Chapter Thirteen

Tales of Powder

I SPENT THE NEXT SEVERAL days by myself, snowboarding the Himalayas, practicing Master Fwap’s “emptiness method” for perfecting my technique. It took some experimentation, but after a number of runs down the mountain I gradually began to get the sense that I was part of my snowboard, and that my snowboard was an extension of myself. My snowboarding rapidly improved.

While I experienced some of the most wonderful moments of my life during those few days, I also noticed that at times I was incredibly lonely.

Loneliness has never been a very precise feeling for me. Whenever I have felt lonely, I haven’t felt that I missed anyone in particular. It has always been more of a vague feeling of uncertainty, a poignant and unfulfilled longing for an undefinable condition, other than that which I was experiencing at the time.

I usually started to feel lonely each day about an hour or two before sunset. The feeling would always come upon me quite unexpectedly, and it didn’t seem to be predicated upon or triggered by any particular phenomena.

I may have been snowboarding happily for hours, when quite suddenly this feeling would sneak up on me. Often it was followed by or accompanied with additional feelings of frustration or despair.

It always began in the same way: I would notice that I wasn’t smiling anymore. Then, as it grew stronger, I would begin to feel somewhat disconnected from what was happening around me, or from what I was physically doing at the time. I usually attributed these feelings to physical exhaustion and high altitude. But I noticed that these emotions would always enter my mind at around the same time each day when I was in the mountains, regardless of how much sleep I had gotten the night before.

I had grown accustomed to feeling this way while snowboarding in the late afternoons in North America, but I noticed the feelings of loneliness that I experienced in the hour or two prior to sunset were even more pronounced when I was snowboarding the Himalayas.

During the early part of the day I would very much enjoy being alone while I snowboarded. But in the late afternoon, usually around the time I was making my last run down a mountain, I would find myself feeling what I had come to refer to as “cosmic loneliness.”

I had nicknamed the feeling cosmic loneliness because the emotions that I felt at these times had an almost spatial dimension to them. On the particular occasions when these feelings were most intense, I felt as if my mental perceptions extended beyond my body and this world to something infinitely more powerful, and that my personal concerns were overshadowed by what I could best describe as these “otherworldly” feelings.

IN THE LATE AFTERNOON IN the Himalayas, the cloud cover would usually thicken and the sky would turn fantastic shades of pink, magenta, soft rose and lavender. At these moments of incredible physical beauty, I would often be standing on the top of a lone peak looking out over the snow-rimmed mountain horizon. Instead of being filled with exaltation by all of the beauty that lay before me, I was often filled with an unbearable feeling of emptiness and despair.

The emptiness that I felt at these times was not the happy and ecstatic emptiness that Master Fwap had described to me. Often the sheer weight of those feelings would cause me to feel insignificant and lost. My gut reaction at times like these was to “beat feet” back to the hostel in Kathmandu and find a pretty girl to laugh and spend some time with.

I had the chance to ask Master Fwap about the incongruity of these feelings several days later. On that particular day, I had spent a happy morning snowboarding down yet another nameless Himalayan mountain. The powder that day was fresh and deep and I had made a wonderful series of runs. I had climbed back up the mountain for my last run of the day when, to my utter amazement, I saw Master Fwap waiting for me on the top of the peak.

“Master Fwap!” I blurted out. “What are you doing here?”

“I have come out here to visit you,” he replied with a broad smile. “Since you were not content to be with a beautiful girl in one of the many scenic restaurants in Kathmandu today—as most young men your age would be—I found it necessary to come out here to the top of this particular mountain to engage you in conversation.”

“Master Fwap,” I inquired wistfully, “why is it that I often feel so lonely at this time of day? I don’t really have any reason to. Where does this feeling of loneliness come from? I know this might sound a little crazy, but somehow it doesn’t quite feel like it is even my own feeling.”

With a quick movement of his right hand, Master Fwap brushed the snow off an adjacent rock and sat down on it. I sat down next to him on my snowboard and made myself comfortable. He didn’t say anything for several minutes and I assumed he was considering my question. Suddenly he began to speak.

“There are many things to understand in life,” he began. “And as you are beginning to find out, things are not always as they appear to be. Take different times of day, for example. It would seem that there shouldn’t be any significant difference between different times of the day, don’t you think? It would appear to be logical that all times of the day would be approximately the same.

