Tuesday, September 6, 2011

removing the thorn

Fear is born from arming oneself.
Just see how many people fight!
I'll tell you about the dreadful fear
That caused me to shake all over.

Seeing creatures flopping around,
Like fishes in shallow water,
So hostile to one another!
--Seeing this, I became afraid.

Seeing people locked in conflict,
I became completely distraught.
But then I discerned here a thorn
--Hard to see--lodged deep in the heart.

It's only when pierced by this thorn
That one runs in all directions.
So if that thorn is taken out--
One does not run, and settles down.

This verse from the Attadanda Sutta (Sn 935-9) was published in an article by Andy Olendzki in the Fall 2006 issue of Tricyle. It was probably also translated by Andy.

He writes further:

Human society is formed by the collective action of its individuals; it thus reflects the qualities of heart and mind of each person. Peace in people's hearts creates peace in the world; turmoil in people'e hearts creates turmoil in the world.