Thích Nhất Hạnh, born Nguyễn Xuân Bảo, October 11, 1926 – January 22, 2022) was a Vietnamese Thiền Buddhist monk, peace activist, prolific author, poet and teacher, who founded the Plum Village Tradition, historically recognized as the main inspiration for engaged Buddhism. Known as the “father of mindfulness”, Nhất Hạnh was a major influence on Western practices of Buddhism.
PLEASE CALL ME BY MY TRUE NAMES
Thich Nhat Hanh
Do not say that I’ll depart tomorrow
because even today I still arrive.
Look deeply: I arrive in every second
to be a bud on a spring branch,
to be a tiny bird, with wings still fragile,
learning to sing in my new nest,
to be a caterpillar in the heart of flower,
to be a jewel hiding itself in a stone.
I still arrive, in order to laugh and to cry,
in order to fear and to hope,
the rhythm of my heart is the birth and
death of all that are alive.
I am the mayfly metamorphosing on the
surface of the river,
and I am the bird which, when spring comes,
arrives in time to eat the mayfly.
I am the frog swimming happily in the
clear water of a pond,
and I am also the grass-snake who,
approaching in silence,
feeds itself on the frog.
I am the child in Uganda, all skin and bones,
my legs as thin as bamboo sticks,
and I am the arms merchant, selling deadly
weapons to Uganda.
I am the twelve-year-old girl,
refugee on a small boat
who throws herself into the ocean
after being raped by a sea pirate.
And I am the pirate.