A Meeting with an ECK Master in Tibet
By Charles, California
An ECKist I knew had recently been to Tibet. He’d had such an amazing experience that he invited a few friends to return there with him. So I went to Tibet!
After we arrived in the country, whenever I interacted with Tibetans, I noticed they seemed to have a natural attitude of devotion and spirituality.
Our little group of friends hired tour guides, and they took us to visit temples. Not many tourists knew about a Tibetan Buddhist temple located in a large square area in the city of Lhasa. Only a few people milled around while my friends and I stood on its roof, admiring the 360-degree view of the surrounding Himalayas.
A Familiar Stranger
Still immersed in my mountain experience, I was surprised to hear a man’s deep baritone voice. I hadn’t noticed him standing next to me. “You look very cool,” he said.
His voice and comment were so friendly that I turned around to get a better look. He was about six feet tall, clean-shaven, and casually but impeccably dressed in native Tibetan clothing.
I immediately thanked him for his compliment. Then a thought popped into my mind: This stranger’s voice had sounded as if he somehow knew I looked different than usual. Before the trip I had made what for me was a bold decision—I would let my beard grow even if it showed some gray. This man seemed to be implying, “Oh, yeah. The new gray beard is cool.”
When I started chatting with him, the man asked, “Where are you from?”
“California,” I told him.
“Oh, California is a long way away. What brought you here?”
“I’ve always been curious about Tibet.”
During our short conversation, I noticed that although the man clearly looked to be Tibetan, he had no native accent and spoke English perfectly.
The man’s awareness, experience, and mastery of language didn’t make sense. His questions and friendly banter engaged me as he continued to ask questions about casual topics. We kept talking on the temple rooftop, in an easy exchange that didn’t leave space for me to ask probing questions about him. It felt as if we were in a little bubble, suspended in a moment of time. No one approached or interrupted us, even though one of the people in my traveling group was nearby.
A Strange Reluctance to Leave
From the bottom of the temple staircase, one of our tour guides finally called, “Charles, we need to go.”
I felt disappointed at leaving because I was having such an interesting conversation with this guy. And I still wanted to ask him, “What do you do? How is it you have no Tibetan accent?” I wanted to ask if he had a business card. Does he lead tours, I wondered. But I left the roof with my questions unanswered and trudged down the temple stairs to street level.
As my tour group and I walked away, I suddenly thought, I feel really lit, really good. Then I recalled that I’d started feeling lit up as soon as that guy on the temple roof had said, “You look very cool.”
An awareness opened for me that something unusual must have happened. What was it about this guy? I’d never had this kind of reaction to meeting a stranger.
During the entire rest of the time I visited Tibet, I wanted to see the stranger again. But returning to the temple didn’t feel like the right thing to do. It wouldn’t have been in keeping with the natural flow of the rooftop experience.
Who Was That Man?
Shortly after returning from my amazing Tibetan adventure, it was time to facilitate the book discussion of Autobiography of a Modern Prophet by Sri Harold Klemp. Sri Harold’s autobiography shows it’s possible to achieve God-Realization in a Western, modern culture. I find his journey accessible and relatable to me or to anyone seriously interested in reaching full spiritual potential.
The chapter we were studying that month recounted a Soul Travel experience with Rebazar Tarzs when Sri Harold was a Second Initiate. He described his encounter by saying, “Rebazar was clean-shaven. So I did not recognize him until he spoke, for there is no way to mistake his crisp baritone voice once you hear it.”
Stories in other parts of the book tell of Sri Harold’s additional experiences with Rebazar Tarzs. He’d described the ECK Master’s appearance as “almost six feet in height” and said, “his beard is as thick as black wool and neatly trimmed.” He called him “a striking figure” with coal-black hair and eyes. At an inner-world temple he wore a maroon robe but dressed in ordinary clothing when in public, so as not to draw undue attention to himself.
To be honest, a part of me wanted to doubt that I could have met an ECK Master. What had I done to deserve such an encounter? However, with Sri Harold’s description fresh in my mind, the full realization came through. Oh my God, that was Rebazar. OK, I had a beautiful experience with the famed Tibetan ECK Master.
Now I recalled that not only had the stranger spoken with perfect English diction and no accent, but he’d had an unusually resonant and assured baritone voice. The man’s manner was so easy and engaging that his unique voice hadn’t registered with me. I’d never heard one quite like it before—and haven’t since. I felt grateful Sri Harold had included the crucial detail about Rebazar’s voice in his book. Then I thought, If I’d known I was meeting Rebazar Tarzs, I probably would not have left Tibet until he told me to go.
I’ve always felt that reading spiritual biographies is a powerful vehicle to inspire your own spiritual growth. Autobiography of a Modern Prophet enabled me to realize that I, too, had been blessed in this world, in this lifetime, with a visit from an ECK Master.
The e-book edition of Autobiography of a Modern Prophet won the “American Book Fest 2017 Best Book Awards” for New Age: Non-Fiction. It was selected by a distinguished panel of industry judges from 2,000 entries. The book is also a Bronze winner in the “2018 eLit Book Awards” for Autobiography/Memoir—one of the categories that received the year’s most entries.