An interfaith couple recently asked me to create a ceremony that blends in, and celebrates, the bride's Buddhist family tradition with readings and ritual. I was reminded of some of the wonderful Buddhist blessings I have included in ceremonies over the years, for couples in which one partner was born into Buddhism or adopted it along the way.
Here are four popular Buddhist blessings. All the original sacred sources and authors are attributed under each reading.
The Buddha's Sermon at Rajagaha Do not deceive, do not despise each other anywhere. Do not be angry nor bear secret resentments; for as a mother will risk her life and watches over her child, so boundless be your love to all, so tender, kind and mild.
Cherish good will right and left, early and late, and without hindrance, without stint, be free of hate and envy, while standing and walking and sitting down, what ever you have in mind, the rule of life that is always best is to be loving-kind.
-- The Buddhist Scriptures, The Buddha's Sermon at Rajagaha, Verses 19-22
I Bow Deeply Standing quietly by the fence, you smile your wondrous smile, I am speechless, and my senses are filled By the sounds of your beautiful song, Beginningless and endless. I bow deeply to you.
- Thich Nhat Hanh
Buddhist Wedding Prayer Today we promise to dedicate ourselves completely to each other, with body, speech, and mind.
In this life, in every situation, in wealth or poverty, in health or sickness, in happiness or difficulty, we will work to help each other perfectly.
The purpose of our relationship will be to attain enlightenment by perfecting our kindness and compassion toward all sentient beings. - Lama Thubten Yeshe
A Blessing for The Journey (Buddhist Prayer) Let us vow to bear witness to the wholeness of life, realizing the completeness of each and every thing. Embracing our differences, I shall know myself as you, and you as myself. May we serve each other for all our days, here, there, and everywhere. Let us vow to open ourselves to the abundance of life. Freely giving and receiving, I shall care for you, for the trees and stars, as treasures of my very own. May we be grateful for all our days, here, there, and everywhere. Let us vow to forgive all hurt, caused by ourselves and others, and to never condone hurtful ways. Being responsible for my actions, I shall free myself and you. Will you free me, too? May we be kind for all our days, here, there, and everywhere. Let us vow to remember that all that appears will disappear. In the midst of uncertainty, I shall sow love. Here! Now! I call to you: Let us together live The Great Peace that we are. May we give no fear for all our days, here, there, and everywhere.
-- Sensei Wendy Egyoku Nakao.