolusy and to destroy it. Rejoicing is very good education; this is the education that we need. The world suffers so much—there are economic problems, wars and famine, so these happen because we didn´t create good karma. Instead of rejoicing, we feel sad when good things happen to others. Rejoicing is missing from children’s education. Our problems don´t come from outside, they come from the mind.

May we develop patience to achieve all happiness, temporal and ultímate, and to bring that happiness to others; not only to our family, but to all sentient beings.

May we develop all the 16 human qualities, an understanding which makes our lives different.

May we become skilled in not harming sentient beings, and may we become only the source of happiness for sentient beings, like sunshine.

May we practice contentment.

This is very important because so many people do illegal things; they go to prison and give many problems to the government. Even rich people destroy their lives due to lack of contentment, and it’s the same for poor people. Because of lack of contentment, young people take drugs, they don't find jobs, they destroy their lives with alcohol, so many things. By not having contentment and satisfaction, there are so many problems in their relationships, they kill, steal and so forth. This is another important thing that children need to learn.

May we learn contentment and satisfaction. May we learn to enjoy contentment, which  brings great freedom into our lives and brings us so much happiness. May we be an example to the world.

May we practice these good qualities and when somebody abuses or harms us, may we immediately forgive them. In daily life, when we make mistakes and harm others, may we immediately ask forgiveness.

This is very important, because it brings so much happiness and harmony to our lives—to our families, to the world and to all sentient beings. What we do in this life—if we are happy and if our conduct is positive —that becomes the cause for us to have a good mind and good conduct in future lives, so we don't cause harm to sentient beings.

May we be able to develop courage, to be an inspiring example and to be of benefit in so many ways for the happiness of others, not only for ourselves.

One person with a negative mind can destroy the world, and harm so many millions of people. This has happened in the world so many times. A child who develops a positive mind is like the sun shining, eliminating the darkness in the world, for all to enjoy. Therefore, a child who develops these qualities brings great benefit to the world, to millions and millions of sentient beings.