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 +THE EXTREMELY SECRET DAKINI OF NAROPA: Vajrayogini Practice and Commentary
 +by Pabongkha Dechen Nyingpo, translated by David Gonsalez
 +Restriction:​ The material in this book is restricted. This book may be read only by those who have received a Highest Yoga Tantra empowerment. In order to practice this material, the best situation would be that one has received the empowerment of Vajrayogini in the Naro Kachö tradition together with the commentary and oral transmission. At the very least, one must have received the empowerment of Vajrayogini in the Naro Kachö tradition.
 +The Extremely Secret Dakini of Naropa is the commentary to the practice of Vajrayogini in the Naro Kachö lineage composed by Kyabje Pabongkha as revealed to him directly by Vajrayogini herself. This text has become the basis for almost every subsequent Vajrayogini commentary in the Gelug tradition. Kyabje Pabongkha’s commentary is both very thorough in its presentation and deeply inspiring. It provides rich detail about all eleven yogas of the generation stage, the transference of consciousness,​ tsok offering, left-sided conduct and many other auxiliary practices, making it essential for practitioners of Vajrayogini. There is also a stunning explanation of the completion stage, providing many extraordinarily profound methods unique to the practice of Vajrayogini because of its relationship to the Six Yogas of Naropa.
 +The second half of the book contains several sadhanas for the practice of Vajrayogini,​ including the extensive, middling, and concise generation stage, the practice of Vajrayogini combined with six-session guru yoga, as well as two sadhanas on the transference of consciousness.
 +Pabongkha Dechen Nyingpo (1874-1941) was a towering figure in the twentieth-century Gelug tradition; he was the root lama of Trijang Rinpoche as well as most of the Gelug teachers of the following two generations. His writings fill eleven volumes, and his practice texts and commentaries are considered authoritative.
 +David Gonsalez has been practicing Buddhism for twenty years. He has completed many solitary retreats and has translated numerous sadhanas and texts. He served for many years as the personal translator and attendant for Gen Lobsang Chophel. He is the president of Dechen Ling, a nonprofit organization that works with the Tibetan community in exile to reestablish their monasteries and traditions.
 +"In translating this classic Tibetan guide on the meditative practice of Vajrayogini,​ as well as the sadhanas, into English, David Gonzalez has made important resources available to serious Vajrayana practitioners that would enrich their deep engagement with the Dharma. In this volume, the translator succeeds most admirably in capturing both the profundity and the liveliness of spirit that characterize the original Tibetan text of the famed Tibetan master Kyabje Phabongkha Rinpoche."​—Thupten Jinpa, Principal translator to H.H. the Dalai Lama, whose translations include Mind Training: The Great Collection.
 +"​Pabongka Dechen Nyingpo was an outstanding master of Tibetan Buddhism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His works and teachings on Vajrayogini are based on his reception of the rare, restricted, golden lineage coming through the Sakya tradition. He also added up the exceptional qualities of Ganden Nyangyü’s extraordinary methods of Jamgon Lama Tsongkhapa. As Pabongkha himself says, this Vajrayogini commentary is the fabric woven out of the cloth of Sakya and Gelugpa lamas together. This is one of teachings that practitioners can use to transform themselves into a Buddha, like the artists who shape beautiful images out of raw materials.
 +"The translation of this was done by David Gonsalez under the instruction of Gen Lobsang Chophel, who happened to be one of the secretaries to the late H. H. Kyabje Trijang Dorjechang. It has to be perfect. Thank you for the publication of this wonderful translation and I strongly recommend authorized practitioners to study this."​--Gelek Rimpoche
 +"David Gonsalez provides a great service in presenting English renditions of Pabongkha’s writings on the Vajrayogini tradition, the most wondrous Sakya lineage known as Naro Khachoma, or “Naropa’s Space Dancer.” This tantric method has been used for centuries by lamas of Himalayan India, Mongolia, and Tibet as part of the dream yoga training, as well as for the trainings in bardo yoga and powa, or “blasting to a pure land at the moment of death.
 +"In brief, the Vajrayogini tradition has played a most integral role in the enlightenment of thousands of practitioners of Central Asia. There is no doubt that it will continue to do so in the West, where Tantric Buddhism is so quickly gaining momentum."​--Glenn Mullin, author, translator and teacher
 +"I am confident that David'​s sincere motivation and knowledge to make these tantric practices available in English will be of great value to those who are earnest practitioners of Venerable Vajrayogini."​--Sharpa Tulku
 +9781559393867,​ 1559393866
 +[[Fair Use]] Source: http://​​html/​product_10554.html
 +SOURCE OF SUPREME BLISS: Heruka Chakrasamvara Five Deity Practice and Commentary
 +by Ngulchu Dharmabhadra and the First Panchen Lama, Losang Chokyi Gyaltsen, translated by David Gonsalez
 +Restriction:​ This book may be read only by those who have received a Highest Yoga Tantra empowerment. In order to practice this material, one must have received the complete empowerment into the Five Deity Mandala of Heruka Chakrasamvara of Mahasiddha Ghantapa, according to the lineage of Lama Tsongkhapa.
 +Source of Supreme Bliss contains the first English translations of important commentaries on the Highest Yoga Tantra system of the Heruka Chakrasamvara Five Deity practice. Included is a lucid, practical, and deeply profound explanation of the generation stage by Ngulchu Dharmabhadra. This is followed by an extremely rare and profound commentary by the First Panchen Lama, Losang Chökyi Gyaltsen, on the completion stage. Also included is a commentary on how to perform a proper retreat of Chakrasamvara.
 +The latter half of the book comprises translations of the ritual texts associated with the commentaries. Everything needed to engage in the practice of Heruka Five Deity is included within the pages of this book, which will be indispensable for anyone who undertakes this practice and will provide rich and profound insights for those interested in Highest Yoga Tantra in general.
 +Ngulchu Dharmabhadra was born in 1772. He started his studies at the age of eleven and entered the monastic life at age fourteen and began studying with his guru Khedrup Ngawang Dorje. From the age of thirty-five onward, he composed many important texts that are still widely used to this day. From the age of seventy, he spent his time in retreat and finally passed away in 1851 at the age of seventy-nine.
 +The First Panchen Lama, Losang Chökyi Gyaltsen, was born in 1570. He was recognized by Khedrup Sangye Yeshe as the reincarnation of Gyalwa Ensapa. In 1582, at the age of thirteen, he took ordination and began his formal monastic studies. He spent many years studying, meditating, and composing many important texts. He rose to prominence as one of the foremost lamas in Tibet'​s lustrous history of accomplished saints and scholars. He passed away at the age of ninety-three in the year 1662.
 +David Gonsalez lives in Seattle and has been practicing Buddhism for twenty years. He has completed many solitary retreats and has translated numerous sadhanas and texts. He served for many years as the personal translator and attendant for Gen Lobsang Chophel. He is the president of Dechen Ling, a nonprofit organization that works with the Tibetan community in exile to reestablish their monasteries and traditions.
 +Line drawings provided by Andy Weber.
 +9781559393652 1559393653
 +[[Fair Use]] Source: http://​​html/​product_10347.html
 +THE ROAR OF THUNDER: Commentaries on the Two Stages of Glorious Vajrabhairava
 +by Ngulchu Dharmabhadra and the Fifth Ling Rinpoche, Losang Lungtog Tenzin Trinley, translated by David Gonsalez
 +Restriction:​ The material in this book is restricted. This book may be read only by those who have received a Highest Yoga Tantra empowerment. In order to practice this material, the best situation would be that one has received the empowerment of the Vajrabhairava Yamantaka ​ together with the commentary and oral transmission.
 +The Roar of Thunder is a collection of texts related to the practice of Vajrabhairava Yamantaka. The first text in this collection is a commentary to the Thirteen Deity Vajrabhairava practice, composed by Ngulchu Dharmabhadra. The second is a commentary to the Solitary Hero practice and was composed by the Fifth Ling Rinpoche, Losang Lungtog Tenzin Trinley, while he was in a three-year Yamantaka retreat. The combination of these two texts gives the reader an unprecedented panoramic perspective on the entire spectrum of Vajrabhairava practice in both its Thirteen Deity and Solitary Hero aspects. Also included in this amazing volume is the extensive sadhana of the Solitary Hero composed by Kyabje Pabongkha that can be used as a reference to facilitate a more thor-ough understanding of the commentaries.
 +Ngulchu Dharmabhadra (1772-1851),​ composed many important texts that are widely used to this day. He spent the last nine years of his life in retreat.
 +The Fifth Ling Rinpoche (1803-1902),​ Losang Lungtog Tenzin Trinley, composed this commentary while engaged in a three-year retreat of Yamantaka when he was twenty-five years of age. After his retreat, in 1895, he became a tutor to Thupten Gyatso, the Thirteenth Dalai Lama.
 +David Gonsalez has been practicing Buddhism for twenty years. He has completed many solitary retreats and has translated numerous sadhanas and texts.
