Ode to Proletarian Worker

In the sea of unknown faces

Rain drops jazz

With New York lights

And puddles

The wealthy and the busy

Tap their echoing shoes

Lost somewhere in this Dream

It seems like the only one who still knows the way

Is the proletarian worker

Grounded by the hardships of this city life

As he sees the homeless brothers and sisters

He asks,

“Are you guys doing alright?”

“Do you have any garbage I can take for you?”

Oh the Universe explodes in joy – yes that is what I searched all along!


Letter to Ma

Here I am sitting in a Portuguese church in India. Far away from you Ma, you who are now in Portugal.

I remember from the depths of my heart that you were the angel who introduced me to the teachings of Lord Jesus Christ. And here I am attending a Sunday Mother’s Day mass in a Portuguese church in India. The head priest holding the mass called all mothers to join him near the altar in an act of Celebration of Mother’s Day. All the mothers here for the Sunday mass, stood up and one by one, walked to the front of the altar to join the priest. Some confidently went and some were hesitant to go so the assistants had to give them a little push to go receive their due blessings. When all the mothers were gathered up in the altar, how lonely and grey did the crowd in the benches become. Little boys and girls sitting by themselves and ‘single’ males. Something was missing in the crowd—the motherly presence.

How dark would the world be without mothers? I got a small glimpse of it. Very dark and claustrophobically incomplete… Something more precious than the rarest diamonds would be missing in this world.

A world without mothers is not just an imagined reality. This apocalyptic reality has already struck many brothers and sisters in the world.

Feel the sorrow of the children and adults who lost their mothers during the Nepal earthquake, how dark has their world become? A sorrow weighting more than ten thousand buildings crashing upon the heart and surrounding it in hopeless darkness.

Feel the anger of the children who witness the raid and rapes of their mothers by those legal or illegal ‘soldiers’? How painful is it to see such depravity and not being able to stand up and protect your our mother? How can you forgive and forget these incidents?

Feel the shame of mothers who in order to prevent their children to starve are pushed to lives of prostitution? That entangling shame that keeps mothers trapped in prostitution rings in the limbo state of living-dead?

Feel the disappointment of mothers whose children can’t even take 5 seconds of their busy lives to show appreciation for their mother? How sad it is to sit in near the phone waiting for a long-awaited phone call from the children whom you gave your Life?

Ask yourself. Is your mother in your Heart?

My reply would be

‘My mother is

But we’re far apart

I hope you know

Dear Ma

Please forgive me

For flying away

Far away from the nest you made

One day

I’ll return

Bring you Love

That is long overdue

Stay strong

Stay healthy

I love you

You see this letter

Blossomed from within me

I have learned much

Seen much

Experienced much

In the end

We are all Free

We can meet


Here and there

As long as our Hearts connect…’


With Love,

The bird who flew away

Reflections on Dharma

Dharma hurts


But it burns all impurities.

Cleansing past karmic actions


Turning into ashes

Carried away by storm winds.

Rain falls.

Floods wash out the old

Bringing in the new

Planting the seeds of change.


A dynamic process this seems

Ever-changing and ever-flowing

It seems like everything changes

Through the ages.

Good men become bad.

Bad men become good.

Fame attained.

Respect lost.

Wealth earned.
Heart robbed.

Deeds accomplished.

Then forever lost

Into the sands of time.


People work so hard to reach somewhere,

Attain something,

Become someone,

Only to lose it all in the process.


All is part of the process of cycling,


And cycling

Through birth, aging, sickness and death.

A self-repeating process filled with suffering,

Taught The Compassionate Buddha.


Dharma hurts


It hurts to lose something that you worked so hard to attain.

It hurts to lose someone who you love

So much.

So much suffering in the world

Expressed in people’s cries, tears, moans and screams.

You can hear everything within your Heart if you listen closely.


Dharma hurts


But it burns all impurities.

It burns everything to emptiness.

In essence,

There is nothing to achieve,

Nothing to succeed,

Nothing to accomplish,

Nothing to attain,

Nothing to become.


The wondrous Heart Sutra teaches that

All dharmas are emptiness,

There are no characteristics,

No birth,

No cessation,

No purity,

No defilement,

No increase,

No decrease.

Thus in emptiness

There are no five aggregates

Which construct the sense of “I”:

No form,

No feeling,

No perception,

No mental impulses,

No consciousness.

There is no ignorance

Or ending of ignorance,

And so forth until no old age and death

Or ending of old age and death,

No truth of suffering,

No cause of suffering,

No cessation of suffering,

No Path to transcend suffering,

No wisdom,

No attainment whatsoever

Because there is nothing to be attained

For there was nothing to begin with.


Once you realize this,

You become Free

And you can discard this imperfect boat of words

For you have crossed to the other Shore.


Sources of knowledge and inspiration:

http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/heart_s2.pdf (English translation by Ven. Master Lok To from the version of Heart Sutra translated from Sanskrit to Chinese by Venerable Hsuan Tsang or Xuan Tzang)

http://buddhism.about.com/od/abuddhistglossary/g/skandhadef.htm (detailed definition of the Five Skandhas or the Five Aggregates)

http://www.dharmanet.org/HeartSutra.htm (different versions of English translations of Heart Sutra by different schools)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOK8f7ZymDI (Heart Sutra mantra and song with Sanskrit lyrics and English subtitles)

Poem: Deception

I aim to deceive You;

To deceive Me;

To deceive All;

In this dreamlike world.


I dress to deceive you,

Talk to deceive you,

Walk to deceive you.

All deceiving me;

Deceiving all;

In this interdependent world.


Did I almost deceive you?

With my want to be ‘poet-like’ usage of words.

Did I almost convince you?

That our fall to Death is Not happening right now.



Like a waterfall of lies,

I fall.

Dragging you with me

Into the noisy, turbulent currents below.

Powerful currents these are,

Always in motion,

These erratic currents,

These circular currents,

That push you and me playfully

Like children having fun with their Non-favorite toys.


We are not that special after all?

Are we?

Throwing us around.

Scratching our thin layers of paint.

Breaking our arms,

Our heads,

Until we are of no use anymore.

Then we are thrown into the bin marked “To Be Recycled.”

Isn’t there an end to this suffering?


Perhaps if I didn’t drag you with me

Down this waterfall,

You would be saved from this misery.

Perhaps you would feel compassion for me

And save me;

By throwing me a rope or something to lift me up.

Just like Monkey King,

Maybe together we can cross into the other side of the waterfall.

And find a cave filled with flowers and fruits.

No but he got tired of that luxurious lifestyle and journeyed West with the Tang monk.

Hm…then let’s just hope that one day,

We both can find our paths and walk it with Love.

Poem: Systems


That ‘systemize’ you

Into objects

Of systematic production.



That ‘productimizes’ you

Into consumers

Of productive destruction.



That ‘destructimizes’ you

Into things

Of destructed conscience.



That ‘consciencizes’ you

Into beings

Of unlimited compassion.



That liberates you

From these systems of cyclic volition.


May all beings become free from systems that bring suffering to all of us.