Concise Spiritual Advice
Literary Genres › Advice | Tibetan Masters › Sera Khandro
© Urgyen Gyalpo. Used with permission.
Concise Spiritual Advice
by Sera Khandro
I bow down
before the single wisdom form of all the buddhas
gone before, present now, and still to come:
our guide, Dudul Wangchuk Lingpa,
who is none other than Rigdzin Kunkyong Lingpa.
May we embrace the Buddha’s teachings that inspire us
to practice the essential sublime Dharma now
when we are enjoying excellent human lives,
so hard to come by and blessed with freedoms and advantages.
Recognizing that the phenomena of cyclic existence
are impermanent and illusory
helps us to loosen our ties of attachment and clinging to them,
such that alone, we can reflect upon the fact
that the time of death comes without warning.
Then we can actualize the true wisdom deity within our own minds.
Buddha taught the connection between actions and their results
to be unfailing and undeceiving,
enabling us to understand how we experience the results
of our own prior goodness and negativity.
So, with certainty about this, let us be thorough and precise
in what we do and do not do.
Saṃsāra is like a putrid swamp,
where we muck around in the sludge of insufferable misery.
Think about this. Then go alone to the solitudes of the mountains
and resolve your mind.
Pray to your master and to the Three Jewels,
and strive to be wholesome – physically, verbally and mentally.
Work to gather merit and wisdom by purifying your obscurations,
and protecting and freeing the lives of beings in danger.
If you don’t help yourself now while you are capable,
no one will be there to liberate you in the future.
So, leave behind family and close friends,
and stop cherishing the wealth you’ve collected
and even your precious body.
When your consciousness journeys
through the long treacheries that lie beyond death,
the best protection is your master, the supreme jewel,
so, pray with devotion and make aspirations to see everything purely.
Recite and spread the six syllables
to benefit yourself and others.
Negative friends are poisonous, like a lair of snakes,
and pull you and others down into gloominess,
so, stay by yourself, alone in the solitude of the mountains,
and with the view, steady your mind by the iron hook of mindfulness.
Use meditation to develop confidence in action and results
and pay close attention to the details of what to do and what not to do.
In your behavior, love beings from all six realms as your own children.
The ground is to stabilize bodhicitta – the foundation.
The path is to realize the wisdom deity and the teachings, for the benefit of beings,
and the result brings yourself and others to the pure land of liberation.
A beggar woman named Tārā who roams in saṃsāra wrote this to fulfill the request of one filled with devotion, the excellent Jigme. May it be virtuous.
| Translated by Christina Monson, 2020.
kun bzang bde skyong dbang mo. gsung 'bum/_kun bzang bde skyong dbang mo/. 6 vols. Chengdu: si khron dpe skrun tshogs pa/ si khron mi rigs dpe skrun khang, 2009. (BDRC W1PD108254) Vol. 5: 203–204
i.e., Gara Terchen Pema Dudul Wangchuk Lingpa (1857–1911). ↩