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Shabkar Tsogdruk Rangdrol: A Song by a Yogi in Solitude

Shabkar Tsogdruk Rangdrol: A Song by a Yogi in Solitude
Photo: 13th Dalai Lama (seated ) with Tibetan officials at Hasting House in Calcutta India, 1910.


Free indeed is the yogi
who lives everywhere with abandon:
in cave houses atop mountains,
in the shade of blossoming trees,
in a hut amid the open fields,
in a small white cotton tent.

I will sing from afar
a song of joy and peace:

Because of you, O guru, most sublime and wise,
whose kindness surpasses even the Buddha's,
I understand the truth:
that all events and happenings --
the union of form and emptiness --
are nothing but the play of the mind.

Mysterious, incomprehensible,
I realize, is my mind --
the root of prison and freedom,
ungraspable, without substance.

Living in solitude I place my mind
with natural ease upon suchness --
this mind, as light as a wisp of cotton fluff.
The darkness of unknowing
recedes at its own pace,
and the vast sky of the infinite real
wakes with the light of dawn.

"Whether it is or it is not" --
doubts engendered by skepticism --
are qualms with no significance,
questions the Buddhas wouldn't answer.

Oh, the great congregation:
yogis of the mahamudra, famed and wise,
who see the naked face of the real,
while residing atop Tsari Mountain,
a heavenly realm, true abode of dakinis,
where all mystic events flow spontaneous.

Oh, enter the four features
of dharmakaya -- the Reality Essence:
empty as space, brilliant as sun,
transparent as mirror, sharp as eyes.

Let us then travel together
to the realm of the real itself.
As the discourse of philosophers,
conducted by all-knowing scholars
in the debating courtyards,
is a melodious tune to the ear,
so too are songs of experience
sung in solitude by yogis
who have entered the Great Oneness --

mahamudra and Zokpa Chenpo.

(Shabkar Tsogdruk Rangdrol)


Recommended Reading:

'The Life of Shabkar: The Autobiography of a Tibetan Yogin'
By Shabkar Tsogdruk Rangdrol (Author), Matthieu Ricard  (Translator), Padmakara Translation Group(Translator), His Holiness the Dalai Lama (Foreword)

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The Life of Shabkar has long been recognized by Tibetans as one of the masterworks of their religious heritage. Shabkar Tsogdruk Rangdrol devoted himself to many years of meditation in solitary retreat after his inspired youth and early training in the province of Amdo under the guidance of several extraordinary Buddhist masters. With determination and courage, he mastered the highest and most esoteric practices of the Tibetan tradition of the Great Perfection. He then wandered far and wide over the Himalayan region expressing his realization. Shabkar's autobiography vividly reflects the values and visionary imagery of Tibetan Buddhism, as well as the social and cultural life of early nineteenth-century Tibet.

"Regarded by many as the greatest yogi after Milarepa to gain enlightenment in one lifetime. . . . A source of inspiration to Buddhist practitioners and general readers alike."

(H.H. the Dalai Lama)

"This thorough, well-conceived edition of an of an important text will be welcomed by scholars and serious practitioners of Buddhism."

Library Journal)
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