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Buddhadharma : Fall 2015
48 buDDhaDharma: the practitioner’s quarterly fall 2015 body’s energy becomes more balanced and healthy, we suffer fewer emotional and psychological distur- bances and experience greater physical well-being. This purification or healing then allows the natural potential of our energy body to gradually become liberated as a quality of blissful wisdom. BuDDhADhARMA: So if I’m sitting on the cushion and I want to work with prana, nadi, and bindu, what am I going to do? LAMA PALDEN: In some simple practices such as Tara visualization, we mainly work with the heart chakra; with more advanced practices, we may be working with other chakras or even all chakras simultaneously. In working with Chakrasamvara and Vajravarahi in union, for example, we visual- ize how energy is moving in the chakras, which is related to the seed syllables and mantras that also turn or move in particular ways. While visualizing ourselves as Chakrasamvara, we’re visualizing our body as a body of light, begin- ning to work with the subtle body and changing the way we’re relating to and feeling our experience, then moving the energy in very particular ways. In yidam practice, the external world is transformed within our minds into a pure awakened realm. The internal and external transformation into awakened presence changes the way we think of and experi- ence ourselves, as well as others and our world. It moves us closer into direct contact with reality as it is. And while we’re learning to move the energy in our body in ways that facilitate awakening, we’re simultaneously resting in the view, which means recognizing our experience as the union of appear- ance and emptiness, awareness-emptiness. If the nature of reality and who we are weren’t empty, we couldn’t actually transform it. Since it doesn’t truly exist, it’s transformable and our experience can self- liberate. Tantra helps us realize the self-liberating nature of all phenomena. TENzIN WANGyAL RINPOChE: Whatever specific yidam you are practicing, when you become that yidam, you don’t have a body or mind in the conventional sense. Using the architecture of the channels and chakras, the winds, the tigles, and seed syllables, you construct a body and mind. These subtle winds and subtle tigles are the consciousness you bring into that body. You build the body and then you bring the mind into it. For example, you may In Buddhism, a deity is not an external god separate from our innate nature, nor is it merely fantasy or imaging. It’s a reflection of our own dharmakaya nature —the mind’s pure wisdom of clarity and emptiness. —Rob Preece TENzIN WANGyAL RINPOChE: To use the analogy of electricity in a house, energy is carried through wires, which are like the channels through which our body’s energy, the wind, or prana (lung in Tibetan), moves. Passing through various chan- nels, electricity goes through the house to differ- ent rooms—the meditation room, kitchen, living room, bedroom, and so on. When you turn on the switch in the shrine room, it arrives at a bulb that illuminates a sacred space; when you turn on a light in the office, that light supports a certain kind of creativity. These places where the light arrives have different functions. The lights are like the bindu (tigles in Tibetan); they can have different colors and different levels of intensity. The wires, like our nadis, can become blocked, old, disconnected, or connected to the wrong place, or there may be a weak wire for a strong current, which can some- times cause a fire. There are different functions and elemental qualities to the lung, or winds; some keep cool and some keep heat. The body contains energy called chakras, which we try to open along with the channels to them, much in the same way we want to maintain the electrical current for illuminating dark places or keep pipes open for water to flow. ROB PREECE: It’s common for Westerners to be very out of touch with the energy body, yet this is the place where the most profound transformation occurs. Our psychological and emotional pattern- ing is intimately connected with the energy process. Tantra works with different levels of energetic expe- rience to clear and transform energy blocks or toxic energies that we frequently accumulate due to emo- tional wounding and the stresses of life. When the (OPPOSITE)COURTESyOFhanDcraftsartsgallery|myaDornart.com (Opposite) Manjusri by Lama Sherab Gyatso