Author Archives: Albert

About Albert

Came to Buddhism through Judaism, Hinduism atheism and a few other isms. Currently "recovering" from culture shock from having re-entered the UK after travelling for the past year in various countries. Now spending most of my time raising funds for destitute children in the northern part of Nepal - Helambu region - and editing Many Roads for the Bodhicharya website.

MORNING PRACTICE

Morning Practice
(for Dónal C.)

The leaves: I’m sweeping them but still they fall
upon the steps and all along the path –
I wonder if I’ll reach the boundary wall.

The storm last night increased my brush’s haul,
though for this rain they will say dhanyavaad,
I’m sweeping up the leaves and still they fall.

How fine to hear the dark blue song thrush call
while smaller birds enjoy their dusty bath –
they’re sure to reach and pass the boundary wall.

Sometimes I think I’ll never clear them all –
Like Milarepa fearing Marpa’s wrath –
so still I’m sweeping leaves and still they fall.

From here in Sikkim via West Bengal,
my pilgrimage goes on into Sarnath,
I plan to make it inside Deer Park’s wall.

I hope this spell in detail I’ll recall,
once I progress into its aftermath.
Meanwhile I’m sweeping leaves but still they fall,
I don’t know if I’ll reach the boundary wall.


Reprinted with the kind permission of Maeve O’Sullivan.
From
Elswhere p.85 Alba Publishing

Dubliner Mave O’Sullivan’s poetry and haiku have been widely published, anthologised and translated.
Her four collections are Elsewhere (2017); Initial Response, An A-Z of haiku moments (2011); Vocal Chords (2014); and Double Rainbow (2005) all available at Alba Publishing
Maeve is a winner of the Listowel Writers’ Week poetry competition for a single poem, and conducts haiku workshops with adults and children.
A lecturer in Media Studies, she lives in Dublin
Maeve’s new collection of poetry, Elsewhere is available from Alba Publishing

SUMMER EDITORIAL

Making positive choices about the environment is the theme in some magazine articles this summer.  Monica Wilde, who I consider to be an eco-warrier,  brings our attention to the reality that we can make life style choices which can have an effect on the environment and ultimately on ourselves.  The disconnect in life, she suggests, occurs when there is no personal and positive action about our immediate environment.

In her article, Now is the Time for Action, Monica brings to the fore the importance of individual involvement in the face of an increasing crisis in climate changes which is already inimical to the quality of life on earth, to all life.  She ends the article with the lucid reality that action is in your every waking moment as well as your dreams.

I am reminded of the shopkeepers and household residents in Indian towns and cities attentively sweeping the pavement outside their shops and houses and cleansing the air inside their rooms with smouldering pine leaves every morning before the start of their day.

Being mindful of our immediate environs is the beginning of a larger understanding of the state of our planet.

Concerning plastic in our lives, this recent article in The Guardian brings home the fact that “humans have made 8.3 billion tons of plastic since 1950” presented in a captivating illustrated format. (The Unted States of Plastic.)

In terms of the personal well-being of individuals-the internal environment of the body-Dr Miriam Maisel, a certified lifestyle physician and family practitioner, states in her webpage:

The main message of lifestyle medicine is that healthy eating along with physical activity can bring about dramatic improvements in many medical conditions, and reduce the need for long medications and even surgery.

In her article, Health Independence, Miriam looks at alternative ways of living that are not dependent on conventional medicines and treatments.

(Also see The Cancer of Climate Change.)
Albert Harris (Ed)

Many Roads is an electronic magazine and subscription is easy and free.

FEATURES
RINGU TULKU RINPOCHE’S VISIT TO IRELAND:  Andy
NOW IS THE TIME FOR ACTION:  Monica Wilde
HEALTH INDEPENDENCE:  Dr Miriam Maisel
INSTALLATIONS OF OUTER SPACE:   Padolski and  Basandowskaby
STORIES OF REINCARNATION:  Professor Erlendur Haraldsson
BRINGING IT ALL BACK HOME:  Lama Jampa Thaye
MEDITATION:  Yeshe Dorje
HOW TO FIND INNER PEACE:  Ronald Hirsch
POHA POTATOES:  Madhur Jaffrey
POETRY
MEMORIES:  W. D. Cocker
DRINK YOUR TEA:  Thich Nhat Hahn
COMPASSION: Li Po
MORNING PRACTICE:  Maeve O’Sullivan
PERSONAL STORIES
KARMA SONAM RINCHEN:  KSR
LIVING AND DYING IN PEACE:  Margaret Richardson

FICTIONAL STORIES
WAR AND PEACE:  Ianthe Pickles
TRUANCY:  KSR
VIDEO
RINGU TULKU RINPOCHE’S FAVOURITE STORY
FRISBEE GIANT:  Malcolm Sutherland

BOOKS REVIEW
EBOOKS

 

NOW IS THE TIME FOR ACTION

You. Yes you! Did you know that what you do to the Earth, you do to yourself?

