A story about a Princess

The monk says he is worried: when the new road is finished, more chinese tourists will come and start to chase the wildlife away. He then looks over the river expanse and points at a hill slowly descending to the water; he says that is the abode (Paradise) of Sakyamuni, you can tell because the hill has the shape of the trunk of an elephant, bending over to drink (the white elephant is one of Buddha’s symbols). Paradise and earth are in the same physical place according to Mahayana Buddhism, it is just about recognizing the signs, about learning to look. In Tibet, shamanism and traditional closeness to nature has let Mahayana Buddhism to settle roots very stably: every corner of this world can be magic if you can look with the right eyes, every leaf reflecting sunlight, every crease on the water and in this fabled little island it all feels very real to us.

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