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14. A Terton to His Beloved

(C.W. 56, A Poet to His Beloved)

I offer you in reverent mood
my secrets and my treasure lore.
Wild woman who by passion led
entered a wave where moonlight stood
and lingered on the terrace bed,
to entertain divine delight.
Dakini with the gaze of ore,
with you I celebrate the night.

treasure lore Tibetan ter or terma, the discovery of which is said to be aided when the treasure-finder (terton) engages in consort yoga with an inspired lover


15. The Terton to His Consort
(C.W. 57, He Gives His Beloved Certain Rhymes)

Fasten your look upon this stone
and bind your memory to mine;
this treasure trove I will reveal
to you and through you, not alone:
Divining gaze, with eyes aligned
to contemplate the mudra seal.
A simple touch of ardent hand,
a glance, a kiss, a swelling sigh,
will seal us into this romance.
Electric light runs in a wand
and scintillates across the sky
to orchestrate this consort dance.

mudra seal Allusion to the Mahamudra state in which all appearances fuse into a blissful vision of emptiness, as if the sound of a bell ringing heard itself and that sound, hearint-heard, turned into a blossoming flower, soild and tangible

electric light runs in a wand The subtle fire or mystic electricity of kundalini that becomes concentrated in the spine but also bursts beyond the body in lightning-like flashes, an ambient charge in the atmosphere

consort dance Allusion to consort yoga, central to the Kalika practice of liberation through desire


16. Night Tells of Mortal Beauty
(C.W. 63, He Tells of the Perfect Beauty)

O sky-blue eyes, lids edged in dream—
The terton who divines the skies
and reckons omens on the breeze
contents his love with she who cries
from such content, and makes it seem
that wisdom and delight conspire
in co-emergent blissful ease,
beneath the jeweled drift of starry fire.


17. The Terton at the Edge
(C.W. 64, He Hears the Cry of the Sedge)

I wander on the trail
under the sacred oaks
beneath the moonlight pale,
wrapped in a fiery mist that cloaks
my head in mystic blush
and warms the currents of my blood.
There is no method, East or West,
that can excel this simple rush.
This rapture like a silent flood
brings mind to root and thought to rest.


18. The Terton Finds Humility Among the Constellations
(C.W. 75 He thinks of his Past Greatness when a Part of the Constellations of Heaven)

Eyes that behold the bourne of Tir Na Nog
will never weep, except from pure delight.
Swift transformations of the wind and fog
becloud the passage of the Glittering Kid
above the eastern flank of yonder ridge.

I venture with the starry drift, I soar
among those animals aloft, across that bridge
where opalescent streams that mingle or
dissolve release a phantom haze,
a memory of all that can become and end
as swiftly as the stars that lift my gaze
return beneath the earth whereon I stand.

Tir Na Nog Celtic name for Paradise, land of eternal youth

those animals aloft Constellations of the Zodiac, more specifically, in a Vajrayanist context, the Mahamudra Sky of tertons and Bon Po diviners

that bridge / where opalescent streams The Milky Way


19. Lotus Born
(C.W. 83 Adam’s Curse)

A dakini once came to me at summer’s height
and spoke of wild-eyed siddhas, shakti, and diamond light,
and wondered with me how such things can be—so
then I asked, “Can those whose minds do know
the nature of the mind itself, its origin and ground,
so piously pretend their knowing is profound,
yet stitch it up in stories a child would find too thin—
Can they, who would put a supernatural spin
on ordinary tales of love and cunning, really expect
anyone in their right mind not to detect
the excess latitude of their fabrication?

That is not poetry, but dissimulation.
I contest, though I be seen irreverent.”

And dakini replied,
“These masters of the mind, so-called, are not oblivious
to beauty of invention, I guess, but devious
in some way with their sacred intention. I wonder
for whose sake they so embellish the founder
of their path that he must be a virgin-born bambino,
as if the bindu of wisdom arose from a neutrino.”

I said, “There is certainly no deceit so obvious
as one that pretends to be, or benignly is, oblivious
to its own devising. But does it take enjoyment, perhaps
a sense of fun, to put the fabrication under wraps
and robes, and peddle it with drum and bell?
No passage in their learned tomes is meant to tell
why they do this instead of just revealing what they know,
and leaving it to us to work out if it’s so.”

We sat with hands tucked in our knees and mused
as one mind on its own, watching the sky perfused
by the last light of the summer solstice sun,
and when the moon appeared we looked as one
upon that pristine orb, celestial pearl and bindu
of the night, a spotlight on the mind that makes it new.

I had no thought other than hers, and her thought
was non-abiding, but steady as the moon caught
in the limbs of that dying oak that stands before the door.
So we left the tale of the lotus-born to where it began
and watched the rising moon erase the vanity of man.

lotus born “Padma Sambhava,” semi-legendary founder of Tibetan Buddhism, said to have been miraculously born from a lotus

siddha Sanskrit, “accomplished one, adept”

virgin-born bambino Allusion to Padma Sambhava

bindu Sanskrit, “point, drop, seminal essence.” the “heart-drop” of the union of wisdom and bliss, often compared in Tantric texts to semen


20. Dream Yoga
(C.W. 91 His Dream)

This boat I steer upon a lake
moves not with any breeze
and does not even leave a wake,
though it does glide with cutting ease.

For even when I shut my eyes,
this mirror surface of the mind
continues to self-realize,
and glides across its own divide.

All day this mind is drifting free
without restraint, without an aim
in total spontaneity,
it undermines the waiting game.

I put my finger to my lip
to mark the silence of descent,
and then into this dream I slip
and follow where the silence went.

Silence of death, a waking sleep
impervious to times and tides:
this boat that slides into the deep
escapes the lake whereon it glides.

March 25, 2009