Monday, June 4, 2012

Once Upon a Time...






Once upon a time is such a nice beginning. 
It fills in receptive ears and welcoming hearts that are warm and willing to receive. 

It evokes timelessness and stories that have endured the ravages and consequences of time, as well as its melancholic memoirs and nostalgic novembers. But time itself is nothing but a marker to remind man of the passage of all things, and in time, all things must pass. Having said that, it is that very reason that makes life what it is; bittersweet, glorious, tragic, touching, endearing and an epitaph that makes us pause, ponder awhile and the strength to move on and go on.

The passage of that time in space where we are is like the shooting star; a celestial brief that makes us smile and wonder. 
A rainbow that makes us forget the vagaries of life and stills and calms the flash-flooding in us; even if it be brief and fleeting. 
That is probably the reason why they say one can live a lifetime in a moment. 
Without that sense of bewilderment, happiness is just another word we can spell about and never really come to know.



"Decay is inherent in all component things! Work out your salvation with diligence!" So said a boy named Siddhartha when He became The Buddha at the tender age of thirty five as he lay in serenity breathing in his last gasp of impermanence (The Great Passing Away) - his final lesson and teaching at the ripe old age of eighty. Like all the Buddhas of the past, like all the Buddhas of the future, He was born, reached enlightenment and passed away on the Full Moon of the Fourth Lunar Month, which this year is celebrated today; June 4, 2012.
I do not know if there are still stories being told- around a warm hearth, out in the breezy dusk lights on hot summer days, around a kitchen fire in cold winter nights, or to the sound of monsoon rains drumming the roof and the ground; on renewed spring blossoms or out on a stroll hand in hand during gold-leafed autumn days.
In the end we are all stories, and the passage of every being is both natural and sad, but happiness and joy abounds when stories are told of times gone by. The beautiful part is that when we tell stories, there are no such things as bad folks, societies or countries. All of that vanishes and what remains are memories of beings that lived and strived to be happy in their own way, no matter in what way, shape or form the choices were made the pursuit was always on as it still is. 

The bird may be caged to the skies, but it still flies above fences, walls, boundaries and borders. 

It transcends the delusional divisions and the remnants are purified. 
The residue is thus a fond memoir.
On occasions such as these, we all become a little more aware of the precious boons we have been granted and been endowed with. It makes our hearts that much more receptive, appreciative and a sense of gratitude arises as spontaneously.
Today is indeed such an occasion; a beautiful occasion indeed! To go and pay one's tributes to The Tathagatha and the path he paved for us all, and to celebrate the Birthday of Her Majesty, Our Kind and Loving Dragon Queen and so much more. 
"The Tathagatha,
And The Eight-Fold Noble Path-
What else Do You Need?"
A rhetorical question of an attempted Haiku I'd put out to bedazzle myself! There are no definitives to anything but having said that, to some things, there are certain definitives; such as a queen.

A queen was what we needed.
I've not been able to sleep, on account of being rather too acquainted with the nocturnal life. But this night, which slowly dawns outside the windows, keeps me awake for reasons other than my usual wanderings. The attic I live in has a square transparent tin-sheet on the roof: a see-through; a view to the sky. There are pigeons and now they coo. Now they stir from their nests. I hear the chirps of other winged feathers and the odd wee-hour sounds of vehicles revving up their engines for another day's hustle and bustle.
And I have been lost for words the last couple of weeks and days leading up to this very designate-day and what it really means. 

There was a jam in my head. Now I see how I was trying too hard. Anything that comes from the heart and is fed with a sense of gratitude cannot be mulled over too much. It takes away from the sacredness of the occasion we will be absorbing and celebrating and its spontaneity. I'd not realized that I'd already celebrated the proceedings even as I was logged and jammed in a myriad maze of thoughts and its infinite conclusions minus solutions. 