When you nurture the planet, you look after your body. For only by nourishing yourself with food that grows in healthysoils, pollinated by insects, with clean water and the right amount of sunshine, does your body stay strong and free from disease. As as you are nourished so too is the Earth.

Continue reading

MEMORIES

 

               E. H. Shepard

MEMORIES
[LEST WE FORGET]

At night when all the house is still,
I sometimes take my favourite briar,
And one last pipe ere bedtime fill,
Then fall to dreaming by the fire.

The cosy room, the easy-chair
Are left a hundred leagues behind,
I’m with the old battalion where
The cobbled roads of Flanders wind.

And once again the heavy pack,
And once again the miles of mud,
The old precarious duck-board track,
The cold o’nights that chilled the blood.
.          .          .          .          .           .          .
It’s good to have a house and fire,
And bed to go to.  Midnight chimes;
I knock the ashes from by briar –
Millions of men muse thus at times.
W. D. COCKER
From Poems Scots and English 1932, (Brown, Son & Ferguson, Ltd. Glasgow)

HEALTH INDEPENDENCE AND RESISTANCE IN OUR BRAVE NEW WORLD

 

PolItIcal upheavals are causing widespread anxiety about many issues, including health care, all over the world. Where do we go from here and what can we do on an individual basis to improve our own situation?

First let me say, as a doctor, I see health care as a vital human right. I regard universal access to healthcare as a hallmark of a genuinely humane society which values “love of one’s neighbor”, whereas the absence of such a system may well be a sign of the opposite.

Many health problems arise from causes that we cannot control directly as individuals. among these are accidents, natural disasters, wars, genetic conditions, illnesses caused by pollution of the environment, illnesses whose causes remain unknown, etc. Continue reading

TRUANCY

Isa knows this is not her home. Whatever the young girls with tattoos and piercings tell her, their names peppery on her tongue. “You live here now, darling. You’re safe with us.” This is not her home and she will not stay. She is a serial escapee though never got much further than the bus stop.

Her friend and tablemate, Miss Jean Bell, former assistant headmistress, knows this a care home, and turns the words over, wondering how they have changed meaning since she lost her independence. Her mind is strong, her legs not. Her eyes see everything – the monthly noticeboard with its list of activities for every day in big letters.  They have also seen that the more exciting activities never happen. “Why,” she asks, “Was there no outing to Dobbie’s? Or the Botanics as promised?”

“No idea,” they reply airily, “but there’ll be decorating golf balls in a minute.”

“I presume”, she delivers the look that caused many to quail, “that this is to fool the inspectors. I shall inform them.”

“Sure you will, Jeanie Darling.” “I am not your darling and never known as Jeanie” falls on ears already attuned for the next emergency buzzer.

The two women bond over the soup, in itself thick and viscous enough to serve in any world shortage of cement. “Salty again. What is it anyway?”, asks Isa.

The carer asks and reports broccoli.”How can broccoli be orange and taste exactly the same as lentil or tomato or…

” She has run out of soups. Jean says, “That’s why it’s called soup of the day. It always tastes the same.” And soup appears twice every day, along with the cakes, pink  and white, that taste dryly of nothing but sugar. “The food here is disgraceful”,says Jean and they begin their daily litany of its failings – the too cold, the mushy, the flavourless, the pre-packaged.

One lunch Isa isn’t there. They are all in their places at least ten minutes before service begins. She is brought in late, flushed, smelling of outside, with a glitter about her. “You’re a bad girl”, says the carer, not unkindly, “but we’ve saved you some soup”.

Not even as far as the bus stop this time. It makes Jean thoughtful. All her life she has conformed; but if Isa, with her periods of cloudedness “

as if a pea-souper creeps through my brain, dear”, alternating with moments of clarity, can revolt however  briefly, why can’t she? Legs, that’s why. Put us together, she thinks, and you’ld have one functioning human being. But one functioning person might make it, at least long enough to evade lunch.

