Tibetan Buddhist Tales and other True Stories
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Tibetan Buddhist Tales and other True StoriesDiscovering the Self.
Lyse M. Lauren Ever Here Now Publishing
FIRST KINDLE EDITION COPYRIGHT LYSE M. LAUREN 2013 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Cover Design by Lyse M Lauren (Symbol: Kalachakra, The Power of Ten.) Website: http://www.everherenow.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contents.Preface. Back Cover.
1. Perils of Visiting the Lama. 2. Lama from Lahual. 3. Hidden Valleys of the Himalayas. 4. Beasty. 5. Bhutanese Meditator. 6. Tibetan Yogis and Yoginis. 7. He Who Dances in the Heart. 8. A Yeti Tale. 9. Journey to a Hidden Valley. 10.Taking Refuge with the Master. 11.The Alchemy of Generosity. 12.Around the Camp Fire. 13.Confrontations with Ghosts. 14.Revisiting the Place of Refuge. 15.Tigers in the Forest. 16.In a Place of Power.
17.A Feathered Friend. 18.Encounters. 19.Headlights in the Sky. 20.Winters in Salbari. 21.The Power of the Mind. 22.One Full Moon Night. 23.The Unwanted Gift.
PrefaceThis book is compiled from a collection of incidents that took place between the mid 1980s and the year 2007. Many of these were personally experienced by the author or either witnessed directly or related by firsthand sources. During those years I spent a lot of time in the Himalayan foothills mostly in either Nepal or in Darjeeling in the north-east of India. In 1985 I met my Master, a Tibetan Lama called Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche and I stayed near Him as much as possible until He passed away in September of 1991. Soon after this I met Chadral Rinpoche who thence forth has guided me till this day. Two Masters could not have been more unlike in character or in the way that They guided Their students and yet both these great Masters gave exactly what was appropriate and most needed during the times when I was able to stay near Them. Their lives were in every way exemplary and in every word, gesture, action and reaction one was dynamically, and often with supreme originality, pointed back towards Ones Self, the source of all Being. Even the most mundane of day to day happenings which may take place in Their presence, have the potential to transform and uplift. Such is the effortless dance of life of Those Who have moved beyond ego based existence; those Whose lives are an expression of That. They leave no footprints in this world and yet the whole atmosphere is perfumed and uplifted by Their presence in a way that is beyond time and space. It is with joy that I share some of these stories and I hope they will carry the reader into another frame of mind; a quieter, calmer and more contemplative one. In the silence that always surrounds who and what we really are is to be found that unending spring of joy and peace which is in fact the very source of our true nature. Sarva Mangalam. Lyse M Lauren
Das Mile Gompa Darjeeling 2013.
1 Perils of Visiting the Lama.
Darjeeling Town taken from Jore Bungalow.
Jore Bungalow is a nondescript road junction about nine kilo-metres from the town of Darjeeling in West Bengal, India. It clings to a ridge from which three roads veer off in different directions. One to the left winds its way several thousand feet down to the hill station of Kalimpong and then runs on to the small Indian state of Sikkim. Another goes down to Siliguri on the plains below and the third and smaller road winds up towards the famous view point of Tiger Hill. Hindus come from far and wide to see the sun rise from this vantage point. It is said that from here one can witness a flash of green light at the very moment the sun lifts above the horizon. Also from this place, on a clear day, one has an unimpeded view of the Himalayan Mountains, from Everest in the West and right across to the peaks in Bhutan on the Eastern horizon. However, from this vantage point, it is the worlds third highest peak Kangchendzonga, which dominates the view. In the 1960's, soon after the Chinese invaded Tibet, my teacher Chadral Rinpoche rebuilt a small Buddhist temple at Jore Bungalow and it was here that He established the very first, three year Buddhist retreat centre in India. He visited the place regularly, often slipping in unannounced and staying quietly a few days before word would get out that He was 'in residence'. Then, the crowds would begin to arrive from Darjeeling and the local surrounding villages; everyone eager
