Parabola, Fall 2012: “The Unknown”

“Sought, it will not be found; watched, it is not seen.”  —  Longchenpa

According to the article in Parabola, “Longchenpa is one of the great exemplars of Tibetan esoteric mysticism . . .  His writing grounds the reader in the here and now as the field of mystery that cannot be explained, but only inhabited.”  He was a sage who practiced “the Great Perfection tradition known as Dzogchen.”

In August 2011, the writer of the article, J. M. White, traveled to Tibet and visited a monastery associated with Longchenpa, the Jokhang temple in Lhasa, in an area of the city called the Barkhor.  Here are a few of his observations:

  • “In Lhasa, and in many of the major cities of Tibet, the Chinese outnumber the Tibetans five to one.”
  • The Jokhang temple houses a statue called Jowo Sakyamuni, “the most famous and most revered statue in Tibet.  The building has been destroyed and rebuilt at least five times, but there are parts of the interior and the foundation that are believed to date back to the seventh century.  It was seriously desecrated by the Chinese in the 1960s, when for a while they used it as a pigsty.”
  • “The most famous statement in Tibetan Buddhism” is this one, which Longchenpa claims to have “heard in a vision:  All form is void, all void is form.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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