Fairytale of Hope

May 13, 2008 at 2:58 pm 3 comments

Today I feel more hopeful than I have in a long time. You know — that real, true, energizing sense of hope.

This morning I drove to the Buddhist Monastery. I got just a tiny bit lost driving there, as it was only my second visit. The first time someone else had driven, so I didn’t really pay attention how to get there. Now I know.

It was a beautiful, warm, sunny day. I parked the car and decided to walk up the grassy hill towards the Buddha shrine. Two monks were walking the path around it, talking, so I continued past, up the hill, on a footpath through a field of wildflowers, not wanting to disturb them. For some reason, I felt lucky passing them. Last time we hadn’t seen any monks. At the top, I surveyed the beautiful landscape. There are rolling green hills, bright green trees, and blue-grey mountains capped with snow in the distance. Behind all of that was the bright blue sky with some fluffy cottonball clouds. I stood there for a while, breathing, taking in the energy, and enjoying the effect of nature all around me.

Then I walked back down. The two monks were still walking. I had an urge to greet them and ask if I could walk a few times around the Buddha with them, but I was too shy, and afraid I would cry. As I approached them, the younger of the two greeted me with a friendly smile. He asked where I was from and told me a bit about the monastery. I asked if I could walk with him a bit, and he said, “Of course.” His older companion walked silently a few steps behind us. He spoke a bit, then I burst into tears, apologized, and told him I was there to pray for a very sick child. He took my hand and told me not to worry. He said they will pray for him, and asked me the boy’s name.

We circled around the Buddha several times, and then I felt calm and thanked him for walking with me. He shook my hand. His older companion bowed to me and I bowed back. Then I walked down, peacefully, to the meditation room.

I walked into the building, took off my shoes, and walked up the wooden stairs to a large room. There are pictures of various Lamas adorning the wall behind the altar. To the right and left of it are two tables with several tea lights burning, and a large golden Buddha statue almost as large as I am presides on the right hand side. In front of the altar are two low tables on either side, decorated with flowers and other ornaments, and then several pillows in a row behind them on the floor. The monks probably sit or kneel on them when they meditate. Brown wicker chairs with burgundy pillows line the other three sides of the room. I sat in a chair at the back of the room and took in the beauty of it. Then I closed my eyes and meditated.

After a while, that monk came into the room. He sat down next to me and showed me a red silky cotton band with a knot in the middle. He said I could have it to meditate. He gestured how to use it, but I misunderstood him, so he gently took it out of my hand and then tied it around my wrist. Then again, he told me not to worry. They will pray. He smiled, touched my cheek, and was gone.

I stayed in the room a while longer. Gradually a sense of peace began to flow through my body, filling me up. I felt light and peace within me. Shortly thereafter I left. Again I took a slight detour, but I basically knew where I was. I drove past a very interesting house, with paintings painted on the outside. They almost covered two whole sides of the house. There were bright objects in the garden. It really looked like someone has a fun place to live.

Eventually I made it to the lake, which borders on a large town. After walking around there for a while, enjoying the view of the water, the houses in the distance, boats, and lots of ducks swimming around, I walked a couple of blocks into town and stopped for a cup of coffee and a piece of apple strudel. It felt so good to be quiet, among people but only observing.

There was still an hour left on the parking meter, and I happened to walk by a museum that I’d read about just a few days earlier. I walked inside. The first installation is a carousel. It’s an old ride from an amusement park. There are two-seater cups which you sit in, and pull the bar down. There’s a round umbrella roof over each one. The visitor can get on it, and go for a ride. It is extremely slow, so one round takes approximately 13 minutes. All kinds of things go through one’s head during that time. There were only 4 other people there (a family). Everyone was very quiet. When they spoke, then only in whispers.

After looking at the brochure for a few minutes, I sat back to enjoy the ride. It was a strange sensation. After a while, it was as if I was simply drifting off in space, off on a tangent from the rest of the planet, in this hushed room in the middle of nowhere. The only noise was the quiet humming of the machinery. Just letting go, sitting back, letting my feet dangle and existing was very relaxing. There were three other installations, but the carousel was my favorite.

A few years ago, His Holiness the Dalai Lama recommended (among other things) to go somewhere you’ve never been once a year. I took that advice to heart, and do it more than once a year. Sometimes I go somewhere new emotionally, in an otherwise familiar situation. Today was like stepping into a little fairytale. I’ve told you the story in detail, and hope that you will be encouraged to have your own fairytale once in a while.

Take a few hours, or a whole day, plan it a bit, but be open and let your feet lead you. Anybody can do this. Whether you are actively bulimic, in recovery, have some other eating disorder, or none at all, you are invited to have a fairytale hour or day — or anything in between. My plans for today were changed on me yesterday, so I used the unexpected window for a spiritual experience and adventure. My only real plan was to go to the monastery and pray, and then go to the lake.

Now I’m home again, centered and in the present. Right now. And right now everything is as it should be. I focus on what is, letting go of fears about the future — whether immediate or long-term. None of that matters now.

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Entry filed under: inspiration, life, solitude, Soul Food. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , .

Quiet Day Coming back down to earth

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. SanityFound  |  May 13, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    Wow what an incredible day, reading this I feel really inspired it sounds like magic in real life. The Buddhist monk coming to you in the room is beautiful, am speechless your day sounds so calming… fairy tales do happen if we are open to them, thank you for this amazing story of your day, I will carry it with me forever. Auds

    Reply
  • 2. diaryofarecoveredbulimic  |  May 13, 2008 at 5:58 pm

    I will, too. I’m still marvelling…

    Reply
  • […] the fact that she is able to share her experiences and what she learnt even more so! Her fairy tale of hope I still smile about, oh how I wish I lived near such a beautifully spiritual […]

    Reply

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