Another Moving Post from Phakchok Rinpoche

Dear Friends, Near and Far,

Greetings to you all from Nagi Gonpa, the nunnery and hermitage nestled in the serene Shivapuri Mountain of the Kathmandu Valley. Presently at Nagi, we have Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche, Tsikey Chokling Rinpoche and Yangsi Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche all engaged in the yearly nine day Ngakso Drupchen. Ngakso or Ngak kyi Sojong is a Vajrayana practice of mending and purification. Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche explained that in the Ngak kyi Sojong, we are mending and restoring the commitments of the vows of the individual liberation in accordance with the Hinayana system, the bodhisattva trainings, in accordance with the Mahayana system, and the samaya commitments, in accordance with the Vajrayana system. And in terms of the purification, we are purifying the breaches of our Hinayana vows, faults in our Mahayana training, and violations of our Vajrayana samayas.

This hermitage is very dear to my heart as it is at this hermitage where my grandfather spent nearly thirty years of his life mostly in retreat and it is at this hermitage where he passed away on this very day fifteen years ago. Young and restless was my mind when I first sat beside my grandfather when he first taught me about the expression of the view, how to train in devotion, compassion and renunciation, perfecting the accumulations, and finally the removal of obscurations. I was truly blessed to have the fortunate opportunity of meeting the dharma like this so early in life.

Nearly two decades later, here I am again standing on the balcony of the hermitage overlooking the valley. Though my mind is not as curious and jumpy like the little boy before, but my yearning for my grandfather is too intense that I’m crying just like one. At this moment of yearning, I am reminded of Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche’s melodious chant of prayer to Longchenpa based on Khenpo Ngakchung’s personal practice. For the benefit of all, here are some excerpts…

Calling the Lama from Afar:

Beloved master, precious one, father of mine,
You are forever one with all the buddhas.
Now show your kindness and love to your devoted child.
You who took birth intentionally
In the form of a supreme bodhisattva
Lord of all victorious buddhas, Longchenpa,
Father of mine, your blessings are not lacking in power,
Yet my mind is gripped by tempestuous, disturbing emotions,
As our negative actions and karma grow ever stronger,
All that awaits the sentient beings of this degenerate age
Is to fall into the depths of the lower realms:
Longchenpa, father of mine, look on me with all your compassion!

Whatever I’ve done in the past has been devoid of any meaning,
The Dharma I have practiced till now has been riddled with the eight worldly preoccupations,
Never did it occur to me, even once, to follow the genuine path.
Now there is no one I can rely on, except you:
Longchenpa, father of mine, look on me with all your compassion!
While the Lord of Death hounds me from behind,
Days, months, and years – time draws me onwards from in front,
And in between, I’m seduced and enthralled by distraction,
There is a danger that, without ever realizing it, I’ll be completely deceived:
Longchenpa, father of mine, look on me with all your compassion!

In the prime of youth, the mind is immature.
When we come of age, we’re distracted by busyness.
Once old age and infirmity set in,
We may think about the real Dharma, but then it’s far too late:
Longchenpa, father of mine, look on me with all your compassion!

I wish to stay on here, but it’s out of my control,
I wish to bring my possessions, but I cannot take a thing,
I wish for the comfort of companions, but I have to go alone;
Sooner or later I will go on to the next world, that’s for sure:
Longchenpa, father of mine, look on me with all your compassion!

Propelled by the habitual patterns of this life,
What will it be like, my journey through the bardo realm?
It will be as hard for me to control
As the dreams I had in my sleep list night:
Longchenpa, father of mine, look on me with all your compassion!

All things in samsara and nirvana are devoid of any substance,
This body will not last, and has no reality of its own.
Like the rainbow that arches across the sky,
It is taken as real, but fades into thin air:
Longchenpa, father of mine, look on me with all your compassion!

So many teachings I’ve heard, but I’ve not yet got the crucial point,
However artful at talking, my basic being is still untamed,
I put myself into retreat, but I’m craving for home and family,
I’ve got my eyes in the right gaze, but lack any real experience:
Longchenpa, father of mine, look on me with all your compassion!

By marking even the smallest failing in others,
But failing ever to notice how rotten I am inside,
By constantly fooling and misleading other people,
Aren’t I just purchasing my own misery?
Longchenpa, father of mine, look on me with all your compassion!

How can ignoring that the teachings of all the buddhas
Are there to benefit my mind,
And studying instead for the sake of profit or renown,
Ever lead me along the path to liberation?
Longchenpa, father of mine, look on me with all your compassion!

Because of all this, I feel my heart breaking in sorrow,
And I pray now to all the buddhas,
For the beings of this degenerate age, and
Especially those like me, who just bear the likeness of practioners:
Longchenpa, father of ours, look on us with all your compassion!

This child has no one to rely on now but you.
Idling my time away, in happiness and in sorrow,
Whatever happens to me, I am in your hands.
Lord, in the palace of the space of immaculate great bliss,
May I remain one with you, always and forever!

Sarva Mangalam,

Phakchok Rinpoche

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