Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Journey in Ladakh

From A Journey in Ladakh.

"Have you become a Buddhist?"

"Labels do not interest me. I have found a man in whose good power and spirit I believe and that gives me strength. In the East we believe that the connection between Master and Pupil is stronger and more important than any doctrinal beliefs, that truth is a living intensity transmitted from person to person, a living experiences, not a set of practices or even philosophical positions. I revere Buddhism; I meditate in Buddhist ways; but I would not call myself a Buddhist or a Hindu. I am a man searching to understand myself, before it is too late, after a rather spoiled and ignorant life. That is all."


"The Tantric way is harder and demands a greater purity and fearlessness. It is harder to love the world than to leave it; it is harder to accept with joy and gratitude than to renounce; it is harder to work with our emotions of greed and desire and anger, to face them and transform them slowly into loving power, than it is to cut them off, to deny them. And because it is harder the rewards are greater."


"We call a man a Rinpoche, which means diamond, hen he has achieved perfection. We do not believe that man is a flawed animal; we believe he is capable of perfection. Buddhist do not believe in God; they believe in man, in the transforming powers within man. We call a man a diamond when has transformed ever evil in himself into wisdom, every dark energy into an energy of light, every movement of hatred or impatience into a blessing. We know that it is possible. Many men have achieved it within our tradition and that is how we know that it is possible. We have seen it and we have felt it from living men. It is not a fantasy, it is an experience, as real as lying on this bed in this cold room, as watching those shadows on the wall, as hearing the snores of the monks from the other room. We call a man a diamond also when he has gone beyond himself, beyond his old identity and personality. He becomes not just a man, but a woman and a child as well, a Mother and a boy and an old woman and an old man, a prince and a Yogi, a King and a beggar and a girl. A man who no longer wants to be anything becomes everything; a man who is free of desire and self-consciousness enters with Love into all things and all people, and all things and people come to him without fear. I have spoken with so many Westerners. They say, "All this is beautiful--but it is not realistic, it is not truthful." I say to them, "Are you certain that you and your culture know all that is real, know all the limits of reality? Are you certain that you have exhausted the truth?" They are frightened. They are frightened that they do not know everything, that they have been cheated. You see, they were told that their culture was superior, knew the answers to all ills and injustices...and now it is collapsing. They have been told, "Trust to the Intellect! Trust to Reason!" and it is good to use both, it is good--but how can either penetrate to truth? It is in the spirit and in the heart that perfection is found, and when it is found there it irradiates the reason, makes the intellect perfect. We call a man a diamond when his heart is a mind and his mind is a heart, when there is no separation between the two, when both are illumined. I am not a man like that; I may never be. But I have seen men like that. I have known them and loved them and they have given me faith--not in any God, but in myself, in the powers I have hidden within myself, that we all have hidden within ourselves and must uncover and realise. And now I must sleep. Even a great Tantric yogi must sleep--" and Nawang rolled over and slept, snoring almost immediately, his big dirty feet sticking out from the end of his blanket, his dark glasses resting by him on the pillow."

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