More than 10 years ago I started writing this poem about Faith, Human Revolution, the Mentor-Disciple spirit and relative and absolute happiness. The picture shows Nichiren Daishonin in 1271 before an unsuccessful attempt by government soldiers to decapitate him. Just as the axe was about to fall, a luminous object, thought to be a comet, shot across the sky, brightly illuminating the beach at Tatsunokuchi. Terrified, the soldiers called off the execution. Nichiren taught that this event was actual proof of the Buddhist principle of casting off our transient identity and revealing the true nature of our lives – Buddhahood. Dx

THE BUDDHA’S INVITATION

Will you come to eternity’s tentative edge

then teach the world of its unspoken power?

Will you plunge filthy waters with only your faith

then fly to the heavens on hope’s thinnest breath?

Will you squeeze yourself through to the middle of you

yet still keep a space for those who might hate you?

Will you sit with the scream at the core of your soul

and then share your song with those who might love you?

Nichiren survices attempted execution

Nichiren survives attempted execution

Will you dive, will you run

Will you rise with the sun

Will you laugh, will you weep

Will you chant till you sleep?

Will you fashion your future from garbage and grit

yet keep one hand free for those who would hold you?

Will you bet all you have on an unfancied truth,

then share your raw wisdom with those once were brave?

Will you cast off your shackles, your comforts, your props,

Will you scrap sweet illusions for a Law that could break you?

Will you trade your bravado for slivers of faith

Will you silence your mind just to follow your soul?

Will you give up your status, your perks and your pride,

Will you join me in exile, where many have died?

Will you strip bare the critic, the cynic, the fool,

All the roles you have played, all the clichés, the rules?

Will you sit with the tramp, and the thief and the whore,

Will you keep giving hope when they ask you for more?

And if I stand by your side on this grand Treasure Tower…

Will you smile, will you shine

Will you say what you saw?

Will you dance, will you chant,

Will you promise me more?

Will you risk, will you write

Will you make a new Vow?

Will you stand, will you fight

Will you come with me now?

David Hare

10 January 2014