 +[[Fair Use]] Source: http://​​html/​product_10586.html
 +ESSENCE OF CLEAR LIGHT: An Overview of the Secret Commentary "​Thorough Dispelling of Darkness throughout the Ten Directions"​
 +by Ju Mipham Jampal Gyepa'​i Dorje, translated by Lama Chönam and Sangye Khandro of the Light of Berotsana Translation Group
 +Restriction:​ Anyone interested in purchasing or reading this text must have received the empowerment of Vajrasattva'​s Magical Manifestation Matrix for the peaceful and wrathful deities from either the kama or the terma tradition and must have received the reading transmission.
 +The tantra of the Glorious Secret Essence (the Guhyagarbha Tantra) extracts the essence of the eighteen Mahayoga tantras, as well as being the general tantra of enlightened mind. The twenty-two chapters of this tantra describe the three tantras of the ground, path, and result and explain the topics of tantra needed to perfect the practice. This commentary on the Secret Essence by Mipham Rinpoche, Essence of Clear Light, has many special features, such as being extremely clear and easy to understand, while at the same time illuminating all the crucial points of the entire path of Secret Mantra Vajrayana.
 +The teachings contained in Essence of Clear Light are not only useful for dharma practice in general, but are especially applicable for the practice of the three innermost yogas of Secret Mantra. For that application,​ there are the eleven topics well known throughout the teaching of tantra that are clearly elucidated in this text. The topics are: the nature as it is—the view, immovable—samadhi,​ forsaking the pass—conduct,​ the array—mandala,​ traversing the stages—empowerment,​ not transgressing—samaya,​ pursuing the goal—accomplishment,​ presentation to the places—offerings,​ the manifestation—enlightened activity, binding—mudra,​ and recitation—mantra. These topics are the crucial points of the path through which the common and supreme siddhis are brought to fruition. As Mipham Rinpoche points out in this commentary, if these topics are not understood, then there is no other method through which the final result on the path can be achieved. In brief, this excellent text brings an undeniable understanding that all dualistic phenomena arising from the ignorance of grasping and fixating are primordially pure as the truth of inseparable purity and evenness, or the great dharmakaya. Aside from realizing this view, there is no other method through which to receive the genuine wisdom transmission of the lineage of the vidyadhara masters.
 +"This doctrine of the great secret, the Guhyagarbha Tantra, is the heart essence of a million wisdom dakinıs and the path that was traversed by the accomplished vidyadharas of India and Tibet. Among the dharma treasures of the Snow Land of Tibet, this is the innermost jewel of all. Based on the interdependent,​ timely awakening of excellent aspirations,​ now this quintessential commentary on the tantra by Mipham Rinpoche has been translated into the English language; so in those Western lands the great gateway of the vidyadharas'​ practice has been opened, and this noble accomplishment is a great ornament of the doctrine."​ —Alak Zenkar Rinpoche, Thubten Nima
 +"This commentary, Essence of Clear Light, gives extremely clear explanations on the topics of the generation stage, completion stage, and all the way up through the trekchö instructions of the Great Perfection School. In this way, since this commentary brings together all the upadeshas of the unsurpassed tantras, it is the epitome of the profound. Just by listening to this profound subject, it is certain that one’s mind will be released from its strong hold on ordinary phenomena, needless to mention the benefits of practice.
 +"When I began to teach the Guhyagarbha Tantra to Westerners, Sangye Khandro and Lama Chönam joined me by tirelessly serving as the translators. Under my direction, they have translated not only this commentary, Essence of Clear Light, but also Key to the Precious Treasury by Dodrupchen Jigme Tenpa"​i Nyima and the Omniscient Longchenpa"​s word-for-word commentary entitled the Thorough Dispelling of Darkness throughout the Ten Directions into the English language so that future generations will have the opportunity to learn this tantra. These efforts will certainly bring great waves of crucial benefit for the Buddha"​s doctrine and sentient beings.
 +"In general, we can consider the translators to be like the eyes of the world—the sun that illuminates darkness—so just as the great scholars and translators of the past have taught, it is necessary to always remember and appreciate their kindness. I hope that these words will serve as a reminder to all of us to keep this close to our hearts."​—Khenpo Namdrol, Yangleshö, Pharping, Nepal
 +Ju Mipham Jampal Gyepa'​i Dorje, or Mipham Jamyang Namgyal Gyatso (1846-1912),​ was a great chakravartin ruler of scholarship and accomplishment and an actual emanation of Manjushrı. Mipham Rinpoche"​s writing was generally based on oral instructions from lineage vidyadharas and, in particular, the wisdom intent of both the omniscient masters Rongzompa and Longchenpa. Through his own impeccable logic, he composed this excellent commentary entitled Essence of Clear Light as an overview of Longchenpa"​s extensive treatise entitled Thorough Dispelling of Darkness throughout the Ten Directions. His ability to illuminate the essential key points of the Guhyagarbha Tantra in this overview is unique as well as compelling. Mipham Rinpoche was an incomparable master of all ten major and minor categories of knowledge; and his brilliance was not based just on intellectual training, but rather upon the blessings derived from inner realization.
 +Lama Chönam, Chöying Namgyal, was born in the Golog area of eastern Tibet in 1964. His root teacher, Khenpo Münsel, was a direct disciple of Khenpo Ngagchung and was himself one of the great authentic Dzogchen masters of the twentieth century. Lama Chönam escaped Tibet in 1992 and later came to the United States, where he resides today. Over the past sixteen years Lama Chönam has been teaching Tibetan language and the Buddhadharma. He is one of the founders of the Light of Berotsana Translation Group.
 +Sangye Khandro has been a Buddhist since 1971 and a translator of the Dharma since 1976. She has helped to establish numerous centers in the USA and has served as translator for many prominent masters in all four lineages. Sangye has been the spiritual companion of the Venerable Gyatrul Rinpoche for nearly thirty years and has continued to help serve the centers established by her root teacher, Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche, with whom she studied and practiced for many years. Sangye Khandro is one of the founders of the Light of Berotsana Translation Group.
 +THE GUHYAGARBHA TANTRA: Secret Essence, Definitive Nature Just As It Is
 +ESSENCE OF CLEAR LIGHT: An Overview of the Secret Commentary "​Thorough Dispelling of Darkness throughout the Ten Directions"​
 +KEY TO THE PRECIOUS TREASURY: A Concise Commentary on the General Meaning of the "​Glorious Secret Essence Tantra"​
 +1559393645, 9781559393645
 +[[Fair Use]] Source: http://​​html/​product_10139.html
 +This is a Restricted Text. Please read the description for instructions.
 +Pre-order Now--Available mid-December 2011.
 +491 pp. cloth bound primary text and 47 pp. supplement. (Special discounts do not apply to restricted texts.)
 +# TRESIN - $ 100.00
 +Published by Snow Lion
 +TREASURY OF ESOTERIC INSTRUCTIONS:​ An Explication of the Oral Instructions of the Path with the Result
 +by Lama Dampa Sönam Gyaltsen, translated and edited by Cyrus Stearns
 +It is the strict instruction of His Holiness Sakya Trizin that this translation of Lama Dampa Sönam Gyaltsen'​s Treasury of Esoteric Instructions be made available only to people who have received the complete teachings of the Path with the Result, or Lamdré. The complete transmission of the Lamdré requires at least one month of continuous daily attendance. During this time you must have received the great two-day causal initiation (or empowerment) of Hevajra, the path initiation (or empowerment) of Hevajra, the complete teachings of the three appearances (or three visions), and the complete teachings of the three continua (or three tantras). It is not sufficient to have received only one of these initiations or only some of these teachings. ​ See below for complete instructions.
 +To order a copy of this book, you must answer the following questions:
 +1. What is the name of the Tibetan master from whom you received the complete Lamdré teachings and initiations (as described above)?
 +2. When did you receive the complete Lamdré teachings and initiations?​
 +3. Where did you receive the complete Lamdré teachings and initiations?​
 +This book may only be purchased from the Snow Lion website, by fax, or by mail. No telephone orders will be accepted. If ordering by fax or by mail, you must include a signed letter answering the three questions given above. Without precise answers to the three questions, Snow Lion Publications is not authorized to sell this book. Snow Lion is also not authorized to negotiate these requirements with anyone.
 +Please respect the wishes of His Holiness Sakya Trizin. Do not attempt to purchase this book unless you have received the complete Lamdré teachings and initiations as described here.
 +The Lamdré, or the Path with the Result, is the most important system of tantric practice in the Sakya tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. The goddess Vajra Nairatmya first transmitted these teachings to the Indian adept Virupa (ca. seventh-eighth centuries), who then composed the Vajra Lines. Virupa’s words were transmitted orally until the Tibetan master Sachen Kunga Nyingpo (1092-1158) wrote eleven commentaries to explain them. Two hundred years later, in 1342, Lama Dampa Sönam Gyaltsen (1312-75) composed the Treasury of Esoteric Instructions,​ the culminating commentary on Virupa’s work.
 +According to His Holiness Sakya Trizin, “There have been many treatises of commentary on the intention of the Vajra Lines. However, this Treasury of Esoteric Instructions,​ the commentary composed by the sovereign of the doctrine Lama Dampa Sönam Gyaltsen Palsangpo of the Khön family, has many special qualities, and is clearer and more easily understood than others, suitably elaborate, and precise in drawing out the key points.”
