Over the course of living the Lankavatarian eremitical lifestyle, I have been discerning the value of developing a type of monastic-rhythm to the day. A good rule of thumb is to pay homage to the Five Dhyani Buddhas. Their transforming energies, in particular through counteracting the five skandhas, are most helpful in generating the Bodhi Recollective Resolve. This also strengthens one’s Sambodhic-link with the Tathagatas thus continually energizing bodhicitta. I’ve discovered that being mindful of their radiating “juice” over the course of the day helps to alleviate the toxic and ill-effects of samsara. It’s almost like transporting oneself to their serene and tranquil Buddha-fields. What follows is the regimen of my day:
The pre-dawn hours: (Akshobhya)
Rising early with Akshobhya (bowing and facing East), the “Immovable One”, creates a peaceful and ethereal ambience that gently envelops you like a warm and comforting blue blanket. His healing mantra (intoned below) seems to form a protective-shield that prohibits any negative-energies from gaining a foothold over you before your day begins. In a very real sense, his energies (as depicted with his sacred mudra—touching the ground), help to center you as his sacred Vajra unites heaven with earth. (As above, so Below)
Sunrise and Morning: (Amoghasiddhi)
As the sun rises one turns to Amoghasiddhi (bowing and facing North). As the eastern light expands from the Sacred tips of Akshobhya’s Vajra, it peels over into the northern skyline as the fullness of Amoghasiddhi’s Green-filled-hue overflows—permeating and encompassing all living things, like great waves of effervescent and rejuvenating energy. Resting in his palm, the Double-Vajra is a welcoming sign that mystically unites all polar opposites. I am strengthened by his presence that radiates an assurance that all will unfold as it should over the course of the day; his Intercessory-action will always be near to counteract any negative encounters, like a protective-shield (his mudra of the raised hand) that dispels all distress and needless anxiety. The following mantra is quite-catchy and self-energizing.
High Noon and Afternoon: (Ratnasambhava)
As morning dissolves-away into the bright splendor of High Noon, one turns to Ratnasambhava (bowing and facing South). This rising is a sign that All will forever be well as his inner-bodhi pearl is a living flame of love that is never extinguished. Ratnasambhava’s Light is a strengthening-hue that radiates equanimity. All can and will be accomplished under the direct tutelage of the Tathagatas. Placing one’s hands on the Sugata-garbha Chakra (above the navel) is a further empowerment of Ratnasambhava’s sign that his is a peaceful resolve emanating from the very womb of the Sugata. All is expanding within the All and thus all former Skandhic-sensations are whittled-down to just One Transcendent Satisfaction in the One and Unborn. The following Ratnasambhava mantra is quite elegant in its simplicity.
Late Afternoon, Early Evening: (Amitabha)
As the lengthening shadows of the dying day subside and early evening unfolds like a dark and gentle cloak, one turns to Amitabha (bowing and facing West). Perhaps more than the other Dhyani Buddhas, Amitabha reflects a most consoling spirit. The following mantra reflects this deep consolation. One feels free to just dissolve-away all the events of day and just rest peacefully in Amitabha’s sweet and tender embrace. No-thing matters now but just a restful resolve to surrender any troubling vexations into his purifying Western Pure Land Province. Namu Amida Butsu.
Evening hours to the Pre-Dawn (Vairocana)
Vairocana is cosmic. His energies are a composite of the other four Dhyani Buddhas. All that came before, all manner of form-based reality simply dissolves away into Vairocana’s Imageless-Actuosity. All is now One As the One and Unborn. Quite wonderful late-night meditations as you, too, fade-away into Vairocana’s All-encompassing majestic splendor. Form is now emptiness, emptiness is now form; truly, a wonderful manner to enter into a deep and restful night’s sleep.
May the Dhyani Buddhas refresh your own Spirit of Recollection…