This is a beautiful and profound ‘vajra poem’. It was given spontaneously by Gendun Rinpoche, a late Tibetan Buddhist rinpoche (‘precious teacher’), during a talk to his disciples. A book of his teachings called Heart Advice from a Mahamudra Master is highly recommended and teaches all the essentials of Tibetan Buddhism from someone who has a genuine experience of the truth that lies behind the words. Sometimes expositions of Tibetan Buddhism become overly structured and conceptual, but Gendun Rinpoche has a way of not only teaching the concepts, but also of indicating that which is beyond concepts and is also immediate and vital.
Happiness can not be found
through great effort and willpower,
but is already present,
in open relaxation and letting go.
Don’t strain yourself,
there is nothing to do or undo.
Whatever momentarily arises
in the body-mind
has no real importance at all,
has little reality whatsoever.
Why identify with,
and become attached to it,
passing judgement upon it and ourselves?
Far better to simply
let the entire game happen on its own,
springing up and falling back like waves
without changing or manipulating anything
and notice how everything vanishes and reappears, magically,
again and again, time without end.
Only our searching for happiness
prevents us from seeing it.
It’s like a vivid rainbow which you pursue
without ever catching,
or a dog chasing its own tail.
Although peace and happiness
do not exist as an actual thing or place,
it is always available
and accompanies you every instant.
Don’t believe in the reality of good and bad experiences;
they are like today’s ephemeral weather,
like rainbows in the sky.
Wanting to grasp the ungraspable,
you exhaust yourself in vain.
As soon as you open and relax
this tight fist of grasping,
infinite space is there –
open, inviting and comfortable.
Make use of this spaciousness,
this freedom and natural ease.
Don’t search any further
looking for the great awakened elephant,
who is already resting quietly at home
in front of your own hearth.
Nothing to do or undo,
nothing to force,
nothing to want,
and nothing missing –
Everything happens by itself.