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Buddhist peace prayer goes viral

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Merit, or good deeds, add up and carry over into the next life in Buddhist philosophy. Last Friday, the Buddhists at the Garden of One Thousand Buddhas earned much merit, according to the lama Tulku Sang-Ngag Rinpoche. To earn that merit, the Buddhists endured the cold morning rain as they prayed for an hour wrapped in maroon robes and slightly sheltered by an awning covering the colorful statue of the Great Mother. 

“Today is a special holiday for Buddhist people,” said Rinpoche before he led the prayer in his Tibetan language, translated by Sarah Schneider. “It’s the day of the Buddhist enlightenment so for that reason we are doing a prayer, a worldwide prayer for peace and happiness.”

The prayer was broadcast via the Internet to similar dharma centers around the world where other lamas prayed for peace. The rain created a challenge for those running the video equipment. Towels were placed over the laptop keyboards in front of Rinpoche. 

“The webcast will go through the East, Europe and the United States,” he said,“including India, Nepal, China, Bhutan and Tibet.” 

The prayer was created to help counteract negativity. 

“With climate change, the environment of our outer world has become dangerous,” Rinpoche said. 

The group prayed in unison, creating a humming sound that could be heard throughout the gardens where 1,000 Buddha statues and 1,000 stupas are arranged around the central figure of the Great Mother.

“This is a special place,” Rinpoche said. “From the sky, the shape of the land is like the lotus flower.”

Buddhist Jenna Lyons traveled from Missoula to participate in the prayer. The kindness of the Buddhist people inspired her to take vows last year. 

“By saying these prayers we are accumulating merit and wishing well for all beings,” she said. “But every day I try to achieve a higher purpose.” 

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