We hikers have a “code” for the trail. It is this:
What takes place on the trail, stays on the trail.
So any of you labyrinth walkers must forgive me if I am breaking any such “labyrinth code.” But this is simply too a-maze-ing to leave solely in the hearts and minds of those who witnessed it.
I, for one, was there. So was my sister Joan. So was my friend Miriam. So were the three women who Big Baba met in the labyrinth.
Big Baba, a Buddhist Monk from Thailand, has been staying in Mt. Shasta for the past three months. He is the one who put the “amazing” in the labyrinth. This is when. This is how. This is why.
Gayle & Big Baba in Labyrinth on Mt. Shasta
Last Wednesday Della Clark held a farewell potluck for Big Baba at her beautiful home and retreat center at the base of Mt. Shasta.
Erupting volcanoes could not have kept me away!
Gayle Sharing Food with Big Baba
After the gathering, I wanted more of Big Baba. I always want more of Big Baba. I have so much to learn from him. Besides, whenever I spend the day with Big Baba, I have the energy to live a full length day–no minor feat for someone diagnosed with terminal, stage 3 metastatic pancreas cancer who is on daily and weekly chemotherapy!
So, Big Baba invited us to meet him later at his house, drive him to Dunsmuir in response to an invitation, and then proceed to the mountain that lured him to the city of Mt. Shasta.
But, as such things often happen, the woman who was to guide us to her house arrived later than the agreed upon time. Consequently, Big Baba sensed we needed to cancel our Dunsmuir trip and head to the mountain while there was still light.
Joan, Miriam and I took him up the mountain to the labyrinth. When we arrived, we saw three women in the center holding hands and either praying or talking together. They soon finished and walked toward us. Somehow Big Baba knew we had missed the trip to Dunsmuir to be here at this very moment.
He walked toward the women and said to the youngest one, “Is there a question you want to ask me?”
The young woman looked at the saffron-robed monk in front of her and then at us with a puzzled look.
I interjected, “If you have a question, you may ask him.”
“Yes, I do,” she answered, still looking puzzled. Yet she remained silent.
Big Baba asked, “Do you have a boyfriend?”
“A friend,” she stammered.
“Why are you here?” Big Baba asked.
“Before we left Mexico, I prayed for a sign,” she answered. “We came to the labyrinth yesterday and today waiting for a sign.”
The young woman, named Lizzy, put her hand on another woman’s arm. “This is my mother. She meditates,” Lizzy continued. “She said she saw the image of someone coming here to help us.”
The third woman was translating the conversation into Spanish for Lizzy’s mother and into English for Big Baba. I was wishing for a transcendent translation!
Big Baba then began to describe Lizzy’s relationship to her friend, her mother and her career.
“You know too much,” she giggled, but was fascinated and eager to hear more.
The monk then told Lizzy how to heal her relationship with her mother. He next turned to the mother and told her how to heal her relationship with her daughter. He had them face each other and repeat after him. He said words in English, they repeated. He next gave them a blessing in his native language and the two of them began crying and hugging each other with great love and forgiveness.
It was such a powerful moment that Miriam, Joan and I cried and all six of us women began hugging each other, moved beyond words at the healing that had just taken place between a mother and daughter and a daughter and mother.
But Big Baba was not finished. He looked into the young woman’s eyes and said, “You are very intelligent. Others do not understand you. You want your friend and your mother to understand you. But they cannot.”
“That’s right,” Lizzy agreed.
“I understand you,” the monk replied, “and one is enough. So drop it, okay?” (I think he learned that last phrase in California!)
She nodded her agreement.
“You promise?” he asked.
“Yes, I promise.”
The Buddhist Monk looked once more at the young woman from Mexico. “You have a very good future ahead of you. You will also make lots of money.”
Big Baba then asked Joan, Miriam and me to stand away for a while as he talked further with the three women. I wonder what he said.
Each of us were in amazement and awe at the truly gifted healer standing before us.
The women finally left as they had yet to drive to Sacramento. From there they would catch their flight back to Mexico.
I think they were already flying high!
On the drive back down the mountain, with the powerful monk sitting beside me in my small car and the memory of the event still melting my heart, I so desired, and yes, even prayed, that I, too, could one day spread such goodness in this world.
Big Baba had told me a few weeks earlier that I still have work yet to do in this world–to spread love to thousands of people. May his prediction one day come true!
And, may this blog post be one of those ways love reaches you. Big Baba’s love–my love–all love. Love beyond yearnings and cravings. Love beyond understanding. Love beyond the human heart. Love that heals by reaching into the soul of who you are and overflowing into the souls of all. Love that Big Baba offers freely to the world. Pure love. Love.
Big Baba left Mt. Shasta last Saturday, on his way to new adventure. I will continue to learn from him, however, as I hold him in my heart wherever he goes and wherever I go.
(I will also follow him on his website @www.csustan.edu/…/BigBabaBlackBuddhaPhraWithoonArjarasupohBio…)
And I will hold YOU in my heart, too. Wherever you go. Wherever I go. For you see, somehow, Big Baba opened my heart.
I think it happened the first time I was in the labyrinth with him. Mike was there and was the only one to witness me fall to my knees sobbing in gratitude and humbleness for the healing that had just taken place inside. I don’t know what it was, or how it happened, or what occurred. All I know is that it was one of the most profound moments of my life. Thank you, Big Baba!
So you see, labyrinths are truly a-maze-ing places. Especially when Big Baba is the one doing the A-Maze-ing Grace!