Thursday, January 28, 2010

On Location

Well, we're back, but we're not quite back. The thing is, around the time the Nyingma Monlam ended, we still had visiting lamas, so we took the long ride up to the high country, and found ourselves occupied with doing things like burying vases, stacking up the truckload of supplies for riwo sangcho, setting out new flags, and taking extremely bumpy 4WD rides in an increasingly wet desert. We have had torrential rains around here, and all of the region's dry lakes are now filled with water. On the other side of things, the mountain locales we frequent were hit with blizzards. Because the roads were blocked, supplies couldn't get in, so everybody ran out of everything. The state responded by closing the town!

Nevertheless, where there is rain, there are rainbows, so we decided to go on location, doing all those things for which the Nyingma are sometimes criticized. Say what you like, but with Losar approaching at warp speed, it is time to chat with the local deities.

Our own useful talks culminated with a huge sang, and the sang was rewarded with a really unique atmospheric sign: a rare, 360 degree, horizontal, double rainbow. I have never seen one before.  In the photograph of our flag, above, you see the common sort of rainbow. The one that signed our sang was directly overhead, like the canopy of a tent (or the roof of a ger).  So, if you laid down on your back in the middle of the property, and looked straight up into the sky, you would be looking at the bullseye of a rainbow "target," so to speak (kindly leave all gratuitous "dzogchen" comments at the door).

The lamas were grabbing up every camera they could find to get photographs, but it was really rather difficult, owing to the rainbow's altitude. We managed to get a couple of shots, but they are low color contrast, and I recognize they don't reproduce well on the web. You can click on the picture below, save it locally, and then use your image editor to examine it closely.

I mentioned that we buried vases, and indeed we did. After a lengthy divination process, and immediately following the sang, our visiting tulku buried one he brought from Tibet, and also one of Khyentse Rinpoche's peace vases. Since Khyentse Rinpoche likes to collect photographs of each vase being buried, we documented the process. Below is a documentary photo of the documentary photo. The reason why I do this is because I feel compelled to protect the privacy of guests, and since we ain't selling anything, who cares?

Whenever events like these are in progress, I am always keeping our readers in mind -- and that means you -- visualizing that you are there with us, sharing in the process. Actually, I take all of you with me, wherever I go -- even (and maybe especially) you naughty ones. So, if anybody asks you what you've been doing lately, you can say that you've been chasing rainbows, burning an unimaginably large mountain of offerings, and burying vases.

You could also quite truthfully say that you've been blessing space, which of course has already blessed itself, so your blessing could usefully be understood as your spiritual presence on location, at many auspicious events in far away places, dedicating the merit of activity for all sentient beings.

Like the man said -- there is no auspicious or inauspicious, but as there is auspiciousness free of any reference, so let it be thus.

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4 reader comments:

Blinde Schildpad said...

The horizontal rainbow y'all saw was most probably a circumzenithal arc. They are not actually rare, I'm afraid. Or miraculous. It's just that people don't look up there all that often. I've always found this, as a metaphor, much more dzogchenish than the stoners' clouds of concepts we Tibetan Buddhists tend to hang off perfectly ordinary and explicable phenomena...

Now, actually having a self, thát would be inexplicable and miraculous!

TENPA said...

To the contrary -- your own source, linked above, describes this as "exceptionally rare." These were two complete circles at the zenith. Your source explains that a CZA is never a complete circle around the zenith.

We do not take these as miracles. We take these as signs.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely fantastic! Thank you so much for all you do!

mrfrodo said...

rare or not rare, i see them as signs and if nothing else as a beautiful blessing, perhaps that is coming from my own perceptions and nothing else but i rejoice in seeing them...thank you for this blog and the photos, and most especially for "taking us" with you, though i may not be one of the 'regular' readers (i.e.- daily or weekly), but periodically, i have a tremendous appreciation and gratefulness for DTBA and thank you for including us in the prayers, our animals we take care of are especially in great need of them. thank you~