To the Women of Tibet: A poem by Jhampa Khacho

The following article is from the Autumn, 1988 issue of the Snow Lion Newsletter and is for historical reference only. You can see this in context of the original newsletter here.

 

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To the Women of Tibet

A Poem in Dedication To the Women of Tibet, My Mothers, My Sisters

 

Sisters of Niguma*, Daughters of Tibet, Flowers of Emptiness -

Where will you bloom now?

Your native land has been burned

And dumped with nuclear char,

Desecrated, devastated -

And the sweet song of your mantras

Moans imprisoned behind bars.

Mothers of Lineage Masters,

Who have nurtured me with kindness through countless years,

And given fully of your milk of wisdom

Will the flow of your precious nectar

Now be turned into tears?

Sisters of Niguma, Daughters of Drolma,**

I who have chosen to be childless

In order to have the leisure to practice more intensively

The wisdom teachings you have preserved,

Sit comfortably in retreat

While you are tortured in the fields

With forced sterilizations and forced abortions -

Your full term babies' cries

Silenced forever at birth by a needle

In the hospitals where you labor

To give birth to death.

Mothers of Maitreya,

Mothers no more.

I mourn your murdered children -

Our loss -

I your orphan,

And your heir.

Though your wombs are barren

The Emptiness of your Spirit bears many fruit.

Though you weep in the streets of Lhasa

Your spiritual children everywhere

Rejoice in the legacy you have released.

Through the power of interdependent interrelatedness,

The treasures of Truth you have preserved

And passed on through generations

Survives -

Though you may not.

Through the flower of Interbeing,

And by the Winds of Impermanence,

Your seed is carried across the world

Alive -

And flourishes in fertile, thirsty mindfields Unknown to you.

Sisters of Niguma, Daughters of Drolma,

My mothers,

Do not despair -

We your foster children,

Whose faces you have never seen,

Will build a living bridge of Dharma,

And dedicate your dream.

by Jhampa Khacho (Michelle Levey)

This poem was written by Jhampa Khacho (Michelle Levey), on Dakini Day, SAGA DAWA, Year of the Earth Dragon (June 9, 1988), at Cloud Mountain Retreat Center in Castle Rock, Washington (near Seattle and Vancouver, WA), U.S.A.

May this poem-prayer inspire all who read or hear it. May it awaken within them a heartfelt yearning to realize the ultimate potentials of this precious life and to help others to do the same. Permission is freely granted to copy, print and share this in any way that will be of benefit to others.

* Niguma was the wisdom dakini consort of Naropa. Her teachings form the basis of the Shangpa Kagyu lineage.

**Drolma is the Tibetan name for the female deity TARA, the Great Liberator.

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