the BON side of Tibetan Buddhism

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Bon religion is an ancient shamanist religion with esoteric rituals, exorcisms, talismans, spells, incantations, drumming, sacrifices, a pantheon gods and evil spirits, and a cult of the dead.

Originating in Tibet, it predates Buddhism there, has greatly influenced Tibetan Buddhism and is still practiced by the Bonpo people.

Prayer flags, prayers wheels, sky burials, festival devil dances, spirit traps, rubbing holy stones—things that are associated with Tibetan religion and Tibetan Buddhism—all evolved from the Bon religion.

The Tibet scholar David Snellgrove once said “Every Tibetan is a bonpo at heart.”