“The numbers that human beings have assigned to the hours of the day,” Master Fwap continued to explain, “and the names they have given to the different times of day, such as morning, afternoon, sunset, evening, late night and sunrise are, after all, only words. Since time itself appears to be relatively uniform, other than the names and numbers that have been applied to these different periods, there really shouldn’t be any difference in the quality of time itself throughout the day.”

“But Master Fwap,” I interrupted, “people do different things at different times of the day. Most people get up in the morning, work or go to school during the afternoon, and sleep or party at night.”

“Yes, that’s true,” he replied with a knowing smile. “But there are also other people who work at night and sleep during the day. So other than the activities people participate in at different times of the day or night, during the absence or presence of daylight, you would assume that the actual substance of time throughout the day would be uniform, wouldn’t you?”

“Yes,” I replied, “I would.”

“Most people would agree with you,” he said with a broad smile. “But the truth of the matter is that the quality of time actually changes throughout the day and night. Behind the visible world that you see in front of you each day, there are many invisible dimensions. A great number of these dimensions interconnect with our physical world.

“Some of these dimensions are place-specific,” Master Fwap explained. “In other words, they only touch certain geographical areas. Other dimensions are more time-specific, in that they only interact with the physical dimension they touch during specific times of the day or night.

“During the late afternoon and early evening—starting from about two hours before sunset and ending at approximately two hours after sunset—there is a specific dimension that interconnects with our physical world. This particular dimension can best be visualized as a series of horizontally shaped geometric planes that extend from wherever you may happen to be at that time of day, on out into infinity.”

“But Master Fwap, how can that be? Since the time of the sunset is constantly changing locations on the earth during a twenty-four hour period, does that mean that this dimension is constantly circling the globe? And why would it be connected to a specific time of day? Times of day are caused by the turning of the earth in relation to the sun. Why would that have anything to do with the shifting of a different dimension?”

Master Fwap smiled at me and laughed lightheartedly. I could tell that he was getting a kick out of my scientifically based Western logic. He paused for a few moments and closed his eyes. Then, without opening them, as if he was deeply concentrating on something, he began to speak again.

“Life is magic! You need to accept this as a basic premise in any conversation we have about Tantric Buddhism, and the Buddhist view of the universe. Science tries to understand and explain the physical magic of life with theorems and experiments. We, as Buddhists, do the same thing, only we use theorems and do our experiments to explain and understand the nonphysical side of life.

“But whether it’s Buddhism or science trying to explain the universe to us,” he continued, “life—in its essence—ultimately remains magical and inexplicable.”

“What do you mean when you say that life is magic, Master Fwap?”

“I mean that it cannot be completely explained or logically understood. I know that it is popular in this era to believe there is a logical explanation for just about anything and everything that exists or happens. Since we Buddhists are reasonable people, we would also like to believe that everything that occurs in other dimensions, as well as in this dimension, can be explained through reason and logic.

“But the truth of the matter is, many aspects of life cannot be explained through logic or reason. The reasoning part of the mind simply doesn’t have the capacity to understand many of the whys and hows of being and nonbeing.

“While the thinking and reasoning aspect of our minds may not be able to fully understand certain sides of life,” Master Fwap continued, “we do have another hidden part of our minds that can. In Buddhism we refer to this hidden part of our understanding as the intuitive or higher mind.

“The intuitive mind is nonphysical,” Master Fwap said precisely, as if he wanted me to pay particular attention to this concept. “It is not part of the brain or any other cellular structure in the physical body. It is part of the causal body.

“As I mentioned to you before,” he continued, “the causal body is the part of a person that lives forever. It is what you would call the soul. It doesn’t dissolve along with the physical and astral bodies at the time of physical death, at the end of an incarnation.

“The causal body is the most ancient and timeless part of a person. It has the capacity to know and do things that the physical mind and body cannot.

“Perhaps it will be easier for you to understand what I am talking about if I give you a concrete example,” Master Fwap said with a subtle smile. “The most concrete thing in the universe is matter. As I am sure you are aware, learned scientists can explain quite a bit about matter. They know that it is formed of different elements, and that those elements are composed of specific atomic and subatomic structures. But while matter can be analyzed and its structures understood, scientists will never be able to understand why matter exists in the first place.