 +This book contains translations of Virupa’s Vajra Lines and Lama Dampa’s Treasury of Esoteric Instructions. Issued as a separate booklet is a translation of Pleasure Grove for the Intelligent,​ a structural commentary on the Vajra Lines written by Jamgön Ameshap Ngawang Kunga Sönam (1597-1659),​ the twenty-eighth throne holder of Sakya.
 +Virupa (ca. seventh-eighth centuries)was one of the legendary eighty-four great adepts of tantric Buddhism in ancient India. His instructions known as Lamdré, or the Path with the Result, have been the specialty of the Sakya tradition in Tibet for almost nine hundred years.
 +Lama Dampa Sönam Gyaltsen (1312-75) was the fifteenth throne holder of the Sakya tradition in Tibet. He was a great yogin and scholar who became the teacher of prominent Buddhist masters of all traditions. Lama Dampa spent years in solitary meditation retreat, but also composed many exceptional literary works.
 +Cyrus Stearns began studying and practicing Buddhism in 1973. He is the author/​translator of two previous books about the Lamdré tradition: Luminous Lives and Taking the Result As the Path. He is a fellow at the Tsadra Foundation and lives in the woods on Whidbey Island, north of Seattle, Washington.
 +9781559393379,​ 1559393378
 +[[Fair Use]] Source: http://​​html/​product_10536.html
 +YESHE LAMA: Vidyadhara Jigmed Lingpa
 +trans. by Lama Chönam and Sangye Khandro
 +To purchase or own a copy of Yeshe Lama you must have received the Rig pa'i tsal wang ["​empowerment into the dynamic energy of awareness"​] and the reading transmission of Yeshe Lama from a qualified lineage holder, or have received the Rig pa'i tsal wang from another Dzogchen text along with permission to study Yeshe Lama from a qualified lineage holder. To order through our website, you must read the four questions listed in the next paragraph and then answer them (in the comments section of the checkout form). This book cannot be ordered by phone. To order by mail or fax, please include a letter answering these four questions: (click on the "​More..."​ link below to see the questions!)
 +1. Have you received the Rig pa'i tsal wang ["​empowerment into the dynamic energy of awareness"​] from a qualified lineage holder?
 +2. Name of the lineage holder who gave you the above, the location where you received it, and the date.
 +3. Have you received the reading transmission of Yeshe Lama or permission to study Yeshe Lama from a qualified lineage holder?
 +4. Name of the lineage holder who gave you the above, the location where you received it, and the date.
 +Without the satisfactory completion of all the above four questions, Snow Lion is not authorized by the translators to sell this book, nor is Snow Lion authorized to discuss or negotiate this issue with potential customers. If you would like to discuss these requirements,​ please write to the translators. They can be reached at: [email protected]
 +Yeshe Lama, written by Vidyādhara Jigmed Lingpa, is the most important practice manual on the Great Perfection teachings of the Nyingma tradition. Jigmed Lingpa stated, "​Realization of the pure awareness that transcends the mind is the specialty of the Great Perfection."​ Beginning with the preliminary prerequisites,​ the entire Great Perfection path is spelled out clearly and succinctly in Yeshe Lama, which is meant to be studied and practiced by qualified practitioners who are committed to completing the prerequisites before entering the path of Dzogchen. Even to open this book, one must have received empowerment and have been introduced to the nature of the mind by a qualified master.
 +The teachings and practices taught in Yeshe Lama encompass the innermost cycle of upadesha teachings and clearly define the Dzogchen practices of trekchö, cutting through to original purity, and tögal, crossing over with spontaneous presence. These are the swift practices that can lead to the attainment of the rainbow body and the complete attainment of buddhahood, and this is the same path that has been followed by many of the great spiritual adepts of India and Tibet.
 +Consequently,​ if one studies and trains in the Yeshe Lama correctly and with deepest respect and diligence, the possibility of enlightenment within one lifetime is within reach.
 +"Yeshe Lama is the most important practice manual on the Great Perfection teachings. The golden words of this sublime text arose from the depths of ultimate wisdom and came to us through the all-embracing compassion of Rigdzin Jigmed Lingpa (1730-1798),​ one of the greatest adepts and writers of Tibet.
 +"Yeshe Lama is for seriously devoted meditators who have matured sufficiently to undertake the Great Perfection trainings and who have been introduced to the text by a master who has perfected his or her realization. Its sole path is one of meditative skills, and its sole goal is to gain inner experience.
 +"Most important, if one trains in the Yeshe Lama in the right way with earnest dedication, one will awaken one's own enlightened nature, universal openness. Then one's inner qualities will shine forth for the benefit of all. Even before attaining this goal, while on the path one will start to witness an easing of one's tight mental grasping, a subsiding of negative emotions, and a spontaneous arising of peace as one turns oneself into a source of joyful light that will benefit others."​—Tülku Thondup Rinpoche
 +". . . with regard to the instructional manual Yeshe Lama, yeshe means '​wisdom'​ and lama means '​unsurpassed'​ or that this is the king of all instructions that one could ever find in order to realize wisdom.”—Yangthang Tülku Rinpoche
 +Vidyadhara Jigmed Lingpa (1730-1798) was a reincarnation of both King Trisong Detsen and Vimalamitra. Though he remembered his remarkable previous lives from an early age, he entered Palri Monastery as a simple monk at the age of six. In his late twenties and early thirties he made several extended retreats, during which he received many pure visions of deities and great teachers. Among the most remarkable of these were his direct vision of Guru Rinpoche in which he received the Longchen Nyingtig mind ter, and his visions of Longchenpa that empowered him to understand and disseminate all of Longchenpa’s teachings. Jigmed Lingpa was one of the most respected lamas and practitioners of his time and retains that respect and devotion to this day.
 +Lama Chonam, Choying Namgyal, was born in the Golog area of eastern Tibet in 1964. His root teacher, Khenpo Münsel, was a direct disciple of Khenpo Ngagchung and was himself one of the great authentic Dzogchen masters of the twentieth century. Lama Chönam escaped Tibet in 1992 and later came to the United States, where he resides today. He has been fortunate to become a disciple of Dungsei Thinley Norbu Rinpoche. Over the past sixteen years, Lama Chönam has been teaching Tibetan language and teaching the Buddhadharma. He is one of the founders of Light of Berotsana Translation Group.
 +Sangye Khandro has been a Buddhist since 1971 and a translator of the Dharma since 1976. She has helped to establish numerous centers in the USA and has served as translator for many prominent masters in all four lineages. Sangye has been the spiritual companion of the Venerable Gyatrul Rinpoche for nearly thirty years and has continued to help serve the centers established by her root teacher, Kyabje Dudjom Rinpoche, with whom she studied and practiced for many years. She has also had the fortune to become a disciple of Dungsei Thinley Norbu Rinpoche and sharpen her translation skills under Rinpoche'​s watchful wisdom eyes. Sangye Khandro is one of the founders of Light of Berotsana Translation Group.
 +    Table of Contents
 +1559392940, 9781559392945
 +[[Fair Use]] Source: http://​​html/​product_9836.html
 +The dear light Vajrayina lies at the heart of the Victorious One's
 +It was brought to the Land of Snow by the lord among vidyadharas.
 +Just as his teaching illuminates existence like the sun,
 +May it dispel darkness in the hearts of all sentient beings.
 +This prayer of aspiration is offered by the Light of Berotsana Translation Group.
 +Vidyadhara Jigmed Lingpa (1730-1798) was a reincarnation of both King Trisong Detsen and Vimalamitra. Though he remembered his remarkable previous lives from an early age, he entered Palri Monastery as a simple monk at the age of six. In his late twenties and early thirties he completed several extended retreats, where he received many pure visions of deities and great teachers. Among the most remarkable of these were his direct vision of Guru Rinpoche in which he received the Longchen Nyingtig mind ter and his visions of Longchenpa that empowered him to understand and disseminate all of Longchenpa'​s teachings. Jigmed Lingpa was one of the most respected lamas and practitioners of his time and retains that respect and devotion to this day.
 +THE INTERMEDIATE PRACTICES OF VAJRAYOGINI:​ An FPMT Manual for Those Who Have Completed the Approximation Retreat
 +This third volume in the the practices of Vajrayogini is intended for the use of those who have completed an approximation retreat enabling the activities and the accompanying subsequent pacifying burning offering. It makes available the complete self-empowerment ritual, together with practice and set-up instructions. A practitioner’s ability to perform regular self-initiation practice during this lifetime is essential to engaging in deep purification of the mind, especially in preparation for, at the very least, a positive death and future rebirth, or even better, for achieving the pure land of Vajrayogini herself, Khacho, in this life, at death, in the bardo, or in one’s next life. In addition, the self-empowerment of Vajrayogini is simple to perform, compared with the self-initiation rites of many other Maha-anuttara Yoga Tantra deities. For this reason, it is highly appropriate for practitioners in these degenerate times, when time is short and the ease of practice can greatly help us to keep our tantric commitments.
 +Restricted sale: Only for those who have accomplished a complete approximation retreat of Vajrayogini.
 +318 pp. spiralbound.
