About Alice in Wonderland, birthdays, and Tibet: why you should always follow the White Rabbit, what magical places the Rabbit-Hole may lead you to, and how we ended up on the 80th birthday of the Tibetan Buddhist teacher Garchen Rinpoche
Down the Rabbit-Hole
“Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do (…) when suddenly a White Rabbit with pink eyes ran close by her. There was nothing so very remarkable in that; nor did Alice think it so very much out of the way to hear the Rabbit say to itself, ‘Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!’ (…) but when the Rabbit actually took a watch out of its waistcoat-pocket, and looked at it, and then hurried on, Alice started to her feet, for it flashed across her mind that she had never before seen a rabbit with either a waistcoat-pocket, or a watch to take out of it, and burning with curiosity, she ran across the field after it.”
It would have never happened, if there had not been for the White Rabbit; you may think. But the real hero in this story is not the White Rabbit but Alice. Alice, who decided to let the feeling of curiosity win and to follow the unexpected. You may think: “It’s obvious; everyone would follow a White Rabbit.” But the truth is, every often people do not notice White Rabbits; still some of them do and so this is how it started…
It was the day before Zosia’s second birthday party. With my friend from India we decided to prepare Indian food for the party. (Me cooking? Don’t worry, I hear you’re laughing; and yes, my friend was cooking the majority of food.) She’d just left, Dario took Zosia in a stroller for a walk, and I stayed at home to prepare the birthday cake. After a while Dario sends me a picture which looked like from a Buddhist temple. My answer to it was simple: “What the…? Where are you?”
Dario called me as soon as he got my message:
– Listen, leave anything you are doing. I saw Buddhist monks in traditional clothes walking through our neighborhood and I followed them … and there is the 80th birthday celebration of a Tibetan Buddhist teacher…. I met this Tibetan couple from Tel Aviv, we talked and as they are leaving we could get their places at the ceremony … well, I tell you all later… We just got the invitations to Garchen Rinpoche 80th birthday. Get ready!!!
And he hanged up. A message like this you don’t have to repeat to me twice. I realized it immediately, my husband followed the White Rabbit and that there is nothing left for us three to do, but to jump into the Rabbit-Hole together. And to be honest, I couldn’t be happier.
80th birthday of the Tibetan Buddhist teacher Garchen Rinpoche
After we entered the tent where the celebration of Garchen Rinpoche’s 80th birthday was taking place, we saw people dressed in traditional Tibetan costumes, Buddhist monks spinning prayer wheels (མ་ནི་ཆོས་འཁོར ), an altar with flowers, lights of burning candles, the smell of Tibetan scents, small Tibetan kids running and laughing… We indeed landed in the Wonderland. It seemed that Munich mysteriously disappeared and we found ourselves in deep Tibet. There were prayers; there were traditional dances and singing. Zosia was still sleeping when we came and only woke up in the middle of traditional performances and to the voices of the Tibetan language. Instead of being scared (as many would assume; at the end not every day a 2 year old wakes up in Tibet), she was curiously looking around and till today she hides her arms in the sleeves and dances Tibetan style 🙂
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