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The Heart of the City

Joann S. Bakula
July 2011

Many cities are built around a town square, a commons empty of buildings and open to all. It's the heart of the city. One square, Liberation Square, has become a point of focus in the news this year. Is the City of God, the City on the Hill, Shamballa, the Will Center of the Planet structured in the same way, a city with a central square? And do we, the microcosm, hold the same pattern as the macrocosm in our heart of hearts?

The full moon in the month of July, constellation of Cancer, occurs on Friday, the 15th at 2:41 am US Eastern Daylight time (6:41 am UT) during the famous Kalachakra for World Peace that the Dalai Lama gives yearly and is holding now (July 6-16, 2011) in Washington, D.C. The first one held in the U.S. was in Madison, Wisconsin and was detailed in the book, Kalachakra Tantra: Rite of Initiation, by the Dalai Lama and Jeffrey Hopkins. Tantra is usually translated as esoteric and esoteric teachings, but literally it means 'to weave' and 'continuum.' Non-violence is primary to Buddhists and world peace a natural outcome of the pacification of negative emotions. During the Kalachakra ceremony a sacred mandala, a square in the center of a circle, is created which means 'divine residence' (p. 75). This mandala is called "The City of Liberation" (p. 441). Its three-dimensional form is said to be in the center of Shamballa. Those who have been to Tibet will remember the replica of this in the Potala Palace. Mandala can also refer to the whole world system, esoteric and exoteric, in its pure state made as an offering to the deities.

The Tibetan D.K. stressed the connection between Shamballa and the Will center of our planetary Life, calling it the place where the Plan for the planet is known, and the blueprints for the evolutions of life, consciousness and form are kept, along with those for all the kingdoms in nature. He wrote, in the Alice Bailey books, of the great gifts of Shamballa for humanity and also of its dangers. The three gifts of Shamballa are, first, opportunity, leading to illumination, with the result of brotherhood (Esoteric Astrology, p. 149). The dangers are that those on the 1-3-5-7 line of ray energy respond more quickly and aggressively to the power of will as self-will, leading to those who "work ruthlessly, powerfully, selfishly, cruelly and successfully at the destruction of all that attempts to impede their projects and desires" (p. 586). The Tibetan D.K.'s teaching enabled pattern recognition of the alignment of the individual mind, heart and will with its planetary correspondents: Shamballa, the Will center; Hierarchy, the Heart center; and Humanity, beginning to awaken as the center of Mind. This was revelatory. "These [three centers] are responsible for the conditioning of the other planetary centres and the consequent demonstration of divine intention" which is "to bring about right relations in every field of His manifested life" (The Rays and the Initiations, p. 394). For disciples to enter into this 'City of Liberation' in the 'Kingdom of Will' strenuous paths must be travelled and then careful preparations must be made, especially the purification of intention (RI) or motivation (KT), to clear away all selfish intentions, and any selfish plans and hidden bad intentions toward others. This focus on intention and motivation is made in the preliminary stages, as well as in the enhancement stage just before initiation. Generating altruistic intention without hiding motives or mixed motives is mandatory for all who would be bodhisattvas and would take the bodhisattva vow to remain in samsara to ease the suffering of others and not leave 'until every blade of grass is liberated.'

The square in the Kalachakra Mandala has four gates, one in each side symbolizing the four directions. In order to enter this sacred space and become a disciple of the 'Lord of Shamballa' each of the paths leading to these gates must be travelled. The Tibetan DK writes: "there are four ways that stretch before the disciples of the Lord of the World. They must all be trodden before the inner Being is released, and the liberated Son of God can enter, at will, what are symbolically called the four gates into Shamballa,—that city of the Most High God, which is ever swept by the Life of Those who have achieved liberation through loneliness, detachment, isolated unity, and purification" (RI 35). These four difficult pathways are described as:

  1. The Way of Release, when "all drops from our hands", everything is taken away, detachment from 'all phenomena and individuality' is required, leaving us bereft and shorn of all.
  2. The Way of Loneliness, when we realize that we are "neither ego nor non-ego". It is a state of No-thing and Non-ego; complete detachment and discrimination leave us utterly alone and in utter darkness.
  3. The Way that leads to the Mountaintop of Isolation, where illusions of the strongest order are defeated and the "great heresy of separateness" is overcome. It is a state of non individuality, and "only the macrocosmic life is sentiently realized." Only then do we "find ourselves merged with all that is" in love and understanding.
  4. The Way of Purification, when everything that we cherish falls utterly away —"lust for form life, desire for love, and the great glamour of hatred." Activity and motion is stilled; "Life and Mind can no longer be swept into motion". Only then do we stand empty, still and purified. Then out of the center of that emptiness emerges Immortal Clear Light, shed unobstructed upon the world. (Esoteric Psychology, p. 334).

