In a notably gentle and slightly playful tone, Desmond Tutu described his daily ritual of reading the newspaper to a Tacoma audience almost a decade ago. He shared with us he was not overwhelmed by despair at the headlines, at the state of the world. Rather, he found delight, gently rubbing his hands together, at the ‘things to do list’ laid out at his very fingertips.

I offer For All Beings below as an invocation for this dawning year. Please savor it slowly. And with Tutu’s, gentle, playful, tender-heartedness, consider how these words might move out into the world through you. After reading it a few times, take up one single line for a day, or for a week and consider how you might manifest that single line in this precious, burning world of ours.
It could be any manner of gestures: choosing to walk with calm and love rather than irritation behind a slower moving person; choosing to address a service employee with real humanity; listening deeply to someone who drives you nuts; advocating for someone’s voice to be heard, a previously soft or silent voice; offering a gesture of forgiveness, even a hard one; acting so that someone’s body and mind may be seen, valued; creating space in  your home, and heart, to accommodate someone in need of refuge. You alone can discern your capacity, borne of awareness of resources internally and externally.

Blessings in the discernment. Blessings in the embodiment. Blessings in this dawning year.
with tender care,

For All Beings

by  Zenju Earthlyn Manuel

May all beings be cared for and loved,

Be listened to, understood and acknowledged despite different views,

Be accepted for who they are in this moment,

Be afforded patience,

Be allowed to live without fear of having their lives taken away or their bodies violated.

May all beings,

Be well in its broadest sense,

Be fed,

Be clothed,

Be treated as if their life is precious,

Be held in the eyes of each other as family.

May all beings,

Be appreciated,

Feel welcomed anywhere on the planet,

Be freed from acts of hatred and desperation including war, poverty, slavery, and street crimes,

Live on the planet, housed and protected from harm,

Be given what is needed to live fully, without scarcity,

Enjoy life, living without fear of one another,

Be able to speak freely in a voice and mind of undeniable love.

May all beings,

Receive and share the gifts of life,

Be given time to rest, be still, and experience silence.

May all beings,

Be awake.