I was listening this morning to a teacher who was talking about cultivating a generous and open heart, and it actually got me thinking about Vajrasattva practice.
When I very first started my Vajrasattva practice, I thought it was all about getting rid of my obscurations; of all those thoughts and emotions that hold me back from following my path in Life. But more and more, I keep hearing teachers, both my own and others, saying that my negative thoughts and emotions need my attention too. That behind the negative thoughts and feelings are all the positive parts of me, and that to get to them I have to befriend all the negative and dark and heavy stuff first. No one is more deserving of my loving kindness and care. And no part of me is more deserving of love and care than the negative.
So maybe I don’t need to “get rid” of the obscurations in my heart and mind. Maybe all I need to get rid off is the idea of needing to “get rid” of the parts of me that hold me back. I’m really beginning to care less and less for the phrase “getting rid off”. There’s an underlying tone of judgment to the expression that just isn’t helpful. After all, one of the biggest things we learn from meditation is non-judgement. There are no good or bad thoughts. Just thoughts. That’s it. So wanting and needing to get rid of my obscurations is seeming less and less like the goal I should pursue. Perhaps instead I need to learn to be okay with whatever I perceive is holding me back.
When you begin the Vajrasattva practice, one of the first things you do is to visualize Vajrasattva in your mind as being full of love and compassion and wisdom. The visualization isn’t of Vajrasattva knocking down walls with a sledgehammer. It’s not of Vajrasattva sweeping up all the stuff you don’t like and tossing it away. The visualization is of Vajrasattva radiating compassion and love for you and all beings. So maybe the key is to take that love and compassion and apply it to yourself- to all of yourself, to the good, the bad, the ugly, and the indifferent. And then to everyone you’ll every meet. Maybe that’s how the obscurations fall away. Maybe that’s when the liberation begins to take place.