Isa’s impulses have to be reined in. They now have a camera on the front door and a sensor mat. And Jean will need to be in her wheelchair. Isa won’t divulge the scheme; she loves secrets and anything else gets forgotten. Here is what they plan.

  1. Handbags and coats while the carers are finishing the post-breakfast duties and heading towards their break.
  2. Create diversions. Ring buzzers in the hall and lounge. Take away Mollie’s rag doll so she will howl. Remind Annie that she needs to call the police and tell her father. Unkind perhaps but hours of every week have been dominated by the cries of one, the shouts of the other.
  3. Head to door by kitchen, always open as owner has not installed adequate ventilation. When chef is busy killing whatever flavour is in vegetables. Isa will push Jean out down the ramp and through the side gate.

Not for nothing has Jean spent years timetabling and checking every child was where it should be.  Now she is gamekeeper turned poacher, playing truant.

It goes according to plan. But even with Jean self-propelling and Isa pushing, they struggle. A young couple overtakes and turns back, with “Can we help? We’re going to the main road if that’s any use.” He takes the arm of Isa, who is thrilled, and the wife pushes the chair. They soon reach the bus stop. More rescuers have to help them on, then have  a whip round when it transpires Isa has only a fiver and some coppers in her purse. Jean triumphantly fishes out a battered bus pass. They are euphoric; who knew the world could be so vibrant? But what next? Jean remembers the birthday treat she would give herself each year, a trip to Luca’s for a cappuccino and a scone. The bus stop is close;  they can do this.

Isa isn’t sure she likes cappuccino but is enchanted by the pattern on top and loves unlimited demerara sugar. They dawdle over the scones as if these were the taste of holiday. No one puts  a tabard round their necks or spreads the scones for them. The activity is agreeable if messy. Isa is soon hungry again and begging for an early lunch. The special is scampi and chips and they will share a portion. Isa eats with her fingers and after a moment, Jean joins her. “But”, she says, “this has to be the last. We’ve got maybe £16. Two coffees at 2.20, two scones at 1.90 and one special at £6 would be…”

“12.40”, says Isa. “I used to be a book-keeper. I’d forgotten that.”  Minutes later, she calls, “Chocolate ice cream and vanilla, two scoops each.” It is delicious, with a side order of guilt for Jean; she hopes the cafe will be able to reclaim the debt through the home.

For the first time it enters her mind, and as if it had summoned them, two policemen appear in the doorway. “Would you be the ladies from the Lilacs?”

With dignity Jean replies, “The name is as false as everything else about it. One scrubby pot-bound lilac by the door.” She imagines trees heavy with perfume, dancing in May sun. But Isa is already halfway out on a blue arm.

“Let’s have you, shall we, lo-madam?” hers says as he registers the glare that has quelled insurrection for decades. She assents.

In the car Isa is still happy. “Fancy going home in a police car. I’ve never done that before.”

“Yes, you have, Isa, love” one says wearily. Jean thinks. Not me. We’ve run away, and begged on the bus. We indulged ourselves and left without paying. And now we’re escorted back by the police, too late for soup. Something swells inside her as light and free as blossom in the sun; she thinks it might be pride.

KD lives in Edinburgh and writes for pleasure and distraction.

 

INSTALLATIONS OF OUTER SPACE

To make the hypnotic artworks, Krakow-based duo Przemek Podolski and Marta Basandowskaby start by arranging the complex designs as a 3D computer model.

The structures range from simple cubes to impressively complex geometric designs which they use to represent outer space.

Basandowska says that she and Podolski then use a series of different knotting techniques to weave the yarn around various nails and bring the artwork to life.

Once the threads are properly woven around the nails, the couple uses black lights and projection mapping to illuminate the massive installations.

We are making bigger and braver installations every year,” says Basandowska. “It is completely different when you’re making installations with an area of 30 meters supported by steel structures and creating something using several thousand knots.”

The couple’s String Art Installations have been displayed at a variety of arts and music festivals, but if you want to keep up with their future work, you can visit their Instagram page, YouTube channel, or website.

POHA POTATOES

 

This is a simple, spicy Indian lunch or brunch made with rice and potatoes. Perfect as a side dish with curry, too.