“It is the same in Buddhism. Buddhists who practice occultism, which is the scientific branch of Buddhism, seek to understand and explore the chemistries of time, space, dimensionality and awareness.

“While the study of occultism enables those who study it to attain an understanding about how dimensions work the way they do, what consciousness is made up of, how the different states of mind interconnect with each other, how to move between them, and many other things, it still cannot reveal to us why consciousness and dimensions exist in the first place.”

“So then, what good is occultism, Master Fwap?” I was beginning to feel both cold and frustrated. I was sitting on the frozen snow, and the late afternoon temperature was dropping rapidly. I felt a definite chill. Master Fwap’s explanation wasn’t clarifying anything about my feelings of cosmic loneliness. From my point of view, he was only further confusing the issue by discussing things that didn’t even seem to be in the least bit relevant to my original question.

Master Fwap must have understood my frustration. “Be patient with me,” he said. “I first have to give you a little background information, to help create a perspective from which you should be able to understand my answer to your question.

“You, like most people your age, want to know everything all at once. I admire your enthusiasm. But to be honest with you, as I must be since I am a Buddhist monk, most of the important things that we learn about and experience in life can’t be understood immediately. Some things take a lifetime, if not several lifetimes, to fully grasp.

“For example, let us consider how the movement of a nonphysical dimension creates the feeling that you describe as ‘cosmic loneliness,’ which you experience in the late afternoons and early evenings in the mountains.

“What you call loneliness, I call power!” Master Fwap said sharply. “Since I have studied Buddhist occultism to an extent, I can tell you that in the late afternoon, the dimensions of power become more manifest and accessible to us.

“Because you are psychic, you can feel those dimensions,” he said, suddenly looking directly into my eyes, “even though you may not be aware of the true nature of what you are feeling, and of the opportunities that those particular dimensions of power can afford you.

“I know about these things,” he continued, “because my own master, Fwaz Shastra-Dup, explained them to me, and also because I have validated the things that he taught me with my own research and life experiences.

“You are innately psychic because you have meditated and practiced yoga in many of your past lives,” Master Fwap stated matter-of-factly. “You were born this way into this life because of your past-life development. But since you grew up in a non-Buddhist culture, there was no one to explain these things to you when you were a child, or to show you how to develop and understand your innate psychic talents, as you matured from childhood into adolescence and young adulthood.

“Since you are more psychic than most other people, you can feel things that they cannot. You can feel when the dimensions shift at different times of the day. But because you do not understand what you are feeling, and how to work with and gain power and higher awareness from those feelings, you are somewhat confused and alienated by them.

“The feeling you describe as cosmic loneliness,” Master Fwap continued patiently, “is your emotional reaction to the intensity of the dimensions of power that are present in the late afternoon. These particular dimensions of power are often perceived as being spatially immense. It feels like they go on forever and ever, and in a way they do.

“Your instinctive reaction to the perception of that immensity is to feel dwarfed by it. Since you have not made friends with that immensity, as I have, and since you have not understood its beneficial side, you tend to react to these dimensions of power by feeling small, insignificant, overwhelmed and alienated.

“It is as if you are confronting the totality and immensity of the universe,” he continued. “You feel as if that immensity out there is about to crush you and destroy your identity. Your reaction is to run for cover and seek something familiar—like a familiar location and the company of others you like or trust—to shut out those overwhelming feelings. Once you have managed to do that, you feel safe. You can forget about that immensity out there and feel secure in your identity, and with familiar circumstances again.

“But what you fail to see and understand,” Master Fwap said very softly, “is the incredible beauty and the majestic power that these particular dimensional planes can make available to you in the late afternoons and early evenings. Some day, when you come to see and understand these things, you will be able to access the power and beauty of those dimensions and bring them into your own life.”

“How can I come to see this, Master Fwap?”

“Sometimes we react to things that we don’t understand with fear, misunderstanding and confusion. The alternative to this type of reaction is to cultivate a healthy curiosity toward things, situations and feelings that we don’t understand, and to react to them with curiosity instead of with fear.

“There are invisible powers and forces behind everything in life!” Master Fwap suddenly said in a loud voice. “Usually we react to these powers and forces with disbelief, prejudice and violence, or we can choose to have a more enlightened view toward things that we don’t immediately understand.

