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The Short path

Identifier

003643

Type of spiritual experience

A description of the experience

With Mystics and Magicians in Tibet – Alexandra David-Neel

Rimpoche," I said, "I warn you seriously. I have some medical knowledge; your disciple may gravely injure his health and be driven to madness by the terror he experiences. He really appeared to feel himself being eaten alive."

"No doubt he is," answered the lama, with the same calm, " but he does not understand that he is himself the eater. May be that he will learn it later on”.

I was about to reply, arguing that the poor novice might, before that time came, give other candidates for secret lore the opportunity of performing chod before his own corpse. Perhaps the lama guessed what I was about to say for without allowing me time to utter a word, he added, slightly raising his voice:

" You seem to imply that you have had some kind of training in the 'Short Path.' Did your spiritual teacher not inform you of the risks and did you not agree that you were ready to run these three: illness, madness and death?

"It is hard to free oneself from delusion” he continued, "to blot out the mirage of the imaginary world and to liberate one's mind from fanciful beliefs. Enlightenment is a precious gem and must be bought at a high price.  Methods to reach tharpa are many.  You may follow another one, less coarse than that suited to the man whom you pity, but I am certain that your way must be as hard as that of my disciple. If it is easy it is a wrong one”…..

It was useless to add another word. The ideas expressed by the lama are current among Tibetan mystics.

I bowed my parting " good night " and returned to my tent.

The source of the experience

Tibetan Buddhism

Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image

Activities