Poem of the Sister Hôi Nghiêm

There are times when I would like you to suffer, 
for fear that, if not, you can limit yourself to travel, indifferent.

There are times when I would like you to make mistakes, 
so that your heart is more welcoming and compassionate.

There are times when I would like you to have the experience of change, 
for fear that you may become inflexible.

There are times when I would like you to be silent and quiet, 
so that you have depth when you laugh or talk.

There are times when I would like you to wait a long time, 
so you know what patience is.

There are times when I would like you to fail, 
for fear that you may become arrogant.

There are times when I would like you to be lazy, 
for fear that you get mad from stress.

There are times when I would like you to sing, 
so that you can appease the deep grief that can not be named.

There are times when I would like you to take pity on yourself, 
so that you learn to return to you and take care of yourself.

There are times when I would like you to fall ill, 
for fear that you do not know how to have empathy for others.

There are times when I would like you to suffer a storm, 
to strengthen the fraternity of your brothers and sisters.

There are times when I would like you to close your eyes, 
so that your spirit is as simple as that of a child.

There are times when I would like you to be innocent, 
for fear that you will suffer a lot.

Thay’s Poem

Promise 
me , promise me today, 
promise me now, 
with the sun at the top 
right at the zenith, 
promise me: 
even if you are overcome 
with a mountain of violence and hatred, 
even if they step on you and crush you 
like a worm, 
even if they break you and disembowel, 
you will remember, brother, you will 
remember 
that man is not our enemy.

The only thing worthy of you is compassion: 
invincible, unlimited, unconditional. 
Hate will never let you face the beast in man.

And one day, when you face this beast alone, 
with your courage intact, your eyes calm, 
full of kindness, (although no one can see them), 
your smile 
will be born a flower.

And those who love 
you will be contemplating 
you through ten thousand worlds of birth and death.

Alone again, I will 
walk with my head bowed 
knowing that love is now eternal. 
On the long and hard road, 
the sun and the moon 
will continue to shine.