 +# INTEVA - $ 40.00
 +[[Fair Use]] Source: http://​​html/​product_9550.html
 +by Alexander Berzin, foreword by His Holiness the Dalai Lama
 +Kalachakra is a system of highest tantra practice for overcoming the limitations imposed byhistorical,​ astrological,​ and biological cycles so as to become a Buddha for the benefit of all. His Holiness the Dalai Lama and other great Tibetan teachers have been conferring the Kalachakra initiation in the West, empowering prepared practitioners to engage in its meditations. Large numbers of people also attend this initiation as interested observers and gain inspiration for their spiritual growth.
 +Introduction to the Kalachakra Initiation explains on a practical level and in everyday language the theory of tantra; the vows, commitments,​ and their implications;​ the factors to consider in deciding if one is ready to attend a Kalachakra initiation as a participant;​ how to visualize during the initiation; and the most important thoughts and feelings for participants and observers at each step of the empowerment.
 +"In preparing this guidebook, Alexander Berzin has done a great service to everyone interested in the Kalachakra initiation. It will help people to prepare for the ceremony and understand the essential points of each step of the procedure. By explaining clearly the Kalachakra path of spiritual development,​ as well as the vows and commitments involved, the book will help people to make a realistic decision about whether to take the empowerment as a full participant or merely as an observer. Many people who are not yet ready to engage in Kalachakra meditation practice, and many who are not even Buddhists but have sincere wishes for peace, attend the initiation as interested observers. I am especially happy that the book addresses this section of the audience as well, suggesting ways in which they can make the experience more meaningful."​—H.H. the Dalai Lama, from the foreword
 +Alexander Berzin lived in India for twenty-nine years, studying under his main teacher, Tsenzhab Serkong Rinpochey, and other lamas, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Widely published, Berzin has taught in over seventy countries.
 +    Kalachakra Initiation Resources for study and links
 +    Table of Contents
 +    Sample Pages
 +"This reviewer attended a public Kalachakra abhisheka (empowerment) with H.H. the Dalai Lama in 1991 and had limited understanding then of what was taking place. The rite was deeply inspiring, but how much more meaningful the experience might have been had this book been available! Berzin brings his signature blend of erudition and even-handedness to all elements of the Kalachakra world: internal, external and alternative Kalachakra; vows and their broader significance;​ and the entire series of empowerments—for which the author offers step-by-step support (including vivid mnemonic techniques for key visualizations). Practical introductory material includes a concise, "​spiritual bottom line"​-oriented introduction to tantra; an explanation of the relationship between Kalachakra can have in creating world peace. Though rooted in the Gelug tradition of Berzin'​s principal teachers, the text is a generous orientation to the Kalachakra tradition in all four of Tibet'​s Buddhist lineages."​—Mandala:​ A Tibetan Buddhist Journal
 +"​Berzin,​ with the Dalai Lama's blessing, has written a handbook, in clear language and specific detail, to help people prepare for the initiation and to understand the ceremony. He begins with an explanation of tantra, removing the sensationalism from a practice often presented in the West as a series of sexual activities. He goes on to explain Deity Yoga, tantric training of the imagination,​ visualization,​ the world of mandalas, Shambala, receiving empowerments,​ and taking vows. This is a book for the serious student of Buddhism, but it is also a book meant to open the door to these advanced practices to a much wider audience. In many ways it is an invitation to explore Buddhism with a friendly guide. There is a beautiful, peaceful energy that flows through the pages. I think many of your customers will be drawn to the book without even knowing why."​—Anna Jedrziewski,​ New Age Retailer
 +9781559393737 1559393734 (formerly 1559390840 9781559390842)
 +200 pp., paper.
 +# INKAIN - list price $ 18.95
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 +Introduction to Tantra 17
 +Introduction to Tantra
 +Becoming a Buddha, someone who is totally awake, means to overcome
 +all shortcomings and realize all potentials for the sake of helping
 +others. With so much suffering in the world, we urgently need to
 +find the most effective methods to accomplish this goal. The Kalachakra
 +initiation offers an opportunity to meet with such methods. The Tibetan
 +word for initiation, wang, means power, and an initiation is, more
 +accurately, an empowerment. It confers the power and ability to engage
 +in certain meditative practices for achieving enlightenment,​ and
 +thus becoming a Buddha, in order to benefit others as fully as possible.
 +Kalachakra is a meditational system from the highest level of Buddhist
 +tantra, anuttarayoga. Some people have odd notions about tantra
 +and imagine, with great anticipation,​ that an initiation is an
 +entranceway into a magic world of exotic sex and superpowers. When
 +they learn that this is not the case, but rather that tantric practice is
 +complex, advanced and requires serious commitment and the keeping
 +of many vows, they become frightened and are put off. Neither of
 +these reactions, of excitement or fear, is appropriate. We need to approach
 +tantra and the Kalachakra initiation in a sensible manner. As
 +my main teacher, Tsenzhab Serkong Rinpochey, once said, “If you practice
 +fantasized methods, you get fantasized results. If you practice realistic
 +methods, you get realistic results.”
 +18 Introduction to the Kalachakra Initiation
 +The word tantra means an everlasting stream of continuity. Everlasting
 +streams operate on three levels: as a basis, a pathway and a result.
 +On the basis level, the everlasting stream is our mind — specifically
 +its subtlest level known as primordial clear light — which provides
 +continuity throughout all our lifetimes. Like a pure laser beam of mere
 +clarity and awareness, unadulterated by the gross oscillations of conceptual
 +thought or disturbing emotions, it underlies each moment of
 +experience, whether we are awake or asleep. If mind is like a radio
 +that plays forever, its subtlest level is similar to the machine simply
 +being on. A radio remains on throughout the process of leaving a station,
 +being between bands and tuning into another frequency. Similarly,
 +our subtlest mind never turns off and so is the basis for our experiences
 +of death, bardo (the state between rebirths) and the conception
 +of a new life. Neither station, volume, nor even temporary static
 +affects the fact that the radio is on. Likewise, neither rebirth status,
 +intensity of experience, nor even the “fleeting stains” of passing thoughts
 +or moods affect our clear light mind. This subtlest mind proceeds even
 +into Buddhahood and provides the basis for attaining enlightenment.
 +Furthermore,​ each stream of continuity, whether prior to enlightenment
 +or afterwards, is individual. All radios are not the same radio,
 +although each receiver works the same. Thus, there is no such thing as
 +a universal clear light mind or basis tantra in which each of our minds
 +The second level of tantra, the everlasting pathway stream, refers
 +to a specific method for becoming a Buddha, namely meditative practices
 +involving Buddha-figures. This method is sometimes called “deity
 +yoga.” The third level, the everlasting resultant stream, is the endless
 +continuity of Buddha-bodies we achieve with enlightenment. To
 +fully help others requires bodies or collections of knowledge, wisdom,
 +experience and forms to suit every being and occasion. In short, tantra
 +involves an everlasting stream of practice with Buddha-figures to
 +purify our everlasting mind-stream of its fleeting stains, in order to
 +achieve, on its basis, the everlasting stream of the bodies of a Buddha.
 +The texts that discuss these topics are also called tantras.
 +Sometimes people are puzzled by the tantric practice of relying on
 +deities, which some languages translate as “gods.” These deities, however,
 +are not omnipotent creators or beings in limited states of rebirth
 +Introduction to Tantra 19
 +filled with heavenly delights. Rather, they are extraordinary forms,
 +both male and female, in which Buddhas manifest in order to help
 +people with varying inclinations to overcome their shortcomings and
 +realize their potentials. Each of these Buddha-figures represents both
 +the fully enlightened state and one of its specific features, such as compassion
 +or wisdom. Avalokiteshvara,​ for instance, is a manifestation
 +of compassion, and Manjushri is an embodiment of wisdom. Kalachakra
 +represents the ability to handle all situations at any time. Meditative
 +practice structured around one of these figures and the feature it represents
 +provides a clear focus and framework enabling more rapid
 +progress toward enlightenment than meditation without them.
 +To alleviate the sufferings of others as quickly as possible requires
 +the most efficient method for gaining the enlightening faculties of a
 +Buddha’s body, speech and mind. The basis for achieving them is a
 +strong determination to be free of limitations,​ non-fickle love and compassion,
 +ethical self-discipline,​ strict concentration,​ firm understanding
 +of reality and skill in various means to help others. Once we achieve
 +a working level of these, we need to combine and perfect them so that
 +they bear their results. Tantra provides such a technique, namely deity
 +yoga. Like performing the dress rehearsal for a drama, we imagine
 +we already possess the entire array of these enlightening faculties as a
 +Buddha-figure,​ all together at the same time. Doing so acts as an effective
 +cause for integrating these qualities and achieving such a form
 +more quickly.
 +This is an advanced technique. We cannot possibly imagine having
 +all the assets of a Buddha simultaneously unless we have first practiced
 +each individually. We need to learn and rehearse each scene before
 +we can run through an entire play. Therefore, it is both inappropriate
 +and unwise to attempt tantric practice without considerable
 +meditative experience beforehand.
 +Tantric practice harnesses the imagination — a powerful tool we all
 +possess. Thus, to repeatedly imagine achieving a goal is a compelling
 +method for accomplishing it sooner. Suppose, for example, we are
 +unemployed. If, each day, we imagine finding a job, we succeed more
 +quickly than if we dwell, with depression and self-pity, on being out
 +of work. This is because we maintain a positive attitude about our
 +situation. With a negative attitude, we lack self-confidence even to
 +look for a job. Success or failure in life hinges on our self-image and,
 +20 Introduction to the Kalachakra Initiation
 +in tantra, we work on improving ours by means of Buddha-figures.
