Zen peace poem

Promise me, promise me this day,
... promise me now,
while the sun is shining above
exactly at zenith, promise me
even if people crush you
under a mountain of hatred and violence,
even if they walk on your life
and crush you like a caterpillar,
even if they amputate you,
disembowel you,
remember, brother,
Man is not our enemy.

Only your compassion and
your loving kindness are invincible,
and without limit.

Hatred can never respond
to the beastliness in humankind.

One day when you are by yourself
facing cruelty,
your courage intact,
your calm eyes full of love,
even if no one knows of your smile,
blossoming as a flower in solitude and great pain,
those who love you will still see you
while traveling through a thousand worlds
of birth and death.

Alone again, I will go on
with my head bent down,
knowing that love has become eternal.

And on the long and difficult road,
the light of the sun and the moon
is still there
to guide my steps.

Thich Nhat Hanh

This poem is by Thich Nhat Hanh, the Zen Master nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Martin Luther King Jr.

Thich Nhat Hanh emphasizes the fact that only when we have achieved peace within ourselves can we really work for peace in the world. To use anger and hatred against injustice is, to a lesser degree, similar to using war to achieve peace.

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