Musings on Master's Poetry and Art

A Biography Revealed
through Timeless Poetry


By Light Shadow

During recent years, more and more people have sincerely requested the Supreme Master Ching Hai to publish Her own autobiography. However, Master commented that She did not know where to start. So the matter was dropped. But in fact, Master’s poem collections are the very biography of Her life over a time-span of half a century. These poems, apart from providing first-hand information, are full of true feelings without any trace of pretentious praise or the cover-up often found in the biographies of great people.

Perhaps when Master wrote down Her first poem at the age of seven, She was vaguely aware of the role the simple pen would play in depicting Her experiences and thoughts at the various stages of Her life. But She probably did not realize that these writings, sometimes romantic, other times sad, would one day become the cherished legacy of humankind.

The pen of this Poet is faithful. It is faithful to Her inner feelings of overwhelming love and pain. She did not hold back, nor did She express with any second thoughts, because the world of poetry is purely free. However, to reveal one’s private experience and feelings for the scrutiny of the public, one must have courage. Since in this case such courage originated from love, it is therefore a great blessing to the world that Master compassionately gave the permission to publish Her poetry anthologies. These poems allow us to be close to the vast heart of a Saint, to hear Her sad sighs when She was not able to find love and to sympathize with Her joy when true love was found.

Watching a great soul finally break through the bondage of the world and burst into a dazzling spiritual rainbow, the reader can see their own bright future full of hope and promise from the colors that appear on the paper.

To those who are searching for divine Love, Master’s poems represent not only “The Pilgrim's Progress” (John Bunyan’s text) but also “Faust” (Goethe's play) in Her depiction of how humankind misses the garden of Eden, longing for true love to comfort the unjust circumstances and difficulties in life, but because of being trapped deeply in the world, could not help but letting true love slip.

Master’s poems have been warmly received by Aulacese musicians as well as those from other countries. An abundance of music has been composed to Her lyrics, creating popular songs (Note 1). These verses express the ordinary person’s emotions such as love and sadness. What makes Her poetry most extraordinary is the delicate connection and development between the lines and the limitless love behind them, which must come from many lifetimes of spiritual practice. It gives the poems a unique quality of innocence and spontaneity, as well as a spiritual power behind, which leaves readers with a sense of respect for life and all the dark thoughts are dismissed.

Pebbles and Gold is a faithful depiction of the Poet’s childhood in wartime. This collection includes Master’s earlier writings to Her father, mother, elder sisters, maids, neighbors and others. At that time, Her country was deep in the war. Not able to receive answers from God for Her questions, the little Poet had to pour all Her young heart out to the paper.

Master has had an extraordinarily sensitive heart since a young age. She also had an unusual talent for balancing injustice. Though living in the suffering world, the Poet naturally took on the role of “spreading the seed of love.” She worked hard to nurture blessing fields in people’s hearts so that “the flower of love” would blossom between humans. Pebbles and Gold also describes Her longing for romance as a young girl and the sweetness of first love.

The Lost Memories tells the love stories of the Poet when She was growing up. Through Her brilliant pen, She wrote about secret admiration, mutual affection, the intoxication of being deeply in love and the sadness when the love came to an end. Thus, She sang praises to the power of romantic love, one of the qualities that humankind is most proud of. However, while lying back and breathing a sigh of relief after reading Her poems, one seems to detect the message in between the lines, that romantic love is just a starting point and serves as a precedence to universal love. After losses are experienced and calmness regained, the wisdom of life is revealed.

And a stranger, on this foreign Earth,

Walking twilight, hear winds call summer,

Western sun now fragile, rain so soft,

Like the sailing day on Pacific waters.


We shall hail, and adorn the universe,

We shall dance and sing, unite the world,

We shall light golden fires on hilltops,

Warming the sky of wintry future.


~ from “Love Melody 1,” The Lost Memories
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