Written By Mila Khyentse

Mila Khyentse is a French teacher of Tibetan Buddhism and Dzogchen and the Dzogchen Today! project initiator.

Blog | Daily life

The Himalayan world is full of terrifying stories of demons, spirits, charnel grounds… A Himalayan Halloween?

Scary stories

In all traditions there are fantastic stories, which scare people, which prevent them from sleeping at night… Many of these stories exist in the Himalayan countries. There are terrifying stories of demons, ogres, vampires, spirits, savage men (the famous yetis, “migö” in Tibetan)… And there are also those of the charnel grounds which, as the name indicates, are places outside inhabited places, withdrawn, reserved for death, whose origin is very old, which goes back at least to Vedic India.

It is better to have a good heart if you walk in wild places and charnel grounds, especially if it is at night… In Ladakh, during winter vigils by the fire when the whole family is gathered, it is said that a large number of people would have disappeared during the night after an encounter with two… spirits. The rare survivors testify that at a bend in a path, they would have met a couple of very beautiful and affable “humans” and, passing them, turning towards them, they realized that they had no back! Many did not survive this encounter!

A lot happens when one is all alone, in total darkness, completely exposed and the plaything of the elements!

Charnel Grounds

In Drigung Thil, near a famous Kagyupa monastery, is one of the last remaining charnel grounds of the Tibetan tradition. It is said that demons inhabit it and if ever, by carelessness or absentmindedness, one walks near its surroundings, or worse, if one penetrates there at night, it is said that ferocious female beings (worldly dakinis) drinking blood and eating ashes delight in the poor men passing by.

This is not the only place like this in the himalayan world. The charnel grounds are still present also in Eastern Tibet and, in the region of Taktsang Lhamo, to which my Dzogchen master was closely linked and in which I practiced Dzogchen a lot in solitary retreats, a tradition wants (even if it is less and less followed) that to reach the realization of the illusory existence of the self, one goes to meditate during 21 nights in various charnel grounds and remote places of the region. A lot happens when one is all alone, in total darkness, completely exposed and the plaything of the elements! The mind lives and imagines things that are impossible for us to comprehend from the comfort of our fireplace… enjoying a pumpkin soup. We no longer need to tell ourselves scary stories, we live them. But that’s another story… maybe for the next Halloween? A Himalayan Halloween?

The Friend of Good 4

In this final article “The Friend of Good 4”, Grégoire talks about Sufi Islam and its similarities with Dzogchen.

The Friend of Good 3

In ” The Friend of Good 3″, Grégoire talks about the place of the master in some traditions of the ancient near east.

The Friend of Good 2

In “The Friend of Good 2, Dzogchen and its relation to Western traditions”, Mila Khyentse talks about the figure of the master in the West.

The Friend of Good 1

In this article, “The Friend of Good part 1”, Mila Khyentse talks about the Asian cradle of the spiritual figure of the Friend of Good.

The Woman and the Vampire

With the article “The Woman and the Vampire” written by Mila Khyentse Rinpoche, it is Halloween time in the Himalayas!

Karma and justice

In this article « Karma and justice » Grégoire asks whether justice is the same as karma, and if suffering and injustice are Great Perfection

The origin of the individual

The origin of the individual? In his article, Damien talks about how the Dzogchen approaches this question, notably through the example of Padmasambhava.

The lightning bolt of compassion

In his article “The lightning bolt of compassion”, Nils presents how the Friend of good can introduce the experience of the Great Perfection.

The Dzogchen Hero – 2

In this article, The Dzogchen Hero – 2, Johanne continues the exploration of the journey and how the hero turns to become a Friend of Good.

The Dzogchen Hero 1

THE DZOGCHEN HERO 1In "The Dzogchen Hero 1", Johanne recounts the beginning of the apprentice hero's journey, in the footsteps of the Friend of Good…The Dzogchen Hero - part 1 or "Pawo" “How to Follow a Friend of Good” Series  A hero's journey always begins in...

Join Our Newsletter

Subscribe to receive the Latest News, Updates and Brand New Articles from Dzogchen Today!