During the years spent near my Masters, I was able to observe many things about the way they lived their lives. The opportunity to observe them was in itself one of the most profound teachings. The atmosphere of truth, in which a Master lives, moves, and has his/her being, radiates outwardly like the delicate fragrance of an exquisite flower.
Each look, each gesture, each movement, and word carries a power that is unique and which moves like an arrow, instantly and always finding its mark. This can happen because ‘ego’ is not involved. The life of a perfectly Enlightened Being is an expression of ‘that,’ alone.
As ordinary beings, for most of us, every thought, word, and deed is saturated with a sense of doer-ship and ego; therefore, it is so striking for us to observe those who move from the place of ego-lessness.
In both the great and small things of day to day life, in the presence of such a Master, nothing can be taken for granted. Nothing is irrelevant or unimportant and the joy of living in their presence can give rise to magical moments of unexpected spontaneity if one is open and prepared.
I remember one day when there were few people around and it was a beautifully still, golden evening. At that particular time, Chatral Rinpoche was staying in a house that had been newly built by one of his Nepali students in Parping.
He and I were strolling around in the garden when Rinpoche noticed a stairway leading up to the roof. Although already in his late eighties, he did not hesitate to propel me towards the steps. He was always eager and as curious as a child. Soon I found myself puffing up the stairway behind him; I had a tough time just trying to keep up. When we emerged out onto the open roof, a glorious sunset awaited us. Brilliant clouds danced on the horizon, caught up by the golden and fiery red and orange hues of the westering sun. It was a spectacular sight, with unimpeded views from horizon to horizon.
With a sudden and completely unexpected movement, Rinpoche quickly turned around, took my hand, and gently pushed me out onto the open terrace, throwing his arms out widely in a gesture that gently encouraged me to dance. His face was alight with an inward glow that was even more powerful than the sun that had caught fire in his beard. This was all so unexpected that I succumbed to an instant of shyness and held back and then the moment passed and was gone forever…
Yet, as a child, I would fearlessly dance for hours to the music my grandmother loved to listen to. She would send me off with the same sweeping, open gesture of spontaneous joy and, uninhibited by the hopes and fears of the conceptual mind of adulthood, I would spring off into the sounds with complete abandonment, freedom, and ease.
Rinpoche had seized a moment and offered me a bridge back to the freedom and joy of my childhood and yet I lost that precious moment by hesitating. Nothing could ever bring it back.
Let us not hold ourselves back from joy because of fear, hesitation, or uncertainty. The moments in which we can recognize our innate freedom are so fleeting and unrepeatable. Let us touch and taste our joy before it flies away. The Master dances in our hearts and is ever ready to give us that little push that can release us back into what and who we really are…
From the book “Tibetan Masters” – Lyse Mai Lauren