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

 

Meditation: The Thingsness of Things

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After finishing my meditation lesson yesterday, one of my students noted how they always felt they experienced reality differently after a deep meditation. While reality usually felt quite bland or flat to them, after a good meditation, he said everything felt richer, deeper, more three-dimensional and solid. As we had just done a meditation on the nature of emptiness, I was quite surprised to hear him use the word ‘solid,’ until I realized he was talking about The Thingness of Things: a phrase I use which describes experiencing each thing and phenomena exactly as it is, at its utmost blistering intensity.

Most of the time, we only relate to things and phenomena in a very half-assed and dispirited way. We pass a tree we walked past yesterday; we greet a person we see every morning; we unknowingly hear a birdsong that follows us everywhere we go. Because these things have become habitual for us, we treat each of these things – the tree, the friend, the birdsong – as though it is something static, stuck in time, that can never satisfy or delight us. Because we have seen it a thousand times, it has become dull, mundane, and humdrum according to our benumbed senses, always looking for new pleasures, new experiences, new desires.

The tragic thing about this view is that it is incorrect. Every moment is new, every moment is unique, every moment has its own special character that well never be repeated ever again, not even if infinity were to bend over, poke its head between its legs, and eat its own scrotum. Newness is the fundamental nature of each experience – always new, always shocking, always vibrant.

So why don’t most us feel that vividity and uniqueness? It is because of our habituations, and how we have allowed our insecurities to mute the palette of these rich, vibrant moments. We claim we want new, exciting experiences. But most of us are terrified of change, and of anything that threatens the illusory security of our habitual routines. To really experience the uniqueness and freshness of each moment would mean being open, vulnerable, receptive, insecure – it would mean letting down the barrier of our cold comforts, erroneous certainties, and beliefs, and instead just letting things be as they are.

Shine/shamatha meditation teaches us to do this. By mindfully resting in the uniqueness of each moment, without weighing it, analyzing it, or assessing it, we no longer fear being afraid of the startling shock of every moment. This, in turn, effects how we experience reality, post meditation. Each moment, each second becomes like a new century, a new epoch, which disturbs and delights us with its instantaneously known unknownness. Colours become more colourful. Every touch becomes more erotic. Sounds become more soundy. Even things that usually annoy us suddenly become palaces of wealthy delight that cause us to loosen with fertile appreciation.

All this spell-binding depth and luxury can be returned to your reality, just by learning to be still, and rest with all of your feelings and thoughts.

Mindful Love

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The Chaos of Love

Everybody wants to experience love and loving relationships in their life.

But, very few people question their true motives for wanting a relationship, or contemplate just how deeply and violently love will impact every level of their life.

In wanting love without fully understanding it, we are like people who want to sail in the middle of a dangerous ocean, without first learning to swim – we will very quickly find ourselves overwhelmed.

This is why love is so powerful. Because it is so overwhelming, and can seem so chaotic, yet harmonious, it forces us to radically face who we are. Love is the ultimate leveller of the playing field. It strips all the certainties and illusions out of life, and forces us to face what we have always hidden from – ourselves, and the nature of reality itself.

We may think we are all different. But, in love, we are all the same. Once in love, we all have the capacity to experience the highest of happinesses and the deepest sorrows, as well all the jealousy, madness, passion, tranquillity, self-grasping, and self-losing that comes in-between.

Because love makes us all the same, it helps us to disentangle from the bondage of our egos which always want us to be better than everyone else. Love empowers us by making us humble. By lovingly placing the importance of all beings before us, we become important to all beings.

A Question of Love

So, we have two choices when faced with love:

  1. We can be self-grasping, and flee from it, not having the bravery to face our own vulnerability.
  2. Or we can be self-losing, and completely surrender ourselves to love. We allow it deconstruct and destroy us, so we come out the other side, selfless, gentle, and fearless.

This is why I ask you to be mindful in Love, and to always question your own motives. In loving someone, and wanting to be intimate with them, are you willing to be completely honest, open and free with them? Or is it just a subtle case of manipulation, in which you use that person in order to increase your own gratification?

Many of us do the latter, without even realizing it. We want relationships that promise to resolve all our problems, and make our lives luxurious, easy, and comfy.

