Susan and the Naga Practices


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Sky Dragon in the forms of Clouds

Susan came into my life years ago. She is the one who introduced me to the Nagas. It was in India that she first learned about Naga offerings. She learned from the village women who would bring milk and honey to the Naga Temples outside of the village. These offerings would help ensure the villagers to have safety from the cobras.

We would sit around Susan’s kitchen table and she would tell us stories about the Nagas. One of the stories she related was about a man who lived in Arizona. He had been diagnosed with cancer and was given a short time to live. He decided to see a Tibetan doctor. The doctor read his pulse looked into his eyes and then asked him if he had been moving any big stones lately. The man said yes and went on to explain that he had moved a large stone for a landscaping project with his tractor. The doctor informed him that this stone was over a Naga’s home and he needed to move it back immediately. The man moved the stone and made an apology to the Nagas. A few weeks later the man’s cancer totally disappeared.

A few years ago a Lama came to Mt. Shasta to give a healing empowerment to the community. He related the story behind this empowerment. The store takes place in China. The emperor called upon a lama to help him because his family members one by one were getting leprosy. The lama came to his newly built
summer palace and spent the night. When he woke up in the morning he recalled dreaming that the palace was built upon Naga territory. The Naga King gave the lama a mantra to cure the disease that was created by the emperor’s trespassing. The royal family practiced the mantra and made their apologies to the Nagas. The leprosy was cured. Naga diseases are related to the element of water. Illnesses such as cancer, aids, leprosy and some others are related to the water element being out of balance in the body.

The pollution that we have created in our waterways is a good example of how some of these diseases can be created. We cannot drink polluted water or eat toxic food without some sort of repercussion.

Susan told me another story about one of the teaching Lama’s incarnations. The Lama was asked by the emperor of China to come and give his court dharma teachings. The Lama and one attendant made the long mountain journey from Tibet with one yak to carry their supplies. At the end of the teachings the emperor and his attendants brought treasure boxes of gold, silk and priceless Ming vases. The emperor knew fully that the Lama could never travel with such wealth with one yak up a winding mountain trail. The Lama was very polite and said thank you. He then requested that all his gifts be brought to the lake next to the palace. The emperor agreed to his request. The Chinese attendants carried all the gifts to the edge of the lake. The Lama then said a few mantras and the Naga King appeared and carried all the treasure back to Tibet. The emperor did not know what to say. The Lama, his companion and the yak made their way back home to Tibet. The treasure was waiting for them when they arrived.

Susan always had some very good stories to share about the Nagas, saints and sages. A few weeks ago I decided to take a trip to Portland and visit her. We stayed up all night, talking about each other’s lives. I shared pictures of the dragons of Mt. Shasta and my adventures.

The morning came and Susan brought me a gift of Kuan Yin tea that was packaged in a Chinese tin with a picture of a waterfall on the front. We were going to have a day’s outing and visit the waterfalls at Columbia Gorge outside of Portland. We walked out of the door and her entry way had a silver statue of Kuan Yin on the dragon’s back. But this statue was a little different: Kuan Yin was pouring the sweet nectar from her vase into the dragon’s mouth. Behind the statue was a picture of the most beautiful waterfall.

Susan herself had never been to the local waterfalls so this was a new adventure for both of us. We arrived at the first waterfall area, which was quite crowded with tourists even in the light misty rain of the Northwest. We walked up the trail to the most magnificent waterfall and stood at a lookout point. I began to use my earth eyes to search out if there were dragons in the stone. Indeed, there was the naga dragon. This dragon shape stretched itself across a ridge of stone at the top of the falls. The waterfalls literally were falling across the dragon’s body.

We moved up the trail to a bridge that crossed the gorge. We were standing there with many other tourists, taking in the sights. Two Japanese men came and stood next to us. Even though I do not know Japanese I can say the word dragon. I started to say dragon in Japanese, pointing to the rocks. The gentleman understood me perfectly and saw for himself what I was talking about. He became excited and showed his friend. It was time for us to leave but before I left the man bowed to me with fold hands.

Susan and I decided to travel up the road to look for a waterfall called Horsetail Falls.  I saw a very small sign that said Horsetail and we pulled over and parked the car. We started on the trail that passed by smaller waterfalls. There were rocks, covered in thick moss and gushing waters from the new rains. This trail was less traveled. We began to chant a beautiful Japanese mantra to Kannon.

At one point another girlfriend Christy shared a simple dance to Kannon which blesses the earth but also can heal anything you visualize as you perform the movement. Susan taught me the mantra that went with the dance.

Kwan zeon bowsa
Kwan zeon bowsa
Kwan zeon bowsa
Kwan zeon boooow

We went along the trail, making the simple movements to the mantras. We walked along the winding trail, singing. Every step became a prayer. I had brought a gift to Susan when I arrived, a special incense made in Nepal. This incense was made with precious herbs and resins, used for offerings for the nagas and dragons. I magically found this incense the night before at a small video store in Ashland in Oregon and I knew it was the perfect gift for my friend. The container was beautifully made with the painting of a dragon. Susan was carrying it in her backpack like some ancient naga priestess climbing the mountain. She brought out two incense sticks and we lit them in spite of the wet conditions. We traveled up the road with incense wafting behind us as an offering to the beings in nature and we kept singing along the way.

Then my inner eyes began to open and I saw a vision of Suzuki Roshi standing on the top of my head as I repeated the mantra. Even though I had never had physical contact with Suzuki Roshi, repeating this mantra caused his presence to become tangible to me. I felt we truly were being blessed.

We saw several waterfalls along the way and stopped and made prayers. We had walked about three miles when we turned the corner and suddenly were face to face with a beautiful waterfall cascading down the ridge. In the back of this waterfall was a rock cave. You could walk right behind the waterfall and enjoy the back view. We approached the falls and there was another dragon head! The head of the dragon was the beginning of the cave and his tail was the other side of the cave. The cave itself was the belly of the dragon. We walked right into it! We stood behind the waterfall and our mantra changed to a Waterfall Kuan Yin mantra. This mantra is from a 7th century text out of China. Both in China and Japan, meditating with waterfalls is used as a spiritual practice.

Another Guanyin  mantra helps the chi flow within the physical body. It also can bring a down pouring of spiritual energy upon the practitioner. The mantra is Namo Long Jyen Gwan Yin. We repeated this over and over as we stood in the belly of the dragon. And then it happened: with my spiritual eyes I saw the waterfall turning into the body of White Robed Kuan Yin. We just kept singing, knowing that this waterfall and dragon was being dedicated to Kuan Yin. Susan and I walked out of the belly of the dragon and in that instant thunder rolled right above us. The prayers were accepted. We walked back in pouring rain, soaked to the bone. We did not care. Kuan Yin was there.

We moved up the trail to a bridge that crossed the gorge. We were standing there with many other tourists, taking in the sights. Two Japanese men came and stood next to us. Even though I do not know Japanese I can say the word dragon. I started to say dragon in Japanese, pointing to the rocks. The gentleman understood me perfectly and saw for himself what I was talking about. He became excited and showed his friend. It was time for us to leave but before I left the man bowed to me with fold hands.

Kanzeon hail Buddha
We are one with the Buddha
Bound to the Awakened One
And to the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha,
We are always joyful and pure,
In the morning thinking of Kanzeon
In the evening thinking of Kanzeo
Continous thoughts rise from the heart
These thoughts never leave our hearts.
Verse from Kannon Sutra

Categories: Nature, Sacred Places

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