Monday, April 18, 2005

sarnath and a cosmic zap(?)

Sarnath is a little "hamlet" about 10 minutes outside of varanasi that is one of the holiest of buddhist sites . . . it was here, after his enlightenment, that the buddha first publicly delivered his message of the middle way, in what is known as the "sermon in the deer park" . . . so this is the spot where buddhism was officially "born" . . . pretty auspicious.

(note: there are four "gotta go" locations for buddhist pilgrims, the place of the buddha's birth, where he gained enlightment, where he delivered his first message or sermon, and where he died.)

buddhist pilgrims (and persons of many other "ilks") come to sarnath from all over to soak in the atmosphere, see and pray/meditate at the bodhi tree that is growing there (reportedly grown from a piece of the roots from the tree underwhich buddha gained enlightenment), visit the extensive ashokan temple ruins that were excavated in the 1800's by the british, gaze and meditate upon and/or circumnavigate the great red stone stupa that still exists (reportedly on the very spot on which the sermon was delivered, the stupa has brickwork dating back to around 200 bc), and visit the good archeological museum.

away from the bustle of the city (varanasi) it is a beautiful and peaceful spot, and while it's very "where it's at" for buddhists and/or students of buddhist philosophy/history, you don't need to know or care about buddhism to feel the mojo . . .

after arrival in varanasi (about 60 mintues of sleep on the overnight 13-hour trip) and check-in at my hotel, i headed out to sarnath. i enjoy places like this, and (for whatever reason) believe strongly in talismans -- i do believe that stones, wood, crystals, etc. hold the energy of the times and places from which they come . . . those who have been to my house know of all the little "things" i have around: mahogany tree seedpods from louise's yard, redwood bark from n.cali, shells from various oceans/seas, a stadium seat from the forum in montreal (yep, the temple of hockey), a little stone i picked up while in the rocky mountains visiting jeff (my brother) last year, etc.

it was in this spirit that i brought with me three small stones from the energy vortex we have in yalaha, out in the field behind the bakery . . . the idea being that perhaps while in india, i could serve as a "conduit" of the energy we have in yalaha, not just in my interpersonal actions, but also in the physical sense. so i brought one of the yalaha stones with me to sarnath, just in case it felt right to leave one somewhere, and sure enough, as i (traditionally clockwise) circled the great stone stupa, i saw a spot where some stone had fallen away, and i remembered the little rock i brought . . . so, that spot is now plugged with a little yalaha stone, it fit in tightly, is not at all noticeable, and i think it will stay for awhile . . .

with imagination raging, i had this image of some "plug in socket" thing happening, some cosmic zap, with some ancient "sarnathic" energy (after all these years, finally) somehow being zoomed to yalaha . . . who knows, maybe today's bakery pastries will be extra specially tasty -- and no one will know why, heh heh . . . whatever, i just like the idea of this rock from our little community snuggly nestled inside this great commemorative ancient structure, honoring the place of the birth of the buddhist philosophy . . . maybe in some way there really is an energy connection, after all, who are we to say "yes" or "no" to that possibility? . . . i for one feel nice and deeply comfortable and even excited to believe there is . . .


(pretty amazing that this area -- varanasi (the city of shiva)/sarnath -- is among the holiest of sites for two different religions (buddhist and hindu) . . . lots of "spirit" here . . . )


thanks to you all for reading these ramblings and for posting comments and sending me email . . . travelling alone, especially in a place where one is constantly being challenged is tiring and can get lonely, i enjoy the connection i get by reading all your stuff.

hugs, mark