Monday, March 30, 2009

The Medicine Buddha and the Nagas


A few weeks ago I began to meditate with a beautiful image of the Blue Medicine Buddha. I would stare at the Medicine Buddha image, but this image also had above the head of the Buddha, Naga Queens and Dragons surrounding the mythic bird Garuda. When I stared at this image of the Buddha it was like walking through a portal of inner worlds and visionary experiences. I would sit before the image and chant the Medicine Buddha’s name of Sanjay Menla. It is said in Tibetan text that just hearing the name of the Medicine Buddha will bring liberation from the three lower worlds. I have found in my own experiences this is to be true.

The Naga Queens and the Dragons have a certain symbolic significance in this mandala image. The Naga/Dragons are placed above the Medicine Buddha’s head, indicating that the lower negative emotions that cause dis-ease in the body have been purified. Their higher placement in the mandala says that he lower emotions have been raised up though the central channel and transformed. The Blue Medicine Buddha color is symbolic of the element of space. The Medicine Buddha heals through dissolving diseases into space.

This particular image also has many hundreds of little Medicine Buddhas behind the central image. One day when I was glancing across the room I had an instant insight of what this meant. The main image was the Medicine Buddha in a golden mandala, which looked just like a cell. The hundreds of Medicine Buddhas behind the image were putting the Medicine Buddha into the very cells of the body if you took the time to meditate with this picture.

The Naga offerings we do are both inner and outer. The outer offering is the mantra, mudra, milk and honey we offer every new moon. We have made a vow to do this for life: to offer to the water to pacify the nagas. This blessing benefits the fertility of the earth and all those who live in or use the element of water.

The inner offering we are making is a commitment to be responsible for the cleansing of our emotional bodies. This is what naturally takes place in our lives as we are commited to any kind of water offerings. Why do we make offerings on the dark of the new moon? It is the parts of our negative emotions that are not illuminated yet in our consciousness. The more I do this work, the more I realize what we really are being asked to do. In the beginning we do this because we may have a connection with nature or feel the need to bring some type of healing to our natural enviroment. But as I continue this work I realize what is inside is outside and what is outside is inside.

I would like to share the following meditation that came from my inner inspiration and my own emotional healing process. The following meditation may be something you would like to use:

The Medicine Buddha’s Heart Treasure Technique
Sanjay Menla Anahata Terma
Conceived by Raylene Abbott, March 2009

The name of the Medicine Buddha of Healing is Sanjay Menla. I meditate on the name of Sanjay Menla, using the inhalation for one syllable and the exhalation for the second syllable. The entire name is used with two breathing cycles and is silently repeated in my mind with my eyes closed. Therefore, it becomes a meditation of 4 stages.
I first connect with my emotional pattern I am working on. This usually comes as an uncomfortable feeling in my belly. It can be a difficult to bring your awareness to the belly because it is usually an issue that causes us pain. But allow yourself to stay with the feeling.

1 Now I inhale and I think the syllable San and I bring the feeling from the belly into the heart chakra, located in the middle of your chest. The idea here is not to resist your suffering or the uncomfortable feelings but to allow yourself to embrace whatever is there. This is the hardest part, since we usually push down or ignore how we feel.

2 Now on the exhalation, I think the syllable Jay and I drive the sound deep into my heart center. I allow the feeling to go very deep into my heart center, without resisting the emotional pain I may be feeling.

3 Now I inhale again and I think the syllable Men. At this point of the meditation I allow my heart to expand the core beyond my emotional pain. Negative emotions and feelings make our bodies and heart contract - this breath goes beyond the barriers of contraction.

4 The next exhalation I think Lah and allow the emotional pain and pattern to dissolve into space. The breath goes beyond the emotional thought form in the pain body in your aura and it begins to dissolve.
Karma is just crystalized patterns waiting to be released through the breath that is then dissolved into space.

I began to use this technique in the beginning with only the breath. But I have now added the use of the Medicine Buddhas name. I use the spaciousness of the inner heart and the breath to dissolve the pattern. One has to really keep the attention on the breath. Utilizing the Sanjay Menla name helps to focus your mind. I call this “steaming off the emotions into space.”

I feel that the practice compares to the distilling process of essential oils that they do here in Southern France. The copper still has a big vat, which is where they place the plant material, such as lavender flowers, mixed with water. The water represents your emotions. The vat represents your belly and the plant material could be compared to the different experiences that have happened in your life that are now harvested and ready to become essence.

The fire under the vat brings the water to the boiling point. This could compare to our difficult life experiences that bring our emotions to the boiling point. Now to make essential oils, the boiling water creates stream that is carried though a copper tubing. This steam also carries with it the delicate aromatic oil of the plant. We could compare this to bringing the emotion though the central channel with the help of the breath. Our emotions and breath create what I call in this part of the meditation “the process steam off the emotions.”

Then in the distilling process there is a point that the steam goes though this very small tube and evaporates. When the evaporation process happens what you have left is essential oil.

This part of the meditation you are actually releasing the emotional patterns to the point that only the essence of yourself remains. Old beliefs systems about yourself can fall away. Projections you have carried since childhood can be liberated in the natural essence of who you truly are.

The heart chakra has a very small point at its center. I compare this to the very small opening of the distilling tube that separates the steam from the essential oils.

As you travel into the heart chakra you will meet up with all kinds of personal hurts, and fears. But keep traveling into the heart's very center. It can be compared to going though the eye of a needle with your consciousness. Once you have touched the point in the deeper heart center, the opening of the vast spaciousness begins. Once you hit that spaciousness all that is left is your essence and all other emotional belief systems dissolve.

The challenging part of this process is getting past your fears and embracing the suffering you may be feeling.

Enjoy your journey.

I want to thank Neil Cohen for taking me into the journey to the still small point in my heart.

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