Sunday, July 11, 2010

Promise me... by Thich Nhat Hanh 1965

Promise me

promise me this day,
promise me now,
while the sun is overhead exactly at the zenith,

promise me:

Even as they strike you down with a mountain of hatred and violence;
even as they step on you and crush you like a worm,
even as they dismember and disembowel you,
remember, brother,

man is not our enemy.

The only thing worthy of you is compassion-
invincible, limitless, unconditional.

Hatred will never let you face the beast in man.

One day, when you face this beast alone,
with your courage intact, your eyes kind, untroubled
(even as no one sees them),
out of your smile
will bloom a flower.

And those who love you will behold you
across then thousand worlds of birth and dying.

Alone again,
I will go on with bent head,
knowing all love has become eternal.
On the long, rough road,
the sun and the moon will continue to shine.


  1. wow.. beautiful lines. esp the last para..
    would be wonderful to meet someone so secure, so peaceful.. which i guess is enlightenment..

  2. So true Sid!
    This person has so much of love and compassion, it comes across his writings.
    I am sure there are videos of him and his talks on youtube too... :)

  3. I have always enjoyed his talks and passages. I am glad you hand-picked this for us.

    How is your thesis progressing? Hope you are happy with the way it is moving.

    Joy and passion,

  4. Wow! Susan, there is so much common to our interests :)

    my thesis is going on, with gaps in work-flow due to some or other urgent situational demands, which comes like a crisis;)
    But this time I have to just push and finish fast, as I have some postdoc to join soon.
    How is ur thesis going on... u too were expecting to finish by July-Aug. I think (?).
    Lots of good wishes n affection

  5. Dear J:

    Writing away and one by one the chapters are coming. Will submit by the end of this month or maybe early July. Can't wait to be done but the writing!!! It has its own way. One cannot write everyday.

    Can you join for a PDF immediately after submission? I thought it was only after getting the degree.

    Best for both of us.

    Loy always,

  6. Wonderful and deeply touching words, especially when you know the story of Thich Nhat Hanh during the Vietnam war. I read some of the stories of what happened then written by him in my first months in North Vietnam and felt I was discovering what love was ... it was so deep that it was even difficult to accept at the time. But really, here is someone who knows what he is talking about!

  7. Oh, forgot to say 'Thank you'

    1. Thanks for sharing with me about your experience. It was moving to hear what you said 'I was discovering what love was ...'.
      I didn't know about his Vietnam war experiences. Will look them up. Thank you too :)