17 October 2004

Musings on train to Geneve

TRAIN TO GENEVE - So much land. What does one do with so much land? I felt the same awe at the vast amount of empty fields when I was on the Eurostar between Paris and London in June. I am convinced that it does something to the psyche of the country's inhabitants. I wonder if it also makes them more generous, the way land-scarce Singapore might make its inhabitants more calculative?

The green fields have now begun to metamorphose into imposing Swiss Alps and serene lakes. I remeber from the Musee Swiss visit just now that most of Switzerland used to be glaciers, hence the great variety of landforms.

As the train approached Lausanne, there was even a rainbow at one point. But it vanished before I could spot the pot of gold. Or are the Swiss already so blessed with bountiful nature that to give them a pot of rainbow gold would just be too extravagant?

It is easy to be thankful for life in Switzerland. Things that are too beautiful, I often fear that they are fragile, so I try to give thanks for my good karma to encounter them, and (selfishly) hope that they will continue to remain. There is a Tibetan Buddhist prayer that beseeches the great lama teachers to remain in the samsaric world, even though they have attained enlightenment, so that they can continue to teach us stubborn beings. I always thought this was somewhat self-centred, but in view of our great needs, I guess the enlightened teachers will just have to understand!

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