“Lokah Samastah Sukhinoh Bhavantu.” My 5 year old daughter spent Sunday afternoon singing this mantra. It had been the “lesson” at family yoga that day. I smiled to myself because she had not seemed to be paying attention during a lot of the family yoga class, and so I was a little surprised when I heard her chanting this somewhat complicated mantra. It means “May all beings everywhere be happy and free. And may the thoughts and actions of our own lives contribute in some way to that happiness and freedom for all.”
I am reminded that my daughter is paying attention to everything. She is a sponge. Often at night, I will whisper “May you be happy and safe and may all beings everywhere be happy and free.” I love the ritual of blessing her and thinking of others. Tonight I grew impatient with her slowness at moving through the bedtime routine (aka intentional stalling to avoid bedtime when mommy is already extremely tired and increasingly grumpy). She said I was “being mean,” and she had a point. I thought about arguing with her some more (yes, sometimes I engage in arguments with my 5 year old). Instead, I took a breath, and I deeply let go of my mounting tension. It is a precious gift to have been taught how to do this. I felt my heart relax, and I settled into the next moment. We read a book. I tucked her in. She reminded me (as she often does) that it’s not fair that she has to sleep by herself. And then she said “you forgot to say May All Beings Be Happy and Free. Say it in the other language.” And so we said it again together, “Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu.” It was a very nice way to end the day.