Download Secret of the Vajra World - The Tantirc Buddhism of Tibet - Khamkoo PDF

TitleSecret of the Vajra World - The Tantirc Buddhism of Tibet - Khamkoo
LanguageEnglish
File Size38.7 MB
Total Pages546
Table of Contents
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Document Text Contents
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Subtleties of Pt'actia think. Our meditation may occasionally bring us peace, but even that dues not answer our questions. At this point, we need to turn to the antidote that underlies all others, and this is the remedy of devotion. In a previous chapter, the tance of devotion on the tantric path was noted. Now we come to the point where it is not only important but essential. Without devotion, we could not find the way through the darkness that surrounds us. But what is devotion at this point? It is calling on the gurus from afar. It is calling on the buddhas and bodhisattvas of the ten directions; on the masters of one's lineage; on one's own guru, whether alive or passed beyond. Devotion is an acknowledgment of helplessness and of trust. It volves the recognition that we have run out of personal resources; that we have lost our way; that we do not know where we are, what is wrong, or what to do. Calling for help is also an expression of trust-the innate human trust that our call will be heard. It might seem strange to bring up devotion at this point, so well along the path. Isn't devotion something mainly for the beginning, when we are getting started with our practice? In fact, devotion is the most subtle and sophisticated attitude that a person can have toward reality. It is a recognition of the truth of egolessness, that on some level we-as egos-are nothing and
have nothing to say for ourselves. The further one progresses along the
path, the more intense and wholehearted one's devotion becomes. The further one goes, the more devotion becomes the primary way to make the journey. But isn't devotion an expression of theism, of finding power and reality outside of oneself, the opposite of what Buddhism is supposed to be? Devotion is looking for an answer outside of the "1," the ego. The answer is ultimately within us, yes. But, as we have seen, while we are on the path, we "discover" the buddha-nature in projected form, apparently outside of us, particularly in our teachers and spiritual friends. So powerful is genuine devotion that once we fully acknowledge that


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E N 1' " R I N (; T H
1\ v A J R A
w () R L
J) we have lost the thread and all hope of finding the way, the answer is already there. The Unfolding Path In Tibet, ngondro and sadhana practice, and the practices of inner yoga, were all typically carried out in retreat. In that context, the practitioner might hope to complete the ngondro in perhaps three to six months. After completing it, one would then be authorized to receive the main abhishekas of the lineage to which one belongs, as well as additional empowerments suggested by one's teacher. In the Karma Kagyli lineage, the ngondro is typically followed by the Vajrayogini abhisheka. After finishing the requisite number of recitations of the Vajrayogini mantra, one is able to receive the Chakrasamvara abhisheka and to carry out its sadhana practice. The practitioner may subsequently receive other abhishekas and pursue other cycles of practice such as the inner yogas or the formless meditation of mahamudra or dzokchen. Sometimes, new practices will require performance of another ngondro or preliminary set of practices. This itinerary may sound somewhat complex and intimidating. However, since the practice is carried out over a period of decades, each stage of practice resembles one of a few major sights seen on a very long journey. In the Western context, the ngondro may take a year or two to complete, if one mixes daily practice with periodic solitary or group retreats. When doing prostrations for several months on a daily basis, the practice enters one's state of being and becomes part of who one is. It is similar when practicing Vajrayogini for five or ten years. During the many thousands of hours spent visualizing oneself and one's world as the yidam, there is ample opportunity to explore the practice in an extensive and intimate way, through many ups and downs and varied experiences of life. It is also important to realize that each additional practice that may be undertaken, such as other yidam meditations, the inner yogas, or mahamudra or dzokchen (discussed below), are not so much something new as an extension of what one is already doing. The basic principles


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