Unlike the rest of Bowdoin Park, Mapleknoll Marsh, which is tucked into its northeastern corner, seems to be largely–if not entirely–unmaintained. The boardwalk is sound but fraying, and tall reeds encroach upon it and even grow up through the boards. Very few visitors seem to find it, though I did encounter a birdwatcher recently, and on another occasion a young couple shrieking with delight as they teased a frog with a dried reed. (The frog, apparently thinking the movement of the reed indicated food, kept jumping and trying to bite it)
These short videos are from Mapleknoll Marsh, a tiny pond in Bowdoin Park a mere five-minute walk from the end of the PTC driveway along Sheafe Road. The videos were made in late spring during Saka Dawa, the most sacred month of our Buddhist calendar, during which Shakyamuni Buddha is said to have been born, attained enlightenment, and passed into nirvana, many centuries ago. As I write this, we have just passed the full moon of Saka Dawa, the culmination of the month’s magnfication of merit, and we still have two weeks to go before the new moon, when it gives way to the next Tibetan month.
In the videos, redwing blackbirds, a variety of frogs, Sheafe Road traffic, and even, faintly, the bells of Mount Alvernia (our Franciscan Monastery neighbor), along with various unidentified participants, join in the chorus of mani’s celebrating this sacred time.
A few weekends ago, during a broadcast of Chamgon Tai Situ Rinpoche’s live-streamed seminars from India on The Jewel Ornament of Liberation, as I watched Rinpoche teach from the wide screen atop his throne, I was struck by two things: 1) how much it felt like being in the same room with him–in his warm, engaging, awe-inspiring presence–as many of us have been many times; and 2) that in this case, he was teaching in the PTC shrine room in a veritable body of light–directly from his seat in India, yet unmistakably with us in every way except the physical. I wonder if this is what it is like to see the Samboghakaya?