MAHA MUDRA AND TANTRA
MAHA MUDRA AND TANTRA
The mind and its inner space experiences truth, time, and emotion as an environment. With in that environment there is a unified field of appearance and emptiness. Appearance acultures change in experience. Emptiness occupies experience as so many trans-apparent object-subjects. The true nature of the mind is the pure realization of emptiness. All subject-objects are both whole and made up of parts, thus trans-apparent. Thus all object-subjects, hens forth referred to as DHARMA , have the potential of examination and manipulation by the mind. This is called method. The mind which knows Dharma is wisdom.
Dharma is a Sanskrit word sometimes translated as meaning law. The translation subject-objects is an interpretation of a Tibetan translation of Dharma as meaning things (Lama Migmar Tseten,1990). The reason for using the word Dharma is its ability to refer to inner and outer space in one single gesture. This is important when trying to arrive at an understanding and reconciliation of the true non-duality of mind and body.
In Tibet , the union of method and wisdom is depicted as two deity figures (a yogi and yogini) in sexual union with each other (yab- yum). The power of the passion between method (male) and wisdom (female) is also referred to as the union of compassion and emptiness. The best motivation or method is compassion. The best realization is that of infinity or emptiness. These are high ideals.
With in the human realm of human relative truth these ideals are also reflected, even in every day life. Compassion when in union with wisdom realizes that all sentient beings want happiness, none want suffering. Wisdom in union with compassion experiences complete knowledge of and infinite love for all living things. This non dualistic view is known as Maha Mudra or the great gesture.
Conflict in the Real World
Conflict in the real world comes from ignorance greed and hatred as far as the mind is concerned. Natural disasters that create suffering differ some what from the suffering that the mind creates. This is, of course ,the relative level of ÒtruthÓ where humans consider mind and nature (the earth and universe) as dualistic separate entities. This dualistic view is an intellectual formality leading to concepts such as self-other, mine-yours, this-that. Informally each human also is aware of their dependence on Dharma that is not self or other, such as food , love, and space. The idiosyncrasies that arise ,formally and informally , are synonyms for the common conceptions of the conscious vs. the sub-consciousness mind. Consciously we posit a designatable self existent entity, that we mark with various intellectual formalities the way a dog marks its territory. Sub-consciously we and I exist interdependently, thus we respond to both physical and psychological transcendence. The reconciliation; of conscious and sub-consciousness is referred to as responsibility. Universal responsibility is thus the best possible motivation one can gesture.
The suffering that the mind creates augments suffering created by nature. The human mind is especially proficient at the task of augmenting natural suffering. Today in 1994 the human population as a unified whole could , if it wanted to , eradicate almost all suffering humans experience on this planet. This is hypothetical of course but most worthy of consideration. This hypothetical realization of universal compassion can then lead to the ability to release other non-human sentient beings from suffering. This view is in accord with the Buddhist realization of Bodi Chitta (enlightenment thought).
It is this hypothesis that I predicate as a primary focus for the union of method and wisdom. Understanding what this means (wisdom) requires much meditation and contemplation. Undertaking the task (method) requires much diligence and renunciation. All good psychological treaties, religious or otherwise , concerns this hypothesis to some degree. This is the compassionate gesture of the minds wisdom, called Maha Mudra.
The Union Of Method and Wisdom
The metaphor of female and male as wisdom and method is a good one. To illustrate my view of the corruption of human nature I will present a poem I wrote called A Balled of Sexual Misconduct;
One morning a young Zen monk Arose from his morning meditation
To contemplate simple wisdom
The flowing change of present suchness
As he sat upon a rock
A low gray stone covered with moss
A warm breeze shifted through the trees
A dancing banshee woman appeared
The monk sat firm in contemplation
His mind entertaining hope nor fear
Observed the dance of the banshee woman
As he watched, her dance came near
She said ÒI am a dancing banshee goddessÓ
ÒWhy do you sit in solitudeÓ
ÒWhy young monk is your mind so quietÓ
ÒWhile in the village celebration aboundsÓ
The monk his mind remaining peaceful
Said Òearth and water and sun and skyÓ
ÒThey are the only celebration of lifeÓ
ÒWhy not sit and observe their gestureÓ
And as he sat a thunderbolt struck
and shook the earth , sea, and sky
And smote the rock where the young monk sat
The banshee woman dances closer
Young monk asked "why did you do that"?
Woman yelled "this will not suit me"!
"You must not sit alone in peace Ò!
