Tertons are always challenging to people because they often act unconventionally. And it’s natural, or not surprising, that during the life of a terton people usually think they’re crazy. (After they pass away, of course, we all make statues of them and worship them and so on.) Or they say, “Well, this is just too much — too many revelations, too many discoveries; this is not possible.” Actually if you learn what they’re really doing and what’s going on, you start to understand that they are emanations of Guru Rinpoche. They seem like ordinary men and women when you meet them, but they’re doing things that are simply beyond our usually experience. For example, they might lapse into a nap for a few minutes and you think, “Well, what is that? He was asleep for two, three minutes.” But as in the case of Chokgyur Dechen Lingpa, since dream time can be very different from waking time, he was able to get detailed instruction on feast dance from Guru Rinpoche and a retinue of dakinis in what for us probably would just look like somebody slumping for a few minutes and coming back out of it. And that’s what they’re doing. They’re doing things like this all the time. And it’s not surprising that we don’t recognize because we don’t it.
[From a teaching Essence of Wisdom: Stages of the Path, Part 5, by Lama Tashi Topgyal. Translated by Lama Yeshe Gyamtso.]