I was recently able to visit a monastery in Tibet, birthplace of the 11th Dali Lama. Having incredibly fortunate timing, the monks were all chanting in unison as I entered their temple. Resplendent with Buddhas, shrines and thankas I felt the familiar goosebumps of bearing witness to a sacred place. As I moved through the space I felt my body soften as the energy from the chanting monks filled my chest with endless vibrations.
An altar of butter lights caught my attention and suddenly thoughts of my Dad filled my head. Not long before his death he asked me a lot about Buddhism and the underlying principles. Being no expert, I did my best to share what I’ve learned and experienced over the years. Late one night over a camp fire he asked if I thought you could simply choose to be Buddhist. I liked this line of questioning and told him that yes, I think that’s exact how things can work in this life.
As these rich and nearly melancholy memories came flooding forward I decided to light a butter lamp for Dad and place it in the waiting pool of water, already full of floating beacons of light. I had no sooner lit the wick and was placing the lamp adrift when it suddenly sunk straight to the bottom of the pool, quickly dousing the flame. Ha Ha! All I could hear was my Dad’s contagious laughter – erupting at the very notion of me lighting a candle in his honour in a random temple in Tibet.
The world does indeed work in mysterious ways and I have no doubt that my father’s humorous hand played a part in this JOYful chapter.