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Buddhadharma : Summer 2018
68 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY “waves of splendor,” which is interest- ing. These waves of splendor are able to change our outlook from conventional dualistic perception into “sacred out- look,” or pure perception, dak nang in Tibetan. This is really the essence of Vajrayana, the realization of sacredness. In The Life of Marpa, for instance, the spiritual biography of Marpa the transla- tor, Marpa says, “Being with such-and- such a guru will change one’s outlook from the conventional dualistic sense of ‘I ’m here and that thing is over there’ to an outlook of sacredness.” So the benefit of receiving these waves of sacredness is that one’s outlook shifts from the ordi- nary one of grasping and confusion and aggression to one of appreciation of the phenomenal world, other beings, and life itself. This radiating sacredness reminds us of the sacredness that’s already here, which we often don’t see, or we miss. That’s the purpose of receiving blessings. ROB PREECE: The word that comes to my mind around this is “energy.” It connects with the notion of sambhogakaya as a kind of vitality in our process of awaken- ing, an energy in our awakening. There’s something about the opening process— receiving that energy as an uplifting, inspiring, invigorating, or illuminating quality—that can come through the channel of a relationship with these invis- ible realized beings. Objects or places can become imbued with this blessing, and so can we. I’m a thangka painter, and in the pro- cess of painting a thangka, it’s as though I’m beginning to open a certain doorway that doesn’t fully open until the last part in which you “open the eyes.” When I paint the pupil and the iris it’s as though I’ve suddenly opened the eyes—they’re awake, looking at me. It’s an amazing moment. What I find extraordinary is that when I open the eyes and invite the deity into that thangka, I begin to feel the presence as a kind of blessing. From then on, that thangka is imbued with something others can receive and be inspired and uplifted by. I work with someone who is a Christian, and the word that she often uses is “spirit.” Increasingly, I think maybe we’re talking about the same experience here. We use different language, but there’s some ener- getic process that comes through when we receive that. BUDDHADHARMA: In addition to the traditional presentation and teachings For me, it’s more like an inner vision. There’s a real sense of light manifesting. I tune into it and I receive something from that, and often it fills me with a sense of devotion and awe. — ROB PREECE