to receive His blessings, teachings and advice. The monastery would be crowded for a few days, then things would settle down again and the visitors taper off to a more manageable trickle. During one of Rinpoche's visits, my friends uncle, Kunzang, decided to pay his respects as was always his custom when Rinpoche visited Jore Bungalow. He waited a few days for the crowds to subside and then spruced himself up one morning, donned his best Tibetan jacket, filled his wallet, bought some cakes and a ceremonial scarf of greeting and boarded the local jeep. This was a dilapidated old vehicle called a dzongkar. It would only leave the Darjeeling motor stand when it was packed to bursting. Four people would be squeezed into the front seat, which should normally accommodate only two. Four more, plus a few children sat in the second row and finally in the back, four or five unfortunate fellows were pushed in along with bags of rice, vegetables and the odd live chicken or two. The old crate, when fired up, would then puff its way up the hill somewhat like the toy trains that chug up and down the tracks to Ghoom and back at about ten kilometers an hour. If one survived that bumpy, windy ride without vomiting, one would nevertheless expect to emerge from the old jeep somewhat rumpled, shaken and grey around the gills. However, the good and uncomplaining folk of Darjeeling were well acquainted with inconvenience and various other kinds of discomfort and somehow adapted themselves to these little trials. Once they had arrived in Jore Bungalow they then faced a fifteen minute, vertical climb at 7,500 feet and rising, to the Gompa. I can describe all of this in great detail as I lived at this particular Gompa for two years during the early 1990's and made the painful journey up and down to Darjeeling several times a week! The sprawling village of Jore Bungalow creeps along the ridge towards Ghoom, a Hindu word which translates as 'gloom'. This place boasts the highest railway station in the world, plus a more dubious fame for being blanketed in fog more days in a year than anywhere else on the planet. So, quite aside from the other discomforts of travel, upon arriving in this place one was almost invariably greeted by a most unpleasant, bitingly cold wind combined with tiny droplets which quickly soaked and chilled one to the bone. However, Kunzang, who had made this journey countless times before, hardly noticed that he was being battered by these icy fingers. He merely picked up his
gifts, all of which he had carefully arranged into little bundles and headed up the well worn path to the Rinpoches temple. It was early afternoon and to his surprise and delight the clouds of swirling mist parted for a moment and revealed a majestic vista of snowy white mountains. When he turned from this lovely scene he noticed a bright beam of sunshine lighting up the golden cupola on the top of the Temple. He took these happy occurrences as a good omen. Making his way around the Chortens and through the little Mani Lhakhang, where he gave the giant wheel a good spin, he climbed the familiar stairs up to Rinpoches room. He could already hear the booming voice of his beloved Lama. After removing his shoes and folding his Kadak, (ceremonial scarf of greeting) he made his way into the rooms with bows and prostrations at the feet of the Master. Rinpoche sat in a small, ornately carved wooden meditation box, cloaked in a huge red cape which was lined with some fluffy white stuff. He looked like father Christmas Himself. His head appeared to be surrounded by a halo of pure white and His beard was a jungle that extended itself in three directions. After their exchanged greetings, Kunzang sat down on the carpet just in front of Rinpoche and there followed some discussions and much laughter. They had known each other many years, even before they had both left Tibet, so there was an easy and familiar exchange between them. Chadral Rinpoche's room was of the simplest kind. It was small and somewhat dark. The shrine housed the usual statues and artefacts, along with silver offering bowls filled to the brim and butter lamps. There were little trails of memorabilia on every possible surface. Rocks from sacred places, nick knacks of every shape and colour, plastic flowers in Chinese vases, real flowers in Chinese vases, coins, scarves and offerings. There were so many peculiar little treasures in this room that from time to time, when there were fewer visitors, Rinpoche would enjoy looking at all the bits and pieces and then distribute them to new homes and destinations. However it did not take long for the room to fill again with a whole new array of gifts. After an hour had passed Kunzang finally got up to leave. When he had arrived, he had folded some few hundred rupee notes into a kadak, which he had then offered to Rinpoche. However, to his surprise, just as he was about to take his leave, Rinpoche suddenly reached over to the table and carefully took a two rupee note
that had been kept under a vase just next to his own folded offering. He then extended His hand towards Kunzang with the implication that he should take the note. It was a most unusual thing for Rinpoche to do. After all it was well known that Kunzang was a successful businessman. He had a wallet full of notes in his pocket and was by no means a destitute man. Certainly he was not a man in need of two rupees! Why on earth would Rinpoche offer this to him and be so insistent that he accept it? There was much chuckling and embar