I take a seat in front of my shrine, crossing my legs in half-lotus one on top of the other. Shakyamuni isn’t at the center of it all, so is this still Buddhism? I hold the crystal mala to my brow and recite “AIM, AIM, AIM…” over and over, one hundred and eight times, sliding the cool spheres along the white cord (oh, how it has stretched!) until I come back to the beginning. Then I blow gently with Intent, and somehow Her energy fills me as I still my mind and fall back into myself.
I am surrounded and suffused with a white radiance, except the eye that sees it is somehow lodged between my brows. This is My Lady Saraswati’s nourishing and guarding energy. You wouldn’t think it’s much protection given how…shiny…it is, but it works very, very well indeed.
I still my mind and fall back into myself (I said that already, didn’t I?). I’m not trying to stop my thoughts, only be aware of them. Most of them sound like this: I’m hungry. What time is it? Eurgh….is that my SHOULDER making that noise when I move? I’m CREAKING!!!! I listen, then let them go. Pretty soon, my brain gives up and shuts up.
Done, Saraswati seems to say. I press the crystal beads to my brow again and place them on the altar. Is this Buddhism? I don’t know. All I know is that it’s working.