The Buddha’s Invitation – a poem

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


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

18 Replies to “The Buddha’s Invitation – a poem”

  1. Thank you, David. Beautifully written and deeply connecting. You never disappoint. Your friend at a distance, Mike

    1. Thank you Mike for those kind words, I have not written a poem for 6 years and was a bit hesitant about putting this one out there.
      There is no distance in ichinen sanzen my friend and your support from across our ‘lil pond’ is deeply appreciated. D 🙂

  2. Rajeev says:

    David, it was really moving for me. I bow in reverence to your grit. Keep-up the good job.


    1. Many thanks Rajeev for those kind words and it’s good to know you found it moving. I bow in reverence back to you. D 🙂

  3. I Love your poem. It is expressed with passion . Thank you for inspiring us. Véronique

    1. Veronique, thank you for those kind words which are much appreciated, especially that you found the poem inspiring. I have realised from my best Buddhist teachers that my main role as a leader is to inspire myself and other people as much as I can, every day, based on an ever deeper appreciation that every moment and every life is precious. Wishing you many victories in 2014. Dx

  4. Beautiful Poem, it is expressed with passion, thank you for inspiring us. Véronique.

  5. Sandhya M says:

    David, what a beautiful poem ! It captures a practitioner’s journey in faith so beautifully!! Your words are inspiring so many practitioners in Thane, India 😀

    1. Many thanks Sandyha and I am always especially pleased to hear from readers in India as my Mum was born there (in West Bengal, which looks like a long way from Thane!) And of course Buddhism was born there too. I am chanting to visit India in the next couple of years. D 🙂

  6. tooda says:

    Is your mother a Bengali from West Bengal?
    Just today we studied sensei’s guidance on Casting the Transient and Revealing the True!

    1. Hi there, my mum was born in Kharagpur and when her father died my grandmother brought her and her 4 siblings to London. The guidance sounds great :-). Warmest wishes, David

  7. tooda says:

    I love the painting…so beautiful…

  8. Absolutely wonderful poem !

    1. Thank you! D 🙂

  9. Vassals Khurana says:

    What an inspiring poem! A spectacular, almost panoramic view of the journey in pursuit of one’s Buddhahood. . .

  10. Jenny Rees says:

    Hello David, I have just read your poem ‘The Buddha’s Invitation’. At the time of reading my own faith in the Buddha power inherent within my life and prayer is at a low ebb – hearing the voice of the Buddha in your words has contributed to a turning of the tide of hope and strength within me. I struggle to find the words to express myself so will simply say THANK YOU.

    1. Hello Jenny, thank you for your kind words and I am pleased to hear that the poem has rekindled the inherent hope and strength within you. I am sure that with your music this is also what you do for other people. Take care, NMRK, David

  11. Nupur says:

    this is very very inspiring. Thank u

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