Wednesday, January 19, 2011

IV: 10

Chapter 4, Verse 10

"Released from greed,
Fear, and anger,
Absorbed in me
And burnt clean
In the fire of wisdom,
They find their true home."

Sri Eknath Easwaran:

"In the very depths of our meditation, when we are no longer aware of the body or monkey-mind, when concentration is complete, we become free from selfish attachments to money, material possessions, and people whom we may try to manipulate, perhaps consciously, perhaps not, because of a lack of detachment from our own egos. When we extinguish that which is selfish in us, the Lord is free to fill us with his own love, wisdom and beauty. As we master selfish attachment after selfish attachment, the Lord says to us, 'I am filling you with love for everyone, a love in which there is not the slightest trace of desire for profit nor prestige. And not only that; I shall also release those deeper resources within you to translate this love into selfless service.' "

Robert Thurman:

"Before you begin your meditation practice proper, it may be helpful to open your mind up to your own vast potential. When you sit down to practice and leave your habitual reality constructs intact and unexamined, you are programming yourself to emerge the same as when you begin. In order to open yourself to new experiences and understandings, imagine yourself in a space where you feel most able to realize your true nature. The preparatory visualization which follows comes from an ancient tradition known for optimizing your opportunity for success. It is, of course, open to tweaking as you see fit.

First, use your inquiring mind to inventory some of your reality constructs, the sense of your situation in the universe. Question some of the things you take for granted, and dwell upon some of the uncertainties prevailing around you. What do you know, really? Where are you, really, on a planet spinning a thousand miles an hour, held by gravity inside an ocean of air, circling a star ninety-three million miles away, a star that is on a galactic arm, an arm which is in turn in the midst of its own orbit. What are you, really, how many billions and trillions of subatomic energies, and how many countless neurons? And what about your subconscious? Is it a personal storehouse of vague memories? Is it a bundle of instinctual drives imprinted on molecules? Questions such as these will serve to melt your habitual sense of certainty about your nature, structure, and location. Dissolve into 'unfindability' and rest in the unknown openness.

Now picture this, or something analogous that resonates more deeply. Arising in a luminous, buoyant body on a grassy bluff at high altitude overlooking a vast, crystalline lake, you see the Sun glinting off the aquamarine water. Majestic Himalayas rise on all sides. Fluffy clouds float in the deep, sunny, blue sky. In the distance, the venerable form of Mount Kailash radiates magnificently like a prism, refracting the white sunlight into rainbows of blessings. In the middle of the lake in front of you is a small island on which minor deities and guardian spirits roam. Dragons sun themselves on the shore. In the center of the island grows a giant tree, reaching almost up to the heavens, like Jack's beanstalk. Jewel-bedecked flowers and fruits cover its massive branches, like a huge Christmas tree with glittering ornaments.

Filling up with light and energy, you ready yourself for meditation practice as a beneficent being with no limit to your potential. You have shed those preconceived feelings about your own inadequacies. You suddenly notice that around you on the grassy bluff a vast crowd of beings has gathered: people and animals that you know personally. Some you love, some you can't stand, and others you feel neutral towards. You notice that all of them have turned towards you with a sense of expectation. They see you filling up with light. Blessings begin to overflow from you to them. Your light is washing away their negative thoughts and feelings. Naturally your loved ones are delighted. Your neutral acquaintances are pleased and intrigued. Even those whom you heretofore could not stand are fascinated and blessed by the light.

Now turn your attention to the mentor beings that have gathered on your behalf. Celebrate their presence by sending them waves of gratitude for their blessings. If you like, see yourself making fantastic offerings to them: creating beautiful works of art, dispatching clouds of exquisite scents, delicious foods, soft and precious cloths, and jewels. The sky's the limit. Apologize for your past indiscretions and ask for your mentors' gracious assistance in helping you maintain your newly found resolve. Don't forget to rejoice in all the good deeds you and other beings have done, including those of your adversaries. Request the mentor beings to turn the wheel of the teachings, sending down the rain of Dharma truth and liberating insight. Beg them not to leave you lost in the world of suffering, but to stay with you and all sensitive beings until you are awakened and secure in reliable happiness. Finally, resolve to earnestly pursue the quest for full enlightenment, wisdom, and compassion for the sake of yourself and all other beings.

You are now ready to turn your attention to your practice, forgetting about this entire picture, just sensing that it is there."

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