Mantras – Peaceful & Wrathful – An Introduction

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(Extracted from a conversation with a client)

Okay, let’s talk about mantras. Mantras are chants of sacred syllables, and one of the most powerful spiritual practises. The Hare Krishna mantra is, of course, the most well known, as is ‘Aum.’ The great thing about mantras is that they don’t necessarily have to be chanted out-loud – you can keep them going in your mind at all times, so that, whatever you’re doing you’re always engaged in some kind of spiritual practise – and such continuous practise fruits results very quickly.

 

Most mantras are associated with different deities and  energy patterns/beings, and therefore have different effects and powers that they convey. In Tibetan Buddhism, these are roughly grouped into two different types – the Peaceful and the Wrathful. The mantras of Peaceful deities are very good for developing peace, tranquillity, wisdom, patience, healing, equanimity and other enlightened qualities. They’re very gentle, reassuring, and loving, though they will still challenge you from time to time, and can reawaken old memories and psychic powers.

 

The mantras of the wrathful deities are very different, and usually far shorter. They are much more challenging and demanding, but, for that very reason, they get things done a lot quicker. Rather than making us more placid, these mantras generate a huge amount of energy, and make life incredibly more vivid and intense. They have a great fondness for placing you in crazy or strange situations, which force you outside of yourself, and demand you to be more spontaneous, real, or authentic. They will not let you hide from anything! Nor will they hesitate to make you break-down and reduce you to rubble if they think it will do you some good. But, the effects they produce occur incredibly swiftly if one is sincere; and, through them, one can gain powers, awarenesses, memories, and abilities very quickly – you just have to be very brave, as they will always give you far more than you bargained for! Very good for dealing with one’s shadows, personal demons, and visits to the underworld.

It’s usually good to know several mantras for different purposes, and to work with both Peaceful and Wrathful deities, so that you can cultivate both the passive and active/aggressive sides of enlightenment. Usually there will be 1-3 deities that you will develop a close relationship with – though, it’s good to have a strong central one.

If you would like to learn more about mantras, and be recommended some, please contact me at reubenftourettes@hotmail.co.uk

 

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Wrathful Deity Channeled – The Shaman’s Power

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Sat down to meditate. Prayed and invoked a lot of different deities. I used Tara’s mantra, and visualized myself as one of her wrathful aspects, holding a lotus flower containing a spinning dharma wheel, seated on a moon disk in a lotus flower, Amitabha on my crown, and surrounded by a coronal wreath of fire.

As the feeling stabilized, I focused on her feminine attributes, channelling powerful energy through my imaginal vagina, and expanding my breasts to feed all the living, visualizing myself in consort with an appropriate male partner, and then switching it around, so that I was also the male, with a Vajravetali like figure.  Indestructible corpse – what a beautiful name! Channelling the whirling energy between us up through our crowns and out of the head into a womb of power above.

The channelled chanting starts quite early, barely ten minutes into the meditation – possibly the quickest arising yet. It is a short, repetitive mantra, most likely Tibetan, and, at first, starts out in just a muttered whisper, before gradually building in volume as the energetic sensations arise with it. It is easily the most demonstrably wrathful spirit I have ever channeled – my body swings, writhes and contorts rhythmically and pendulously with intensity and purpose, stretching and adapting my body in all sorts of unusual ways. No doubt, a fool would consider such an experience to be demonic possession, instead of a powerful, yet volatile, healing and awakening. It latter switches to a secondary mantra, which also sounds Tibetan. In general, the performance my body gives reminds me a lot of the dancing engaged in by the Tibetan oracles, who also rely mostly on wrathful deities for oracles, particularly Yamantaka.

The visions are of many wrathful spirits, definitely Yamantaka, and other blue, flaming, horned beings, possibly Sipe Gyalmo (who I invoked) and other Bon deities. At one point, I can feel these horns growing out of my head, and see a multiplicity of Yamantakas dancing upon the hazardous peaks of the Himalayas, raging with joy and power.

It feels like a definite Kundalini experience. There is a huge onrush of energy flowing through my lower three chakras, particularly my root and sexual chakras. I have not felt such a surge of sexual and Shakti prana for quite a long time – I don’t think any of them have ever been quite as intense, yet purely channeled, as this. It rises up into my imaginary womb, hopefully helping to burn away the karmic traces of sadness and grief that have become trapped there.

It strikes me that one of the reason the Vajrayana and Dzogchen traditions of Tibet are so powerful is because, though Buddhist, they are still essentially shamanistic in nature. Most of the Shamanistic traditions in the world have been utterly slaughtered, forgotten, or destroyed. Yet, the Bon and Buddhist traditions of Tibet are still being amazingly preserved and practiced to this day; and, with every passing day, more and more of its powerful, ancient secrets are being revealed and shared with the world at large. It is the greatest, greatest of gifts.

