streaming from a humble Chinese restaurant

I the ungrateful child of a restaurant have searched all around the world for solutions to my sufferings and I have been propelled back to you time after time until I finally realize that I failed to be grateful to you dear humble restaurant you are like my mother and father you have given me a roof a shelter you have given me food and nourished me to become who I am today you have sent me to school to college and traveling all around the world and here I am back to you my dear humble Chinese restaurant with all your flaws and imperfections please forgive me in failing to appreciate you the smell of stir fried oil the brothers and sisters within you who cook and serve all the customers that stop by for Chinese food please forgive me that I didn’t appreciate your blood sweat and tears dripped into the plates of food that you serve I know you have your own flaws but you are what you are as of now you might be part of a capitalist system that exploits its workers and condemns them to lots of suffering but I know you will be continuing your process of self-actualization and I know you will change someday somehow because you have too in order to survive and sustain yourself so let us be here and now and I am no longer shameful to say I love you and I am part of you and we shall never be separated my dear humble Chinese restaurant you are me and I am you in an imperfect world seeking transformation so I shall continue my journey flowing filled with love your bird child

It’s a world of contradictions

Oh ‘self-entitled’ activist

You want to change the world?

How about your mind?

Are you mindful?

Of the contradictory world

You encage yourself in?

.

Here you are in Paris

Where the world has its eyes upon

The COP21 negotiations

Nations have gathered

Corporations

Organizations

Associations

And ‘activists’ like you

You live in a hostel

You attend different workshops

Meet new people

Learn new things

It seems like

You are becoming conscious

Of the contradictions

Of your dualistic world

.

Did you know that

Ben and Jerry’s

Which sponsors your hostel

Is owned by the multinational Unilever

Remember those free ice-cream shots with whisky

It’s ‘a GMO free ice-cream’

They claim

But its cream

Is derived from Monsanto’s milk

.

Did you know that

Immigrants

Some Muslim, some not

Clean your beds, bathrooms and have to undertake

Your hypocritical ‘recycling’

Sometimes you walk past these brothers and sisters

And show no appreciation for their service

.

While you go outside and eat

Food served by Muslim immigrants

The French military

Bombs the Muslim ‘terrorists’ in Syria

What a contradictory world is this?

.

While you go attend

COP21’s “green zone”

The visitor’s section

The French police visit

Mosques, Muslim restaurants and houses

Raiding for potential terrorists

What a contradictory world is this?

.

While you sit in front of your laptop

Writing for the so called

Social, environmental, humanitarian causes

People are starving, dying and

Losing all hope in Life

Refugees stuck in a limbo

Between the French and English Channel

What a contradictory world is this?

.

Why was it so hard

After you had your nice “croque-monsieur” meal

For you to give some baguette bread

To a women beggar with a child?

Are they fake beggars?

Are they cheaters?

They wore head-covers

Most likely Muslims migrants

Where were they from?

Turkey, Syria, Lebanon?

Or other countries far away

From your limited consciousness

.

How can you call yourself an ‘activist’

If you can’t Love?

.

How can you call yourself an ‘activist’

If you can’t Love

The woman beggar with a child

The Muslims

The ‘Others’

The People

Torn in dualistic concepts

Corporations and non-corporations

Oppressors and the oppressed

White and non-white

French and non-French

We and them

Me and you

Self and non-self

.

Delve beyond the world of contradictions!

.

As you mindfully breathe

Become conscious of the world around you

And how to act upon it

Break free from the gap

Between your actual self and ideal self

Let go

Be in moment

Gain courage to Love

.

This is the Bridge

This is the Bridge

This is the Bridge out of this contradictory world!

.

Now go spread Love around the World!

 

 

 

 

 

Quando cantas, pequeno pássaro? (When will you sing, little bird?)

Em Março toda a acção se junta

Na Primavera o tempo pergunta

Quando cantas, pequeno pássaro Buddha?

 

O Inverno tem sido muito frio

A tua voz o mundo necessita

Agora só se escuta

O rugido do vento da Morte

Que ceifa vidas

Dos fracos e dos fortes

Pessoas que ainda não ouviram a tua doce voz do Dharma.

 

Ouve-se o assobio das bombas que caem

Os gritos da Terra violada

O disparo dos tiros que cortam o choro das crianças inocentes

Rasgando os coracões dos seus parentes

Como se vive sem coração?

 

Quão grande será o sofrimento destes pais culpados?

Que vivem mais tempo que os seus pequenos

Como se libertarão das cicatrizes de uma esterilização forçada?

Como se liberatarão da raiva?

Da vontade de retribuição

De mais e mais sofrimento no ciclo da existência

Como se libertarão?

 

Só a tua doce voz do Dharma…

Só a tua doce voz do Dharma…

 

Em Março toda a acção se junta

Na Primavera o tempo pergunta

Quando cantas, pequeno pássaro Buddha?

 

Dharma como fruta se madura

Para chegar a Primavera

Três estações se espera

Para o brilho da Lua Cheia

Três fases se transforma

Para o caminho a Deus começar

Sete pecados mortais se expia

Para o Buddha em si acordar

As quatro Nobres Verdades se internaliza

Para a Lótus de Oito Pétalas se abrir

O Caminho Óctuplo se pratica

 

Lá dentro

O pequeno pássaro Buddha espera…

 

Em Março toda a acção se junta

Na Primavera o tempo pergunta

Quando cantas, pequeno pássaro Buddha?

 

Em Março

Primavera chega

Dharma madura

Lua Cheia brilha

O caminho a Deus começa

Buddha acorda

A Lótus de Oito Pétalas abre

E o pequeno pássaro Buddha canta!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poem: Connecting Your Heart (Part I)

Part I

As I sit writing this poem,

The chair made by a worker machine supports my weight.

My feet touches the ground and it supports me.

Burning coal factories fire the electricity to the lamp above.

This air I breathe in and out is shared among all.

The water I need flows through all, unevenly.

These clothes I wear were made by factory workers from all around the world,

Most likely trapped in low wage work in order to survive this hierarchical world.

An organized, globalized world, fueled by desires for wealth, fame and power.

Projected through the lens of a prescribed system often called capitalism.

 

An abstract system that categorizes and divides real life according to

So called laws of demand and supply,

Shareholder value,

Price and other fancy names that express no meaning at all,

For they are all empty.

 

Empty of its own inherent existence,

Empty from the only thing that makes them real,

Connections.

A Happier Place

Jason was an intelligent little boy. One day, he was given a school assignment in which he had to come up with an idea to make the world a happier place.  

He thought and thought. He started asking people around him if they were happy with their lives. He learned that most people were unhappy with their lives. Some complained about not having enough money, some complained about having too much money and some didn’t know why they were unhappy.

At the day when the assignment was due, the teacher noticed that Jason just handed in a blank sheet of paper. The teacher asked “What is this Jason?” Jason replied sincerely, “The world is already a happy place like this blank sheet of paper, it’s just that people don’t realize it before they write things in it.” 

 

(This story was created when I was trying to find a context to explain the word to come up with to intermediate English language learners, Very simple but contains a little wisdom we often forget  )