First Thought Best Thought, 108 Poems, by Chogyam Trungpa

The impulse to believe the absurd when presented with the unknowable is called religion. Whether this is wise or unwise is the domain of doctrine. Once you understand someone's doctrine, you understand their rationale for believing the absurd. At that point, it may no longer seem absurd. You can get to both sides of this conondrum from here.

Re: First Thought Best Thought, 108 Poems, by Chogyam Trungp

Postby admin » Wed Jun 17, 2015 5:09 am

YOU MIGHT BE TIRED OF THE SEAT THAT YOU DESERVE (FOR THE VAJRA REGENT AT MIDSUMMER'S DAY)

Image

Dearly loved comrade,
If you do not hold the seat,
Others may take it away;
If you do not sit on a rock,
It becomes mushy clay;
If you don't have patience to sit on a rock or seat,
They give you away;
If you are not diligent in holding the throne,
Some opportunist will snatch it away;
If you are tired of your seat,
Some interior decorator will rearrange it;
If you don't have a throne,
You cannot speak or proclaim from it,
So the audience will dissipate;
If you don't have a government seat to sit on,
Your wisdom and command seal will be snatched by others;
If you run around, thinking that you have a seat to come back to,
It will be washed away by the turbulent river,
Like a presidential platform;
You can never proclaim your command.
Either it will be disassembled by the cockroaches
Or the frivolous multitude will take it away as souvenirs.
It may be hard to sit on the seat,
But one must endure it.
Do sit on your seat,
Whether it is hard or soft.
Once you sit on your seat,
The sitting itself becomes truly command and message,
Then, undoubtedly, multitudes of people will respect and obey it
As the vajra throne of Bodhgaya where Buddha taught.
Truth becomes exertion.
The message of hard fact proclaims itself,
So you don't have to emphasize harder truth.
Offering your seat in order to please others will not give authentic
reward
They will take the attitude that you are a pleasant seat-offerer.
So, my son, please don't move around;
Assume your seat, and sit, and be.
If you be that way, truth prevails;
Command is heard throughout the land.
So sit and hold your seat.
Then you will enjoy, because others will admire you.
This is hard to do, but easy to accomplish.

12 June 1981
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Re: First Thought Best Thought, 108 Poems, by Chogyam Trungp

Postby admin » Wed Jun 17, 2015 5:09 am

WHEN I RIDE A HORSE

When I ride a horse,
I hold my seat.
When I play with snakes,
I snap them on my wrist.
When I play with dangerous maidens,
I let them talk first.

2 July 1981
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Re: First Thought Best Thought, 108 Poems, by Chogyam Trungp

Postby admin » Wed Jun 17, 2015 5:09 am

TIMELY INNUENDO (FOR LOPPON LODRO DORJE)

The burning heart of reality kindles the twigs of awesome truth.
Men's fate depends on their actions.
Mysticism is plumage on one's hat.
Let us dance with the Loppon!
Your devotion and wisdom are certainly worthy of praise.

18 August 1981
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Re: First Thought Best Thought, 108 Poems, by Chogyam Trungp

Postby admin » Wed Jun 17, 2015 5:09 am

A HEART LOST AND DISCOVERED

If there is no full moon in the sky,
How is it possible to see the reflection in the pond?
If the tiger has sharp claws,
How is it possible not to use them?
How could we bake our bread
If there were no fire?
At the death of the Karmapa we become softened and devotional.
It is true,
Those who have never cried in their lives, cry this time,
And shed tears that will water the earth:
So, we can produce further flowers and greenery.

14 November 1981

On the death of His Holiness Rangjung Rikpe Dorje, the Sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa
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Re: First Thought Best Thought, 108 Poems, by Chogyam Trungp

Postby admin » Wed Jun 17, 2015 5:10 am

COMMAND

Nuclear catastrophe is imminent;
Man's aggression to kill himself or others is imminent;
Tiger hates his or her stripes and is going to untiger;
Yet Karmapa never left a declaration of independence.
The Kagyu kingdom is intact,
If not totally packaged by Vajradhatu of North America.
I am so sad, so devastated,
I feel I have lost my head;
But I have gained a new head, a Karmapa head.
For better or worse I will rule according to Karmapa's imperial command:
I will remain as the Emperor of Kalapa.
We still allow people to smile and grin:
Human beings' habitual patterns are obviously the best of their ability to create a society of their own,
Whether they are tiger, lion, yak or buffalo.
We like America in its buffaloness:
Let America be buffalo kingdom, in spite of the unicorns.
Cheerio, as we say in Britain.
You deserve your cheerfulness, nonetheless.

