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Prayers and Meditations

April 2, 2014:

Inspirational and thoughtful devotions about creation and conservation from different religious traditions.

Sikh
Christian
Sufi Islam
Hindu
Jewish
Buddhist
Daoist



Sikh

Air is the Guru, Water is the Father, and Earth is the Great Mother of all. Day and night are the two nurses, in whose lap all the world is at play. Good deeds and bad deeds-the record is read out in the Presence of the Lord of Dharma. According to their own actions, some are drawn closer, and some are driven farther away. O Nanak, their faces are radiant in the Court of the Lord, and they only can bless the world around them with their presence and bliss, who depart the world in union with God and His creation ||1||- (Guru Granth Sahib, page 8)

The world, like all creation, is a manifestation of God. Every creature in this world, every plant, every form is a manifestation of the Creator. Each is part of God and God is within each element of creation. God is the cause of all and the primary connection between all existences. “The Creator created Himself…… And created all creation in which He is manifest. You Yourself the bumble-bee, flower, fruit and the tree. You Yourself the water, desert, ocean and the pond. You Yourself the big fish, tortoise and the Cause of causes. Your form can not be known. – (Guru Granth Sahib, Maru Sohele, page 1016)

Taken from EcoSikh

God created night and day, seasons, time, and occasions.
So also air, water, fire, and nether regions.
Amidst these has God fixed the earth, the place for Righteous Activities.
(Guru Granth Sahib)

Taken from United Religions Inititive (URI)


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Christian

GAELIC PRAYER
Ancient blessing

May the blessing of light be on you, light without and light within. May the blessed Sunlight shine on you and warm your heart until it glows, so that a stranger may come and be warmed by it, and also a friend. May the light shine out of the two eyes of you like a candle set in two windows of a house, bidding the wanderer to come in out of the storm.
May the blessing of the Rain be on you-soft, sweet rain. May it fall upon your spirit so that flowers may spring up. And may the Great Rains be on you. May they beat upon your spirit and wash it fair and clean, and leave there many a shining pool where the blue of heaven shines reflected, and sometimes a star.
May the blessing of the Earth be on you-the great and round earth. May you have a kindly greeting for folks you pass as you’re going along the roads. May the earth be soft under you when you lie upon it, tired at the close of the day.

Taken from Prayers of Power (Harvard Square Library)


PRAYER BY ST PATRICK

At Tara today in this fateful hour
I place all heaven with its power,
And the sun with its brightness,
And the snow with its whiteness,
And fire with all the strength it hath,
And lightning with its rapid wrath,
And the winds with their swiftness along their path,
And the sea with its deepness,
And the rocks with their steepness
And the Earth with its starkness;
All these I place
By God's almighty help and grace,
Between myself and the powers of Darkness.


Taken from Greenfaith


Be praised, my God, by butterfly and dragonfly wings exercising for their first flight.
Be praised by lightning and thunder causing spring showers.
Be praised by the silent voice of grass growing and trees budding.
Be praised by all the colorful flower trumpets of spring.
Be praised by downy feathers freshly dried on newly hatched ducklings and chicks.
Be praised by the songs of birds, crickets, and frogs.
Be praised, my God, by all your creation which tells of new life.

Mary Goergen OSF

Taken from Greenfaith


Oh God, enlarge within us the sense of fellowship with all living things, even our brothers and sisters the animals, to whom you have given the earth as their home in common with us. We remember with shame that in the past we have exercised our high dominion with ruthless cruelty so that the voice of the earth, which should have gone up to you in song, has been a groan of pain. May we realize that they live, not for us alone, but for themselves and for you, and that they love the sweetness of life.

St Basil the Great

Taken from Greenfaith


RUSSIAN PRAYER, 19TH CENTURY
For our friends, the animals.

Hear our prayer, O God, for our friends, the animals, especially for those animals that are suffering; for all that are overworked and underfed and cruelly treated; for creations in captivity that bent against the bars; for any that are lost of deserted; for all that are in pain of dying; for all that must be put to death. May those who deal with them have hearts of compassion and gentle hands.

