One day, after the Buddha and a group of monks finished eating lunch mindfully together, a farmer, very agitated, came by and asked, “Monks, have you seen my cows? I don’t think I can survive so much misfortune.” The Buddha asked him, ‘What happened” and the man said, “Monks, this morning all twelve of my cows ran away. And this year my whole crop of sesame plants was eaten by insects!” The Buddha said, “Sir, we have not seen your cows. Perhaps they have gone in the other direction.” After the farmer went off in that direction, the Buddha turned to his Sangha and said, “Dear friends, do you know you are the happiest people on Earth? You have no cows or sesame plants to lose.” We always try to accumulate more and more, and we think these ‘cows’ are essential for our existence. In fact, they may be the obstacles that prevent us from being happy. Release your cows and become a free person. Release your cows so you can be truly happy.
The following very short story about the Buddha’s journey is written by the great author Paulo Coelho, author of the classic pilgrimage story: The Alchemist. If you have never read The Alchemist then I would highly recommend it, and if you want to read a longer story about the Buddha, which goes into much better detail, then read Siddhartha by Herman Hesse. I found this story on Paulo Coelho’s blog, which you should definitely check out if you like to read, or are a fan of the man, because he writes short stories very frequently!
The following story is divided into 3 parts, each part only about 400-500 words. It makes for a quick read, and definitely contains some of Paulo Coelho’s writing flair. But it is still very short, and leaves a lot to be desired. But I suppose this is fitting considering it is a story about the Buddha; he would say to us: Desire = Suffering. Meditate on this. At least I think he would say this. Anyway, here’s the story!
I particularly like this mandala, especially the milk white kundalini serpent coiled up on the inside of the circle. The image is a snapshot of a man, any man, or woman, achieving enlightenment, the Buddha is there just for the symbolism of enlightenment. The horns on the backs of the dragons are supposed to be hair, and you can also see the persons’ nose at the very tip of the mandala. The sun and moon represent the passing of time, they could also represent the alchemical images of the unity of the sun and moon; also the sun symbolises masculine (conscious) energy, while the moon symbolises feminine (unconscious) energy. The two faces on either side of the mandala represent the ego and the id. The face on the left is of the ego, it is shaped like an adults face and represents the adult personality of the ego which is to tame the id. The face on the right is the id, it is shaped like a childs face and represents the childlike persona of the id, which is to satisfy it’s immediate urges and be present.
Below: Text taken from my mandala diary: 1st of April 2011
I drew this mandala after a long meditation, and decided I wanted to draw the Buddha. The image of the Buddha meditating on a mountain top came to me in a mushroom hallucination in Indonesia a year or so prior. I was having a bad trip and my cousin decided to show me some yoga to help me snap out of it, I watched him carefully and attempted to follow the yoga positions and immediately felt the bad trip dissipate; it was as though the negative feelings were a small, tight ball of energy, and the yoga helped release it more evenly throughout my body. Even with my eyes closed I could still clearly see my cousin showing me the postures, in the blackness a super vivid image of a holy man meditating on the tip of a mountain appeared, I then flew inside his body and became him; I could hear the wind whistling around me, and then I was the mountain top, finally I opened my eyes and was me again. I’ll never forget that moment.