Fortunate Birth

by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche


Original Language English

In the kingdom of children
Every one of you is this child,
An innocent being
Who jumped out of heaven
And landed in Shambhala.
Fortunate birth is who you are --
Everything is perfect in your world.

Your clothing is the mist of heaven,
Your feet covered by dragon's breath,
You are the most fortunate beings on earth.
You are the children of dharma.
Nothing can close your open heart.
Other children suffer, caught in perpetual dilemma --
Because Buddha has touched you,
You are fortunate.

Be dharmic now,
Be powerful now,
Be benevolent now --
Not for me, not for others --
But because that is your blood.
When you feel privileged, use it.
When you feel ashamed, pounce.
Consume that hesitation --
It's only a flicker of your imagination.

You are the blessed people on this earth.
Every atom of your being is Buddha --
What's left is joy.
You have no excuse;
Don't sulk.
You can be sad, for sadness is
the most genuine expression.
Expression of goodness is who you are.
Being a child of dharma is dilemma.
Being a child of dharma is freedom.

Consume this hesitation of not knowing.
Never doubt,
Only walk forward.
Love everything,
For that is why you are here.

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/ Photo by sara.atkins /


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Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

Fortunate birth is who you are—
Everything is perfect in your world.


Sometimes the goal of spiritual traditions can become so transcendent and otherworldly that we become -- dare I say it? -- wimpy. (I raise my hand: guilty.) An affirmation like, "All is light and love," is, on the one level, absolutely true; yet, too often that perspective doesn't prepare us for the very real struggles and intensity of lived life.

It can also become an excuse to step away from the discomfort of conflict and leave the world at the mercy of the brutal and the greedy.

You are the children of dharma.
Nothing can close your open heart.


But that doesn't seem to be Sakyong Mipham's perspective in this poem. We are "fortunate" and the world is "perfect," not because things are so easy we can just glide through, but rather because you and I are inherently powerful enough to fully encounter life. It is perfect because we have been given the spiritual tools to engage with the world and each other.

Be dharmic now,
Be powerful now,
Be benevolent now --


We are not only strong enough to get through our experiences, but we can do so while courageously keeping the heart open and upholding dharma, the eternal law of harmony.

You are the blessed people on this earth.
Every atom of your being is Buddha --
What's left is joy.
You have no excuse;
Don't sulk.


No excuses; Sakyong Mipham challenges us to embody our divine nature, powerfully, on earth, right now.

Never doubt,
Only walk forward.
Love everything,
For that is why you are here.


So take courage, be bold, and build the world around the way your heart tells you it should be.



Recommended Books: Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche

Smile of the Tiger Ruling Your World Snow Lion's Delight





Fortunate Birth