Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Prayer for the Abuser



Blessing

We recently returned from the Tucson Gem Show
where we find icons and materials for the jewelry
we make to compliment our publishing work.

It is a world bazaar ringing with wondrous languages.
Gemstones and folk art treasurers fill up hundreds of
of motel rooms which during the day are small shops
and at night are campsights for extended families.

There are a half dozen public auditoriums full of exhibitors,
five or six tent encampments the size of big box malls,
all full of exotic stones — as if the earth
had turned inside out, lapis, turqoise, rose quartz,
amethyst caves, pertified wood big enough to sleep on.

In and among these exhibits we find icons from
different cultures, sometimes under a table, or
in a van. Some vendors seeing us coming come out
with what they know we're looking for.
Sometimes they tell us about the figures,
sometimes they don't.

On the first day this year,
I picked up a few dozen pieces of quartz
etched with Quan Yin superimposed on
a prayer. When I asked the vendor
what it said, he recited it —
in Chinese.

I'm pretty sure this is what he said.


Kuan Yin Prayer for the Abuser

To those who withhold refuge,
I cradle you in safety at the core of my Being.

To those that cause a child to cry out,
I grant you the freedom to express your own choked agony.

To those that inflict terror,
I remind you that you shine with the purity of a thousand suns.

To those who would confine, suppress, or deny,
I offer the limitless expanse of the sky.

To those who need to cut, slash, or burn,
I remind you of the invincibility of Spring.

To those who cling and grasp,
I promise more abundance than you could ever hold onto.

To those who vent their rage on small children,
I return to you your deepest innocence.

To those who must frighten into submission,
I hold you in the bosom of your original mother.

To those who cause agony to others,
I give the gift of free flowing tears.

To those that deny another's right to be,
I remind you that the angels sang in celebration of you on the day of your
birth.

To those who see only division and separateness,
I remind you that a part is born only by bisecting a whole.

For those who have forgotten the tender mercy of a mother's embrace,
I send a gentle breeze to caress your brow.

To those who still feel somehow incomplete,
I offer the perfect sanctity of this very moment.


©Susan Bright, 2007

Susan Bright is the author of nineteen books of poetry. She is the editor of Plain View Press which since 1975 has published one-hundred-and-fifty books. Her work as a poet, publisher, activist and educator has taken her all over the United States and abroad. Her most recent book, The Layers of Our Seeing, is a collection of poetry, photographs and essays about peace done in collaboration with photographer Alan Pogue and Middle Eastern journalist, Muna Hamzeh.


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7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

from Alan Pogue in Sao Paulo, Brasil --

Speaking of our pan-geo-non-hierachical societies, I am in Sao Paulo, Brasil. One more prison to photograph here and then on to Bogota, Columbia for prisons there. With the wind at my back I hope to have been to 9 countries by the end of February, beginning of March. Along the way I am meeting those who are working for prison and legal reform. There will be a book in four languages of the Organization of American States. I hope for an exhibit of this work in D.C. next October at the OAS building. I'll certainly have one in Austin. All of this is for CURE and in conjunction with the OAS.

Here are my Argentina color pictures.
homepage.mac.com/alanpogue/Agentina%20Prisons/index.html


I have three times as many in B&W. They start with rooms full of newly discovered documents of the transfer of political prisoners, many of whom have never been accounted for until now. The women run a governmental agency on prison reform.

Quan Yin's prayer reminded me of Thich Nhat Han, always calming, infinitely insightful.

Peace,

Alan

6:44 PM  
Anonymous Graced by Brightness said...

Thank you for that beautiful piece.

9:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Susan, for taking us along to the gem show, and sharing the lovely, bittersweet poem.
Thank you Alan, for the slice of life into your travels. I look forward to the exhibit. I decry the death penalty and support the causes of Amnesty International. Seeing the prison pictures will be inspiring and illuminating.
America has more jails and prisons than anywhere on earth. It would be an interestng contrast to shoot a few of them, too.
Frances Morey

10:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the Prayer for the Abuser is really excellent. It reminds me of the Essential Tibetan Buddihism book (translated by Robert Thurman) of Buddhist prayer/poetry. Is it really a translation or did you write it? Either way it is powerful--

KJ

4:42 PM  
Blogger SB said...

Thanks for the comments, thanks Alan for the link to the South American Prison photos. I can see you have found inspiring people who are working to make the prisons better in Argentina -- leave it to you to find the shining beings anywhere!

And,to answer Ken's question above -- I didn't write the Quan Yin Prayer for Abusers -- it's a traditional Chinese prayer. There is a mantra said in her name too, a thousand repeitions, and they say as long as someone knows it by memory there will be healing on earth, compassion, and hope. I couldn't find a translation of it. Maybe because it is supposed to be said in her language.

Onward
SB

4:46 PM  
Blogger SB said...

Thanks for the comments, thanks Alan for the link to the South American Prison photos. I can see you have found inspiring people who are working to make the prisons better in Argentina -- leave it to you to find the shining beings anywhere!

And,to answer Ken's question above -- I didn't write the Quan Yin Prayer for Abusers -- it's a traditional Chinese prayer. There is a mantra said in her name too, a thousand repeitions, and they say as long as someone knows it by memory there will be healing on earth, compassion, and hope. I couldn't find a translation of it. Maybe because it is supposed to be said in her language.

Onward
SB

4:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope you are enjoying this beautiful day. Thank you
so much for sending this Quan Yin prayer; I have tried
to read it everyday since I got it. I need it.

SG

12:41 PM  

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