Reflections on Milarepa – The Song of Distinguishing the Four Yogas

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Reflections on Milarepa – The Song of Distinguishing the Four Yogas

I bow down at the feet of the supreme lama!

It’s the mind fixated on objects that causes samsara.
If you recognize as spontaneous
The luminous self-awareness, free of fixation,
You’ll taste the fruit of the first yoga, one-pointedness.

Some talk and talk about union, yet their meditation is all conceptual,
They talk and talk about cause and effect, yet their actions are flawed,
Such petty, deluded meditations
Have no place in the yoga of one-pointedness.

Luminous mind itself, free of fixation,
Is naturally blissful, without constructs.
If you recognize your very essence to be as clear as space,
You’ll taste the fruit of the second yoga, simplicity.

Some talk and talk about “no elaboration,” but they elaborate plenty,
They talk and talk about the “inexpressible,” but they’ve got plenty of terminology.
Such self-obsessed meditations
Have no place in the yoga of simplicity.

In the dharma body, appearance and emptiness are not two,
Samsara and nirvana are experienced as one.
If you know the Buddha and sentient beings to have the same identity,
As many have said: that’s definitely the third yoga, one-taste.

Some talk and talk about “oneness,” but they still want to make a point.
Such hazy confusion
Has no place in the yoga of one-taste.

Conceptual thoughts are in nature great awareness;
Cause and effect are non-dual, spontaneous.
They’re the three bodies,
And knowing this is the fruit of the fourth yoga, non-meditation.

Some talk and talk about non-meditation, but how active their mind is!
They talk and talk about “clear light,” but how thick their meditation is!
Such platitudes
Have no place in the yoga of non-meditation.

“Oh, what wonderful advice!” exclaimed the yogi from Gutang.

Translated by Nicole Riggs.
from 'Milarepa: Songs on the Spot.'