Ingredients

Method

  1. Boil the potatoes until cooked. Drain and set aside to cool, then peel and cut into 1cm/½in cubes.

  2. Put the rice in a sieve and wash gently but thoroughly under cold running water. Empty it into a bowl, cover generously with water and leave to soak for two minutes. Drain and leave in the sieve set over a bowl.

  3. Put the oil in a large, non-stick frying pan and set it over a medium-high heat. When hot, add the asafoetida and the urad dal. As soon as the dal starts to pick up a little colour, add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and chilli (whatever type you are using). As soon as the mustard seeds start to pop, a matter of seconds, add the curry leaves (take care as they will splutter), then the onion and potatoes. Lower to a medium heat and fry, stirring now and again, for 3-4 minutes or until the onion and potatoes are slightly browned. Sprinkle a pinch of salt over the top and stir.

  4. Add the poha rice, gently breaking up any lumps, and sprinkle ½ teaspoon of salt and the sugar over the top. Cook on a low heat for 3-4 minutes, tossing frequently by lifting all the ingredients from the bottom of the pan with a flat spatula and folding them over, until the poha is heated through. Cover and set aside until you are ready to eat.

  5. To serve, garnish the poha potatoes with fresh coriander and serve with lime or lemon wedges.

Recipe Tips

Serve with fresh salad and/or raita.

BBC wepage

KARMA SONAM RINCHEN

I’m not at all sure how we all in the Bodhicharya Sangha developed the merit to be able to meet Rinpoche in this life – but somehow the good fortune has come to us, each in our own different way, and I think now we  just have to see how much further we can clarify our own minds, develop our compassion and so be able to offer something back to others. Continue reading

BRINGING IT ALL BACK HOME

Can we love our families fully while upholding the Buddha’s teaching on non-attachment?

Sometimes people ask me if there isn’t a conflict between the Mahayana instruction to see all beings as close relatives, worthy of our affection and compassion, and Buddhist teachings on non attachment. Perhaps they are thinking of Jetsun Milarepa’s words:

When you look at your child
Firstly he is a soft-spoken young god.
Then he is a distant-hearted neighbour.
Finally he is an enemy and creditor.
So I let go of children.

We cannot separate Buddhist doctrine and practice from how Buddhists actually live in the world. How do they square non attachment with love and compassion, and what does this say about how we should relate to our families? Most Buddhists in Asia, far from exhibiting some chilly spiritual disdain for such matters, usually demonstrate great affection for their families. I can testify that my own teachers are no exception. Indeed, my master, Sakya Trizin Rinpoche, is a wonderful example of a father and now grandfather who is, at the same time, an unflagging source of kindness and loving guidance to his students. It’s striking how often my other principal teacher, Karma Thinley Rinpoche, though an ordained abbot, emphasizes the value of family life as an environment for training in the key Mahayana virtues.

It is, however, undeniable that we must let go of some level of attachment in our personal relationships. Continue reading

MEDITATION

Because of the complexity of various forms of meditation, the text is broken up into two main areas, although it could be broken down much further.

Judeo/Christian

Buddhist

CHRISTIAN MEDITATION
This seems to take the form of prayer in order to appreciate the revelations of god.  This can be done by concentrating on a passage in the bible and considering its meaning in the context of a love of god.  It is also a tool used to increase knowledge and cognisance of Christ.

Continue reading

HOW TO FIND INNER PEACE

If you are reading these words, it means that you either realize you’re not at peace and want to be, or the sound of the word drew you … it’s something you haven’t really thought about, but it resonates and you want it in your life.

The universal truth is that we all suffer.  Whether rich or poor, young or old, regardless of gender or any other factor … we all suffer psychically. 

Why?  Because we are prisoners of our ego-mind.  We are controlled by the feelings and perceptions … the emotions, judgments, cravings, and attachments … that are the ego-mind’s reactions to our life experiences.  It is these feelings that are actually the cause of our suffering.  But we nevertheless identify with them; we’ve lost connection with our true self, our heart.  If we were only able to reconnect with our heart, we would be able to free ourselves from the control of our ego-mind and experience the inner peace and happiness that is our birthright.

We cannot change the world around us.  It is what it is.  But we can change how we relate to ourselves and that world.  And by doing so, we can control whether we suffer or experience peace. 

This is not some new age theory. These truths have been taught for thousands of years by the mystical traditions of all three Abrahamic faiths … Christian Gnosticism, Kabbalah, and Sufism … as well as Buddhism.

