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Buddhadharma : Spring 2010
75 spring 2 01 0 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly Reviews truth and virtue are hard to trace. In his philosophical writings, Gendun Chopel expressed a profound mistrust of all forms of conventional truth, and this view permeates his verse: How can the deceptions of the mind be counted? Our attitudes change so much From childhood to when we are old and decrepit. Analyze your own experience and you know this. How can you have confidence in today’s thoughts? Due to the mind’s insanity, we do not recognize our own face, Yet we constantly measure the secular and the sacred, heaven and earth. Courageous are we who seek lasting refuge In this series of mistaken appearances. This refuge in illusion, he suggests, is the result of a com- mon trait of human nature: Calcutta, Nepal, Beijing, The city of Lhasa in the Snowy Realm, When I look at people wherever they are, I see they have the same nature ... Officials and nobility like flattering talk. Common people like cunning and deceit. Today most like cigarettes and beer ... The natural state of mind in humans and cattle Is seen to be the same. In other passages, Gendun Chopel denounces the greed and hypocrisy of the religious elite, compares Tibetan politics unfavorably with systems found elsewhere, and contrasts the superstitions found among his own people with the rational- ity and effectiveness of Western science. He also laments his own sorry state: In an unfamiliar region of a foreign land, I am like a human deer, without companions ... In the early part of my life, I gathered bundles of books; In the later part of my life, I carried the burden of harsh words. I have led my life in sorrow. ... I yearn to return quickly to my own land. There is a deep strain of melancholy that runs through Gendun Chopel’s verse, yet his poems also evince the curios- ity, intellectual breadth, and embrace of the world that made 3 Ways You Can Help Buddhadharma Donate, shop, share—three ways you can help sustain the only practice-oriented journal bringing together committed Buddhists of all traditions. DONATE Your donation will help us continue our valuable work in these difficult times. Donate online: www.thebuddhadharma.com/donate; Call toll-free: 1-877 -422-8404 ext. 36; or Mail a donation: US: Buddhadharma, 1345 Spruce St., Boulder CO 80302- 4886. Canada: 1660 Hollis St., #701, Halifax NS B3J 1V7 SHOP Support Buddhadharma with your purchase at our Online Gallery. Go to www.shambhalasun.com/gallery to purchase beautiful archival quality art prints from the pages of Buddhadharma and the Shambhala Sun. SHARE Give a gift subscription and share the dharma with friends and family. SHAMBHALA SUN FOUNDATION An independent, nonprofit corporation. Publishers of the Shambhala Sun and Buddhadharma: The Practitioner ’s Quarterly. 3 Ways You Can 3 Ways You Can