renunciation

(Tsoknyi Rinpoche requested that this poem be read aloud to participants at the Crestone September 2008 month-long retreat.)

Thus having united the meaning of the diamond words of the past saints, I have written this as my own prayer. ~ Dudjom Rinpoche (Jigdral Yeshe Dorje)

Sole unfailing and unchanging Refuge, Lord of the Mandala

Most precious and kind Root Guru, hold me with compassion

When I squander the freedoms and endowments

Ignoring death, providing only for this life.

This fleeting human life like a dream

If it’s happy that is alright, if it’s unhappy, that’s alright.

Without concern for happiness or sorrow

May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

This mortal existence, like a candle in the wind,

If it’s long that’s alright, if it’s short that’s alright…

Without intensifying the tight grip of the ego,

May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

These intellectual judgments, like the lure of a mirage

If they’re suitable that’s alright, if they’re not that’s alright

Discarding like hay, talk that carries the eight worldly concerns

May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

This entourage like a flock of birds in a tree

If it’s assembled that’s alright, it it’s scattered that’s alright

Without letting others lead me by the nose

May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

This illusory body like a hundred year old house

If it survives that’s alright, if it collapses that’s alright

Without becoming entangled with obsessions for food, clothes and medicine

May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

This religious position like a child’s game

If it’s kept up that’s alright, if it’s dropped that’s alright

Without deceiving myself with numerous diversions

May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

These gods and demons, like reflections in a mirror

If they are helpful that’s alright, if they are harmful that’s alright

Without perceiving my own hallucinations as the enemy

May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

This delusive talk, like a trackless echo

If it’s pleasing that’s alright, if it’s unpleasing that’s alright

Taking the Three Jewels and my own mind as witness

May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

That which is useless at the time of need like the antlers of a deer

If it’s known that’s alright, if it’s unknown that’s alright

Without simply relying on the various sciences

May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

These religious possessions like virulent poisons

If they are acquired that’s alright, if they are not that’s alright

Without devoting my life to sinful, unwholesome means of survival

May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

This form of greatness like dog shit wrapped in brocade

If its obtained that’s alright, if it’s not that’s alright

Having smelled the rottenness of my own head

May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

These relationships like gatherings on a market day

If they are loving that’s alright, if they are spiteful that’s alright

Cutting the ties of passionate attachment from deep within the heart

May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

This rank like a little bird perched in a tree

If it’s high that is alright, if it’s low that is alright

Without concentrating on that which actually brings sorrow

May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

This black magic like a sharpened weapon

If it’s successful that is alright, if it’s not that is alright

Without buying the blade that will cut off my life

May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

These recitations like a parrot’s six syllables

If they are repeated that’s alright, if they are not that’s alright

Without counting the numbers of the various practices

May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

Mere religious discourse like a mountain cascade

If it’s eloquent that’s alright, if it’s not that’s alright

Without thinking of this glibness as Dharma

May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

The mind quick to judge like a pig’s snout

If it’s sharp that’s alright, if it’s dull that’s alright

Without uselessly digging up the rubble of anger and attachment

May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

The yogi’s experience like a stream in spring

If it expands that is alright, if it recedes that’s alright

Without chasing rainbows like a child

May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

These pure visions like rain on a mountain top

If they happen that’s alright if they don’t that is alright

Without giving credence to illusory experiences

May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching

The freedoms and endowments like a wish-fulfilling gem

If I do not obtain them there is no way to accomplish Dharma

When I have them in hand without letting them spoil

May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

The glorious Guru, light on the path of liberation

If I do not meet him there is no way to realize the true nature

When I know the way to go without jumping into the precipice

May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

The holy Dharma like a cure that removes sickness

If I have not heard it there is no way to decide

What to give up and what to take up

Distinguishing the beneficial from the harmful without swallowing the poison

May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

The alternation of happiness and suffering

Like the changing of summer and winter

If I do not recognize it there is no way to develop renunciation

Being certain that I will suffer in turn

May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

This immersion in samsara like a stone in water

If I do not get out of it now I will not be free of it later

Holding on to the lifeline of the compassionate Three Jewels

May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

The qualities of liberation like an island of jewels

If I am unaware of them there is no way to develop diligence

Seeing the unending benefits to be gained

May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

The life stories of the great saints like the essence of nectar

If I am unacquainted with them there is no way to awaken faith

When I recognize the real gains and losses

May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

The aspiration towards enlightenment like a fertile field

If I do not cultivate it there is no way to attain Buddhahood

Without becoming indifferent to the accomplishments of this great goal

May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

These thoughts of mine like a monkey’s antics

If I do not tame them there is no way to eliminate my negative emotions

Without falling into all kinds of crazy mimicry

May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

This attachment to ego like an inherent shadow

If I do not give it up there is no way to reach the peaceful land

When I recognize the enemy without befriending it

May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

The five poisons like glowing embers in the ash

If I do not extinguish them I cannot abide in mind’s self nature

Without breeding venomous baby snakes in my bed

May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

This temperament of mine like the stiff hide of a buffalo-bag

If I do not soften it the Dharma and my mind will never blend

Without indulging the child that is born from myself

May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

These ingrained bad habits like the course of a river

If I do not eliminate them I cannot part from the profane

Without delivering weapons into the hands of the enemy

May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

These distractions like the ceaseless rippling of water

If I do not reject them there is no way to become steadfast

When I have the freedom of choice without devoting myself to samsara

May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

The Guru’s blessing like the warming of water and earth

If I do not receive it there is no way to recognize my own true nature

When I step on the short path without turning in circles

May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

The solitary place like a summer valley of medicine plants

If I do not dwell there, there is no way for the good qualities to grow

When I stay in the mountains without wandering off to samsaric cities

May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

This desire for comfort like a greedy ghost lodged at the hearth

If I do not part from it painful efforts will never cease

Without making, as to a god, offerings to a hungry demon

May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

This alert mindfulness like the key to a fortress

If it is not relied upon the movements of delusion will never stop

At the time the thief arrives without leaving the latch unfastened

May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

The true nature like the unchanging space

If I do not realize it the ground of the view will not be found

Without chaining myself in iron fetters

May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

This awareness like a stainless crystal

If I do not see it, the concept and effort of meditation cannot dissolve

When I have this inseparable companion without searching for another

May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

This natural mind like an old friend

If I do not recognize it all my activities will be deluded

Without fumbling around with my eyes closed

May I constantly practice the Supreme Teaching.

In short, if I do not abandon the concerns of this life

There is no way to apply the teachings for the benefit of the next life

Having resolved to be kind to myself

May whatever I do become the Supreme Teaching.

To doubt the Guru’s instructions that accord with the Dharma

To feel bitterness toward the deity when bad karma emerges

To discontinue the sadhana and so forth when adverse circumstances arise

May such obstacles not occur as accomplishment approaches.

All this doing has no more meaning than walking around a desert

All these efforts make my character rigid

All this thinking just reinforces my delusions

What worldly beings consider to be Dharma is the cause of binding myself.

All this exertion produces no result

All these ideas bring not a single actualization

All the numerous wants will never be fulfilled

Abandoning activities may I be able to meditate on the oral instructions.

If you think you want to do it, take the Victorious One’s words as witness

If you think you will really do it, blend your mind with Dharma

If you think you can practice, follow the example of the past saints

You spoiled ones, is there any other way?

Taking a humble position rich with the treasure of contentment

Free from the binds of the eight-worldly concerns

Firm and strong hearted in practice

Receiving the Gurus’s blessing realization becomes equal to space

May we attain the Kingdom of the All Good.