 +Imagining we are already a Buddha provides an extremely potent selfimage
 +to counteract negative habits and feelings of inadequacy.
 +The tantric technique does not involve simply the power of positive
 +thinking. When using imagination,​ it is essential to be practical
 +and maintain a clear distinction between fantasy and reality. Otherwise,
 +serious psychological trouble may arise. Thus every teacher and
 +text emphasizes that an indispensable prerequisite for tantric practice
 +is some stable level of understanding of voidness — the absence of
 +fantasized and impossible ways of existing — and dependent arising
 +— the coming about of everything by depending on causes and circumstances.
 +Everyone is capable of gaining employment because no
 +one exists as a totally incompetent “loser,​” and finding a job depends
 +on personal effort and the economic situation.
 +Some people dismiss tantric deity yoga as a form of self-hypnosis.
 +Imagining we are already a Buddha, however, is not a form of selfdeception.
 +We each have the factors allowing us to achieve that goal
 +— we all have “Buddha-nature.” In other words, because each of us
 +has a mind, a heart, communicative ability and physical energy, we
 +possess all the raw materials needed to create the enlightening faculties
 +of a Buddha. So long as we realize we are not yet actually at that
 +stage, and do not inflate ourselves with illusions of grandeur, we can
 +work with these Buddha-figures without psychological danger.
 +In tantra, then, we imagine we already possess the form, surroundings,​
 +abilities and enjoyments of a Buddha. The physical body of a
 +Buddha is made of transparent clear light, capable of helping others
 +tirelessly, and is never deficient in any way. Imagining ourselves as a
 +Buddha-figure with boundless energy like this, however, does not render
 +us a “workaholic” or a martyr incapable of saying no. Tantric practitioners
 +of course take a rest when tired. Nevertheless,​ maintaining
 +this type of self-image helps stretch our self-imposed limits. Everyone
 +has an almost endless store of energy available to tap in emergencies.
 +No one is too exhausted to rush to his or her child who has fallen and
 +is hurt.
 +In addition, while practicing tantra, we feel that the environment
 +around us is completely pure and conducive for everyone’s progress.
 +Imagining this does not mean ignoring ecological or social issues.
 +However, to help others and ourselves overcome depression and feelings
 +of despair, we stop dwelling on negative aspects. Sufficiently
 +strong motivation and effective methods to transform our attitudes
 +Introduction to Tantra 21
 +bring spiritual progress regardless of location. Rather than incessantly
 +complaining and being a prophet of doom, we try to bring hope to
 +ourselves and the world.
 +We also imagine we benefit others by acting as a Buddha does. We
 +feel that by our very way of being, we effortlessly exert a positive
 +enlightening influence on everyone around us. We can understand
 +what this means if we have ever been in the presence of a great spiritual
 +being, such as His Holiness the Dalai Lama or Mother Teresa.
 +Most people, even if only slightly receptive, feel inspired and are
 +moved to act in a more noble way. We imagine we have a similar effect
 +on others. Our mere presence, or even mention of our names, calms
 +others down, brings them peace of mind and joy, and stimulates them
 +to achieve new heights.
 +Finally, we imagine we are able to enjoy things in the pure way a
 +Buddha does. Our usual mode of enjoyment is mixed with confusion,
 +often translated as “contaminated pleasure.” We are always critical,
 +never satisfied. We listen to music and cannot fully enjoy it because
 +we keep thinking that the sound reproduction is not as good as it would
 +be on our neighbor’s equipment. A Buddha, however, delights in everything
 +without even a trace of confusion. We imagine doing likewise,
 +for example, when enjoying the offerings of light, incense, food
 +and so on in the various rituals.
 +Many Buddha-figures have multiple physical features in an assortment
 +of colors. Kalachakra, for example, has a rainbow of four faces
 +and twenty-four arms. This might seem strange at first, but there are
 +profound reasons for this. All the forms imagined in tantra have several
 +purposes, and each of their parts and colors has many levels of
 +symbolism. Their complexity reflects the nature of the goal of becoming
 +a Buddha. Buddhas need to keep the full array of their realizations
 +and qualities actively in mind, simultaneously,​ so as to use them
 +effectively in helping others. Moreover, Buddhas need to be mindful
 +of the myriad personal details of those they are helping so as always
 +to do what is appropriate.
 +This is not an unreachable goal. We already keep many things in
 +mind simultaneously. If we drive a car, for example, we are aware of
 +our speed, the distance we need to stop or pass another vehicle, the
 +speed and position of the cars around us, the rules of driving, the purpose
 +and goal of our journey, the road signs and so on. At the same
 +22 Introduction to the Kalachakra Initiation
 +time, we coordinate our eyes, hands and feet, are alert to strange noises
 +from the engine, and can even listen to music and hold a conversation.
 +Tantric visualizations help to expand this ability.
 +Without some method, it is very difficult to train ourselves to keep
 +in mind simultaneously twenty-four insights and qualities such as
 +impermanence,​ compassion, patience and so forth. A verbal mnemonic
 +device, such as a phrase made up of the initial letters of each item in
 +the list, is helpful for remembering them in sequence. However, representing
 +each insight and quality in a graphic form, such as the twentyfour
 +arms of a Buddha-figure,​ makes it much easier to remain mindful
 +of all of them at once. Consider the case of a teacher of a class of
 +twenty-four children. For most people, it is quite difficult to keep the
 +personalities and special needs of each child in mind when planning a
 +lesson at home. Reviewing a list of their names may be somewhat
 +helpful, but actually being in front of the class and seeing the pupils
 +immediately and vividly brings to mind all the factors needed to
 +modify the day’s lesson.
 +A mandala, literally a symbolic universe, is a further aid in this process
 +of expanding our mindfulness and seeing everything in a pure
 +way. In this context, a mandala refers to the palace and its surrounding
 +grounds in which a Buddha-figure lives. Like the parts of our body,
 +each architectural feature corresponds to a realization or positive quality
 +we need to keep actively in mind. As a palace, a mandala is actually
 +a three-dimensional structure. A mandala made of colored powders
 +or drawn on cloth is like an architect’s blueprint of that building.
 +During empowerments and subsequent meditational practice, no one
 +visualizes the two-dimensional drawing, only the structure it represents.
 +Anuttarayoga tantra has two phases of practice. The first, the generation
 +stage, involves complex visualizations. During daily meditation,
 +we imagine a sequence of happenings which includes generating ourselves
 +as one or more Buddha-figures inside the symbolic world of a
 +mandala and bringing to mind an understanding or feeling of various
 +points such as voidness and compassion. To help maintain the sequence,
 +we usually read — or recite from memory — a sadhana, which
 +is somewhat like a script for this daily opera of visualization.
 +Introduction to Tantra 23
 +The second phase of practice is the complete stage, sometimes translated
 +as the “completion stage.” As a result of efforts made during the
 +previous step, everything is now complete for following the procedures
 +that actually bring about the goal of becoming a Buddha. Having
 +trained the power of imagination,​ we use it as the key to unlock
 +our subtle energy system — the invisible channels and forces within
 +our body that affect our moods and state of mind. Without practice of
 +the previous generation stage, this system remains unavailable for
 +meditative use. Once accessed, however, consciously moving subtle
 +energies through its channels brings our clear light subtlest mind to
 +the surface. Meditative work with this level of mind then creates the
 +immediate causes for actually achieving the physical bodies and mind
 +of a Buddha. The process is no longer one of imagination.
 +Success in tantra, as in everything in life, follows from the laws of
 +cause and effect. Our ultimate goal is the fullest ability to benefit everyone.
 +To accomplish this goal of a resultant tantra — an everlasting
 +stream of bodies of a Buddha — we need to transform our basis tantra,
 +the everlasting continuity of our primordial clear light mind. We need
 +to make it function as a body of wisdom giving rise to a vast body of
 +enlightening forms. This requires a pathway tantra, an everlasting
 +stream of complete and generation stage practices. With the former,
 +we access clear light mind through work with our subtle energy system,
 +while with the latter we gain the tools for accomplishing that
 +task by training our powers of concentration and imagination. Thus,
 +each stage of tantric practice acts as the cause for attainment of its
 +subsequent phase.
 +As part of our basis tantra, we each have the working materials from
 +which to fashion the bodies of a Buddha. All the potentials we need
 +are contained in our clear light mind — the principal aspect of our
 +Buddha-nature,​ the main factor allowing each of us to become a Buddha.
 +Before we can bring these potentials to fruition, however, we must
 +activate them. This is the function and necessity of receiving empowerment.
 +An initiation conferred by a fully qualified master first removes
 +the initial obstacles that prevent access and use of these Buddha24
 +Introduction to the Kalachakra Initiation
 +potentials. It then awakens these abilities and reinforces them. This
 +twofold procedure is called “receiving purification and planting seeds.”
 +The process only works, however, if we imagine or feel it is happening.
 +Empowerment requires active participation by both the teacher
 +and the disciple.
