The Ann Ree Colton Foundation of Niscience Buddha Festival
was held in the Niscience garden on Saturday, April 24, 2021. This sacred annual event includes the sharing of Buddha's dharma teachings, Pleasance movements to Buddha's words, a dharma talk, and the sharing of haiku written by attendees.
The following is the Dharma talk presented by Enys Miller for this year's
Festival on the Manipura (Solar Plexus) Chakra:
Manipura: City of Jewels
Wherever you look, there is a rushing and struggling, and an eager pursuit of pleasure. There is a panic flight from pain and death, and hot are the flames of burning desires. The world is vanity fair, full of changes and transformations. All is Samsara.
Is there nothing permanent in the world? Is there in the universal turmoil no resting-place where our troubled heart can find peace? Is there nothing everlasting?
Oh, that we could have cessation of anxiety, that our burning desires would be extinguished! When shall the mind become tranquil and composed? -Buddha
The solar-plexus chakra is the center for desire; it is the central heart of the desire-system and emotional body. The Lord Buddha came to teach men of the desireless life; for this, he gave the Eightfold Path. Each petal of the solar-plexus chakra – of which there are eight – is a balancing scale for polarization, whereby man’s desire is measured. By mastering the eight steps of initiation, one attains the desireless nature. To dwell upon the eight steps of initiation through the third-chakra path is to be in alignment with the Lord Buddha, who is in command of the First Heaven. -Ann Ree Colton
As the great center of desire, Manipura is deeply correlated to the mastery of and transcendence of samsara. The great noble Truths of Buddha delineate the existence of suffering, the cause of suffering, the cessation of suffering, and the fourth: the eightfold path that leads to the cessation of suffering. In our inward parts we are correlated to this struggle. Kundalini is a rod of will. We must exert the effort to align ourselves with a higher and more selfless good. Central to this accomplishment is the assessing of desire which is central to the Manipura chakra.
To live in the Edenic morality aeonic-grace, one must release tension-laden desires to the Will of God.
Natural or native intelligence can be achieved only by the assessing of true desire.
The primordial inward-parts laws, or chakra-protecting laws, are photographed and sealed in to the third chakra….These laws are primordial, Edenic morality laws preserving the virginal and essential purity in man. -Ann Ree Colton
Pleasance movements performed by Justinia Chavira
Eden is a garden. The Niscience Buddha Festival symbolically portrays the inward primordial garden of Manipura. It is deeply symbolic that for years we have come into the Niscience garden for the Buddha Festival at Wesak and there we have witnessed the Pleasance – a symbolic dance depicting each step of the eight-fold path as represented in the petals of the Manipura lotus. The reader, in essence, expounds the Dharma as the lotus moves, teaches, opens, and closes before our eyes, accompanied by the sounds, sights, and loveliness of the garden. Right views, right aspirations, right speech, right actions, right living, right exertion, right recollection, right meditation – all are represented. And the solar plexus chakra, or Manipura is central to this process. It is part of why we love the Buddha Festival so much. It is a living myth, a part of our own primordial inward parts and being.
I will put my law in their inward parts… - Jeremiah (31:33)
It is significant that Manipura correlates to the Edenic laws, for the Adam and Eve story also presents us with themes of a garden, of purity, desire and temptation, primordial innocence, nakedness before God.
Manipura means “city of jewels” – “lustrous, resplendent gem.” Manipura is generously endowed with spiritual gifts. Ann Ree calls the solar plexus, a “power chakra” in the company of the two other lower chakras which are also “power chakras.” The chakras above the waist being “transcendental chakras.”
As an aside, the name, Glendale (the location of our festival and Foundation headquarters), also means jewel city. Glendale is the city where our beloved Teachers shared their Dharma instruction and where we continue to do so today. And here we are each year, enacting and learning something of Manipura’s dance and essence in the garden by the Buddha pool, symbolic of the Buddha’s deep inward tranquility and reflection.
The negative aspects of the third chakra or solar plexus are sloth, greed, egotism, manipulating, taking. The highest aspects of this chakra are giving, magnanimity, healing magnetism. The transcended aspect of this chakra is the healing action of the white light, which is of the purest prana. -Ann Ree Colton
The element (or tattva) of Manipura is fire – fire correlates to the theme of desire. Heated desire is a destroyer. The sense correlating to the solar plexus chakra is sight and it relates to greater insight or honest self-seeing, as well as many aspects of oversight or stewardship. And Ann Ree tells us that in its high side Manipura gathers all the yin and yang powers of assessment, experience, and learning from the two lower chakras and transmutes them into a great archive of supersensible perception. This is a great spiritual power. Manipura also works with preservation. Great ages and civilizations have been established by egos who brought with them Manipura powers and gifts of wisdom, manifestation, and preservation.
Ann Ree tells us “The lion initiate has mastered the solar plexus.” Buddha himself was represented by the lion. He was called “The Lion of the Shakya ” (Shakya refers to his clan or family line). He is the great Master of the solar plexus and His speech was called the “lion’s speech.” A lion roars with the resonance of the Good Law or Dharma. The mythological characters of Azlan of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and Mufasa of the Lion King, represent those with the authority, mastery, and building powers of Manipura.
(Manipura Chakra artwork by Enys Miller)