Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom
Excerpts about Vajra Body
Symbol of Highest Spiritual Power
The vajra is regarded as the symbol of highest spiritual power which is irresistible and invincible. It is therefore compared to the diamond, which is capable of cutting asunder any other substance; but which itself cannot be cut by anything. Likewise the properties of preciousness—nay, of supreme value—of changelessness, purity and clarity, were further reasons why in Buddhism the vajra was equated with the diamond. This is expressed in such terms as "Diamond Throne" (vajrasana), for the place on which the Buddha attained enlightenment, "Diamond Saw" (vajracchedika) for one of the most profound philosophical scriptures of the Mahayana, which ends with the words: "This sacred exposition shall be known as Vajracchedika-prajnaparamita-sutra—because it is hard and sharp like a diamond, cutting off all arbitrary conceptions and leading to the other shore of "Enlightenment."
Transformation of the Individual Consciousness Into an Indestructible Inner Body of Consciousness
When we survey the many developments of the Diamond Approach teaching, we can recognize, in its present condition, four broad movements through which it expresses reality. Each of these can be seen as one complete turn of the teaching wheel. The first turning involves the realization and development of what I refer to as the individual consciousness, which is sometimes equated with the Western notion of soul. The soul discovers her true nature and begins to live a life imbued with the qualities of true being. As the individual consciousness’s experience of true nature deepens, she realizes, in the second turning of the wheel, the boundless nature of being. What is in the foreground here is the experience of the unity, oneness, and nonduality of reality. Since the inception of the Diamond Approach, we have been working mainly with these two turns of the teaching. Realizing true nature as our identity, waking up to the unity of existence, and learning to integrate these experiences into our daily life constitute, for a long time, the bulk of our inner work The second turning of the teaching culminates in the transformation of the individual consciousness into an indestructible inner body of consciousness that can express and live nondual realization. This inner body of pure awareness, of the purity of true nature, becomes the fulcrum of the third turning. The third and fourth turnings of the wheel are related to this fulcrum, which heralds possibilities beyond the nondual unity of reality. The realization of this inner spiritual body, which I sometimes call the vajra body, reveals, in the fourth turning of the teaching, many new and unexpected wisdoms about the nature of reality. The progressive stages or degrees of realization, which characterize the first two turnings, give way to altogether different kinds of realization. Just as the first turning begins with the individual consciousness and moves, in the second turning, into the nondual dimensions of reality, the third turning starts with the vajra body instead of the individual consciousness and moves, in the fourth turning, into a reality that is neither dual nor nondual. Experiencing reality in this radically different way reveals profound new possibilities for living our realization.