Spontaneous Poetry of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche

0ne never knew what might inspire a session of spontaneous poetry by the Vidyadhara, or at what time of day or night. Vajrayana transmission at the 1979 Vajradhatu Seminary was such an occasion, and a few invited guests, who joined Rinpoche in his upstairs sitting room at Chateau Lake Louise following this teaching, were in for a treat. Though it was not unusual for Rinpoche to spend time writing poetry, this had been a year of much instruction for his students in the composition of spontaneous songs expressing one’s realization, known as dohas in Sanskrit. The Vajrayogini practitioners, in particular, had been encouraged to write group dohas in the context of their feast practice.

John Rockwell, the only translator present among the guests, recalls it being quite a late night. At first Rinpoche was very quiet. Then, he began to say a word in Tibetan, like “soma,” indicating for John to offer a translation, “fresh.” After a bit more of this, the Vidyadhara began to compose a poem, which he did in Tibetan by writing this down on a sheet of notebook paper, using the most handy writing instrument nearby—a rather crude marking pen. John proceeded to translate the poem, with the Vidyadhara’s participation, and then this was shared with the assembled group. A number of dohas sprang forth that night, and their immediate vividness, mixed with the necessity for translation on the spot, continued the quality of that evening’s transmission quite wonderfully.

Simplicity, free from conceptual mind,
Dawns as one taste, fresh relaxed.
Seeing nothing but That
Is the ordinary mind.

A cripple runs on the primordial plain.
A mute proclaims the dharma of prajna.
A deaf man listens to the command of mahayana.
At that time, mahamudra arises.
Saraha bursts out laughing.
The only father guru is very pleased.
Chögyam is drunk with the liquor of one taste.
At that time, a ganachakra occurs.
At that time, Marpa Lotsawa laughs.
From the suchness of the fourth abhisheka,
The transcendent world manifests.

No dharma, no source of dharma,
No existence, no manifestation of existence,
The dakini who devours the three worlds,
I pay homage to you who dry up the ocean.

Because I have no father or mother,
I always dwell alone.
Because I have no friends,
I am always surrounded by mirage friends.
These friends are like a treacherous pathway.
These parents are like poisonous food.
I am without friends or parents.
Always joyful, cultivating disciples,
I take delight in cultivating the dharma kingdom.
Getting old, still I grow younger.

In particular, my teacher had nurtured me with maitri in accord with the dharma.

When I thought again and again of how great his kindness had been,

At first there arose a great feeling of sadness,

But then even the finest hairs of suffering dissolved into the natural state.

I rested in the wisdom mind of the guru,

Who bestowed a rain of blessings right there.