Secret of the Vajra World: The Tantric Buddhism of Tibet

Overview

This book provides an entr?e into the Tantric (or Vajrayana) Buddhism of Tibet, as conveyed by Tibetan masters teaching in the West, and as received by their Western students. The Tantric tradition is a unique collection of lesser-known texts, concepts, and meditation practices that are usually made available only to experienced and specially initiated practitioners.

The "Vajra World" ( vajradhatu in Sanskrit) is a realm of indestructibility, the level of reality beyond all ...

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Secret of the Vajra World: The Tantric Buddhism of Tibet

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Overview

This book provides an entrée into the Tantric (or Vajrayana) Buddhism of Tibet, as conveyed by Tibetan masters teaching in the West, and as received by their Western students. The Tantric tradition is a unique collection of lesser-known texts, concepts, and meditation practices that are usually made available only to experienced and specially initiated practitioners.

The "Vajra World" ( vajradhatu in Sanskrit) is a realm of indestructibility, the level of reality beyond all thought and imagination, all impermanence and change, which a fully realized person knows and inhabits. Used metaphorically, "Vajra World" refers to the traditional culture of Tibet and the unique spirituality that is its secret strength.

Topics include:

   •  The tantric view of human nature and the external world
   •  The special role of the guru, or tantric mentor
   •  The preliminary practices that prepare the student for full initiation
   •  The major dimensions of Vajrayana practice, including visualizations, liturgies, and inner yogas
   •  The tradition of the tulku, or incarnate lama
   •  The lore surrounding the death of ordinary people and of saints
   •  The practice of solitary retreat, the epitome of traditional Tibetan Buddhism

Secret of the Vajra World is the companion volume to the author's earlier book, Indestructible Truth: The Living Spirituality of Tibetan Buddhism. While that book focuses on the history, cosmology, philosophy, and practice of the more public, exoteric side of Tibetan Buddhism, this work treats its more hidden and esoteric aspects as they take shape in Vajrayana. Together, the two volumes provide a broad introduction to the major traditions of Tibetan Buddhism.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An accessible, far-ranging guidebook."— Tricycle
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781570629174
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/23/2002
  • Edition description: 1ST PBK
  • Pages: 544
  • Sales rank: 699,058
  • Product dimensions: 6.03 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 1.15 (d)

Meet the Author

Reginald A. Ray, PhD, is a faculty member at Naropa University and is President and Spiritual Director of the Dharma Ocean Foundation, which is dedicated to the practice, study, and preservation of the teachings of Chögyam Trungpa. He is also the author of many books, including Indestructible Truth and In the Presence of Masters.
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Table of Contents

Foreword
Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
Pt. 1 Foundations of Vajrayana 7
1 The Indian Prelude 9
2 How the Vajrayana Came to Tibet: The Early Spreading of the Dharma 28
3 How the Vajrayana Came to Tibet: The Later Spreading and Beyond 40
4 The Vajrayana in the Context of the Three-Yana Journey 66
5 The View of Vajrayana 91
Pt. 2 Entering the Vajra World 109
6 Some Initial Vajrayana Perspectives 111
7 The World Beyond Thought 126
8 The Vajra Master 153
9 Entering the Vajrayana Path 177
10 Tantric Practice: Meditation on the Yidam 209
11 Subtleties of Practice: The Inner Yogas 230
Pt. 3 Meeting the Essence of Mind 259
12 Mahamudra: The Great Symbol 261
13 Dzokchen: The Great Perfection 294
Pt. 4 Tantric Applications 327
14 Lessons in Mortality: Death and Dying in Tantric Practice 329
15 Bodhisattvas in the World: Tulkus, Reincarnate Lamas 360
16 Themes of a Tulku's Life 385
17 The Practice of Retreat 426
18 The Passing of a Realized Master 462
Conclusion 481
Notes 489
Bibliography 503
Credits 509
Index 511
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