In Tibetan Buddhism there is a mythical creature called Windhorse. It translates as “Lungta” and carries prayers from earth to heaven with the speed of the wind and the strength of a horse. Known as the Wish Fulfilling Jewel of Enlightenment, it helps us overcome obstacles and follow through on our intentions.
Neither you or I was born with it, but it is something we can all have. It’s not something we buy on Amazon but is instead cultivated through practice and intention. If we invite Windhorse into our lives and actually do practice, boy does our life change! We feel gallant, courageous, even heroic. We have inexhaustible creativity and radiate confidence.
Before I share with you a way to cultivate Windhorse, let me tell you its opposite. It’s called Drip. Drip dispels Windhorse. In Drip mode, our life force trickles out like the irritating drip, drip, drip of a leaky faucet. It’s the heaviness, cynicism, and negativity that has a tendency to dominate our culture. Individually, Drip is the mentality that drives us into the victim mode where all we want to do is throw ourselves a pity party and eat a bag of Doritos.
Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes a good pity party is just what we need. But if you find yourself wallowing in your pity party for more than a day or two, know that Drip has now taken over and believes it’s in control. The more we hang out in Drip, the more obstacles are magnetized to us.
Here’s the thing about Windhorse and Drip. As explained by Pema Khandro Rinpoche, there is no neutral option. There is either Windhorse or Drip. When you find yourself in the Drip of negativity, Rinpoche says: “Do whatever you can to claw your way back.”
So how do we cultivate the magical qualities of Windhorse and receive the good fortunes it can bring?
One of the main ways is a simple practice of choosing thoughts that lift your vibration. In every moment we always get to choose what thoughts we attach to. There is a difference between thoughts and thinking. Thoughts can come and go. Thinking is deciding what thoughts we attach to and choosing to focus on them. Our thoughts are reinforced by our thinking. Where we place our awareness is where our energy flows. Or simply: energy follows thought.
Here’s an example of choosing Windhorse over Drip. If you live in northern Michigan, perhaps like me, you are getting tired of all the snow and grey. I mean it is March 7! I could let Drip take over, complain about the dreariness of northern Michigan in early March, and magnetize more negativity to me.
Instead, while driving to work the other day I noticed the wind gently moving through the pine trees. As it did, occasional spirals of snow swirled down around me as I was driving. For a moment, even the sun peaked out, and the spirals sparkled and seemed to come even more alive like a whirling dervish. I invited this magical energy to move through me. I breathed it in. I breathed it into every cell of my body. I felt like the snow was blessing me. Through this simple act of choosing my thoughts and being receptive to nature’s gifts, I reached my place of work invigorated and grateful. By simply choosing my thoughts my energy shifted.
Rinpoche says: “It is our right and ultimate freedom to care for our mind.” We always have the freedom to choose our thoughts and what to focus on. The more you practice choosing your thoughts the easier it gets. You actually feed the energy of Windhorse. It can be as easy as choosing a thought that makes you happy. For me, it’s flowers or Lake Michigan’s Pyramid Point or the sound of crickets or the iridescent wings of a flying praying mantis or greeting the morning sun or . . . hopefully my list is endless!
What are the things in your life that shift your vibration? What thoughts cancel Drip and invite Windhorse to gallop into your life? Can you make a list of twenty, no fifty things, that raise your vibration just by simply choosing what to think and focus on?
Choosing thoughts that raise my vibration is, and always will be, one of the main tools in my spiritual toolbox!
Windhorse drawing by Saddaraja