Blazing Scythe of Wisdom

Lama Tharchin Rinpoche composed his Dzogchen aspiration prayer, "A Blazing Scythe of Wisdom: Pure Mindfulness that Clears Away the Overgrown Brush of Habitual Karma and Passions," for his students who were preparing Pema Osel Ling for the arrival of Dungse Thinley Norbu Rinpoche in the mid-1990s. While Rinpoche wrote this prayer in the context of clearing away brush and cleaning the retreat grounds, its recitation sets the proper motivation for any work activity to be transformed into an offering, purifying our inner obscurations, and ultimately ripening our wisdom awareness.

The photo above captures Lama Tharchin Rinpoche working in his Drub-Nyiy Do Jo Gatsal three-year retreat in December 2005. Several trees had fallen in the middle of the retreat grounds during a strong storm. When Rinpoche grabbed his axe and headed off to clear the trees the next day, the retreatants strongly discouraged him, pleading that they would chop up the trees instead. Recalling his root teacher Dungse Thinley Norbu Rinpoche's words when he himself was cleaning, Lama Tharchin Rinpoche asked, "Can you clear away my karma for me too?" He then spent weeks chopping wood every day to clear the area as part of his virtuous practice to accumulate merit and wisdom.

Visit our Resources LTR's Writing & Transcripts page to download a PDF of "A Blazing Scythe of Wisdom" and other writings by Lama Tharchin Rinpoche.


Photo by Michael Broderick, Sang Ngak Cho Khor Ling, December 23, 2005.

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