This article is a link between the previous ‘Meditation Guidance’ series, and the ‘Buddhism’ series. It introduces the Dharmadhātu Wisdom and its associated male Buddha, Vairocana. While both sets of articles, are approaching meditation from the point of view of a non-dual wisdom and a non-dual psychology, the ‘Meditation Guidance’ series takes the four-fold brahmavihāras as its primary frame of reference, whereas this series uses the Five Wisdoms and the Emptiness of the Five Skandhas as its starting point, and addresses the complex notion of Mindfulness practice. In this article there is reflection on the Buddha’s Enlightenment; on the Four Noble Truths; on my ‘Short Breath / Long Breath’ approach to the Mindfulness of Breathing; on the healing power of the brahmavihāras; on my ‘Four Qualia’. I also introduce the key notion of Emptiness – the non-personal nature of Consciousness. To read the article click here.
In this important article, we begin to go deeper into the Dharmadhātu Wisdom, and I introduce the figure of Ākāshadhātvishvari, who personifies this Wisdom in the Bardo Thodol (Tibetan Book of the Dead). The Deva Realms are introduced. In the Bardo Thodol these are presented as an egoic opposite of the Dharmadhātu Wisdom – the deva archetype representing the states of integration, in which the impersonal reality of Consciousness is personalised. The metaphors of Light and Space in Buddhist tradition are explored, with brief reference to other spiritual traditions. The Buddha’s teaching on the ‘Emptiness of the Five Skandhas‘ is introduced. To read the article click here.
This is a key article. It takes us deeper into an understanding of the integration and embodiment of feminine and masculine aspects of Consciousness – with a particular focus on the great importance of the divine feminine, which is another way of thinking about the idea of letting go, allowing, and ‘resting’ as Consciousness . The Buddha’s ‘Four Foundations of Mindfulness’ are introduced, and explored with reference to five skandhas. The idea of Mindfulness as non-duality practice is introduced – the importance of recognising that Consciousness is ’empty’. I also attempt to show how the imagery of Bardo Thodol is directly relevant to meditation practice. At the end of the article I return to some reflections on my NVC Mandala’ model, which illustrates the direct parallels between Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication (NVC) model and the skandhas, Realms, brahmavihāras, Wisdoms and ‘Foundations of Mindfulness’ in Buddhist tradition. Click here to access the article.
Please find time to read this article. In it, I have set out to show some of the implications of the way we find the skandhas arranged in the Bardo Thodol – as a mandala with the ’empty’ vijñāna skandha, or Consciousness, in the centre, and with each of the skandhas clearly related to the negative mental states and ‘Realms’, on one side, and positive mental states and Wisdoms, on the other. Further to this, I have shown how the skandhas of the four cardinal directions or Quadrants of the mandala are best understood if we recognise them as two pairs of opposites – the North-South axis and the East-West axis. Our recognition of these polarities is essential, because the Wisdoms arise from a separation and reconciliation of these opposites. Our habitual egoically identified way of being is always an inherently one-sided view, in which a personalised identification with, and differentiation of, the skandha at one end of each axis leads inevitably to the a relative unconsciousness in the opposite skandha. Read this article here.
This article aims to take a very deep, broad and detailed look at what recognising the Emptiness of the rūpa skandha means in practice. The fact that the rūpa skandha is associated, in the Bardo Thodol, with both the Mirror-Like Wisdom and the Buddhist Hell Realms, establishes a very clear archetypal association between the rūpa skandha with the Thinking function of the mind. Rūpa is however, frequently rendered as as ‘body’. This article aims to recover the great power of the Buddha’s skandhas teaching by addressing this area of confusion. To read the article click here.