Earth Mudra comemorates the first act of the Buddha when he became enlightened. He touched his fingers to the ground and said, ‘The earth is my witness’. And the earth trembled.
There is so much that seems magical and mysterious in Tibetan Buddhism that we forget the earth mudra. In fact my two books, Blessing Power of the Buddhas, Sacred Objects, Secret Lands and Chronicles of Love and Death, My Years with the Lost Spiritual King of Bhutan explore that vajra world, so perhaps it’s to remind myself and readers of my devotion and respect for the earth mudra.
Both these books come from genuine inspiration, what I call signs. It’s like the universe is speaking and you are listening. I began writing Blessing Power of the Buddhas when I remembered a story of a Buddha statue which had seemingly disappeared on a dangerous journey to Ladakh during my first trip to India in 1979. This inexplicable event brought me to explore sacred objects and the hidden lands in the Himalayas. It took three years to collect this information from the Tibetan masters, who all offered either a story, or allowed me to take photographs or gave blessings with their sacred objects. Fifteen years after the first edition of the book had been published, I went finally on a pilgrimage to the hidden land of Pemako in 2007. It took that long to get there. I believe the doors opened because of my faith in Guru Rinpoche.
The second book, Chronicles of Love and Death, came to life in 2004 which is about 20 years after the events it describes. Having held this love story with the Shabdrung very tightly for so many years, it suddenly opened up to me as a story and a quite unique one. I also understood how to write it when I heard the Shabdrung Ngawang Jigmai had said before he died: all those to whom I have been close will talk about me after my death, and each of them will have a different story to tell.
When I understood he had given me something very special, and it was our story together, I began to write.
The third book, The Miraculous 16th Karmapa, was also a synchronous event which began in the Karmapa 900 year in 2011 when I was writing on the Kagyu Monlam blog site. I asked readers to send in their stories about the 16th Karmapa. The collection of stories about transformation in intimate encounters with the 16th Karmapa became an oral history, a vivid biography of the 16th Karmapa.
Sarva Mangalam: May All Things Be Auspicious
My heart-felt wishes in dharma to all of you,
Naomi (Norma) Levine