Mental images the name New York trigger

A poem by

Venerable J. Thupten Rinpoche

© Copyright Thupten Tulku & Dhargyey Buddhist Centre, 2000.

New York! A city of dazzling rainbow lights
That dim the shine of the Sun, Moon and Stars;
A feeling of passing through a deep gorge
When walking her lanes flanked
By vertical faces of sky piercing structures.

A city entangled in the crisscrossing lanes
Like a fish caught in the web of a fishing net.
The unceasing rumbling sounds of traffic and machinery
Like a hundred Summer Drums (thunder) beating at once.

The jostling crowds from the subways throng the gorge-lanes
Like a mammoth army of ants rushing from an underground colony
To enjoy at will the unfettered freedom of an open society
Without the walls of race and religion, gender and colour.

Without the East and the West divide
New Yorkers, a people at peace with themselves,
Standing tall and equal before a just law
Fell victims to the venomous attack of a green serpentine.

What options to take for the future direction

Pierced by the thorn of vengeance, through the heart
Seeks justice for innocent lives snubbed by devilish deeds,
Yet alas! the prudent way to remove that thorn for good
Lies only in unyielding non-violence that harms neither side

Like an extra month to go when famished,
Or to lose legs when already blind,
Adding logs to vendetta-fires already flaming
Will Bang into an inferno that'll pulverize winners and losers.

As they say no injury comes from an incision
Made by the sword of wisdom; nothing goes awry
When deliberated by many minds. Here too, can anything
But a wholesome global good emerge
From the path of steadfast peace?

Like a glow worm that shows off its 'dazzling' light
To the all-illuminating solar umbrella. (sun)
I've somehow dared to shine my feeble wisdom-light through these words
Before the august body of knowledge of world's learned beings.

Yet, as they say though unpleasant
A bitter pill is potent for some sickness,
And a direct talk good for communication,
May the fanciful thoughts of my idealistic mind
Be of some comfort and use to a few like-minded.

Colophon: Asked to write down what mental images the name New York triggers and what future direction humanity needs to take following September the 11th , I, Thubten Tulku, the Resident Spiritual Director of Dhargyey Buddhist Centre, Dunedin, have written this piece on 21 November, 2001.
This was translated from the Tibetan into English by Losang Dawa. Not needed for LETTERS FROM NEW ZEALAND, this piece was requested by DBC Board for their forthcoming April 2002 news letter.
Alas! They whose hearts are ablaze with fire of hatred
Have obliterated the innocent lives
The people and place consumed by an engulfing inferno.
The thunderous cries of the multitudes in confusion and agony shake the whole globe
Darkening the brimming face of the mornings solar orb.
Feeding on the fodder of malice, though they are robust in body .
They falter on the path of virtues;
Though agile like the monkey in deception
They are unable to guide the lost through the tangle of the forest.
Full of resolve as with their swords they behead themselves 'bravely'.
On seeing their own blood they become bereft. Have the lives of those beings been enough
To satiate their lust for an eye for eye?
Though not one but many ways there are to strive for self governance
None save the way of non-violence, can secure peace, short and long term.
Hence let the warm radiance of magnificent mind of enquiry
Unfold the lotus of non-violence that bestows peace and beneficence to all.

Just as self and others have inborn patterns:
Wishing peace and happiness, not suffering
Hence lets acknowledge that all have equal rights to this.
And let the soothing silver moon of peace shine on us all.
Born of pristine compassion of fertile ground.
The roots of the tree of your altruism are firm.
Its foliage, love and compassion, fully grown
Casts a cooling shade, equally over those who are scorched.
Laden with succulent fruits of noble deeds that entice all beings
I appeal to the forest of fresh trees of altruistic youth to usher in a new dawn of peace.

By S.J. Thupten Tulku Dhargyey Buddhist Centre Dunedin


By Losang Dawa.

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