Epilogue - An Ode: The Master As I Know Him

I heard him speak of pulling weeds in the street,
Of cleaning toilets with his bare hands,
Of doing what others could not do.
Not just once -- many times
I saw him get out of the car after traveling for hours,
And not stop to rest even for a moment,
Before coming to speak the Dharma.
Not just once -- many times
I watched him give away whatever he could to others --
Food, clothing, happiness,
Even the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas
      he gave to all living beings
He gave whatever made others happy,
Not just once -- many times
I got to be there when he made big problems seem small,
And little problems disappear,
Sometimes only with a smile or a few words,
Not just once -- many times
I watched him bring people together that
      others swore could not get along,
East and West, North and South,
And they worked together.
Not just once -- many times
I saw his great compassion move people
      to completely change their lives.
Turn from the improper to the proper,
From the small to the great.
Not just once -- many times
But I never saw him do anything out of selfishness,
Or forget others to protect himself,
Or act in any way for personal gain.
Not even once -- never.

By Kuo Ts'an