Memories of a Reincarnated Monk
Throughout 2017, roomsXML’s national BDM Sasha Luckey completed her yoga teacher training, including a 2 week immersion in Northern India. She shares some thoughts on the real India.
He wore a black T-shirt with a print on it under his Buddhist robes. An interesting conundrum.
He was a very young novice who came to perform an opening ceremony and a blessing for our yoga retreat in the space that we would learn and teach in. He’s halfway through what are effectively the first stage of his studies in theology in Buddhism, although as the study goes for a lifetime, halfway is a relative term.
But after he completes this course of study, he is then allocated another course as those above guide him on his path towards enlightenment. So the pathway of learning and study is different for each individual monk or nun, depending on what their elders feel they need.
And in comparison to Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo he could not have presented any differently. Young, mobile phone, even long hair, which we later found was because his current reincarnation originally had long hair. But eventually he will shave it off in the Buddhist monk style. He wore a black T-shirt with a print on it under his Buddhist robes. An interesting conundrum.
Let’s consider the reincarnation angle. For most of us in Australia, reincarnation is not a feature of our religion or belief system. It’s just really interesting that that is their belief. Then again from a loose Christian upbringing, from the outside believing Jesus rose from the dead might sound like a far stretch.
So how does one feel they are reincarnated? In this case, the gentleman didn’t have a strong sense of his old memories, a regular hallmark of reincarnation experiences. A different experience from the norm if there is such a thing. He started off with a belief in the tradition of reincarnation to be told that he was in fact the reincarnation of an identified someone previous. When he first moved into the monastery his mum came and stayed with him.
My husband Mark suggested it sounded like a suggestive cult when you view it from the surface. He found a beliefs system and told him he should sign up and put on the robes. But the difference is he has had the chance to leave at any time. He doesn’t have to stay and live that life. He has a brother who lives in Perth, another one who is a DJ.
The difference is he didn’t have to go and do it. It’s entirely his choice. He continues his studies. He struck me as an intelligent man capable of making his own thoughts and decisions, eloquent as he explains that in the first instance, he just didn’t believe in it. But now he does, he is comfortable with it and lives his life accordingly.
To really gain some understanding, or some enlightenment about this person you need a lot of space. In this context, the space is away from your everyday existence and to be immersed in a destination and a culture.
This space creates more tolerance, a desire for more understanding, more patience, an increase of your empathy to those around you. You need a few weeks away to get the disconnection from your everyday life. To decide not to take a stack of photographs but to enjoy being there, maybe taking some notes with a pen and paper. You just can’t Instagram these experiences. It does it no justice.
When you get home you got to work on keeping that experience and let the changes you felt whilst away come back with you. You have to travel for that sort of experience. You can’t just drive in and drive out in a day. Mix these encounters up with doing yoga and meditation for a few hours a day as you look out over the Himalayas to land you in it physically as well. The mixture in the change of your physicality, your food, your sleeping patterns, and these intense mental stimulations combined deliver the peak experience.
I didn’t quite come back a hippie, but I had some pretty profound experiences in northern India.