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  • Writer's pictureLama Jigme Gyatso

“You Underestimate my Power” and Seven other Spiritual Poems

The arrogant meditation student

was as foolish as he was enthusiastic.

One day he boasted to his teacher

I don’t care if anyone else practices this path,

for I am practicing this path

and it is making me as happy as a lark!

To which his teacher softly responded,

Oh, that is a very great problem, indeed!

For if your empathy for the sufferings of others

is neither spontaneous nor uncontrived

your mediation, no matter how pleasurable,

has taken a very wrong turn.”

When shown the error of our ways

we can indulge our prideful and defensive tendencies

giving them free rein over our choices,

and utterances, and actions;

like Anakin shouting at Obi-Wan on Mustafar,

you underestimate my power!

shortly and ironically before

his disfiguring defeat.

Or we could choose humility, and vulnerability,

and curiosity, and the enthusiasm to evolve.

We could ask our teacher for clarification

and assistance in how

to specifically and pragmatically

take our next steps upon enlightenment’s path.

Yes, we can choose the defensiveness of toxic masculinity

or the vulnerability of healing femininity

but we can NOT choose both

for they are mutually exclusive,

like one path, headed in two directions

one leading to where we have been

and one leading to where we would like to go.

May we, therefore, choose well.

Today’s second poem:


Novel coronavirus, avian flu,

swine flu, and E.coli

seem to be indictments

against animal husbandry.

If our love for animals is not strong enough

to break our habit of exploiting them,

then perhaps it is the longing

to preserve our species

that could wake us up.

Today’s third poem:


My first autumn of college

my second stepfather

asked me for a blow job.

I am not sure which was more disturbing:

the ease with which he sought to defile

the parent-child dynamic

or the enthusiasm with which he strove

to betray my mother.

Today’s fourth poem:

“Tantric Sex Tips”

Let us speak of tantric sensuality:

and assume you and your partner

are already in a relationship

that is intimate, and committed, and secure.

With familiarity, and with comfort

could come a lazy style of lovemaking,

that could lead to the folly

of directly grabbing erogenous zones

without sufficient enticement.

If you have ever received a Swedish massage

you could remember that the session

classically concludes with what they call

long, connecting, strokes;”

where left-hand drags up from foot

and right hand simultaneously drags down from hand

and the two meet in the torso.

Likewise, allow the peck

of a lip kiss

to transmute into the passion

of an open mouth kiss;

and let the firm and slow caress

of a distinctly G-rated part

of your partner’s body

slowly move towards

much more interesting parts of their body

only to detour at the last moment.

Just as in preparation for a sneeze

we involuntarily take a few, shallow,

halting breaths

prior to the sneeze’s main event

likewise long, slow, strokes of your partner’s body

shift the blood mass in a way

that makes their body feel

like sex is their own idea.

Like the abdominal undulations

of a belly dancer

that have been crafted over the millennia

by wise women determined to convince men

that Cunnilingus was their idea.

The most effective way

to apply this advice

is NOT to do so

as if following a recipe

from a place of contrivance

or to do so in a frenzy

from a place of scatteredness

but rather to do so from a place

of centered spontaneity;

which is the fruit

of effective meditation.

Today’s fifth poem:

“Mental Poisons”

In Mahayana Buddhism

we speak of the five mental poisons

as well as the five wisdoms.

It is a myth of patriarchy

that the five wisdoms are an antidote

that must be applied to the five mental poisons

of: hate, and greed, and confusion, and jealousy, and pride.

If the five wisdoms are NOT the antidotes

to the five mental poisons

then what is the relationship between

these two sets of five?

From the point of view

of Mahamudra and Dzogchen

within hate is the seed of mirror-like wisdom

and within greed is the seed of discriminating wisdom,

and within confusion is the seed

of the wisdom of the basic space of phenomena,

and within jealously is the seed of all-accomplishing wisdom,

and within pride is the seed of equalizing wisdom.

If that is the case,

then how do we actualize the wisdom

at the heart of every mental poison?

By applying the universal antidote

of awareness and release.

During each inhalation

passively, vulnerably, non-analytically notice

whatever you experience.

During each exhalation

physically relax as best you can

that you might mentally let go as well.

Noticing rage

we could relax into mirror-like wisdom

noticing greed

we could relax into discriminating wisdom,

noticing confusion

we could relax into

the wisdom of the basic space of all phenomena

noticing jealously

we could relax into all-accomplishing wisdom

and noticing pride

we could relax into equalizing wisdom.

A Jedi could squander decades

pouring over the teachings of every Holocron

or, like Qui Gon Jinn

simply be led by the force.

Likewise, within our minds

are the prison cells of circumstantial stress,

and cells of physical stress,

and cells of emotional stress,

and cells of mental stress,

but the single key that opens them all

is the simple practice

of awareness and release.

Today’s sixth poem:


No, you do NOT need

your teacher’s permission

but only your teacher’s advice.

Do you not value

your teacher’s advice?


When you applied her instructions

did you fail to receive satisfactory results?

If that is the case

then go, find a teacher

whose instructions work

when you apply them.

Today’s seventh poem:

“A leaf in a Gale”

One bright morning,

during the years I attended elementary school.

stepfather was livid, again.

In the harshest language, and volume possible

he explained that our dog

would die prematurely

because I did not exercise it enough.

This was the first time he had ever

even hinted that I should exercise the dog

and now he was accusing me

of murdering her through neglect.

How much pain was stepfather in, that day?

What was it

that was driving him

like a leaf in a gale?

Today’s eighth and final poem

“Tractor Beam”

Be yourself,

be yourself,

always be yourself,

for to pretend to be someone you are not

is to live your life

in a prison of your own creation.

Be yourself, for doing so could repel

those incapable of appreciating who you really are

and also draw into your life

those who are best for you

like the Millennium Falcon caught

in the tractor beam of the Death Star.

Let us conclude

with a simple

call to action

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These spiritual poems are also available on

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