Taking the clothes off your Heart

But love is not easy. It is most difficult and challenging thing we can ever face. It uproots every illusion we’ve ever held about life, and gives us a chance to confront and come to terms with our most selfish aspects.

In this respect, our lovers or partners are not cushions against the blows of life. Instead, they are like warrior teachers, who constantly test the depths of our selflessness. They challenge us to commit to being completely authentic in absolutely every situation, regardless of how terrifying and groundless that may feel.

In the same way that we must take off our clothes off to make love, we must take the clothes off of our hearts in order to be love.

A naked heart is a brave heart, and the only one worth having.

And if you are brave enough to do that, than you are brave enough to love.

Joy and Suffering in Meditation

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Meditation is all about integrating yourself into reality in a completely fundamental way. As repeated practice continually refines your sense of awareness, your joy becomes clearer – your suffering becomes clearer.

Through this heightened clarity, both our suffering and joy is heightened. They are not lost, transcended, escaped, or destroyed; rather, whole new dimensions of reality are added to them. Two-dimensional joy becomes quantum joy, unfolding and overlapping into increasingly vast panels of existence. Selfish suffering transforms into selfless suffering – an awareness of the incredible fragility of everything we touch and co-exist with.

This sensitivity changes how we respond to reality. Deepening the realms of our joy, we become more intimate, caring, and friendly – every moment, no matter how chaotic, confusing or challenging, becomes an opportunity to love, to learn, to understand, and, most crucially, an opportunity to be truly naked in the presence of all beings and experience, without contrivance or adornment.

Deepening our suffering, we no longer grasp at it as something endemic to us, but recognize it as something intensely personal to every living being. Whatever sadness or sorrows I feel, you will also one day feel, and vice versa – how could such a knowing not breed empathy, compassion, and Bodhicitta? Being aware of this engenders an authentic tenderness in us – a wish that this weren’t so – a wish to cradle all beings from their unceasing afflictions, and to try make life as smooth and as real as it can be.

Your joy and suffering are not obstacles to the path – they are the path. They are the intertwined and indivisible staircases that we use to ascend to the heaven of non-duality – the twin-breasts that nourish us with the milk of oceanic compassion.

Keep adding new dimensions to everything in your life through daily determined meditation. Eventually, once all walls have been broken down, and all untruth stripped away, Dharmadatu can be attained.

 

 

Diary of a Mystic: Vajra Lands

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First thoroughly enjoyable and integrative meditation since I first came down with this illness. Given all the anger, bitterness, and ill-will I’ve been experiencing as a side effect over these last few days, I decided to use Vajrayogini’s mantra to help me eat up and transform these unpleasant emotions. And it certainly worked, as I feel much more gentle and mentally pliable now than the misanthrope I’ve been masquerading as for these last few days.

The energy that envelops everything was no longer kept at a distance from me that horrifying fever fire, but could actually fully enter into my being. It was truly blissful and pleasurable, as though my being was gently being suffused with yogurt, milk, ambrosia, or some other sweet elixir of the Gods.

The initial imagery was of some jungles, and a face that looked rather Mongolian. But, to my knowledge, I don’t think Mongolia is a jungle terrain, so it was more likely a Chinese kingdom I was seeing, or maybe even something from Central or South America.

Then the scene takes an almost anime turn, two beautiful lovers, in a watery, nebulous, rainbow space. It is quite indistinct, but I feel very turned on and sensual, a delicious sense of hyper-sexual unity that continues throughout the meditation.

There is one scene that almost feel like a living painting. We are sailing down this psychedelic, jungle river. All these beautiful and mysterious creatures lurk elegantly along the banks. Roaming through clouds and beautiful vajra lands.

Visions of Sisyphus

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After note: Also had an image of a man pushing a boulder up the side of a very pointed Himalayan mountain. However, once he reached the pinnacle, the boulder fell down the other side, and he flew up into space. This throws some interesting light on the legend of Sisyphus as a teaching about reincarnation. We incarnate into lives to learn, to become stronger, kinder, and increase our spiritual power and integrity. However, once we reach our climax, and we achieve much, we crumble and die, and are cast into another body, and thus, have to start the cycle all over again, right from the very bottom. It is enough to master the teachings of the Tao & and Dharma in one life time – but to have to return to it again and again, right from the bottom – what an endeavour!