You see; I smile every time I see Our Queen. And I smile even at the thought- of Her Majesty The Queen because there is something about Her. I'd had a big stupid grin of happiness smacked on my face when His Majesty The King announced and shared with us, His subjects whom He holds so near and dear, His impending decision to marry what He said was a beautiful human being in the form and shape of Jetsun Pema. On that noted day, that natural warm smile on His Majesty's compassionate visage was ever more radiant, telling us and sharing with us a woman whom he described as a young and compassionate being who would make us all proud and fulfill her sacred duties to the utmost as Our Queen.
I grinned and smiled a great big smile as I gazed upon and heard His Majesty's address on the telly. It brought us even more closer to Him and if ever a bond was forged without a bondage, it was and is the relationship of His Majesty The King and His people.
When we caught our first glimpse of the Dragon Queen to-be, it was love at first sight! 

Once upon a time isn't just a beginning, its a process in itself- rooted and embedded through many Karmic ties without being blinded but rather envisioned, freed and strengthened.
I was happy for My King, and I was happy for Our Queen to-be, and I was happy for Our People and Our Buddha Blessed Kingdom.
Since that joyful day, many moons have come and gone; waxed and waned, and together with that natural phenomena, so has the love between Our King and Queen and now hand in hand, their love towards us and our love and reverence for a match I believe was Made in Heaven. It is both endearing and loving, kind and courageous and a picture of hope and optimism. The People's King had someone by his side whom He loves and to the fortunate Karma of the Kingdom and its citizens, wed not just a beautiful woman but also a beautiful human being in the person of Jetsun Pema; the Flawless Lotus and as if on cue, we had been aptly gifted yet another gem from the Dragon Throne; The People's King now had the perfect bride; The People's Queen.
That Her Majesty celebrates her twenty second birthday today on the same day The Tathagatha entered unto Parinirvana is indeed more cause to pay tribute to and be what we can all be- good human beings as His Majesty keeps demonstrating.
That we have such a young and generous Queen who, though young in time, now provides love, companionship and more to His Majesty and to us; their humble and proud subjects, is in itself such an uplifting thought. 
To see Their Majesties touring the country together; 
a benevolent smile here, an encouraging word there, and to know we have a King who will guide Her Majesty, and to know that we have a Queen who will soften the many unseen and unsaid hardships and sacrifices His Majesty so naturally undertakes for and on our behalf is in itself such a comforting thought.
That they have each other to turn to is such a grateful relief.
If marriages are made in heaven, then this union was brought down to earth to illustrate the meaning of such a union: togetherness, sacrifice, altruism, a love that is on a higher plane, companionship, solace, empathy and what it means to really Care and Be Caring.
May Your Majesty always remain as pure and as flawless as the lotus that sprouts without a speck of dust yet stays wisely rooted in the complexities of life; and wisely just and justly wise as symbolized in Your auspicious name. 

And in doing that, epitomizing the meaning of simplicity as Siddhartha did.
The sun now beams its rays through the windows in the attic I live in, providing me with light and a chance to live another day as best as I possibly can... May Your Majesty be like the light that shines in, through the cracks of life; providing vision where there is darkness, wisdom where there is ignorance, optimism where there is hopelessness, courage where there is failure, and love where there is none. 
May Your Majesty become the very beacon that tells lost souls that "This Is Home and You Have Arrived..."
And May Your Majesty always arrive there safely, even as we are guided by that light... with His Majesty by Your side, and the Protector Deities of Our Beloved Kingdom and its folks, who will celebrate this beautiful day of Your Birth and The Tathagatha's Painirvana, and give thanks that we have in our midst a Caring and Compassionate Queen we will always love and who will reciprocate that back a hundred fold.
This is a story I'm telling my son, and a story someday he'll pass on to his son... a story that will be told manifold; around a warm hearth, out in cool meadows on hot summer evenings and around campfires in cold wintry months and to the music of the monsoon raindrops, the renewing spring and in gold-laden autumn days.
"Once upon a time;
Is such a beautiful Line-
May it never end!"
a Heart Felt Happy Birthday Your Majesty and Tashi Delek Phuensum Tshok! 

With Reverence and with Love  and Prayers (^)
Your most humble albeit a proud subject,
Jurmi Chhowing    

   






























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