BUDDHA NATURE.COM Songs and Meditations of the Tibetan Dhyani Buddhas

Ritual Empowerment

Empowering a Statue of Maitreya, the Bodhisattva of Friendship**

Maitreya This is a revealed meditative ritual whose purpose is to empower a statue of Maitreya, the Bodhisattva of friendship. The ritual of empowering or enlivening statues exists in both the Hindu and Buddhist traditions. Once empowered, the statue can link the transcendent world of the Bodhisattva with an earthly abode such as an image or statue on a temple or home altar. Note that though this meditation can be practiced to gain insight into Maitreya's nature, the actual ritual empowerment of a statue should only be performed by someone trained in advanced meditation techniques.

To ready the statue of Maitreya for empowerment, the practitioner should recognize that the statue contains a vast universe within it. The statue will only serve as a link to that universe. Inside the statue lie the infinite buddha worlds, and at the center is Maitreya's world. There he sits shining with the golden light of harmony, compassion, and friendship. Brilliant rays emerge from him in all directions.

Maitreya's world may be visualized as being either crystalline or organic. The practitioner chooses the organic aspect since Maitreya emphasizes the Mahayana approach to Buddhism which encourages life and creativity as well as compassion for suffering beings.

In a jeweled paradise where leaves of trees chime like bells, and pathways are of scattered pearls, and lakes gleam with water the color of a peacock's neck, there is a diamond palace. On the crystal throne suspended above rippling golden and black waters sits the Bodhisattva Maitreya. Shining birds sing sweetly around him, and ruby and emerald butterflies make designs in the air.

Maitreya blesses all of the worlds, and he smiles in welcome. The practitioner stands before him and asks for his blessing. He sends bright royal blue light to sanctify the statue, and golden lightning to create a link with the statue. This will be the pathway for the descent of his light.

The statue of Maitreya is now linked to the buddha world. It has an outside which is metal and an inside which is spirit. Matter becomes the doorway to infinite light.

Maitreya's light must descend a ladder of mantra. The practitioner chants the appropriate mantra 108 times to purify the statue. The practitioner's Yidam or guide acts as priest, and creates the seven directions of the universe with a vajra. The practitioner, the house, and the world are at the center of a mandala, within a vast web of golden lines of energy. The statue to be empowered is reflected in the practitioner's heart, and within the statue is the buddha world of Maitreya. It is the center of a vast universe of buddha worlds. Both the microcosm and the macrocosm shine with light, and reflect infinitely into the Void.

The outer statue reflects the inner image in the practitioner's heart. The inner image reflects the Bodhisattva, looking outward with his great eyes of friendship and compassion.

Maitreya is the direction of human evolution. Through war, torture, famine, and suffering, humanity evolves. Though bound by opposites and blind through ignorance, people will grow towards the Bodhisattva's kindness.

The practitioner has created a ladder of mantra. Within the statue is royal blue light, shimmering with cerulean and turquoise, the color of a peacock's neck feathers. This is the lotus lake for the Bodhisattva. In its center is a golden lotus throne shining with rose-white and golden rays, and emerald leaves that drape gracefully from the lotus.

The Yidam raises the vajra and calls on Maitreya to descend. Brilliant rays of golden light radiate from the buddha world. Each of these is an emanation of the Bodhisattva's kindness. Each ray forms into an image of Maitreya.

One ray descends through the golden path of mantra, into the brilliant blue pool, and rests upon the lotus throne.

In the center is the King, Maitreya, whose arms are raised, and the mantras also descend into the bright blue waters.

Maitreya is at the center of the universe, within the mandala, within the statue, within the practitioner's heart, and within the vast universe of stars and suns and buddha worlds. He calls out and says, "Peace", and the universe obeys.

Maitreya has entered the statue. There is a bond between the inner image and the outer statue. Each has a deity within, but the center shifts to the outer statue. It is now Maitreya's home.

Rings of Maitreya's mantras surround the statue stabilizing him within it. He also has his own rings of bhairavas. Maitreya says, "The process is complete."

The skies ring with the chimes of kindness, and Maitreya says,

Child, I am glad to see you, and to be here. I love you as a parent loves a long-lost son or daughter, as close friends who have long been separated take joy in reunion, as sorrow itself seeks to overcome limitation. You are the prisoner who has reached sanctuary, but cannot believe he is free. Be at peace child, I mean you only good and no harm.

I thank your Yidam for helping me to come, and also the Yidam's bhairava for his aid. The process is complete and they are free to leave. I look forward to sharing this space in the universe with you.

Child, I welcome you as the light of my eyes. Be at peace. Your home is blessed. You may call upon me in times of danger, or at death. I do not work with earthly karma, but I offer my hand as you step forth when your life's journey ends.

I hug you with joy. I laugh and smile with delight at your presence.

Our hearts have touched and now we care for each other. This is the best aspect of friendship: selfless love, and the shining light of compassion in suffering. Many beings experience isolation in life, but I am the opposite of isolation. I am welcome and union. I will be there when you need me, and I do not require ritual. Call upon me, and I will be within the statue.

May all beings be blessed with peace and happiness, and become free.

** NOTE: On this page, Maitreya manifests in his form of the Bodhisattva of love and joyous welcome. His other two forms which are not expressed here are the force of order and the coming Buddha of salvation, and the companion on the path and helper of the needy.


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