Once again at the Centre of the Mandala, we meet Vairocana. How do we balance the teachings of effort and openness? One way is through the image of the Sun and relaxed being, the practice of the Dharma is simply to come back. Yet, of course, this requires effort.
Another question is the balance between practical and mythical approaches: Can we hold both at once? What do we give significance to? What do we make real ? Can we open to a world...
Vaddhaka can usually be relied on to give a pretty great talk - and this is no exception. Here we have a real treat - a terrific, energetic exploration of the green Buddha of the north: Amoghasiddhi (Dundubishvara), the Unobstructed One. This is kind of a multi-media affair - listen for the 13th Century Spanish processional music in honour of the Virgin, and a blast of Sibelius too! Marvellous.
Ratnasambhava, the ‘Jewel-Born’ Buddha of the Southern realm, exemplifies generosity and abundance. In this talk Moksatara expands upon this theme, looking at how living with an attitude of generosity can create community, bestow abundance and lead to a sense of fearlessness.
The Tantras (special scriptures of Vajrayana Buddhism) frequently refer to mandalas, circles of symbolic forms. Sangharakshita describes the mandala of the five Buddhas, its use as a symbol of psychological and spiritual integration, and the meaning of its sexual symbolism.
Visuddhimati explores how we really need to know ourselves deeply and experientially to allow us to let go into the deep mystery at the heart of the mandala. She shares her reflections on initiation, spiritual death and rebirth, inspired by a Rilke poem. Using the structure of the Rilke poem she explores how engaging with images and allowing them to unfold their meaning within us, allows us to let go into wisdom.
To mark our latest Home Retreat, led by Tejananda, an excellent conversation and primer on meditation from a body-focussed perspective.
Tejananda’s key image is of the dynamic mandala. Dharma practice is itself dynamic and transformative. And the transformation lies in gradually discovering how both we and the world are not at all what we originally supposed! Seeing this, we can begin to uproot the causes of suffering in our own experience.
This approach to practice is centred on the living energy of...
It’s always good to finish things with a song - and happily, today, here’s one! It’s Ratnavandana chanting the Brahma Viharas song that is usually learned on each ‘Living in the Mandala’ retreat that she leads.
As Ratnavandana kindly sent on some lovely nature photos she has taken, we have made this into a short video which you can enjoy, and hopefully get a feeling for the Brahma Viharas “pervading all quarters”.