just as it is.
Nature, ordinary, extraordinary
and beautiful to behold.
In the depths of the dream a mirror is held
a kaleidoscope of people
reflecting facets of one's own mind.
Where's the separation?
Each in their shy beauty veiling the light
with visions and despair
confusion and insights
the human plight.
to be nobody
to be everybody
- tell me - do you know who we are
as we dance, move and weave
our way through space and time?
nothing really happens
no fixed views or rights and wrongs
and sensing the heart beat of every living being
- their life's song.
green capital of the West.
Curiosity like a trapped bird
being drawn down many corridors
It's hard to know what freedom really is
In a world of shadows that people call reality.
In the silent empty night
awareness shines bright for a moment
shifting the shadows and dispelling the dreams.
The heart fully appreciates
the triple jewel
as one who had travelled far would appreciate the long lost love
of a friend.
Perhaps that too is just a dream
a dream ....
Ven. Kovido writes on his walk with Ven. Attapemo from Amaravati to Chithurst.
The actual sensations of walking became the background flow of the stream
that kept re-emerging during the walk: the feeling of the pack which seemed
to get heavier during the day; the interplay of the heat and the cold
- finding out that it is preferable to walk in gentle rain rather than
hot sunshine; and the effect that a small change in gradient could make
to walking. Then the coolness of the trees and the immense relief of taking
off the pack and having a break in the late afternoon. How quickly we
cooled down when we stopped walking!
Late in the afternoon, or early in the evening
we would approach a village where we planned to spend the night. It is
strange how different it is to walk somewhere rather than to drive. Driving,
basically, is going from A to B. You may see a few things whizzing by,
but the general experience is: leave A, drive, arrive at B. On the other
hand, walking is a very gentle, gradual way to approach a village. As
one walks in, consciously or sub-consciously one absorbs the surroundings:
the type of terrain - woodlands or fields, buildings and footpaths, the
farm animals, the type of architecture. Then, feeling something of the
history - the age of the place, the church, the duckpond, the village
green, the house names. And then, there you are at somebody's house and
somehow you are part of the surroundings - not really an intruder. Quietly,
gently, walking in.
The door opens and the scene changes and for
a while one enters into a different world, like water in a stream coming
to a pool, slowing down and curling around for a while. And one undergoes
that ritual of getting to know somebody. Having walked helps, because
at the end of a day one is tired and thirsty and dirty. So if somebody
gives you a cup of tea and a chair to sit down on you are immediately
grateful and responsive. Being made helpless by our rules (and also by
what we could carry), one cannot get these things for oneself, so a gap
is created and during our walk it was generously and regularly filled
to the full.
Getting to know somebody and being allowed to
come into their space for a while is to get a glimpse of a non-monastic
world. What are the values, the ideas which make people do what they do?
What do they actually do? And the idea of one's work - not so much the
bread-winning stuff although not necessarily separated from that - but
the work which is the purpose and the fulfillment of a life, its relationship
to the society and environment that one lives in. How does this equate
with life as a Buddhist monk? Surprisingly, we found that people who may
regularly visit the monastery really know very little about the monks
and think we (Ven. Attapemo and myself!) are quite formidable or intimidating.
And so, partly through the etiquette and the rules about what we can and
can't do as monks, and also through the exchange of ideas and thoughts,
we would get a glimpse into each others' worlds.
And in the midst of all this we take tea and
refreshments, a bath, a rest and breakfast and then off we go again. And
after about a hundred yards of leaving comes up that feeling of "Oh yes.
Remember. This is what it's all about.' That familiar feeling of the weight
of the pack on one's back., and the legs stretching out like being back
with an old friend. Back walking again, leaving that other world behind,
and leaving gently with no traces left behind. And so we'd go on walking,
flowing down the stream - stopping for a while, entering another world
- and then walking on again.