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You can find the Sangha Contribution archive here

 

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 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 also 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 could be left open, the door of compassion.

Contributed by Jonathan

 

Of becoming and of embrace by Nick Naydler

Days added and subtracted,

the rowan buds swell.

I wonder at the abacus of transience.

Frost cracks a pot, each shard of my life

turns into a gem; bluebirds play algebra

with days and nights in recurring dreams.

Fat pigeons croon

melodies of praise and loss.

Eight worldly winds

sway the birch trees, gently, gently.

The door of the shed blows open,

evanescent above all,

everything breaks from the shadows:

Primula scattered, prismatic,

criss-crossing the garden.

Each of us are orphans,

accounted for by that most precious womb:

zero, love’s digit of

becoming and of embrace.

It whispers to me on my rusting bench,

of the beginning and of the end, of

everything, on the journey of return.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contributed by Nick Naydler

 

The Lost Words Blessing

Original song by Julie Fowlis, Karine Polwart, Seckou Keita, Kris Drever, Rachel Newton, Beth Porter, Jim Molyneux, Kerry Andrew.

Enter the wild with care, my love
And speak the things you see
Let new names take and root and thrive and grow
And even as you travel far from heather, crag and river
May you like the little fisher, set the stream alight with glitter
May you enter now as otter without falter into water

Look to the sky with care, my love
And speak the things you see
Let new names take and root and thrive and grow
And even as you journey on past dying stars exploding
Like the gilded one in flight, leave your little gifts of light
And in the dead of night my darling,
find the gleaming eye of starling
Like the little aviator, sing your heart to all dark matter

Walk through the world with care, my love
And sing the things you see
Let new names take and root and thrive and grow
And even as you stumble through machair sands eroding
Let the fern unfurl your grieving, let the heron still your breathing
Let the selkie swim you deeper, oh my little silver-seeker
Even as the hour grows bleaker, be the singer and the speaker
And in city and in forest, let the larks become your chorus
And when every hope is gone, let the raven call you home

Contributed by Joss. More about this song can be found here