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Buddhadharma : Winter 2011
BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY WINTER 2 0 11 30 Energy in Meditation Practice The Tale of Red Rock Jewel Valley, the first story in The Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa gives a poetic account of what can happen with energy in meditation practice. To summarize, one day Milarepa went out to gather wood to cook some nettle soup. He was so weak that he was blown over by a gust of wind. He prayed to Marpa, his teacher, who appeared to him in a vision. He then returned to his cave where he found five demons. He had a very difficult time get- ting rid of them, especially the last one. You have almost certainly had a similar experience. You practice and practice, but you seem to be getting nowhere. Something in you just gives up and the bottom drops out of your world. Your body and mind are suffused with ecstatic waves of bliss and you feel so light that you could fly with the wind. PHOTO JAMES GOODCHILD