Monday, November 30, 2009

Tao Te Ching: Verse 7

The Tao is inifinte, eternal.
Why is it eternal?
IT was never born;
thus it can never die.
Why is it infinite?
It has no desires for itself;
thus it is present for all beings.

The Master stays behind;
that is why she is ahead.
She is detached from all things;
that is why she is one with them.
Because she has let go of herself,
she is perfectly fulfilled.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Tao Te Ching: Verse 6

The Tao is called the Great Mother:
empty yet inexaustible,
it gives birth to infinite worlds.

It is always present within you.
You can use it any way you want.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Please Call Me By My True Names - Thich Naht Hanh

I have a poem for you. This poem is about three of us. The first is a twelve year old girl, one of the boat people crossing the Gulf of Siam. She was raped by a sea pirate, and after that threw herself into the sea. The second is the sea pirate who was born in a remote village in Thailand. And the third person is me. I was very angry, of course. But I could not take sides against the sea pirate. If I could have, it would have been easier, but I couldn't. I realize that if I had been born in his village and had lived a similar life - economic,educational and so on - it is likely that I would now be the sea pirate. So it is not easy to take sides. Out of suffering, I wrote this poem. It is called "Please Call Me By My True Names," because I have many names, and when you call me by any of them, I have to say "Yes."

Don't say that I will depart tomorrow --
Even today I am still arriving.

Look deeply: Every second I am arriving
to be a bud on a spring branch
to be a tiny bird, with still fragile wings,
learning to sing in my new nest,
to be a caterpillar in the heart of a flower,
to be a jewel hiding itself in a stone.

I still arrive, inorder to laugh and cry,
to fear and to hope.

The rhythm of my heart is the birth and death
of all that is alive.

I am the mayfly metamorphosing
on the surface of a river.
And I am the bird
that swoops down to swallow the mayfly.

I am a frog swimming happily
in the clear water of a pond.
And I am the grass-snake
that silently feeds itself on the frog.

I am the child in Uganda, all skin and bones,
my legs as thin as bamboo sticks.
And I am the arms merchant,
selling deadly weapons to Uganda.

I am the twelve year old girl,
refugee on a small boat,
who throws herself into the ocean
after being raped by a sea pirate.
And I am the pirate,
my heart not yet capable
of seeing and loving.

I am a member of the politburo,
with plenty of power in my hands.
And I am the man who has to pay
his "debt of blood" to my people
dying slowly in a forced labor camp.

My joy is like spring, so warm
it makes flowers bloom all over the Earth.
My pain is like a river of tears,
so vast it fills four oceans.

Please call me by my true names,
so I can hear all my cries and my laughter all at once,
so I can see that my joy and pain are one.

Please call me by my true names,
so I can wake up,
and so the door of my heart,
can be left open,
the door of compassion.

- Thich Naht Hanh

Friday, November 6, 2009

Tao te Ching: Verse 5

The Tao doesn't take sides;
it gives birth to good and evil.
The Master doesn't take sides;
she welcomes both saints and sinners.

The Tao is like a bellows:
it is empty yet infinitely capable.
The more you use it, the more it produces;
the more you talk of it, the less you understand.

Hold on to the center.