The Ship of Freedom
Translations | Training

A wave of wishes based on the cycle of teachings of the Glorious Shangpa Kagyu Tradition


Oh Vajradhara and the two dakinis
    who embody pristine cognition,
Khyungpo Naljor and the root and transmission gurus,
Oh Supreme Bliss, Lord Vajra, Lord of Mystery,
    and Great Sorcerer,
Vajra Terrifier, Horse’s Cry, and the other yidams,
Oh dakinis of the five families,
    Fast-Acting Lord Protector and Remati,
Four responsive attendants and
    an ocean-like throng of other oath-bound protectors,
All sources of refuge, the Three Jewels and the Three Roots,
Pray, think of me from the domain of the mystery.


Through the power of truth in your energy and compassion
And through the power of the virtue I gather in the three times,
Pray, quickly fulfill these wishes
In this life and all my lives to come.

The Four Reflections

This precious birth, free and well-favored, is so difficult to obtain.
May I not waste it but make good use of it.
In reflecting on what is transitory, unstable, and changing,
May I dispense with comfort and simplify my life.
By understanding the effects of good and bad actions, whatever their importance,
May I be able to keep to the workings of seed and result.
By seeing clearly the suffering in the three realms of samsara,
May I develop the renunciation to leave samsara’s domain.

Refuge and Awakening Mind

In this life, in later lives, and between lives, all the time,
May I and others find refuge in the Three Jewels and the Three Roots.
May love and compassion be born from the depths of my heart
For all six kinds of beings, my parents, infinite as the sky.


In an uninhabited place in the mountains with all the favorable conditions
May I practice single-mindedly and reach the peaks of experience and direct understanding.
May holy gurus endowed with full capabilities
Look after me in all my lives to come.

Guru and Yidam Practice

May uncontrived reverence and devotion be born in my heart
For my root guru, who is buddha in bodily form.
The mandala of deities arises naturally and is always present;
Knowing that I am this mandala, may I stabilize its brilliant appearance.
By simply doing the ritual practices of gurus, yidams, dakinis, and protectors,
May I see them clearly, face to face.

The Root — the Six Energy-transformation Pratices

With irresistible bliss and warmth in full blaze in my body
May the absorption of bliss-emptiness be stabilized in my mind.
Through the understanding that all phenomena are like dreams and enchantments
May confusion and clinging to ideas of reality be totally destroyed.
At night may I clearly recognize the dream state without effort
And practice refinement, increase, emanation, transformation, and precision in perceiving specific objects.
In the interior darkness of ignorance, stupidity, and sleep
May I recognize and hold the deep and light states of sheer clarity,
May I master the various kinds of transference,
Dharmakaya, guru, yidam, sky-light, celestial realm, and others.
Through the natural arising of each of the three kayas and by the practice of no deviation
May the three kayas be actualized in the intermediate state of existence.

The Trunk — the Locket Tradition of Mahamudra

The four faults subside naturally, the four kayas are already fully present:
In this life may I know directly mahamudra, the nature of being.

The Branches — the Three Ways to Make Practice Effective

By reverence and devotion to my guru, by knowing appearances and sounds as deities and mantras,
And by knowing appearances and states of mind to be like enchantments and dreams,
May I bring all experience into the spiritual path.

The Flowers — the Red and White Dakinis

Through the noble queens who dance in the realm of bliss-emptiness
May I master the path of generation and completion and travel to their celestial realm.

The Fruit — No Death, No Deviation

The body itself is lifeless, the mind knows neither birth nor death:
May I know directly the fruit, no death, no deviation.

Lord Protector and Awakened Action

May I see clearly the noble form of the guru and the protector as one
And attain supreme mastery and mastery of the four awakened actions.
By means of calming power and energy equal to the buddhas’,
May I dispel all the maladies and miseries of beings.
May my life, merit, power, influence, experience, and direct understanding
Swell like rivers in the rainy season.
In order for me to be the utmost help to the Doctrine and to beings
May my power extend over the three realms and the three worlds.
In order to be able to destroy the enemies who have broached all ten domains
May my power and energy in wrathful mantras blaze like fire.

May I and other beings be completely purified of all the unwholesome acts
We have committed, whether unwholesome in nature or because of commitment.

The Six Perfections

May I be able to make beings happy
By giving them wealth, Dharma, and security.
May I always be able to keep the virtuous codes
Of the vows of individual liberation, awakening being, and the vajrayana commitments.
Even for the sake of a single being, may I endure patiently
The chopping of my body into ten million pieces for aeons.
In the practice of the supreme path to freedom for all beings
May I make the same enthusiastic effort as Sakyamuni Buddha.
May I stabilize unwavering tranquility, insight, and absorption
In dharmakaya, the pure being of mind, sheer clarity without limit.
May I have as full a knowledge as Manjushri
Of all experience in samsara and nirvana.

Serving the Dharma

May I bring to completion whatever Dharma I practice,
Be it sutra or tantra of the New School or Old.
May I obtain a pleasing appearance, melodious speech, and a glorious life,
Power and wealth, a heart of love, and be attractive to all who see me.
May I become like the six gems of the world and like the eight charioteers
For the Victorious One’s Doctrine and particularly for the Shangpa transmission.

Death and Awakening

At the time of death, may there be no agony,
With rainbows and relics appearing, may I be a guide for beings.
As soon as I have passed away, may I be born
In the Realm of Bliss in the presence of Khyungpo and his sons.
As soon as I have been born there, may I attain the tenth stage
And then attain supreme complete enlightenment.

Awakened Activity

Not resting in the end states of existence or peace,
May I be as helpful to all beings as the victorious ones and their sons.
May all those who have some connection with me
Through sight, hearing, recollection, touch, food, or Dharma
Be born as my first circle of students.
May I rain down a shower of teachings of the Mahayana
And the direct path of Vajrayana on all who are to be tamed.
In the end may I, on my own, set
Each and every sentient being in buddhahood.
As long as I and others have not reached buddhahood
May there be no hindrances to the Dharma for us for a single moment.

Conclusion and Dedication

May all six kinds of beings receive
Whatever happiness and virtue I have
On the basis of the happiness and virtue thus obtained
May they always be happy and joyful.
May the evil, confusion, and misery in other sentient beings
Come into me; may I experience the pain.
Because I experience that pain, may all sentient beings
Never again experience any misery, evil, or confusion.

Through the inspiration and energy of the Jewels and the Roots,
Through the power and vitality of the dakinis, protectors, and guardians,
Through the power of what is unchanging and ultimately real
And the power of the reliable interconnections of what is apparently real
May all the wishes which I have expressed be quickly fulfilled.

I dedicate the virtuous seeds of formulating such wishes
To all my mothers who are as limitless as space.
May we all be free from suffering, know sublime happiness,
And together attain full awakening.

This prayer was composed in the Male Earth Dragon Year (1928) by Karma Rangjung Kunchab (Kalu Rinpoche) who is in the lowest position in the line of transmission of the Glorious Shangpa Tradition.May this prayer be of great benefit to beings.MANGALAMThis prayer was translated by Ken McLeod in 1985 for Kalu Rinpoche’s autobiography.