Helping people of all faiths as well as non-believers learn these truths and walk this challenging path is the purpose of How to Find Inner Peace. Why will this book help people when others haven’t? It is reality-based; it grows out of the turmoil of life. And it lays out a practical, step-by-step approach to finding inner peace.  If you want inner peace, believe it or not the choice is yours.

The book is available  in both softcover – $12.95, and eBook – $9.99 formats.

                      Ronald Hirsch

BIO:
Ronald Hirsch  has had a varied career as a teacher, legal aid lawyer, survey researcher, nonprofit executive, composer, writer, and volunteer.  Having found Buddhism at age 49, he has walked the path of Buddhism 25 years now.   Along the way, he has had the good fortune to have had some powerful teachers who opened many gates for him. His Zen practice follows no particular lineage but reflects the teachings of his Vietnamese and Korean Zen mentors.

 

He is the writer of the award-winning blog, www.ThePracticalBuddhist.com, and the author of three books on Buddhist practice and one ecumenically spiritual work, Raising a Happy Child.  He is also the author of We Still Hold These Truths, acclaimed by James Fallows, National Correspondent, The Atlantic, as “a systematic and serious effort to make the [presidential] debate as clear and valuable as it can be. Agree or disagree with his specific conclusions, the questions he is asking are the right ones for the public this year.”  He grew up in Reading, Pennsylvania and resides in New York.

https://www.thepracticalbuddhist.com/how-to-find-inner-peace.html

WAR AND PEACE

In their miniature world, cramped between wooden crevices of a make-shift dugout, the ants busy themselves with homemaking and egg laying, ensuring their lineage. “Come on lads, let’s all pull together, we can get this done today!” They carry their dainty furniture, food and precious eggs purposefully back and forth, undisturbed by the mayhem around them. 

A beetle scuttles past, his proud armour glinting in the late spring sunshine, swift and sure of foot; armed with strong exoskeleton and impressive talons, he scurries to his destination.

A couple of earthworms surface, drag a tasty morsel down into the earth, casting, blindly blinking in the daylight, then to disappear down into the dark moist soil, silently, steadily, unseen and safe, to exchange their genetic code in hermaphrodite heaven.

The deceiving skylark hovers high, unseen in the sky, throwing his voice to confuse and disorientate. Overseeing and watchful, he spies two divisions of soldiers, each in dugout trenches facing each other but a thousand yards apart. He cannot begin to comprehend the scene. Are the guns pointing at him? He wouldn’t be morsel for even one meal, so why this?

His partner, safely on the ground, is nesting a clutch of six, soon to be hatched, eggs; a proud moment, something to sing about. He sees the men below, only men? … all of one sex? This is strange homemaking and nest building, indeed! Down there in the mud, in the dirt, amongst their own excrement; where are their young?

A pheasant clucks and struts, calling to its mate, proud, foolish, flamboyant and pecking; always pecking; scavenging for odd bits of spent grain and seeds, occasionally intimidating and ‘seeing off’ another haughty potential suitor, protecting his own beloved, who bathes beigely in the weak sunshine, broodily thinking of where to produce her impending progeny.

The sparrows chatter and argue amongst their offspring in the hedges at the side of the field, merrily multiplying and going about their daily business. Camouflaged, they watch out for each other, safe in their numbers, constantly communicating and full of life.

The soldiers are dull with desperation, worn out, cold, hungry, desolate and dying. Morally bound and duty called, initial, spurring enthusiasms of glory and patriotism have faded; the futility and frustration of the pointlessness and tragic waste of young lives is eating away at their hearts. Fleeting friendships and comforting camaraderie are brutally broken.

The field mouse looks on quizzically, cuddled in warmth, his fluffy coat protecting him from the elements. Surrounded by his resourceful, home-loving and family-oriented cousins, who are comfortably curled up, and sleepily grooming each other, he skilfully, swings from corn stalk to burdock leaf. He seems puzzled as to why these grey and stinking men quietly sit and wait, huddled in their make-shift shelter. Stranger, still, that they share their space with corpses, stiff, cold and lifeless; they dare not even bury their dead!

Rabbits scamper about at dusk, safe in the half-light and secure in their familiar bunny territory and warren world, ears alerted and listening, thumping their back legs, as a tell-tale sign to others, of impending danger, with white bob-tail warnings of threats to be avoided. Down into their burrows, they scuttle, safe from their predators, watching their ever growing families, populating and honeycombing the area with their tunnels and diggings.

