From time to time I can't help wondering what it would be like to meet an enlightened person. What sort of things would they have in the place they call their home? Maybe if I could just visit their space while they were away someplace else one day, if I could just stand there alone in their personal space it might give me a taste of how it must be to see the world wide awake. Actually though, it might be too hard for someone like me to understand what I was standing right in the middle of. If they had a dog I'd rather start with that. The dog would have a dog house I bet. If the dog was away when I came by that day, I'd visit the doghouse first.
Now I know dogs (and dogs know me), but I haven't yet found such a doghouse around anyplace in Toronto or even Quebec. But I've heard it said from time to time that enlightened persons have been known to live in Tibet and surrounding environs. So I got to thinking: maybe a few enlightened dogs are living there too, and if I wanted to crawl inside such a doghouse I should give Tibet a whirl. The only thing is, it's hard to get into Tibet these days and even if I did, how would I know where to go to find an authentic Tibetan doghouse? They're secret, right? I mean if I was an enlightened dog myself, would I want a bunch of New Age seekers crawling around inside where I live? No way, I'd keep the whole thing secret and that's exactly why there aren't any pictures of Tibetan doghouses in Shambhala Sun or McLeans.
But a funny thing happened the other day. This strange-looking guy who was down on his luck came up to me on the subway platform at Bloor and Bay. He smelled like yaks and the pack on his back was just about empty. His wallet was too. He said he had spent all his time and his money on traveling, most recently in Tibet. To make ends meet while he was there he'd helped them build houses, maybe a couple of yurts as well though I don't quite recall, but he said that he'd worked from time to time on a doghouse or two.
To make a long story short, or at least not much longer, he actually had the blueprints to a doghouse he'd help to build. Not only that, he told me for sure there was definitely an enlightened dog involved. What he said he heard, and he seemed quite sincere, this particular dog was a reincarnation of a Bodhisattva in fact. Now Bodhisattvas usually take a vow to refrain from attaining full enlightenment until everyone else is enlightened too, but this particular Bodhisattva took a vow to keep coming back as a dog until all dogs attained enlightenment. So this was no ordinary dog, right? And his doghouse had to be pretty special. As it turned out, this guy in the subway, he was willing to sell the blueprints he had to finance his traveling. He asked for more than I wanted to pay, but you don't get a chance like this every day, so I said what the hell and bought them.
I'm building that doghouse as soon as I can, but don't get me wrong, I'm not asking you for the cash I spent buying those blueprints - that's something a guy's gotta do on his own and I'd spend it again in a flash. The trouble is though, it just about cleaned me out of dough and it's going to cost bucks for the stuff I need: like wood and sticks and I mean just the red and yellow paint alone's going to cost a fortune. And I've gotta have a few dollars myself to spend on simple subsistence. Then there's all this really neat stuff like a prayer wheel that says woof-woof-woof over and over as it turns in the wind. And relic bones, the dog dish, the collar, oh I'll have to spend a whole lot of dollars before this is through.
I wish I could show you the blueprints I bought, but they're a secret right now until it gets built, I mean it's a secret Tibetan Doghouse, right? And anyway, I can't quite read everything on the blueprints yet, Tibetan grammar is hard to get. It'll be easier to understand once I start to work and see what it is, but one thing's clear, the doghouse is big enough to crawl inside. So listen, don't worry, once I get this thing built you can come see it from the inside out, no problem, I'm going to let everyone in. It'll be the only Secret Doghouse Of Tibet in town, so there's going to be some interest, right?
Now I know this might seem like a shaggy dog story, or even a Tibetan shaggy dog story which is pretty shaggy I know. But I can build this, I've got the blueprints. I've built lots of other stuff before and some of it didn't even have plans at all when I started. I've enclosed some slides of the last thing I did, A Clearing In Maya Wood it was called. Me and Orbit, we built that together; but I did all of the best parts myself, at least some of them. And that was a whole forest. This is just a doghouse.