On December 30th, 2016, I went for a walk with my Tibetan friends, Mr. Thubten and his wife Mrs. Sonam to Berkeley Marina. Using her iPhone, Sonam took a few photos of Thubten and me walking, playing and chatting. Sonam, looking surprised, showed us the photos and said, “Look, something is different with Lama’s picture.” As you can see in the photos both of my hands appeared differently from Thubten’s.
On the 31st of December, we took a walk at Mount Tamalpais where His Holiness the Dalia Lama and His Holiness Tai Situpa conducted a special smoke puja as a part of the “Active Peace Pilgrimage ” organized by H.H. Tai Situpa back in 1998.
We walked and said some prayers because Mt. Tam is a historical holy place for the native American Indians and it’s also where “Active Peace Pilgrimage” prayer was conducted by both His Holiness the Dalia Lama and Tai Situpa.
On the way I wanted to climb up to a magnificent rock so much. And I did. As I sat on the rock for a few minutes in silence, Sonam and Thubten took a few pictures of me.
Afterwards we came down to town and stopped for coffee. As we went through the pictures, we noticed a picture of me on the rock appeared abnormal as you can see. Sonam, the photographer was completely innocent. She used no tricks, no fancy filters. It was just the simple original camera app that came with the iPhone.
My intention of sharing these pictures is —
Normally many spiritual seekers of different faiths get super excited seeing this kind of photos when it happens to themselves or to their teachers or Gurus. They would make a big deal out of it which i used to think it’s a very wrong perception.
With these photos I feel my thought was proven because I have no qualities that can be counted as special yet my pictures turned out quite strange. It just means how delusive we are if we get excited by this kind of pictures full of illusions.
To conclude what I try to express – we should only get excited if we can see the nature of our mind which is limitless. In my view, that is absolutely truly exciting to see, rather than getting excited by various illusions from photos.
Pictures are part of the illusions in our worldly lives. And those abnormal appearing pictures are even more of the “Illusions of Illusions.”