The Guru’s Longing: Poetry


Editor’s note: Found on Facebook; thanks to Amy Schwartz for her permission to share:

I have been lucky to be with His Holiness Karmapa on several occasions, but the Karma Pakshi empowerment at the UPAC center on April 19th was one of the most powerful for me.  At the end of the empowerment, a palpable sense of longing filled the beautiful, spacious theater.

A lucky few would be seeing the Karmapa in the days to come, but most of us would be leaving the theater, getting into our cars, and driving away.  We could not be sure when we would see him again.

As the lamas circulated with blessed water from the empowerment, the audience began singing “Karmapa Khyenno.”  On the throne, His Holiness picked up his bell and damaru and began playing along with us as we sang.

In that moment, I felt his great longing — his wish to be with us, encourage us, and help us.  The poem came spontaneously the next day as I was remembering that moment.


The Guru’s Longing


The guru has no craving

But he longs to really help us

Which entails us helping ourselves.

The guru longs to be with us

Not because we are separate,

But because we don’t know that we aren’t.

The guru indicates the path

And walks down it with us

But when we don’t keep walking, or when we stray

Going off in all directions and getting lost,

It’s a lonely path for him.

The guru longs for us to see

What he sees, as he sees —

But we must do the work

To remove our own blinders;

And in the meantime,

The guru’s patience is immense

His compassion and kindness are unfathomable

And he longs for us to grow.

— Amy Schwartz

4 thoughts on “The Guru’s Longing: Poetry

  1. beautiful poem, gratitude for sharing……..if one surrenders to that longing, it only gets wider, warmer, more palpable……the Hindus say ‘purnima na purinima’ , or , ‘fullness to fullness’……HH Karmapa is such a wonderfully strident, able and timely container to carry and bear the longing of countless, flailing, flipping and tripping in the sea of samsara and misinformation……he says he doesn’t have all the answers……..he is wholeheartedly willing to hold the hands of sincere questionning and questionners, Long Life, Broad Life, Vast Life HH Karmapa, me ke aloha

  2. Oh Amy you have heard our heart’s song picked up your bell and damaru and played it for us. Wonderful! To say thank you is some how not enough. But, I offer my thanks anyway like an utpala cupped in loving hands.

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