It is a bright very hot day. The atmosphere is humid and in the shrine room where we are meditating it is sticky. Sweat runs down the front of my chest and my shorts are wet with perspiration. Bright sunshine floods into the hot sticky room. The heavy sound of cicadas is the only sound.

She sits almost opposite me, just down the line of meditators across the room. She is attractive. Not beautiful, not even pretty, but, you know, attractive – sexually attractive. Looks like she would be very lively in bed.

Never mind that – get back to the meditation practice.

My eyes are closed but I know she’s still there. I am hot and sticky but I will try harder to concentrate on my breathing – on my meditation.

Ten minutes later – she is still there. I don’t even need to take a peek because I know what she looks like. God, she is very attractive. Long black hair – very curly – frizzy – with a wild and unkempt look. She has a strong face – and, like I said, not pretty but very attractive. Nice body too.

Get back to the meditation.

Her small breasts look good with her lean body. Skinny legs.

Stop this.

The struggle continues for some time – minutes, years, who knows? But in the end as always I give in. Just a quickie then; then I ‘ll get back to the meditation. This is not what I am meant to be doing. I know. But who will know. That’s not the point. I know. It’s hot, sticky and hot. What do you expect?

Too late anyway now. She has stood up. She’s coming over – She’s coming right up to me and just standing there in front of me right here in the shrine room. What on earth is she doing? She’s undressing – taking her clothes off – she’s standing there naked. I can feel the sexual energy ripping through my body – every cell of my body is afire with longing.

Suddenly I am naked too – she sits in my lap arms round my neck, legs clasped around my hips, breasts slipping against the sweat on my chest. I am very excited, profoundly energized, and at last, fully concentrated. I can feel energy in every pore of my body. I feel intensely alive. She stays for a while – still but wildly alert. There are waves of energy flowing between us. It is pure and bright.

Some time later she rises slowly to her feet again and walks back to her place in the meditation hall. I continue to meditate feeling very bright, intensely alert, deeply concentrated, staying right there with the breathing.

Next day we meet in a green grove – on a green bank of soft moss – by the green waters of a deep cool pool.

Later I am meditating in the temple of Padmasambhava which is set on a high mountain ridge overlooking a range of sandy canyons and a distant high mountain range. She comes to me there. The temple is transformed into a beautiful bath house. Like the temple itself, it is circular and open on all sides. The roof, which is decorated with lapis and gold, is supported by pillars of honey marble. The floor is of coloured marble and the large bath is made of onyx. We bathe each other, washing each other’s bodies with perfumed soaps as smooth as cream. Her body is smooth and firm – it has a golden hue – she is incredibly beautiful. I realize that this is no longer the woman in the shrine room – this is someone else – from somewhere else – who has been with me forever – and will never be separated from me. After bathing, we luxuriate in the sweet smelling waters and then, dressed in fine silk robes, we recline on richly embroidered cushions on the floor of the bath house.

Padmasambhava appears on his throne in the centre of the room and it is again his temple. Once more naked, she and I kneel before him and bow. Together we perform the traditional ritual of worship and then sitting facing each other we meditate for a while. After a while she stands and comes again to my lap holding me as before and taking me inside her body. We do not move. I am aware that I am a man possessing this woman – I enjoy and delight in this possession – but then a subtle shift occurs and I am aware that I have breasts and that I am penetrated – I give myself to the other and become a woman. Now I am a man, now I am a woman, the shift occurs smoothly and with increasing rapidity until I am not sure if I am me or her, or both, or neither.

I am neither – I feel the energy of Padma – I feel his eyes – his intensity – his energy is being generated between us – between her and I.

A feeling of great pleasure swells into every cell of our body – I feel a reflection of this pleasure in my physical body but the full force of the pleasure is in our mental body the pleasure grows into bursts of ecstasy – the waves of ecstasy subside into a full feeling of indescribable bliss. The Bliss remains.

So we sit, waves of love and devotion for Padma and gratitude for the gift he has given us. She and I have disappeared all that remains is intense devotion for the Guru. This must be the heart of the guru – the heart of the yidam – the Great Bliss from which the true devotee is never parted.

Aryaloka, New Hampshire, 1989