|BUDDHA NATURE.COM||Songs and Meditations of the Tibetan Dhyani Buddhas|
The Path to the Summit
The path to entering the Buddha-worlds is like climbing a frozen mountain in winter. There is slippery ice and light so bright that it can be difficult to see the way ahead. The climber can reach great heights and fall into deep chasms. The peak is made of shining spiritual light that can be reached only after seemingly endless effort.
At the base of the mountain, we have caverns of desire. Here are pirate's treasures, gold stolen through violence and death, drinking and gambling, lust and hatred. Here too are caves of black magic where people learn of violence using psychic weapons. The base of the mountain has spiritual impulses that are drowned in desire, ignorance, and hatred.
As the novice starts to climb the mountain, he or she learns to control his or her impulses - the enemies of spiritual progress. Prostrations exhaust physical impulses and teach humility, silent meditation strengthens the will, concentration draws back perceptions from distraction, and service to others brings charity and compassion. These allow the novice to find the path upward which was hidden in the woods and the rocks.
Compassion brings rewards: a walking staff whose light can frighten off dangerous animals and enemies. As the light grows brighter, they are more fearful and will let the seeker pass.
On the path to the Golden Buddha, there are also beautiful gardens and pools. These are distractions but more subtle ones. For males, there are beautiful women, graceful and unveiled. For women, there are fragrant flowers, shining gems, and brightly splashing waters. Each object draws the individual towards it, and represents an attraction to beauty. However it is a lower form of beauty and will keep the soul from proceeding upwards.
Then there are caverns of despair. They run with rivers of universal suffering, and all who drink from them are overcome with grief. There are currents of physical pain, mental pain, and emotional pain. The body is exhausted, the muscles contract, and the nerves become networks of pain. The mind thinks of meaningless and wasted lives, questions without answers, and the dissatisfied and unhappy ways that people live their lives. And there is emotional pain of loneliness, rejection, and the loss of loved ones, and of grief at long periods lived in states of frustration and horror at cruelty.
The caverns of despair suck in and trap the hearts of the seekers, and do not want to let them go. But their forces are powerful because these memories are often accurate, and represent the way many people have experienced the world. But their pull can be overcome by faith in a higher goal.
That goal may be part of a religion or philosophy, or it may have been revealed in a dream or a vision. Such experience breaks through the power of desolation and gives the seeker a glimpse of infinity.
Most seekers have had this glimpse, while awake or in a dream. But it is the response and the determination to attain this goal that shows the true nature of the seeker's soul.
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