swim within

November 10, 2017 96 By Maggie Tan

dear friend, we meet again.

why do we always try to race against time.

this impending sense of something missing.

what is it? how can i conquer this doubt?

haven’t we learned anything at all?


oppressed by stale presence, one that is different from what i originally found.

but haven’t buddhist doctrines taught us anything?

dispel these illusions, everything is constantly changing.

impermanence permeates everything.

observe these rising sensations.

see how they come up and subside.

see how they crawl their way from one side to the other.

from one moment to the next, you’re already not the same person.


stay calm and enjoy the ride. this life is nothing but a trip.




the land seeks exaltation, with its chants and cries, longing for the ecstatic. but little do they know that lies and deceit have usurped the country.

or maybe they dare not to accept it.

to accept is to be cheated.

to deny is to live happily, in a world with very basic human tendencies.


the barren lands of the north stretch its belly down to the banana trees in the south,

we jumped over the invisible fence in its agricultural heartland.

rolling bus rides, fields after fields pass us by.

sticky fingers, mumbled words wafting in the minute space between conjoined bodies,

hawkers won’t stop till they pinch a pence out of you,

your peace of mind is ensured only by the most “OM” mindset you can muster.


wonder a’plenty, fear not,

generous helpings of dahl on train rides,

families squeezing like canned tuna so we fit,

friendly faces and brothers of bygone times,

arrive with bags of goodies amidst mad souls,

joyous with a tinge of sorrow behind the glistening eyes.

as if they have some secrets.

everybody has secrets.


right here, right now, heavy rains pour into our hearths, with all its imperfections, cuts, and falls.

soaked in horror, alleviated by those close to you,

who lend a helping hand, in your darkest moments,

of torrential anger and insecurities.


the sea roars fiercely against humanity,

in sync with the lava underground.

expressions without utility,

futile in all of their attempts to overcome inferiority.

lie down on the ground, refuse to play by the animal kingdom’s book,

the winds have swept us up and carried us away.

always come back to yourself.

when the tides wrung itself around your helpless body,

your screams are muffled and the skies are dark,



you know who you are.

swim upwards with your soul, calm and fearless,

face these demons squarely.

love yourself.

love all of those imperfections, cuts and falls.

love. simply love.




tripping comes at a cost – it ain’t free –

but you can leave knowing that you’ve experienced these lessons,

and not everyone has had the same ones as you.

be kind and compassionate.

freedom lies in swimming upwards, when everyone points down.

not towards the shores, nor the moon,

but within.