“As wind carries our prayers for Earth and all life, may respect and love light our way. May our hearts be filled with compassion for others and for ourselves. May peace increase on Earth. May it begin with me.” ~ Tibetan prayer
I recently read two articles on Elephant Journal telling people to “stop sending thoughts and prayers.”
Please, for the love of humankind, do not stop sending thoughts and prayers to anyone who is suffering. For those who don’t agree, please consider twice before telling people not to do something just because it doesn’t resonate with you.
The article stated that people who send thoughts and prayers are turning the attention on themselves, rather than focusing on the tragedy.
In most cases, this could not be further from the truth.
The purpose of thoughts and prayers is not to look like a “good person” or to seem that you are taking some form of action. Millions of people send thoughts and prayers out to the world selflessly and for good reasons.
Rather than being self-serving, the whole intention of a prayer is to serve and be of benefit in some way to others. I understand that praying and meditating can change our state of minds, however, if one commits to thoughts and prayers for others, the urge does not come from a selfish standpoint to heal themselves, it is to send the healing energy hurtling outward.
For thousands of years Buddhist monks, along with other practitioners of faith and indigenous tribes have gathered to collectively send out positive thoughts and healing vibrations, particularly in times of great need. Prayer, thoughtfulness, and meditation are at the heart of Buddhism.
As with most ancient practices, research carried out by modern science has proven that our ancestors intuitively knew of the power of energy, and held a strong belief of interconnection, as the studies show the positive impact of collective thoughts and prayers.
When we take time out to offer prayers, we connect to the deepest parts of our nature. When there is meaningfulness to our dedications, we generate immense amounts of positive energy that radiates internally and externally.
During deep contemplation and prayer we engage in compassion and empathy as we come to a place of understanding that when one suffers in the world, we also experience some degree of suffering. However, instead of allowing those realisations to become overwhelming, we can use them to propel us onward in our daily lives to take greater care of all that surrounds us and to offer tenderness and compassion to those we come into contact with.
As Ghandi said, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” When we introspect and focus our attention on those that are going through tragedies and devastation, we become more aware of the plights of mankind and what we each must do in our own lives to ensure we are spreading as much light as possible in the world.
While we may not all be able to reach those who we are praying for, or we may not have the funds or access to services to assist those who are in immediate trouble, there are always those closest to us that we can make a difference for, whether it’s a lonely elderly neighbour, a friend, or a stranger that desperately needs a few kind words and a moment of our time.
Not only that, when we declare we are sending out prayers, those who are in the midst of the tragedy know that they aren’t alone, and for many, just to know that the world is watching, caring, praying, and that there is unity, is the flickering of light that gives people a fraction of strength during extremely dark times.
For certain, I would hope that if tragedy strikes my life, that there would be someone out there who would offer me a few moments of their time in thought and prayer. To know our life means something to someone whom we have never even met, is surely a declaration of unity and oneness—a sign that despite the vastness of our planet, we are all much closer than we might have once believed.
“There’s nothing more calming in difficult moments that knowing that someone is fighting with you.” ~ Mother Theresa
When we hear of tragedies and we set an intention to contemplate ways to become more mindful in our own lives, or those who are far, we also radiate waves of healing energy that has far-reaching consequences. That energy carries messages of profound peace and harmony. This is the whole basis of Reiki, and those who practice it have seen, felt, and hold great faith in its healing capabilities.
Instead of saying that people are wrong to think and pray for others who have passed or who are suffering, let’s each of us, in our own way, do whatever we can to alleviate pain and disharmony. So long as our intentions are for creating a healthier and more harmonious world for all, then who is to say one’s way is the right way and the other is wrong?
In Buddhism and Hinduism the word dharma is used to describe the interconnectedness and respect for all things in our world—specifically “that which holds”—the people of our world. At the root of dharma is compassion for oneself and all living creatures.
Let’s not underestimate the value of joining together and letting the world know that we are watching, listening, feeling, and sensing that there is unrest and immense pain and suffering. Let us show those who are hurting that they are not alone and that people, however near or far they may be, care deeply, and hold genuine concern for their wellbeing.
It goes without saying that we do not only need to pray and believe that the world will magically be healed.
However, whether we are making positive changes in our own corner of the world, or whether we go on to take action to create change in the far distance, it is all relevant when there are millions of people doing the same from wherever they are, with whatever they currently have to give.
“I find it really beautiful when someone prays for you without you knowing. I don’t think there’s any form of deeper or purer love.” ~ Unknown.
Author: Alex Myles
Image: Pixabay & Author’s own
Editor: Sara Kärpänen
Copy editor: Travis May
Social editor: Emily Bartran