A couple of decades ago (inspired by a Leonard Cohen song) I wrote:
The Dakini whispers
Through cracks in the wall
That’s how the light gets in.
A week or so ago I was waiting for the kettle to boil, pondering on the nature of time. The past is clearly not real, does not exist, has no substance; similarly the future is not real. So if anything is real, it must be in the present – even though that too is problematic. However there is nowhere else to look. Letting go of the past and the future, coming mindfully, fully, into the present, I know from experience opens up a new dimension – a glimpse of eternity. But, strangely one cannot live in eternity for ever! No one exists there.
But individual existence continues in time. I had come to the kitchen to make a coffee which I would then drink on the terrace overlooking the mountains. This story, although referring only to unreal things and events, enabled me to engage with time and my continued existence. As did the more complex stories of what I had done in my life and what I would do. None of this is real but all of it is necessary for continued existence. I realised that the different realms of existence are but a complex of different stories, unreal in themselves, some correct, some false, but all essential to support an existence in time. There is, of course, an infinity of stories – some helpful, some harmful and even some that support the quest for the real. It struck me that the Bodhisattva Ideal was the greatest story ever told: The Bodhisattva story supports existence in time for the benefit of all, and it also points to the threshold of eternity and the realm of the Buddha. The Buddhist life is inseparably two-fold – the Bodhisattva in time and the Buddha in eternity.
This crack in the fabric of time – discovered through mindfulness and renunciation – is the one through which the Dakini whispers. It is here that one can connect with Vajrayogini – she is to be found in the immediate present. This also means that she is always here but not always visible. I sometimes hear her whisper and it sends a thrill through my being – she is real.
The vision of meditating in her vulva, which I had a year or so ago, and which is still very much alive, took on a further dimension of meaning with these reflections on time. I’ve described previously how I’d leant forward and fell headlong into her vagina and experienced the bliss of being completely absorbed into her. So sitting in her vulva is sitting on the edge of eternity, but it is also sitting at the source of human life, on the edge of the world, looking out into the six realms. It is on the thresholds of both eternity and time. This is perhaps why meditating here feels so perfect.
A couple of weeks ago I had a text from Akashavira (who was in Manchester, Vajrakuta, and Guhyaloka, before becoming a monk in Myanmar. He eventually married a Chinese lady and has since lived in Switzerland and China.) He got stranded in Switzerland while visiting his mother earlier this year and came to Spain for a trip. He is staying with me for a few weeks. His presence is stirring my reflections about companionship. I enjoy his company because I can feel rather bleak when I am by myself – a sort of loneliness. But, I also value my time alone because I feel that I am then able to explore my inner world without distraction. I am fortunate in that I can be alone or have substantial contact with those who stay with me – and I think the disturbances that visitors produce are actually an important contribution to the life I am trying to explore. Welcoming visitors seems to be an important part of the practice.
I also enjoy my contact and weekly visits to the Guhyaloka community. This week we hopefully have another visitor – Vajranatha has a plan, that we all pray will work, to travel from Venezuela to Guhyaloka where he will stay for at least a few weeks.
I keep coming back to the Culagosinga Sutta (Majjhima Nikaya 31) as the paradigm for the kind of lifestyle I am trying to establish here. Although it is of course expressed in a very highly ideal form.
I was hoping to come to the UK this summer to see friends and check up on my narrowboat, but this is looking increasingly less likely. So love to you all – I meet you regularly in my metta bhavana practice but it would be nice to bathe in your physical presence.