In Memory of Chögyal Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche

By Elio Guarisco

On the anniversary of the birthday
of the One whose name is difficult
to pronounce
I recall his unfathomable qualities
that remodeled mine and many other’s minds.

Once met on the ways of
inscrutable connections

the meaning of countless
teachings received from
many kind teachers
became clear like a bright lamp
in the night.

The concepts of the ordinary
spiritual ways collapsed like
an old broken bridge
not to be rebuilt again.

Any desire for dialectic confrontation
seen as the play of children
disappeared like mist
with the arising of the sun.

The attachment to philosophical views
became like an empty banana tree
after it gave the fruit of the small bananas.

The desire for secret instructions
and initiations came to an end
like the river in winter on the plains
of India.

The excitement of tantric practices
was replaced by the understanding that
the very essence of what people call meditation
is nothing but unfocused presence.

The search for a separate empty nature of the mind
to be discovered like a treasure by effort
was replaced by relaxing in non action
the un-conceptualized essence of mind.

Meditation as familiarization with a focus
and stressful mindfulness that grasp at the present moment
and at being twice aware of oneself
has dissolved in the understanding of effortless contemplation.

The ambition for positions of responsibility
and power was shunned
like the stench of a pigsty.

The artifice of working for others
gave way to replaced continuous activity
devoid of a deliberate aim
that ripens others’ capacities.

The sense of being a Buddhist
melted in the sense of not belonging
to anything.

Even the sense of being a practitioner
of one’s own cherished teaching
holds no real grip on oneself.

Now you have gone
and left us orphans
in the middle of a desert

yet you have carved
an invisible map
in our heart

you have placed in our hands
an invisible lamp.

Your unceasing activity
transpires and shines
through the light of your
seemingly ordinary students.

Although your imposing and
magnificent presence
resembling that of the great Siddha Virupa
has dissolved into luminous space

you have left behind a line of skilled students
who are beyond the torment of doubt
and who unpretentiously
and in different ways nail
the essence of your teaching
for the future generation.

Photo of Chögyal Namkhai Norbu by Ralf Plüschke

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