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Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s Poem of Love

Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche's Poem of Love

“Love.
What is love?
What is love.
Love is a fading memory.
Love is piercingly present.
Love is full of charm.
Love is hideously in the way.
Explosion of love makes you feel ecstatic.
Explosion of love makes you feel suicidal.
Love brings goodliness and godliness.
Love brings celestial vision.
Love creates the unity of heaven and earth.
Love tears apart heaven and earth.
Is love sympathy.
Is love gentleness.
Is love possessiveness.
Is love sexuality.
Is love friendship.
Who knows?
Maybe the rock knows,
Sitting diligently on earth,
Not flinching from cold snowstorms or baking heat.
O rock,
How much I love you:
You are the only loveable one.
Would you let me grow a little flower of love on you?
If you don’t mind,
Maybe I could grow a pine tree on you.
If you are so generous,
Maybe I could build a house on you.
If you are fantastically generous,
Maybe I could eat you up,
Or move you to my landscape garden.
It is nice to be friends with a rock!”

Love is an interesting part of our every day life. We say we “love” coffee, food, people, articles, photographs, animals and so forth. What is love? To answer this question you would have to consult the hundred plus years love has been debated about by theologians and philosophers. For scientists, “love” is a chemical reaction when parts of our brains release chemicals that make us feel good physically. To theologians, love is spiritual connection to something that matchs our connection to the world. To philosophers, love is a part of the ego that longs to fill a psychological void deep within our mind. So, love can obviously become complex very quickly.

In the above poem by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche (1939 – 1987), Buddhist meditation teacher and founder of the Shambhala community, love becomes a an all encompassing aspect of memory to something that can give your celestial vision. At the conclusion, you are left with the lingering impression that love is a fixation with a rock. The point that Chögyam is hinting is that love is not only with things we like or have a deep effection for, but also to the childlike fixation with a rock. He also eludes to the idea that he might “move” the rock to different locations. What this says is that even though he has this fixation of “love” towards this rock, he can find different places for the rock. What this eludes to is that he is willing to release the object that he loves in order set benefit to other areas of his life.

We can learn a lot from Chögyam’s poem on love. But I’d like to present two main points that jump out right away: 1. All encompassing love. 2. Releasing that love into the world for the benefits of others. Is it possible to love coffee just as we love our home pet? If you’ve ever had some organic French press coffee, you’d be able to answer that. Is love more than a biochemical response in the brain? If you’ve ever been speechless due to seeing massive beauty, you’d be able to answer that question. Love, is beyond words and labels. Love is transferable, give-able, and palatable. Love can be between two people just as much as with a rock. The difference is in how open our hearts are.

Poem from: Timely Rain: Selected Poetry of Chögyam Trungpa. Written July 1975

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3 Responses to Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s Poem of Love

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