An Authentic Portrait of the Middle Way
(A Vajra Song of the Lord of Yogis, Milarepa)

From the standpoint of the truth thatís genuine,
There are no ghosts, there are not even buddhas,
No meditator and no meditated,
No paths and levels traveled and no signs,
And no fruition bodies and no wisdoms,
And therefore there is no nirvana there,
Just designations using names and statements.

All animate, inanimate Ė the three realms,
Unborn and nonexistent from the outset,
No base to rest on, do not co-emerge.
There is no karmic act, no maturation,
So even the name "samsara" does not exist.

Thatís the way these are in the final picture,
But oh, if sentient beings did not exist,
What would the buddhas of three times all come from?
Since fruition with no cause Ė impossible!
So the standpoint of the truth thatís superficial,
In samsaraís wheel, nirvana past all grief,
It all exists, that is the Sageís teaching,

Then what exists appearing to be things,
And their nonexistence, reality thatís empty,
Are essentially inseparable, one taste;
And therefore there is neither self-awareness,
Nor awareness of whatís other anywhere.

All of this a union vast and spacious,
And all those skilled in realizing this
Do not see consciousness, they see pure wisdom,
Do not see sentient beings, they see buddhas,
Donít see phenomena, they see their essence,
And out of this compassion just emerges,
Retention, powers, fearlessness and all?
The qualities embodied by a buddha
Just come as if you had a wishing jewel --
This is what I, the yogi, have realized.

Translated by Jim Scott, under the direction of Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche; Shambhala Sun, May 2006.