The Womb Realm

Esoteric Buddhism (Vajrayana) imagines two realms or worlds (dhatu), the Diamond Realm (Vajradhatu) and the Womb Realm (Garbhadhatu), mystical spaces that represent certain principles, different bodies of the Buddha, and various celestial Buddhas and bodhisattvas.  They could be called “buddhaverses.” The two realms correspond to the concept of the Two Truths as presented by Nagarjuna.

And they are presented graphically as mandala, which are diagrams, geometric patterns and art depicting or mapping out a buddhaverse and are used primarily as an aid to meditation.  In Japanese Buddhism, mandala is frequently used in the Shingon and Tendai schools.

The two realms are not separate (just as the Two Truths are not really two) but rather manifest one reality, and this oneness is represented in the Mandala of the Two Realms.  The individual mandala are the Diamond Realm and the Womb (or Matrix) Realm Mandala.   The Womb Realm (Taizokai) symbolizes the world of embryonic truth, and the Diamond Realm (Kongokai), the world of ultimate truth.

As you can see from the above image of the Womb Realm Mandala, various Buddhas and celestial beings are grouped together in halls or courts surrounding the central 8-Petal Hall and the central figure, the cosmic Buddha Dainichi (Mahavairocana), representing the Dharma Body of the historical Buddha.

Recently I put together a piece of ambient music that to me sounds like the Womb Realm.  Ambient is defined as “a genre of instrumental music that focuses on sound patterns more than melodic form and is used to create a certain atmosphere or state of mind.”

You can also listen to the piece on my YouTube channel.


Ambient: Solidarity

According to Wikipedia, ambient music is “a genre of music that puts an emphasis on tone and atmosphere over traditional musical structure or rhythm.”  I think that sums it up.  My introduction to ambient music was via Brian Eno, the musican who got his start with Roxy Music.  Another influence was Tangerine Dream.

Eno says, “When I started working on ambient music, my idea was to make music that was more like painting.”  When you have the bucks to hire accomplished musicians and a nice recording studio, you can afford to be abstract about it. I have a keyboard, a couple of cheap Shure mics, a laptop and a program called Mixcraft (like Garage Band but for PC).  My idea is just to produce something that sounds half decent.

Today’s selection is taken from one of my earlier pieces, done in the aforementioned more “traditional musical structure.”  I had planned to call this version “Tomorrow’s Castles Are Only Sleeping About”.  If you listen closely and know your prog rock history, you can figure that one out.

Then I thought to call it simply “Track 9.”

But after yesterday, I decided on Solidarity.


Inner Waves

If you like ambient music, you know, music that meanders, doesn’t really go anywhere . . . then you’ll love some of the music I make.  I call it ambient music, ala Brian Eno, mainly because I figure if pointless music is good enough for him, then it’s good enough for me.  I’m being a bit self-effacing here . . . actually I think this latest piece I’ve created and uploaded to my YouTube channel is pretty cool.  This is the short version.  The longer one is about 16 minutes.