Thursday, April 13, 2006

Song of Tiger Fort

The following is based on Shabkar's Song of Tiger Fort (Takmo Dzong). While reading it I was struck with how much his description reminds me of the place where I have lived for the last 18 years, so I typed it in to share it with the group and took the liberty of changing a few details.

Mind-emanation of the Buddhas of the three times,
Father, Dharma King, Palden Sherab,
I supplicate you without ceasing.
Grant your blessings that this vagabond
May be able to keep to mountain retreat.

Making joy and inspiration arise,
This solitary place, Rubal Ribo, and I are in complete accord.
I'm of the mountains, my mind is there:
Thus do I sing my song.

Turtle Hill -- hidden and auspicious,
A place where many great beings once stayed.
A forested hill without -- within, a home.
Its southern door is bathed in light, even in winter.
Spring and fall -- the air is cool; mind is clear.
Water, wood for fires -- everything I need is easily found;
My perceptions here are always lofty and joyous.

Above, in a sky without boundaries,
Hawks circle, gliding.
Celestial juniper trees ornament
The ridges to the north-west
Their scent spices the air.

Before me, six-legged honeybees hum, hovering over
Wild flowers spread out across the meadow.
From a stream's clear water rushing over stones
Come continuous murmurings.

Wild animals bask on the slopes,
Frisking, gamboling, they saunter or stroll about.
In the deep green forest, from the highest branches,
Various birds chatter and sing.

Rain clouds hang overhead like great canopies.
From clouds swirled like scattered white silks
And patterned with perfect rainbows
Summer rain falls in a fine mist.

The guardians of this place
Are on the Dharma's side:
Anything wanted is right here.
There are no villages nearby, no temples, no noise:
Everything is slow and serene.

Through the lama's blessing,
And by the grace of the place itself,
Meditation experiences and realization
Arise easily in one's mind-stream.

I, a renunciate of these mountains,
Call out the clear tones of my song.

How wondrous if all those who practice,
With minds turned toward the Dharma,
Had the support of a place like this!

To sing like this --
Go into the mountains!
By this merit, may all those practicing the teachings
Make use of solitary places for retreat,
And may they become fully perfected.

Shabkar Tsogdruk Rangdrol

from The Life of Shabkar, Snow Lion 2001, (pp. 72)
translated by Mathieu Ricard

1 comment:

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