Flight of the Garuda

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Flight of the Garuda (Song 6 by Shabkar Tsokdrug Rangdrol)

E-ma-ho!  

Listen again, fortunate heart-children!  
That which is widely renowned as mind, does anyone have it?     No one has it!

What is it the source of?  It is the source of samsara and nirvana and their myriad joys and sorrows.

What is it believed to be?  There are many beliefs according to the various vehicles.

What is it called? It is named in countless different ways.


All ordinary people call it I.
Some non-Buddhists call it Self.
Shravakas call it  "individual egolessness."
The Mind Only School label it  Mind.
Some call it  Prajnaparamita, [that is,]  "transcendent knowledge."

Some label it  Sugatagarbha, [that is,] Buddha-nature.
Some name it  Mahamudra.
Some give it the name  Madhyamika.
Some say "the single sphere."
Some name it Dharmadhatu,  [that is,] realm of phenomena.
Some call it the name alaya,  "ground of all."
Some call it  "ordinary mind."

Despite the innumerable names that are tagged onto it,
Know that the real meaning is as follows:


Let your mind spontaneously relax and rest.
When left to itself, ordinary mind is fresh and naked.
If observed, it is a vivid clarity without anything to see,
A direct awareness, sharp and awake.
Possessing no existence, it is empty and pure,
A clear openness of non-dual luminosity and emptiness.

It is not permanent, since it does not exist at all.
It is not nothingness, since it is vividly clear and awake.
It is not oneness, since many things are cognised and known.
It is not plurality, since the many things known are inseparable in one taste.
It is not somewhere else; it is your own awareness itself.
The face of this Primordial Protector, dwelling in your heart,
Can be directly perceived in this very instant.
Never be separated from it, children of my heart!

If you want to find something greater than this in another place,
Itís like going off searching for footprints although the elephant is right there.
You may scan the entire three-thousand-fold universe,
But it is impossible that you will find more than the mere name of Buddha.

This is the song which indicates the natural state of the main practice.

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About the title:  This hymn or song of realization (Tib. doha) is called Flight of the Garuda because it concerns Mind,  the source and vehicle of consciousness which is

1. something that has no existence and 

2. yet has the ability to range far and wide all over  the universe and  

3.  on/in/with it go notions of the Divine or of metaphysical Existence.

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