On the Ignorance of the Learned

In general, the precious teaching collections of the Omniscient Guide are to be learnt; they are the fundamental scriptures with which we should be acquainted. For bodhisattvas, studying these texts brings with it an increase in the causes of all-seeing wisdom and a mastery of the methods for bringing those of diverse inclinations to spiritual maturity.

Nevertheless, there are some these days who pursue study and yet the more they learn, the more arrogant they become. They think: “Now I have studied widely. I know the scriptural approach. I am learned in the various collections.” And when they see others who have not amassed comparable learning, regard them with contempt, thinking: “These people are fools, dullards, simpletons, befuddled and uneducated.” Even when reading texts by fellow scholars, they lack due reverence and devotion for the sacred Dharma, and no sooner have they opened the covers of the book than they are wondering, “What have we here? How is this written?” Unstable in their understanding, as if their intelligence were laid out on a bed of reeds, they point their fingers accusingly and gesticulate like drunkards. Encountering a particular claim, they think: “This doesn’t accord with the Pramāṇa texts on logic and epistemology.” Confronted with another assertion, they think: “This doesn’t fit with what is taught in the Abhidharma.” Reading of some further proposition: “Oh, this can be refuted by such and such a line of thinking.” Critiquing a text in this way, they reach the end with no clear idea of what it contains or maintains, no notion of what it asserts or posits.

Such scholars think: “When others debate with my own system, they will say such-and-such, so I must reply as follows…But then the opponent might counter with such-and-such a response, so what would be the best reply?” Constantly preoccupied with such thoughts, they feel no pleasure during the day, while sleep evades them at night. Even if sleep should come to them, as they are consumed by these matters even in their dreams, their minds will be perturbed from the very first moment of waking. Dismissing the works of the profound path, such as the progressive stages of meditation on bodhicitta and compassion, as too easy to understand, they prefer works of sophistry, and when they come across them think, “Oh, now this I must study!” Opening up a volume, they immediately muster all their intellect and inquire: “What is the meaning of this? Now this is a mere illustration. Is this a refutation? Is this a valid proof? Does this follow logically from the premise? Is there a logical contradiction here?” Scribbling notation about such hair-splitting points, they pass the best part of the afternoon, with pulse racing and breath uneven.

From the very moment you focus on such topics as the ‘conceptual isolate’ (ldog pa) of “buddha” or the ‘universal substance’ (rdzas spyi) of sentient beings, all faith and renunciation diminish and disappear. Eventually, at the time of death, all that you have studied will be exposed as nothing more than dry and empty words; all the analysis and research as amounting to nothing more than hollow ideas; and all that you have read garnering little more than false suppositions—all on the basis of squandered opportunities. It will be plainly obvious that all this analysis and categorising into matter, consciousness and anomalous factors has been nothing more than casting stones in the dark.

If you really thought about it, you would see that the path of logic is intended to dispel incorrect patterns of thought. Yet once such patterns have been dispelled, it is necessary to set out upon the genuine path, and, having set out upon this path, to make manifest the wisdom of perfect liberation.

To be learned in the Dharma does not mean merely to have heard a lot of teachings. “The one who, on the basis of learning, feels disenchantment for the three realms—such a person is truly learned,” says the Abhidharma. One ought, therefore, to examine any pretensions of learning based on knowing a few words about this or that.

The Sūtra Requested by Bhadramāyākāra teaches that the essence of being learned is to practise whatever Dharma one has heard and to benefit others by explaining it to them well. So we must be wary of presuming to uphold the lifestyle of the learned while following only a limited, superficial approach to logical reasoning that does not espouse genuinely purposeful objectives.

Although my own education resembles nothing more than the watery traces of a silkworm upon a lotus, I have some experience in these matters, and so I, the crazy beggar Jigme, offer this mad talk for those who might be in a similar position.


