Poem: Tapster’s Song to Vajrayogini

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Oh, my magnificent Vajrayogini!

Thank you for treating me roughly

You have trained me to build the cathedral of flame

And to pinion myself on its lonesome spires

You make love to me

Both violently and gently

Eroticizing the flaming canals of my body

Until my flesh sears with unbearable delight

You whisper sacred teachings to me

That sound like dirty words

Thus the mantra of “FUCK FUCK FUCK”

Must always be proclaimed

But most of all

You have rebirthed me

As love and lust incarnate

To treat my body as a flaming palace

That must be available to all

Who amongst you will walk my hallowed halls?

To seek out the secret entrance

To my pentagrammatical pelvis?

Or find the tetragrammaton

In my twinkling eyes?

To find the ten-syllable mantra

Wreathed around my scrotum?

Or the imperishable words of saints

Writ on the crystal betwixt my thighs?

Burning phallus!

Burning phallus, thou!

Kidneys, Sacrum,

Skull and monk!

Indestructible Maiden arise

Let’s both get drunk!

 

 

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Groundlessness

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One of the most important teachings in Buddhism is the Mahayana doctrine of Shunyata. This doctrine teaches us that everything we experience – right down to the senses we use to experience – is nothing more than pure, radiant, empty space.

This notion is very difficult for most people to grasp. To us, experientially, most things appear to be physical, tangible, graspable, almost fixed in their solidity. But, even quantum physicists proved that reality is fundamentally empty – that the atoms and particulates that seem to comprise reality are largely constituted from empty space.

In this regard, reality is no more than empty space masquerading as solidity. It is like watching a film at the cinema. The figures on screen may look very real, as though you are literally watching this scene unfolding in the flesh in front of you. But, on investigation, we find that it is nothing more than an arrangement of lights being projected onto an empty screen.

Empty light.

And a blank screen.

So, behind all displays of multiplicity, color, and movement, there is always that primal, simple, changeless empty awareness lurking beneath.

Physicists were very disturbed when they discovered this about reality, because it seems to go against our most basic experiences of the world.

However, Shunyata is not just an esoteric doctrine – it is something we can directly apprehend and experience through meditation.

But, Shunyata is no less troubling when we experience it, than when we merely conceptualize it. In the same way that Quantum Physics troubled scientists and caused them to question everything they knew about reality, Shunyata has very much the same effect on the meditator who experiences it directly.

Realizing there is nothing but empty space, we become profoundly uprooted. Everything that we had relied upon, thinking it to be solid, fixed, and permanent, we soon discover to be fluid, impermanent, and ever-changing. There is nothing for us to grasp or take refuge in any more.

Everything become groundless.

Even though this groundless empty space is so essentially healing, loving, nourishing, relaxing and aware, it is such a shock to the system to discover it is everywhere, that it can actually trigger a sense of terror and panic in us. Where can I go? What can I cling to? Where is the safe house I can hold onto to keep me safe from the vagaries of the world?

The answer is nothing, nowhere, and no one.

Life is dangerous, perilous, and can be extinguished at any possible moment.

This knowledge should not be a cause for sadness – rather it should be something we rejoice in, and take delight in. Instead of fleeing the fear, we should embrace it, and learn to feel grounded in groundlessness.

This groundedness is not based on anything we are attached to or reliant upon – instead, it is grounded in the confidence of our awareness of the indestructible nature of ultimate reality.

For that ultimate reality is emptiness, and it is indestructible.

It is this groundlessness which we should be grounded in.

Knowing this can give us a great sense of bravery and pride at living at all. Even the solid earth beneath us is like shifting sand that could break or give way at any moment. And yet, here we are, courageously still living, defiantly still living and experiencing in a house filled with traps and beauty.

Through embracing this impermanence and uncertainty, we find that all things we love and cherish in life are also the most fragile. The flowers we love to see and smell die after they’ve barely bloomed; all our love affairs, friendships, and relationships could end at any moment, whether from death, distance, an ill-timed argument, or any number of other circumstances. A baby can be born from a sexual union so brief, it couldn’t even be measured as a wink in the fullness of infinity.

Everything is always coming together, falling apart, and then coming back together again.

It all comes and goes from that emptiness.

So what is there to be afraid of?

Ground yourself in groundlessness – face everything you fear to fear – and your fears will go away.

 

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!