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The Lost Sadhanas Project: Maitreya
Practice: The Paradise Rider Meditation
In this sadhana, Maitreya gives a guided meditation or visualization.
Maitreya says,The seeker is at a dark seashore and looks up at a great golden moon. It is the doorway to the paradise of Maitreya, scattering golden sparkles into the sky, like those on a Japanese lacquer box. The waves on the seashore form curved lines with white and gold foam against dark sand. The waters range from navy, to cobalt, to royal blue.
The seeker's heart is linked to the golden harvest moon by invoking Maitreya's mantra three times: "Om Maitri Maitreya Maha Karuna Ye".
The seeker hears the voice of Maitreya saying, "Come to me", and a golden stallion descends from the harvest moon. It rides the evening winds and the air shimmers around it in rainbows. As the horse nears, the seeker can see that the eyes of the horse are mandalas, in gold and green, and within them are buddhas and bodhisattvas radiating light in all directions. As the horse arrives, he is kind and kneels so the seeker can get on his back. The seeker holds onto his mane as he takes flight and rides the winds.
There are shining pathways through the sky, made of precious jewels. They are only visible to those with yogic awareness. The horse says, "Call me Steed Bound For Enlightenment". The meditator is wearing robes, which fly out behind as the horse gallops. The horse and rider ride the ancient trails, and the jewels composing the road in the sky sparkle with history.
The seeker passes the world of the ancestors and leaves it behind. On the path to Maitreya's world, all seekers sing and worship. All riders reach towards the sky, knowing that infinite kindness awaits them. In a world based on love, the only hierarchy is degrees of kindness.
The seeker begins to hear Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries", and other riders come into view, each riding towards enlightenment. The seeker rides in the midst of hundreds and thousands of riders, becoming a member of the hordes that seek freedom, the swath of humanity over time and space, which reaches toward liberation. Around the golden stallion are figures of life and death. There are refugees from Arab lands on camels running over sand, caretakers of reindeer herds riding on snow, and polar bears with Inuit on white saddles, all riding for the stars.
The pathways twist and braid and intertwine. Love is a vast river of streams and whirlpools, and braided waters weaving and churning. All follow the path of love and compassion to Maitreya. A huge whirlpool of pain appears - it traps many riders. But Maitreya's mantra creates a bridge over the abyss. Riders who do not have buddhas and deities to aid them fall down and down.
There are many bridges that appear in various colors. Which one is the right one to cross?
There is one white bridge with golden, art nouveau style swirls. The Steed Bound For Enlightenment gallops over that one. The bridge falls away and disappears as he passes it, but then gets larger and stronger before the rest of the riders.
The seekers approach a great wall full of guardians. They wear armor like medieval samurai, and hold their swords high, shouting, "Begone" as a barrier of fire appears. A tunnel of hoops appears which bypasses the warriors and fire at the sound of Maitreya's mantra. They gallop through the tunnel and it leads to a garden of chiming bells and fragrant flowers. The bells change to ring out Maitreya's mantra.
The skies are full of blue and gold, and the riders come on the wind and through the ocean to Maitreya's paradise. They are like sparkling dust carried by wind and water, and their hearts are enthusiastic, for their goals are noble ones.
Maitreya is like a sun whose infinite golden rays bless all who seek him. The Steed Bound For Enlightenment shines with his light and is soon transformed into the light itself. The physical sun sends rays outward, but Maitreya's spiritual sun has rays that return.
The sky horses are galloping to the goal, as magnificent gold birds with healing in their wings fly in great flocks to the garden. From the oceans come bright fish jumping over the foam and from the mountains far away come snow leopards leaping on the winds carrying future buddhas.
Souls ride the rays of light as they return to Maitreya as the sun. They are bright sparks that seek to merge into the greater light.
But they must navigate the karmic waves, and make sure that the distractions of their past do not obstruct their flight. They may seek to become bodhisattvas, but they cannot do it if they hold onto desire, including the desire to have the status of a bodhisattva. They may seek a role, but they must give it up to be filled with light, so full that no idea or memory can compete. They become the bridges by which others reach the paradise, the birds and animals which carry souls forward to Maitreya's light.
In the end, they are extensions of the bodhisattva's kindness and love, as the priest is the arm of the bishop. Their minds and hearts are merged.
Maitreya says,The drama and excitement of the race ends in joy. All have won their place in the race to bring the universe to peace.
We next move on the adi-buddha Vajradhara, the ultimate source of these teachings.
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Introduction | Methodology - Participant/Observer | The Bodhi Tree Sadhanas | Vajra Dakini Discussion | Vajra Dakini Commentary | Vajra Dakini Sadhanas | Vajra Yogini Commentary | Vajra Yogini Commentary | Maitreya Sadhanas | Vajradhara Speaks About Yidams | Lost Sadhanas Conclusion