Ladakh – The Bright Light Of Wisdom Earned
I am deeply inspired by the Gyalwang Drukpa – a man I have heard only great things about and finally seeing him for myself I feel such an incredible connection, much deeper than I had imagined. He has a wonderful, naturally joyous presence. He speaks straight from his heart, always. He speaks about Live to Love. He talks about how we need to care deeply for our animal friends, how important it is to be aware of what we do to our environment, and how to remain simple, humble and open hearted human beings. He speaks about how important it is not to become lost in the Guru search – that our own innate wisdom is always inside of us. That we must look deeply at all things and decide for ourselves, to be discerning and courageous with our thoughts and actions. I especially like his reference to the search for a “Guru with attached bath”, a sort of honesty and straightforwardness one doesn’t often get the chance to witness as of late. He empowers women like no other Lama I have ever heard of – his Kung Fu Nuns are exceptional and a source of inspiration for many. The way they hold themselves shows this great inner confidence, be it in prayer or on stage yielding a sword or fan they are supremely cool. You can see the great effort he makes in the support of change and equality, such a neccesity in these strange and ambigous times of ours. He brought a text along for his teaching, but he only glanced at it, as what he had to say seemed to come directly from his feelings, his experiences, his life story and wisdom earned. He is a great teacher. His immense popularity now makes total sense to me – it is no wonder as he seems to touch everyone so deeply with his words and by his humble yet regal example. Live to Love, could there be a more important message to uphold? This is what the largest Amithaba thanka in the world looks like. Over seventy feet tall the glowing image of Amithaba shines across the land high above all else. The hot sun beats down on us all but casts its shimmering light on the wondrous colors flowing in the wind, it is a great beacon in the wafting mountain air. Such incredible colors made even more intense by the sheer size of it, you have to crane your neck way back at its base to see the top. Shimmering gold and silver, deep greens and blues, brilliant crimson red, all imparted with a subtleness as the giant form waves softly in the wind making it come to life. Once again the crowds are explosive, rearing to get a closer look while the unveiling ceremony begins. Led by the Gyalwang Drukpa himself, surrounded by hundreds of monks and nuns, drums and chanting, the smoking of incense wafts through the air, in a huge semicircle around the structure that has been built just to hold this mammoth devotional appliqué – it is beyond incredible. Once again, surrounded by all of this I am amazed at how surreal it all is. Standing in the middle of a valley twelve thousand feet in the Himalayan mountains, surrounded by a hundred plus thousand people cheering Ki Ki So So, La Gyelo Lo at the top of our lungs, watching as the largest image of Buddha Amithaba is raised into the air, blowing in the wind under a perfect blue sky… how to describe this? Could there be anywhere else like this on earth? I think not. Ki Ki So So Indeed, and La Gyelo as well. Raising this great Thanka of Amithaba makes way for a perfect time to raise windhorse – Live to Love is running rampant here at Naropa!