Tibetan Buddhism - Disciples and hermitages
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
With Mystics and Magicians in Tibet – Alexandra David-Neel
The long distances which the candidate generally has to travel through desert regions to reach the hermitage of the master whom he has chosen, the wild majesty of the site in which such hermitages are generally situated all these again contribute to deeply impress the young monk.
Psychic training undertaken in such a disposition, in such surroundings, and under such a master cannot help being fantastic. Around the disciple abandoned to prolonged solitary meditations, heaven and earth quake and whirl so that he can nowhere find a firm footing.
Gods and demons mock him with visions – at first appalling, then ironical and disconcerting when he has conquered fear. The maddening succession of impossible occurrences may continue ten or twenty years. It may torture the disciple until his death unless, one day he awakens from the nightmare, having understood that which was to be understood, and, bowing at the feet of his impassive master, takes leave of him without asking for any more teaching.