Generation in Front & Arising As: Vajrayogini
Sitting on my cushion, I am watching the smoke from the incense waft upwards and swirl around the altar in front of me. Circling, the smoke climbs like a flock of white birds, soaring around the lotus-shaped candle holder with its flickering tea light. The warm, smoky glow illuminates the brass statue of Vajrayogini dancing her sinuous, dreadful, sensuous dance upon the altar. Tongue lolling in ecstasy, skulls chattering from a necklace wreathing her neck, she laughs in my face.
I brace myself to enter the nightmare, to willingly go into the places that scare me. "You think you're strong? You think you're calm and fearless? One snap of my jaws and this fragile thing you call life will be extinguished, composted into my gullet for slow digestion. It's not pretty. I eat all of your ego first. I consume everything you hold dear. Cling to nothing lest I seize it from you and rip it to shreds. Avoid nothing lest I create a special hell where you are faced with that thing wherever you turn. Do not feign indifference. I can smell your nervousness from here." She smiles and rattles the bones at her waist, looking wild, looking maniacal, looking ferocious, inviting me to attempt to refuse the inevitable.
"I love you." It comes out a whisper from my tight throat. She laughs derisively. "You know nothing of love."
In my mind flash images: statues of Hekate, paintings of Kali, the gaping maw of the Sheila-na-gig, the flocking crows of the Morrighan, the cackle of Baba Yaga, the fetid stench of rotten flowers and unwashed bodies clustered around a mass pyre, the humid loamy smell of the gaping grave, the sound of weeping, wild eyes staring blankly in grief.
"I love you." My voice is louder now. My heart gains courage as my lips move in mantra. She glares at me, daring me, confronting me. From within she begins to glow with red light.
"I love you." The red lights at her crown, throat, heart, gut, and sex begin to beam pinpoints of heat in my direction, penetrating the matching spots on my form. She snarls, gnashes her teeth, stomps on the squishy fresh corpse beneath her feet. I feel the warmth of her liquid light moving through my body, filling me, rending my sense of identity to shreds, tearing apart from within any sense of "self." I can feel her hot breath on my face. "You are nothing. You know nothing. You love nothing. There is nothing here to love."
"I love you." Now my voice is loud, high, anxious. She notices and draws nearer. Her face is in my face. Her body is pressed against mine. Her hips are working, legs shaking, her arms pinning my arms to my sides, her ragged exhalation covers me in clouds of violent, red wind. The warm blood from her heart center flows into mine. Filled with this light, I am keenly aware of how paradoxically empty I feel. At this point, there is no "me" to "feel." I just begin to pulse along with her.
Something in me, me-not-me, remembers that in the body of the Goddess, all things are undifferentiated phenomena. This horrible vision could just as easily be a beautiful vision. This fear and pain could just as easily be paradise. All is one, and all is all. And it is my decision if it is paradise or not.
Suddenly, all there is, is Vajrayogini. She is overwhelming. She is utterly overwhelming in every way. Her body dissolves and I breathe deeply the odor of decay she leaves in her wake like a fine powder mist.
"I love you," the words echo in the empty space as my awareness bursts back into bloom. I AM that red, liquid light. I AM the Vajrayogini. I AM undifferentiated and diffuse. I AM pure, rhythmic awareness of the cycles of life, death, and rebirth. I AM NOT SEPARATE from the ultimate power of creation and destruction. I AM love. Love is all there is. Amidst pain and suffering and bliss and joy there is love, love love. Love is everything, love is anyway. IT'S ALL RIGHT HERE.
All that I have ever been, in any body, and all that I will ever be, in any time, is here, now. There is no more stench, no more force, no more fear. Instead, red light flows forth into and from each pointless corner of the cosmos, shattering my illusions of what is and what is not. This is a place beyond geography, a time beyond hours. This is the "no-thing-ness" that is everything. This is the deafening silence.
From the eternal brilliant darkness the sound BAM begins to resonate, vibrating more and more loudly until a pinprick of light shines forth, a heat generated from sonic friction. That light takes the form of the written syllable BAM, floating above a cushion, above the moon, and then begins to morph into the body of Vajrayogini. This time, Vajrayogini and I arise together. I AM Vajrayogini, and I emanate into the space where my former "sense of self" dissipated moments ago.
Having take empowerment from her, having surrendered to her, having allowed fear to wash over and through me, and having chosen love as the only way through into dissolution, Vajrayogini now appears completely differently than she did before. Her face is no longer twisted in a snarl, her hair is flowing like a rich waterfall down her neck. Her body is clean and fragrant and nourishing. Milk and nectar flow bounteously from her breasts. The skull necklace is now a ring of roses, and the odor of decay has become perfume. Her wild movements that once menaced me are now my own body's beautiful, gyrating dance.
Adorned with precious carved bone ornaments rattling, and crowned with the beauty of the stars, I sweep my hands, hips, and feet in the rhythm of creation. Around me, rainbows bloom from galaxies, vines grow and wither, the endless churning of existence resumes, the wheel of the faithful turns. I remember. I re-member. I breathe life into the next turn of the dance, and universes are born and collapse within my body. I love it all. I am in love with it all. I am love in all its aching, wretched, soulful, mysterious, messy forms. I return to love. I abide in love. Time passes, yet nothing passes. I open my eyes.
I turn my attention back, now, to the phenomenal world, sitting on my cushion at my altar. The incense is out. The candle flickers. My legs are asleep. I ring a bell, and move on with my practice.