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How I Live The Practice

From Tsulak Trengwa’s biography

Always I worked hard at pure actions
So as not to waste the pith instructions.

Although I haven’t visited frightening burial grounds,
I haven’t seen any place more frightening than
Attitudes based on the poisons of the five reactive emotions [1]
And the eight concerns [2] about conventional success.

To these, I applied practice the way rock meets bone:
The eight concerns dissolved like a rainbow,
The poisons of reactive emotions became a friend, and
Thinking that attached to reactive emotions released itself into its own nature.

Wherever I am, I engage secret actions.
Free from distraction, I practice and mix
The secret points of the Kagyu teachings
With everything that arises through the gates of the six sensory consciousnesses. [3]
I know that everything, good and bad, is a friend of the natural.
Everything I do completes a short or medium power assembly. [4]

In the burial grounds of terrifying pattern-based existence,
The cities of enchanting sensory pleasures,
The seclusion of transcending misery in the lesser ways,
The forests of appearances that have no independent existence,

The practitioner who knows the nature of things
Wears the topknot of respect and devotion for the teacher,
The wheel of stable awakening mind,
The earrings of knowing sound as empty,

The necklace of the vajra recitation of spells, [5]
The bracelets of the three vows, [6]
The ashes of self-arising understanding, and
The belt of compassion and modesty.

I hold the staff that is the union of method and understanding,
And sound the hand drum of indestructible original sound.

From the skull cup that preserves the bliss of retention
I eat the ambrosia of whatever arises in the six sensory consciousnesses,
Quench my thirst with the poison of attachment to duality,
And extract nourishment from the aconite of reactive emotions.

continued on next page, see link below footnotes

  1. Anger, instinct, desire, jealousy and pride. []
  2. Happiness and unhappiness, gain and loss, fame and obscurity, respect and disdain. []
  3. Seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, and thinking. []
  4. Skt. Ganacakra. Literally, wheel assembly where the wheel is a symbol of the power of a universal ruler and assembly refers to the gathering of different kinds of power and putting together the conditions in which power can manifest. []
  5. Vajra recitation is a form of practice in which one breathes in while saying OM, holds the breath while saying AH, and breathes out while saying HUNG. Some practice texts describe vajra recitation in terms of specific mantras, but this is the generic form. []
  6. The vows of individual liberation (which govern actions), the bodhisattva vow (which governs intention), and the vajrayana vows (which govern experience). []

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