The reason it is so powerful is because of this dynamic coupling of the carefully codified wisdom and compassion of the Buddha Dharma, mingled with the natural, mystical, ritualized wildness of the Shamanistic Bon religion, tamed and wielded to perfection by Padmasambhava. Shamanism is always so powerful because it taps directly, and spontaneously, into the most powerful and ancestral of energies, without any remote requirement for intellectualism or even understanding. The shaman can do a lot of what he does simply because he does not understand, or even need to, in order to do it. Such a state of affairs is a puzzle to the ignorant, Western mind, which feels like it needs to grasp, explain, and intellectually reduce everything, before it can finally accept it and make use of it; rejecting everything that is misunderstood, even if it clearly and demonstrably works.

Of course, the shaman’s Way is not for everyone. It require complete grounding, courage, and fearlessness – the willingness to become repeatedly insane on a regular basis. Fortunately, for me, I have longed for insanity ever since I was a child, and so am perfectly suited to the role – especially as it is one that I have taken on in many, many lives. I am so grateful to have this part of myself reawakened, and look forward to sharing it with the rest of the world, to the benefit of all.

OM AH HUM!

 

Diary of a Mystic: Buddha Lands

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After reading a book on Tara’s Enlightened Qualities, I was inspired to refine my practice, making three prostrations, taking refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha, speeding up my recitation of the mantra to be as fast as possible, whilst invoking many Dakinis – speeding up the mantra definitely speeds up the results, though, I definitely feel like the presence of the full-moon helped to intensify the proceedings.

Catapulted into many amazing Buddha Lands. I see countless Taras, Dakinis, Buddhas, Dharmapalas, and numerous other sprites and spirits I would have no idea how to define or categorize – certainly a far share of demons, mystics, goblins, and sorcerers. Samantabhadra – Universal Sage Buddha – is a delivering a sermon to countless multitudes, in extremely beautiful lands.

A Dakini/Tara appears before me holding an old vellum scroll – it is a terma?  She tears it in two. Many Dragons, heavenly beings, Hell beings and others engaged in bizarre pass-times, feasting on entrails. I can hear foreign voices speaking words into both of my ears in stereo. I cannot recognize the language – perhaps Indian or Nepalese? There is a flash of light in the chambers of my skull, and several loud noises in the attic above my had which completely coincide with it – indication of an actual presence in the room. Groups of Buddhas levitating happily over mountains. It is all ineffable and multi-dimensional, like being inside a quantum mandala – or a Tibetan version of one of Pablo Amaringo’s Ayahuasca paintings.

Yamantaka reappears quite a few times, consumed by a corona of blazing fire, belching fire, and making wrathful sounds. I see him so often that I find it hard not to occasionally switch to his mantra! Bald, Nosferatu-like figures.

“JUST LISTEN!” Tara exclaims to me at one point. I behold her more vividly and immensely than I’ve ever seen her before. Energy flows forth to cleanse my heart chakra – the familiar feeling of a spiritual hand reaching through my sternum to clutch at my hurting heart.

The Demons of the Mind

Whether they be the horned, bewinged, goat-like satyrs of the Western World, or the flesh-devouring, multi-headed wraiths more common in the East, demons play a popular part in the global imagination. Every country in the world, no matter how anomalous or unique, possesses its own personal heritage of demons and the systems of Hells or torturous realms in which they are often both prisoner and jailer. Even Buddhism, with its strong emphasis on compassion and loving-kindness, has devoted numerous murals to the intricate portraiture of the cleansing purgatories that await the evil and impure; and Tibet, for all its veneration as the birthplace of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama – (my personal hero) – has possibly one of the richest pantheons of demonology in the history of the human race.

But just what does this demonic fixation say about us? Why do they cleave so eagerly to our thoughts and our nightmares? Why do we need demons?

Everyone is familiar with the story from The Gospels regarding the ordeal of Jesus in which he was tempted by The Devil for 40 days and 40 nights. Buddha, too, as he sat under the Bodhi Tree, assiduously striving to attain enlightenment, was constantly beset by the devil, Mara – (the personification of selfishness and greed) – who did his utmost to prevent him from achieving tranquillity. Looking beyond these famous personages, and into the biographies and legends told of mystics and sages – and often artists, too – we find this same trend repeating itself. Whether the mystic in question was Christian, Muslim, Korean, Japanese, Hindu, Taoist, or Yaqui Shaman, we hear the same old story of saintly spiritual seekers being waylaid by devils in the wilderness, attacked, tempted, bewildered, and seduced, some emerging triumphant, whilst others, less unified in their will-power, succumb to their wiles and charms, and end up either mad or dead.  Many modern scholars and researchers – including Jacques Vallee – have drawn parallels between these tumults and more recent accounts of the Alien Abduction Phenomenon. The demons have followed us into the present. But just what is it they want with us? Or rather, what is it we want with them?

