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Nov 22, 2006

Dear Friends,

This week we have our monthly question and answer session with two monks recently arrived from Plum Village, Thay Phap Lai and Thay Phap Thanh (right.) Sister Susan also joins us to answer a number of questions sent to us via e-mail in the past few weeks. Brother Stream moderates.


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seventeen and a half years ago

Hi everyone,
I\'d like to share a slightly different translation of a Vietnamese poem found in Thay\'s well-known article \"A rose for your pocket.\" It\'s about remembering to cherish your mother. Just for your interest...

The original version reads:

That year, although I was still very young
My mother left me,
And I realized
That I was an orphan.
Everyone around me was crying.
I suffered in silence . . .

Allowing the tears to flow,
I felt my pain soften.
Evening enveloped Mother\'s tomb,
The pagoda bell rang sweetly.

I realized that to lose your mother
Is to lose the whole universe.
A different version:

Many years ago, when I was still little
Already, my mother passed away
For the first time I understood
How wretched it was being orphaned
People cried
But I could only grieve in silence
Letting out the tears
Was soothing enough...
Sunset casting its light over the grave mound
Temple bells resounded softly
I saw myself losing my mother
but felt like I\'ve lost the whole big sky...

The Vietnamese version is this:

Nam xua toi con nho
me toi da qua doi!
lan dau tien toi hieu
than phan ke mo coi.
quanh toi ai cung khoc
im lang toi sau thoi
de dong nuoc mat chay
la bot kho di roi...
hoang hon phu tren mo
chuong chua nhe roi roi
toi thay toi mat me
mat ca mot bau troi.