Taken from Prayers of Power (Harvard Square Library)


THE OPERATION NOAH PRAYER

Creator God, how deep are your designs!
You made a living earth, cloud, rain and wind,
And charged us with their care.
We confess that the way we live today
Is changing the climate, the seas and the balance of life,
Dispossessing the poor and future generations.
Build our lives into an Ark for all creation,
And, as you promised Noah never to repeat the flood,
So make us heralds of a new rainbow covenant:
Choosing life for all that is at risk –
For creation, neighbours near and far,
Our children and ourselves. Amen.

Taken from Churches Together in Britain and Ireland


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Sufi Islam

KABIR

Who are you?

We rejoice, O God, that:
You are in us, and we are in You,
Each being distinct, yet ever united.
You are the tree, the seed, and the cell;
You are the flower, the fruit, and the shade;
You are the sun, the light, and the lighted;
You are the manifold form of infinite space;
You are the breath, the word, and the meaning;
You are the limit and the limitless.
You are the Immanent Mind in us;
You are the Supreme Soul within the soul.
Blessed are all who see You.

Taken from Prayers of Power (Harvard Square Library)


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Hindu

TO THE BREATH OF LIFE
(Ahtarva Veda) Homage to you, Breath of Life, for the whole universe obeys you. You are the rule of all things on earth, and the foundation of the earth itself. Homage to you, Breath of Life, in the crashes of thunder, and in the flashes of lightning. The rain you send gives food to the plants and drink to the animals.

Homage to you, Breath of Life, in the changing seasons, in the hot dry sunshine and the cold rain. There is comfort and beauty in every kind of weather. The plants themselves rejoice in your bounty, praising you in the sweet smell of their blossom. The cattle rejoice, praising you in the pure white milk they give. Homage to you, Breath of Life, in our breathing out and breathing in. At every moment, whatever we are doing, we owe you praise and thanksgiving.

Homage to you, Breath of Life, in our birth and in our death. In the whole cycle of life you sustain and inspire us.

Homage to you, Breath of Life, in the love and friendship we enjoy. When we love one another, we reflect your infinite love.

Men and women rejoice in your bounty, praising you in poem and song. The little children rejoice, praising you in their innocent shrieks of laughter.

Taken from Greenfaith


Nature's beauty is an art of God. Let us feel the touch of God's invisible hands in everything beautiful. By the first touch of His hand rivers throb and ripple. When He smiles the sun shines, the moon glimmers, the stars twinkle, the flowers bloom. By the first rays of the rising sun, the universe is stirred; the shining gold is sprinkled on the smiling buds of rose; the fragrant air is filled with sweet melodies of singing birds, the dawn is the dream of God's creative fancy.

(Rig Veda 1.6.3)


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Jewish

A TRADITIONAL JEWISH PRAYER

How wonderful, O Lord, are the works of your hands! The heavens declare your glory; the arch of sky displays your handiwork. In your love you have given us the power to behold the beauty of your world robed in all its splendour.

The sun and the stars, the valleys and hills, the rivers and lakes all disclose your presence. The roaring breakers of the seas tell of your awesome might; the beasts of the field and the birds of the air speak of your wondrous will.

In your goodness you have made us able to hear the music of the world. You are in our midst. A divine voice sings through all creation.

Taken from Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI)


I am weak before the wind; before the sun
I faint, I lose my strength;
I am utterly vanquished by a star;
I go to my knees at length
Before the song of the bird; before
The breath of spring or fall
I am lost; before these miracles
I am nothing at all.

A Prayerbook for Shabbat, Festivals, and Weekdays. (Rabbi Jules Harlow, ed.)

Taken from Greenfaith


When I walk through thy woods,
May my right foot and my left foot
Be harmless to the little creatures
That move in its grasses: as it is said
By the mouth of thy prophet,
They shall not hurt nor destroy
In all my holy mountain.

Rabbi Moshe Hakotun

Taken from Greenfaith


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Buddhist

Even as a mother protects with her life,
Her child, her only child,
So with a boundless heart
Should one cherish all living beings,
Radiating kindness over the entire world,
Spreading upwards to the skies,
And downwards to the depths.

Metta Sutta

Taken from United Religions Inititive (URI)


Kiss the Earth with your feet.
Bring the Earth your love and happiness.
The Earth will be safe when we feel safe in ourselves

Tich Nhat Hanh, Buddhist

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Daoist

Heaven cannot but be high. Earth cannot but be broad. The sun and moon cannot but revolve. All creation cannot but flourish. To do so is their Tao.

Chuang Tze

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