Venerable Chonyi comes face to face with suffering:

Sacred India, seat of the Buddha, Shakyamuni,
Precious teacher, supreme physician,
Healer of all disease,
Whose powerful medicine destroys all their causes.
Om mani padme hum.

Disease manifests physically in human form,
Rampant suffering in the grossest sense,
This cradle of wisdom and compassion,
Seething with sentience, India.
Om mani padme hum.

Just like me they long to be happy.
Om mani padme hum.
Just like me, they want no suffering.
Om mani padme hum.

Ankle deep in garbage, decay,
Grime accumulating for eons,
Birth in such filth comes from sexual misconduct.
Om Vajrasattva hum.
Om mani padme hum.

Easy to know the foulness of body:
Head hair, body hair … (no) teeth, (bad) skin,
. . . feces, brain . . . bile, phlegm . . .
Sweat, (no) fat . . . spit, snot . . . urine.
Billions of bodies illumine this teaching,
Om mani padme hum.

Bare observation seeks to see it as it is,
Free of fabricated “nice” sensibilities.
Faint wisdom remembers karmic appearance
And aspires to the pure view of beauty in chaos.
Wisdom is weak, compassion is growing,
Om mani padme hum, om mani padme hum,
Om mani padme hum.

On the ghats, spectacular sensual offerings to Shiva.
Sentient beings seek happiness wherever.
What kind of parent cuts off a child’s hands
To improve his livelihood as a beggar?
Just like me, wanting to be happy.
Om mani padme hum. Hard to comprehend.

In Sarnath where the Buddha first told it like it is,
The great Dalai Lama radiates through the dust,
While young boys swarm like gnats in summer.
“Lady, you are my friend, my grandma. Please lady,
Postcards just 120 rupees.
Please lady I do this for school. You are my friend
You be my grandma.”
Om mani padme hum.

Everything grows easier through familiarity.
Open your heart, close your purse . . .
Or open your purse, for that matter.
But most especially open the eye of wisdom,
The heart of compassion and
Own this vivid image of samsara.
See it’s no different from all I have known–
Five gross aggregates born of delusion,
And born and reborn in countless dimensions—
Head hair, body hair … oil of the joints, urine.
Over & over & Over again.

In this swell of beings, the Buddha’s homeland,
open the eye of wisdom
And drink in the teachings of this precious pure land
Where every appearance vibrates with the Dharma.

No one’s suffering is different from my own

“May you be free; I will cause you to be free.”
Having made that promise,
Mind be strong and follow the pilgrim’s path of all Buddhas.
For as long as space endures . . .
Om mani padme hum.
Om mani padme hum
Om mani padme hum