In this podcast, I read aloud passages I like from books that I have been reading.
Stranger by Les Baynton
You looked so sad when you came to us,
From a land so faraway.
You left your friends, your favourite foods,
The language that you spoke so well.
But you came to us with a lovely smile,
A beautiful dress, and a small soft voice,
Sometimes I know you felt so lost,
In the street of unfriendly noise.
And your mother smiled too,
She couldn’t say much.
But I didn’t need words to speak to you,
I knew from your smile
And the touch of your hand,
That we wouldn’t be strangers
… for long.
Anger by Marie Thom
I’m wanting to punch the world into pieces,
Lie back on the grass and scream,
Wipe the smiles off everyone’s faces,
Banish them into a dream.
The red hot feeling inside me is growing,
The hatred I have makes me cry.
I want to kick out, to hurt them real bad,
Calm down, calm down you reply.
My stomach is twisting and turning around,
My face is flushed bright with the strain.
Trying to keep it all locked within,
When I want to lash out with the pain.
The heart is now rising, spitting and crackling,
I’m needing to yell and to shout.
I can’t re-find peace until it’s all gone,
Oh please let my anger come out.
CALL ME BY MY TRUE NAMES, by Thich Nhat Hanh
"1 wrote this poem in 1965 especially for the young people in the School of Youth for Social Service who risked their lives every day during the war, recommending them to prepare to die without hatred. Some had already been killed violently, and I cautioned the others against hating. Our enemy is our anger, hatred, greed, fanaticism, and discrimination against men. If you die because of violence, you must meditate on compassion in order to forgive those who kill you. When you die realizing this state of compassion, you are truly a child of the Awakened One. Even if you are dying in oppression, shame, and violence, if you can smile with forgiveness, you have great power.... On our path of service, there are moments of pain and loneliness, but when we know that the Buddha sees and knows us, we feel a great surge of energy, and firm determination to carry on." —Thich Nhat Hanh
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, untroubled
(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.
— Call Me by My True Names
One word can reduce a person's suffering ... (2'04)
From Thich Nhat Hanh: Essential Writings, p. 101:
Many people think that if they do not have influence and money, they cannot realize love and compassion. In fact, the source of love and compassion is in us, and we can help many people suffer less and realize a lot of happiness without being rich or influential. One word, one action, or one thought can reduce another person's suffering and bring him joy. One word can give comfort and confidence, destroy doubt, help someone avoid a mistake, reconcile a conflict, open the door to liberation, or show him the way to success and happiness. One action can save a person's life, or help him take advantage of a rare opportunity. One thought can do the same, because thoughts lead to words and action. If love and compassion are in our hearts, every thought, word, and deed can bring about a miracle. Because understanding is the very foundation of love and compassion, the words and actions engendered by love and compassion will be ones that are helpful. When we want to help, we know how to avoid the kind of love that does more harm than good. We must always remember that love is none other than understanding.
I have no enemies: My final statement; Part 4: To my wife
I have no enemies: My final statement; Part 3: Treatment in jail