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A Prayer Song to Mother Labkyi Drönma

Namo guru dakiye

Above my head, a foot above
Is a three-tier seat, lotus, sun and moon,
Rainbow light forms a canopy:
Inside it is the teacher I trust
Essentially identical with the mother of the four noble ones, [1]
Mother Labkyi Drönma, white in form.

Her silken black hair flows down her back,
Her face is peaceful and smiling, her three eyes look into the sky.
Her white silk blouse with long sleeves flutters in the breeze,
Her red silk skirt is bound with a sash at her waist.
She sits in the vajra posture.
In her heart is a moon with the syllable ah above it, surrounded by the mantra. [2]

Her right hand holds a gold drum,
Its beat resounds through the universe.
From the supreme domain of awakening, the realm of totality,
Her offspring gather, awakened ones, awakening beings, and masters,
Coming like flower petals swirling in the wind.
All of them are absorbed into Only Mother’s body. [3]

Her left hand holds a silver bell.
Its ringing fills the ten directions.
The dakinis of the twenty-four places gather,Coming like snowflakes in a storm.
All of them are absorbed into the Great Mother’s body. [4]

Only Mother Labkyi Drönma, union of all refuges,
I pray to you from the bottom of my heart.

This precious human form is difficult to obtain and embodies opportunities and resources.
Give me energy to realize its potential.

The ultimate foe, the lord of death, can come at any time.
Give me energy to live a life of no regret.

The laws of the way things are [5] work internally.
Give me energy to live without shame.

Suffering is present in all six realms.
Give me energy not to take birth in these states.

The three jewels are the reliable and definite refuges,
Give me energy to trust them.

The six kinds of beings are as kind as my parents.
Give me energy for loving kindness and compassion.

In the end my mind is bare being as truth.
Give me energy to attain this stable understanding.

As water is poured into water,
May the body, speech and mind of Mother Labkyi Drönma,
Join with mine and become one
And through this connection bring great peace.

The power of my prayer makes
The Great Mother dissolve into light: she is absorbed into me.
My mind drops into naked simplicity.

continued on next page, see link below footnotes

  1. The four noble ones or four aryas are the sravakas, pratyekabuddhas, bodhisattvas, and buddhas. []
  2. The mantra associated with the Perfection of Wisdom:om gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha []
  3. Machik means “the one mother” which I have here translated as Only Mother. It is, of course, a devotional term and refers to the manifest historical person. []
  4. Yum, or Yum Chenmo, means “great mother”. In contrast to Machik, this refers to the perfection of wisdom, the “mother” of all buddhas. []
  5. The laws of the way things are refers to the working of karma. A good way to regard karma is that it is a natural process in the universe, somewhat like the force of gravity. The experience of all beings evolves according to the workings of karma in the same way that motion of bodies in space are shaped by the law of gravity. For both translation and spiritual reasons, I’ve chosen to render this phrase with this internal interpretation. []

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