Matt Swanner - Art, Music, Yoga

A Prayer for Peace to Honor the Fallen

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

I awoke on Memorial Day – a day on which Americans recognize soldiers who have died in war – and asked myself,

“How can I best honor the warriors who have fallen in battle (whatever their nationality)? What do I have to offer the families left shattered by the absence of their fathers, mothers, partners, and children?”

There are a lot of ways. Here in the US you can donate to veteran-centric charities. You can volunteer at veterans hospitals, nursing homes and clinics, and best of all – you can VOTE for representatives that take care of veterans and their families.

“But what do I have to offer in THIS moment?” Sitting on the edge of the bed in the early morning hours – the simplest, most accessible answer was “I can pray for peace.”

What I have to offer in this moment – in any moment – is an open heart, a sincere intention, and a tangible expression of love.

It’s important to do the practical work – to take action in service to others, but make no mistake yogi – words are powerful. I had no idea how powerful until my yoga practice took a turn toward the Bhakti path – the “off-the-mat” yoga practice of viewing life through the lens of an open heart – the path of love and devotion.

The words we choose can create, sustain, and destroy based on our intentions. Our words serve as our most innate form of magic, and our voices are one of the most powerful tools for meditation and manifestation that we posses…

So I grabbed my trusty old guitar and began lazily strumming and humming, holding my intention in the foreground of my mind…

“May all beings be well. May all beings be free. May all beings be at peace…”

As I settled in, my voice began to take shape in the form of a beautiful mantra most commonly found in Hindu and Buddhist prayers, writings and ceremonies.

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti
(Om Peace Peace Peace)

And I extend this same prayer to you, traveller – right here, right now.

May you be joyful. May you be bright. May you be bathed in Brahma’s radiant light.

I hope you enjoy!

Salaam, Shalom, Shanti
Peace, Peace, Peace
🙏  ✌️  ☮️   🕊