Friday, December 19, 2008

The Little Buddha

Five Positions of Buddha, 'Pancha' or 'Dhayani' Budda

Everyone said we had the most unusual wedding, but I never thought that was true. It was a man and a woman taking vows in front of their minister with their family and friends in attendance to help with the celebration. I didn't want to be given away, because that makes no sense to me. One can only give oneself away. So all four of our parents stood with us to give their blessing.

The night before our wedding, James, our minister, came up from Tucson, Arizona where he had been on sabbatical. That's pretty impressive when you consider that the wedding was in Cincinnati, Ohio. Several of the guests also arrived that evening to stay with us at Aunt Donna's house. She put all 8 of us comfortably in one giant room with Wayne and I chastely sharing a bed. (Maybe that was strange?) James had his own hotel room, but he came out with the rest of the wedding party to watch the movie the night before the wedding.

The movie, The Little Buddha, is a story about a Tibetan Buddhist teacher from Nepal who is looking for the reincarnation of his own Buddhist teacher. Surprisingly, one of the candidates is a boy who lived in Seattle, Washington, and not in Tibet, Nepal or India. Interwoven through the story is the tale of Siddhartha, the story of the Buddha. In case you don't already know it, here is the moment of enlightenment taken from wikipedia:

Mara: "You who go where others dare not; Will you be my God? The architect of my house?"

Siddhartha: "Finally, I meet the illusion of self; Your evil house will not be built again."

Mara: "But you live in me; I am your house."

Siddhartha: "O, trickster; phantom of my own ego, you are pure illusion. You, self, do not exist. The earth is my witness."

Perhaps, taking a Christian minister to a movie about Buddha was an oddity?

When I told my mother's friend that we had Chinese food, five gourmet cakes, and no one drank, she guffawed. She said, "Why didn't you just have spaghetti?" I thought creative while she thought joke. It was some of the finest Chinese food I've ever had and not a single cake tasted of vanilla and sawdust!

James said, during the ceremony, that we both knew what we wanted and we were not bothered by the details, and that is exactly how it was and still is. We wanted to be together forever, as if the separation that we had endured already was barely tolerable and there would be no peace until we were united again.

That is how our married life began.

With our marriage secured, I left for Nepal a few days later, by myself.

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