Connectedness; the Dartmoor Pony who met ‘the friend’ who’d met the Dalai Lama.

“All beings tremble before violence. All fear death, all love life. See yourself in others.                                                                       Then whom can you hurt? What harm can you do?”                                                                                                                    – Buddha

Metta.

Metta. ‘kindness’

On an August morning – several years ago – when Tom was nine years old – we decided to visit an impressive Dartmoor maen; a tall, solitary standing stone – called, the Beardown Man.  It was a moody, atmospheric day – grey and overcast – and not that warm. As we set off in the car towards Dartmoor – we hoped the rain would hold off.

The Beardown Man - Dartmoor

Impressive Beardown Man. (‘maen’ – Celtic for stone)

On the way – just outside the small market town of Hatherleigh, I noticed a man standing at the roadside – dressed in colourful, full-length robes – signalling for a lift with his thumb. In what seemed like nanoseconds to weigh up the possibilities – I decided there was enough room in the car for one Buddhist monk with an extraordinarily large rucksack – and decisively, he was hitchhiking from a safe place for me to stop.

Through the nearside door – we established where we were both going.  He said that he was on his way to a meditation weekend at Totnes – but he wasn’t certain whether he was on the right road.  I explained that we were going to Dartmoor and I showed him on the map exactly where I was heading for.  I put forward an idea that he would be able to catch a bus – or hopefully thumb another lift from my drop-off point on the main road to Ashburton – and from there it would be straightforward to Totnes.   After helping him to put all his worldly possessions in the boot of the car – he got in with us – and we travelled on…

Gracing my backseat with humility and wisdom, this once-in-a-lifetime passenger – illuminated us about his gentle way in the world as a wandering artist monk. His name was Shenyen.

Because our journey together was impromptu – I mused a little while driving, about what first impression Shenyen may have made on my nine-year old son – who was sitting uncharacteristically quietly – out the corner of my eye, in the front passenger seat…

Suddenly and unexpectedly, a bald stranger with an unfamiliar dress-code, had entered the confined space of mum’s car – and was now sitting at the rear – unseen without the use of my driver’s mirror!

What was a boy to make of this experience?

Several years on – Tom remembers Shenyen – and our journey with him to Dartmoor; vividly and with happiness.

Too swiftly, time and landscape whizzed-by – and we arrived at the turn-off to Holming Beam; the start point to our planned walk. I parked the car on the grass verge – just off the B3357- the main road between Princetown and Ashburton.  We all got out into the fresh Dartmoor air; Shenyen wisely put his hat on – then heaved his load up on to his strong, ‘broad’ shoulders…

It was time to say our good-byes before the parting of our ways.

Just then – a wild pony came to us unbidden – and stopped unafraid at Shenyen’s feet; probably inquisitive about who this colourful moorland visitor was.  Apart from Shenyen’s XL backpack and stout walking-boots – he looked like no other Dartmoor rambler! Shenyen patted and stroked the pony on its forelock – as if in benediction; a fitting conclusion to an all-round, karmic encounter.

Animals just know.

Animals know.

Shenyen means – ‘the friend’.

Good karma maen! It didn't rain either.

Good karma ‘maen’!  It didn’t rain either.

While compiling my previous post about the magic of Hawthorn trees – I came across this image; something about the colours – inspired me to follow on with this one.

Connectedness through colour and all living, breathing things.

Interconnectedness through colour – and all living things under the Sun.  

Silhouette.  Hawthorn Tree betwixt and between the Staple Tors – Dartmoor.

One thought on “Connectedness; the Dartmoor Pony who met ‘the friend’ who’d met the Dalai Lama.

  1. So lovely to sit here, and read about your meeting with our friend ‘Shenyen’. How much I would like to drink tea with him now! It’s one of the rare occasions that I am alone in the house. I want to tell him that all is well here at the Glasshouse. The boys are big, Alex is coding and Jacob is outdoors all the time, ice fishing and shooting tin cans or making fires and sleeping out in the woods. We have the new addition of a small piano and some other musical instruments to tinkle on. Spring is slowly emerging amidst hailstones and sudden nights of heavy snow that throw our small world in Lindholmen back into deep arctic winter for a few days. It’s still Sweden after all. Some of the forest by the road has been removed, the mice left and haven’t returned. I saw your photos above, and remembered Shenyen’s visit- going to the lake when it was frozen over, taking photos of Shenyen slipping around on the ice not so far from the edge of the lake. :-)
    Sending many greetings to you and and Tom from up North!

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