 +A spiritual master is vital to this process. Reading a ritual in a book
 +or watching a video of it being performed is not powerful enough to
 +activate Buddha-potentials. We need personally to participate in a live
 +experience. This is not difficult to appreciate. We all know the difference
 +between listening to a recording in our home and attending a
 +live concert. Through personal exposure to a fully qualified master
 +conferring empowerment,​ we gain inspiration,​ confidence, trust and
 +a source of guidance to sustain all subsequent practice of tantra. Also,
 +we establish a strong link not only with the teacher imparting the initiation,
 +but with the entire lineage of masters through which the practice
 +derives, tracing back to Buddha himself. Knowing that people
 +have repeatedly achieved spiritual success through these techniques
 +is very important psychologically and provides a great sense of confidence
 +in the practice. Receiving empowerment,​ we are not embarking
 +on some trivial undertaking. We are not fantasizing ourselves to be
 +Mickey Mouse in Disneyland. We are joining a long line of serious
 +practitioners who have validated the tantric techniques over centuries.
 +Without a trellis to grow on, a vine never rises from the ground.
 +Similarly, a definite structure is essential for developing Buddha-potentials
 +once they are activated. This is the purpose of the vows we
 +make and the commitments we take at an anuttarayoga empowerment
 +— they provide the necessary supporting structure for all subsequent
 +progress. Tantric practice is not a casual hobby, nor is it limited
 +to a meditation seat. The personal transformation we undertake with
 +tantra encompasses every aspect of life. How can we proceed without
 +clear guidelines? These guidelines are provided by the refuge commitments
 +and the bodhisattva and tantric vows.
 +Taking refuge gives a safe and positive direction to life. We strive to
 +remove our shortcomings and realize our potentials, as the Buddhas
 +have done and highly realized practitioners are doing. With
 +bodhisattva vows, we restrain ourselves from negative behavior contrary
 +to that goal. We promise to refrain from acting in ways that damage
 +our ability to help others. Keeping tantric vows ensures that we
 +do not wander astray during the complexities of tantric practice. In
 +short, it is a wondrous gift, not a constricting burden, that Buddha has
 +Introduction to Tantra 25
 +imparted the guidelines of these vows and trainings. We do not have
 +to learn by mistake which behavior to adopt or avoid in order to reach
 +enlightenment for the benefit of all.
 +Receiving empowerment through an elegant ceremony provides a
 +point of reference which we can look back upon as the beginning of
 +our formal commitment to the tantric path. When we mark major transitions
 +in life with age-old ritual, we take them far more seriously than
 +we would if we just let them casually pass. Boarding the tantric vehicle
 +and embarking on a more advanced phase of Buddhist practice
 +is one such major transition. An empowerment,​ with its procedures
 +for bonding with a tantric master and taking vows, marks this event
 +in a memorable way.
 +Many people are frightened of making a commitment to anything —
 +whether to a partner, a career or a spiritual path. Fearing that they will
 +lose their freedom, they approach any commitment with indecision
 +and hesitancy. Others feel that a commitment is a moral obligation,
 +and if they break it, they are bad persons. Not wanting to make a wrong
 +decision and risk being bad, they have difficulty taking any major step
 +in life. Still others regard commitments as temporary and enter into
 +them only if there is a clause for escape, such as obtaining a divorce.
 +They make commitments lightly and break them easily as soon as they
 +experience inconvenience.
 +Such attitudes, especially when applied toward committing ourselves
 +to tantric practice, a spiritual master or keeping vows, are an
 +obstacle to spiritual progress. A middle path is required. On the one
 +hand, it is unwise to rush into anything before examining the consequences
 +seriously. On the other hand, we need to take decisions in
 +life, otherwise we never get anywhere. The way to overcome indecision
 +is to evaluate honestly our capacity and readiness for making a
 +commitment, to know clearly what we are committing ourselves to,
 +and to understand deeply the relation between commitment and freedom.
 +We need time and wisdom.
 +Corresponding to different levels of commitment, there are two
 +ways of attending an initiation. We can come as either an active participant
 +or an interested observer. Active participants take all the vows
 +associated with the practice, try their best to do the visualizations and
 +thus actually receive the empowerment. They subsequently model
 +their lives in accordance with the guidelines of their vows and engage
 +26 Introduction to the Kalachakra Initiation
 +in at least the initial levels of tantric meditation. If we receive an
 +anuttarayoga empowerment from the Gelug tradition, for example,
 +we begin a daily meditative practice known as six-session yoga. Those
 +who do not feel ready to take such a step attend as observers and do
 +not actually receive the empowerment.
 +There is no shame or guilt involved with being an observer. It is far
 +wiser to attend in this manner than to make a premature commitment
 +we later regret. Interested observers, however, need not merely sit back
 +and watch the ceremony as an entertaining anthropological spectacle.
 +There is a great opportunity to gain much from the experience. Both
 +participants and observers, then, find the initiation more meaningful
 +when they understand beforehand the basic facts about tantra.
 +Suppose we have a basic Buddhist outlook, a working foundation of
 +insight, and a confident belief in the effectiveness and necessity for
 +the anuttarayoga tantra techniques. If we feel we are ready to receive
 +empowerment,​ or that we would like to attend one as an interested
 +observer in order to make a strong connection for future involvement,​
 +the next question is which anuttarayoga system to choose? The menu
 +is huge, in a foreign language, and most of us lack a close relationship
 +with a spiritual teacher whom we could ask for advice. Sometimes,
 +however, we do not have much choice since qualified masters seldom
 +come to our local area and even more rarely confer an empowerment
 +of this highest class.
 +The most important points to consider before taking an initiation
 +are the qualifications of the teacher. Even if an unqualified person gives
 +initiation into a tantra system we have strong interest to receive, it is
 +of no use to attend. Anyone trained in ritual can recite and go through
 +the motions of an initiation ceremony, but, lacking proper qualifications,​
 +a pretender confers nothing upon us. Even if the teacher is right,
 +our choice of tantra systems is sometimes dictated by what others have
 +requested and organized. Availability,​ however, is not the optimum
 +criterion for choosing a tantra system of meditation. Sometimes our
 +priority is to establish a close bond with the teacher, not necessarily
 +the Buddha-figure for which he or she is conferring empowerment.
 +Best, however, is to meet with both the right teacher and the right
 +tantra system. To determine whether that system is Kalachakra, we
 +need to know something about it.
 +Overview of Kalachakra 27
 +Overview of Kalachakra
 +The word kalachakra means cycles of time, and the Kalachakra system
 +presents three such cycles — external, internal and alternative. The
 +external and internal cycles deal with time as we normally know it,
 +while the alternative cycles are practices for gaining liberation from
 +these two. The structures of the external and internal cycles are analogous,
 +similar to the parallel between macrocosm and microcosm discussed
 +in Western philosophy. This means that the same laws that
 +govern a universe also pertain to atoms, the body and our experience
 +of life. The practices of the alternative cycles also follow this structure
 +so as to allow us to engage with and surmount these forces in an efficient
 +manner. Such mimicking is, in fact, one of the distinguishing
 +features of the anuttarayoga tantra technique.
 +Time, in Buddhism, is defined as a measurement of change. For
 +example, a month is the measurement of change involved either externally
 +in the moon circling the earth or internally in a woman going
 +from one menstruation to the next. Such changes are cyclical in that
 +the pattern repeats, although the events of each cycle are not completely
 +identical. Externally, the universe passes through cosmic, astronomical,​
 +astrological and historical cycles. On an internal level, the
 +28 Introduction to the Kalachakra Initiation
 +body goes through physiological cycles, many of which bring about
 +associated mental and emotional cycles as well. Furthermore,​ just as
 +universes form, expand, contract, disappear and then form once again,
 +individual beings pass through continuing rebirths with repeated conception,
 +growth, old age and death.
 +Normally the passage of time exercises a debilitating effect. As we
 +age, our sight, hearing, memory and physical strength gradually
 +weaken and eventually we die. Due to compulsive attachment and
 +confusion about who we are and how we exist, we take rebirth without
 +any control over its process or circumstances,​ each time having to
 +relearn everything we knew before. As each of our lives unfolds over
 +the course of time, karmic potentials from our previous actions ripen
 +at appropriate astrological,​ historical and life-cycle moments into the
 +various events we experience. Some of these are pleasant, but many
 +are not. We seem to have little choice about what happens in life.
 +In short, the external and internal cycles of time delineate samsara
 +— uncontrollably recurring rebirth, fraught with problems and difficulties.
 +These cycles are driven by impulses of energy, known in the
 +Kalachakra system as “winds of karma.” Karma is a force intimately
 +connected with mind and arises due to confusion about reality. Imagining
 +that ourselves, others and everything around us exist in the way
 +our mind makes them appear — as if with concrete, permanent identities
 +established from within each being or thing — we act on the
 +basis of this confusion with attachment, anger or stubborn foolishness.
 +We think, for example, “I am definitely like this, those objects or
 +persons are certainly like that, I must possess these things as mine
 +and get rid of those that bother me,” and so on. Any physical, verbal
 +or mental action committed on the basis of such a rigid, confused way
 +of thinking builds up karmic potentials and habits. Under appropriate
 +circumstances,​ these potentials or “seeds of karma” ripen in the
 +form of compelling impulses to repeat these acts, and to enter into
 +situations in which similar actions happen to us. We can readily see
 +this if we examine carefully the impulsive behavior behind the personal
 +and historical events we experience. How many people blunder
 +from one bad marriage to another, and how many countries from one
 +crisis to the next?
