Importance of Mindfulness and Vigilance
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From the murals of Shechen Monastery. Used with permission of Rabjam Rinpoche.
The Importance of Mindfulness and Vigilance
by Mipham Rinpoche
Namo guru mañjuśrīye!
When we settle evenly to look within,
Our mind’s wild, discursive thought
Appears as limitless as ripples in a river,
As indeterminable as a cloudless sky,
As unceasing as a mighty torrent,
And as aimless as the passing breeze.
Indulging in this throughout time without beginning
Has not brought us even the slightest benefit.
Now, setting ourselves up for such effects again in future,
It is as if we’re tormented, possessed by demons or diseased.
By continuing to indulge negative habits and tendencies
We’ll revert, like an unfurled scroll, to the same predicament.
It is these waves of uncontrolled distraction
That are the source of the harm we inflict upon ourselves.
When, therefore, we establish the sentinel of mindfulness,
We must eliminate entirely all ideas and imaginings
About anything other than the primary object of focus.
Then, we must calmly maintain such presence and vigilance,
And quash anything that might stir or arise within the mind.
Unless we can maintain an uninterrupted chain of vigilance
The samādhi of śamatha will prove elusive even after a hundred aeons.
In time, when demonic thoughts lose their strength
And the mind is workable, engaged or settled at will,
The qualities of samādhi will arise within the heart.
Until then don’t stop, child, but let familiarity increase.
Mipham Nampargyalwa wrote this on the fourth day of the second month of the Water Snake year (1893). Maṅgalam.
| Translated by Adam Pearcey, 2022.
Mi pham rgya mtsho. gsung 'bum/_mi pham rgya mtsho. 32 vols. Chengdu: [gangs can rig gzhung dpe rnying myur skyobs lhan tshogs], 2007. (BDRC W2DB16631) Vol. 32: 631–632
The original is untitled; this title has been added by the translator. ↩