Ross M. W. Bennetts


March 29th, 2010


On Saturday morning I awoke with a peculiar desire to drive to Tamworth. I wasn’t quite sure why, but I figured I would probably find out once I got there.

When I got out on the highway, the first thing I discovered was that the radio in my car had been disconnected during some recent repairs and it now wanted a 4-digit security code before it would switch on. The security code which I did not have, as I had bought the car second hand and only just now discovered that that part of the manual had been torn out and put in a safe place long before I acquired it. (but that’s another story)

Once I got to Tamworth, the first thing I spotted was a shop I had never noticed before called Utopian Bazaar. There was a parking space right out front and it was at one end of Peel Street, the main drag, which I intended to meander up and down this day, to see what was new and different in the town.

I wandered into the shop and one of the first things I noticed was a Tibetan style Buddhist statuette (pictured above). I did not immediately recognise who it was, so I took a picture and tweeted it. Luckily, Bodhipaksa and Charmainewai recognised it immediately and let me know that it was Vajrasattva.

The reason I found this significant is that I have been doing a practice every morning for the last couple of years as part of my Ngöndro (preliminary Buddhist practices)[Dudjom Tersar], in which I imagine Vajrasattva above the crown of my head while repeating his 100-syllable mantra and going through three particular purifying visualisations. I obviously hadn’t been doing it very well, as I could not even recognise him when I met him in the shop. I’d spent so much time memorising the 100-syllable mantra and doing the purificatory visualisations, that I’d never bothered to really visualise Vajrasattva properly. The practice I had been doing, now seemed more like Chaos Magick than Tantric Buddhism.

Perhaps it’s time to go back to first principles and start my Ngondro practice over from scratch… it’s time to be a beginner again, and this time, maybe I’ll get it right…