20 December 1981
Boulder, Colorado

Composed during a ceremony marking the cremation of the Sixteenth Karmapa.
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Re: First Thought Best Thought, 108 Poems, by Chogyam Trungp

Postby admin » Wed Jun 17, 2015 5:10 am

GOLDEN SUN (FOR SHIBATAKANJURO XX, ARCHERY MASTER)

In this land of kami-no-yama, I still miss you.
We are all longing for your wisdom.
As you know, we have lost our leader the Karmapa,
But it is comforting to have you as good friend and teacher.
The mirror has never stopped reflecting,
The kiku has never stopped blossoming;
Yumi still twangs
Ya still fly:
Our students constantly practice and look forward to your further teaching.
I, your friend, am getting old and sick,
But still my heart's blood turns into liquid iron.
The strength of appreciation for the warrior heritage
Is part of my metallic blood,
And my bones are made out of meteoric iron.

Profound respect to you, Sensei, on your birthday:
May the Great Eastern Sun continuously arise in your life, with happiness and prosperity.

29 December 1981
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Re: First Thought Best Thought, 108 Poems, by Chogyam Trungp

Postby admin » Wed Jun 17, 2015 5:10 am

AS SKYLARKS HUNT FOR THEIR PREY

As skylarks hunt for their prey,
I am captured by their stillness.

I experience neither thirst nor hunger,
But skylarks captivate my memory.

Whistling arrows on the battlefield remind me of my general's bravery:
Should I run away or should I stay?

Buddhism neither tells me the false nor the true:
It allows me to discover myself.

Shakyamuni was so silent:
Should I complain against him?

31 December 1981
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Re: First Thought Best Thought, 108 Poems, by Chogyam Trungp

Postby admin » Wed Jun 17, 2015 5:10 am

SEASONS' GREETINGS

Emerging to the surface,
Such virginity
Blossoming as a teenager--
Wish I was Spring's father.

As the thunder gathers rain,
Flowers drink water;
Arrogant greenery has no hesitation,
Summer provides festivity, and life is worth living.

Hot pregnant mother
Preparing the eggs and sperm for the next year:
So voluptuous and ostentatious.
O Autumn, I will never go to bed with you,
But you come to dinner with me.

Constriction and rigidity of your martial law do not frighten me,
You give me chills and shivers;
But the way you decorate the mountains--
I admire your extravaganza.

9 May 1983
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Re: First Thought Best Thought, 108 Poems, by Chogyam Trungp

Postby admin » Wed Jun 17, 2015 5:10 am

THE MEEK (POWERFULLY NONCHALANT AND DANGEROUSLY SELF-SATISFYING)

In the midst of thick jungle
Monkeys swing,
Snakes coil,
Days and nights go by.
Suddenly I witness you,
Striped like sun and shade put together.
You slowly scan and sniff, perking your ears,
Listening to the creeping and rustling sounds:
You have supersensitive antennae.
Walking gently, roaming thoroughly,
Pressing paws with claws,
Moving with the sun's camouflage,
Your well-groomed exquisite coat has never been touched or hampered by others.
Each hair bristles with a life of its own.
In spite of your feline bounciness and creeping slippery accomplishment,
Pretending to be meek,
You drool as you lick your mouth.
You are hungry for prey--
You pounce like a young couple having orgasm;
You teach zebras why they are black and white;
You surprise haughty deer, instructing them to have a sense of humor along with their fear.
When you are satisfied roaming in the jungle,
You pounce as the agent of the sun:
Catching pouncing clawing biting sniffing--
Such meek tiger achieves his purpose.
Glory be to the meek tiger
Roaming, roaming endlessly.
Pounce, pounce in the artful meek way,
Licking whiskers with satisfying burp.
Oh, how good to be tiger!

13 May 1983
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