The special verses below are recited for the purpose of generating bodhichitta, the wish to free all sentient beings from suffering. When reciting the verses, you should try to recollect your full understanding of compassion and the need for cultivating it.

The first verse is a formal taking of refuge. Those of you who are practicing Buddhists, take refuge here. Non-Buddhist religious practitioners – Christians, Jews, Muslims, and others – can take refuge in your own religion’s deity and use that formula as a way of reaffirming your faith in that deity.

The second verse pertains to the generation of the mind of enlightenment. The third verse really gives us a sense of courage and also a sense of inspiration that help us sustain our commitment to the altruistic principles. As you recite these verses, you should reflect upon their meaning and cultivate the right contemplation in your mind.

I think these three verses are very powerful. If you agree and feel comfortable with them, you should think about and recite these verses whenever you have the time. It will give you some inner strength, and this is very valuable.

With a wish to free all beings
I shall always go for refuge
to the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha,
until I reach full enlightenment.

Enthused by wisdom and compassion
today in the Buddha’s presence
I generate the mind for full awakening
for the benefit of all sentient beings.

As long as space remains,
as long as sentient beings remain,
until then, may I too remain
and dispel the miseries of the world.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama in The Compassionate Life