This winter I was in the Bahamas at the Sivananda Yoga Ashram for an interfaith symposium - a very good place to be if you are seeking a break from the cold New England winters! I found myself in a class with Lama Migmar Tseten, a Tibetan Buddhist Monk who teaches out of Harvard University. In his class, he taught us that we could ensure the good Karma of our daily spiritual practice by finishing our meditations with a prayer for all beings. (Karma is the energetic result of our past actions that is present within our beings.)
He taught us to recite these lines four times every day.
"May all sentient beings possess happiness and the causes of happiness.
May all sentient beings be free of suffering and the causes of suffering.
May all sentient beings never be separate from joy and be free of suffering.
May all sentient beings remain in equanimity free of attachment and aversion."
We can ensure all the good work and internal cleansing of our beings from our daily spiritual practice by sending that energy of love and light generated by our practice out to all beings. I loved hearing this concept so clearly spelled out and it made perfect sense in my heart. In the Sikh practice, we have a way of doing this in our Ardās, the prayer for each day, which is done as part of the conclusion of the morning practice.
In it we recite these lines.
nānak nām charadī kalā, tayray bhāṉay sarabat dā bhalā
Through Nānak may Thy Name forever increase and the spirit be exalted, and may all beings prosper by Thy Grace.
I have loved doing the Ardās my whole life and thought I understood the energetics of it quite well. But Lama Migmar helped me to pause at this moment of praying for all beings and realize how powerful and important it is. Our daily spiritual practices are not only about internal cleansing (very important work indeed) but also about sending that energy out to the universe and allowing the blessings to unfold for all of us. We can truly be one family. We can truly benefit each other in our personal spiritual work. As people of spirit, whether we identify with a religion or not, we can meditate and feel the flow of universal energy coming to us, because it naturally must also flow to all beings.
May your daily spiritual practice, your internal cleansing bath, be blessed, and may we all bless each other in understanding, prosperity, peace and joy.