July 6, 2011
My daughter, Ariel, just turned 18, as did most of her friends. A group of seven of us went for a walk in the forest. Along the way, we sat down in a rest area on Camino Paz (Peace Trail). There is a low seat for as many as three people, on the ground, overlooking a bend in the stream, and behind the seat, a fallen tree trunk where a few more can sit. We are on the floor of the rainforest, in the soft light of a cloudy day. There is no direct sunlight in our environment. After passing some time, the clouds cleared (as evidenced by what follows, the sky was not visible through the dense jungle canopy) and flecks and patches of direct sunlight began to glow on the forest floor, some in the stream, others on the land.
As I sat and contemplated the scene, I found the name for the place: Ohm, as in the Ohm sign of electrical resistance: Ω, or the Greek omega: Ω. Actually this Ohm sign is upside down, like a Latin Upsilon: Ʊ. The seat is at the top of the Ohm, and from this position, we can see only that part of the stream that perfectly and completely forms the Upsilon, or upside down Ohm. But the intention in choosing the name Ohm, is to also invoke the concept of Om or Aum: "a sacred/mystical syllable in the Dharma or Indian religions, i.e. Sanatan Dharma, Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism." After some discussion with my daughter, we decided to name the place "Quebrada Ohm." Quebrada refers to a stream, so "Ohm Stream." The Om symbol is below:
We all sat contemplating the scene. After some time I broke the silence and some conversation began. I asked if they wanted to continue the hike, and there was no response. I commented that there was no desire. Then I observed that one of the most fundamental teachings of Buddhism is the absence of desire, and that the absence of desire is, well... How to put it to them simply? "Nirvana" I said. This lovely peaceful place had left us all without desire.
As some more time had passed, I noticed that a completely different pattern of flecks and patches of sunlight were glowing in completely different places than before.