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Excerpt - Lama Cuckoo


Long ago, in happier times, many beings lived upon a mountain called Pleasant Jewel. Towering between Tibet and India, the mountain was very pleasant indeed. Magnificent cliffs rose to summits on her four sides, adorned by pristine winter snows and solemn glaciers that crouched like snow lions with manes of turquoise.

In the spring and summer, rain danced and sputtered along Pleasant Jewel’s sides, making water melodies. The droplets formed lakes and streams, ponds and pools, and shimmering water meadows.

Where there is water, there are trees. At the mountain’s heart grew fragrant forests of sandalwood, birch, walnut, olive and aloe. Where trees grow, birds make their homes. Songbirds and water birds graced Pleasant Jewel with color and music. Domestic birds earned their living at farms and homesteads in her green valleys. Raptors and scavengers circled the skies above her, taking pleasure in hunting and flight.

            All the birds lived out their lives amid Pleasant Jewel’s forests, rivers, rocks, and roosts. Despite the beauty surrounding them, their lives were short and unpleasant. Seasons with scarce food followed seasons of bounty. Sudden violent storms unleashed cold rains and snows that spiraled through every nook and cranny of the mountain, drenching the birds’ nests and rookeries. The hot summer sun roasted them without mercy. Raptors snatched songbirds from the sky and domestic birds from farmyards and ate them. All the birds experienced fear as well as pleasure.

            Lord Chenrezig also wandered the forests of Pleasant Jewel. This kind and thoughtful bodhisattva often sat in meditation under the trees. The birds fluttered near him during his spiritual practice, attracted by the light surrounding him. By this light, the birds knew Chenrezig’s words were as precious and rare as flowers and fruit of the forests.

            Curious, they yearned to know more about him. If only they could speak his language! The birds chattered among themselves, hoping Chenrezig understood their desire to receive his teachings. Surely this gentle Holy One could help them.

My teacher, Garchen Rinpoche

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