My Visit To The Sleepless Saint

by ARISTOS PSARAS

It is from the mundane that you become magnificent. In these epoch-changing times, the darkness blends with light. With karma changing intensity, seekers sometimes lose sight of the mundane, the routine. It is in their everyday lives that there is much wisdom and glimpses of the Divine, to inspire us all to see the divinity within us all and create a better tomorrow.

Seven years ago, I visited the place called Dharansala, home of the Dalai Lama. The hillside town is seven thousand feet up the Himalayan Mountains. This town attracts many seekers. "The Travelers Hotline" assured us that the person to see was this legendary 24-hour lama. A Buddhist monk who had gone without sleep for several years, he had achieved this remarkable feat by the simple technique of meditating instead of taking his "beauty sleep."

"He must be a wise person," I thought as I set off for a 5-hour trek to a remote monastery where their 24-hour man resided. I figured that since he had so much time on his hands, maybe he would grant me an audience. Six hours later, I was ushered into a Spartan cell, where sat the man who had not dreamt in years. I was astounded by the Buddha-like tranquility he seemed to emanate. I felt humbled in the presence of this sublime being.

The friendly English-speaking monk, who had found him for me, whispered, "Make your offering, maybe Lama give your blessing."

I decided Id make a dash for wisdom and ask a question, instead of a blessing. The monk whispered into Mr. Tylenol Nightmares ear, "What question would you like to ask?"

"How do I best progress spiritually?"

More whisperings in a dark, exotic language...My translator friend announced, "Lama say, dont leave on Saturday." The 24-hour lama nodded in my direction and then carried on beaming.

I was furious! A 5-hour trek, a rucksack full of goodies to take as offerings and now a 5-hour walk back down a treacherous Himalayan trail. I was in a reflective mood: maybe Id expected too much. What did I want from him? Instant enlightenment? Some wisdom wouldve been nice, but "Dont leave on Saturday"?! Maybe this was some kind of Zen Buddhist paradox within this mundane phase that contained some great gem of wisdom, but dammit! He was a Tibetan Buddhist!!

On Sunday morning, waiting at the coach station for the bus that would take an arduous, 10-hour journey down the vast mountain, my traveling companion stormed up to me and furiously exclaimed, "Bloody great! A 3-hour delay! I just chatted with that policeman over there...he reckons Saturdays coach had crashed with 14 people dead...The roads blocked with rescue vehicles...Good thing we didnt leave yesterday, like we wanted."

I was in a state of shock. My mind raced back to the beaming Buddha. I was filled with wonderment and joy. He had given me the perfect answer to my question. Had I left Saturday, there would have been no more spiritual progression. The mundane answer to my oh-so-important question was stunning in its magnificence.

? ARISTOS PSARAS 1997


Aristos has traveled to the far reaches of India, Nepal, Egypt, and Greece as a spiritual seeker. Of Greek decent, Aristos comes from a long line of psychics. He has studied Yoga and is a qualified Yoga and Tarot teacher. He studied The Kabbala under Rabbi Halevi which is of special interest to him, written numerous articles, featured on the BBC program, "Tarot Today", and appeared on numerous TV and radio shows.


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