Monthly Poetry: Response To A Logician


There are a thousand ways to express that thing that can’t be expressed. Through teaching the dharma great meditation masters have tried their best to pass their wisdom onto us. Another way their wisdom makes manifest is through arts and in this case poetry. Please enjoy this month’s ‘enlightened’ poem.

I bow at the feet of my teacher Marpa.
And sing this song in response to you.
Listen, pay heed to what I say,
forget your critique for a while.

The best seeing is the way of “nonseeing” —
the radiance of the mind itself.
The best prize is what cannot be looked for —
the priceless treasure of the mind itself.

The most nourishing food is “noneating” —
the transcendent food of samadhi.
The most thirst-quenching drink is “nondrinking” —
the nectar of heartfelt compassion.

Oh, this self-realizing awareness
is beyond words and description!
The mind is not the world of children,
nor is it that of logicians.

Attaining the truth of “nonattainment,”
you receive the highest initiation.
Perceiving the void of high and low,
you reach the sublime stage.

Approaching the truth of “nonmovement,”
you follow the supreme path.
Knowing the end of birth and death,
the ultimate purpose is fulfilled.

Seeing the emptiness of reason,
supreme logic is perfected.
When you know that great and small are groundless,
you have entered the highest gateway.

Comprehending beyond good and evil
opens the way to perfect skill.
Experiencing the dissolution of duality,
you embrace the highest view.

Observing the truth of “nonobservation”
opens the way to meditating.
Comprehending beyond “ought” and “oughtn’t”
opens the way to perfect action.

When you realize the truth of “noneffort,”
you are approaching the highest fruition.
Ignorant are those who lack this truth:
arrogant teachers inflated by learning,
scholars bewitched by mere words,
and yogis seduced by prejudice.
For though they yearn for freedom,
they find only enslavement.

Milarepa

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