The Tibetan Buddhists – or, specifically, in this case, the ‘Chödpas’ – would go one better in these accounts. Instead of allowing themselves to be assailed unawares by these murderous imps, they would deliberately invoke them, in order to fully test the strength of their psychic development. In a ritual known as ‘Chöd’, the initiate betakes themself to a burial ground or alternate location of sinister repute, draws attention to themselves by blowing through a human thigh-bone trumpet, and undergoes a meditational practice in which they visualize themselves as being surrounded by demons and other spiritual beings, to whom they offer their body as a source of sustenance. In vivid, gruesome detail, they imagine themselves as being eaten, and torn apart, piece by piece, by these wretched fiends, until there is nothing left, and they are then liberated from the torture of selfishness.

It might seem strange to most people that anyone would choose to betake this terrifying ordeal of their own volition, but behind it is the desire to achieve the greatest of accomplishments: complete freedom from fear.

Fear is the root of all evil. Take it away, and no impurity or delusion can prevail. Greed is driven by the fear that we will not have enough to survive. Lust is driven by the fear that pleasure is only temporary and can only be begotten by external things. Anger is fuelled by the fear that things will never go our way unless we violently coerce them too; jealousy, by the fear that good things only happen to others; and paranoia by the belief that the universe is conspiring against us. Together, all of these children of fear form a nightmarish plexus, a self-imposed prison that prevents us from being ourselves, enjoying our lives, and joining as one with reality.

So, to excise fear, and become completely fearless, is the only way to attain utter freedom. No matter what we may accomplish or achieve otherwise, if we still have fear, then we are still imprisoned, and have a lot more work to do if we wish to escape.

That’s why the biggest demon of all is LAZINESS. LAZINESS is very a clever demon. He deludes us into loving our prisons. “You might be very unhappy in here,” reason the demon, “but it’s a lot worse out there. If you stay in here, you’ll be comfortable and safe, and won’t have to do any work. You’ll only alert the guards, and cause a mass of confusion if you try to escape. Best stick with what you know – even if that makes you miserable.”

These lies of LAZINESS’s are very effective, and most people succumb to them at one point or another in their lives. Why? Because the only way to escape from Fear is to confront Fear directly. And it is much easier to stay ensconced in our self-made hells, then to attempt to navigate The Valley of Death that lies outside our cage.

So what are demons?

Demons are what happens when our negative thoughts and beliefs are repeated so much that they begin to take on a life of their own. We all get beset by worries, fears, and concerns from time to time. If we ignore them or deal with them, then they will go away. But, if we pay them too much attention, and begin to take them seriously, so that passing fears turn into lifelong patterns of habit and belief, then we have promoted a weak demon into our lord and master. It is like trying to get rid of flies by coating yourself in honey: what you sought to dispel has become part of you, and it’s a hell of a process trying to wash them all off.

Meditation is the best means of achieving this purification.

The Meditator as an Exorcist

 

More and more people are becoming attracted to meditation as it’s begun to become a much more mainstream practice. But people are still very afraid of meditation, and will make as many excuses as they can to avoid trying it. “I can’t do it,” they say, “my mind just won’t turn off!” Of course it won’t! Not at first! It takes practice! No one can play like Steve Vai the first time they pick up the guitar, or speak fluent French when they first open a phrasebook. So why do we expect to be virtuoso yogis the first time we pick up the mind?

The reason people are afraid of meditation is because it takes an enormous amount of courage. It is easy to stave off thoughts when we are in a state of constant action, watching fast-paced television, listening to music, and doing several jobs all at the same time. But when we seat ourselves in stillness, and these distractions are no longer available to us, there is no hiding anymore. We must look directly into our minds, confront the demon-filled hells we find there, and tear them apart piece by piece. It is like Room 101. All our fears are created by us, for us. And only we have the power to either maintain them or take them away.

“Mankind will do just about everything to avoid looking at their own souls,” observed Carl Jung in Psychology and Alchemy. And, considering how much we’ve neglected them, it’s no surprise they’ve grown so shabby. But if you meditate with perseverance and courage, never giving up, then you will be able to turn your Hells into Paradise, and your demons into Buddhas and angels. ‘All things are Buddha things’ sayeth the Zen Monk, even demons. Find the Buddha within the demon, and you will revoke all his power. That’s why Lao Tzu said:

When Tao harmonizes the world

Demons lose their power

Learn to harmonize your own mind, and no demon will ever be able to enter into it.