Apr 5, 1975

One thing is the most important to know

Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche with Dzongsar Khyentse
and Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche, ca 1977

Chokyi Nyima had already taught me quite a few times by now. When I was leaving for Darjeeling near the end of May, I went to pay my respects. As I was walking out the door he said to me, “Erik, one second! One thing is the most important to know.” 
“Thank you, Rinpoche,” replied.
Then I turned and left. 

Nonetheless, it stuck with me and I decided that from now on I would ask every good lamas that I met what was the most important thing one should know. Even though I asked many people over the years, and heard the answer over and over again, I believed I still had not experienced it. I knew the Tibetan words for it, and could translate them into Danish or English, but still they seemed just more words and ideas. I had only managed to fabricate a few more preconceived notions on top of all the others I already had. So I was no closer to the actual experience, in fact I was closer to it back in Denmark when I was seventeen. 

After eight years of being a Buddhist I was now further away from it than when I had started out on this path. It is strange, and more than a bit sad, that studying the Dharma can take you further away from what is most natural and simple. Nevertheless such was my journey. I had done several retreats, the preliminary practices etc. and yet there I was.