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Poems of Human and Spirit

Poems of Human and Spirit

Sword sticking out of ground with pond in background.

Luis is a young man in his early twenties who first came to the Abbey as a child with his mother many years ago. This is part of a series of writings he is working on as he searches for the meaning of love. In these two poems, he considers the extremes of our perceptions, and responds to a question from Venerable Chodron.

Poem of Human

Love and Hate,
Twins fighting each other,
Battle lasting for eons,
Each seeing only one side

Love only sees good qualities,
Love only sees strengths,
Love only sees beauty

Hate only sees negative qualities,
Hate only sees weaknesses,
Hate only sees ugliness

When both water and earth merge as one,
A new being arises from the mud,
Far surpassing the power of both individuals,
Arise mud monster of morals!

Venerable Thubten Chodron: I asked Luis about “Poem of Human,” and he replied, “My perspective has been changing. I believe there is something beyond love and hate, something beyond earth and water, which I have written in my new poem, “Swordsman’s Spirit.”

Swordsman’s Spirit

The blade of the mind,
Ensnared by two false paradises,
One casting illusions of aromatic beauty,
Another casting illusions of foul terror

Earth and water attempt to drown this nature,
Earth attempting to solidify hold of its captive with sweet promises,
Water attempting to drown the captive in a never-ending abyss,
Mud that seeks to chain its victim

Realizing the nature of these two entities,
By slashing the false projections of these forces,
An unbiased view of reality becomes clear,
Seeing beyond the spells of both corrupted demiurges

As both supreme beings crumble apart,
One may be able to awaken from the mud puddle,
With sword in hand,
Sunrise cracking a new dawn

Featured image: Excerpt of photo by Hefin Owen.
Venerable Thubten Chodron

Venerable Chodron emphasizes the practical application of Buddha’s teachings in our daily lives and is especially skilled at explaining them in ways easily understood and practiced by Westerners. She is well known for her warm, humorous, and lucid teachings. She was ordained as a Buddhist nun in 1977 by Kyabje Ling Rinpoche in Dharamsala, India, and in 1986 she received bhikshuni (full) ordination in Taiwan. Read her full bio.

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