David-Neel, Alexandra – A lama pays a call
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
My Journey to Lhasa – Alexandra David-Neel
We crossed the pass without difficulty, though the snow was rather deep near the summit. The road lay through woods all the way. It was good, but it is a long tramp from the top of the pass to the foot of the hill, on the slope looking towards the Brahmaputra.
Temo, an important place with several gompas and lhakangs, besides the large monastery, was reached at dusk.
We pitched our tent in an out-of-the-way spot in the fields, when we felt confident that village people were shut indoors and asleep.
The moon was full, the sky was wonderfully clear, and at the same time a bank of mist, about ten or twelve feet from the ground, extended all over the valley and created the bizarre illusion of an immense veil shrouding the earth.
After a peaceful rest I awoke early, or rather I thought that I awoke, for, most probably, it was only a dream born of my anxieties and of the recent meetings. The day had just dawned: I saw a lama standing before me. He did not resemble the gompchen nor the literatus I had left on the other side of the range. He was clothed in the white habit of the resky-angs, [an ascetic] his head was bare, and a long tress of hair fell to his heels.
"Jetsunma," he said to me, "this dress of a poor laywoman, and the role of old mother which you have adopted, do not suit you at all. You have taken on the mentality proper to the part. You were braver when you wore your zen and your ten-treng. You must put them on again later, when you have been to Lhasa. . . . you will get there. Do not fear. ."
He smiled with a sort of benevolent sarcasm: 'Jigs med naljorma nga [I, a fearless yogini]," he quoted, from a poem I was very fond of reciting.
I wanted to answer him, but now I really began to wake. The first rays of the rising sun gleamed upon my forehead, the space before me was empty, and through the open curtain of the small tent I only saw, far away, the shining golden roofs of the Temo gompa.