Story: A Bird Sets Flight (Part I)

A bird sets flight

From its warm, cozy family nest.

Its nest has become too small,

To fit its fully grown body.

Now its eyes can look beyond the nest.

Realizing how little it is,

And how vast is the world outside.

The bird’s heart has grown big,

Filled with illusive hopes,

Distorted dreams,

And skewed ideals.

Yet a tiny seed of enlightenment-wish slowly sprouted.

Witnessing much suffering around him,

The bird searched for a way to eternal Bliss.

 

Hahaha, haha, ha…

Other birds mocked and laughed at its hopes and dreams.

Labeling it as “stupid, naïve and idealistic.”

The more paternalistic bird relatives,

Told him to give up these ideals and simply go help out its bird parents.

Who labor everyday to bring nourishing food for you and your siblings.

How spoiled you are.

You haven’t experienced hardships in life, that’s why you hold these ideals.

Now go and work like all other birds.

 

Meanwhile the Wind gently caressed its rainbow colored feathers,

Inviting it to freely fly around the world.

Ignoring the other birds’ comments and remaining steadfast on its aspirations,

The bird contemplated:

Where shall I fly?

 

North?

To the Land of Water

Where the mythical Black Tortoise resides.

With its cold winters,

And life remains dormant like glacial lakes.

 

South?

To the Land of Fire

Where the legendary Vermilion Bird flies.

With its hot summers,

And life blooms like daisy flowers.

 

East?

To the land of Wood

Where the mystical Azure Dragon roams.

With its windy spring seasons,

And life sprouts like scented grass covered in dew.

 

West?

To the land of Metal

Where the fabled White Tiger lurks.

With its dry autumns,

And life withers like fallen leaves.

 

Or stay in the Center?

In the land of Earth

Where the legendary Yellow Dragon sits.

With its damp late summers,

And life ripens like sweet fruit.

 

Where to go?

 

A pure inner voice replied.

 

It’s all relative.

 

No external trip is worthwhile without an internal journey.

 

The purpose is to realize Being.

 

You little bird, like the pure hearted Tang pilgrim who journeyed West to fetch the Buddhist scriptures,

Will travel to where your Heart takes you.

Your path will not be easy.

You will face many hardships.

You will meet faithful travel companions who shall accompany you throughout your journey.

You will meet the fiery minded Monkey king,

The bodily attached Pig,

The emotional Friar Sand,

And the thinking Horse.

 

You will encounter and face demons,

Of all forms and shapes,

Snakes ,

Spiders,

Centipedes,

Tigers,

Bears,

Lions,

Foxes,

All disguised and ready to trick the unmindful traveler.

 

When you are in distress,

Pray for help.

I, the compassionate Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara

Shall appear and with a gentle touch of the holy willow branch,

All negativity shall disappear;

Relieving all suffering,

Only leaving a trail of teachings on emptiness.

 

Get your swords of wisdom sharp!

Hold the prajna-paramita within your heart!

Morality clear!

Study the Scriptures and Sacred Texts!

Get ready for the journey!

 

Flap your wings o little bird!

And may you find the answers you seek and share them with all beings!

 

Guided by this pure voice,

The bird bid farewell to beloved family and friends.

It embarked in its prescribed journey.

Setting out into the cold, chaotic world.

 

The bird flapped its wings and its body took flight.

A body well fed and protected from physical suffering.

As it gained momentum,

The little bird was soon engulfed by the vast morning indigo sky.

The sun rose in the horizon,

The whole world seemed to be dancing in joy and excitement,

As bird’s life story slowly unfolded as if waking up from a dream.

 

This is the story of the bird that began its journey towards the other shore.

 

(To Be Continued…) Stay updated for the next blog entry. A heartfelt thank you for reading this. Hope you enjoyed it.

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