Prayers For Peace
The teachings of the Buddha are the ultimate "grass roots" peace movement. He taught that peaceful minds lead to peaceful speech and peaceful actions. The very basis of (the heart of the second cycle of Buddhist Teachings) Mahayana Buddhism finds its roots in compassion for all beings who may experience suffering. It is the simple realization that all beings are essentially members of our family and that harm to one is harm to all.
Om Mani Padme Hum (Hri), the mantra of compassion, is the primary mantra that was used in Prayer Wheels in Tibet since the 7th Century. As a result, Prayer Wheels were known as Mani Wheels. Not only was this mantra used in prayer wheels, it was chanted continuously as a kind of national slogan, carved in rocks at the sides of the roads and paths through the Himalayas, and incorporated into the mindscape of the people as a fundamental principle of life. It can be chanted with any mala.
While Buddhist study and practice goes far beyond simple social awareness, the focus and results are clearly aimed to benefit everyone. This is emphasized in the famous refuge/bodhisattva prayer of Atisha:
To the excellent ones, the Buddha, Dharma, Sangha
Buddhism has the power to affect great changes. Historically, one of the most dramatic and consequential events related to Buddhist practice and conversion occurred in the period 268 to 232 B.C.E. This was the reign of the great Dharma King Asoka in India a few hundred years after the Buddha lived. Asoka ruled over an empire which today encompasses most of India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. This empire was won thru the military conquests of his father and grandfather and Asoka himself fought a particularly awful battle. A rock edict erected after the war confirms that "150,000 were captured, 100,000 were slain, and many times as many died". Observing the suffering during and after his conquest, Asoka came to believe that war was wrong and that the only real conquest was one based on the peaceful truths of Buddhist teaching. Under his guidance, a golden age of Buddhism ensued. Here are some of the communities that we at Sakura Designs are involved with. Most of this text is courtesy of The Nyingma Institute.