"There is work to do , you must serve meÓ!
" I am the goddess of all dreams "
" Of all beauty and all great wealth "
" All men love me wish just to touch me "
" All woman live in my sensual shadow "
The young monk shivered at this prospect
The sky turned gray dark with smoke
The banshee woman striped her cloak off
Danced naked and caressed her body
She stroked her body like a skilled musician
Tuning and playing a glorious symphony
Moving her hands across her breasts
Caressing her thighs her vulva and navel
Now the monk shuddered
Fear and hope engulfing his mind
His body turned ridged sweaty and hot
Between his legs his genitals swelled
Now the woman with unbridled power
Said to the monk " your spirit is mine "!
From out of the monks genital organ
A painful explosion of pure white nectar
The banshee woman collected the nectar
disappeared in a blinding flash of red light
The monk lay there sick exhausted near death
The once peaceful wilderness screamed hateful tyranny
For many days and many nights
The monk wept bitter tears of sorrow
Dreamt violent dreams of pain and suffering
The woman's voice echoed " you must join the hunt"
The monk then fled for a cave in the mountains
But the woman followed in all of his dreams
His genital organ swelled and throbbed painfully
The white element nectar continued to leak
So the monk roamed the country in search of a maiden
A sweet geisha girl to help and console him
But when he looked into each womanÕs heart
The banshee woman he found there dancing her dance
" She has woven net " he thought to himself
" Using every woman as thread , or as junction "'
" And tying their minds with fickle confusion "
" Sealing the blindness with fear and with hope "
So the suffering monk gaining in age
Went into the village to see of the slaughter
Saw all of the villagers preparing to hunt
To kill all the sorrowful weak in the land
The monk looked in horror as the men in their lust
Took part in the rape and destruction of nature
while the women in their fashionable playing of love
Like a card game wrought hate and confusion through out
The monk sick with revulsion
Took leave of the city
To sit in the woods
And contemplate pity
Now as the monk crossed from the borders of town
He saw a young nun , robes tattered and crying
And as he approached her he asked with a frown
You know of the slaughter in the prosperous town
She said " alone I was sitting deep deep in the forest "
" Feeding all the small birds and smelling the flowers "
" When a huge demon god atop of a stallion "
" Approached me and told me to bear him his child "
" He took me and tore the cloths from my body "
" Violated my genital organ with his "
" Pushed into me nectar so hot and so white "
' Ripped from me a child and then he did vanish "
Then the monk and the nun turned away from each other
Each one standing alone, wept fierce tears of blood
The crowd then gathered round, in a blind angry circle
Prepared for the slaughter on that cold winters night...
This chilling poem is a reflection of my own inner retinue of personified wisdom. Each character , the monk, the banshee, the nun , the demon , and even the general town population, are all parts of my own dysfunctional personality.
This vision occurred to me one night when I was feeling lonely and depressed , longing for love and understanding , my mind filling with thoughts of suicide. This transcendental experience was the gesture of the union of method and wisdom ,Maha Mudra. The realization this poem brought gave me strength.
With in the ballad , the god and goddess are the same being , appearing in different forms. Both were illusions , and as such took power from each of their victims so that they may become real. The collective defilementÕs of the human realm appeared to the monk and took his vital essence and used it to fertilize the nun. Then a child was born and taken away from the nun to serve the collective delusions of the common people. These delusions are the ignorance that destroys the realization of the perfect harmony of mind and body, and gives rise to greed and hatred. It is this destructive process that is one of the greatest mysteries encountered by human wisdom. The indistinguishable suffering caused by ignorant greed and hatred is at the root of all human cruelty and warfare. It is a reality that cannot be fathomed by mere intellect, but must be experienced by the heart.
The union of Men and Women
The following is a commentary on sexual assault. During my adolescence I was sexually abused by my father his second wife and her mother. The pain I still feel from that motivated me to write this poem called Mind Rape:
The mind is a real place as is the body
One is not more sacred than the other
Just as woman are not more important than men
Just as men are not more important than women
To rape the mind is
To raping the body
Mind rape is an act of violence
The affects of which are as painful and destructive
as any act of physical violence
That which is sexual is neither physical , spiritual , both , or neither
The drive to possess wealth is a burden
The drive to service sexual desire is torture
In America material is often put above spiritual
This is a mistake
It is the phenomenon of matriarchy
The chauvinistic vanity of women
Women who hate men
And the men who love them
Who have perpetuated this mistake
This oppression by women
Upon the emotions of men
The oppression by men
Of womenÕs bodies
Is argument non-justifiable in any way
The issue of spiritual and material corruption
Are as balanced as yin and yang
Look to the east for the solution
To useless competition comparison
Thoughts and feelings
The earth and its outer space
The mind and its inner wisdom
They are joined at the root
Bloom with the many unfolding
Infinite ripening flowers and fruit
Andrea Dworkin , a modern academic feminist, posits that all heterosexual intercourse is rape victimizing women. Dworkin was quoted as saying Òsex and murder are fused in the male consciousness, so that the one without the imminent possibility of the other in unthinkable and impossible... the annihilation of women is the source of meaning and identity for menÓ (Dworkin, 1976).
