Longchenpa's 30 Pieces of Sincere Advice

From the infinite sky of your pristine awareness, the totality
   of experience, and the great clouds of your aspirations and prayers
Warm rays of compassion and showers of elixir stream down,
Ripening the three forms [1] in the fields, your students’ minds.
I bow to you, my teacher, my protector, supreme among the Three Jewels.

With stronger aspirations I might have joined the practice lineage.
I didn’t make the effort and now enter the twilight of a meaningless life.
I intended to follow the ancient masters,
     but I’ve given up and I see others like me.
So, I’ll outline these thirty pieces of sincere advice
     to evoke some determination in me.

Too bad! You’ve built up a large following, one way or another.
You look after a large institution where all the right conditions are present.
But it’s all just a basis for conflict and ideas like “This is mine.”
Live alone – that’s my sincere advice.

In public ceremonies you heal children or subdue demons.
You give your capabilities away to the crowd.
Because you really want food and money, your own needs cloud your judgment.
Tame your own mind – that’s my sincere advice.

You collect a lot of pledges from the poor
And use them to build big monuments, help the needy, and so on.
The good works you do cause others to live badly.
Goodness must be in your mind – that’s my sincere advice.

You’ve taught the Dharma to others because you wanted to be famous.
You cleverly keep a large circle of admirers around you.
To take these to be real is the seed of pride.
Limit your projects – that’s my sincere advice.

You earn money by trading, charging interest, cheating or other dishonest ways.
Although you make large offerings with your accumulated wealth,
Good actions based on greed lead to the eight conventional concerns. [2]
Cultivate non-attachment – that’s my sincere advice.

Although you think you’re serving the welfare of beings
By acting as a guarantor, witness or advocate to help settle others’ disputes,
Your own opinions will inevitably assert themselves.
Don’t be concerned – that’s my sincere advice.

Your political power, wealth, connections, good fortune and reputation
May spread all over the world.
When you die, these things will not help you at all.
Work at your practice – that’s my sincere advice.

Managers, assistants, directors, and such
Provide the infrastructure for both communities and religious institutions.
But your involvement in such matters gives rise to worry and concern.
Limit your business – that’s my sincere advice.

You take what you need, images, offerings,
Books, cooking gear, whatever, and stay in solitude.
Right now you have it all together but later difficulties and disputes arise.
Don’t need anything – that’s my sincere advice.

continued on next page, see link below footnotes

  1. The three forms (three kayas) are the form of what is (dharmakaya), the form of enrichment (sambhogakaya) and the form of manifestation (nirmanakaya). []
  2. Pleasure and pain, gain and loss, praise and blame, fame and obscurity. []

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