Over 30 of us from the Spirit Fire community participated in the Kalachakra this year in Washington, D.C. with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. As a result, I have been doing certain prayers and recitations on a regular basis.* Like anything else repeated enough, it gets into your head, thoughts, dreams, and contemplations. Instead of someone’s voice in my mind reminding me of kindness, consciousness, and shared life, phrases from the recitations and mantras waft in and out restating the power of the words I chanted in the morning. “Taking these to mind, I present them to you…” Who is “you”? What exactly am I “offering”?
“You” is everyone in my now. “I present my body, speech, and mind to you.” As a result, I am reminded that words mean something, that they are sacred, and that this person with me is too. I am reminded that what is going on in my head (thoughts and beliefs) can be gifts offered to the Divine which is all around me, inside of me, and that I am. With this reminder, my meditative practice kicks in, mind clears. It gets bright and spacious. Goodness fills my mind and perspective begins to reframe everything. I can also feel this phrase reminding me of the sacredness of my body and that it too is a gift: one that I give myself, one offered to others through my hands, feet, smile, cooking a meal, washing dishes, creating a class, or planting in the garden.
“Anything that I enjoy” is now being thought of as the substance of gratitude given into the vibration of Life. If goodness has come to me, I want to energetically share it.
These reminders of goodness, beauty, harmony, inter-connectedness become a moment by moment realization of the mandala of Life as well as the intricacy of my life within that. So it is for each of us – a life shared with and made wonderful because of many people, Mother Nature, stars, spirits, challenges, and understandings. These are the “host of Samantabhadra offerings” that, if I may, I present to you-“guru” (reader, friend, mother, lover, dog, tree), and to you-“yidam” (presence all around me, heart-beat inside me, wisdom in the eyes of others, emptiness of Now), and to you-“Three Supreme Gems” (1. the Buddha-nature that is, 2. the reminders of that, and 3. those who remember it). “Accept them please by the power of compassion.”
*Anything physical, verbal, or mental that I or others enjoy,
And the network of my constructive acts throughout the three times,
A splendid jeweled mandala, with a host of Samantabhadra offerings,
Taking these to mind, I present them to you,
My guru, my yidam, my Three Supreme Gems.
Accept them, please, by the power of compassion
I humbly request you for inspiration.
Guru Idam Ratna Madalakam Niryata Yami
The Short Kalachakra Mandala
Photo by Darren Roth