A Mighty Fortress

It has been a stressful time for our family as my daughter has been in the hospital for the last month battling a severe infection. Thank God she seems finally to have gotten the better of the infection and we look forward to her gaining strength.  Almost to my surprise, my faith has been a pillar for me in this time of trial.

My husband ran across this wonderful poem in Religions of Asia, ed Donald Lopez, Princeton Readings in Religion and shared it with me.  Although it is by a Tibetan monk using the terms of Buddhism, it resonates with my religious understanding.  It reminds me of the ending of A Mighty Fortress Is Our God:  “Were they to take our house, goods, honor, child, or spouse, though life be wrenched away, they can-not win the day,  The kingdom’s ours forever!”

Rainbow over Lake Namtso, Tibet

Rainbow over Lake Namtso, Tibet

Song of Yogin Lorepa during his Retreat at Lake Namtso:

Song of the Six Encouragements to Practice Religion

This workable mind
Is like mist on white glacier mountains.
One never knows when the mist will disappear, so resort to practice!
It is certain that it will disappear, so resort to the holy dharma (teachings)!
.
This illusory body composed of the four elements
Is like a tree root rotting.
One never knows when the tree will fall, so resort to practice!
It is certain that it will fall, so resort to the holy dharma!
.
This property built up by competitive ancestors
Is like the illusion of a magician.
One never knows when the illusion will be destroyed, so resort to practice!
It is certain that it will be destroyed, so resort to the holy dharma!
.
These objects of wealth collected through avarice
Are like honey collected by bees.
One never knows who will enjoy the honey, so resort to practice!
It is certain that others will enjoy it, so resort to the holy dharma!
.
Agreeable and loving relatives
Are like travelers gathered in a marketplace.
One never knows when the travelers will disperse, so resort to practice!
It is certain that they will disperse, so resort to the holy dharma!
.
These sons of your own flesh
Are like hundred-year-old dotards.
One never knows if they will help you, so resort to practice!
It is certain they will not help you, so resort to the holy dharma!


About Linda Miller

I am a retired teacher, the mother of two daughters, and the grandmother of three children. I co-chair the Sunday school at LCH and am very proud of what we do in our program. In my spare time I teach knitting to children at two local schools.
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2 Responses to A Mighty Fortress

  1. lori says:

    Linda,
    I’m so glad that your daughter is doing better–she is in our prayers…
    And your poem is perfect and beautiful! Much aloha, Lori

  2. Heidi Violand says:

    Dear Linda, thank you so much for sharing the “Song” – much food for thoughts!

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