The final installment of my miraculous visit that became an unexpected journey. I would say that this is perfect timing. Why? Because in 3 days, I will back in the land of Java continuing another exploratory excavation of the hidden inside all of us. But before I get into all of that, I will finish telling, to the best of the space allotted here and also what I can still recall, the story of my last visit to Jakarta, Indonesia. (I began this post 3 days before leaving for Jakarta, that was one month ago. I finally finished this post today, May 23, 2014. Since then I’ve spent one month in Indonesia. More tales to come, LOL)
OK, where was I; oh yeah, pilgrimage for a Mystic in training. Before the opportunity arose for us to demonstrate the effects of all of our hard work at the school, Devi and I decided to take a day trip to give all of the teaching and performing a rest before returning to teaching and performing. The place for this excursion was none other than Borobudur.
I cheated and pulled this aerial view from the web. It helps with the explanation of the description of this unusual temple. Borobudur is a 9th-century Mahayana Buddhist Temple in Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia. The monument consists of six square platforms topped by three circular platforms and is decorated with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues. A main dome, located at the center of the top platform, is surrounded by 72 Buddha statues seated inside a perforated stupa. It is the world’s largest Buddhist temple, as well as one of the greatest Buddhist monuments in the world. (taken from wikipedia).
I wanted to venture to this historical site on my last visit four years ago. I read during the full moon in May or June, Buddhists in Indonesia observe Vesak (Indonesian: Waisak) day commemorating the birth, death, and the time when SiddhÄrtha Gautama attained the highest wisdom to become the Buddha Shakyamuni.
Reading and viewing pictures on the website is one thing, seeing up close and personal is an entirely different experience. I can’t say that I was speechless or in an immediate state of transformation as I walked up the towering stairs leading to this grand wonder. To be honest, the true beauty and magnificence of this man made structure did not hit home until later when I was sitting in my hotel room looking at some of the pictures I took of the day.
There are many different Buddhists sects. I personally practice Nichiren Daishonin Buddhism and I am a member of the Sokai Gakkai International (SGI).Still it is always inspiring to view some of the ancient Buddhist temples while traveling around the world.
My friend Clark Strand has a new book out entitled, Waking the Buddha: How the Most Dynamic and Empowering Buddhist Movement in History Is Changing Our Concept of Religion. It is an illuminating read on Buddhism, Nichiren Buddhism specifically and the SGI organization and its founding Presidents Tsunesaburo Makiguchi, Josei Toda and Daisaku Ikeda.
All in all I’d say the trip was one big amazing surprise after another. A wonderful student of mine in Indonesia , an inspiring person I consider a dear friend, Melyana was kind enough to provide us with a place to crash while we were visiting. Amanjiwo. From my room I chanting throughout the night and found that I have a peace that was immediate and always there inside me waiting for me to acknowledge and then surrender to it’s purity.
Believe it or not I was anxious to return to Jakarta to continue my lessons with the students. I looked forward to our “Chillin’ with Veronica” night along with the jam session. For this evening in particular, all of the private students along with the ensemble classes that I worked with performed. The night was spectacular. I was so proud of everyone and how hard they worked. But once again I got another “out of the this world” surprise. Every student in the school at the close of the evening sang a song for me. You Are My Heaven by Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway. Their beautiful voices and the love that flowed through each note, each word. Well, was I crying. Absolutely and throughout the entire thing. They presented me with gifts and a card that they each signed. Although I’m beyond thankful for the gifts and the card, the greatest gift was the one that was not material, but instead it was one where the value can never be measured. It’s value increased every second of every day for always. That precious gift was each student, exactly as they are-one of a kind.
“Unless we view things with our hearts, we can see nothing. But if we look at the world with a love of life, it will reveal its beauty to us.” Daisaku Ikeda