Monk and the Spirit Woman
Introduction: Esoteric Hidden Treasure
1 The Secret Transmission of Khyungpo
The Secret Transmission of Khyungpohas
existed all along by means of a certain mystical method, which people call
The secret treasures include treasures
in the form of texts, treasures in the form of sacred objects, and treasures in
the form of teachings. Treasures in the form of texts means the texts of the
sutras. Treasures in the form of sacred objects means vessels of the teaching,
relics of eminent monks and teachers of great virtue, and so on. The relics of
[the Tantric dakini] Vajravārāhīdiscovered by the author are a classic treasure
in the form of a sacred object. In different forms, these secret treasures are
preserved in the forms of the five elements – earth, water, fire, air, and
The most miraculous among the secret
treasures are treasures in the form of consciousness. Treasures in the form of
consciousness are one kind of treasures in the form of teachings. When
circumstances were not favorable and there was no way to transmit them widely,
certain kinds of mantras and teaching methods and other cultural materials were
hidden by the buddhas and bodhisattvas or spirits, hidden deep within the
consciousness of certain people, so that the transmission of them would not be
lost. Then, when the circumstances were ripe, under the impetus of a certain
kind of spiritual power, they flow forth again from the minds of those who hold
these treasures of consciousness.
The Secret Transmission of Khyungpo thus
belongs to the category of treasures in the form of consciousness. It takes the
spiritual quest of Khyungpo Naljorand preserves it in a certain mysterious
place. At a certain moment in time many years ago, I encountered it.
In that instant, I suddenly thought of
Khyungpo Naljor. I very much wanted to know his path to experiencing
enlightenment. When we speak of those people who are seek freedom, what is more
meaningful is in fact not the outcome, but rather the process of overcoming the
self and reaching the Other Shore of freedom. I very much wanted to know what
kind of life and process of practice Khyungpo Naljor, who had been an ordinary
man, had gone through so that he became a sage.
At this point, I relied on a realm of
experience that goes beyond nature, that goes beyond the distinctions of time
and space, and I reached the place I wanted to reach. At that time, I had
undergone many years of cultivating the Great Mudra of Light, and I had already
broken through the barriers, and my discriminating mind had begun to merge with
the realm of light.In that kind of boundless clear light, I began to pray and
observe. Soon I saw a point of light – it was like a firefly fluttering around
on a dark night. At the beginning, it moved back and forth, seeming to be there
for an instant, and then seeming to be gone. Later it came to rest, and it was
like a star in the night sky, fixed in one spot. At that point I was observing
it in the midst of clear emptiness. Before long, the point of light changed
into the light of a candle. At first, the candlelight was swaying, but
gradually the brightness opened up, and finally the light radiated out in all
directions. At this point, I saw a candlestick, 2>>and I also saw a hand
lifting the candlestick. Following along from the hand to the arm, I saw the
whole body of the person holding up the candlestick. An old man with a
penetrating vision was looking right at me. He was very lean. He told me that
he was Khyungpo Naljor. I felt this was strange, because the Khyungpo Naljor
depicted in the tanka paintings was a fat lama. But he told me that the real
Khyungpo Naljor was a gaunt old man. He told me that the form I was seeing was
how he looked as a one-hundred-forty-eight-year-old man.
So in this manner, in this realm of
light, we managed to communicate. I inquired about his past, I heard his story,
I asked him everything about himself. Many years later, when I mentioned this
story to a disciple of the tenth Panchen Lama, he laughed mysteriously. He said
I should not take this as a dream.
One day that old man set out a book
before my eyes – this was the Secret Transmission of Khyungpo. The pages of
this book seemed to have already yellowed with age. He opened it to the first
page. I earnestly read it. Every night I could read through several dozen
pages. The days passed, and I read through this book and finished it. A person
who had experienced enlightenment told me thatthis book was writtenusing dakini
characters. In this respect, it is very similar to Milarepa’s Songs of
Enlightenment. The story goes that the book we are familiar with as the
Milarepa’s Songs of Enlightenment was passed on by an adept from the dakini
Over time I came to understand clearly
all the content set forth in this book. Later on I came to thoroughly
understand all the esoteric meanings that lay behind the text in this book.
Still later, the frost of dualism truly
melted away in the light of wisdom, and all the barriers between me and the old
man were gone. From this time on, I no longer had to use this text, and I could
communicate with this wise old man.
As they say in the practice of yoga, I
was in accord with this old man.
This “being in accord” is a very
meaningful phrase. It is a little like people transmitting data over the
internet. He presses “send” and I press “receive” and the transmission of the
message begins from this.
What is transmitted between that old man
and me, besides the contents of this book, also includes something called
“experiencing the light.”
Thus, at a certain point, my vessel of
wisdom was filled up, and this book was born by it pouring out.
This then is the origin of the present
Professor Chen Xiaoming of Beijing
University has called this kind of writing “comprehending past lives.”
Xue Mo’s works are obviously not the
same. … It’s like tasting a story in a dream that completely disarranges the
present logic, and goes beyond the boundaries of the present space and time at
will. What is called “comprehending past lives” means comprehending the outcome
of one’s whole fate – that is, everything is within the calculation of fate. It
is something that can see through fate, and has a serene spirit. The narrator
himself is a spirit within the programming of the calculations of fate. He is a
ghostly auxiliary who can calculate fate. He loves this movement of fate, he
stays close to this movement of fate – this is comprehending past lives.
The Professor also said:
Xue Mo uses his sincerity for religion,
and his experiences come near to the extreme limits of life. Thus there is a
sort of intoxication of the spirit in the body, a kind of madness in the manner
of Dionysius, the god of wine. This kind of work also is like a kind of spell,
a kind of final mantra. 3>>Only by using this spell-like writing can he
give forth his own inner life experience – experience facing death. … The
meaning of comprehending past lives lies in this: only such extreme writing can
reveal the basic substance of contemporary writing.
(from Chen Xiaoming, How Can Literature
Be Free: From Culture to Religion; from the lecture on Xue Mo’s Spells of the
When I saw the passages above, I
exclaimed: Professor Chen has good insight!
In the time when criticshave been
alienated, [someone like] Professor Chen Xiaoming is really very hard to find.
Mr. Chen, being full of so many contemporary terms and influences, has still
not been cut off by the times from his spiritual wisdom.
This is right. In reality I have gone
through a kind of supernatural writing process. I have experienced “that kind
of pure Dharma bliss that never for a moment leaves me.” I have merged into
“that realm that is bright and empty as the sky, pure as the ocean, without
waves or ripples, without clouds, like a dream or an illusion, a mind without
obstructions.” “When I write there are no words in my mind, it is bright and
empty as the sky, empty and spiritual to the limit, yet I am able to let all
sorts of writings flow out from within inherent nature.” (from The Great Mudra
of Light: the Heart of Real Practice)
But I do not cling to this, because
according to the standards of what is called “the Supreme Truth,” everything in
this world is an illusion. That is to say, the basic substance of all things
and appearances is in reality all illusory transformation. It is like something
in a memory.
In all the activities of humankind,
except for memories, we cannot find any real substance that does not change.
Yet those memories dissolve away, like yellow dogs running away in a dust storm
– it is very hard for us to catch them. However, because the present book
appears, those many historical memories will certainly become just the
opposite, and last forever.This is the meaning of Xue Mo being alive.