It was written by Shantideva, a Buddhist monk of the Mahayana tradition that lived around 700 AD. He was a devoted practitioner who authored the Bodhicaryavatara or Bodhisattva Way of Life.
It is said that His Holiness the Dalai Lama considers this text to be THE source for developing altruism in your character and the “Spirit of Awakening.” It is also said that His Holiness the Dalai Lama recites this prayer every morning as part of his waking rituals. So, if you include it in yours, you are in good company!
Bodhisattva Prayer for Humanity
“May I be a guard for those who need protection
A guide for those on the path
A boat, a raft, a bridge for those who wish to cross the flood
May I be a lamp in the darkness
A resting place for the weary
A healing medicine for all who are sick
A vase of plenty, a tree of miracles
And for the boundless multitudes of living beings
May I bring sustenance and awakening
Enduring like the earth and sky
Until all beings are freed from sorrow
And all are awakened.”
Now, exhale and be still for a brief moment.
What speaks loudly in this prayer is that we are all here together. The call to serve is special. We are alive thanks to our ancestors and by helping the people, plants, animals, and life in our environment, we show appreciation for existing in this world. Gratitude is powerful!