Sunday, June 29, 2008

Hail to the Jewel in the Lotus



I've been reading about Tibetan Buddhism, such a psychedelic high altitude version of Buddhism. Wow. Part of its allure for me is the fact that it's inextricably connected to the tradition of Tengerism I'm a part of.

You know those Tibetan prayer flags in five colors that you always see in pics of Tibet? (They can also be seen hanging across porches in groovy American cities like Takoma Park, Maryland or Berkeley, California. You can even see some on Capitol Hill, including the set of five hanging across my front door.)



The horse in the center of these flags is a windhorse, a shamanic nature soul that carries prayers from our lips to God's ear - as it were, that is - since God for Mongolian shamans is the Eternal Blue Sky, a clear expanse without ears or any other distinguishing features other than the color.

A riderless horse speeds tirelessly across the heavens, carrying an auspicious faceted jewel that radiates peace and harmony. The snapping of prayer flags in the wind evokes the sound of the Windhorse (Lung-ta) galloping in the sky, riding the breezes and carrying prayers to the Eternal Blue Sky for the benefit all sentient beings.

Isn't that nice? What a noble horse!

Though in real life the U.S. Capitol isn't shaped so much like a stupa as it appears to be in these distorted reflections, I still think it would look great festooned with lots of strings of prayer flags. Wouldn't it? The Capitol policemen who questioned me the day I took these pics didn't share my enthusiasm, mostly because the car I was using as a reflection device belongs to their chief! No wonder it was so clean and shiny. Oops.

7 comments:

Barbara said...

I've seen the unbelieving looks on the faces of authority as you point your camera at a car and CLICK. These are not Blog people!

Reya Mellicker said...

They always suspect the worst, which is their job, after all. When they see what I'm doing, they immediately lose interest in me and my "art."

Oh well!

judy g said...

well, the force was with us yesterday! we had a great fabulous dyke march...about 15,000 in the park, and there had to be at least 50,000 marching.....

talk about magic..the DM is one huge piece of it..

cute pic of our gal on the www.hillgirlz.com website..pics of the dyke march (she's #143)

fools journey isn't really a witchcamp, just a little magical weekend......no story or anything like that......

Anonymous said...

Dearest Reya,

I found your blog tonight and I just wanted to take a moment to let you know how wonderful and lovely I found your art and your thoughts.

It helped me to feel hope for our world, hope for being alive, truly, gloriously alive, not merely existing, as I have been for this last long year.

Thank you for again holding the lantern to show me where the path may lead as I leave the decade of my forties behind and emerge into my fifties.

This has given me hope.

Thank you,

Namaste

Many, many blessings to you!

Storm
storm_and_raven at livejournal

lucy said...

so creative to see it as stupa-like. great funny about the cop.

i too am newly joyful in discovering tibetan buddhism, esp. lojong and tonglen, and pema chodron's interpretation. i keep seeing how buddhism contains all religions, expressed in the most profoundly simple, simply profound abstract.

happy to have your company in this and i look forward to it woven into writings and photos again.

Reya Mellicker said...

Pema Chodron is one of the most powerful teachers I have ever had. Yeah!

Storm! Thank you so so so much!! Congrats on entering the 50's. So far it's a great decade.

Love to all...

Steve said...

I never noticed that stupa similarity -- but you're right, it's definitely there.

I also never knew the Mongolians considered the sky to be God. Interesting how God is almost always "up" in most cultures -- away from us, looking down on us, rather than actually among us.

I hope you don't get into trouble one day with your car photography. :)