University of Paisley Buddhist Society

Thursday, September 22, 2005

The Dalai Lama, The Path to Tranquility (Daily Wisdom)

A skilled physician ministers to his patients individually, giving each the appropriate medicine necessary to cure his particular disease. Furthermore, the method and materials of treatment will vary according to the particular combination of circumstances of time and country. Yet all the widely differing medicines and medical methods are similar in that each of them aims to deliver the suffering patient from his sickness. In the same way, all religious teachings and methods are intended to free living beings from misery and the cause of misery and to provide them with happiness and the cause of happiness.

The Dalai Lama, The Path to Tranquility (Daily Wisdom)

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Please Call Me By My True Names

Please Call Me By My True Names
by Thich Nhat Hanh

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,
in order to laugh and to cry,
to fear and to hope.
The rhythm of my heart
is the birth and death of all that is alive.

I am a mayfly metamorphosing
on the surface of the river.
And I am the birdthat 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 the four oceans.

Please call me by my true names,
so I can hear all my cries and laughter 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 the door of my heart
can be left open,
the door of compassion.