Dodrupchen Jikmé Tenpé Nyima



My whole being is lost in time, my whole being is lost in space
The decisions that I make, I hope they never wane
What good is it if my mind shuts, just when the door opens
Leaving me restless and hopeless, because of my inability to stay patient

They say grit is not enough, and that vision is the key
are we all chasing after the image, of the wind and the sea?
Leaving us breathless for what is destined to come
joining in the chorus of not two, not three, but many

“the crowd is untruth” and that is all I see
on the face of one, multiplies many
A wink of an eye, and a blink of an eye; all but one
but one, but one stands alone

All entities submerge into one
Insanity ensues and chaos reigns
Little by little, subdued by the calming rain
destined to fall, destined to die,
is that really a man’s great gain?

Valerie Lam




He who shows you path out of IGNORANCE,
to AWAKENING, Enlightenment.

Our penultimate goal remain attaining ‘NIRVANA’,
Through middle path, to gain and to have
the highest clarity of the mind, body, and speech.

The only path to comprehend and fill the void inside,
then do men truly gain INSIGHT into LIFE,
into what is and what isn’t.
for we often blind us with what comes with self –
Desire, Anger, Ignorance, Pride, Jealousy.


Gautama Siddhartha, in man,
when all sought glory,
gave up everything that was of his to claim.
To seek truth, to seek answers,
of questions he first encountered
when met he life.


All suffering, he described,
took form, when man developed attachment.
When man sought happiness
in things that wasn’t to last,
in things that presented itself in facade
as real and true.

The only permanence in life was
impermanence, he said.


Eight fold path as he emphasised,
in this life, and the next,
and in many more to come,
was a path he offered
to end suffering,
towards happiness.
It was one he said,
we can experiment with and on, in life.
The discovery we make,
only that which reasons with our logic,
we need practice.

Right View:
That which we do have consequences.
Death isn’t end, only a beginning of another
which too shall eventually end.
Life is the bearer of Karma that man accumulate,
and Karma, that which keeps man in SAMSARA
the cycle of birth, and death.

Right Resolve:
Man must give up that which is,
to eyes, and travel
where man can contemplate
on impermanence,
and non-self.

Right Speech:
Man musn’t speak of someone to another,
that which is a lie,
or that which harms another in anyway.

Right Conduct:
One can never escape karma,
when one has killed or injured,
and taken that which is not given.

Right Livelihood:
Eat to live,
not live to eat.

Right Effort:
Not giving in to sensual thoughts,
that which prevents one self from or disrupts meditation,
is right effort.

Right Mindfulness:
To constantly remind oneself
and think about ones thoughts,
and keep oneself away from the five skandhas ,
is right mindfulness.

Right Meditation:
Practice every moment,
the four stages of dhyāna,
with one goal
to have ones mind and thoughts unified.

Buddha asked us to:

“Kālāma Sūtra”

Rely not on the teacher, but on the teaching.

Rely not on the words of the teaching, but on the spirit of the words.

Rely not on theory, but on experience.

Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it.

Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations.

Do not believe anything because it is spoken and rumored by many.

Do not believe in anything because it is written in your religious books.

Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders.

But after observation and analysis,

when you find that anything agrees with reason

and is conducive to the good and the benefit of one and all,

then accept it and live up to it

~ Gautama Siddhartha.


Tenzin Yonten
About the Writer:


Oh Bee!

Oh bee!, why did you sing to me?
Oh my, why did I let you sting!
The garden you’re living in
– is beautiful
But it wasn’t for me, or it still is…
and will always be
I want you in my garden,
but it cannot be.
Such tender wings, so fragile to hold.
But, it’s so hard to set you free.
Oh, bee!, Why me!?

Little bee, I let you free.
Go fly and free, free fly and free
Grace more flowers, grace other bees
My garden’s been graced.

Oh bee, you’ll never be free,
I’ve carved you in my garden,
I’ve painted you on the flower Little bee,
god bless thee, little bee, blessed thee.

Bhuwan Kafley
About the Writer:


Brittle 3

The day wears on,
my spirit awakens.
Is it time
or am I too early?

Weary is my soul,
walking to the moon
looking and not finding.

Sweet nothingness
slowly slips out of reach.
Questions yet unanswered
should I wait?

Hark, is that my call?
my vision fading?
I reach out to grasp
the thin wispy image.

How long must I wait?
my body no longer bides.
Pain is my one visitor
but I long for another.

