[From Treasury of Eloquence: The Songs of Barway Dorje. Woodstock, NY: KTD Publications, 2007. Translated by Lama Yeshe Gyamtso.]
I Bow to My Root Guru, Great Vajradhara
The realization of this mind, with its movement of thought,
Is just self-recognition, your fresh awareness itself.
Don’t alter this through hope and fear of good and bad.
Don’t wish for insight or clarity. Sustain natural freedom.
Always pray and recite the six syllables.
Be vigorous, remembering that you don’t know when you’ll die.
This was written in amount by Barway Dorje
At the request of the devoted Gakyi.
[ From Ngondro Instructions for Practices in the Termas of Terchen Barway Dorje by Lama Tashi Topgyal.]
Meditation on the guru, the practice of guru yoga, is really the key to the successful and authentic practice of all dharma. Most especially in the uncommon and supreme path of dzokchen, it is the very essence and the genuine means of attainment. In fact, the only way to actually realize dzokchen and to meditate on it authentically is through cultivating devotion to your root guru and then mixing your mind with his by dissolving him into you. Dzokchen is a profound and quick path, one that brings the attainment of great unity in one life and one body. However, the authenticity of that path — that is to say, the correction of errors and sidetracks and the actual development of progress on that path — depend chiefly on devotion to the guru and not on the specific techniques of the path itself. Through devotion to the guru and through mixing your mind with the mind of your guru, all necessary corrections and enhancements will occur spontaneously.
From a teaching on Songs of Barway Dorje by Bardor Tulku Rinpoche. Translated by Lama Yeshe Gyamtso.]
Any dharma activity — whether we engage in it as students, as practitioners, as disciples, or as teachers — any dharma activity that is performed without compassion, without the motivation of love and compassion, is poisonous. It is like eating poisoned food, or, if you’re a teacher, feeding poisoned food to others. The food will nourish you, it will fill your belly, but at the same time it’s making you sick. And the sickness produced by uncompassionate dharma activity is worse than physical sickness. We all, naturally, are very concerned with physical sickness; we don’t like it. But the very worst thing physical sickness can do is kill us, and then it’s over. We’re cured. But the mental sickness that is produced by lack of compassion is far, far more dangerous than that because it covers or obscures reality. Literally covers it just like a curtain covering a window and preventing you from seeing what’s outside. Lack of compassion, and even dharma activity conducted without compassion, adds to our obscurations and it causes us to be unable, temporarily, to see things as they are, unable to accurately connect to reality. Our minds become like dirty mirrors that can never show us the true beauty of our own face or anything else because they are so dirty that when we look in the mirror instead of seeing reflection all we see is dirt. And, that’s what we become when we lack compassion.