This is the why the understanding of past lives is so useful in eastern countries. Because their reality is widely recognized, beings who are reincarnations or emanations of great teachers of holy men become recognized early on, and are able, with special training, to continue right from where they left off. One of these beings, reborn in the west, however, has to deal with a whole new set of obstacles – the pathologization of spirituality and mystical experiences in our culture – still pervasive literalist Christian dogma and superstition – and the quest to discover teachings which are foreign and opposed to our culture, and not very easy to come across.

However, a truly motivated spirit will always have the integrity to return to their original nature, regardless of the depravity of the society in which they find themselves, and The Great Spirit will orchestrate things so that all the right lessons, teachers, and experiences, fall into their path. Everything is well-taken care of. We just have to do our best, and not submit to ignorance and defeat.

Diary of a Mystic: Anubis and DNA

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Duration – over ninety minutes, maybe a hundred. Mantra –Medicine Buddha’s, as I am still feeling unwell today, and it seems to exert a strong effect on me. Almost continual rocking  and shaking throughout, as with yesterday’s meditation. After focusing on making Medicine Buddha’s body my own, one of the first beings I encountered was Anubis, the jackal-headed guardian of the underworld in Egyptian mythology. He was stood in the middle of space, and flailing a red whip around, which may have had a fiery tip. I guess it was appropriate to see him, given the transformation that I’m undergoing. The whip seemed to remind me that all these deaths of the self are all about learning to further tame and subdue the self – it must be subdued and made to hurt a good deal before one finally conquers it. His presence unnerved me at first; but, I quickly assimilated to him and moved on.

Flying through the insides of massive of Egyptian temples – seemingly never-ending corridors of statues of all the great gods. Full-blown Egyptian space cities later in the dream.

I became aware that all of the 97% ‘junk DNA’ that we house in our bodies actually contains a limitless amount of infinite knowledge – no doubt closely connected with the Akashic records and the collective unconscious. I’m sure that if one were to analyze the DNA of spiritually advanced individuals and masters, they would discover far more of the DNA in operation than amongst members of the normal population – also amongst psychics and alien/human hybrids.

I ask to be taught more about love, and am whisked away to a beautiful planet – truly indescribable energy and colours here. I am standing on a tremendous red cliff outside a very beautiful temple with a large spire. I have a blue skin, a large crown, and am bedecked with lots of interesting armour and jewellery; my consort/lover is garbed in much the same kind of gear, has beautiful eyes and blue skin, is very slender and agile, and may have a tail. We look like a cross between Osiris and Isis, and Shiva and Shakti (though, unlike the iconography, both of the women are blue-skinned in this instance). We link together, and I experience being both of us at once. Either two or one – we can separate or come together at will.

I think this is one of the reasons people are so attached to touch in this realm. In other dimensions, to touch another, is truly to become another – here, unless one is very advanced in tantric mysteries, that sense of division and separation still stands, causing a lot of frustration and dissatisfaction.

Yesterday, I saw both Lao Tzu (as Lord Lao on a throne) and The Yellow Emperor – they both resided in extremely lofty heavens. Today, I also saw a being wearing the same shining yellow robes as The Yellow Emperor, but he had a large, dark blue alien head.

The very loving presence of Tara also came to visit me at one time. I took refuge in her enormous green body, and the beautiful green land in which she resides. I also saw Manjushri – accepted his sword of wisdom, and, after, perusing through the book he always carries, I consumed it.

 

Four Elements Meditation (alchemy)

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Sitting in a dark room, either on a chair, or in the lotus position on a cushion or yoga mat, just close your eyes, and immerse yourself in the darkness around you. Turn your attention to your breathing, inhaling and exhaling gently out of your nostrils, making sure that your breathing is smooth, silent, soft, and slow, refining it, and making it ever gentler.

With every breath in, and every breath out, just visualize the boundaries of your body melting and dissolving, merging with the tranquillity of the darkness that surrounds you.

When you feel at ease, and completely at peace within the vast darkness you inhabit, bring your attention to the base of your spine (or the balls of your feet, if you’re sat on a chair). Imagine roots coming down from your spine, and penetrating deep into the earth, right to its very core. Once those roots feel deep and well-placed, use them to bring golden earth energy from out of the earth, and into your body, stabilizing it in the region of your navel.

