The Golden Rock
Rocks and Stones Hold Countries Together

When I was in Scotland last spring, I bought the yellow and red pullover seen below for me in a shop on the Royal Mile just down from the castle. I love this pullover with the logo of the Rampant Lion, which is an official Scottish flag called the Royal Standard. It is treasured by me. When I returned last spring from Scotland, I intentionally wore it when I gave Jack and Owen pieces of rock that Arthur gave me as I neared the top of Arthur's Seat. They also received their own Rampant Lion t-shirts.

Al with Jack and Owen looking at Arthur's Rocks

After returning from Myanmar this past January, I realized that I should have gotten Jack and Owen a Golden Rock souvenir like the one I had gotten. I truly regretted not getting them each one. Therefore, I emailed Tin Htun who was our guide while we were in the southern part of Myanmar. Tin is a great guy. Whenever I needed anything or had a question while in Myanmar, Tin provided a solution. Even when I was back in the States and needed anything, Tin was there. Therefore, I told him that when he takes some travelers to the Golden Rock to get me two souvenirs for Jack and Owen.

As the fates would have it, Jack and Owen were up visiting us a couple of weeks ago. I just happened to be wearing my Rampant Lion shirt. I was working in my office in my home when the package from Tin was delivered. I had no idea when it would arrive, but there I was with the two Golden Rocks.

In a matter of moments, I was again doing the same ceremonial dance with Jack and Owen. I went through the ritual of giving them the stones from another country. It appears that Owen was indifferent to my storyline about the Golden Rock located in the Mon State of Myanmar. Jack knows that I prize these souvenirs a great deal but is unsure exactly why.

Al with Jack and Owen looking at the Golden Rocks

Jack and Owen both heard me rattle on again about the Golden Rock being attached by a single hair from the head of Buddha and how the rock got there in the first place. The Golden Rock is considered behind only Shwedagon and Mahamuni Pagodas in importance to the people of Myanmar.

Interestingly, Arthur's Seat is for many Scots and this Scottish-American extremely high on the list of sacred Scottish places behind only Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace. All three of these Scottish locations are within a mile of each other in Edinburgh. Besides the parallel between the importance of both the Golden Rock and Arthur's Seat to each country, miracles occurred at both places. At the Golden Rock, Buddha's hair has held the Golden Rock in place for centuries.

As for Arthur's Seat, every Scot believes that King Arthur promised that he and his Knights of the Round Table will come from their resting place deep in Arthur's Seat whenever they are needed as a nation. Parenthetically, I would look for rumblings under Arthur's Seat over the next six months. Scotland will be voting for independence from England.

While King Arthur's promise to assist Scotland when in he is needed, a miracle occurred for me while climbing to the top of Arthur's Seat. I slipped while climbing and heard a voice call, "Allen, Allen." I turned and discovered a mysterious old man whose name was Arthur. We talked for some time the two of us...and I listened. He talked about the vote for Scottish independence and how the Scots need to become a free nation again. My slipping while climbing and my conversation took place near this rock. And it was from this rock that Arthur gave me, Jack, and Owen pieces of the rock.

Arthur's seat

Having spent about a month in both countries in the past year, it seems to me that both Myanmar and Scotland are both countries emotionally held together literally and figuratively by two rocks...the Golden Rock

The Golden Rock

and Arthur's Seat.

Arthur's Seat

Another and interestingly strange parallel is that both countries are attempting to resolve the question of independence and greater democracy. In the case of Scotland, many Scots not living in Scotland will not return until Scotland is free from control of England. Scotland had been free of British control for centuries until 1707 and The Acts of Union between England and Scotland. That Union meant for three centuries that Scotland did not have their own a parliament...until just the last several years.

Sean Connery has pledge not to return until Scotland is independent. And Arthur warned me not to return especially with Jack and Owen until Scotland is free of Westminster's control. If Arthur's Seat had been located in Ukraine, Arthur would have said the same thing...this time about Russia.

When it comes to Myanmar, I plan to return this summer on August 8, 2014 on the 26th anniversary of the 88 Uprising. I plan to return with Joan Baez. Hopefully, that will help move Myanmar closer to a freer and more independent democracy. I know that Jack and Owen's parents will not allow them to return with me until that country has established equality and freedom for all people.

Jack and Owen, I want you to see the world including Scotland and Myanmar. However, Scotland will vote on the issue of independence on September 18, 2014. Myanmar's movement and timetable to equality and human rights is a bit more murky. There is no vote scheduled there. Nonetheless, in the meantime, you each have two sets of stones from both countries that I dearly love and hope that you will visit someday.

Burma flag

Burmese independence flag

Visit the Burma Independence page to read more about this topic.

Scottish independence: Yes campaign

Scottish independence flag

Visit the Scottish Independence page to read more about this topic.

Ukraine flag

Ukraine flag

Visit the Ukraine page to read more about this topic.