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Poems by Thay Giac Thanh

Tears for My Homeland

Oh my beloved homeland,
So many long quiet nights
I lay awake, crying tears of love for you.
Oh my beloved homeland,
What have you done to deserve this?
To let those demons torture you so,
Without remorse, compassion, or brotherly love.
They sold you to the Devil King.
Out of love for you I buy you back with my own flesh and blood,
With my wisdom, my very heart,
And with my whole being.
Even if this body burns into ashes,
I vow to spread them along the road to peace.


Poems will die.
Ten-thousand-year-long loves will also die.
Clouds swirl, obscuring the whole sky.
On life’s journey, there are ups and downs
But one day I will shake free from all my worldly debt.

Formless Samadhi

Clear water on one side,
Urine on the other,
All will return to sky, clouds, oceans, and rivers.
There is sunlight during daytime
And moonlight at night
Shining my way.

Being Sick

My skin and flesh are wasted,
My body is withered,
But my heart is still joyful as spring flowers.
Rivers, mountains are extensive.
Why hesitate to give up this tiny body?
I return it to the immense earth and sky.


As a wanderer who has no home
By chance I met you
While wandering from place to place.
My younger brothers and sisters from Vietnam,
You are green mountains, rivers,
Morning sunlight, and dewy flowers.
You are joyful, innocent, and light,
As white clouds drifting in the deep blue sky
Along with the first light of a new day.
If in youthful folly,
You lose your way, falling into steep gorges
Deep in the mountains,
All you need is a gentle breeze
Of understanding and love
To bring you back
To the lofty sky and vast oceans.
You do not need raging storms
Of anger and hatred.
Please do not scold or blame
My younger brothers and sisters
For I fear that the gray color of sadness
Would darken their pure hearts.

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What is Mindfulness

Thich Nhat Hanh January 15, 2020

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