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The Vajra Song Recognizing Mind as the Guru

Past, present, and future–you always live
In the sanctuary of total knowing that holds no identity.
Attended by no preference for samsara or nirvana,
You are constantly giving higher instruction in experience.

How amazing you are, mind that is my guru!
Again, how kind you are, supporting me with compassion!
How much energy you have from practice in earlier training!
How amazing you are–your compassion never ends!

When I turn to you in these ways,
Waves of energy wash through me.

Without running away, I stop going into samsara.
Without going anywhere, I arrive at buddhahood.
I understand that no experience is good or bad.
The difference between buddhas and ordinary beings is direct knowing.
When I know directly exactly how mind is
And the knowing is full and present, that is buddha.
What one can do then can’t be described in words.

When I look outside, a guru may teach, but this is what happens:
Because I don’t know mind itself directly,
I take what is not as what is.
Chasing the past, I fall into old habits and pain.
That’s called ordinary being.

Now, let me be my own watchman.
As for samsara, I don’t chase what is past, I don’t let what has happened bother me.
A big effort is not to generate a nirvana:
I rest in mind itself and do nothing.

I cannot identify mind itself as this or that.
It arises as I refine this wonderful not knowing.
And this understanding is fulfilling.

Here’s how I know it is fulfilling.
Emptiness is just there: I don’t need to hunt for the dimension of truth.
Whatever appears just arises: I don’t need to block the dimension of form.
Mind itself is free as it is: I don’t need to control the three dimensions of being.

Samsara is destroyed at its root: I don’t need to discard anything.
My mind is buddha: I don’t need to hope for anything.
It’s always been this way: I don’t need to cultivate anything.
Isn’t this a better way to work?

If contemplatives who look at mind without distraction
Are free from the mind that looks, what’s the problem?
If deep meditators who continuously meditate on no separation
Release what meditates, what’s the problem?

If practitioners who constantly practice with awakening energy
Understand the natural presence of no practice, what’s the problem?
If truth masters who carefully guard against managing mind
Do away with mind itself, what’s the problem?

I have studied with many capable gurus:
Each guru has given me his or her own advice.
All advice comes down to one point–mind.
So, mind that is my guru,
I look at you, listen to you, and seek your instruction again and again.

I pray to the seven kind and gracious gurus, [1]
I praise them, give them offerings, and ask for their energy.
By doing so, I know directly that mind is the guru.
Because this knowing arises internally,
When I see writings that contradict or conflict with my experience:
I consider the meaning, not the words.

This song is the babbling of a crazy man.
I don’t ask anyone to pardon it.
No pardon, and don’t offer me anything for it either.


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  1. This line probably refers to the first seven gurus of the Shangpa lineage: Vajradhara, Niguma, Sukhasiddhi, Maitrepa, Rahula, Chungpo Naljor, and Mochokpa. []

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