The Dew Is On The Lotus

“The dew is on the lotus!–Rise, Great Sun!
And lift my leaf and mix me with the wave.
Om Mani Padme Hum, the sunrise comes!
The Dewdrop Slips Into The Shining Sea!”

-Sir Edwin Arnold, “The Light of Asia”


This poem is a classic from Sir Edwin Arnold’s book-length nineteenth century poem about the Buddha’s life. It reminds me of what Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh always talks about, the wave and the water.

A wave that judges itself as being too high or too low loses sight of the fact that the wave is also the water. In his classic book, The Sun My Heart, Thay says,

Waves break on the water’s surface, and although they cannot exist apart from the water, they have their own form and their own place. Many streams may flow into a river, but all of them are one with the river. On the surface of the sea of phenomena, we see many waves glistening, but for each wave to be formed, for each to be destroyed, it must be dependent on every other wave. The memories of each of us are not just our own personal treasures. They are living
realities that are related to all other living realities. They undergo ceaseless transformation, as
do our bodies. Each thing is reality, but reality is not subject to ideas of “one” or “many.”

So, if we became one with the waves of our lives, we will suffer less. We will be able to ride the waves of suffering and happiness and remain calm in our center.

Maybe surfers in Hawaii have the right idea! Learn to ride the waves in the ocean and you can ride the waves in your life.

What are your impressions on these wonderful lines for The Light of Asia? Please share.

The Sun My Heart

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