The ancient Greek myth about Prometheus depicts his decision to steal fire from the abodes of the Gods themselves and bestow its illuminative properties to mankind. Zeus then reprimands him for his sacrilegious “action” by chaining him to a huge bolder for all eternity; during the day Prometheus, once an Olympian Titan-Deity himself, has to endure the agony and humiliation of having his liver plucked-out by a rabid vulture. At night, his wounds heal; but when the garish light of day arrives he has to endure his agony all over again. Quite an apt symbolism relaying how sentient beings are entrapped on the Wheel of Life, held bound by the severe laws of Karma that incessantly gnaws away at their entrails. It is also symbolic of how the “body consciousness” weighs one down with heavy samsaric burdens, whilst simultaneously dealing out old karmic wounds that never heal. This particularly becomes oppressive on the plane of Bardo One, wherein one’s spirit can become incapacitated with the heavy weight of sensuous perceptions that hinder self-emancipation and Recollective Strength in the Unborn Resolve. Bardo Realm Two, or the Sambhogakayic-field, can offer some respite from the affairs of the “Day Consciousness” as it becomes a portal into what is commonly known as the Dream Realm, where “Night Consciousness”—or the very Awareness Vehicle of the Manomayakāya itself—helps to foster the Illuminative Recollective Resolve of proper Lucidity that is key to becoming free from the chains of the Alaya-consciousness with all its karmic host. Prometheus Unbound.
Opening the Dragon-Eye of Tathata
Heightening Lucidity via Night Consciousness can begin each evening before retiring for bed by invoking the Hymn to Samantabhadra (see the recent blog post under the same title) and asking for proper comprehension of the forthcoming Dream Realm. Even prior to this, it can be helpful and it is recommended to meditate daily with the Samantabhadra Mandala Video (which can be found at the end of that same recent blog post). This mandala, with its shifting shapes (revealing diverse sentient beings and Transcendent Exposures to other cosmic life-form-realities) is a microcosmic canvas of what constitutes the Sambhogakayic-field. It must be remembered that the action found within the majority of Sutras takes place on the Sambhogakayic-field. Our study here in previous blog posts of the Vimalakirti-Sutra is an excellent example of what takes place within that field; Vimalakirti’s own manomayakāya, wandering to and fro within the Vision of the Universe Abhirati is one such illustration.
After invocation to the Supreme Primordial Buddha Samantabhadra, there needs to be a gentle centering on the Dragon-Eye of Tathata Chakra—which is the “entrance proper” to the Sambhogakayic-field. The psychic-center of the Chakra is best visualized via the Black Dragon-Eye Mandala:
If you do a search here, you will find a blog devoted and focusing exclusively on the nature of this Mandala. [ONE IS STRONGLY URGED TO WATCH THE VIDEO OF THE MANDALA IN THAT BLOG POST AS IT DETAILS THE PERTIENT PREPARATIONS THAT ARE NECESSARY BEFORE ENTERING THE MANDALA]. One simply visualizes this Mandala in the center of one’s forehead (the focal-point for the Dragon-Eye of Tathata Chakra) while drifting-off into sleep. As this Dragon-Eye becomes activated its radiant-center-point eventually dissolves the surrounding rings of the Mandala thus signifying their transient and truly empty phenomenal nature (sunya). After much practice, when the Sambhogakayic-field becomes manifested, its transitory nature will be recognized AS SUCH as slowly and eventually “Night-Consciousness” kicks in and the Manomayakāya becomes aware, through Lucidity, that it can actually shape-shift and even transform the surrounding Sambhogakayic environment at will. This is good, because a side-benefit in all this is that some karmic-residue in the Alaya is becoming erased. What is actually occurring here, of course, is that the Awareness Principle is becoming self-perfected as it recognizes that ALL IMAGES ARE MAYA—totally illusionary. This will eventually coalesce into the Great Realization that things perceived even through the lens of Day (Waking) Consciousness is equally sunya and unreal as in the Dream Realm. Both Bardo One and Bardo Two are hence mirror-images of one another.