 +Overview of Kalachakra 29
 +Karmic potentials, in fact, give rise to a broad array of impulses
 +that affect our lives. Collective karmic potentials from previous actions
 +of a huge number of beings — including ourselves — give rise,
 +for example, to the impulse for a universe to evolve with specific environments
 +and life forms into which we and these beings subsequently
 +take rebirth. These collective potentials also give rise to the impulses
 +that drive the physical and biological laws that govern that universe
 +— ranging from the weather patterns of its planets to the life-cycle
 +habits of each species on them. They also account for the impulses
 +behind the instinctive daily behavior characteristic of each life form.
 +Within this context, individual karmic potentials, at the appropriate
 +juncture in each being’s internal cycles — namely after each death
 +— give rise to the impulse to take rebirth in a specific environment
 +with a particular body. This impulse is relative to a particular evolutionary
 +point in the external cycle of a universe. We cannot take rebirth
 +as a dinosaur in a primeval forest when this life form and setting
 +are already extinct. All these factors that ripen from karma work harmoniously
 +together to provide the “container” within which we experience
 +the ripening of other personal karmic potentials in the form
 +of the impulsive behavior behind life’s events. Born in a nation at war,
 +we impulsively become a soldier, bomb enemy villages and one day
 +are killed in battle. The many levels of external and internal cycles of
 +time intertwine in a complex manner.
 +In short, time has neither beginning nor end. There has always been
 +and will always be change, which can be labeled as the passage of
 +time. Universes, civilizations and animate life forms continually arise
 +and fall. The form they take depends on the actions, and therefore the
 +minds of those who precede them. This is why there is a harmonious
 +fit between the bodies and minds of beings and their environment.
 +Someone is born as a fish to experience life’s events in water or as a
 +human in air, not vice versa. Because the minds of beings are under
 +the influence of confusion, however, the bodies, mentalities and environments
 +that result from the karmic actions they commit have a constricting,​
 +detrimental effect on them. These factors limit their abilities
 +to benefit themselves and others. People living during the medieval
 +plagues could do little to counter the horrors they faced.
 +30 Introduction to the Kalachakra Initiation
 +The alternative cycles of time entail a graded series of meditative practices
 +of anuttarayoga tantra. They serve not only as an alternative to
 +the external and internal cycles, but as a way to gain liberation from
 +them. The possibility of gaining liberation from time, however, does
 +not imply that time does not actually exist or that someone can live
 +and benefit others outside of time. Time, as a measurement of change,
 +also occurs as a measure of the cycles of actions of a Buddha. Liberation
 +from time means ridding ourselves of the confusion, and its instincts,
 +that repeatedly give rise to the impulses, or karma, that render
 +us at the mercy of the ravages of time. Once free, we are no longer
 +adversely affected by external winter darkness, eclipses, wars and so
 +on that periodically recur. Nor are we restricted by the type of body
 +that is under the control of periodic biological forces, such as hunger,
 +sexual urges, tiredness or aging. As a result of the full understanding
 +of reality, it becomes possible, instead, to generate cycles of forms that
 +benefit others beyond any limitations imposed by time.
 +The process begins with the Kalachakra initiation. Properly empowered,
 +we engage in generation and then complete stage meditational
 +practice in the form of the Buddha-figure called Kalachakra. Through
 +these two stages, we access and utilize the subtlest level of our mind
 +to see reality. Remaining continually focused on reality with it eliminates
 +forever confusion and its instincts, thus bringing liberation from
 +the external and internal cycles of time. This is possible because our
 +basis tantra, our individual clear light mind, underlies each moment
 +of experience and, like time, it has no end. Once our subtlest mind is
 +freed from the deepest cause giving rise to the impulses of energy that
 +perpetuate cycles of time and bondage to them, it gives rise, instead,
 +to the bodies of a Buddha, in the form of Kalachakra.
 +In deciding whether to take the Kalachakra empowerment,​ it is helpful
 +to know the origin of these teachings and the history of their spread.
 +We then have confidence that its methods have been tested and proven
 +effective over time.
 +According to tradition, Buddha taught the Kalachakra Tantra more
 +than 2800 years ago in present-day Andhra Pradesh, southern India.
 +The rulers of the northern land of Shambhala were the main audience
 +Overview of Kalachakra 31
 +and preserved these teachings in their country. In the tenth century,
 +two Indian masters, in separate expeditions,​ attempted to reach
 +Shambhala. On the way, each experienced a pure vision of that land in
 +which he received transmission of the Kalachakra empowerment and
 +corpus of material. Each spread these teachings in India, with only
 +slight differences in their presentation. One of the last tantra systems
 +to emerge historically,​ Kalachakra quickly achieved prominence and
 +popularity in the monastic universities of the central Gangetic plain
 +and then, shortly afterwards, in those of Kashmir. Four styles of practice
 +eventually emerged. Masters from these areas taught Kalachakra
 +in northern Burma, the Malay Peninsula and Indonesia, but it died
 +out in these areas by the fourteenth century.
 +Together with Tibetan translators,​ Indian teachers also transmitted
 +Kalachakra to Tibet. There were three primary transmissions between
 +the eleventh and thirteenth centuries, with each lineage passing on a
 +different blend of aspects from the four Indian versions and introducing
 +further slight differences due to translation. Lineages, combining
 +different components of these three transmissions,​ have passed down
 +to the present through first the Sakya and Kagyü, and then also the
 +Gelug traditions. Since the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism transmits
 +only Indian texts that reached Tibet and were translated prior to
 +the early ninth century, there is no direct Nyingma lineage of
 +Kalachakra. Later Nyingma masters, however, have received and conferred
 +Kalachakra empowerment from other lineages, particularly that
 +of the nineteenth-century Rimey or non-sectarian movement, and
 +written commentaries on all aspects of the teachings. Moreover, there
 +is a Kalachakra style of dzogchen, or great completeness practice.
 +Among the four Tibetan traditions, Kalachakra is most prominent
 +within the Gelug. The study, practice and rituals of Kalachakra first
 +received special attention in the fifteenth century at Tashilhünpo,​ the
 +monastery of the early Dalai Lamas and later the Panchen Lamas in
 +central Tibet. In the mid-seventeenth century it spread to what the
 +Manchus soon called “Inner Mongolia,​” where the Mongols built the
 +first monastic college dedicated specifically to Kalachakra. By the mideighteenth
 +century there were Kalachakra colleges at the Manchu imperial
 +court in Beijing, then Tashilhünpo,​ Amdo (northeastern Tibet)
 +and so-called “Outer Mongolia.” During the nineteenth century the
 +Tibetans and the Mongols of Inner and Outer Mongolia transmitted
 +32 Introduction to the Kalachakra Initiation
 +Kalachakra to the Buryat Mongols of Siberia and they, in turn, at the
 +beginning of the twentieth century, spread it to the Kalmyk Mongols
 +on the Volga River and the Siberian Turkic people of Tuva. As in other
 +Mongol areas and Amdo, large sectors of the major monasteries of
 +each of these regions devoted themselves to Kalachakra practice.
 +This enthusiasm of the Mongols, Amdo people and Tuvinians for
 +Kalachakra is perhaps due to their identification of their countries with
 +the fabled northern land of Shambhala. For more than a century many
 +Russians also have embraced this belief as a result of their contact
 +with the Buryats and Kalmyks. Madame Blavatsky and Nikolai
 +Roerich, for example, gave Shambhala a prominent role in theosophy
 +and agni yoga, the esoteric traditions each respectively founded. Agvan
 +Dorjiev, the Thirteenth Dalai Lama’s Buryat envoy to the Russian imperial
 +court, convinced the last czar, Nikolai II, to sanction construction
 +of a Kalachakra temple in St. Petersburg by explaining to him
 +Russia’s connection with Shambhala.
 +Kalachakra has also received prominent attention in the medical
 +and astrological institutes of all four Tibetan Buddhist traditions within
 +Tibet itself, Mongolia and other parts of Central Asia. This is because
 +the calculations for compiling the Tibetan calendar and determining
 +planetary positions, a large part of Tibetan astrology and a certain
 +portion of Tibetan medical knowledge derive from the external and
 +internal Kalachakra teachings. The Mongolian calendar, as well as astrological
 +and medical systems, subsequently derived from the Tibetan
 +ones. Kalachakra is thus the Buddhist equivalent of the “patron-saint”
 +of these sciences.
 +Many people wonder what is the connection between His Holiness
 +the Dalai Lama and Kalachakra, and why does he give this initiation
 +so often. His Holiness modestly claims there is no special relation between
 +the line of Dalai Lamas and Kalachakra, despite the Dalai Lamas
 +being considered incarnations of one of the Shambhala rulers.
 +Nevertheless,​ the First, Second, Seventh, Eighth and the present Fourteenth
 +Dalai Lamas have taken strong interest in the Kalachakra system.
