Divine Smile

Divine Smile, Ganga Aarti, Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India
She reminds me
Of the many Buddhas I’ve seen

In Thailand

Though, not the laughing Buddha
The plump one
In the midst of
A rollicking guffaw
No, not that Buddha

Rather, the somber, reflective one

The one it seems
The weight of the world
Rests lightly
On his androgynous shoulders

The one it seems
All the troubles of the world
Pass through his heart
And find their way
To an expression of
In the deep mystery
Of the eyes
In the restfulness
Of the face
In the contentment
Of the smile

It is not
An expression of happiness
But rather of being
At one with the universe
And completely at ease
With his state of existence
Right now
And in any future moment

Of course
She is an ashram student
Participating in the ashram’s aarti ceremony
Which is doubling as a graduation ceremony
For her yoga instructor class

She’s striking her third or fourth pose
For the selfie
She’ll post on Facebook
For her friends back home

And yet…

None of this diminishes
The peaceful, insightful serenity
In this very moment
A moment of divinity
Captured, perhaps, by two cameras

In this moment
I am her student

Divine Smile
Ganga Aarti Ceremony
Parmarth Niketan Ashram
Uttarakhand, India

Taken during travels, 2017