Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Kingdom Of The Mind

This beautiful little poem was written by Sir Edward Dyer (1543-1607). There may not have been Buddhists in Elizabethan England but is it clear that even without the Dhamma’s gentle and benign influence there are always a few people who ‘get it’ nonetheless.  
MY mind to me a kingdom is;
Such present joys therein I find,
That it excels all other bliss
That earth affords or grows by kind:
Though much I want that most would have,
Yet still my mind forbids to crave.

No princely pomp, no wealthy store,
No force to win the victory,
No wily wit to salve a sore,
No shape to feed a loving eye;
To none of these I yield as thrall;
For why? my mind doth serve for all.

I see how plenty surfeits oft,
And hasty climbers soon do fall;
I see that those which are aloft
Mishap doth threaten most of all:
They get with toil, they keep with fear:
Such cares my mind could never bear.

Content I live, this is my stay;
I seek no more than may suffice;
I press to bear no haughty sway;
Look, what I lack my mind supplies.
Lo, thus I triumph like a king,
Content with that my mind doth bring.

Some have too much, yet still do crave;
I little have, and seek no more.
They are but poor, though much they have,
And I am rich with little store;
They poor, I rich; they beg, I give;
They lack, I leave; they pine, I live.

I laugh not at another’s loss,
I grudge not at another’s gain;
No worldly waves my mind can toss;
My state at one doth still remain:
I fear no foe, I fawn no friend;
I loathe not life, nor dread my end.

Some weigh their pleasure by their lust,
Their wisdom by their rage of will;
Their treasure is their only trust,
A cloaked craft their store of skill;
But all the pleasure that I find
Is to maintain a quiet mind.

My wealth is health and perfect ease,
My conscience clear my chief defence;
I neither seek by bribes to please,
Nor by deceit to breed offence:
Thus do I live; thus will I die;
Would all did so as well as I!


Ken and Visakha said...

Wonderful! Thank you!
In the Dhamma,
Visakha and Ken

Unknown said...

Thank you very much for reposting this beautiful, inspiring poem, Venerable.

Its 'Dhamma-accuracy' never ceases to amaze me, and it somewhat gives me the hope that some beings are able to find the Dhamma and delight in it even without the instructions of a perfectly awakened one.

I guess it's because I feel that I'm missing out on the current dispensation and want to believe this is not my last opportunity for salvation before being stuck in samsara for an insanely long time.

Whatever the case, thank you again. All the blessings.

BuddhiHermit Hermit said...

How brilliant.
Well discovered.

Clearly "unknown" is not missing out on the current dispensation after all.