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  • Excerpt Monday: Artifice by Lutz Barz


    EXCERPT MONDAY: ARTIFICE
    by LUTZ BARZ

    Sumtek Monastery, Kathmandu Valley: the present.

                The monks saw Amithama as a Rinpoche having achieved Buddha mindfulness. Since then he had mediated and paid homage to the celestial representation of the gold plated statue of Adibuddha. Whilst in deep mediation Amithama had noticed an awakening within the effigy. Not in words direct but by extruding from unformed space a cosmic mandala. Which Amithama copied and used as a foundation to explore it’s hoary secrets. Adibuddha the counterweight of earthly existence anchoring Amithama in the present so as not to be absorbed by the vastness of the black mandala. He was in good hands. Adibuddha was one of the supreme manifestations in the pantheon of brilliant reincarnations. His body of imperishable light the outpouring of his pure intellect and wisdom. Being as such the lord of all Buddhas. The black mandala whilst physically created by Amithama was to him really a re-creation of its contents harking back millennia when Hindu émigrés had conveyed it for safe keeping at the foothills of the Himalayas. With good reason. It was deemed infested with a dark and dangerous power inimical to all life. Leading to the many gates of Hell. As such Amithama had intended to clear it of its foul detritus, his life’s ambition. Dedicating every breathing moment to its purification.
                His knees creaked a little as he assumed his lotus position in front of the wise and benevolent Buddha. Candles flickered nervously around him. Dimly illuming the offerings of fruit and flowers in front of the statue. A butter lamp was suspended behind the mediating monk. He had risen well before the others had woken for morning prayers.
                Today the frigid air in this near secret cavern deep in the bowels of the monastery. Flowing into his body making him feel numb, almost paralytic. The chill of the pre dawn absolute with the cold radiating out of the subterranean rock. With the black mandala beneath him he contemplated the statue. He did not chant, the mandala might resonate in ways that was not his intention, twisting the sound into that which he wished to expunge. Neither did he recite mantras that might feed it his psychic energy thus forming a diabolical link he was not yet ready for to explore further.
                He merely concentrated on his breath. After a while he felt warmer. Yet the calmness of the breathing cycle was today fraught with niggling distractions.
                An ice cold jolt of menacing energy punched its way out of the mandala, straight up his spine and into his mind. The mandala all around him. Formless with absolute space replacing reality. The cloak of darkness complete, enshrouding him. It was the only buffer he had from what gestated beyond its dark curtain which his mind must have created to stop him from being utterly overwhelmed. To create a centre Amithama conjured the statue he had been devoted to for years now. But the half smiling visage of the usual serenity of the lord of all Buddhas was one of icy indifference.
                The universe represented by the black mandala with its countless gates to hell were quivering on the brink of manifesting themselves into this reality. Something was being undone, a gate was being opened, then several. His mind sharpened by the icy impregnation Amithama willed the darkness into the Adibuddha. The silent wind howled within and around him blowing out the candles and butter lamp. For a fleeting moment he saw the image of a distant mountain, an ancient grotto where once had reigned an insane warlord who had threatened to conquer not just Earth but other realms within space just as this mandala closed off the gates to hell. The two momentarily linked.
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