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The Sound of Light
2022, December, Issue 24
In my upcoming book, The Délok, I’ve been exploring something that became obvious to me in the death bardo, something very important, related to sound. If you have read my books, you may recall that I mentioned coming back into this world by reciting mantras for a very long time, something like a hundred years. This may sound exhausting, and it is; however, our physical existence is far more exhausting than this simple act of creating sound.
Through sacred sounds, which are mantras, my physical existence came back into focus. It was essential that I chanted various mantras in order to come back to a life that I had long forgotten. This was done while my heart and mind were still very open, when the light of Dharmakaya was still very strong in my awareness.
As I assembled something similar to my old life, I moved towards a very dark dull realm, which is where we are now. In this place, this universe, this earth, we are not very open to the brightness that actually surrounds us. It’s difficult to be here. It takes constant generation of thoughts, cultivating the poisons of ignorance, attraction and aversion. We are always thinking, judging, conceptualizing, believing in this or that illusion, not realizing that we are really shrouding ourselves in darkness.
In this dark place, it is most fortunate that a glimmer of light is celebrated each year. If we did not have this create the notion of light returning, we would have no idea what awakening meant. It is really light returning, realizing that we have always been perfect from the beginning. This life is nothing other than a dream, often quite disturbing. We can awaken.
Now, what is this very important characteristic of sound? If we realize that sound emanates from that very same dimension of energy that remains elusive to us in the physical realm, we can start to see the possibility that we can awaken through sound. I constructed myself again in the energetic dimension through sound. This is enlightened voice, which is a voice we all carry in our consciousness, even if we are unaware of that. It stands to reason that if we can reappear in existence through sound, we can deconstruct ourselves with sound, awakening in that way.
This idea that we are a separate entity is the very essence of ignorance. Even if we believe that this physical manifestation were real, we cannot exist without absolutely everything else. We breathe, we need water and food. The stars and explosions throughout the cosmos make all these material elements possible. We can’t say that anything we perceive can exist independently of all that. We’re star dust, as they say. We can never be isolated from everything else. Atoms spin, vibrate, exchange electrons, go in and out of existence through the multiverse, and none of it can actually be located.
In this wonderful season of holidays devoted to the returning of light, may we all sing our song. May we all join others in their song. May we respect and revere all Spiritual Paths that can bring us to the light.
Once we have gathered all the teachings we need, we can begin to awaken. This can start with our voice, but it also means hearing what we need to hear as what is uniquely essential to our Spiritual Path. Becoming aware of our real condition requires becoming less conditioned by what has been poisoning us, paying attention, being present in this energetic condition. Voice, sound propels us, makes our heart and mind more open. Awakening happens by allowing ourselves to be carried through a door that is opened with energy.
For those of you who have learned Guru Yoga, the sound AH unites us with our Guru. It is the most powerful sound, the most powerful practice. When we utter this sound, we open our mouth completely, opening our mind to what does not seem possible, holding that sound for as long as we can, either remaining in awareness or visualizing our Guru. In that space, we come together. Ignorance is destroyed. We utterly annihilate this idea that there has ever been more than one, this idea of a separate self. Ultimate Bodhicitta is tasted.
In these dark times, please give yourself the gift of Bodhicitta. Aspire to awaken. Generate enough compassion for yourself that you become dedicated to your own awakening. This is the ultimate gift, for yourself and others. Let nothing keep you from the light. Sing from the bottom of your heart this holiday season.
I have no doubt that you will awaken, once you have confidently decided that this path you are on is most precious. Once you see that you and your Guru are one, you will immediately realize that there is no more precious gift you can give your Guru than your own aspiration to awaken. We can awaken through sound.