What of these young men? They are in an alien world, mind disorientated and helpless, hopelessly destroyed of bonhomie, having no family to buoy them up, no hearty hot meal to fill their bellies, no women to comfort and caress them. They are at the mercy of the elements, permanently damp and despairing, cold and miserable. They do not even see their enemy, are blind to their own effectiveness and progress; they are merely there, planted by politicians… waiting.

A hare dashes across the field, mystical in his aloofness. Proud, upstanding, mythical creature, long ears dipped in ink, solitary and shape-shifting, a legendary king of his surroundings, mysterious, and representing life and rebirth.

How can he square the images he sees before him, of man killing his own brothers? No other species would do this!!! Where is the pride, the heroics, the glory? What such animal would sacrifice its race, put itself at so much risk, or behave in such a suicidal manner? What species would so foolishly challenge the elements, be at the whims of the chilling winds, the killing frosts, the endless mud, the biting snow and the incessant rain? Where is the survival instinct for the human race here amongst the stench, fat flies and riotous rats?

Later, as the red poppies bob and grace the dark and yielding soil, flowering with fecundity, the proud willow-herb salutes the sunset. An owl shrieks at dusk, signalling the shortening days. Fear, death, trepidation, initiation and change are on the horizon; the bat spirit darts to and fro, quieter than a breath.

The men, contracted only for their one grisly task, wait; always waiting, silently, scared, playing their reducing game… dying to get out.

 

Bio-Data
Ianthe Pickles
Lives in Liverpool
Aged 68, birthday 18/12/1950
Retired full-time Primary and later Secondary/Special School teacher and college tutor, worked for 37 years.
Read many books related to work only. After retiring, joined a Creative Writing group, with an inspiring tutor, attended courses, and achieved ‘A’ Level in Creative Writing.
Writing (especially poetry) was often a release during emotional and turbulent times in the 1980s working in an area of severe deprivation and unemployment in Liverpool.  Now I write for fun!
A group of us meet regularly in each other’s homes to read and discuss our scribblings!

LIVING AND DYING IN PEACE

Living & Dying in Peace

Dying in a graceful and joyful way – the practice that we need to work on.

Ringu Tulku Rinpoche

Our vision for this evolving website is that there will be ongoing guidance and instruction from Ringu Tulku on living a peaceful, purposeful life and how to face, embrace and engage with the end of life, dying and death. From this, and other sources, suggestions can be gathered and offered for the dying person, the family, the care givers, the medical staff, undertakers and the bereaved.

The intention is also to provide information for those who wish to understand a little more about the Tibetan Buddhist way of life and death, and how we can enhance and extend our positive qualities, our loving kindness, compassion and wisdom for ourselves and for the benefit of all beings.

It is a website for everyone but with some particular Buddhist practices that could be adapted and applied to people of all faiths or of no faith. If you are interested, please visit our website:

http://livinganddyinginpeace.org

livinganddyinginpeace.org

STORIES OF REINCARNATION

A conversation with Erlendur Haraldsson: Professor Emeritus of Psychology, University of Iceland, Reykjavik.

Sitting round a table at the back of a dining hall with several others, Professor Erlendur Haraldsson is explaining his research into  reincarnation and the world of the dead and dying.

At the hour of death, people who are about to die have visions, usually about someone whom they have known earlier and have died.

Professor Haraldsson is a psychologist and his theories seem to segue into the field of parapsychology.  The appearance of someone at the hour of death acting as a guide into the world of the dying is an experience that is reported in various circumstances when someone is at the point of death.

As evidence of the his phenomenon, he tells of a cross-cultural study and evidence from American doctors and nurses in hospitals as well as in India: Continue reading

COMPASSION

image

Amongst the flowers I
am alone with my pot of wine
drinking by myself; then lifting
my cup I asked the moon
to drink with me, its reflection
and mine in the wine cup, just
the three of us; then I sigh
for the moon cannot drink,

and my shadow goes emptily along
with me never saying a word;
with no other friends here, I can
but use these two for company;
in the time of happiness, I
too must be happy with all
around me; I sit and sing
and it is as if the moon

accompanies me; then if I
dance, it is my shadow that
dances along with me; while
still not drunk, I am glad
to make the moon and my shadow
into friends, but then when
I have drunk too much, we
all part; yet these are

friends I can always count on
these who have no emotion
whatsoever; I hope that one day
we three will meet again,
deep in the Milky Way.

 Li Po