When a man hates a woman it is labeled misogyny, what is the name for women like Dworkin who hate men , and actively try to destroy them. Not all women are like Dworkin , just like not all men are like Rush Limbaugh. It is this dilution of a battle of the sexes that gives rise to the most destructive forces in human consciousness.
In fact it is the mis-taken necessity of any conflict that is the root of ignorance. Ignorance in this case is the view that war and vanity is necessary for survival and progress. Many feminists blame patriarchy for this ignorance. I have to agree with the added stipulation that matriarchy is equally responsible. This is sexuality , the union of men and women.
Here patriarchy and matriarchy do not have traditional meanings. Patriarchy is the worship of the sky cult, of the ivory tower, of the multi national corporation. It is the nihilistic view that all things belong to some one and that might makes right. In short , patriarchy is a corruption of skillful means. Matriarchy is the worship of beauty , self importance and the earth cult. It is the chithonian nature of sexual obsession and the obsession of inheritance. Camille Paglia describes matriarchy ÒWe are all born from a female colossus. Erich Neumann calls the first stage of psychic development ÒmatriarchalÓ. Therefore ,every persons passage from nursery to society is an overthrow of matriarchy.Ó(Paglia,1991)
If one examines the inventory of defilementÕs assigned to men vs. women one can find many similarities. Upon closer examination one will find total co-respondence. Thus the battle of the sexes is a battle of human with its own psycho-sexual nature.
STD stands for socially transmitted disease. A STD is a virus like neurosis that attacks the wisdom body and thus manipulates knowledge from the sub-conscious or informal (rather than the informational) level. A STD creates this emotional turmoil in order to convince the host to support a destructive social (or societal on the collective scale) tendency. An example of a STD symptom is the international military industrial educational media complex (this is a real nasty one too).
A person is most susceptible to STD during periods of emotional arousal. Two of the greatest catalysts for the transmission of STD are sexual intercourse and war. Hate, competition , doubt (of valid provable knowledge), and depression are obvious signs of STD.
The obsessive association between genitalia and sex and the pre-occupation with the symbolism of this preoccupation comes close to the root of STD. When one contemplates the fear of genitalia displayed by western culture, one cant help but be amazed. This fear is a direct manifestation of a STD that I will conveniently label Base Denial. Base denial is denial of the power of the of the psycho-organic root of emotive involvement in universal Dharma.
In Buddhist culture, sexuality is considered to be the union of method and wisdom. Even in in-formal western Òsub-cultureÓ sexuality takes the form of art and music.
It is important here to distinguish between sexuality and what is not sexuality, for there is no black and white definition that distinguishes one from the other. Sexuality is emotive response leading to enlightenment thought , and manifest as love in its ÒpurestÓexperiential forms. Non-sexuality is meditation on emptiness (samadhi) leading to calm abiding (shamutha) and special insight (vipasinah) into the nature of the mind.
Maha Mudra is the non-duality of method and wisdom. Non-duality is enlightenment (Bodi) and enlightenment thought (Bodi-Chitta). Buddhist psychology recognizes a seven fold process for achieving non-duality of method and wisdom:
1) Taking refuge in the ultimate 2) Un-locking denial 3) Rejoicing while contemplating the ultimate 4) Meditating on the ultimate refuge until enlightenment 5) Producing enlightenment thought 6) Invoking the wisdom of all living beings 7) Attaining enlightenment for the sake of all sentient beings.
¥ Lama Migmar Tseten - oral teaching , Sakya Institute , 1990
¥ Andrea Dworkin - WAVPM (women against porn in the media) lecture in New York City, 1976 - quote taken from ÒCaught LookingÓ by Caught looking inc.- Long River Books - 1992
¥ Camille Paglia - ÒSexual PersonaeÓ , Vintage Books , 1991