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Buddhadharma : Summer 2018
72 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY in the result of having gone through that process; you’re not doing anything more. There’s an experience of just resting at the end. ROB PREECE: There is something about these three kayas we’ve been touching on that is a constant play of movement from nonduality and very subtle, formless dharmakaya, into energy and dynamic vitality through sambhogakaya and the deity, and also into embodiment in the nirmanakaya. That dynamic is happen- ing moment to moment. We are like a lightning conductor continually bringing it to ground and opening to the space within which it arises and manifests. For me, that feels like one of the most extraordinary creative and alive experi- ences we can have. ACHARYA GAYLON FERGUSON: Embodied presence is also very important. It’s not just visualizing—which we can think of as imagination, in some way, and perhaps remains too mental—but it’s also somatic. The mandala of these pres- ences—what surrounds them, that sense of openness to sacredness in our every- day life—is compassionate activity. It’s not about “Did I have that experience?” Rather it’s “How is this showing up in being, in bodhisattva activity?” BUDDHADHARMA: This practice seems to require, at least at the start, a signifi- cant leap of faith. What advice do you have for someone who’s new to this, who doesn’t have any frame of reference for start of any sadhana you have a moment of recognition that whatever is going to be born, the experience of the deity is coming out of emptiness, the twofold emptiness of self and phenomena. All Vajrayana practice is based on and inseparable from the realization of two- fold emptiness of self and phenomena, and that should be a felt experience, not just a conceptual experience. When we received this instruction from Trungpa Rinpoche, he emphasized sitting for maybe ten minutes before beginning the practice of creating the samayasat- tva, inviting the jnanasattva, and so on. That’s the ground from which all this arises. Then at the end, in the perfecting stage, it all dissolves back into emptiness. There’s a resting at that point, an experi- ence that is a result of the whole process that you’ve just been through of attuning to those invisible beings, drawing them into yourself, activating their blessings and energy in your own body, and then dissolving all that back into where you started— emptiness. In higher stages of Tibetan practice, that resting at the end is developed into the subtle body practices of yogic tan- tra. There’s the kyerim, which is the arising or visualization process, and then dzogrim, which is the perfecting or completion. The way you could see it is that the fabric in which all this takes place is vast expanse, longchen, and also this lifetime of being the deity in which you infuse your coarse body with this more refined, luminous, empty quality from sambhogakaya. And then you rest