Recently I was invited to teach a weekend Dzogchen meditation retreat again at the Tibetan Mongolian Cultural Center in Bloomington, Indiana. While I was visiting we celebrated the spiritual director Arjia Rinpoche’s birthday. My contribution to this happy occasion was a little birthday poem for the Very Venerable Arjia Rinpoche, who only escaped from Communist China about ten years ago and was appointed abbot at this long standing center by the Dalai Lama himself.
The Man from Tibet
The Man from Tibet knows his languages, and enjoys the gift of tongues as well;
He communicates with each of us in our own language.
He spent years unknown and in exile, used and abused
By heartless oppressors, farming and secretly Dharm-ing,
Until he could come forth to illumine the world.
A good friend to one and all, this noble Lion of Dharma,
Son of the Buddhas, assumes a serene and humble demeanor,
The better to ease the woes of this world.
I bow down at his feet in service and appreciation
HH the Dalai Lama and Arjia Rinpoche-1999
And pray for his longevity and flourishing.
Is that a golden Yellow Hat I see above his head,
This good old abbot of Khumbum and return of Holy Tsongkapa’s father?
Is that the Virgin Ama-Mary herself I perceive always at his side?
Is this not a man who could usher in the Kingdom of Heaven,
The Pure Land of Buddha, right here in the heartland, where we stand?
. Homage to our Good & Noble Lama!May he live long and strong, and all his activities prevail.
— offered with love, gratitude and devotion,
Surya Das (Kunzang Tenzin)October 2011Bloomington, Indiana