Photograph of Sierra Juniper courtesy of Trailing Ahead


Looking into the world
I see alone a chrysanthemum,
Lonely loneliness,
And death approaches.
Abandoned by guru and friend,
I stand like a lonely juniper
Which grows among rocks,
Hardened and tough.
Loneliness is my habit—
I grew up in loneliness.
Like a rhinoceros
Loneliness is my companion—
I converse with myself.
Yet sometimes also,
Lonely moon,
Sad and Happy
Come together.

Do not trust.
If you trust you are in
Others’ hands.
It is like the single yak
That defeats the wolves.
Herds panic and in trying to flee
Are attacked.
Remaining in solitude
You can never be defeated.
So do not trust,
For trust is surrendering oneself.
Never, never trust.

But be friendly.
By being friendly towards others
You increase your non-trusting.
The idea is to be independent,
Not involved,
Not glued, one might say, to others.
Thus one becomes ever more
Compassionate and friendly.
Whatever happens, stand on your own feet
and memorise this incantation:
Do not trust.

-Chogyam Trungpa

From TIMELY RAIN, © 2015 by Diana J. Mukpo. Published by arrangement with Shambhala Publications, Inc., Boston.