What would happen, if for the present moment, we suspended our beliefs and entered a different reality, a new landscape?
Where would we go? What would we discover?
Magic is all that we don’t understand from our rational minds, all that we experience that is outside of our known concepts.
Our worlds are built directly out of our perceptions and our perceptions are filtered through our conceptual minds—until they aren’t, until we drop our concepts and ideas about who we are and how it is and enter the unknown.
Then we light up! We see, hear, taste and touch the unimaginable completely magical world.
An Ancient Story
Many years ago (as in, over 1200 years ago), Padmasambhava was born naked and happy on a lotus at the age of eight. No really, he was. I mean, what would happen if for just one minute you opened to the possibility? What other magic would enter your life?
Equally fantastical and true, he traveled across difficult and barren terrain to transform a landscape and open the people’s minds to Buddhism. This alchemy of people and landscape unfolded through his presence, his wisdom, dare I say, his magic.
A Modern Story
But this Padmasambhava wasn’t just a quiet old monk, he was more akin to a superhero traversing dangerous terrain and flying on the back of his lover. To this day, his spirit lives in the Himalaya landscape and continues to work on and transform the people and their relationship to spirit and earth.
What would happen to us if we let go of seeing the landscape as apart from us and inquired into the possibility that we are the landscape, that the dirt, air and daffodils are part of our true nature and are bowing to us in recognition?
In September, eight adventurous artists are flying on the inside of airplanes (this seems just as magical as on the back of a lover, just not as romantic) to the Himalaya region to follow, join, discover and become part of the living Padmasambhava story. They will interact with the story, the landscape, the people and make art to offer back to us, to share the story of Padmasambhava through many voices and mediums.
From what little I know of Padmasambhava, I am most moved by his generosity, his grand and enlightened offering of Buddhism to a people and a landscape. What most moves me about these artists is their generosity, curiosity and openness of heart to want to travel across half the world to learn about a people, a place, a story and share it with us along the way.
Padmasambhava and this artist journey both invite us to imagine the world anew, to let go of our conceptual and limited understanding of what it means to be human, what it means to live on the earth and open up to new treasures, new spiritual knowing, new innocent looking, listening, learning to distant landscape, our interconnected planet, our hearts beating across the world.
And what else is life for, but this?
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Assistant Ed: Steph Richard/Ed: Bryonie Wise