“Where there is great love, there are always miracles.” 
― Willa Cather

 

Happiness by Lama Gendun Rinpoche 

Happiness cannot be found 
through great effort and willpower, 
but is already here, right now, 
in relaxation and letting go. 
Don't strain yourself, there is nothing to do. 
Whatever arises in the mind 
has no importance at all, 
because it has no reality whatsoever. 

Don't become attached to it. Don't pass judgement. 
Let the game happen on its own, 
emerging and falling back - without changing anything - 
and all will vanish and begin anew, without end. 
Only our searching for happiness prevents us from seeing it. 
It is like a rainbow which you run after without ever catching it. 
Although it does not exist, it has always been there 
and accompanies you every instant. 
Don't believe in the reality of good and bad experiences; 
they are like rainbows. 
Wanting to grasp the ungraspable you exhaust yourself in vain. 
As soon as you relax this grasping, 
there is space - open, inviting and comfortable. 
So make use of it. Everything is already yours. 
Search no more, 
Don't go into the inextricable jungle 
looking for the elephant who is already quietly at home. 

Nothing to do, 
nothing to force, 
nothing to want 
and everything happens by itself.

Montreal 2011

Montreal 2011

 

Ithaka  BY C. P. CAVAFY 

TRANSLATED BY EDMUND KEELEY 

As you set out for Ithaka 

hope your road is a long one, 

full of adventure, full of discovery. 

Laistrygonians, Cyclops, 

angry Poseidon—don’t be afraid of them: 

you’ll never find things like that on your way 

as long as you keep your thoughts raised high, 

as long as a rare excitement 

stirs your spirit and your body. 

Laistrygonians, Cyclops, 

wild Poseidon—you won’t encounter them 

unless you bring them along inside your soul, 

unless your soul sets them up in front of you. 

Hope your road is a long one. 

May there be many summer mornings when, 

with what pleasure, what joy, 

you enter harbors you’re seeing for the first time; 

may you stop at Phoenician trading stations 

to buy fine things, 

mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony, 

sensual perfume of every kind— 

as many sensual perfumes as you can; 

and may you visit many Egyptian cities 

to learn and go on learning from their scholars. 

Keep Ithaka always in your mind. 

Arriving there is what you’re destined for. 

But don’t hurry the journey at all. 

Better if it lasts for years, 

so you’re old by the time you reach the island, 

wealthy with all you’ve gained on the way, 

not expecting Ithaka to make you rich. 

Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey. 

Without her you wouldn't have set out. 

She has nothing left to give you now. 

And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you. 

Wise as you will have become, so full of experience, 

you’ll have understood by then what these Ithakas mean. 

C. P. Cavafy, "The City" from C.P. Cavafy: Collected Poems. Translated by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard. Translation Copyright © 1975, 1992 by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard. Reproduced with permission of Princeton University Press.