Founded in India 2,500 years ago, Buddhism remains the dominant religion of the Far East and is increasingly popular in the West. Over its long history Buddhism has developed into a wide variety of forms, ranging from an emphasis on religious rituals and worship of deities to a complete rejection of both rituals and deities in favor of pure meditation. But all share in common a great respect for the teachings of the Buddha, "The Enlightened One".
"May all beings everywhere plagued with sufferings of body and mind quickly be freed from their illnesses.
May those frightened cease to be afraid, and may those bound be free.
May the powerless find power, and may people think of befriending one another.
May those find themselves in trackless, fearful wilderness be guarded by beneficial celestials, and may they swiftly attain Buddhahood."
"If I have harmed anyone in any way either knowingly or unknowingly through my own confusions, I ask their forgiveness.
If anyone has harmed me in any way either knowingly or unknowingly through their own confusions, I forgive them.
And if there is a situation I am not yet ready to forgive, I forgive myself for that.
For all the ways that I harm myself, negate, doubt, belittle myself, judge or be unkind to myself through my own confusions, I forgive myself."
"We gently caress you, the Earth, our planet and our home.
Our vision has brought us closer to you, making us aware of the harm we have done to the life-network upon which we ourselves depend.
We are reminded that we have poisoned your waters, your lands, your air.
We have filled you with the bones of our dead from war and greed.
Your pain is our pain.
Touching you gently, we pray that we may become peace-bringers and life-bringers so that our home in its journey around the Sun not become a sterile and lonely place.
May this prayer and its power last forever."