Jan 09 2009
The Profound Definitive Meaning
English version by Marpa Translation Committee
For the mind that masters view the emptiness dawns
In the content seen not even an atom exists
A seer and seen refined until they’re gone
This way of realizing view, it works quite well
When meditation is clear light river flow
There is no need to confine it to sessions and breaks
Meditator and object refined until they’re gone
This heart bone of meditation, it beats quite well
When you’re sure that conducts work is luminous light
And you’re sure that interdependence is emptiness
A doer and deed refined until they’re gone
This way of working with conduct, it works quite well
When biased thinking has vanished into space
No phony facades, eight dharmas, nor hopes and fears,
A keeper and kept refined until they’re gone
This way of keeping samaya, it works quite well
When you’ve finally discovered your mind is dharmakaya
And you’re really doing yourself and others good
A winner and won refined until they’re gone
This way of winning results, it works quite well.
/ Photo by meg and rahul /
Seer and seen refined until they’re gone…
Look deeply enough, with your whole being, and the two merge. The object disappears into you. You disappear into it. Seer and seen are gone! What is left but a field living awareness?
…it works quite well.
Have a beautiful day, and remember to take a look around you. Who knows what adventure that glance might initiate?
I know, I know… There was no poem on Wednesday, and no explanation. Truthfully, I didn’t even turn my computer on that day. I had a New Years’ flu, one of those that hits you like an avalanche. Wrapped in blankets, hardly moving from the couch, I became much more familiar with the daytime television schedule than I care to admit. But I’m back now (mentally), mostly… Am I babbling now? Hmm, I wonder what’s on TV…
Milarepa (often referred to as Jetsun Milarepa, meaning Milarepa the Revered One) is the central figure of early Tibetan Buddhism. He was a Buddhist saint, a yogi, a sorceror, a trickster, a wanderer, and a poet. He is both folk hero and cultural preceptor, the embodiment of the ideal in Tibetan Buddhism.
The Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa, an extensive collection of stories and poetry from the life of Milarepa, is a central text of popular Tibetan Buddhism, in some ways comparable to the Bhagavad Gita in Hinduism and the New Testament within Christianity. His life stories and poetry are read devoutly even today to inspire determination in meditation and spiritual practice.
Milarepa’s father died when he was still a boy, and the land that should have passed to him was seized by relatives who treated the young Milarepa and his mother and sister as slaves. After several years of this cruelty and hard labor, Milarepa’s mother convinced the teenaged boy to study magic with a local sorceror in order to take revenge on their relatives. Milarepa was so successful in this purpose that, it is said, a great hailstorm occurred, destroying the house during a wedding ceremony, killing several members of the family. In the aftermath of this incident, Milarepa felt such guilt for his actions that he vowed to cleanse himself of the evil karma he had accumulated.
In his search for a pure spiritual teacher, Milarepa eventually met his guru, the Buddhist yogi and translator, Marpa, who was himself a disciple of the famous Indian Buddhist master Naropa. Marpa, seeing Milarepa’s great potential mixed with dark karma, put Milarepa through many years of severe trials and tests before he would formally accept Milarepa as a student.
Milarepa then spent several years meditating in seclusion in remote mountain caves, struggling, at times, against the demonic forces of the mind, until he achieved the ultimate enlightenment.
Rejecting the formalism of religious position and the endless squabbles of theological discourse, he adopted the life of a mendicant, traveling from village to village, speaking directly with the people he met, singing spontaneous songs of enlightenment and wisdom.