The journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step

Hell

No Refuge

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Related imageHaving now become animals, your fathers, mothers, siblings, and friends from previous lives tremble with fear in the butcher’s sinful hands, tears streaming from their eyes, and panting for breath. In that state, they wonder what to do. Alas, there is no refuge! There is nowhere to go!

Thinking that, right now in this place, they may be killed, their urgent suffering is great. In such a state, like one approaching a terrifying pit of hellfire, their body is turned upside down, their muzzle is tied up, and their eyes move wildly with lights shining forth. What they see is their stomach being opened up. With their feet perpendicular to the ground, they are set on the path to the next life without even a quiver of compassion.

Jigme Lingpa

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Creating a world of neurotic fantasy

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There is no miserable place waiting for you, no hell realm, sitting and waiting like Alaska – waiting to turn you into ice cream. But whatever you call it – hell or the suffering realms – it is something that you enter by creating a world of neurotic fantasy and believing it to be real. It sounds simple, but that’s exactly what happens.

– Lama Yeshe


Heaven and hell

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 ~ What is Heaven? – What is Hell? ~

In feudal Japan, the fierce Samurai Warriors were respected and feared. They carried large swords and were highly skilled at using them.

One day, a famous samurai set out to find an aged monk who was known to be very wise. When he arrived at the monastery, he flung open the door and demanded of the old man, “Tell me, you are learned in these matters. What is heaven and what is hell?”

The monk sat still for a moment on the tatami-matted floor. Then he turned and looked up at the warrior. “You call yourself a samurai warrior,” he said. “Why, look at you. You’re nothing but a mere sliver of a man! I doubt you could cut off the head of a fly with your sword.”

For a moment, the samurai stood gaping. No one talked to a samurai like that! Then, as if someone had waved a red cloth in front of a bull, the samurai’s face contorted in rage. He bellowed, “How dare you! I won’t let you get away with such an insult.” Pulling his huge sword from its sheath, he raised it high above his head, ready to kill the old monk.

Unperturbed, the monk looked directly into the eyes of the furious warrior and said, “You asked what hell is. *This* is hell.”