oolong tea


oolongteathy“…you cannot know how many people your words, actions and thoughts have touched.

When I make a pot of oolong tea, I put tea leaves into the pot and pour boiling water on them. Five minutes later there is tea to drink. When I drink it, oolong tea is going into me. If I put in more hot water, making a second pot of tea, the tea from those leaves continues to go into me. After I poured out all the tea, what will be left in the pot is just the spent tea leaves. The leaves that remain are only a very small part of the tea. The tea that goes into me is a much bigger part of the tea. It is the richest part.

We are the same; our essence has gone into our children, our friends and the entire universe. We have to find ourselves in those directions and not in the spent tea leaves. I invite you to see yourself reborn in forms that you say are not yourself. You have to see your body in what is not your body. This is called your body outside of your body.”

~Thich Nhat Hanh (No Death, No Fear, pp. 119-120)


summer wishes

Going deep,

I enter the pathway

of the god –

where transcendent, above all

in the wind of the pines. 

~Saigyo (S Carter, Haiku before Haiku)



Our Enemy

Our enemy wears the colors of ideology.

Our enemy wears the label of liberty.

Our enemy carries a fancy appearance.

Our enemy carries a big basked filled with words.

Our enemy is not man.

If we kill men, with whom shall we live?

~Pham Day  (Thich Nhat Hanh, Call Me by My True Names)


…views themselves are ideas or perceptions.  Any perception has two parts: a viewer  (subject) and that which is being viewed (object).  A self view, a person view, a living-being view, and a life span view are all objects of perception. They are neither independently existing or permanent. Like everything else, they are of the nature of interbeing.

~Thich Nhat Hanh, The Diamond that Cuts through Illusion


Unable to sleep,

I gaze at the flowers of the bush clover,

as the dew forms on them from the long night,

till suddenly before dawn

they are scattered by the wind.

~Ise Tayu (K Rexroth & I Atsumi, The Burning Heart)



No reset…

Each time we say or do something, write a line of poetry, disseminate an idea, send a letter, we go out in many different directions.  Once we have set out in these directions, there is no way we can pull ourselves back to the place we were before. 

~Thich Nhat Hanh (Understanding our Minds)