In this sixth and final volume in the Foundation of Buddhist Thought series, Geshe Tashi Tsering brings his familiar, helpful approach to the esoteric practices of Buddhist tantra. Anticipating the many questions Westerners have upon first encountering tantra's colorful imagery and veiled language, Tantra uses straight talk to explain deities, initiations, mandalas, and the body's subtle physiology of channels and chakras.

Tantric Buddhism ...
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Tantra: The Foundation of Buddhist Thought, Volume 6

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In this sixth and final volume in the Foundation of Buddhist Thought series, Geshe Tashi Tsering brings his familiar, helpful approach to the esoteric practices of Buddhist tantra. Anticipating the many questions Westerners have upon first encountering tantra's colorful imagery and veiled language, Tantra uses straight talk to explain deities, initiations, mandalas, and the body's subtle physiology of channels and chakras.

Tantric Buddhism provides a quick avenue to buddhahood by means of dissolving the body's wind energies into the central channel at the heart, mimicking the transformations of consciousness that occur at the time of death. Guiding readers systematically from tantra's generation stage through to the full enlightenment of the completion stage, Geshe Tashi Tsering even unpacks a simple compassion practice composed by the Dalai Lama, using it to illustrate the building blocks common to all such visualization techniques.

Tantra is a fitting conclusion to this accessible and practical series.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781614290124
  • Publisher: Wisdom Publications MA
  • Publication date: 7/10/2012
  • Series: Foundation of Buddhist Thought , #6
  • Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 224
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Geshe Tashi Tsering was born in Tibet in 1958 and received his Geshe Lharampa degree (similar to a doctorate in divinity) from Sera Monastery in India in 1987. Since 1994, he has been the guiding teacher of the Jamyang Buddhist Centre in London, while also teaching at other Buddhist centers worldwide.

Gordon McDougall was director of Cham Tse Ling, the FPMT's Hong Kong center, for two years in the 1980s and worked for Jamyang Buddhist Centre in London from 2000 to 2007. He helped develop the Foundation of Buddhist Thought study program and administered it for seven years. Since 2008 he has been editing Lama Zopa Rinpoche's lamrim teachings for Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive's FPMT Lineage series.

Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche is the Spiritual Director of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT), a worldwide network of Buddhist centers, monasteries, and affiliated projects, including Wisdom Publications. Rinpoche was born in 1946 in the village of Thami in the Solo Khumbu region of Nepal near Mount Everest. His books include Transforming Problems into Happiness, How to Be Happy, and Ultimate Healing. He lives in Aptos, California.
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Table of Contents

List of Tables xi

Foreword xiii

Preface xv

1 The Uniqueness of Tantra 1

Sutra and Tantra 1

Tantra and the Mahayana 2

The Prerequisites 2

The Vajrayana Was Taught by the Buddha 4

Vajrayana and Its Many Names 5

The Unique Features of Vajrayana 9

The Four Complete Purities 10

Vajrayana Combines Method and Wisdom 12

Deity Yoga 14

Practicing Deity Yoga 14

The Three Aspects of Deity Yoga 17

Utilizing Afflictive Emotions on the Path 20

2 Entering the Vajrayana 23

The Door to the Vajrayana 23

The Vajra Master and the Vajra Disciple 24

Guru Yoga 29

The Initiation 30

The Purpose of an Initiation 32

The Preliminary Stages of an Initiation 34

The Main Initiation 35

The Mandala 39

Vows and Commitments 41

3 The Lower Tantras 43

The Differences among the Four Classes of Tantra 44

Internal and External Activities 44

Subduing the Vital Wind 46

Yoga with Sign 48

The Concentration of the Four Branches of Recitation 49

The Concentrations of Abiding in Fire and Abiding in Sound 54

Yoga without Sign 58

4 Practicing Kriya Tantra 61

A Kriya Tantra Sadhana 61

Offerings 62

The Sadhana 64

Refuge and Purification 65

The Purification of the Place 66

Visualizing the Merit Field 66

The Seven-Limb Prayer and Mandala Offering 68

The Main Deity Practice 69

Pranayama 71

A Passport to a New Universe 74

5 Preparation for Highest Yoga Tantra 77

The Many Deities within Vajrayana 77

An Overview of the Generation Stage 78

Preparation for Practicing the Generation Stage 80

Death, Intermediate State, and Rebirth 82

The Eight Dissolutions of Ordinary Death 82

The Ordinary Intermediate State 86

The Ordinary Rebirth 88

The Four Levels of Achievement 89

6 Practicing the Generation Stage 93

Before the Actual Practice 93

The Three Components of the Guhyasamaja Sadhana 95

The Yoga of Taking Death as the Dharmakaya into the Path 98

The Eight Dissolutions 98

The Base, Path, and Result in the Death Practice 99

The Yoga of Taking the Intermediate State as the Sambhogakaya into the Path 103

The Base, Path, and Result in the Bardo Practice 103

The Yoga of Taking Rebirth as Nirmanakaya into the Path 106

7 The Nature of the Body and Mind 111

Coarse, Subtle, and Very Subtle Body and Mind 111

Channels, Chakras, Winds, and Drops 113

Channels 113

Chakras 117

Loosening the Knots 119

Winds 122

Drops 125

The Enlightenment Process 127

Emptiness and Bliss 128

Emptiness, Bliss, and the Meaning of Evam 128

The Union of Emptiness and Great Bliss 129

8 The Six Levels of the Completion Stage 133

Physical Isolation 135

The Actual Meditation of Physical Isolation 139

The Post-Meditation Session 144

Tumo Practice 145

Verbal Isolation 148

The Mantra-Drop Meditation 149

The Light-Drop Meditation 150

The Substance-Drop Meditation 151

Mental Isolation 153

The Two Levels of Mental Isolation 153

The Action Seal 154

The Illusory Body 156

Clear Light 160

Union 162

Learner's Union 162

Non-Learner's Union 163

No-More Learning 165

Appendix 1 The Inseparability of the Guru and Avalokiteshvara: A Source of All Powerful Attainments 169

Appendix 2 The Six Deities within the Nyungné Practice 185

Notes 191

Glossary 197

Bibliography 203

Index 205

About the Authors 213

The Foundation of Buddhist Thought 215

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