Always Rejoicing in the Forest
An Excerpt from Longchenpa’s Poem (1308-1363). Longchenpa was a great Buddhist philosopher of the Dzogchen tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. The following is an excerpt from his poem “Always Rejoicing in the Forest.”
“Hear! You, mind, listen to the quality of the forest.
Jewel trees, for worthy offerings to the Victorious Ones, Are laden with
fruits growing pleasantly in the forests, With fragrant blossoming
flowers and leaves.
A cool, aromatic breeze arises with the perfume of incense.
A rocky highland stream gives the melodious sound of a drum.
Cool moonbeams pervade the waists of the mountains, And the clothing
of rich, water-holding clouds covers them.
There, completely enhanced by the gatherings of constellations, Flocks of
water birds glide over a sweet-smelling lake, And many kinds of
birds and deer wander harmoniously.
Lotus blossoms, wish-fulfilling trees, and blue water lilies Are
surrounded by musical, humming bees.
The swaying dance of young trees and
The fingertips of bowing branches
Seem to welcome guests with greetings.
Cool, pristine water covered with lotuses
Is like the clearly seen complexion of a smiling face.
This natural garden has rosary ornaments of flowers and trees, And blue
grass meadows pleasingly hold the sky-covering.
Stars and planets illuminate the clear heavens
Like gods playing in the garden of enjoyment.
Cuckoos, intoxicated with euphoria, sing beautiful songs.
Flowers are dispersed by the soothing breeze of time And an elephant of
the clouds gives a joyful sound.
The gentle sprinkling of rain is cool, so cool.
Even the food of roots, leaves, and fruits,
Uninfluenced by sin, is in the forest for the four seasons.
Even the passions fade naturally in the forest.
There is no one saying unpleasant words.
Going a long distance from the restless town,
In the forest the samadhi of tranquillity naturally increases.
Complementing Holy Dharma and subduing this mind,
The refined peace of happiness can be attained in the forest.
In brief, the qualities of the forest are unsurpassed, So how can they be
exhausted even if one talks for eons?
Even the Buddhas of the three times attain enlightenment By remaining in
the forest. There is no way other than this.
It does not come by staying in a country or town with worldly
Thus, remembering the qualities of the forest,
If one takes seven steps and turns to a solitary place, Toward all Buddhas
as countless as the sands of the Ganges, Even the accumulation of the
merit of form from offering all flowers and incense Cannot be compared
According to The Sutra of the Moon Lamp,
One should think extensively of the precious qualities of the forest.
Going there near caves and rock mountains
Or next to valleys of medicine, trees, and flowers, Make a simple
thatched shelter of grass and leaves.
With water, wood, fruit, and so on, With simple necessities, keep the body living.
Make the virtuous effort of Dharma day and night.”
– Longchenpa, Translated by Thinley Norbu Rinpoche in Sunlight Speech that Dispels the Darkness of Doubt, page 96-98.