Tashi and the demon

Last week, as I was shuffling to work, I passed by one of the book shelves that are residing in the city. It had just been filled and I like taking a look at what’s inside. Sometimes weeks pass and there is nothing that peaks my interest and then there are weeks when I find a good amount of books that resonate. It is always as if the book shelve itself speaks to me.

One of those days I found a thin and long book with a beautiful photography of a Tibetan boy. Prayer flags were happily floating in the background. Some of the mountains that I remember so well, I could almost picture myself living there or being the boy in the picture. The title read “Tashi’s New World”. It struck a cord so I took it with me.

On Sunday afternoon when the city had quietened down and people are staying at home more often, the energies of the world had settled, I picked it up and read the story.
It talked about a little boy named Tashi who was living in a village in the mountains. One day he was in the hut with his grandmother when a demon came swooshing through the chimney. Tashi only felt that something was going on whereas his grandmother saw the demon and was shaking with fright. She asked the demon why he would want to harm the boy. The demon answered that his father had trimmed a bush that he was living in and did not honor him. Therefore the boy must pay- it was his karma. The boy fell terribly ill and when he woke up many weeks later his world had turned dark. He had been blinded by the demon.

After a few weeks Tashi learned that his world was not so dark, but rather a new world full of sounds, smells, and touch: He knew who was passing by when and where, heard the different animals and was able to feel their states of emotion. He started to tell the most beautiful stories to other children and when they closed their eyes they saw the images right in front of them as if they were real. As he was not allowed to go to school because of his blindness he was offered a job as a goatherd. He knew where all the goats were hiding because he could hear their different sounds of the bells.
He was very happy with his life until one day two women passed by and told him about a school for blind children that they would open in Lhasa. They told him to come once it was open.
Tashi became overjoyed and told his demon about it. It would be wonderful. But afterwards he started having doubts that he may have dreamt the whole thing up.

A few years later a caravan came to his hometown that would make its way to Lhasa. He remembered the two women and the school for the blind. Even though he was troubled by doubts, he asked to go with the caravan. An old nomad became his friend and Tashi knew he had to find his dharma. The first nights were horrible for him as he was taken away from his demon, from his family, and friends, and also lost his job as a goatherd. He cried bitterly out of his loneliness and for the things he had lost.
After many months of hard travel they finally arrived in Lhasa and to their surprise found a blind boy who led them to the school.
Tashi stayed for many years and when he finally returned to visit his family, he had many stories to tell. As he was with his teacher, they decided to greet Tashi’s demon, give him some food, and tell him that he was protected during a night when demons were traditionally chased out of their hidings in Tibet. He thanked his demon for making his life so filled with joy and adventure.
The next morning the food was gone, but no one knew whether it was Tashi’s demon, the goats, or maybe one of the other animals that roamed the planes….

We never know what demons may be good for. Sometimes a situation may seem very horrible but out of it something so beautiful will be created that we may never have experienced that beauty unless it was for our own inner demons. In my heart I would say that Tashi would have never been able to appreciate going to school as much as he did when he was blind. When everything runs “normal” we hardly ever give any second thought to what we already have, but what we are lacking.

And so maybe you should feed the demon in your home or garden to appease them and to give you a hand… You never know what may come out of it


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