The Vietnamese - American Poetic Spirit


by Thong Ba Le

Do not believe in anything (simply) because you have heard it. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. Do not believe in anything because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything (simply) because it is found written in your religious book. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agree with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all then accept it and live up to it.
(Kalama Sutta Anguttara Nikaya, Vol. 188-193 P.T.S. Ed)

Buddha taught us that this life is just a temporary one
like a river flowing from its mountain alone
with challenges waiting at every waterfall
and happiness is the peaceful turn for all.
with luggage are well-prepared and ready to go
The boat captain is only a skillful guide
who steers the boat, the rest is in their minds.

The journey with obstacles and challenges
is waiting ahead for their excellence
to carry out the task or to make a decision
as a coward hiding inside of this vision.

And the voyage will continue with survivors
who reach the river mouth on their arrival,
the finish of their short and complicated life
and the captain returns upstream, again to guide.

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