Call me by my correct names!

door Thich Nhat Hanh

THICH NHAT HANH is gegaan. Gegaan, voorbij het gaan:

Call me by my correct names!

Meditation on the Amstelriver

Please, mind your breathing, mind your breathing
like you mind the road while you are driving your car.
I see the Amstelriver flowing
This flowing water
so quiet, so natural and so alive.
But, suppose, that instead of water,
we have blocks of glass, blocks of ice,
millions of blocks of ice, big and small: there is no river, no flowing.
You, everyone of you, are not an idea, not a concept,
you are living realities,
that’s why there is the river,
the river should flow.
Concepts are not realities, they empty the reality,

and so please, call me by my correct name:
do not say that I shall be part tomorrow,
because even today I still arrive.

Look at me: I arrive in each second and in each minute,
to be a bird on the new branch
to be a young bird whose wings still tender
learning to sing on my new nest,
to be a caterpillar in the heart of a flower
to be a jewel hiding itself in the heart of a stone,
I still arrive in order to cry and to laugh,
to hope and to fear.

My coming and my going are seen as the breathing of all living beings,
the rythm of my birth and death
is the beating of the heart of all that are alive.

I am the ephemeron metamorphosing on the surface of the water
I am also the bird who when the spring comes
flies to the river to eat the ephemeron who just came out of his jail,
I am a frog swimming happily in the clear water of the pond,
I am also the grass-snake who silently moves around
to feed myself on the frog,

I am a child from Uganda made of skin and bones,
My legs are as tiny as bambusticks,
I am also the supplier of deadly weapons to the African and Asian nations,

I am the twelve year old girl who jumps into the ocean
After having been raped on my boat,
I am also the seapirate whose heart is not yet capable of seeing and loving,

I am a member of the Politburo, plenty of powers in my hand,
I am also the prisoner who has to pay his dept of blood to my people,
languishing in a concentrationcamp,

My joy is like spring so warm to make all flowers bloom on every route,
My pain is like a river of tears so full it fills up all the four oceans

So please, call me by my correct names
so that I can hear at the same time all my laughs and cries,
so that I can realise that my joy and my sorrow are one,

please, call me by my correct names
so that I will be able to wake up
and to let the door of my heart open,
the door of compassion

Thich Nhat Hanh

* uit: tijdschrift ZEN juli 1982

Thich Nhat Hanh
Thay 11.10.1926 -- 22.1.2022