Rainbows Vividly Appear

‘This secluded mountain place:
Above – a slow, soft rain drizzles down.
Flocks of eagles flying – north, south –
Rainbows vividly appear.

Below me – the curved necks of geese
Glancing, and the river flowing on, sinous.
Behind them, deer dance on the slope
Of a mountain whose peak penetrates space.

On both sides, meadows blaze with wildflowers;
Myriad bees whirl above them.
In front, rocks ornament the mountain meadows;
A cuckoo’s call fills me with sadness.

Today I climbed behind
This excellent retreat place,
I raised my head, looking up,
And saw the cloudless sky.

I though of absolute space, free from limits,
I then experienced a freedom
Without center, without end –
All biased views
Completely abandoned.

I lowered my head to look in front of me,
And saw the sun of this world.
I thought of meditation –
Luminous and unobscured.
I then experienced a non-dual, empty clarity.
All meditations that focus the mind
Completely abandoned.

I turned my head, looking south,
And saw a pattern of rainbows.
I thought of all phenomena –
At once both apparent and empty.
I then experienced a non-dual, natural clarity.
All nihilist and eternalist viewpoints
Completely abandoned.’

* * *

‘Snow lions don’t freeze in snow mountains;
Vultures don’t fall out of the sky;
Fish don’t drown in water;
Practitioners don’t die of hunger.
So cast away this life’s concerns!
Give up plans for the future!’

* * *

‘Without a center, without an edge,
The luminous expanse of awareness that encompasses all –
This vivid, bright vastness:
Natural, primordial presence.

Without an inside, without an outside,
Awareness arisen of itself, as wide as the sky,
Beyond size, beyond direction, beyond limits –
This utter, complete openness:
Space, inseparable from awareness.

Within that birthless, wide-open expanse of space,
Phenomena appear – like rainbows, utterly transparent.
Pure and impure realms, Buddhas and sentient beings
Are seen, brilliant and distinct.

As far as the sky pervades, so does awareness.
As far as awareness extends, so does absolute space.

Sky, awareness, absolute space,
Indistinguishably intermixed:
Immense, infinitely vast –
The ground of samsara,
The ground of nirvana.
To remain, day and night, in this state –
To enter this state easily – this is joy.

~ Songs of Shabkar

From “The Spirit of Tibet: The Life and World of Khyentse Rinpoche”
Translations by Matthieu Ricard.

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