Tag Archives: Lobsang T Rampa

Persistence: Just Keep Walking

In the 1970s there was an American mystic writer called Lobsang T Rampa.  His books would always say at the end that if you wanted to write to him you should enclose a dollar, and he was often writing in angry terms about those who had written to him.
But one story he wrote stuck away with me.  It was about a seeker who goes to a Buddhist monastery and asks to become enlightened.  The monk tells him that he has two choices: to stay and study for 30 years; or to go through the door at the end of the room, cross the floor and leave by the door at the other end.  The problem is that while in the room he will be faced with his worst fears and that many people freeze, and never make it the short distance.  He says that if the seeker chooses this option, the only advice the monk can give is, ‘Keep Walking.’
The sort of writers’ fears I have heard include, ‘I’ll never get published,’ ‘I will never be able to write,’ or ‘I’ll never be able to find the time.’  There really is no answer to these, as whoever expresses them often has strong arguments to support their point.
Meditators talk about returning to the cushion, or ‘Keep turning up.’  I’ve heard writers say, ‘Keep writing,’ or ‘Keep plugging away.’  I think about that grumpy US mystic and do my best to keep putting one foot in front of the other.