Having A Rest Day – Tantra

 Me old bones need a bit of a rest. The chores in the garden will be there tomorrow.

About ten years ago I took part in empowerments given by Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche at the Kagyu Samye Dzong in London. These were for White Tara and Guru Rinpoche. In 2009 I had found that I could do something approaching Tibetan Deep Voice Chanting, which was a bit of a turn up for the books.

The “scholar” monk who introduced them said that they work on a number of levels and if you are susceptible / ready you might get the full lineage empowerment.

I have chanted the mantra for Guru Rinpoche the purpose of which is to develop tantric abilities.

I have read quite a bit on him.

I have also chanted the mantra for Heart Sutra, Avalokitesvara, Manjushri, Vajrapani and Tara. I did these either alone or in combinations over a period of at least five years, every day. These were accompanied by rāja yoga visualisation and mudra hand positions.

I recognised from my shamanics training that the empowerments were in a similar vein. Because I am / was a researcher I looked into many aspects of Vajrayana both in its Tibetan and Japanese varieties. It is complex and I could never get my head around some of the Tibetan symbolic Thangkas.

This whole “Buddhist” aspect of this life began in earnest after my night on Mt Sinai. Because not long after that I began having visuals of myself dressed in Buddhist monks’ robes and with om mane padme hum, tattooed on my arms in Sanskrit. I developed a bit of a thing for lotuses {padme} and now we have a pond / étang which grows lotuses every spring.

I was “told” {2009} that I had had two Buddhist lifetimes and in the first one I was a close disciple of Siddhartha. According to the Tibetan text posted yesterday evening, there is a train of thought that as a close disciple, I would have received Vajrayana directly and 2500 years ago. A dream pointed me towards one of the sixteen arhats, Bakula. He was a scholar and came to the path late in life.

From RigpaWiki:

“Sixteen Arhats or Sthaviras (Skt. Ṣoḍaśa Sthavirāḥ; Tib. གནས་བརྟན་བཅུ་དྲུག, Neten Chudruk, Wyl. gnas brtan bcu drug) — Buddha Shakyamuni personally selected the Sixteen Arhats from amongst his disciples and requested them to remain in the world, protecting the Dharma for as long as beings are capable of benefitting from the teachings. They vowed at the time of the parinirvana to remain in the world and maintain the Dharma until the time of the future Buddha Maitreya. To visualize the Buddha Shakyamuni surrounded by the Sixteen Arhats and an assembly of bodhisattvas generates great merit and quickly develops insight into the teachings of the Buddha.”

Hagiography is not always accurate.

Speculating slightly the empowerment from Akong Rinpoche might have stimulated a latency.

The one thing I knew for sure, is that it is unwise to piss about with tantra so I was always very careful with the mantra for Guru Rinpoche and Vajrapani. The energetics of the latter are very powerful. I can easily visualize a full blown Vajrapani and feel comfortable with a vajra in my hand. It is like a wand in function.

I have dreams with many Buddhist themes including ones with vajra.

For me personally there is no problem.  But I could imagine that those who knew me as a science academic might find the notion of me doing tantric practice a bit odd.

How could he believe in Tibetan ritual magic? It is mumbo jumbo.

So, if what RigpaWiki says is correct I would have kept a causal vehicle and not blown it off, nirvana.  Thus, using this train of thought I would have continued to incarnate from time to time. Last time it was in Cardiff.

I have also been told that this is my last life on this planet and that I am therefore a non-returner. There is no “hasta la vista” for me, no “au revoir”.

I am not glamoured by this. For me it is more of a question as to what if anything do I do with these snippets of information.

The weird thing for me is that I incarnated in such a way, that I found myself in the heart {wrong word}, the middle of UK science such that I studied at UCL and The Royal Institution of Great Britain. I subsequently worked and taught at Imperial College. I met heads of learned societies and a few science Nobel Prize winners. I once drunk quite a bit of gin with the wife of one of these at a party in the RI.

Not too bad for the grandson of a Bevan boy and a Cardiff docker. Coal and steel have been a part of my heritage, as has North Wales slate and copper.

It was whilst giving a course on Toltec Teachings and Toltec dreaming in particular, that I met a young nagal’s courier who had me speak briefly on dreams at a Kagyu Dzong. This subsequently led to me attending the empowerments and deeper into my exploration of Buddhism.

Blavatsky mentions the occult use of sound and colour. I have done many experiments using tantra and rāja yoga. Now, today, I am sitting here typing and Bowie the stray cat is watching me very carefully only one metre away. It is catching some rays right next to the French window doors. The inside of the window is at ~16 ˚C. The temperature outside is 4 ˚C.

Life is weird, shit happens and then you die.

It is not inconsistent with certain schools of thought that I have indeed had two Buddhist lifetimes. I think I have a good understanding of the written part of Buddhism. It was a bit like a duck to water for me. The Toltec Teachings are not at odds with Buddhism to my eye, it simply depends where one puts the emphasis.

I have a view that for religions in general the cores are very similar; the interpretations and human enactments vary considerably. There is a lot of personal power dynamics including “power over”.

Prior to my Buddhist lives I had one Zoroastrian and two Egyptian lives. The recall of these is weak / poor, aside from a familiarity with hieroglyphs. The life I “remember” {put back together} the best is the one as a soldier/priest here in France at the time of one of the crusades. The one immediately previous to this was also European and I was born in Sicily for that one.

Tomorrow I will get out the leaf blower and collect leaves. After that I will probably mow the lawn in front of the kitchen window and prune the crab apple tree so that area is done.  Then a couple more mows and it is back to the wood collecting.

Time for lunch…

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