In light of the terrible violence all around the world to both human and animals, I thought I would share this poem, with a friend’s encouragement. It’s called “Recommendation” and was written by this wonderful heart teacher Thich Nhat Hanh in 1965 during the Vietnam War, which was ripping his country apart and would only go deeper into violence in the decade ahead.
With his life and teachings, Thay has proved again and again that non-violence does “not” mean non-action, or “idiot compassion,” and that by rejecting violence we *can* skilfully and compassionately deal with even the most difficult issue of life, individually and collectively.
promise me this day,
promise me now,
while the sun is overhead
exactly at the zenith,
Even as they
strike you down
with a mountain of hatred and violence;
even as they step on you and crush you
like a worm,
even as they dismember and disembowel you,
man is not our enemy.
The only thing worthy of you is compassion –
invincible, limitless, unconditional.
Hatred will never let you face
the beast in man.
One day, when you face this beast alone,
with your courage intact, your eyes kind,
(even as no one sees them),
out of your smile
will bloom a flower.
And those who love you
will behold you
across ten thousand worlds of birth and dying.
I will go on with bent head,
knowing that love has become eternal.
On the long, rough road,
the sun and the moon
will continue to shine.
I do hope this poem, short as it is, touches you as deeply as it has others with whom it has been shared..
The glorious rendition of The Chant For Metta by Emee Ooi is gentle and soothing. It speaks of the need to spread love all through the world. – Metta, also means “Loving Kindness” which is the focused teaching of Thay.