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Mar 04
Sunday
Arts and Poetry
Rigden on a Hilltop

By Jennifer Holder

This short story is a tribute to the Rigden, who in Shambhala is the basic enlightened nature of all human beings and the “Possessor of Family Awareness.”

Standing on a hillside, the Rigden surveys the ground. Taking in the view, assessing the arrangement of the world, he is gentled by the vastness of the sky and invigorated by the wind that plays at the edges of his clothing, his hair. There is much in life to look out on. The position is good, he is in strong standing and in good health. There is room now for arranging. There is room to take a deep breath at a high point and absorb the situation. Building plans can come later. For now, there is appreciation that life in Shambhala has come to this.

There is spiritual purpose behind the work being done in the world. What is offered to the public has their well-being in mind, their wisdom at heart. The process of creating and doing is infused with good cheer, with camaraderie, laughter, and knowledge gained from experience. Mistakes are light, ideas for overcoming obstacles abundant. Awareness of shortcomings is coupled with a compassionate desire to learn. Ambition fuels the urge to perform duties well, to good effect, and then rests in contentment with the outcome. Pride is seeing the finished offering that will land in many hands and feed many minds and spirits. There is good work being done.

The Rigden’s golden armor shines with bright specks of sunlight. People down in the valley see this reflection and look up. They smile deeply to see a leader such as he gazing down upon them. The appreciation is mutual. They know that daily life is filled with little and big challenges, but when they see his sword raise, even and inch, their confidence in meeting challenge swells and they rejoice in the way it sharpens mind, body, spirit. The people know that as long as they have such a leader, their lives will be protected by his example.

The wind picks up and the flags on his helmet flap and snap loudly. His gaze lifts, briefly, to the sky. After a deep breath, he asks himself, “What is still to be done?” A cloud crosses the sun and a sudden wind, sharp with chill, brings an alertness. The world awaits the results of this contemplation. Children at play run inside, calling to their mothers. Birds of prey circle a little lower. The clouds ever swirling over the highest mountain peak part to reveal a white summit. Stillness overcomes the Rigden—he stands motionless, his gaze lowers, and he feels a certain swell of the heart. He contemplates the interiors of the houses below him, the joy of the dog at his master’s feet, the sizzle of vegetables cooking, the hands combing tangled hair. He thinks of the goodness inside these homes, the way people take care of themselves and each other as they prepare to meet the world outside.

“This is inherent,” he thinks to himself. “There is nothing to be done when the lives they lead are so naturally rich.” But each of the hearts beating in the chests of the people below has a wish, a dream, a something still to be done. They are driven to reach toward the future as a baker applies a mold to dough, shaping it to increase happiness. The child wants a toy for his very own, to enjoy whenever he wants. In offices, people want to do good work for their clients. The men and women who are single long to find a partner. The Rigden leans his head to the right, wondering, “Will they get what they want? Will the conditions be right? How long will they go on yearning before their wishes are fulfilled? And will they remain upright in their striving, their virtue in tact? What dramas will blow skyward with the wind? What heroic acts will be performed?”

The Rigden’s gaze shifts from the valley below to his left hand. The sun reappears, warming his back. His grip on the sword in his right hand tightens and a smile spreads on his lips. He feels the heft of all he carries, all he wears, and plants his feet firmly. A gathering wind can be heard in the distance, rolling across hillsides and through the trees and as it passes it becomes a roar. The people brace themselves in the midst of their activity as the Rigden raises his sword into the air. It strikes the space, it pierces all known things, it cuts straight to the point of all.

“Jolly good luck!” he shouts.

The world seems to smile. Burdens fall from shoulders, worries dissolve into space, and unfulfilled desires are released. The earth suddenly weighs less and so buoys phenomena upward. The far reaches of heaven turn downward to pay attention, and attend with compassion. A joke is told in a restaurant and when gales of laughter fill the room, everyone wants to know the punch line.

As light shines through the crystal of his blade, the Rigden knows that good work will be done. He feels that aggression has been conquered. The people will enjoy their lives today.

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5 responses to “ Rigden on a Hilltop ”
  1. Thanks for reading, friends. It’s so nice to share. Petra, email me at jennifer (at) fullbloompublications.com and I’ll send you a copy.

  2. Petra Mudie
    Mar 8, 2012
    Reply

    Thanks, Jennifer – this says almost all!

    At the risk of trying to solidify the truly unknowable, is there a way to capture your Rigden writing for future use?

  3. Michael Levy
    Mar 8, 2012
    Reply

    Thank you for the details and sense experience of this Rigden King. What more is there to do? Less..more often, more precisely, together. KIKI SOSO

  4. Hopefully yes, their virtue will remain in tact and not in tactlessness.

  5. Jeffrey Slayton
    Mar 5, 2012
    Reply

    This is beautiful! Thank you for posting it. Such a wonderful and insightful expression.


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