Buddhism, Guided Meditation, Society, Spirituality

Episode 53: Guided Vajrayana Medicine Buddha Meditation


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I remember, not too long ago, I fell ill with a fever and a raging temperature that ruined my good mood and imprisoned me with fear. The next morning, early, I was supposed to catch a flight to Portugal to find a plot of land after a deposit we put down on another plot fell through; time was ticking, and if I didn’t go on, my family would miss their chance to move from London. The fever started at 6pm. I began to chant at 7pm. My flight was at 10am. What would happen next?

“Tayatha Om Bekandze Bekandze Maha Bekandze Radza Samudgate Soha.”

Weeping for nothing, because I felt like a thunderbolt had ripped me apart, deep sleep overtook me and regeneration happened overnight. In the morning, no sign of a fever was on my forehead and my body felt replenished and neutral. This was nothing short of a miracle – usually it would take three or more days for a fever brought on by a viral infection to lift, but it was gone as if the previous night never existed. Such is the power of the “Bhaiśajyaguru” or Medicine Buddha Mantra.

So who is this mysterious Medicine Buddha? He is another Buddha, like Shakyamuni, whom even Shakyamuni confirms will come to fulfil his vows upon enlightenment, that heals the sick, lame, and otherwise unhealthy or unfortunate. This mantra, and meditations on the Medicine Buddha, have been long practiced by Japanese, Chinese, and Tibetan Buddhists.

The meditation I give in this episode is a Tantric/Vajrayana visualisation that will become more clear and realistic the more you listen and practice. Vajrayana meditation aims to merge the Buddha or deity (such as Green Tara) with the mediator so that supreme qualities are eventually obtained without effort.

Relax, enjoy, and get ready to use your best imagination!

 

Buddhism, Philosophy, Society, Spirituality

Episode 52: Dharma Doors: Is Dharma the Best Path?

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It is quite a bold statement to utter that Dharma is “the best path” in any capacity! Dharma is more like a best path for those who want to explore it. Dharma is offered via the Buddha’s teachings within a vast network of writings, which began with the Three Baskets.

The best part of the Buddha’s message is, in my opinion, that it is up to each individual to experiment with the teachings and find out for oneself. The Dharma can seem like a minefield based on the fact that the teachings are so nuanced and very much subtle. If you are curious about the nature of your true nature, true Self, and are willing to look within (otherwise known as ‘withdrawing the senses’) and are a bit introspective – then the Dharma is a wide open door for you.

Though Siddhartha famously debated with Brahmins about the use of ritual and magical/wishful thinking to solve life’s problems, the Dharma is actually a Vedic word that has slightly different connotations for those who follow Sanatana Dharma. In a future episode, we will explore the similarities between Vedic and Buddha-Dharma.

If practiced with the methods Siddhartha recommends, which also can be chosen out of the collection of literature and practiced, then doors will open for you into your true nature. The bottom line is: don’t just obtain knowledge… practice!

Om Shanti – thank you to all beings who have been following, reading, and listening to our podcast. Send in your questions and comments to curiousbodhi@zoho.com, and I am happy to answer them on air.

Hinduism / Sanatana Dharma, Interview, Philosophy, Society, Spirituality

Episode 49: Trika Shaivism and Waking Up — Interview with Shambhavi


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Shambhavi is the spiritual director of Jaya Kula: a non-profit community with spots in both Oregon and California. Shambhavi is a long-time practitioner of Trika (or Kashmiri) Shaivism. What is this ancient and beautiful tradition?

Similar to other direct realisation paths, like the Tibetan Dzogchen, and even Advaita Vedanta, this path takes everyday experience and sees the divine. Nothing is created nor destroyed, because it is already here. However, the tradition is super spontaneous and “messy” as Shambhavi likes to say, because it often attracts those with higher emotional and artistic leanings.

In her Satsangs, questions are always pummeled at her, and she doesn’t miss a beat, because she has been there before in her 30+ years of practice. Her podcast called “Satsang with Shambhavi” explores everything from loneliness to the nature of Reality to puja and the natural waves and troughs of waking up. Oh – and she teaches me once again how to relax!

Visit Jayakula.org to learn more about Trika Shaivism and join Shambhavi in your spiritual quest!