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.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Yoga, Herbal Tea and it's all Good!

What is more interesting is how this timeless cycle of "Them versus US" continues, with each party acting and feeling all righteous whilst the devil and all else that should be condemned is safely and perfectly casted out in a projection onto the Damned OTHER

I'm not interested in details of who did what, I am interested in the universal patterns and themes.

I won't even begin to blog about the archetypes of the negative Sage (truth is on my side and if you disagree you will be sorry etc) that is so overwhelmingly apparent in our human heritage.

The way I see it, we are all guilty and we are all innocent as far as we don't really listen to each other and would rather stereotype each other.

Most religions are stuck in the negative sage archetype (who is hung up on absolute truths) and are not really in touch with the Inner Fool archetype (the one who makes fun of HIMSELF or who does honest inquiry)..

It's sad and twisted we can't just stop the projections and scapegoating and stereotyping!

Sorry Bulb, I would invite you for a Heineken or a Grolsch..Or perhaps a cup of religion free tea, if I wasn't so busy..But sending you some positive energy..:-) (as always)

I add AMEN..let's pray for ourselves..that we may see the reality of ourselves in the mirror of relationships with our "enemies".

Bulb, I never studies Islam, instead I dated Muslim men who all had different takes on the religion.

I never wanted to study the Islam because to me it was just as black and white as Christianity.

I think it´s unfair to see `evil` in Islam as a whole without looking at the Crusades for instance. Everything has it´s shadow but we can only find it when we deal with our own shadow first.

Honey, not trying to make you even more pissed off though..