The morning was contemplative and spacious as the empowerment didn’t start until 10 am. However, as we drew closer to the time, you could feel the joyful anticipation rising with some people greeting each other saying, “Happy Vajrayogini empowerment day!”
Upon entering Temple one couldn’t help but notice the beautiful empowering shrine at the front, glistening with many blissful red offerings, including tiny chandeliers!
Gen-la Dekyong started the empowerment saying that today we would receive the blessing empowerment of Vajrayogini, who is also known as Vajravarahi, the consort of Buddha Heruka. She said, “How wonderful it is just to hear her holy name.”
At the beginning, Gen-la helped us to overcome our confusion that thinks Heruka and Vajrayogini are two different people, like John and Mary. She explained very clearly that the wisdom of the clear light of bliss of all Buddhas has two parts: one part, that is bliss, appears as Heruka; and the other part, that is wisdom, appears as Vajrayogini. Therefore, in reality, Heruka and Vajrayogini are the same person, born from the same mother – the clear light of bliss! If we understand and never forget this, then we will have no problem feeling very close to both Heruka and Vajrayogini.
As the empowerment ceremony progressed, Gen-la gently guided us from one beautiful visualization and blissful meditation to the next. Throughout, she encouraged us in ways that deepened our faith and reminded us again and again that everything is mentally created. With confidence, we concentrated on maintaining our wisdom of correct imagination throughout the empowerment. In this way, we received Vajrayogini’s special blessings of the four empowerments which purify the obstacles of our body, speech and mind and bestow upon us the potential to attain the completely pure body, speech and mind of Vajrayogini in the future. What good fortune!
Then after lunch we all gathered in the Temple again for a very enjoyable and practical question and answer session with Gen-la Khyenrab. He has a special way of keeping the afternoon session light-hearted, with many opportunities for joyful laughter, while at the same time fearlessly giving pure Dharma advice.
Gen-la began by saying the number of questions was fewer than in previous years. He said this was a good sign that our collective understanding of Tantra is improving. Then he explained that over the last few years the Resident Teachers and students have had the opportunity to study many of Venerable Geshe-la’s Tantric books. What an an object of rejoicing!
Over the next hour, Gen-la answered questions about: how to choose which Deity, Heruka or Vajrayogini, to emphasize; the practices of transforming sleep, waking and enjoyments into the spiritual path; how to overcome doubts by receiving blessings; how to purify and re-new our Tantric vows; and also the importance of being skillful with our Tantric practice and to always show a good example by cherishing our partner, our family and everyone we meet. As he answered these questions, he often referred to Venerable Geshe-la’s books, such as Essence of Vajrayana, and also the teachings Gen-la Dekyong gave in the empowerments themselves. It was so helpful.
As the sun was setting, the priory grounds felt very peaceful even though people could be seen everywhere, whether sitting together or walking, talking and enjoying each other’s company. With peaceful and blessed minds, we all understood what a profoundly meaningful day we had just experienced – like a pure dream.