Geshe-la Speaks of Tibetan Geometry

Seven dust particles equal
one louse egg.
Seven louse eggs equal
one barley grain.
Seven barley grains equal
the length
of the thumb’s tip segment.

Twelve thumb tip segments equal
the tip of the elbow to the tip of the pinky—
not quite a cubit. Everyone’s cubit is unique.
Four cubits equal
an arm span.
One arm span equals
your height.

The measurements continue
up to the sun.
Tibetan Geometry
is a huge volume!
This thick!
Scientists don’t believe it.
Ha! Ha! Yes.

Nevertheless, five-hundred human heights equal
how far a conch sound travels.
Eight conch sounds equal
how far we can see, a distance we call paktse.
Eighty-four thousand paktse equal
the size of Mt. Meri, the central mountain.
Our globe is south of there.

Thus begins the Mandala of Universes:
twenty-five up,
twenty-five deep.
These fifty are one thing.
And one-thousand of these one-things
is one-thing:
The first of a thousand universes.

2014
With thanks to Geshe Yungdrung Gyaltsen

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