“It is good to have a healthy curiosity about the unknown that is not based on fear,” Master Fwap said with a broad smile, “just as it is equally important not to have an irrational need to believe in things that may not be true, simply because we feel the need to rationalize the things in life that we don’t understand.

“It is the Tantric Buddhist belief that the visible universe is a kind of revolving doorway that can take us back and forth between the invisible dimensions,” he continued.

“Many of the invisible dimensions afford us magnificent and breathtaking views of the universe. Other dimensions can empower us, elevate our ability to perceive, and give us knowledge about our past lives. And still other dimensions can help us to be happier and more successful.

“Human beings usually train their young to run away from things that they don’t understand. It is an old bad habit. They teach their children to hide from, rationalize and be unduly afraid of death, the immensity of life, and the experiences of the spirit.

“When human beings live this way, they shut out both the high and low frequencies in their lives. This leaves them with the boring midrange experiences in daily living that they perceive to be safe. In this way, the world of human experiences is reduced to a world of feeding, toiling for a living, reproducing and continuously fending off the unknown.

“But some of us are born with a different karma!” he happily exclaimed. “We cannot be content to experience only the mundane aspects of life! We need to feel both the high- and low-range frequencies of existence, because all of the frequencies of existence that we see in the external world correspond to different frequencies within ourselves.

“Everything that you see around you exists somewhere inside of your mind. Your mind contains all of the frequencies of life in seed form. We experience feelings of wellness and happiness when we allow ourselves to freely and intelligently experience all of the higher frequencies of life. We become unhappy, depressed, self-destructive and needlessly violent toward ourselves and others when we experience too many of the low-range vibrations of life.

“Life is a delicate balance between the magical forces of creation and the magical forces of destruction,” Master Fwap continued. “The primary reason that most human beings are so unhappy is that they cut themselves off from the more complex and beautiful tonal ranges of existence. To be truly happy we need to experience, balance and create a synthesis between the high, midrange, and lower frequencies that life affords us.

“Most people blame their unhappiness on the elements of their lives,” Master Fwap said sympathetically. “If they are unfulfilled, they assume it is because they don’t have the right job, enough money or the right sexual partner. They believe that if the universe would only conform to their desires, and would give them everything they want, then they would be happy.

“But human beings cannot be happy, whether rich, poor or at any point in between, if they have cut themselves off from the magic of creation. Contemporary human beings have explained away the meaning of life with science and logic—without explaining anything at all! And what they have not been able to explain away, they have chosen either to ignore, or to file away as being unimportant or irrelevant.

“Whenever a society chooses to ignore what it perceives as the incongruities or uncomfortable aspects of life, you will notice that problems with sexual obsession and violence often occur. Our failure to deal in a more positive and insightful way with any part of the life process is, more often than not, a sign of psychological and spiritual neurosis.

“All of life is holy!” Master Fwap shouted happily. “There is no such thing as sin. There is only ignorance, and that can easily be cured with inner knowledge.

“The Buddhist view is to not be afraid of the immensity and the magic of life!” he continued in a celebratory voice. “This is where Tantric Buddhism varies from the traditions of most human societies. In our practices we accept everything. We enjoy and learn from the physical sciences, the arts, and also from the vast panorama of human experiences. In addition to enjoying and learning from all of these physical things,” he continued, “we also consciously explore the spiritual dimensions within ourselves and the universe.

“Don’t seek to hide from the immensity of what you feel at sunset,” he counseled me. “Explore it and learn from it. Instead of simply labeling the feelings you experience at that time of day as ‘bad’ and ‘uncomfortable,’ merge your mind with them and become one with them.

“The great Buddhist teachers of the past have developed safe, effective and refined methods of meditation for moving our minds into the astral and causal dimensions. Once you have learned the Order’s secret meditation methods, you can explore any dimensional plane with your mind without fear or prejudice.

“Through the twin practices of meditation and mindfulness,” Master Fwap continued to elaborate, “you can safely learn to experience all of the different vibratory ranges in the universe. Eventually you will learn to combine and recombine these frequencies within your own mind. The endless combinations and recombinations that these frequencies can create are part of the infinite number of ecstasies that enlightened Buddhist masters experience every day.”


