text size

Call Me By My True Names, A Poem by Thich Nhat Hanh

Top comments

{{ annotation.praises_count }} Likes
{{ annotation.creator_alias }}
{{ annotation.creator_score }}

There are no comments yet. Be the first to start comment or request an explanation.

"Call Me by My True Names," by Thich Nhat Hanh Do not say that I'll depart tomorrow because even today I still arrive. Look deeply: I arrive in every second to be a bud on a spring branch, to be a tiny bird, with wings still fragile, 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, 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 on 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 pond, and I am also the grass-snake who, approaching in silence, 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 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 in all walks of life. My pain if like a river of tears, so full it fills the four oceans. Please call me by my true 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 my true names, so I can wake up, and so the door of my heart can be left open, the door of compassion.

read all comments

1 Ben N = "Thich Nhat Hanh is an author, poet, peace activist, Buddhist monk and internationally recognized spiritual teacher from Vietnam.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Th%C3%ADch_Nh%E1%BA%A5t_H%E1%BA%A1nh"
2 Cary W = "To see God in every detail in life comes natural if we are at zero....no data or memory of things replaying.  The openness to see God in each little and big thing is possible, and why we are here.  Period."
3 Ben N = "This is a vivid and haunting depiction of what is perhaps the most impenetrable of all spiritual mysteries, the mystery of evil. We are all one being, one life force, one consciousness that plays every role, both victim and perpetrator. How can we be so cruel to each other, when the one we are really hurting is our own precious self?"
4 Cary W = "Every flower and seed in life is birthed in our joys and playful imaginations; every lake and river formed from our griefs, even so playfully returns to the source to begin a new cycle yet again."
5 Cary W = "A thin barrier seems to exist between joy and sorrow, abundance and poverty, and even in the midst of the darkest night, an inner light still glows."
6 Ben N = "This is an appeal for all of us to stop engaging each other on the level of the ego-personality; to look deeper, and see who and what we really are, to help each other awaken, and remember our Oneness."