I’d heard about the sacred land, about Buckland,
and heard about the Master’s dreams,
Dakinis dancing, something about a treasure
he’d received right there, right where the teachings
were to happen, up on a mountain, under a big tent --
not so easy for my wife whose back was hurt
though she was set on going and said she needed me.
I wasn’t looking for another teacher.
I was curious but hesitant -- then Rinpoche
appeared in a dream, singing the Song of the Vajra.
His eyes were my father’s eyes, his voice
held me firmly while I stood with him
outside my home at the foot of a garden.
I remember on the shuttle bus to teachings every day
reciting silently, Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate Bodhi Svaha.
I remember watching in a meadow, grazing in the hock-high grass
a single horse, and holding to my practice, the light
I trusted to illuminate my way.
At the end, in mud I found a jewel:
asking from the spirits of the place
a token for remembrance, in the dark
I picked up from the road a stone,
a slice of granite larger than I would have thought,
half a moon, hand-size, glittering.
Years later, I dreamt of riding bareback
to the top of Khandroling, told Rinpoche about
a garden where a fruit was given me:
“It’s a good dream,” he said, smiling.
At home, I put that piece of granite near the Buddha
Amitayus on an altar -- the first I saw its edge
Peter Fortunato, 2014
Peter Fortunato, poet and artist, lives in Ithaca, New York. A member of Tsegyalgar East, he has been a student of Rinpoche’s for many years. His most recent book is Late Morning: New and Selected Poems.
Khandroling Paper Cooperative in honor of Tsegyalgar’s 30th Anniversary and the presence of Choegyal Namkhai Norbu in North America is creating a “Festschrift” or “Celebration Writing” with original art, photography and writings from the International Dzogchen Community. To view more about this project, visit here.