Heart Advice from Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö
to Khandro Tsering Chödrön

Homage to the venerable lamas!

This life of ours is fleeting, the same as autumn clouds:
Now we have it—but now it is gone.
This body’s like a bubble, floating on a stream,
Our very breathing like a candle in the wind.

Those best friends of ours, they seem like children of the gods,
But once we’ve left them behind, they can never be by our side again.
We may have stacked up wealth and possessions the size of a mountain,
But not even a single needle can we carry with us.

Him, the one called Yama, Lord of Death,
Does not let us go, but drags us off into the next life.
This body, glowing with youth and beauty,
May look like a lovely flower in bloom,
But one day the frost of impermanence will destroy it.

Our opponent, Yama Lord of Death, bares his fangs
As he binds us, helpless, with the noose of our negative karma.
And when heaven and earth fill with cries of “Strike!” and “Kill!”,
Then there’s no refuge anywhere, except the lama, the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.

Now is the time when freedom is still ours,
So if we turn our mind towards the Dharma,
Then whatever we do will become truly meaningful.

This mind of ours is like a wild horse,
So tame it with the whip of renunciation, and
Give up clinging to the delusory perceptions of this life.

See all beings as your father and mother, and
Then cultivate love, compassion, and the two bodhichittas,
And perfect the mind training of the Mahayana!

Never forget the root lama—and his unrepayable kindness—
But meditate on him in the centre of your heart.
Pray to him, receive empowerments, and merge your mind one with his wisdom mind.

Mind is primordially unborn, and so by nature dharmakāya;
Its radiant nature is clear light, unceasing;
Its display is nirmāṇakāya, arising in manifestations of every kind.

These three kayas are indivisible, spontaneously present.
Rest in this natural state of rigpa self-awareness:
Don’t let the ordinary mind contrive and spoil it, but release everything, spacious and even.

Don’t follow rising thoughts; leave them be.
Let whatever appears unfold and naturally liberate itself.
In the breaks between sessions, recite mantras and prayers, and
Excellent aspirations like The Prayer of Good Action.

And so, this garland of words of advice
For Tsering Chödrön, ‘Long Life, Light of the Supreme Dharma’—
My good heart spoke meritoriously;
And may that merit bring us swiftly to enlightenment!

~ Rigpa Translations, 2011