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Feb 17

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How to Become a Powerful Person

It is not through arsenals stacked
with lethal weapons
Nor by battalions of
lightning-swift troops
That we can vanquish the forces of
darkness
And open the gates to freedom for
the world.

The source of true power lies not in
domination
By the brute force of armies or
the bright lure of gold.
The source lies hidden deep within
ourselves,
But to find it we must use the
appropriate tools.

The first key to success is the
power of faith,
Trust in a supreme wisdom that
points us to the good.
Faith settles the mind and
inspires us with courage,
Inciting us to deeds of joyful
self-transcendence.

But the agents of harm lurk in the
mind’s dark shadows,
Ready to spring their traps when
our vigilance slackens.
To stem their attacks and sustain
our self-respect
The power of shame keeps us firmly
on the path.

Contemplate deeply our relatedness
to others,
Consider the value of esteem in
others’ eyes.
Reflecting on the bitter fruits of
thoughtless deeds,
Let the power of moral dread hold us
back from the abyss.

The path to liberation is not for
the weak,
Nor for those given to self-pity
and despair.
It is only by the invigorating
power of energy
That we can become heroes, true
masters of our minds.

Traveling by night, enveloped in
dense mist,
We have wandered pointlessly in
the maze of birth and death.
Now use the power of wisdom as the
light
To guide our steps to the shore of
final freedom.

Equipped with these five powers
taught by the Great Sage
We rise up as conquerors stronger
than any foes.
Masters of ourselves, examples for
the nation,
We illuminate the world like the
blazing noontime sun.

 By Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi; this poem was the theme of a discourse
given by him in January of this year.

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