Recently, Ven Robin Courtin gave a set of teachings at Maitripa College, regarding tantric philsophy. Ven Courtina is very good about making concise explanations about what Buddhist psychology is and how Buddhists’s work with the mind. I thought it was great that she used her skillful teaching style to talk about the philsophy behind tantra. Continue reading »
It occurred to me that people who practice outside of the Tibetan tradition and who are used to following the breathe, may wonder, why do these Tibetan Buddhists recite so much mantra? I’m sure even within the Tibetan tradition, people eventually have to wonder this too. Continue reading »
Vajrasattva ngondro is one of the preliminary practices of ngondro, where one does a minimum of 100,000 repetitions of an item (a mantra, prayer, prostrations, etc). An extra 11% are added to account for mistakes. Vajrasattva ngondro has to be completed on consecutive days. If a day is skipped, someone has to start over. Continue reading »
I’ll be doing a post soon on my experience of Vajrasattva Ngondro, and thought it would be helpful to provide some background information on tantra. I myself wouldn’t be able to explain it very well, but I would like to provide some helpful resources that could. Continue reading »
Puja is a ritualized offerings or pujas are often common in Tibetan Buddhism in order to dispel obstacles and to create auspicious conditions for someone else. While this is common in Tibetan Buddhism, its also something that is commonly done in Hinduism and other religions from India. I’m not very familiar with how they’re done in these traditions, but effectiveness of pujas are heavily dependent on the intention behind it.
Common pujas within the Tibetan tradition include Medicine Buddha pujas, Green Tara Pujas, protector pujas, etc.
Here’s a video of a talk that Tsem Tulku did about the reason behind doing pujas.
I saw the above photo the other day of HH the Dalai Lama, beginning the mandala for the Kalachakra initiation. I know not everyone is going to be able to make it to the initiation, so I thought I would share this photo for those of us who might not get a chance, but would be otherwise happy to know its happening.
The last time HH gave the Kalachakra in India was in 2006, and the last time he gave it specifically in Bodh Gaya (as he is doing this year), it was 2003. Continue reading »
For those that missed it or were there and want to see hear the teachings again, here are the recordings for the preliminary teachings before the Kalachakra.
One of the things I love about His Holiness’ teachings are when the different Buddhist traditions recite sutras before the teachings. I had a recording of these on my iPod and I would listen to it on some mornings, and chills would run down my spine. Continue reading »
This year HH Dalai Lama will be bestowing the Kalachakra initiation for world peace in Washington DC. The events leading up the initiation will be broadcasted live on the internet. The first broadcast is on July 6, a couple between July 9-11 and the long life empowerment for HH on July 16. Click here to find a video stream in either English, Russian or Chinese.
Vajrayogini is a tantric deity of the highest class of tantra, and is a very popular practice within Tibetan Buddhism. I think people who are devotees to this practice or have a karmic affinity to it will appreciate this video. It’s a Vajrayogini sacred dance that was filmed in Nepal.
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Are Dharma Protectors Necessary?
This is a continuation of a previous post I did on Dharma protectors within the Gelug tradition. A question I think that needs to be asked is if Dharma protector practice is necessary or even important.
One might argue that even though the Tibetan tradition emphasizes Dharma protector practice quite strongly, in some cases it might not be a good practice for all western practitioners. Continue reading »
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When I first began to practice, I didn’t get much exposure to Dharma protectors. As my practice continued, specifically within the Tibetan tradition, I started to see them everywhere.
Within texts like Mind Training: The Great Collection (Library of Tibetan Classics), petitioning Dharma protectors play an important role. And if one read’s Brilliant Moon: The Autobiography of Dilgo Khyentse, who was a great Nyingmapa practitioner, one can see how heavily they rely on Dharma protectors practice and their importance. Continue reading »
I saw this interesting video the other day by Tsem Tulku Rinpoche about keeping tantric commitments that come with a highest yoga initiation. It’s very straight forward and very frank, but I think it cuts through a lot of confusion.
He talks about it in a general sense for people who are planning on taking an initiation, but it’s also helpful for those that already have one.
His explanations are applicable to all highest yoga tantra practices i.e. Yamantaka, Guhyasamaja, Chakrasamvara (Heruka), Vajrayogini, Cittimani Tara, Kalachakra, etc. Continue reading »
Lama Zopa Rinpoche, one of the co-founders of FPMT, recently had a mild stroke in Australia.
Many of his centers are doing Medicine Buddha Pujas for his recovery. For those that can’t be at a center to do it, they can also do the Medicine Buddha practice at home.
A copy of the Medicine Buddha Sadhana can be found here.
People often find tantric practice to be very exotic with the elaborate visualizations and different mantras, but eventually get confused and bored when they don’t understand the symbolism behind them. Continue reading »
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UPDATE (06-19-2011). Lama Zopa recently had a mild stroke and is recovering every day. All his teachings for 2011 have been canceled until further notice.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama will be giving public teaching as well as the Kalachakra intiation this year in Washington DC, during the days of July 6 – 16 2011. His Holiness doesn’t often given initiations to a tantra of the highest class often in the US, so it’ll be a precious opportunity and very auspicious as well. The Kalachakra is often given to large groups, even to non-buddhists as a blessing for world peace, and there is no better place to spread this vision of world peace then the capital of a political super power.
Following the initiation, Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche announced that he’ll be in Washington DC on July 17 2011. Continue reading »