Tantra | Thubten Chodron http://thubtenchodron.org The Thubten Chodron Teaching Archive Wed, 24 May 2017 20:27:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Preparing for tantra http://thubtenchodron.org/2016/05/vajrayana-practice/ Mon, 16 May 2016 14:25:39 +0000 http://thubtenchodron.org/?p=70808

  • Considering taking tantric initiations
  • How the lamrim is an essential foundation for tantric practice

YouTube Video

Initiations and empowerments http://thubtenchodron.org/2016/05/commitments-tantra/ Mon, 16 May 2016 14:25:34 +0000 http://thubtenchodron.org/?p=70807

  • The difference between initiations and empowerments
  • The commitments that come with taking tantric initiations/empowerments

YouTube Video

Developing a direct realization of emptiness http://thubtenchodron.org/2016/02/tantra-mahamudra/ Sun, 28 Feb 2016 18:10:59 +0000 http://thubtenchodron.org/?p=67363

  • Commentary on Highway of the Conquerors: Root Verses for the Precious Geden Oral Transmission of Mahāmudrā by Losang Chökyi Gyeltsen
    • Verses 28-38: Developing insight into emptiness
    • Verses 39-46: Post-meditation and dedication
  • Commentary on two poems by the First Panchen Lama
  • Questions raised by the study of Mahamudra that extend to Buddhism and religion in general

YouTube Video

Cultivating serenity http://thubtenchodron.org/2016/02/mahamudra-tantra/ Sun, 28 Feb 2016 17:10:57 +0000 http://thubtenchodron.org/?p=67362

  • Questions and answers
  • Commentary on Highway of the Conquerors: Root Verses for the Precious Geden Oral Transmission of Mahāmudrā by Losang Chökyi Gyeltsen
    • Verse 13: Description of actual practice
    • Verses 14-15: Preliminary practices to meditation
    • Verses 16-27: Developing serenity taking the conventional nature of the mind as your object

YouTube Video

Gelugpa-Kagyu Mahamudra lineage http://thubtenchodron.org/2016/02/integration-tantra/ Sat, 27 Feb 2016 18:10:55 +0000 http://thubtenchodron.org/?p=67361

  • Questions and answers
  • Views on the Gelugpa-Kagyu Mahamudra lineage
  • The Gelug Mahamudra uncommon distant lineage
  • The Gelug Mahamudra uncommon proximate lineage
  • The integration of Mahamudra into the Gelugpa tradition
  • Commentary on Highway of the Conquerors: Root Verses for the Precious Geden Oral Transmission of Mahāmudrā by Losang Chökyi Gyeltsen
    • Verse 1: Homage
    • Verse 2: Promise to compose
    • Verses 3-5: Common and uncommon preliminaries
    • Verse 6: Divisions of Mahamudra
    • Verses 7-8: Tantric Mahamudra
    • Verses 9-12: Overview of Sūtra Mahamudra

YouTube Video

Mahamudra in India and Tibet http://thubtenchodron.org/2016/02/historical-tantra/ Sat, 27 Feb 2016 17:10:53 +0000 http://thubtenchodron.org/?p=67360

  • The appeal of Mahamudra in the West
  • Genealogy of the term “Mahamudra” in India and Tibet
  • Mahamudra in Tibetan tantras
  • Core Mahamudra texts
  • Mahamudra in the second transmission of the Dharma to Tibet
  • The evolution of Mahamudra in the Kagyu tradition
  • Sakya Pandita’s critque of Mahamudra teachings

YouTube Video

Divine appearance and divine identity http://thubtenchodron.org/2011/06/self-generation-help/ Sat, 18 Jun 2011 20:02:14 +0000 http://thubtenchodron.org/?p=53044

Audience: When we have the initiation and can do the self-generation as a deity—for example, in the Six Session Guru Yoga, we imagine giving our body, possessions and positive potential (merit) to all sentient beings. Whose body, possessions, and positive potential do I give, my own or that of the deity? Also, we promise not to transgress any of our vows—pratimoksha, bodhisattva, or tantric vows. If I am the deity and therefore a Buddha, why should I promise this because I’m already totally pure? If I were ordinary me, this promise would make sense. When we do the self-generation, we’re instructed to really think we are the deity and are totally pure, so this is confusing. Who am I? (The fifty million dollar question!!)

A white buddha statute.

Buddhas manifest in different forms to help sentient beings. (Photo by The Wandering Angel)

Venerable Thubten Chodron: When we imagine ourselves as deities/buddhas and have that divine identity (divine pride, divine dignity), we do it with an awareness that this way of meditating is a method to transform our minds. Though we do this practice, because we still haven’t eliminated our ordinary appearance and ordinary grasping, especially our grasping at true existence, undoubtedly our wrong conception mind is still at work. Even though you imagine yourself as the deity, isn’t part of your mind still thinking, “I’m Karin and I’m just little old me, with all my problems and hangups?” Of course, we’re trying to free ourselves from that ordinary mind, but it’s still there anyway, isn’t it? This practice is helping us slowly to oppose it.

So, when I do the practice and offer my body, wealth and merits, I offer those of me as the deity and also those of me as Chodron. Similarly, there’s no fault in me as the deity vowing not to transgress any vows. And, for that part that still thinks I’m Chodron, vowing not to transgress my vows is very important!

One way to think could be: “I’m the deity manifesting as Karin.” Buddhas manifest in different forms to help sentient beings. So now there’s a Buddha that is appearing as Karin. You still visualize yourself as the deity, but since you’re in Karin’s social role, living in her house with her possessions, etc., you could offer Karin’s body, possessions, and wealth to all sentient beings. In addition, since you’re practicing divine identity as a Buddha, you as the deity could offer the things from the deity’s pure land.

In thinking about it, it seems the root of this question is our grasping at inherent existence. Only now, instead of grasping at ourselves as an inherently existent me, we’re grasping at ourselves as an inherently existent deity. As we do the self-generation practice and reflect on its meaning over time—especially as our understanding of emptiness increases—we will see more clearly that we’re not an inherently existent anything. Karin and Chodron and the Buddhas are equally dependently existent appearances that are empty.

Introduction to tantra http://thubtenchodron.org/2004/12/practice-vajrayana/ Wed, 01 Dec 2004 20:43:40 +0000 http://thubtenchodron.org/?p=53042

What is Vajrayana

  • Motivation for practicing the Vajrayana
  • What “enlightenment in one lifetime” means
  • Understanding that Vajrayana is not separate from Theravada and Mahayana
  • The purpose of taking initiations
  • Spiritual arrogance as a common fault

Introduction to tantra 01 (download)

Entering the Vajrayana path

  • Approaching Vajrayana is a realistic and practical way
  • Embarking on the gradual path
  • Making wise decisions
  • The right time to enter the Vajrayana

Introduction to tantra 02 (download)

Questions and answers

  • Finding a spiritual mentor
  • Book with an overview of various Buddhist traditions
  • Understanding tonglen

Introduction to tantra 03 (download)