Early this morning 3 gigantic birds were sitting in some of our very tall Douglas Fir trees across the creek in our backyard. First I thought they were some kind of hawk or eagle but when one started sunning itself I knew it was a vulture. Two took off and one stayed to sun itself in the warmth of the early morning sun. This morning’s temperatures were in the low fifties. I grabbed my little camera for some quick pictures. My daughter gave me a really big one that can take detailed micro and macro pictures. I haven’t figured out how to use it yet. I like vultures, they are part of natures clean-up crew.
Milarepa, Tibetan Buddhism’s most famous yogin, had an auspicious dream while he was studying with Marpa the Translator. He saw four pillars, one supporting a lion; a second, a tiger; the next a garuda, and the fourth had a vulture nesting there. Marpa interpreted that as representing his main disciples, saying that Mila was the Vulture:
“That great pillar established in the north/ Is you, Milarepa of Kungthang./ That vulture soaring above the pillar/ Is your vulture-like character. / The vulture fully displaying her brilliant feathers/ Means that you have received the oral instructions of the hearing lineage./ The vulture making a nest among the rocks/ Is the sign that your life-force will be harder than rock./ The flock of birds filling the sky/ Is the sign that the Kagyü teachings will spread./ The vulture giving birth to a young one/ Is the sign that one without rival will come./ Son, this dream is not bad, but an excellent dream.”
~Lhalungpa (trans.) The Life of Milarepa.
Native American Stories about animals and vultures