By William Amos
Published: March 5, 2010.
"The Banquet" is a mystical story of ritual and release. Fleeing from an invading army, a Tibetan monk retreats to the wilderness and enacts the richly symbolic but gruesome ritual known as Chod, or the Mystic Banquet. His renunciation of reality at the story's climax helps his students face their inevitable execution with serenity. The Chod does exist and is accurately portrayed here.