Hey don’t forget me.
Are you calling my name?
What is my name?
Has your list changed?

Sleep evades my eyes,
everyone avoids me.
A paradise I am promised,
maybe hell is the same.

My bones resound.
Is that my drum beat?
When do I roll out
my march out of step.

The sun is high up.
Shadows fall sharp and short
a place to rest my aches
may I do that just here?



Riddle Me This?

Like fallen skies
Torn from every corner
No angels tearing through the tear,
Do the angels not live above the clouds?
In my own helpless despair
Searching answers to the wrong questions,
Have I learned to not break hearts but of my own – always?

As sudden, as unstable, as unwilling
The sky has crashed to the earth now,
To realize the realized curiosity,
With hidden dark intentions
Driven by lust – a little bit.
The promising promise!
But is this the wrong question
Or the right answer?
Where are the fucking angels?

Sonam Dendup
About the Writer:


A Queen’s Tragedy

Once upon a time, there lived a Queen
_ not King

Whence did she come, How ?
Became his forever, un-til now.
Here again, but, time taught what it was –
that which is, all turn to dust.

Still, life they say is a journey.
One we must travel alone, not two, can we?
This tragedy, although we seldom remember, we cannot forget.
“Our life is a gift.” Not curse? Yet, we cannot forsake.

Hence, as it was before, and always_is
His quenched face, but un-tamed fist.

When the clock hits past 9,
When she sings, but lines don’t rhyme,
When King doth Queen, without her will and bend.
When King doth Queen, her eyes closed, saw end.

All done that night, few knew, and lived.
How he came forth, claimed death, not gift.

But, a little bird, by the window, saw-it-all
How, when come all nights, she whispered, she grieved.
How, when come one night, a king rose to a queen’s fall.

The day next
was how every day was.
Now without rage.
Now without rain,
No victim and no cage.

But as it was to many, a fine night,
the little bird realized, a presence did not feel right.

Village men say they heard cries, sorrow, the pain.
Why would they not?
For the little bird’s heart changed forever.
She would live never to see her mother again.

Tenzin Yonten
About the Writer:

Brittle 4

Alone I stand
where I stand
where the road ends

No one no one
not one
not anyone

Have I forgotten
am I forgotten
my memory is plain rotten

Broken, the view is stark
in the cracks, my soul is stuck
when death neared, it struck

Yet, the hum, the drum
someone’s body in a slum
faces looking glum

Voices noises choices
swirl twirl whirl
unmoving unmoved

Time spent, in discontent
alone till the very end
the end;




I was on an island born exactly when I do not know
Though 16 December’s a guess it was forty-one years ago
But heck let’s celebrate my birthday today anyway
Bring out the wine, play the music, party all the way

So much joy and fun I had these forty-one years
Through ups and downs never mind the tears
But best of all is the women – sex’s the thing
If you don’t have it that’s a lot you are missing
You will not believe – my Ferrari speed
That’s how fast I charm women with me to sleep
Durian, nangka, langsat why stick to one type
Love, marriage, fidelity – they are pure hype

But before I grow old
And my moves be less bold
I would like for my birthday to wish
Lots of money so that I’ll be forever rich
And a woman – she must have looks to kill
Smart, cheerful, must share my interests too
A woman who’d suit me to a T
Happy Birthday to me



I long for escape,
from the faceless milling crowds on the pavement
at the shopping malls, parks and beaches

I long for escape,
from the blank soulless stares of eyes
that invade my sight and rob me of mine

I long for escape,
from the mundanity of rushing commuters
on trains and buses as they seek escape from one stop to the next

I long for escape,
from the dreary buildings whose pinnacles
impale the blue skies with unnatural shapes

I long for escape,
from the drone of idle chatter spilling out
mantras of dreams, wants and desires

I long for escape,
from overzealous overpaid religious leaders
blasphemously promising salvation … may their souls burn forever

I long for escape,
from visages of innocents suffering
at hands of the greedy human traffickers …  may these greedy bastards burn too

I long for escape,
from the darkness seeping into my soul
churning my thoughts screaming “There is NO ESCAPE!”