“The Seed Market” --by Rumi.
Translated by Coleman Barks
Can you find another market like this?
with your one rose
you can buy hundreds of rose gardens?
for one seed
you get a whole wilderness?
For one weak breath,
the divine wind?
You’ve been fearful
of being absorbed in the ground,
or drawn up by the air.
Now, your waterbead lets go
and drops into the ocean,
where it came from.
It no longer has the form it had,
but it’s still water.
The essence is the same.
This giving up is not a repenting.
It’s a deep honoring of yourself.
When the ocean comes to you as a lover,
marry, at once, quickly,
for God’s sake!
Don’t postpone it!
Existence has no better gift.
No amount of searching
will find this.
A perfect falcon, for no reason,
has landed on your shoulder,
and become yours.
Back in 1992 I went to India at the suggestion of my mentor Royal Rhodes, a wise man who sent me on a journey where I found much of myself:
Royal W.F. Rhodes, who joined the Kenyon faculty in 1979, teaches primarily the history of Christianity. His other interests include liberation theology, third world religious experience, monasticism (East and West), and religion and the arts.I went to study Buddhism in a Burmese monastery affiliated with Antioch College. I knew almost nothing about India nor Buddhism; it seemed like a cool thing to do while in college. While on this journey I met Chokyi Nima Rinpoche, another wise man who seemed to know I needed to "not belong" while still being accepted:
In 1994 he was presented with the Trustees Award for Distinguished Teaching. In 2002 he became the first incumbent of the Donald L. Rogan Professorship in Religious Studies. (http://www.kenyon.edu/directories/campus-directory/biography/roy-rhodes/)
Born in 1951, in Nakchukha Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche is the eldest son of Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, who was considered to be one of the greatest Dzogchen masters of our time. When he was only eighteen months of age, Rinpoche was recognized as the seventh incarnation of Drikung Kagyu lama Gar Drubchen. Not long after being recognized as the tulku, Rinpoche was enthroned at Drong Gon Tubten Dargye Ling, in Nakchukha. Rinpoche also studied under Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.Chokyi Nima Rinpoche allowed me to be a guest, allowed me frequent access to his time and space, treated me with tremendous respect, and served as the capstone experience for my time in Asia. (He also had a great sense of humor.) He taught me more through his behavior and affect than through direct teaching, and he gave me a name, of which's meaning I have tried to "be" ever since. It is a constant act of engaging in humility and confidence simultaneously. What a gift he gave me. One of his students is Lama Tenzin Sangpo:
Rinpoche and his family fled Tibet shortly before the Chinese invasion of Tibet.Rinpoche and his younger brother, Tsikey Chokling Rinpoche soon enrolled at the Young Lamas Home School in Dalhousie, India. At age thirteen, Rinpoche entered Rumtek Monastery and spent eleven years studying the Karma Kagyu, Drikung Kagyu, and Nyingma traditions.
Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche left Rumtek in 1974, and established Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling Monastery in Kathmandu, Nepal. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chökyi_Nyima_Rinpoche)
Lama Tenzin Sangpo was born in the Tingle region of Tibet in 1967. Following his escape from Tibet in 1976, he received ordination and a traditional monastic education at Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling, Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche’s monastery, in Boudhanath, Nepal. He successfully completed a traditional three-year retreat and served for many years as the recitation master of the monastery’s extensive Buddhist ritual practices. He is one of the most knowledgeable and respected lamas at Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling.I listened to Lama Tenzin Sangpo this past weekend in Shelburne Falls, MA. It was a Friday night, a perfect fall day, warm in the sun and cool after dusk, an intimate room with cushions and incense, and me, trying to sit still and learn. Much of what was offered was lost on me, Tibetan specific lessons mixed in with practical wisdom. I keyed in when Lama Tenzin began speaking about taking advantage of the moment one is in, rather than looking off to a possible future. He was humorous (much like his teacher) and patiently, humbly wise. His lesson reminded me a bit of Rumi's poem, The Seed Market...
Lama Tenzin Sangpo is thoroughly versed in the various Buddhist philosophical systems and is a highly skilled meditation practitioner. Presently, Lama Tenzin Sangpo serves as the resident Lama of Gomde Germany-Austria and travels to teach at many Gomde centers around the world. (https://dharmasun.org/teacher/lama-tenzin-sangpo/)
So there it is, my reflection for this Sunday morning, "A perfect falcon, for no reason, has landed on your shoulder, and become yours." What ever shall I do with it?