I recently spent two weeks at Karme Choling, the Shambhala meditation center in Barnett Varmont. The founder of Shambhala, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, was cremated there upon his death and lay in state in the shrine room where we practiced. This has always been a powerfully special place for me. This poem was written during that retreat. I offer it in honor of the Vidyadhara, CTR in recognition of the anniversary of his death on April 4.
my teacher made this room
placed these posts, laid out
this floor where his corpse would lie
in this room at the foot of this hill
where his body would burn
we are all burning through this life
as if we were each the bright hot tip
of the fuse. where does a Buddha go
once the smoke has cleared?
I can see his red round face, feel
his strong back against mine
come with me he says, climb this hill
follow me into the fire, we have
just one heart, this single flame
and we must all burn together