The Prayer of the Phoenix

June 28, 2011

Bowing its feathered head
Before the roaring flames
The phoenix utters
Its ancient prayer:

Homage to the great fire!
The time has come,
The moment has arrived.

I shall leave behind
This old beak
That pecks constantly
At what no longer nourishes,
This old voice
That croaks the same stale song,
These old wings
That have forgotten
How to soar,
Flapping feebly
Back and forth
Over familiar territory.

I approach this fire
With a mind of faith.
I embrace this fire
With a fearless heart.
I endure this fire
With a patient spirit.

Through this death
I shall find new life.
Through this heat
I shall cool my mind.
Through this suffering
I shall find great bliss.
In this fire
I shall forge my freedom.

– a poem by Vessantara, a practicing Buddhist, 2006

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One Response to “The Prayer of the Phoenix”

  1. Suze said

    Prayers for the souls of Los Alamos. Prayers for all our souls, everywhere.

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