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Akshobya

by Saddharaja

Settle back and touch base with this very enjoyable and, at times, inspiring talk by Saddharaja on the great blue Buddha of the eastern quarter of the mandala - the Unshakeable One, the Imperturbable Akshobya. This is particularly good because it departs from standard fare on the figure. We get a great reading from Wordsworth, a stimulating discussion of ethics and their relationship to issues of doubt and self-confidence, as well as a meeting with a wooly mammoth… Listen out too for a terrific story about standing inside a mountain which communicates something essential about the depth of presence and mystery Akshobya is all about.

Talk given at Padmaloka Retreat Centre, Winter Retreat 2001

Tracks (click play to listen)

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1. Growing up in Wales and the Lake District - mountains and scree running (3:09) 
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2. William Wordsworth - a reading from 'The Prelude' (2:34) 
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3. Working in the slate quarries; beside the river under the mountain (4:24) 
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4. Akshobya, elephants and immovability; learning to look at Buddhas - prepare yourself; Sangharakshita on meeting human beings (3:55) 
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5. Meaning of 'Akshobya'; characteristics - realm, appearance, gesture, mantra (4:32) 
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6. Meeting an elephant and a wooly mammoth; a reading from the 'elephant chapter' of the 'Dhammapada' (4:23) 
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7. More characteristics; family - Vajra; element - water; wisdom - mirror-like; poison - aggression and hatred; skandha - rupa (form); realm - Abhirati, a reading from the 'Akshobyavyuha Sutra'; how to enter Abhirati (7:30) 
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8. What does it all mean? Mara's attack on Siddhartha - calling the Earth Goddess to witness (5:13) 
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9. Having confidence in our spiritual practice; basic Buddhist practices - karma and ethics; the Yogachara school and the eight vijnanas (consciousnesses); doubt (7:40) 
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10. Who can we trust? God, the 'group' and material wealth; something else to build on; Akshobya in the bardo - a reading from the 'Tibetan Book of the Dead' (6:01) 


Total running time: 49:21

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