The earth has the quality of being grounded, solid, stable, still, tranquil, receptive, nurturing, and centred. By bringing earth energy into your body, you are bringing all of these qualities into your being.

Next, visualize channelling water up through these roots. Take the cool, mineral rich water from the depths and hollows of the earth, and bring it up through these roots, channelling it to your lower back, where your kidneys are, and allow it to pool there.

Water has the qualities of fluidity, malleability, gentleness, and the ability to transform itself to suit the needs of every situation, filling up every hollow. By drawing water energy into yourself, you are benefiting yourself and others with these amazing qualities.

Now, turn your attention to the top of your head, where your crown is. Visualize the top of your head opening, connecting you with the heavens above, so that your mind becomes vast and limitless.

Visualize drawing down the vibrant green energy of the wind from the heavens, and into your body, down into your abdomen, where it can abide with the other energies you have acquired.

This wind energy has the qualities of playfulness and spontaneity; it is formless, impartial, free, and all-embracing – the care-free nature of a joyous child. By drawing this energy into your body, you are blessing your being with all of these qualities.

Finally, visualize drawing fire energy from the sun through the opening in your crown, and into your heart. Really feel its radiance – its heat, warmth, and healing power.

Fire has the qualities of compassion, love, radiance, light, enlightenment, cheerfulness, joy, and kindness. By inviting this fire into your heart, you are imbuing yourself with all of these qualities.

Now that this healing fire is within your heart, visualize it being pumped around your body, passing through all your blood vessels, arteries, arterioles, veins, capillaries, and meridians, suffusing every part of your being, so that every part of you is nourished by this amazing healing energy.

To finish, take all of these elements you have welcomed into your being – fire, water, wind, and earth – and merge them into a single unified energy. Once this unified energy has been created, spread it throughout your entire body, so that there is not a single part of you that does not experience its benefits.

Thank Heaven and Earth for the amazing gifts they have given you, and then emerge from your trance whenever you wish to do so.

If initially you find it hard to remember all these steps – (they are all just guidelines meant to stimulate the imagination; you do not need to follow them rigidly or to the letter) – perhaps pre-record these steps so that you can listen to them as you meditate, or have a friend or loved one read them to you as you do so.

May all who read this be blessed with pure everlasting enlightenment.

OH AH HUM!

 

An Amazing Movie I’d Love You All To Watch

The above link is a feature film created by my exceedingly talented friend, the artist, Julian Lach. It is an incredible, meditative, funny, and mesmerizing movie that I hope will bring as much joy to you as it did to me. Julian asked me if I would write some poetry to accompany his film, which I have included below for your enjoyment.

Seven Questions Posed to the Silent God

Narratives spun without characters

Trees make the best protagonists

Empty space can speak for itself

Why complicate it with people?

Insects have taken back their world

Deer fletcherize the corpses left over;

The beauteous detritus

From the Peaceful Apocalypse

Rotting in the garden

Why do you need a punchline,

Or even a joke,

When every hollow atom

is radiant with laughter?

A demon sits on the window sill

The curtains lightless and drawn

But he still has the foresight

To make out his mark

And number them amongst the numbered

Moss resumes it tyranny

Over the suffering window ledges

A mushroom may sprout from every orifice

But doesn’t bamboo make the best telescopes?

I looked under the chair

But still could not find you

Perhaps you are out dancing with the rippled waters

Waiting for the river to take off its garters?

Still, the effigies remain as immigrants from the past

Mannequins and china dolls our only ancestors

Who will place them in museum cases

Now that the ravens have fractured their claws?

Now that the Ravens have fractured their caws.

Now that the Ravens have fractured their cause

Still you can hear the creator

Muttering to himself in broken German

But the language will only reassert itself

Once the snowflakes have ceased to scream

Questions,

Question,

Unanswered questions

Always make the finest quilts

And as you peek under the duvet,

Trying to keep warm,

I promise you this:

We will reach The Other Shore

And tear the bastard’s eyes out.

When White Noise Talks

But who is that sitting in the empty chair?

Where is the observer –

Can he even be found?

Only when we are nowhere

Can we be omnipresent.

Only blindfolded

And stuffed in a trunk

Can we be sure of anything at all