Buddhism employs many types of meditation in order to liberate the mind from self-grasping.
TRADITIONAL MANTRA MEDITATION
Vajrayana, which is also called Tantrayana, is a subdivision of the Mahayana. It is the Buddhism practiced in Tibet and referred to as Tibetan Buddhism. Vajrayana is based upon both the Theravadin and general Mahayana practices. Before entering into the Vajrayana, we must be well-trained in renunciation, the heart dedicated to attaining enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings (bodhicitta), and the wisdom realizing the emptiness of inherent existence. Then, we take an initiation from a qualified tantric master and protect the tantric vows and commitments that are received at the time of initiation. On the basis of this, we can receive instructions and engage in the Vajrayana meditation practice.
One meditation technique used in the Vajrayana is reciting a mantra while visualizing ourselves as the deity and our environment as the mandala or the environment of the deity. By visualizing in such a way, we transform our ordinary poor self-image into that of the deity and thus try to cultivate such noble qualities in our own mindstream. Vajrayana also contains techniques for transforming death, the intermediate state and rebirth into the body and mind of a Buddha. There are also special meditative techniques to develop calm abiding (samatha) as well as to make manifest an extremely subtle mind which, when realizing emptiness, becomes very powerful in quickly cleansing the defilements. It is for this reason that Vajrayana can bring enlightenment in this very lifetime to a qualified and well-trained disciple, who practices under the guidance of a fully-qualified tantric master.
Buddhist Tantra is not the same as Hindu Tantra. Nor is it some kind of practice of magic. Some people have written books about Vajrayana with incorrect information and interpretations. Therefore, if we wish to learn about this, it is important either to read books by a knowledgeable author or seek instruction from a qualified master.
Common Drikung Kagyu Meditation Practices
Achi Chokyi Drolma Practice
Buddha Amitabha Practice
Green Tara Practice
Light Amassment of Blessings
Lama Chopa Practice
Red Tara Practice
Shinay –or Calm Abiding Practice
White Tara Practice
The Prayer of Kuntuzangpo
The Buddhist philosophical tradition is both vast and profound. We are fortunate that these teachings have begun to be available here in the west. We have here some teachings which are of particular interest to our sangha because they were given by our own teachers.
Two Extensive and Extraordinary Teachings from the Milarepa Retreat (2010?)
The following teaching is recommended by Garchen Rinpoche:
FROM Ven Lama Thubten Nima
The Meaning of Yeshepa and Damtsikpa as Found in Many Deity Practices:
Teachings on Correct Altar Maintenance:
On the middle shelf are kept those representations not presently in use, one's Lamas that are not one's root Lama, and tormas for various deities. On each side of the shelf, a pair of matching Bumpas (sp). One for empowerments and one for cleansing. These are not necessary on home altars.
On the bottom is kept the offerings comprising 7 bowls, they are placed starting to the right of the Buddha: water (for washing), water (for drinking), flowers (usually artificial), incense (for burning), lamp, saffron water (for perfuming), and food. If eight bowls are used, music is added after food. Already having a lamp in the offerings, two more can be added, one on each side of the alter on the bottom level. Live or cut flowers, also, can be offered: two vases, one on each side of the alter, bottom level. Incense in a small burner can be placed on the alter behind the offerings, but (if only one level) in front of the representations. Incense in a large, Tibetan style, burner is usually placed in front of the alter close to the floor.
Why is it beneficial to make offerings?
What is a root lama?:
In taking refuge with a lama, are you taking refuge with the lineage he is from also?:
What are the nagas and what is naga practice?:
More Sources for Tibetan Buddhism
About Tibetan Buddhism
Introductions TO SPECIFIC TEXTS