I had conscientiously prepared for problems. That the practice might be dry and unsatisfying. That the visualization might remain vague and feeble. That I would grow impatient and rebellious, become more and more dissatisfied with the superstitious, fundamentalist side of the Dharma. That my knees would not be able to take the stress (I have had knee trouble from time to time.) That I'd panic when I realized how much of my meager free time would be eaten up.
I had prepared, in fact, for every eventuality except one: that the practice might actually work. That the invocation of the cho kyong sung mai tsok ("the guardian protectors of the Dharma") might actually shelter my practice. That lust (or whatever you want to call obsessive sexuality) might loosen its grip on me. That my mind might become -- in Alan Wallace's wonderful phrase -- "more serviceable."
And the world -- human, natural, and artificial -- has never been so consistently, so painfully beautiful.
Today Vajradhara's hands, his slender sky-blue fingers, held the golden vajra and the silver bell so precisely yet so carelessly -- resting as a skilled guitarist's fingers rest on the strings the moment before he plays.