I ASKED MASTER FWAP IF he would explain, in more physical terms, the high- and low-range “frequencies” he had mentioned to me. I thought I understood some of what he had said to me, but parts of his explanation still seemed difficult, if not impossible, for me to grasp.

“Master Fwap, would you please tell me a little more about these high- and low-range frequencies?”

“Yes, of course. But first let me recite a mantra that sums up all of this. It is our Tibetan theory of relativity.

“Einstein expressed his theory of relativity as an equation. He said,

E = mc2

“In Tibet we say it slightly differently. We say,

Om Mani Padme Hum

“What does that mean, Master Fwap?”

“It means that enlightenment exists within all things. That is the Tibetan theory of relativity.

“Everything that exists outside of us also exists within us,” Master Fwap declared. “This is one of the great mysteries of life! Enlightenment, which is the essence and the nexus of infinity and eternity, exists right here and now, within your own mind and heart.

“As I have told you before, enlightenment is inexpressible; it cannot be shared in words. Terms may be used to try to express what enlightenment is like, but none of them are absolute.

“Naturally, enlightenment can be alluded to. I can say that it is the highest ecstasy, the most perfect happiness, the deepest experience of peace, and all that is good and perfect in life. But that is only a way of talking, a way of beating around the bush, because none of the descriptions of enlightenment—no matter how simple, complex or elegant they may be—can cause you to experience it.

“However, while words may not be able to transmit the experience of enlightenment, they are useful for explaining some of the meditation techniques and methods that are used for gaining the experience of enlightenment.”

“Master Fwap, I still don’t see what all of this has to do with the different feelings that I experience in my life. I also don’t understand how enlightenment and all of the countless dimensions that you say exist can be both inside and outside of me at the same time.”

“Yes, yes,” he replied. “I was just getting to that.” He shifted his position on the rock he was sitting on, and suddenly sat up very straight. “The high and low frequencies that I was alluding to are the countless dimensional planes of light and darkness that exist both within and outside of us. There is a perfect interrelationship between the inner and the outer worlds. They correspond to each other.

“As I told you before, life is a mystery,” he continued. “I cannot explain why this is so, any more than I can explain to you why the sun is in the sky, or why we, or any of this, exists in the first place. I am simply pointing out some things to you that I have experienced and come to know through Tantric Buddhist practice; things that you may be unaware of.

“But in order for you to fully understand the frequencies of life,” Master Fwap remarked, “you must first understand that all existence is made up of vibrating, intelligent light.

“There are many types of inner and outer light, and they vibrate at different frequencies,” he explained. “The faster the vibration of light, the more ecstatic it is to experience.

“The real trick in life,” Master Fwap stated, “is to consciously alter your vibratory frequency, to speed it up! Each of us is born with a specific vibratory rate. You might say we are each intelligent energy that vibrates at a specific speed.

“Each of us is born as a particular pattern of energy,” Master Fwap said firmly. “The pattern that each of us is, has been modified and added to, by the experiences we had in our past lives.

“Why each of us is the particular energy pattern that we are is a mystery. It cannot be known here. All I know is that we have always existed as this pattern, and we always will. Our pattern can be modified, but it can never be completely changed.”

“Why is that, Master Fwap?”

“The whys of life are not the concern of the practitioners of Buddhist Yoga. They are the concerns of philosophers. Practitioners of Buddhist Yoga are interested in how the universe works; they study the intricacies of its structures, and with the knowledge that they gain from their studies, they are able to have direct experiences of ecstasy and enlightenment that are far above the intellectual abstractions of philosophers.

“A chemist doesn’t know why an atom exists. It isn’t the chemist’s job to know. What he or she does know about is how atomic and subatomic structures come together to create molecules and elements, and how varying combinations of elements can create new substances or alter old substances.

“In a similar way, a Buddhist Yoga master doesn’t know why the universe works the way it does; he knows how it works the way that it does. With this knowledge he can turn any experience or situation, no matter how obscure, difficult or painful, into something positive and enlightening!”

“Master Fwap, perhaps you cannot explain ‘why’ the energy pattern that is ourselves exists, but can you at least tell me a little bit more about it?”

Master Fwap smiled at me quizzically and replied, “In Buddhist Yoga we classify the different patterns of energy that sentient beings have as soul types. An almost endless array of vibratory soul types make up the beings that populate the universes and dimensions. The particular vibratory rate of a specific soul type is what causes it to incarnate within a specific universe and also within a specific body type.”

