A Prayer for One's Birthday

 
By Venerable Master Hsing Yun 
 
Oh great, compassionate Buddha!
Today,
Is your disciple's birthday 
As well as the day your disciple's mother suffered. 
Here before you, 
I would like to thank my parents for their kindness 
In educating and raising me; 
I would like to thank my teachers for their kindness 
In admonishing and teaching me; 
I would like to thank the nation for its kindness
In supporting and protecting me.
Most of all, I would like to thank you, Buddha:
For showing me the way of your teachings,
For strengthening my courage to enter into society fearlessly,
For expanding my faith in spirituality and bodhi,
For removing the shackles of care from my body and mind. 
 
On the road of life,
May I constantly gain incomparable strength
And not feel weak and helpless; 
In the process of life, 
May I constantly obtain benevolent causes and conditions 
And not feel alone and disconnected. 
 
Oh my respected Buddha!
I would like to tell you:
Not all of my life has been happy or easy;
I wish to be more loyal and devoted 
To the nation and society; 
I wish to be more affectionate and generous 
To my teachers, elders, relatives, and friends. 
 
Oh my respected Buddha!
I would like to tell you:
 
Not all of life has been entirely peaceful or carefree;
I have been swayed by considerations of gain and loss 
In human sentiment and wealth; 
I have had attachments to reputation and honor, 
And have been unwilling to give them up;
I wish to be more diligent and hardworking
In career and work;
I wish to be more considerate and helpful
In dealing with people and handling affairs.
 
Oh great, compassionate Buddha!
Today, on the day my mother suffered,
I would like to pray to you sincerely.
With the protection and blessing of your infinite life and immeasurable light,
From this day forward I pray:
May our society be wealthy, secure, peaceful, happy, harmonious, and just;
May Buddhism thrive and expand, and enlighten all beings;
May the masses be healthy and free from trouble in body and mind, and always follow your teachings;
May I be able to progress zealously, bravely, and fervently, and pay close attention to my behaviors and thoughts.
May I have greater compassion:
If I support all beings, all beings will rejoice;
If I support all things, all things will be complete.
 
Oh great, compassionate Buddha!
Please accept my sincerest prayer!
Oh great, compassionate Buddha!
Please accept my sincerest prayer!
 
Namo Shakyamuni Buddha.