My Vital Advice
By Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro
Homage to the unsurpassed savior, the Lord of Oddiyana.
Now that you’ve found this precious human life with freedom and richness,
Take care not to squander it unconsciously.
Push yourself to uncover the meaning of this life.
Your mind is the source of everything.
It is skilled in deception and manipulation, and beguiling when unexamined.
Once you look into it, it is without basis or root.
It comes from nowhere, stays nowhere and goes nowhere.
Everything, including samsara and nirvana,
Is but a reflection of pure and impure mind;
In reality, neither samsara nor nirvana exist.
The source of compassionate awareness
Is primordially empty. Though free from characteristics,
It is not just a barren nothingness
But is luminous and naturally present.
Pristine awareness is not captured by names and labels.
The endless unfolding of samsara and nirvana pours forth as its radiance.
At the same time, there is no rift between the place from where all these come and that which is coming;
Remain in that nondual place.
Unborn dharmakaya Rigpa
Arises naturally without cause or condition.
Alert, fresh and naked,
It is uncolored by dualistic mind
And unpolluted by intellectual ideas.
Stay in that spontaneously arisen meditation.
Even the words “to meditate” are but words;
In reality, there is no meditator and nothing to meditate on.
Without distraction, always maintain empty awareness,
The true face of dharmakaya.
The deluded karma of samsara will never run out.
The more you work to solve your problems, the greater they become.
Belief in enemies and friends grows and grows,
And the causes for incarnating in lower realms pile up.
Direct yourself toward the dharma,
And if you can bring dharma to every action, word and thought,
You will uncover the great awakening, the path to liberation.
When death falls upon you, you will regret nothing.
During this life and in those to come,
You will walk the path of ever-growing happiness.
Atop your head and in your heart,
Imagine as a single being
Your most kind guru and the great Lord of Oddiyana.
Feel an upwelling of unbearable longing and devotion.
Whatever joy or sorrow befalls you, whatever favor or misfortune,
Pray forever to the lord Guru.
Let your minds flow together, yours at one with his.
As death draws near, let go of all attachment and hatred.
Picture Guru Padmasambhava above your head;
Imagine your consciousness as an orb of light, marked with the syllable Hri;
Dissolve that into the heart of the guru.
If you practice regularly now
And recite “The Aspiration to Be Born in the Copper-Colored Mountain,”
At death, a clear visualization will be easy.
To put it briefly, the essence of dharma
Is to cut through clinging to samsara,
To cultivate love and compassion toward those in the six realms
And to completely tame one’s mind.
Without distraction, please always practice thus.
Even though I am immune to dharma, have no experience of meditation, and just use up the donations, I, Chokyi Lodro, wrote this according to what the past masters have taught, to fulfill the request of the yogini Pad Lu.