Sunday, December 27, 2009

A new responsibility

You know how it is when you are having a guest stay at your home for awhile, you make sure they have a clean place to sleep, there’s ample food, you don’t make any plans to be away or that would exclude them during their visit, you drive them where they need to be, etc. In other words, you take on the responsibility of caring for them, and their comfort and happiness become foremost in your mind.

Well, as of this morning’s teachings, at the midpoint of this retreat, I had the stunning realization that I have a full-time visitor, not in my home or neighborhood, but much more intimately . . . in my mind. Actually, visitor is not the right word, I search for a better one . . . how about, for now, “active permanent resident”?

Her name is Tara. She is a meditational deity or yidam. She is many, many things, for purposes of this writing, let’s just say she is the aspect of ultimate wisdom, represented through the intermediary of the form aspect, or Tara.

Access to the actualization of Tara was enabled by Khensur Rinpoche, who as a blessing granted this empowerment. In retreat, I/we have spent the past three days working on the motivations and meditative “techniques” to visualize and realize her unbelievable blessings of purification, leading directly to the ability to more actually realize wisdom and bodhicitta, aided, of course, by a healthy dose of awareness of emptiness; in fact, she arises from the emptiness.

There’s a lot to this, it seems as though a whole new luminous "thing" is emerging. Until this morning it had all been very new and somewhat abstract, but this morning, bam, I got it, loud and clear.

I don’t have my arms around it yet, am not sure I ever can. But there’s something new, it is powerful, it is wonderful, and it has begun to arrive. It has been abiding deep in my mind for a very long time, and here in Bodhgaya it trusted enough to allow itself to be realized. Its caution was warranted, it is enormously precious. I will work to be a nurturing host.

Am not really sure what else to say. For now, let’s just call it a new -- and fantastic -- responsibility.

Stopping the finger, thanks for reading.