A Question About Chakras as Mandalas Powering Punya

A student writes:

I’m studying Trusting the Heart of Buddhism [part of Lama Shenpen’s Living the Awakened Heart Training] with my mentor. In Book 2 pages 179 -180 we read about punya described as an energy or force, having ‘power lines’ and ‘punya power stations’. Would I be right in seeing this as the energy lines which connect with the chakras and the chakras as the actual ‘punya power stations’?

Lama Shenpen replies:

In the context of THB I am not talking about chakras particularly.  Nonetheless there is something in your question from the point of view of Mandala Principle.  This section on emanation is related to what Rigdzin Shikpo talks about in the context of Mandala Principle and the Three Spheres – which he agrees could be referred to as ‘three mandalas’.  Since all that manifests does so as mandalas – and all manifestations occurs due to the natural movement within Totality – in other words Non-dual Jnana*.

It then follows in principle that all emanation takes place as mandalas and as the play of the Three Spheres – the Jnana of Self (Buddha Nature) and the Jnana of Other (Totality) and the interface between them where Reality/Totality/Non-Dual Jnana – plays within itself creating manifestation – all-of-a-piece and inseparable and interpenetrating, yet distinct. 

There is an article Rigdzin Shikpo wrote about all this in Fabrice Midal’s book ‘Recalling Chogyam Trungpa’.  It is quite difficult to follow because he has condensed a lot of teaching into one short article.

I will be talking about it at the teaching weekend next week, when Rigdzin Shikpo will also talk about it and answer questions.  So maybe that will be an opportunity to ask him directly you question about chakras. I would be interested myself to hear what he has to say!

Lama Shenpen Hookham

*Jnana (Tib:  ye shes) – often translated as ‘primordial wisdom’.  It refers to the living quality of non-conditioned Reality as non-dual, or non-conceptual awareness, inseparable from its content – i.e.  it is the whole of Reality. 

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