The Song of the Twelve Deceptions

by Milarepa

English version by Garma C. C. Chang
Original Language Tibetan

Worldly affairs are all deceptive;
So I seek the Truth Divine.

Excitements and distractions are illusions;
So I meditate on the Non-dual Truth.

Companions and servants are deceptive;
So I remain in solitude.

Money and possessions are also deceptive;
So if I have them, I give them away.

Things in the outer world are all illusion;
The Inner Mind is that which I observe.

Wandering thoughts are all deceptive;
So I only tread the Path of Wisdom.

Deceptive are the teachings of Expedient Truth;
The Final Truth is that on which I meditate.

Books written in black ink are all misleading;
I only meditate on the Pith-Instructions of the Whispered Lineage.

Words and sayings, too, are but illusion;
At ease, I rest my mind in the effortless state.

Birth and death are both illusions;
I observe but the truth of No-Arising.

The common mind is in every way misleading;
And so I practice how to animate Awareness.

The Mind-holding Practice is misleading and deceptive;
And so I rest in the realm of Reality.

-- from The Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa: The Life-Story and Teachings of the Greatest Poet-Saint Ever to Appear in the History of Buddhism, Translated by Garma C. C. Chang

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