Poem: Tranquil Sea



By Luan Dinh

I sit and breathe gently,
Waves that wash my lungs.
The surges of rising tides,
Swelling inside my chest.

Turbulence from deep within,
Swirling like a whirlpool.
Thoughts scattered everywhere,
A sea of spinning driftwood.

But I know it will be all right,
This muddy mix of water.
I observe the frantic swirling,
I observe the ceaseless flowing.

There is beauty in this chaos,
This mass of rapid turning.
Absorbed in observation,
I find a centre of calming.

The spin has great momentum,
Spraying great arms of froth.
Bits and bobs of floating,
Hard to recognize clearly.

As I continue to observe,
Watching this transformation.
The sea that once was raging,
Is now quietly subsiding.

Breezes are gently blowing,
Waves rippling on the surface.
What once was dark and murky,
Is now wonderfully clearing.

The surface is gently stirring,
Above the forests of shades.
Objects that are long forgotten,
Old shipwrecks and lost treasures.

Still I carry on observing,
Curious to see much more.
The wind gives way to silence,
A tranquility that is immersive.

Stretching across the horizon,
A lake as far as the eye can see.
Its murky depths are clearing,
Fish appear from deep shadows.

Their fins break the surface,
Sending ripples in all directions.
Returning beneath the water,
Fading in the depth of the ocean.

As I sit and breathe gently,
This great ocean is a lake.
Within this body of breathing,
All things are clearly reflected.

Luan Viet Dinh was born in Vietnam and lives in England, practicing with the Guildford Sangha and the Vietnamese Sangha TTT. His Dharma names are Tam Tu Quy and Compassionate Refuge of the Heart.

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