Medicine Buddha Today

The Five Wisdom Energies

MandalaLet’s look at some of the ways that Menla can help us use these five energies in a healing way. Here is a graphic representation of how this might work. We start with an image of Lapis Lazuli, representing Menla, sitting as is his role, in the center of the mandala of the five energy-colors, depicted here in the pattern in which they unfold in life. We can look at this mandala from above, as we do here, or from a side view. For that side view, imagine tipping this image back so that it lies in a horizontal plane. You would lift the lower, blue edge so that it is closer to and facing you, and let the upper, red section fall back, down and away. Thus, you could have an aerial view, and see the pattern of how these energies relate to each other, or you could see this mandala in a side view, which suggests ways we can work with them. Seen from the side, we can get a sense of how we might look at, enter, and then walk through a vast structure representing life itself, where the floor of that structure is in these four colors, depicting four of the five life energies, with a white space in the middle for the fifth.

These energies are the basic operational pathways, or flow patterns, of wakefulness both within us and in our world. As suggested earlier, using sunlight as an example, we often take sunlight for granted until we have a cloudy day. Then we appreciate the sun and its light much more. We also see basic sunlight as essentially colorless, until we shine it through a prism. Then we see the colors in that light. Further, we might look around and more fully appreciate that all those same colors are everywhere in our world. Five wisdom practice is like using a prism to see how the five energies, like the spectrum of sunlight, are not only in our world, but also, and very importantly, in our mind.

Blue Medicine BuddhaThere are many ways to work with these energies. These ways can range from just recognizing the energies as they manifest in our and others’ minds and lives, to taking a more active role in using them to guide and support a healing life. However we work with them, relating to Medicine Buddha can help our work go better.

This Menla supported approach to working with these energies can start with just remembering Menla’s vow in life, the vow to gather the merit needed to be helpful to others. Just this commitment to wisdom and benevolence is a great place to start any project, from the seemingly mundane to the esoteric. Then there is the commitment to accept and work with whatever life brings as nourishment, and doing so, transform all of that into offerings to others for whatever they need. This is goal. So Medicine Buddha helps us put the entire effort, from beginning to end, in a healing perspective.

With that grounded and far reaching view in place, we can see that just as we might fail to appreciate sunlight until there are clouds, we often fail to appreciate these energies until we notice we have become frightened and constricted in one of them. With that, we could be discouraged, but Menla practice helps us remember that the sun of wisdom always shines within. In fact, we can see how having fear in an energy can help us know that energy better in the long run. So there is never reason to be discouraged, ever. Knowing this is great medicine!

As we work more directly with these energies, we can see in more detail how they unfold in our mind and in all kinds of experiences in life, and eventually in the minds and lives of others. We see patterns of how we progress through them in helpful ways. We find ways to open our heart and offer our compassionate energy to our world. Just as plants grow in sunlight, beings grow healthy in an atmosphere of wisdom. Menla helps us use everything as good medicine.