‘The ground of all is uncomposed,
an inexpressible, self-arisen expanse
without the names “samsara” and “nirvana”‘

From ‘The Aspiration of Samantabhadra’ in the ‘Tantra of the Great Perfection’ translated by Lama Yeshe Gyamtso and the Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche

‘In Tibetan, Samantabhadra is translated as Kuntuzangpo. “Kuntu” means “completely” or “purely”, “Zangpo” means “good”, “gentle” so “Kuntuzangpo” means “completely pure”, “completely good” or “completely gentle”….. It refers to our basic purity ….. the basic state of all phenomena. It is the basic state of all our living experiences. That state is referred to as Kuntuzangpo.’

From ‘Penetrating Wisdom’ by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, his commentary on ‘The Aspiration of Samantabhadra’

*

as You step back, I die,
impaled on water,
implored by grief

my gripped heart cries out
to an extinct sun,
a metallic wind lays bare
the ashes of love

an omnipotent darkness casts
its weight, its ink-black shroud,
its finality

*

as You come forward, I live,
gossamer spangles of light,
spun by an august, resilient faith

my honoured heart,
no longer friendless or abandoned,
lifts to the open sky,
a lotus of love, ready
to give everything to the diamond day,
the untold breath

this morning, the dawn
ascends in hushed formations,
spiralling to an endless present,
an undreamed-of prize

*

Coda:

Our imaginations create our heavens and our hells,
we live in knowledge of, or in ignorance of, these realms.
Here is ‘samsara‘, here is ‘nirvana‘.
We choose and in choosing either samsara or nirvana,
we know and we do not know they are one and the same,
the Kuntuzangpo,
the ground of all being,
the origin and the destination