The Conversion of the Scholar, Lodün – Milarepa


Root Text: The Conversion of the Scholar, Lodün
Translated by C.C. Chang

The scholar Gendün Lodün had received meditation instructions from Jetsün Milarepa and returned to him for further advice after having practiced a while. He first paid homage and then told his teacher that he had great difficulties practicing calm abiding meditation, because so many thoughts arose in his mind. Milarepa responded with the song of realization that I wish to speak about and said:

Obeisance to all Gurus!
Listen to me, Lodun and you others, know you what mind-projection is?
It creates and manifests all things.
Those who do not understand ever wander in Samsara.
To those who realize all appears as the Dharmakaya.
They need search no more for another View.

Know you, Venerable Monk, how to set your mind at rest?
The secret lies in letting go –
Making no effort and doing nothing,
Letting the mind rest in comfort,
Like a child asleep at ease, or like the calm ocean without waves …..
Rest, then, in Illumination, like a bright and brilliant lamp.
You should rest your mind in peace, corpse-like without pride.
Rest your mind in steadfastness; like a mountain, do not waver.
For the Mind-Essence is free from all false assertions.

Know you, Venerable Monk, how all thoughts arise?
Like dreams without substance, like the vast rimless firmament, the moon reflected in water, the rainbow of illusion – like all these they arise.
Never consciously deny them, for when the light of Wisdom shines they disappear without a trace, like darkness in the sun.

Know you, Venerable Monk, how to cope with wavering thoughts?
Versatile are flying clouds, yet from the sky they’re not apart.
Mighty are the ocean’s waves, yet they are not separate from the sea.
Heavy and thick are banks of fog, yet from the air they’re not apart.
Frantic runs the mind in voidness, yet from the Void it never separates.
He who can ‘weigh’ Awareness will understand the teaching of Mind-Riding-on-the-Breath.
He who sees wandering thoughts sneaking in like thieves will understand the instruction of watching these intruding thoughts.
He who experiences his mind wandering outside will realize the allegory of the Pigeon and the Boat at Sea.

Know you, Venerable Monk, how to act?
Like a daring lion, a drunken elephant, a clear mirror, and an immaculate Lotus springing from the mind, thus should you act.

Know you, Venerable Monk, how to achieve the Accomplishments?
The Dharmakaya is achieved through Non-discrimination;
the Sambhogakaya through Blissfulness,
the Nirmanakaya through Illumination,
the Svabhavikakaya through Innateness.
I am he who has attained all these four Kayas, yet there is no flux or change in the Dharmadhatu.