Buddhist relics

 

The Heart Shrine Relic Tour was in Oslo this weekend, and I was fortunate enough to spend my morning there yesterday.

It’s also a good reminder to sort.

Are these really relics that appear in the ashes of advanced practitioners? Are they unique to these people?

Those are questions for science. If I did this type of research, it would be very interesting questions. Since I don’t – for now – I don’t pay much attention to it.

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What leads up to awakening

 

Some of the things that seem to often precede awakening…

  • Nothing at all. It comes out of the blue. The person may have no interest in religion or spirituality, and have done no spiritual practice. Although for many, there may be a great deal of psychological stress and a sense of being at the end of the rope before the shift, as happened with Byron Katie, Eckhart Tolle, and even me. (I was an atheist at the time of the initial awakening.) There is a ripeness there somewhere, in terms of being ready to give it all up – all identifications, all hope.
  • Intention. A clear and refined intention to know God, to know truth, to wake up. This may go along with practice and prayer or not.
  • Trying hard and failing. Trying hard to awaken through a range of practices, and thoroughly failing. Exhausting all possibilities.
  • Practice. Engaging in a range of practices that invite in a thinning of the veils. The “distance” between what is here and awakening gets smaller, although the final shift doesn’t happen through practice.
  • Shaktipat. An energy transfer that invites in awakening, such as diksha.

And finally grace. Grace is always what invites in the shift to awakening. Whatever a separate I can seem to do is not enough. It can prepare the ground, but that is all. As Baker Roshi said, awakening is an accident and practice makes us accident prone.

Also, is there really a “leading up to” awakening? The awakening is an awakening out of the stories of time and causality, and also the story of awakening not being here already. From here, there is no leading up to it, although there is also the freedom to use those stories as skillful means.

Dream: transmissions

 

 

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I am participating in a group receiving the Munay-Ki rites. It is led by a Tibetan Rinpoche, who is one of several Rinpoches seeing the effects of the rites as very helpful for themselves and anyone else open to receive them. (John Cleese is there as well, and I talk with him briefly.) The Rinpoche tells us that although we only have received one or two rites so far, the changes have taken place and are available for us to use. We are already released from old patterns, even if we haven’t quite noticed it yet, or trust it enough to live from it.

A friend told me about the Munay-Ki rites a couple of days ago. They are offered where I live, a new cycle start in a few weeks, and it comes from a tradition I have been interested in for a while (Four Winds Society, Alberto Villoldo, Inka shamanism), so I decided to participate. It is similar to shaktipat, energy transfer serving as a catalyst for awakening or healing, which I know works from my experience with Waking Down, Diksha and some other flavors of it. And the differences just makes it more interesting.

In their typical pragmatic and inclusive way, the Tibetan Rinpoches in the dream see the value of the Munay-Ki rites, and use them with their students and anyone else interested. My associations of John Cleese is of a slightly cynical person with a big heart, so him participating may mean that even cynical aspects of myself are on board with it. And the release from patterns may reflect something already happening for me, or something that may happen through the rites, or, most likely, both.

The terrain dream followed this one.

Shaktipat

 

In my (superficial) explorations of different traditions, I discovered that the general category that diksha falls under is called shaktipat, a transfer of energy which facilitates awakening.

It is used systematically, by many teachers, in the Indian traditions, and probably more or less systematically, sometimes even accidentally, by some teachers in many other traditions.

Shakti means energy and pat means touch, and it seems to typically be done through touch, by laying on of hands or even hugging (Amma), but it can also be transfered through gazing or even at a distance – either through an intentional transfer from the giver, or through intention and prayer from the recipient’s side.

Shaktipat and energy healing

There are of course several parallels between this and the (in the west) more familiar faith/energy healing.

In both cases, the “giver” functions as a catalyst for the energy (channeling or awakening it), and the energy itself functions as a catalyst for either healing or awakening. The energy works on and in the energy field of the recipient, allowing the physical and/or consciousness aspects to reorganize. Where energy healing facilitates healing, shaktipat facilitates awakening.

Diksha

What does seem somewhat new in diksha is its predictability and universality. It seems that just about anyone can go through the three week process to become a diksha giver, and that the process unfolds in generally the same way for the recipients, up until awakening to realized selflessness.

From what I hear, and experience myself, it also seems that the different diksha givers transmit their own flavor of the diksha, emphasizing different aspects of the awakening process (for instance endarkenment.)

Other traditions

Muktananda and Adi Da are known for their use of shaktipat, and it is also an important element in Waking Down (not surprisingly, since Saniel Bonder was a student of Adi Da.)

Amma seem to transfer a heart-awakening shaktipat through hugs.

There is a possibility that some Christians do something similar through laying on of hands, although I am not sure about that.

The Tibetans probably have it in their repertoire as well, as they seem to have a very comprehensive and inclusive toolbox.

And, as mentioned, some teachers in any tradition probably use it, either accidentally or more intentionally. Sometimes even by just being in the same room as their students.

Studies etc.

Especially in the west, there is a natural and healthy skepticism about both shaktipat and energy healing, and the only way to get some more clarity around it is to put it to the test through scientific studies (double-blind, using physiologically and psychological measures of changes) and also by trying it out personally.

It is also interesting to look at the different factors involved. Some of the effect does seem to be through the energy transfer, allowing the energy aspect of the recipient to change which in turn invites the physical and/or consciousness aspects to shift. The other aspects certainly include the expectation and receptivity of the recipient, which in itself can allow for significant shifts.