Apr 03 2009

Sakyong Mipham – Fortunate Birth

Published by at 9:11 am under Ivan's Story,Poetry

Fortunate Birth
by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche

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.


/ Photo by sara.atkins /

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.

===

I want to take a moment to sincerely thank everyone who took the time to send me happy birthday wishes over the last couple of days. I received so many emails, lots of comments posted on the Poetry Chaikhana Blog, and my Facebook page is filled with your warm notes. Thank you all!

===

Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche poetry, Buddhist poetry Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche

India, US (Contemporary)
Buddhist : Tibetan

The Sakyong, Jamgon Mipham Rinpoche is one of the most respected lamas in Tibetan Buddhism. In addition to his role as teacher and spiritual guide, he is also a poet and artist, and an athlete who runs marathons to raise money in support of Tibet and its people.

Sakyong Mipham is the son of the much-loved, but controversial Tibetan Buddhist teacher, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Sakyong Mipham is considered to be an incarnation of Mipham the Great, an important historical teacher of Buddhism in Tibet.

He was born in Bodh Gaya, India, the site of the Buddha’s enlightenment. He studied meditation with many of the great modern Buddhist teachers and lineage holders. As a young man, his father brought him to Europe and North America to further his education.

His title “The Sakyong” means literally “Earth Protector,” and he is the head of the Shambhala tradition that emphasizes courage in the spiritual journey through earthly life. He is a lineage holder of both the Kagyu and Nyingma traditions.

He is married and teaches a path of enlightenment through engagement with daily life.

More poetry by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche

4 responses so far

4 Responses to “Sakyong Mipham – Fortunate Birth”

  1. maryann moonon 03 Apr 2009 at 11:14 am

    Oh, Ivan, I understand what you say when you sometimes feel “guilty”. But whatever it is that
    allows us to forget our innocence it’s all dark swirling
    dreams of the past. If we could always stop when
    that “guilt” wants to surface, it’s better I’m sure
    to look at and say “who are you?”, or else just love
    the guilt to death.

    I’m so delighted by the hundreds and hundred of
    birthday greetings, AND if “every atom is Buddha”
    your birthless and deathless.

    maryann moon

  2. aparnaon 03 Apr 2009 at 11:26 pm

    Thank you a million times Ivan,

    Your commentary on this poem seems JUST FOR ME!!

    what with the struggle and intensity that life is demanding of me these days.

    Thanks for keeping MY sanity while i go through life, one day at a time!!!

    Bless You!

  3. Jim Atwellon 04 Apr 2009 at 8:07 am

    It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood.
    You may be living in the suburbs of reality
    but you are not beyond the neighborhood of Love.
    Won’t you be my neighbor.

    Much Love
    Jim Atwell

  4. [...] Credits: The quote above is from the poem, “Fortunate Birth” by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. I originally found this poem on http://www.poetry-chaikhana.com/blog/2009/04/03/sakyong-mipham-fortunate-birth/ [...]

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply