This prayer was offered by the Plum Village fourfold sangha as part of the midnight ceremony to mark the dawn of the New Year 2014.
Dear Beloved Father Sun – Bodhisattva Mahavairocana Tathagata,
Dear Beloved Mother Earth – Bodhisattva Mahagaia,
Dear Beloved Ancestors, both Spiritual and Genetic,
We present ourselves before you at this solemn moment of the New Year to express our gratitude and deep aspiration as a spiritual family.
Dear Father Sun, your infinite light is the nourishing source of all species. You are our Sun, a great Buddha, a great Bodhisattva, our Great Tathagata Sun,our source of limitless light and life. You are not only in the sky but you are also ever-present in Mother Earth and in us. Just as our life depends on our heart, so too does our life depend on you. We bow our heads this evening with gratitude for your radiant non-discrimination and gift of life.
Dear Mother Earth, with your patience, stability, endurance and creativity you have nourished and guided us through many lifetimes. You have given birth to us and to countless, Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and Saints. You, our beautiful blue planet, are the Earth Refreshing Bodhisattva–fragrant, cool, and kind. Yet for many lifetimes we have suffered, and made you suffer, because we have been unable to see you as the Pure Land, as the very Kingdom of God: the most beautiful place in the Heavens. Despite our many mistakes, you have always forgiven us, and are always ready to open your arms and embrace us.
Because of our wrong perceptions and discrimination we have lived a life of separation, hatred, loneliness, violence and despair. We have allowed individualism to prevail, causing great damage and hardship to ourselves and to you, dear Mother Earth. We have run after fame, wealth, power, and sensual pleasures, forgetting that these pursuits can never bring us true happiness. We have become restless and distracted, running away from ourselves, our beloved ones and from you, dear Mother Earth. As a society and as a civilization we know we are going in the wrong direction.
Dear Mother Earth, Dear Father Sun and Dear Ancestors, tonight, on the occasion of the New Year 2014, we give rise to the deep aspiration to begin anew, to go in a new direction and request your forgiveness for all our mistakes. With great respect we make the deep aspiration to live mindfully each moment of our daily life. We promise to stop running away from our suffering, losing ourselves in consumption. We promise to come home to ourselves with compassion, to recognize, embrace and look deeply into our suffering. We promise to take refuge in you, dear Mother Earth, and your capacity to nourish, heal and embrace all that is. We promise to offer our true presence to our beloved ones and not to get too busy, striving for success – even in pursuit of our dreams. We know that we can realize our dreams in every moment, and we vow to live every day of 2014 as a realization of our dream. We know that time is not money. Time is life, and time is love. We promise to live simply, to love one another with non-discrimination, to build true brotherhood and sisterhood and respect our deepest aspiration.
Dear Mother Earth, you have been calling out to us for many lifetimes, and some of us have been able to hear your pain. You have asked if you can count on us, your children, to lovingly heal and transform ourselves and the present situation. In this solemn moment of the New Year, with our palms joined and body and mind united, we promise that you can count on us. You can have faith and confidence in us.
We shall practice for you, Mother Earth, Father Sun, for all our ancestors and future generations so that joy, peace, harmony and love will always be present in this world. Please accept our offerings of incense, flowers, fruit, tea, and love. Respected Father Sun, Respected Mother Earth, Dear Ancestors, please have trust in us.