Compassion

Do not say I will depart tomorrow because even today I still arrive.

Look deeply, I arrive in every second…in order to laugh and to cry,
In order to fear and to hope;
The rhythm of my heart is the birth and death of all that are alive.

I am the mayfly metamorphosing in the surface of the river,
And I am the bird which, when spring comes, arrives in time to eat the mayfly.

I am the frog swimming happily in the clear water of a pond,
And I am also the grass-snake who, approaching in silence, feeds itself on the frog.

My Joy is like spring, so warm it makes flowers bloom in all walks of life.
My pain is like a river of tears, so full it fills up the four oceans.

Please call me by all my names, so I can hear all my cries and laughs at once,
So I can see that my joy and pain are one.
Please call me by all my true names, so I can wake up, and so the door of my heart
Can be left open, the door of compassion.

THICH NHAT HANH is a Buddhist monk who walked peacefully throughout
Viet Nam during the war to remind all, even earth herself, of the healing
qualities of the mindfulness.  This prayer is a contemporary reflection of his.