Saturday, February 11, 2006

The Monk and the Dog


When I was seventeen, I traveled all over India. I visited holy places. Met holy men. Had discussions with saints and monks. Read sacred texts and even memorized quite a couple of them.
It wasn't so much that I was searching for myself, or in need of a deeper spiritual dimension to life. It's quite hard when rivers of hormones are raging through your already hot blood, and even toothless old crones seem to exert an irresistible sexual power over you, to even consider that side of life. It was more an accidental twist of faith. You might say I was a victim of circumstances.
So one day, I found myself, a fiery-tempered youth from Amsterdam climbing the foothills of the Himalayas in search of nothing in particular.
I remember it was a nice day. Birds were singing in the trees. The clean mountain air filled my lungs, and in the distance I could see the snow-covered peaks. After walking for a few hours, never meeting another soul, the forest path changed into a staircase, hewn in the rock, leading to a Tibetan Buddhist monastery. It looked like a steep climb, so I sat down on the steps to rest.
A dog wandered by, looked at me and for some reason decided to sit next to me. It was a beautiful dog. It could have been a German shepherd, but I have no idea about such things. There was a certain nobility to it. It didn't beg or wag it's tail. It just sat next to me. Two weary travelers resting in silence.
After ten minutes or so I got up to climb up to the temple. The dog, never missing a step, kept to my side, as if he had been my close companion for years.
Together we walked around the seemingly deserted temple, we paid our respects to the Buddha statues and went outside to enjoy the view.
A young man approached us. He had the wrinkled face of a Tibetan and wore the blood red cloth of a monk. The three of us stood there in silence for a moment and for some reason that felt really good.
After a while the monk looked at the dog and said: "That is a good dog."
I slowly nodded my head and said: "It is a good dog."
We listened to the wind for a while and the monk spoke again: "That is a clean dog."
I nodded thoughtfully and said: "It is a very clean dog."
I could tell the monk wanted to ask me something, but either he did not know the words in English, or he was too shy. After a while he said: "It is my wish to have a dog."
I remained silent for a minute. It really wasn't my intention to heighten the drama of the moment, but there was something about that place that made the use of too many words seem sacrilegious. I looked at the monk again and said with my youthful optimistic stupidity: "Yes. It is now your dog."
The monk smiled. The dog started wagging its tail. The monk knelt down and the dog licked his face.
I just walked back down the steps and felt really good about life.

18 Comments:

Blogger fineartist said...

I think I'll leave you a comment on my blog...I'm in a babbling mood and don't want to wind bag around too much. Heh heh.

10:13 AM  
Anonymous Yeeman said...

Bulb, I am speechless..Did I send you too much energy (from the anahata chakra)?

We need your pissed off kind of love as well..

;-)

(like the story..if you turn around the words of Dog, it is God..and it's the chinese year of the dog, whatever that means)

6:40 PM  
Blogger bulb said...

Yeeman, you do off course realise that you can put your anahata up your Muladhara

12:50 AM  
Blogger The Jamoker said...

I thought the same thing as fineartist wrote on her site. But, then I figured the dog was prolly a reincarnated ad guy, trying to atone for past transgressions. The time with the monk will do him/it some good, right?

4:45 AM  
Blogger Cheryl said...

So sometimes being where you are now, leads you to where you are supposed to be?
Or all things are connected?
Or friends are for a season?
Hmm.
So did God send you so the dog would get to the monk, or the dog, so that he would get to the monk, or the monk so that you werent saddled with a dog they wouldnt take at the hotel, or with sleepless nights wondering if it found its master/got fed?

I wonder if the monk ever got arrested for theft. Weird karma.

5:58 PM  
Blogger Cheryl said...

And how freaky is it to think you were pre-ordained to be there.
Giant chess.

6:00 PM  
Anonymous Tibby said...

Aren't there cat stories?
Send my regards to Mickey!!!

8:45 PM  
Anonymous Yeeman said...

Yeah, dammit...I send Micky a valentine's card..and you Bulb will certainly get no valentine card.

(PS, no I don't know how to put the anahata up in the muladhara, please send me the link so I can practice.)

Chanting: WE WANT MICKEY!!!

10:30 PM  
Blogger Jess said...

Things that make you go Hmmmmmmm....

5:32 PM  
Blogger fineartist said...

Still with the dog story?

1:52 AM  
Blogger Rain said...

The dog story made me sad. I keep thinking that it had a different owner looking for it. Calling for it all night.

I guess it is best to think of it as a free dog searching for a home.

12:16 AM  
Blogger Sassy said...

I wish I had one person to love me the way my dog does.

4:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jo Bulb
kan je even de ic bellen,
claudia wil graag iets vragen.
Je tel nr doet het weer niet....
:)
Steve 16/2 10.45

10:43 AM  
Blogger Jess said...

Sassy I love you!!!!

5:07 PM  
Blogger katehopeeden said...

That was really very cool.
First time I have been by and I get that touching story :)
~K

10:50 PM  
Blogger Le chameau insatiable said...

in french, dog is chien. if i turn it around it's neihc. shit, that doesn't mean anything. i guess french dogs are unholy.

5:28 PM  
Anonymous Yeeman said...

Chameau, I hope you are not making the mistake to take Anything I write seriously.
In my own defense, I like dogs..(being one myself)..
I once wrote a whole entry in my blog that men are NOT dogs after all.
But I am openminded about others disagreeing.

2:00 PM  
Blogger jenni said...

I liked this story. Thanks.

6:51 PM  

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