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Observations placeholder

Tibetan Buddhism - Visual telepathy in Tibet



Type of Spiritual Experience

Inter composer communication

Number of hallucinations: 1


A tsipa is an astrologer.  A gyud is a fellow of a college of magic ritual.

A description of the experience

Alexandra David-Neel With Mystics and Magicians in Tibet

 Visual telepathy seems also to be known in Tibet. If we could rely on the stories told  about famous lamas by Tibetans, we should find in them many examples of such phenomena. But truth and fiction mingle freely in these tales, and one feels inclined rather to doubt than give credence to any specially unusual event.

However, there exist men today who affirm they have beheld visions transmitted to them by a kind of telepathic process. These are quite different from the images seen in dreams. Sometimes the vision appears during the period of meditation, but at other times it is seen while the observer is busy about his ordinary affairs.

A lama tsipa told, me that once when taking his meal  he saw a gyud lama, a friend of his whom he had not met for several years. The gyud lama stood at the door of his house side by side with a young trapa, who carried a small load on his back, as if ready to start on a journey.

The traveller bowed his farewell at the feet of the lama and then the latter smilingly spoke a few words and pointed with his hand towards the north. The trapa turned in that direction and bowed down again thrice.

As he got up, he arranged his monastic toga more tidily and the tsipa noticed that it was badly torn at one end. After this, the vision vanished.

A few weeks later, the same young man whom he had seen, arrived from the gyud lama who wished him to be taught some astrological calculations.

The trapa related that, when taking leave of his former teacher, after he bowed to him, the latter said “As you are now going to your new master you had better bow down to him also." And he had pointed towards the north, the tsipa's dwelling being situated in that direction.

The lama also noticed the large rent in his pupil’s toga, which he had already seen in his vision.

I enquired if the gyud lama had meant to convey to his friend the news that he was sending him the young trapa.

No answer could be given to my question, because the event was recent, and since it happened, the tsipa had had no opportunities of despatching a message to the gyud lama.

I may add that the average Tibetans are much less eager than we are to investigate psychic phenomena.  They take them as certainly uncommon, but not altogether extraordinary occurrences. They have no fixed ideas about the laws of Nature or what is possible and impossible, to be disturbed by such phenomena.

Educated or ignorant, all implicitly admit that everything is possible to him who knows the way of doing it, and consequently supernormal feats do not, as a rule, awaken any special emotion beyond admiration for the competent wonder worker.

The source of the experience

Tibetan Buddhism

Concepts, symbols and science items


Science Items

Activities and commonsteps