3 Samadhis in Tantric Practice
The Three Samadhis are ways of understanding the essence, nature, and energy of unborn wisdom awareness as part of the generation phase of Tantric practice. The problem of human existence is not inherent within the mechanics of appearance, but is within our vision of it, how we see it. The path, again, is not creating anything new but taking the blindfold of confusing delusion off from us. It is a method for changing the manner of perceiving – so that we see things as they are – so that they are known in reality and so that the body and world are transformed by that knowing.
As you enter the mysterious process of meditation on yourself as the manifestation of wisdom mind (the Tantric deity), you must deconstruct the solidity of confusion’s view. This is done in the Three Samadhis. Do we need to bring in something new to do this? No! We simply need to find ways to access/contemplate the reality of how things are. The very contemplation of truth will set free the trapped potentiality of mind.
In the first Samadhi, the contemplation of suchness – the essence of reality – one uses a practice such as the Three Ah Dissolving Gaze to blend individual mind with its own essence of utter empty purity as expanse. After a moment resting in this expanse of nothingness (no-thing-ness … that dynamic nothingness brightness that is all divinity and no confusion), the natural radiance of awareness is noticed as moving. The moving aspect of mind is then contemplated, through the instructions, as a mass of bright compassion. The tendency for movement to become forms, appearances, is then structured as the arising of the seed syllable, the mantric gnosemic language, and the deity. This is the contemplation of the third Samadhi.
The first Samadhi purifies that process structure known as death and dying. When this process activity is known in reality, than death is recognized as misunderstood dharmakaya (the body of truth’s essence). The first Samadhi purifies death (and deep sleep) and lays the foundation for the realization of Dharmakaya.
The second Samadhi purifies the after death bardo’s arising appearances – so that mind recognizes them as the play of its own tsal (creative potency – mind’s rolpa tsal … rolpa= play tsal = potency). When the process structure known as ‘appearing’ is misunderstood, there is suddenly a ‘oneself’ that is trapped in embodiment and imprisoned in ‘enworldment.’ When the authentic nature of ‘appearing’ is recognized (re= again cognized=known …. known again), then appearing is known as Samboghakaya … the bliss body of the Buddha (you). The second Samadhi purifies the after death state (and dreaming) and lays the foundation for realizing the bliss body (sambhogakaya) of reality.
The first Samadhi realizes the divine nature of emptiness (nothingness brightness). The second Samadhi realizes the luminous clarity (that is the fore structure – the appearing tendency - of appearances). The third Samadhi is the child of the union of these two.
Emptiness and brightness are a most loving couple – more intimate than being two or one. Theirs is the love of perfect mystery manifesting as sensuous cavorting beyond notions such as non-dual or dual. As is common in such love play, they produce a child--appearances!
The third Samadhi purifies the mistaken notions about birth at the end of the journey through the after death bardos. Like the death bardo appearances, or dreaming, this realm is also only a psychic realm of dreams. If it is not recognized, then one wanders through it seemingly trapped and always intuiting a somewhere, or somewhen, else of heaven. If it is recognized then it is known as simply the rolpa tsal – the playful fullness of awareness’ potentiality. The third Samadhi purifies birth (and the waking state) and lays the foundation for the realization of appearances as Nirmanakaya (the form body of reality).
The Three Samadhis are part of the generation phase (kye rim) of Tantric practice and so use symbolic images … the felt images and imaged feelings of wisdom brightness … as transformative catalysts. The deep sleep practice I was referring to is part of the completion phase practices (dzog rim) and so is more non-symbolic in nature. But … the completion phase and generation phase should not be known as higher and lower, early and later practices on the path – as if the path was some reductionistic mechanistic assembly line. Completion and generation phase practices both transform the waking (birth), dreaming (after death bardo), and deep sleep (death) states into Dharmakaya, Sambhogakaya, and Nirmanakaya respectively.