Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Caretaker Vow

(Photo courtesy of Wired Blog Network).

On the occasion of Earth Day, Buddhist Relief wishes to share The Caretaker Vow from KPC's Spiritual Director Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo. Although it was composed 22 years ago, it is still as relevant if not more so, in 2008.

The Caretaker Vow

We the Caretakers of the Earth, dedicate ourselves to the liberation and salvation of all sentient beings.

We vow to work for the liberation of planet earth from the clutches of suffering, poverty, famine and death. We vow to return in whatever form necessary, under whatever necessary conditions, so that all earth creatures can be liberated from the ravages of cyclic existence.

We vow to work for world peace. We vow to work for the raising of all nations of earth into a state of union and ultimately into the blessed state of supreme wisdom, the wisdom that is beyond all description.

We vow to work toward a great Universal Quickening of mind and heart, leading all beings to a state of clarity, a state in which Chenrezig, the Buddha of Compassion, is enthroned within all hearts and within the planetary heart.

We vow to offer as food and drink to all sentient beings the clear, sweet Dharma so that they may feast and be satisfied at last. We offer our bodies, our speech, and our minds to be filled like bowls with Dharma that in our joy we will spill over into the waiting hearts of all our brethren. May their suffering cease forever.

To all the blessed Tathagatas, to all the root Lamas, to all the Sangha, to all the caretakers, grant us the strength to continue, the clarity to overcome self-cherishing, the determination to return forever until we are the last, and finally, the grace to find our way home.

May the Dharma take root in the West, on the Earth, and in hearts of all sentient beings. So be it.

(This was composed and witnessed by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo on August 31, 1986).

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