Carpe Diem: Death and Compassion – Double Tanka – February 22, 2016

old farm house

farm and fields
abandoned in the sunset
fading memories
lost laughter echoes still
in an old woman’s smile

the sweet balsam of love
her compassion
touches all who see her
empty fields blossom

© G.s.k. ‘16

Carpe Diem Theme Week #1 episode 5 Tibetan Book of Living and Dying: Insight 4 the power of compassion is limitless

The idea of the Bodhisattva is that one attains a high degree of spiritual  growth and then decides to remain in the world instead of attaining Nirvana so as to help others attain their own spiritual awakening.  His Holiness the Dalai Lama for example is considered a Bodhisattva of compassion. Another idea that is true to all forms of Buddhism is that everyone is a Buddha … this is because everyone can attain enlightenment or satori, and to be a Buddha is to be an enlightened person.

In my tanka I’m imagining a woman who is a Bodhisattva who has attained satori and with her very life is able to transmit compassion.  Here is what Sogyal Rinpoche has to say about compassion and death:

[…] “It is not simply a sense of sympathy or caring for the person suffering, not simply a warmth of heart toward the person before you, or a sharp clarity of recognition of their needs and pain, it is also a sustained and practical determination to do whatever is possible and necessary to help alleviate their suffering. Compassion is not true compassion unless it is active. Avalokiteshvara, the Buddha of Compassion, is often represented in Tibetan iconography as having a thousand eyes that see the pain in all corners of the universe, and a thousand arms to reach out to all corners of the universe to extend his help.”[…] (Source: The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying – Sogyal Rinpoche)

Carpe Diem Theme Week (3) – Troiku – February 18, 2016


in an instant
the hills are gone – a bright light
intense darkness

in an instant
the passing of a life

the hills are gone – a bright light
all remembered
all understood

intense darkness
the wheel of Samsara turns
a new life is born

© G.s.k. ‘16


Carpe Diem Theme Week #1 episode 3 The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying Insight 2 “through the chinks comes the light”

Carpe Diem Theme Week (Introduction: Reincarnation) – Haiku- February 17, 2016


what was

what was or will be
clouded reflections
of what is

© G.s.k. ‘16

I suspect that if we do reincarnate it will be our consciousness that survives – our eternal present …

Carpe Diem Theme Week #1 episode 2 The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, Insight 1 We are travellers


“We are travelers

Reincarnation is one of the central ideas of Tibetan Buddhism and The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. I hope to explain this (with the help of Soygal of course).

Rinpoche makes a difference between our “ego”, our daily personality, our “I”, the form / shape our psyche has in our body in which we live our life, and the deeper, natural consciousness, which is our essence.

What happens when we die? In fact only our body dies, but our consciousness “rises” to another new state of being, another dimension maybe. That is our rigpa, the absolute nature of mind (spirit), the consciousness before thoughts and emotions occur / rise. Later it will be reborn in another body.

Death is not the absolute end. Our body doesn’t exist anymore, but our consciousness travels on. The idea of dying can be paralyzing, but in this vision death is just a moment of transition. That makes the idea of death lighter: we are travellers, continuous on our way from one world to another.”

A little Dharma humour: