Blogging is still on the back burner for me for a while but I wanted to share this poem with you. It was written by a senior Buddhist monk of the Thai Forest Tradition called Ajahn Kalyano whom I met at a retreat centre last weekend. I’ve been on quite a few retreats at this centre – Sunyata – before but this time was a bit different. While Ajahn Kalyano is in residence, Sunyata is being run as a monastery. This means, amongst other things, that residents try to abide by eight precepts, the spirit of which is summed up in Ajahn Kalyano’s poem below. I think it is a beautiful way to show that the precepts are not about denial or self-punishment but about love and dharma.
Every man is our brother.
Every woman is our sister.
Everything we have is a gift.
All the food we eat is shared.
The front door is always open.
We have enough spirit, we’ve no need of a drink.
We don’t look for beautiful things we make everything beautiful.
We don’t make or listen to music we make all sounds into music
We don’t watch movies we make our life into a movie.
And when every man is our brother
And every woman is our sister
Sexual desire does not arise.
And truly awake we can find truth in peace and peace in truth.