 +Since the time of the Seventh Dalai Lama in the early eighteenth
 +Overview of Kalachakra 33
 +century, Kalachakra ritual and meditational practices have been specialities
 +of the Namgyal Monastery, the personal monastery of the Dalai
 +Lamas at the Potala Palace in Lhasa.
 +There is no restriction on the number of times the Kalachakra empowerment
 +may be given during the lifetime of a master and there is
 +no special reason why His Holiness the present Dalai Lama confers it
 +so frequently. His Holiness has said he is happy to give it when requested,
 +provided the circumstances are conducive. Since 1970, he has
 +conferred the empowerment in numerous places in India, as well as
 +in North America, Europe, Mongolia and Australia. Several other great
 +masters of the Gelug, Kagyü, Sakya and Nyingma traditions have conferred
 +it widely as well. It makes little difference from which lineage
 +the Kalachakra initiation is received. They all empower us to study
 +and practice the vast array of its teachings.
 +We always hear that the Kalachakra empowerment is for world peace.
 +Some people even choose Kalachakra over other anuttarayoga tantra
 +systems because of this association. But what exactly is the connection
 +between Kalachakra and peace, and why do so many people attend?
 +Although empowerments for other tantras are intended for only
 +a small number of disciples at a time, there is a historical tradition of
 +conferring the Kalachakra initiation to large crowds of people. Buddha
 +first gave it to the king of Shambhala and his entourage of ninetysix
 +minor rulers. In time, their descendants conferred it upon the entire
 +population of Shambhala in order to unite them against the threat
 +of a possible invasion and avert annihilation. This is the origin of the
 +association of the Kalachakra empowerment with world peace and
 +the tradition of conferring it upon large numbers of participants.
 +According to the Kalachakra presentation of historical cycles, barbaric
 +hordes periodically invade the civilized world and try to eliminate
 +all possibilities for spiritual practice. A future invasion is predicted
 +for the year 2424 of this common era, when it is said there will be
 +another brutal world war. At that time help will come from Shambhala
 +to defeat the barbarians. A new golden age will dawn, with everything
 +conducive for spiritual practice, particularly of Kalachakra. All
 +34 Introduction to the Kalachakra Initiation
 +those who have previously received the Kalachakra initiation will be
 +reborn at that time on the victorious side. The highest motivation for
 +receiving the empowerment is to be able to practice the Kalachakra
 +methods now in order to achieve enlightenment in this very lifetime.
 +Nevertheless,​ people have traditionally flocked to the initiation with
 +the motivation of planting karmic seeds to connect themselves with
 +this future golden age so as to complete its practice then.
 +Since Shambhala plays a prominent role in the Kalachakra system,
 +most people are curious to know what Shambhala actually is and where
 +it is located. It is undoubtedly from a distortion of the name “Shambhala”
 +that the Western romantic writer James Hilton has derived the
 +myth of Shangri-la — a hidden paradise on Earth. Although there may
 +be a place in this world representative of Shambhala, that is not the
 +actual fabled land. Shambhala cannot be found on this planet or even
 +in some distant world. It is, however, a human realm in which everything
 +is conducive for spiritual practice, particularly of Kalachakra.
 +Meditational masters have written guidebooks, in both Sanskrit and
 +Tibetan, for reaching Shambhala. They describe the journey as a physical
 +one only up to a certain point. The sojourner must subsequently
 +repeat millions of mantras and other special practices in order to arrive
 +at the final goal. The journey to Shambhala, then, is primarily a
 +spiritual one. The aim of receiving Kalachakra initiation is not to reach
 +or be reborn in Shambhala, but, like all other mahayana, or “vast vehicle”
 +Buddhist practices, is to gain enlightenment here and now for
 +the benefit of all. The empowerment plants the seeds enabling us to
 +reach this goal and helps purify some of the grosser internal obstacles
 +that would prevent its attainment.
 +Suppose we develop interest in Kalachakra based on knowing something
 +about the special contents of its teachings, its history and relation
 +to world peace. We still need to decide whether we are actually
 +ready to receive empowerment and embark on its practice, or whether
 +Overview of Kalachakra 35
 +it is better to attend as a well-informed and admiring observer. The
 +most reasonable course is to base our decision on how well prepared
 +we are. Although hundreds of thousands of prostrations,​ repetitions
 +of the hundred-syllable Vajrasattva mantra and so forth are extremely
 +helpful, the main preparation is training in lamrim — the graded pathways
 +of behaving, communicating,​ thinking and feeling that lead to
 +The first step is to take the safe, sound and positive direction in life
 +indicated by the Buddhas, their teachings and the community of those
 +well-advanced in that direction. Usually translated as “taking refuge,”
 +this is the direction of working on ourselves to overcome problems
 +and gain the qualities necessary for benefiting others as fully as possible.
 +Putting this direction in life means leading our life on the basis
 +of understanding and confidence in the laws of behavioral cause and
 +effect. To avoid suffering and problems, we refrain from acting destructively,​
 +and to experience happiness, we act in a constructive manner.
 +The most important preparation for tantra is striving to develop
 +the three principal pathway attitudes, or outlooks on life: renunciation,​
 +bodhichitta and the understanding of voidness. Renunciation is
 +the willingness to give up problems and their causes, and is based on
 +a strong determination to be free from the suffering they engender.
 +For example, because we are totally disgusted with being lonely and
 +frustrated, we are willing and determined to give up not only our
 +unhealthy relationships with others, but also our negative personality
 +traits and confused, distorted self-image which make our relations
 +non-fulfilling. Bodhichitta is a heart that is set on achieving enlightenment
 +— overcoming all shortcomings and realizing all potentials
 +— for everyone’s sake. It is motivated by love and compassion for all
 +beings, and a sense of responsibility to help them as much as possible
 +to overcome their problems and attain lasting happiness. Voidness
 +means an absence of fantasized ways of existing.
 +Normally, we imagine ourselves, others and all phenomena to exist
 +in impossible ways that do not accord with reality. We mentally
 +fabricate fantasies of varying levels of subtlety and project them onto
 +ourselves and onto everything and everyone around us. For example,
 +on one level we imagine we are born to lose, we can never succeed in
 +36 Introduction to the Kalachakra Initiation
 +establishing or maintaining a satisfying relation with anyone, and that
 +the other person or external circumstances are never at fault when
 +things go wrong. On a more subtle level, we are preoccupied with
 +ourselves, thinking we exist as some solid “me” inside our head whom
 +we fear no one will like and everyone will reject. Confusing these fantasies
 +with reality, we act out of ignorance and the insecurity it generates.
 +Even before any conflict arises, we are so nervous and self-conscious
 +that we ensure the relationship fails. Our behavior not only
 +builds up and reinforces a pattern of karmic potentials for problems
 +to ripen in future relationships,​ but also triggers the ripening of past
 +potentials in the form of present rejections.
 +Before entering tantric practice, we need to understand that at least
 +the grossest levels of our projections do not refer to anything real. No
 +one is a born loser and no relation is doomed to failure. Such understanding
 +comes from an outlook on reality, or “correct view” of voidness,
 +corresponding to at least one of the mahayana systems of philosophical
 +tenets Buddha taught — chittamatra or one of the several
 +madhyamaka ones. According to these systems, not only ourselves,
 +but everything is devoid of existing in fantasized ways. The particular
 +systems differ primarily according to the level of subtlety of fantasy
 +they address.
 +As further preparation for tantra, faith and confidence are needed in
 +the tantric methods in general, and particularly in those of its highest
 +class, anuttarayoga,​ as constituting the most efficient and effective means
 +for attaining enlightenment. Anyone having this confident belief, the
 +frame of mind of the three principal paths and a background in lamrim
 +is called a “proper vessel” for receiving the Kalachakra empowerment.
 +We must judge for ourselves if we are sufficiently prepared.
 +The initiation process spans several days, with the first day being a
 +preparation ceremony, followed by usually two or three days of actual
 +empowerment. The most important part of the initial procedures
 +is taking refuge and the bodhisattva and tantric vows. Without all three,
 +we cannot actually receive empowerment,​ although we may witness
 +it and derive great benefit. The empowerment itself involves a complex
 +procedure of imagining ourselves transforming into a series of
 +special forms, entering the mandala of the Buddha-figure Kalachakra,
 +Overview of Kalachakra 37
 +and experiencing in it a sequence of purifications and the awakening
 +and enhancing of potentials for future success in the practice. The
 +mandala is an enormous multi-storied palace, in and around which
 +are 722 figures, including a principal couple in the center. The master
 +conferring the empowerment simultaneously appears as all these figures,
 +not just as the central one. Thus, throughout the process we visualize
 +ourselves, our teacher and our surroundings in a very special way.
 +The steps of the initiation are extremely intricate and, without familiarity,​
 +the visualizations involved can be quite perplexing. But if,
 +as a proper vessel, we take the vows with full sincerity and at least
 +feel, with strong faith, that all the visualizations are actually occurring,
 +we can be confident that we are receiving the empowerment.
 +With this basis secured, the next step is seeking further instruction
 +and then trying, as sincerely as possible, to travel the full path to
 +enlightenment as presented in the Kalachakra Tantra.
list_of_buddhist_tantra_texts_in_english.txt · Last modified: 2018/02/26 18:12 (external edit)