A Lovely Poem By Merrit Malloy

Another Orchid for PeaceAnother Orchid for Peace

Another Orchid for PeaceAnother Orchid for Peace

During an elaborate discussion online with fellow OI1 members, one member offered a lovely poem by Merrit Malloy.

The poem was offered in response to a thread of emails prompted by an article that appeared in the Guardian on April 7, 2013 in which Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn is consulting with high officials in the British government on how to use mindfulness to control rising health costs.

My contribution to this thread was posted on April 8 in Mindfulness in Healthcare and comments in the OI discussion group.

Basically, I take the point of view that has been expressed by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh is many places over the years I’ve known him. He teaches that mindfulness practices develop compassion and the insight of interbeing.

Another issue that came up on the discussion thread was the training of US Marines in meditation practices. You can read more about this in A Marine And An Army Veteran and Marines Learning Push Ups For The Brain.


When I die if you need to weep
Cry for your brother or sister
Walking the street beside you
And when you need me put your arms around anyone
And give them what you need to give me.

I want to leave you something
Something better than words or sounds.

Look for me in the people I’ve known or loved
And if you cannot give me away
At least let me live in your eyes and not on your mind.

You can love me most by letting hands touch hands
By letting bodies touch bodies
And by letting go of children that need to be free.

Love doesn’t die, people do
So when all that’s left of me is love
Give me away.

In the tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, there is a practice of tonglen – giving and receiving. In this practice, we take on the ill-being of other people with our in breath and send out our love with the out breath.

It seems to me that this is the spirit of Merrit’s poem. It moved me greatly and I hope you appreciate its message.

Please share you insights about Epitaph.

1OI is the Order of Interbeing founded by Thich Nhat Hanh in 1966. Order members agree to live by the Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings as much as possible.

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