“So in other words, Master Fwap, the types of souls that dogs have would be similar to each other, and the types of souls that human beings have would also be similar to each other, at least in terms of their vibratory frequencies. But the soul types of dogs and of people are very different. Is that right?”

“Yes,” he replied. “You have it exactly right. Dogs are one specific soul type, human beings are another soul type. There are also much more subtle differences between the types of souls that different breeds of dogs have, and for that matter there are differences between the soul types of dogs within a particular breed.”

Suddenly I began to get excited. I thought I was catching on. “So then, Master Fwap, that means that the differences in the soul types within terriers, for example, wouldn’t be as great as the difference between a German shepherd and a Chihuahua, is that right?”

“Precisely!” he replied. He was smiling at me as if I had finally said something correctly. “And all the soul types that incarnate in a particular dimension are somewhat similar!

“But to reincarnate in another dimension,” he explained, taking the conversation to a deeper level, “it is necessary for a being to radically repattern itself by significantly altering its vibratory rate, whereas to make lateral shifts within a dimension that a soul is reincarnating in, doesn’t require as radical a repatterning of the soul’s basic vibratory rate.”

“Master Fwap, I used to have a girlfriend who was very interested in reincarnation. She told me that every soul, when it is first created out of the cosmic flux, starts out in a basic form, like a rock, and that eventually, through the process of reincarnating in millions of lives, it moves forward and experiences being a plant, then an animal, and finally it incarnates as a person.

“She said that in each kingdom into which a soul incarnates—mineral, plant, animal and human—it starts at the bottom of the evolutionary ladder, and gradually, through the process of reincarnation, works its way up to the top. Once it reaches the highest level of evolution that is possible within a specific kingdom, the soul then moves on and starts reincarnating again at the bottom level of the next higher evolutionary kingdom.

“She compared it to getting your first job at a company, working on the production line, and then, throughout the course of your life, working your way up the corporate ladder, until you eventually became the president of the corporation. She said that every soul does that, and that eventually every soul reaches enlightenment. Does reincarnation really work that way?”

“Not entirely,” he replied. “I know this is a very common explanation of the process of reincarnation, but to be honest with you, it is much too simplistic. I believe that your girlfriend was referring to the commonly held theory that each soul begins its cosmic journey by reincarnating in the simplest forms of life. Then, according to this theory, each soul takes subsequently more advanced incarnations in different bodies, always moving toward higher stages of evolution. Eventually, every soul reaches the highest levels of incarnation, becomes enlightened, and dissolves back into nirvana. That is probably the theory she was alluding to.”

“But if that’s not how it really is, then how does it work, Master Fwap?”

“Normally we start out as a specific soul type, and we remain in that soul type forever,” he replied. “We evolve as that soul type, but we don’t ever change soul types; we just develop the soul type that we have.”

Now I was confused. He had lost me again. “Master Fwap, I don’t understand! Why would we stay in the same soul type forever? Why shouldn’t we evolve through the process of reincarnation, and all eventually become enlightened?”

“Because we get used to being who we are, and we are drawn back repeatedly to reincarnate in the dimension we have become accustomed to,” he replied with a hearty laugh. “Our soul type is our basic structure,” Master Fwap continued, “and it becomes very familiar to us. It is very hard for us to change it because—in order to do so—we literally have to erase the multilife being who we have gotten used to being. That is why so few souls in the cosmos ever become enlightened. They become attached to the soul type that they are, and also to the dimension in which they reincarnate.”

“Master Fwap, now I am totally confused,” I said in exasperation. “I thought everyone became enlightened once they had gone through enough incarnations. That is what my girlfriend told me.”

“No,” he responded with a cherubic smile and a soft chuckle, “it is not usually so. And now, if you will permit me, I will confuse you a little more!”

Master Fwap didn’t say anything for several minutes. He seemed to be collecting his thoughts, or perhaps he was creating a sense of drama by pausing before his next revelation.

“My young friend,” he finally began, “there has never been a time in which you and I have not existed, nor will there ever be a time when we will not be.

“This is not only the case for ourselves, but for all of the sentient beings that exist in all of the far-flung universes that comprise eternity.

