May 30, 2010

How the clouds of thinking clear & 6 Words of Sage Advice

TilopaKen McLeod is currently leading a Tricycle Retreat (you can listen to his first talk to "The Way of Freedom" here). Included in his teaching is his translation of Tilopa's Pith Instructions on Mahamudra. (Tilopa is considered the founder of Tibetan Buddhism's Kagyu lineage.)

Here's a verse:

Mists rise from the earth and vanish into space.
They go nowhere, nor do they stay.
Likewise, though thoughts arise,
Whenever you see your mind, the clouds of thinking clear.

Ken also lists a number of other translations of Tilopa's Pith Instructions by, among others, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and Keith Dowman here.

And, for good measure, here are Tilopa's six words of advice to his student Naropa:

From Wikipedia:

According to [Ken], the text contains exactly six words; the two English translations given in the following table are both attributed to him.

Six Words of Advice
First short, literal translation Later long, explanatory translation Tibetan (Wylie transliteration)
1 Don’t recall Let go of what has passed mi mno
2 Don’t imagine Let go of what may come mi bsam
3 Don’t think Let go of what is happening now mi shes
4 Don’t examine Don’t try to figure anything out mi dpyod
5 Don’t control Don’t try to make anything happen mi sgom
6 Rest Relax, right now, and rest rang sar bzhag

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Nicola's picture

Thank you for this clear explanation.