Preceding the 3 days of initiation (July 13th to 15th) the Dalai Lama is giving the preparatory teaching of the 37 practices of bodhisattvas and one on middling meditation. The first three of the bodhisattva practices are called 'The Good Ship, Leaving Home and Letting Go' by Geshe Sonam Rinchen (The Thirty-Seven Practices of Bodhisattvas). 'The good ship' is this precious incarnation of freedom, privilege and good karma, the vehicle in which we have been able to take refuge in the teaching, the truth and compassion. 'Leaving home' is detachment from loved ones, country, culture, knowledge, and home in all of its forms both friends and enemies, love and hate, thus achieving dispassion. 'Letting go' is letting go of all of our wealth in all of the ways in which we count ourselves rich, and retreating from all of our busyness of body, speech and mind, 'the three doors' which let in distractions and obscurations. Finally, consciousness, the 'guest in the guest house' is also let go of and desire for life itself in the cyclic existence of samsara is left behind, although the desire to liberate all beings from suffering in samsara continues. The purpose of all 37 practices is to generate altruistic intention, to generate compassion, to love all others, and to offer everything you cherish to others in your becoming bodhisattva. "In Buddhism, liberation is always from a state that needs healing and to a healed state of release and greater effectiveness" (Kalachakra Tantra, p. 13).

The Tibetan DK also writes of 'the three doors' into Shamballa as 1. 'the door of the reason, of pure perception of truth. 2. the door of the will, a penetrating power that relates Plan to Purpose; it has the faculty of coherent persistence, and 3. the door of the monadic sense of essential duality, body and life, soul and personality.' (RI, pp. 139-141). Although the two teachings do not appear to correspond exactly in all stages or ways, we can perhaps assume that the Tibetan also is referring to the three gates of mind, speech and body that have been purified with the energies of the spiritual triad of reason or intuition, will or atmic energy, and intelligence or manas in its dual function of higher or abstract and lower or concrete minds, that "most potent energy and influence in the world, intelligence" required for the sixth initiation (RI p. 394). The seventh initiation gives the initiate the right to "come and go in the courts of Shamballa," (RI, p. 735). In this way life, quality and appearance become as they already are in archetypal form in the Will center as in our heart of hearts. Shamballa holds the blueprint of the archetypal pattern for macro and micro; it holds the Plan of the evolution of form, consciousness and life for planet earth. This includes the Plan of Social Evolution for humanity, "which is the joint or united antahkarana of humanity as a whole." This is the blueprint of ideal and perfected human relationships in the planetary house. D. K. teaches that the 'Science of the Antahkarana and its lower correspondence, the Science of Social Evolution … will be known as the Science of Invocation & Evocation' and Magnetic Rapport in the future. (RI, p. 470).

The building of the antahkarana in meditation that D.K.'s group uses has, as we know, six steps or methods: Intention, Visualization, Projection, Invocation & Evocation, Stabilization, and Resurrection & Ascension, this last referring to the actual rising of consciousness up out of soul/personality into the totally transpersonal dimension of the Spiritual Triad. There are many similarities with the meditations mentioned in the Dalai Lama's book; for instance, the stages of Intention, Visualization, Projection, Stabilization are all noted at one stage or another, and, of course, Mantra. Deity yoga could be analogous to Invocation & Evocation. For the Tibetan D.K.'s disciples, however, it might seem more consistent with his teachings that the ray qualities are visualized and not appearances that some may question.

The Kalacharka process is described as Outer, Inner and Other. When the outer macrocosm is perfectly reflected in the inner microcosm, it enables entry into the Other, the Sacred Mandala. In this case the 'inner of the microcosm' is the subtle body of the chakras, nadis, pranas and bindus: the fire of the centers, the structure of the network of physical nadis, the wind of the pranas, and the drops of light, the bindus (some also refer to the bindus as points of light), representing fire, earth, wind and water of the four elements, in the fifth element, the etheric body of space.

The Initiation ceremony itself is actually composed of seven initiations called "the seven initiations in the pattern of childhood" (Kalachkra Tantra, p. 279) The end result of this 'generation stage' is to "authorize practice of visualization of the practitioner as a deity-or ideal, altruistically active being-in a mandala, an ideal environment" (p. 7).

Those who use the seed thought in the Bailey books for the constellation Cancer, "I build a lighted house and therein dwell," will have an unprecedented opportunity to do just that. Many best wishes for building a lighted house, and for the "auspiciousness of pacification" leading to World Peace to which this Kalachakra Empowerment is dedicated.

Joann S. Bakula

P.S. There is an interesting video on YouTube by David Reigle entitled, "DK, Kalachakra and Shambhala" that is very informative and based upon the same research as this commentary. There are also many different videos of the Mantra, the Great Invocation, on YouTube in the original version, the alternate version, and a singing version.

Bailey, Alice A. Esoteric Astrology. NY: Lucis Publishing Co.
---- Esoteric Psychology. NY: Lucis Publishing Co.
----The Rays and the Initiations. NY: Lucis Publishing Co.
Dalai Lama & Jeffrey Hopkins. Kalachakra Tantra: Rite of Initiation. Somerville, MA: Wisdom.
Rinchen, Sonam Geshe. The Thirty-seven Practices of a Bodhisattva. Ithica, NY: Snow Lion.