“Think of life as a snowstorm. As far as the eye can see, there is nothing but beautiful white falling snow. In my analogy, each soul is like a snowflake in the endless white snowstorm of infinity.

“The winds of karma,” he continued, “blow each soul back and forth, from one life to another, within the same endlessly white interdimensional snowstorm.

“For a brief moment we are alive in this world, and then the winds of our karma change direction, and we are blown into yet another life, in another part of the same storm.

“Almost all souls stay within the same soul typing,” he continued. “Naturally they will evolve and devolve from lifetime to lifetime, speeding up and slowing down their basic vibratory rates, according to the actions that they perform and the thought forms they hold, in each of the incarnations they pass through.

“But on rare occasions there are souls that consciously redirect and repattern themselves, and change their soul types, while their deepest essence remains the same. If they have the knowledge, power and inclination to do so, they can change soul types at will, many, many times, as they pass through the endless interdimensional snowstorms of eternity.

“In order to become enlightened,” Master Fwap explained, “it is necessary for a soul to repattern itself thousands of times. This is what advanced Buddhist Yoga is really all about. It is the science of repatterning the soul within an incarnate body, and also in the bardo planes, which the soul passes through in between incarnations.

“If you learn and practice the science of repatterning, then you can literally change your soul type within your current body structure. If you did this during your current incarnation, then naturally, at the time of your death, your soul would change inclination and you would reincarnate in a different dimension. You would then be with soul types that were similar to the new soul type you had just repatterned yourself to be.

“Let me sum this up for you,” Master Fwap said with a serious look on his face. “Very few beings become enlightened. By that I mean that very few souls have the inclination, knowledge and power to overcome their attachment to their multilife form and to the dimension they have incarnated in for so long. To become enlightened, a soul must transcend its attachment to its familiar form and dimension, and go through a series of repatternings, over the course of tens of thousands of incarnations, until that soul finally incarnates in an enlightened soul type. Then, once it has incarnated in the form of an enlightened soul type, it must go through the training and discipline of evolving even further beyond that soul type to becoming nirvana, which, of course, is beyond soul types and repatterning.

“Try to understand,” he said, looking concerned, “that it is not better to be an enlightened soul type, or to attain enlightenment for that matter, than it is to do or be anything else! It is a personal choice that the essence of our being makes for reasons that cannot be known here.

“What does matter,” he continued, “is getting to the high end of the spectrum of the soul type and dimension that you are currently incarnating in. Then you will be happy. Becoming enlightened isn’t everything, because enlightenment is everything.

“All souls are, in their essence, enlightened,” he continued to explain. “Just as one of your body’s cells contains the DNA of your entire species within it, so too within each soul, regardless of its soul type, there is a spiritual type of DNA. Within this spiritual DNA is enlightenment! The goal of life and of reincarnation is not to become enlightened—but simply to be and to live life fully, and to have endless experiences in eternity.

“You may be drawn to the experience of enlightenment. If that is the case, then you will learn to repattern yourself in an upward ascension of vibratory soul types. If that is your fate it is both challenging and happy, because unlike most beings, you will eventually experience nirvana directly, and as a result you will gain the knowledge, and experience the ecstasy that is beyond expression.

“In an interdimensional snowstorm, one snowflake does not have a better journey than another snowflake does. They are simply different. Souls group together according to their vibratory rate. That is why those souls that seek enlightenment associate with and are drawn to similar souls, and are even more drawn to enlightened souls who can teach them the art of repatterning.”

I had become so involved in listening to Master Fwap’s explanation of reincarnation that I hadn’t even noticed that the sun was beginning to set. I suddenly realized that I was freezing cold.

At that moment it occurred to me that I still had to snowboard down the mountain before it became any colder and darker. I knew it would be fully dark before long, and I wasn’t sure that even if I left immediately, I would be able to make it all the way down. In my thoughts I imagined that I would be trapped on the mountain in the freezing Himalayan night.

“Don’t worry,” Master Fwap said, as if he were reading my thoughts. “I will ride down with you on your board and help guide you.”

And so the two of us held on to each other as we sped down the mountain, cutting rapidly in and out of the deep powder, on my small four-and-a-half-foot-long snowboard—two snowflakes, blowing through eternity in an endless interdimensional snowstorm.