What (Who) is Chenrezig to me?

chenrezig_td26Last night a friend asked me to describe Chenrezig to him.

So I tried like this:

To me, Chenrezig represents the open path to Buddha Nature.

He said, ‘say more’:

He/she is the awareness of compassion, but also an intelligence.

He asked me what I thought Buddha Nature means… So I said this:

Buddha Nature to me is the persistent wisdom/compassion/awareness that everything is. Never born, never dying.

I admitted that I am likley only regurgitating something that I read from a Tulku or heard some Rinpoche say in a talk…

I recieved the Chenrezig empowerment in 2007 from a Karma Kagyu Rinpoche here in OKC while he was visiting a very small Buddhist group. I took my refuge that day, and in many ways I have danced around it. I almost entirely fell away from my Chenrezig practice by seeking what I thought I was missing, a teacher.

I found a friend who is a Naga Baba and soon I was deep into Shaivism, which I think might have helped me in some ways, but in truth I would have discovered that same non duality in my Chenrezig practice had I been paying any attention.

So now I am paying attention. Now I am devoting myself to Chenrezig, to compassion, to the knoweledge that wisdom has always been swirling around me and now I am ready.

Om Mani Padme Hung.

Dragonfly Magic

A true story.

It was late afternoon, and clouds had been building from the northwest all day. The heat from the Oklahoma plains had pushed the clouds high earlier in the day, but what had once been a mass of white thunderheads had become a low-lying jumble of gray and black clouds. I could smell the rains as the winds picked up. The storms were coming.

Laying on a billowy green couch I read a book about spiritual transformation to myself, but when I found a passage about dragonflies, I had to read it aloud to my daughters. I called for them and they piled onto the couch with me. The scene was two men walking on a wooded hillside as dragonflies zoomed around them. The pages mentioned that dragonflies are actually wood spirits that want to come close to us, to be seen and played with.

My daughters loved this visual, especially the little ones. We talked about it for a couple of minutes, and they they went back to playing in their rooms. A bit later there was a furious lightning strike in the distance, and the thunder brought the girls back in to the living room. We decided to go outside and feel the energy before the rains came to wash the world clean.

Outside we looked around for a few minutes. You could see the different temperatures colliding in the air. A kaleidoscope of monochromatic colors was flowing and falling over itself in the air above our green lawn. My son joined us, and soon we were laying on the lawn, looking at the clouds as they neared. I laid back on the cool grass and watched the clouds swirling to the northwest.

My littlest daughter soon asked me a question.

“What are those?” she asked pointing into the skies.

I had to focus on something lower than the clouds, something I had missed until now. There, under the storm clouds, was a stream of tiny black dots. For a moment or two I could not understand what I was seeing, but then my son said, “Dragonflies!”

Suddenly I could see them in focus. Thousands of dragonflies were flying away from the coming rains. They were moving diagonally across our lawn, from the northwest to the southeast. It was amazing.

“They are faeiries aren’t they?” one of my daughters asked looking into the sky with amazement.

“They must be, right?” I said without looking down.

“I want them to come down here. I want them to play with us,” she said, clearly thinking about the story I had just read to her.

My son smiled and shook his head a little bit.

“How would you call them down to us?” I asked sitting up beside her.

She smiled, sat up and pulled her legs in Indian-style, and then began to chant as she has heard me do.

“Om Mani Peme Hung, Om Mani Peme Hung, Om Mani Peme Hung,” as she was doing this her little eyes closed and she called out to the river of dragonflies above us.

Soon, magically, the dragonflies did find their way to the ground. All around now were buzzing dragonflies flitting from here to there. In the trees, around the roses, between us and before us.

One large green and purple dragonfly flew up to my daughter and seemed to float in the air before her face for a moment. And then, just as quickly as it had begun, it was over. The dragonflies were back above the trees, continuing on their journey. But, my children and I will always know that we were visited by the faeiries.

Just Imagine

i watched this video and tears came to my eyes. i am crying.  crying.

our world is so screwed up.

we dont have the money to teach arts in schools, because we need to build arsenals.

we make weapons to destroy, instead of music to heal.
we strive to kill, when instead we should strive to give each child a home and comfort.
we make food into fuel, when we could feed the poor.

all of this could change. if you want to see children smile, to end suffering, to make war a thing only read about in our history books, then you have to be the first person to say so. others only count when you count yourself.

i dont want my son to see war.  i never want my daughters to know the fear that daughters all around the world know when armies approach. my children, your children, all children deserve better.

i deserve better.

you deserve better.