Saturday, February 25, 2012

Smoke & Mirrors

This stone once shone like a pool of water when struck by moonlight streaming in through a temple window.
How often do we seek to fool one another. The sleight-of-hand, the not telling, the hiding, the holding in. Changing the subject. Distraction with pacifier. Shock and awe. The peacock's feathers. 

What does one do in the face of purposeful duplicity. 
What does one do when one finds one's self chin-deep in a pool of swirling truths and lies. Each mixing, melding and reforming like a marble of stunning complexity. 'Till the original assertions become indistinguishable, each part of a fabric. The warp of beauty woven thru the weft of cunning.

This reminds me of my friend, Somyot Kumsang's fantastic wave of elephants and dragons. He did this when we were together in Bodhgaya. Everyone was stunned. What a fantastic illustration of tumbling thoughts, of confused emotions, and of politicians.

Polonaruwa in the rain on Valentines Day. 
 I am in love, enamored with this ancient place. In this age, we have the privilege of admiring the hubris of kings, who competed fiercely not just thru warfare--but also thru art--each one building more gorgeous temples to trump the previous generation. 

What would happen if art were the medium for warfare today? 

The shadow remains of a protector at a shrine. 

This stupa was once painted with the milk of a thousand breast-feeding women. (I wonder if they had breast pumps?)

Gal Vihara. A 12th Century Theravada (and Vajrayana?) shrine with enormous statues carved into solid rock. A Sri Lankan monk, Manju Sri Thero, pointed out the vajras at the base of this ancient Buddha carved into the rock face.

An hour and a half away in Dambulla, a film is being created about art and forbidden love. This is Ranjan Ojha who plays Shyam for VARA, Khyentse Norbu Rinpoche's new film.

Throughout my time here, I have had the privilege of interfacing with Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche and Harsha Navaratne. Both movie makers and spiritual men. Leaders of movements, inspiring thousands. They are masters of swimming through the aforementioned pool, I believe. Makers of the cinematic mirror that reflects life. 

Here Rinpoche is wrapping up the shooting of his new film, Vara (The Boon). The clay hands are those of Saraswati, Goddess of the Arts, whose statue plays a central role in the film.  

Somehow, this all ties together. Art, love and the pursuit of truth. 
The Question: Is truth worth pursuing? 
Or should we just dance through the marbled water as it falls around us.

Real water. on real stone. 

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