By Tam Lac Tran Quy Anh
Once, I would rather tumble in the realms of suffering,
To endure infinite kalpas of torture and pain…
Once, I would rather blind myself of the light
Than have you missing from my life
Once, I was so foolish at how much I searched
As I ignorantly hunted you down for gain
Once, I have killed your heart by millionfold
So that I would endured aeons of torture and craving
Once, I mindlessly planted sixfold debt,
As aging and dying recycled me
Once, the beat of your heart haunted each new rebirth
With every second of my helpless sorrow
Once, I regretted having fallen into love’s trap
As it was such torment which bounded my feet together
Once, Images of your face were tattooed deep into my soul.
As it hammered me down to the wheels of samsara screaming
Once, I was crucified to the grand cross of birth and death
Because of the stupidity of how much I foolishly loved you
Once, I could not imagine what life would be like
Without the water of love for the basking of a swimming fish
Once, I asked the birds in the sky what freedom felt like
Yet all I could do was imagine the loosening of my cuffs
Once, I trembled with weak desperate hopes at night.
Half hoping to forget you, half hoping to die once more
Once, I could not let go of my mundane desires
Because fear delude my functioning
Once, it seemed I was the corps of yesteryear
As Karmic retribution become unstoppable
Once, warnings of hell constantly cracked into my skull,
Dragging me further away from the heavenly surface
Oh Such cruelty that each life brought your voice to my ears.
Each breath brought your face to my eyes.
It was blinding, it horribly deafening!
Once, I was drowning in my own sea of tears
Gripping onto anything I could grasp from phoney heroes
Once, I had given up all faith of saviour,
To surrender to the numbness of the cold
But oh what treasure I have today, lord Tathagata!
…The name that strangely soothes my frustration,
like the relief of a million years’ agony.
Like an ant carrying the massive ancient globe…
I have carried love’s burden since the dawn of time.
Incompetent language unable to describe the bliss of today
For Liberation is beyond all meaningful words,
Today is the day that I finally hear of the cure of my illness
And the illness of others just as I who suffer under obsessive love
I now see all sentients beings who have journeyed my road
How they have crawled their way up this steep mountain
To finally overlook the billions burning from below
The incalculable number of wanderers at the bottom
Are just 1 millionth of the actual size who truly suffer
What joy it is to finally meet the Dharma
To be rescued from one’s own stupidity
Now I finally see the vastness of true love and its compassion
True love is the noble love for all sentient beings I have finally learnt,
Love and Kindness is what transcends the infatuation of gods and men.
May all beings escape the suffering of love to see the larger picture.
Namo Shakyamuni Buddha!