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The Jivamala
CHEN MA
The life of a Vajrayana Buddhist Nun

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Section XXIV - The Dakini's Meditation


Vajra Dakini said,

This is a teaching brought by the yoginis, for the sake of aiding in liberation. It was taught long ago, but never spread, and [then] forgotten. It is the intention of this writing to bring this practice back into the world.

This practice is dedicated to the bodhisattvas who came to this region to save mankind from suffering, and died unrecognized. May this practice aid them in their future works.

Here, the Dakini gives a few meditations or visualizations that are for advanced practitioners. These have been temporarily left out of the text unless she agrees that they should be published. An example of a meditation provided by the dakini which is less difficult follows in the next section.

Section XXV

I meditated on Vajra Dakini in the afternoon, but she would not come. I saw her in the evening meditation. She wore a collection of silk scallops, so that she looked like a flower. The petals faded from white to dark blue-purple.

She said, "Peace child. I give you these meditations because they have not been accepted. You must reveal them."

I said, "I shall Lady Dakini. What shall I do?" She said, "Write this down."

This is a meditation for initiates who are troubled with the sin of pride. The person must first call down his or her Yidam to verify that this is a problem. If his or her Yidam agrees, then the practitioner must find a clean, quiet space, free of danger and distraction. He or she must set out a meditation mat, and sit in a stable position.

The practitioner must invoke the bhairava of anger, Vajra Krodha, who lays the groundwork for pride. The Bhairava must be great in size, like a great mountain, while the initiate is a tiny bush upon the mountain, like a piece of dust.

He must look upon the bhairava with fear, and realize that his anger will be tempered by the muscular arms, heavy weapons, strong chest and skull of this wrathful being.

He must then visualize a thunderstorm, tearing out everything from the earth, destroying the worlds of the universe. In the midst of the storm is a bhairava bigger than the mountain, filling the skies. It is Vajragarbha, who chases the unworthy from sacred places. He dances, and trees are uprooted, and the earth quakes with fear.

He chants the mantra HUM, which travels upwards in dark blue letters. From the HUM is squeezed the initiate's pride, which falls upon the earth. It is destructive, melting the earth away, but revealing jewels held beneath the earth as hidden treasure.

Vajragarbha holds a vajra and a bell as he dances upon the crumbling universe. From the sound of the bell come waves, which echo and conflict, creating a womb of creation in organic form. From the vajra comes a concentrated ray of power, which breaks through space, and brings crystalline form, the diamond mind arising from the midst of the void.

The initiate is torn apart in the creation and destruction of worlds, and rests in the dark void. His or her pride appears as illusory ego, a mask held up by a dancing fool. The pride is blown up by the winds of change, and collapses like a kite in a still sky.

The initiate recognizes the illusory nature of his ego, and the false basis of his pride. The bhairava holds up the ego mask, which becomes a skull. Flames rise from it it is a source of power, of illusion, of death, of emptiness. The skull is turned to ashes and blows away in the wind. The initiate worships Vajragarbha, and bows before him. Vajra Krodra observes.

Section XXVI

I wrote down the meditation, and made a drawing of a dancing bhairava. Lady Moon approved it, and it was put with the other meditations. Now I am the meditation gatherer.

I wonder about my role. It seems such an odd life. I am not like nuns here, though they are much nicer than the nuns at the Emerald Garden. They don't care about bhairavas, and dakinis, and secret instructions. They do their jobs, and they are happy without access to these worlds and beings.

Vajra Dakini says that there is bad karma in my past, and that I will lose my supernatural skills in other lives. This makes me sad. It is a kind of blindness. But I have bad karma, and I must work it off sometime. I cannot remember my past lives.

In this life, the convent is my home. I grow older but I do not wish to leave. Where would I go? These people are kind to me, and I do not have the skills of the world. I could not offer money to a husband, and I do not wish to live with angry and unhappy relatives. The outside world has never been very safe or attractive for me, with its roving bandits, and corrupt officials. All it has to offer is friendly animals.

My life is my small room, and worship with the other nuns. Lady Moon has given me official initiation as a nun, and she gave me Vajra Dakini as my official yidam (which she was anyway). I am the writer and artist here, so I have a special role. I pass down teachings from the dakini.

I can tell you these but you might want to talk to the dakini directly. She will tell you the teachings too.

I have never explored sexuality, and children. Most women do this. But sexuality seems pointless unless you want a child, and I do not (although I like animals). I would rather write and draw.

I have spent many years here. It is my home. Sometimes visitors come, sent by the old abbot, or by the artist, or by the scholar. I talk to them, but what they seek is beyond my ability to give. I like to meet and talk with new people though.

One man who visits periodically is interested in the teachings. He has told me to collect them, and he said that when I am old, he would like to copy them, and bring them to his monastery. He said that they would be respected there.

Vajra Dakini said that she wanted the teachings spread - perhaps this is the way.


To continue with the life of Chen Ma, click on the link below :

Chen Ma's Life Continued


Introduction | The Bhairava or Spiritual Guide | Lives of Spiritual Weakness | Lives of Spiritual Awakening | Conclusion

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