Thursday, March 20, 2008

Chakrasamvara Puja at Gyuto

Chakrasamvara literally translates from the sanskrit as Supreme Wheel of Great Bliss. This tantric practice aims to produce bliss and well-being for oneself and all beings. The visualisation used for this practice is that of a Heruka deity. In this case, we use a wrathful form of the Buddha Shakyamuni. The 3 syllables themselves which make up the word he-ru-ka offer us more hidden teachings on another side to such tantric practices.
Bliss
is only half the outcome of tantric yogas. It must always emerge ultimately in union with Shunyata [usually translated as emptiness, but best understood perhaps in English as Complete Openess]
It is taught that each syllable represents Emptiness: He [pron. hei] is the nature of emptiness of all dharmas or phenomena, present here and now. Ru -- like the wind blowing through a channel -- the nature of emptiness of all beings, and Ka -- the union of bliss and emptiness.
Of course, this is a very deep teaching but nonetheless widely available to anyone who seeks it and wishes to contemplate and practise it.
I noted for myself the profound connection between chanting and the syllable ru.

So, as the Lama instructed me to do, i am going along to take part in this Chakrasamvara Puja at Gyuto and yesterday was the first day. The experience was amazing.
Unfortunately, i didn't manage to take many good pictures and those i did take were at the end when the monks were obviously a bit tired and just about to leave.

i must admit, it is almost impossible to 'find your voice' by just joining in. i wasn't at all successful. but i will continue to go along today and for the next few days.

Despite all this temporary Bliss and Openess, we must [for the time being at least] continue to live in the realm of Delusion, Attachment and Aversion where we must learn to cope with negative circumstances too.
To this end, 3 minor things happened in the last 24 hours to cause me to stop in my tracks, return to the present moment, and temporarily abandon my plans...
...Lama Thupten Jigme from Gyuto [pictured centre of group leaving temple] has to go to hospital in Delhi to explore a growth on one side of his larynx
- so i may not have a chant master after sunday [i hope all the chanting hasnt damaged him and i hope he recovers swiftly]
...When i picked up my bag yesterday at Gyuto, there was a large wasp-like creature on the strap and he stung me bad on my finger - it was like an electric shock; very hot and painful
...Thirdly [oh poor me], i have had a stomach bug the last 24 hrs which meant i spent a lot of time in my room with my new best friends Ensuite and Bathroom !

But, hey... look on the bright side... this means i will probably go home a fabulous size zero!

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