I am excited and proud to premiere here my new film ‘Speaking Lotus Pond’, which was just completed two days ago, and now, ready to be modestly offered for your delectation.
Speaking Lotus Pond
This is the humble, little lotus pond which is adjacent to the international dance centre I am building in Siem Reap Cambodia. NKK Dance Centre (www.nkkdancecentre.com) is in a farming region, close to southeast Asia’s largest lake, the Tonlé Sap, which joins the Mekong River system further south. Because of this propitious location, there is abundant wildlife around, with many kinds of birds flying above, and other flora and fauna to commune with.
Within this traditional agrarian community, historically, the pond was a focal point for people to come to meditate on their ancestral connections. Cambodia is a country of mainly Theravada Buddhism mixed with underlying layers of animism and ancestor worship, as well as Hinduism. There was also a sacred tree, now gone, by the pond, which was also a locus for devotion. Lotus flowers from the pond are still picked today for altars and offerings made to ancestors and land spirits. This pond is still identified as an ancestor pond, by locals.
In a dream, the co-founder of NKK Dance Centre, Rasy Hul, was told to ask who the guardian of the land was, and so he did, and a woman with a head decoration appeared in front of him and said that she was ‘Neang Kong Kental Beng Mealea’ នាង កងកន្ទេលបឹងមាលា (Lady of the round resting mat of the Lotus Pond). Without sharing his dream with anyone, Rasy Hul received intimations about a female guardian spirit there, from an older villager who grew up in the area, and from a construction worker at NKK Dance Centre, who became haunted by dreams of a custodial female presence there. The Lady of the Round Resting Mat of the Lotus Pond has become an important guiding force for the dance centre.