sumano’s poem

Sumano, an American Buddhist monk, has lived in a cave in the Khao Yai mountains east of Bangkok for nearly 20 years. Of his four or five books, the best known is Questions from the City, Answers from the Forest (which should  be reprinted). He just published his translation of three dharma talks by Achan Tate, one of the great teachers from the Thudong (Wandering  Monk) lineage of northeast Thailand. This is Sumano’s poem, used as a foreword in the Tate book. To see his website, click here.

The Way Things Are

If you realize that all things change, there is nothing you will try to hold on to.

If you aren’t afraid of dying, there is nothing you can’t achieve.

If you want to shrink something, you must first allow it to expand.

If you want to get rid of something, you must first allow it to flourish.

If you want to take something, you must first allow it to be given.

This is called the subtle perception of the way things are. The soft overcomes the hard. The slow overcomes the fast.

Let your workings remain a mystery; Just show people the results.

True words aren’t eloquent; Eloquent words aren’t true.

Wise men don’t need to prove their point;  If you look to others for fulfillment, you will never truly be fulfilled.

If your happiness depends on money, you will never be happy with yourself.

Be content with what you have; Rejoice in the way things are.

When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.

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