and Edited by True Buddha Foundation Translation Team
Among people living in Leaf Lake,
you will find some neighbours greeting each other with a nod
of the head and a smile when they first meet, but rarely do
they engage in any conversation.
Some individuals will ask me,
"Are you...?", to which I will usually reply,
"I am not."
"Are you a writer?"
"I am not."
"Are you into
"I am not."
I have become a stranger in this
In fact, who isn't? When I first
arrived in Tahiti, I knew no one and nobody there knew me.
I once stood on top of the Tokyo
Tower looking down at the heavy traffic that rushed by and
asked myself who really knew who I was and did I know anyone?
If I was not a stranger, than what was I?
When I was standing on the beach
of Hawaii looking at the crowd in their swimsuits, it made me
wonder who were those people? What were their names?
When I arrived in Seoul and
stared at the signboards written in Korean characters, I had
no idea what any of the characters meant. When the Korean
people looked at me, I would have come across as a total
I finally understand that I came
into this world as a stranger, and that I will leave as a
stranger, coming here empty-handed and leaving here
empty-handed, that all is void.
Those who are with me in my
travels are merely temporary visitors. While I do come to like
these temporary companions and long to see them, the fact
remains that none of these [companions] are everlasting.
When time passes, the times we
share shall become a thing of the past, and what remains as
memories will linger as sweet sorrow. When separated by
distance, people are bound to forget each other, leaving only
a shadow of their friendship behind. Our faces will reflect
the tracks left behind by the trail of time.
I do really love all of you, and
care for all of you, yet I find it hard to voice my feelings.
I really wish that we can always stay together, yet the time
of our parting has arrived so early.
I remember a verse:
Among the scattered bamboos, the
wind passes silently.
The geese fly across the cold
lake, and leave no trace upon it.
I come and go without a trace. I
am just a traveller passing by this human world. I really wish
that we can always stay together—let us all adjourn to the
Maha Twin Lotus Ponds!