The miracle of Tirta Empul

Michael Henskens en Atalwin na het ritueel

Today was again special day. We got up early to go to a sacred place and meditate there. The name of the temple was Tirta Empul and it was about 30 minutes driving with the motorbikes. The idea was to get there before the many tourist filled busses would arrive. But even though we were later than expected we were also a bit too early. We wandered around the complex, feeling a bit lost because there was nothing (no signs, no brochures, no guides) to give us some explanation or direction. So we decided to leave and go find the waterfalls that were mentioned in the Lonely Planet to take a swim.

Surrender

Surrender to Thy Will

Just a couple of moments ago she walked up my balcony and give me a long and warm hug. She shared with me tht she went to a spa this morning where she had a massage. During this massage she had started crying. She hadn’t cried in over a year. Now she came over to thank me. She also told me she that it felt scary and dislodging but also real and right. Her eys were softer and her breathing relaxed and deep. She felt that this was only the beginning. But she told me she knew what to do: to surrender.

She just made my day. I love these little miracles. Thank you.

A Sincere Voice

Des Hommes et des Dieux

It is nice to find awareness in unexpected places. In a newspaper, for example. In today’s Volkskrant I found a background story behind a new movie “Des Dieux Et Des Hommes”. It depicts the true story of seven Trappist monks who choose not to flee from their remote Algerian monastery when the Armed Islamic Group (GIA) Muslim order the exile of all foreigners in 1996. The brave monks do not want leave the Algerian villagers behind, with whom they have been living for decades and for who the monastery serves as a hospital. The expected consequence is that they will be killed. And that’s what happened.

In the newspaper article the 73 year old Brother Armand Veilleux is interviewed. This Belgian monk was the last one who saw his fellow monks alive. Now what I would like to share today is not about the movie (although I believe we all should see it) but the words of this monk. He tells the journalist that he was very much against the idea of making a movie about this terrible incident but feels that “the result is excellent”. “It is a very correct vision on what happened there. I think it is wise that the director doesn’t make implications about who killed the brothers. Indirectly, the movie will contribute to finding the one’s who are guilty”.

Unmistaken Child

Unmistaken Child Poster

I really don’t know what to think of reincarnation. Intuitively I believe in it, rationally I can’t get my head around the idea. But I know that the rational mind is limited and I also know that my intuition hasn’t fully matured yet. I’ve had experiences in meditation that felt like glimpses of past lives but there is no way to proof that what I experienced was true. So I just don’t know.

I’m not the only one. The Buddhist concept of reincarnation, while both mysterious and enchanting, is hard for most westerners to grasp. That makes watching the documentary “Unmistaken Child” extra fascinating. The movie depicts the following of the four-year search for the reincarnation of Lama Konchog, a world-renowned Tibetan master who passed away in 2001 at age 84. The Dalai Lama charges the deceased monk’s devoted disciple, Tenzin Zopa (who had been in his service since the age of seven), to search for his master’s reincarnation.

Masquerade

This is a beautiful video. It speaks for itself, really. Made by an art student as his graduation project. I find it a very reassuring feeling that a young guy uses his skills to attempt to deliver such a profound message. Click and watch and let me know what’s your feeling.