We honour the memory of Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh with the publication today of the eighth in our series of his Ten Love Letters to Earth, with another next Sunday...
Love Letter VIII: Father Sun, My Heart
Dear Father Sun,
Your infinite light is the nourishing source of all species. You are our sun, our source of limitless light and life. Your light shines upon Mother Earth offering us warmth and beauty, helping Mother Earth to nourish us and make life possible for all species. Looking deeply into Mother Earth, I see you in Mother Earth. You aren’t only in the sky but you are also ever-present in Mother Earth and in me.
Every morning, you manifest from the East, a glorious rosy orb shining radiantly in the ten directions. You are the kindest of fathers with a great ability to understand and be compassionate, and yet at the same time you are incredibly bold and courageous. The light particles you radiate travel over 150 million kilometers from your immensely hot crown to reach us here on Earth in just over eight minutes. Every second you offer a small portion of yourself to the Earth in the form of light energy. You are present in every leaf, every flower, and every living cell. But day by day, your great physical mass of fusing plasma, 330,000 times the size of our Earth, is slowly diminishing. Within the next ten billion years most of it will transform into energy, radiating throughout the cosmos, and even though you will no longer be visible in your present form, you will be continued in every photon you have emitted. Nothing will be lost, only transformed.
Dear Father, your creative synergy with Mother Earth makes life possible. Mother’s slight tilt in her orbit offers us the four extraordinary seasons. Her miracle of photosynthesis harnesses your energy and creates oxygen for the atmosphere to protect us from your blazing ultraviolet radiation. Over the eons, Mother has skillfully harvested and stored your sunlight to sustain her children and enhance her beauty. Birds can enjoy soaring through the sky and deer can enjoy darting through the woods because of your creative harmony with Mother Earth. Each species can delight in its element thanks to your nourishing light and the miraculous canopy of the atmosphere embracing, protecting, and nurturing us all.
There is a heart inside of each and every one of us. If our heart were to stop beating, then we would die instantly. But when we look up toward the sky, we know that you, Father Sun, are also our heart. You aren’t just outside of this tiny body of ours, you are within every cell of our body, and the body of Mother Earth.
Dear Father, you are an integral part of the whole cosmos and our solar system. If you were to disappear, then our life, as well as that of Mother Earth, would also end. I aspire to look deeply to see you, Father Sun, as my heart, and to see the interrelationship, the interbeing nature between Father Sun, Mother Earth, myself, and all beings. I aspire to practice to love Mother Earth, Father Sun, and for human beings to love one another with the radiant insight of nonduality and interbeing in order to help us transcend all kinds of discrimination, fear, jealousy, resentment, hatred, and despair.
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