To the Venerable Pa-Auk Sayadaw
Sweet fragrance of dawn –
Clemency of life’s morningtide –
Perfumed rivulets of dew flowing into an ocean of grass.
A single note and the silence is broken.
The changing of the guard:
Exit the winged marauders of the night,
Hiding themselves in the receding shadows –
Those who sought me out under cover of darkness
To greedily exchange their body fluids with me
That they might bring forth more of their own kind.
Mosquito love is such a one-sided affair –
Their gain is my loss, their pleasure, my pain.
But that is only one point of view.
Enter the harbingers of the new day –
Swooping down upon the blood-sated denizens
Of last night’s repast,
As if in retribution
For every bite that left its itch and stigma on my mortal frame,
As if in retribution
For every mosquito I had ever slain,
For who knows what I might have been to these mosquitos in the past,
Or what they might have been to me.
And who knows if I will stay the same as what I am,
Or if and when and how I might yet change –
The slayer slain, the proud brought down,
The merciless who vainly pleads for mercy?
And who might then one day in some far-distant time
Point to me and say, “Ah, I was once like him, and he was once like me”?
Suddenly, my mind is shaken from its reverie,
As swifts and swallows burst into song,
Diving and soaring like French curves from heaven,
And pulling me back into the present moment.
With each aerial maneuver, my strength enters their veins,
And we are joined together by a common heritage,
As brothers and sisters of the earth and sky,
And solar sons and daughters,
Our unity sanctified by my blood,
In the light of the morning sun.
And in that light I clearly see
A new mathematics of the mind and heart,
Which brings all opposites together,
And makes whole what was once divided.
Some call it love, for love unites and judges not,
And brings together dark and light,
Male and female, left and right.
And love forgives and turns its cheek,
And bitten though a thousand times bares not its teeth,
But freely gives an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,
And one’s blood for the blood of another.
And in that light I further see
Love conquers all, because it has no enemies,
That even should I lose my limbs or life itself,
Love grants me wings that I might rise above hate’s tangled mire
And journey on to happy isles beyond this mortal shore.
Thus my joy grows ever more complete,
And on wings of joy, my heart takes flight,
Returning in full measure what was taken.
Polgasoweeta Aranya, Sri Lanka – Sanur, Bali
What Would Beauty Be?
What would beauty be without desire?
The rose without its scent,
The plan with nothing to aspire,
The heart unbound that yearns for none,
The love unconsummate,
The doing left undone.
True perfection it would be,
A beauty unconstrained and free,
Resplendent and beyond compare,
For beauty would be everywhere.
Pa-Auk Forest Monastery
Love’s Labor’s Loss
What holds you back within this convoluted dream,
Love’s labor’s loss to taste the god’s ambrosial cream,
When all of heaven’s joys lie veiled from mortal sight,
Yet beckon love’s sweet bloom enfold the emptiness that cloaks the night?
Canst thou not see the hidden place within love’s beating heart,
Where love and lover meld and disappear into a single part?
Then leave all thoughts of nature, God and heaven’s joys behind,
And seek that place within the heart where love and truth combine,
To taste the kiss of unborn lips that worship at that shrine,
And drink the draught of timeless bliss in non-creation’s wine.
San Lorenzo, New Mexico
- Love is like fire – if kept under control, it can cook for us, keep us warm and maintain our species. If it gets out of control, however, it can ravage society, burn us in the most shameful manner and destroy the lives of those who get too close to it.
- Nowadays, what most people call “love” is actually about 25% real love and 75% attachment. However, as meager and corrupted as such love may be, 25% love is better than no love at all. Of course, if you can raise the percentage level up to 50%, that is even better, and then your love becomes a true friendship, with equal sharing and deep affection for one another; and if you can raise it up to 100%, that is the ideal – a love that is free from any attachment, completely pure and unconditioned, that asks nothing in return, is unbounded by time or space, and whose greatest joy is in giving to others. And why do I say that love without attachment is the ideal? Because attachment brings suffering.
- Better to marry than to burn, but better yet to put out the fire.
- “Whom does God love?” is the wrong question. “What does God love?” is what you should ask yourself, and the answer is, “God loves a pure heart.” It doesn’t matter if you are Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, Jewish or none of the above, if your heart is pure, that is what God loves.
- Better to have loved and lost than to have to pay alimony.
- Love is a many splintered thing.
- The body ages, but the passions never grow old.
- Eight Guidelines for a Successful Marriage (a husband’s guide):
- Never argue with your wife – if you want your pet to be a pussycat, don’t pluck the whiskers of the tiger.
- Kiss her, even if it hurts.
- Thou shalt not lie, except when it comes to telling your wife how beautiful she is – God gives you a marital dispensation for this one.
- If you want to cheat on your wife, get her permission first.
- Buy her 70% dark chocolate (percentages may vary).
- If you like to gamble, put 90% of your earnings in her bank account.
- Never text and drive at the same time.
- If you decide to become a monk, break it to her gently, with a box of chocolates and the promise of your undying love (and equally enduring financial support).
- All’s fair in love and war, but only Dhamma is intrinsically fair. Dwell not, therefore, in love and war, but harken unto Dhamma and be at peace.
Poems and Musings by Bhikkhu Moneyya
2013 – 2017
To view more poems and musings by Bhikkhu Moneyya, klick here to go to a PDF of my book “The Moneyya Chronicles.” You can also buy my book at https://www.amazon.com/Moneyya-Chronicles-Selected-Poems-Musings/dp/1732287716