Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Light At The Edge Of The World - Tibet

There's a series on the Natgeo channel that brings us to various locations to uncover the spiritual and social aspects of some communities and one of the episodes covers Tibetan Buddhism. The episode highlights Wade Davis' interactions with some lamas and monks in Tibet.

I found it to be a great catalyst for me to reflect on my own life and my thoughts. When Davis spoke at length with Matthieu Ricard, the French monk and the snippets of their conversations were shown, it brought something out of me. Ricard and Davis spoke about how Buddhism prepared us for death where many of us strived hard to achieve something in life. Ricard also had a great analogy for one who is seeking freedom of thought and likened it to us trying to maneuver a sailing boat in the middle of an ocean storm of thoughts. We spend too much time trying to find happiness in material things when happiness is just a way of life, a state of mind.

I was deeply touched by the segment where the entourage visited the hermit Tibetan nun who secluded herself from the rest of the world for over 4 decades - simply praying daily for everyone to find enlightenment and living only on the mantra of Om Mani Padme Om. She looked so serene and at peace with herself. I wonder if I will ever be able to find such inner peace.

I was greatly affected to see Davis shedding tears in his efforts to control his thoughts during meditation. It is reflective of how our mind is such a maelstrom when we actually sit down and try to listen to what it is trying to say. What he said is true... at moments like this, we realize how far we have to go in order to calm the mind and focus on our individual thoughts without being lost among them.

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