Editor’s Note: this file was updated in November 2013, with many more poems and a new title.
I first met Bhikkhu Moneyya after the Pa-Auk Sayadaw retreat in Sasanarakkha Buddhist Sanctuary, Taiping, Malaysia in 2009. He subsequently gave an excellent talk on Good Parenting at the temple I was looking after at the time, and we have been friends ever since.
Over the years he has sent me various poems and other writings he has been making, and recently he sent me a collection of his poetry, some of it dating back to the ’60s. Most of the poems however come from his ordination period, and include translations and paraphrases of Buddhist texts.
As a sample I thought to include on this, the last day of the Chinese New Year, his poem written in 2010 while he was staying in the Bodhi-Heart Sanctuary in Penang.
Chinese New Year’s Poem
To live in peace, we must forgive,
As we would be forgiven.
By forgiving, we release the heart
And receive the gift we’ve given.
Two wrongs indeed don’t make a right,
But one right can right two wrongs;
This is heaven’s golden mean
And the sweetest of all songs.
It soothes the raging beast within
And brings an end to war;
It overcomes all enmity
And leads to freedom’s shore.
So easily the debt is dropped
The moment we forgive
And set ourselves a higher norm –
To live and to let live.
Then peace will reign throughout the land,
And harmony’s bright ray
Will shine within our hearts again
On Chinese New Year’s Day.
Here is a flipbook version of the poems which we prepared for publication.