Peace Prayer “… With your deep understanding, help our hearts grow light … May the merit of this prayer be transformed into peace …”  ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

peace prayer thich nhat hanh

Today is Presidential inauguration day in America … it’s supposed to be historic and full of hope – as any such change portends – especially for peace … yet we are also a country that is – sadly – deeply divided.

So, how do we meet this moment? … on this historic day …

In the spirit of encouraging peace, we offer A Prayer for Peace by Thich Nhat Hanh … a prayer during a time of deep divisions in another country (although the divisions’ rationale and circumstances were different including navigating a war with a foreign power on their land) … where …

Thay (and his other fellow citizens) were able to – at least – consciously invite peace (and more) by using it “… throughout South Vietnam in 1965 in the “Don’t Shoot Your Own Brother” campaign to rouse the willingness to work for peace. During meetings of young people, we chanted this poem, uniting our hearts and our efforts to continue to work for peace. Most of us were Buddhists. This chant aims at reconciliation and stopping the war. It was a very powerful way of working for communication. This is something we can share with Western friends. …”

Even though some words/parts are not applicable for us … but the parts re inviting peace certainly are … so we offer Thay’s wisdom … for our individual and collective consideration during these tumultuous times …

We have taken the literary liberty of striking through the “not applicable words” and have added some pertinent ones in green.

Another Prayer … for Peace

In beauty, sitting on a lotus flower,
is Lord Buddha, quiet and solid.

buddha peace thay

Your humble disciple,
calm and pure of heart,
forms a lotus flower with his hands,
faces you with deep respect,
and offers this heartfelt prayer:

Homage to all Buddhas in the ten directions.
Please have compassion for our suffering.
Our land has been
 {is} at war for two decades.
Divided, it is a land of tears
and blood and bones of young and old.
Mothers weep till their tears are dry
while sons on distant fields decay.
Its beauty torn apart,
 blood and tears now flow.
Brothers killing brothers
for promises from outsiders.

Homage to all Buddhas in the ten directions.
Because of your love for all people,
have compassion on us.

Help us remember we are just one family,

prayer family thich nhat hanh

North and South.
Help us rekindle our compassion and brotherhood,
and transform our separate interests
into loving acceptance for all.
May your compassion help us overcome our hatred.
May Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva’s love
help the flowers bloom again in the soil of our country.
Humbly, we open our hearts to you,
so you may help us transform our karma
and water the flowers of our spirits.
With your deep understanding,
help our hearts grow light.

prayer flowers blooming thich nhat hanh

Homage to Shakyamuni Buddha
whose great vows and compassion inspire us.
I am determined to cultivate only thoughts
that increase trust and love,
to use my hands to perform only deeds
that build community,
to speak only words of harmony and aid.

May the merit of this prayer
be transformed into peace in Vietnam.
 {America and beyond.}
May each of us realize this,
our deep aspiration.

~ Thich Nhat Hanh (edits of strikethroughs and additions are by us)

Coronavirus continues to take a toll on humanity and tremendous, heroic efforts continue to be underway by many to ensure our health and safety … helping those who are involved in such efforts is the “order of the day” … and in this spirit, Go Fund Me needs to be commended for organizing various campaigns targeted towards COVID-19 relief efforts. All of these campaigns are worthy of our attention … but for now we wanted to highlight TWO critical ones that we have donated personally and also as Stillness Speaks:

Despite the financial challenges that are amongst us all, if your situation allows you to donate and help then …

… please visit  Frontline Responders Fund’s Go Fund Me page … and help deliver crucial supplies to these frontline responders

… and/or visit  America’s Food Fund Go Fund Me page and help feed the neighbors in need.

And, we again, express our deepest gratitude to a) the COVID-19 Frontline Responders (all the healthcare professionals – doctors, nurses, hospital/medical-services staff – firefighters, law enforcement, volunteers, and any/all the people involved in keeping the “system-at-large” functioning for ALL of us) … and b) Go Fund Me for organizing America’s Food Fund to feed the needy.



May you “realize the deep aspiration” this prayer invites … leading to peace in all of your interactions … and …

May you remain safe and healthy as you navigate these troubling times.


All italicized text above is from Call Me by My True Names by Thich Nhat Hanh.
Images (edited and logos added): Featured and 1) Hvitserkur rock – a tourist attraction in Iceland by Kotenko, 2) Gautama Buddha, face of buddha by mari-bori, 3) Global community world tree by cienpies, 4) Sunrise and dramatic clouds over Lavender Field by valio84sl. All purchased from depositphotos, for use only on our website/social channels (these images are not permitted to be shared separate from this post).


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