Disposition 1: Hailstorm!

With a warning call for hailstorm, I felt the urge to see my family at home and protect them. But I knew, the path I chose, it restricts me to do so. I embarked on this journey of being a nun a month ago when I had a vision outlining my duty to assist the people of this community in handling Dukkha (suffering). Soon, my primary affection for rituals grew stronger as I learned more about mantras and prays that can help others against bad luck and strengthen my connection to the spiritual deities that will in turn bring me closer to enlightened. I gradually gave up my desires for petty materialistic objects and emotions in life to chase the true path of Buddha. A month has gone by, and as a novice nun been, I was to follow the Sanskrit, adapt to monastic ways of life, and follow all other vows to fully become and ordained nun. Being a novice, i must follow the strict rulings of the monastery or else be punished for one month. A nun was a challenge in comparison to becoming a monk. Families are much reserved and restrict towards young girls to leave home. Other times, nuns are left subordinated to the monks. But growing up, seeing the monks around the village praying, listening to chants of mantras, seeing curious symbols of our mysterious universe drew me more towards the rituals. I too wanted to attain the greater knowledge of Buddhist teachings and path towards the enlightenment.

Today morning I was informed by my fellow nuns that our village will soon be attacked by a hailstorm. It is a great deal of loss for our farmers and will bring on the destruction of many houses. Yet again, it is natural and an essential part of our life to experience such disaster. However, I wonder what was the cause to behind the arrival of a bad weather? I once read in story of journey to Tibet’s paradise, how eating fishes bring bad weather (Baker, “The Heart of the World”, 2004, pg 136). Could this have been it? Although majority of civilians are keen on vegetation. Therefore, could there be a possibility of someone having performed black magic? Though it may sound fascinating to have the capacity to create such back luck in our community, I cannot imagine someone so evil to cause this much loss in our community. What could this hailstorm be representing: is it a way teaching that life is full of sufferance just like how it is written in Four Noble Truths? I had so many questions for my teacher about this hailstorm and it frustrated me to just be a novice during this event. But I knew I had to bear patience to attain my knowledge gradually.

Over the course of my training, I was recently introduced to different trantric amulates that provide protection from bad luck. I feel great pride to study these magical powers, as Tibet was known to perfect these traditional ritualistic objects. These sacred objects and spells are created for different causes and must be utilized in appropriate manner to get the fruitful result. In emergence of hailstorm, my teacher mentioned of two possible amulates that may be used to assist the villagers: The Female Earth Protector and The Male Sky Protector. The former amulate is designed with the trigram of three broken lines, which represent the aggregate earth. This particular amulate can be used for protection of households. This needs to be printed every year at the right time during very specific ceremonies, and positioned over the door of house. The latter amulate is represented with a lotus formed on the center of a dog and a central mystic trigram of three broken line that represent the aggregate “heaven”. This amulate can be used to ask for protection from the sky and particularly for household. The sky deities are considered to be male are the protectors of this power. Such precious amulets would be very useful for the villagers; I wonder if my family has bought any of them from the ritualist? Or were they able to use it in appropriate ceremony to seal in a protection ward around the house?

With many questions in mind regarding amulets and hailstorm, I proceed to assist along with other nuns, to clear out spaces around the monastery for villagers who would be attacked by this disaster. We will also be going out around the village to warn the villagers and make sure farmers have enough food restored for the aftermath of the storms. As the time grows short and the storm approaches with speed, along with us, monks too assisted the villagers to prepare for the storms.