Tag Archives: Tantra

wisdom of the tantra

wisdom of the tantra

On the most fundamental level as I said earlier all the teachings of the Buddha is to go against the habit. But this does not mean that all the method that is used as a opposition towards the habit always actually looks different, acts different, or functions different. Not at all. In fact many of the methods that are used by the Tantra as tools to combat the habit does itself look very much like the problem. This is actually the wisdom of the Tantra again. The problem and the solutions are almost identical. And this is a deliberate. If the solution and the problem are visibly separate and different then more separate more visible different, starkly different, we call it causal path. This is what Mahayana or the Shravakayana teaches. So things like if you have lots of desire you should meditate upon skeletons, death, bones, all of this. If you have lots of aggression you should meditate love and compassion. So the problem and the solution are seemingly very very opposite. But in the Tantrayana, the skill of the Tantrayana, specially if the specific tantric practice is coming from more profound and higher Tantra, then the solution and the problem are almost identical.

Teachings on Tara, Deer Park 2010

 

refuge practice

refuge practice

Practically, if you really want to go home with some kind of an instruction on how to do refuge, if you are not a tantric practitioner, thinking that Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are in front of you, and that is good enough. That’s, I mean, you may say it’s a make believe but didn’t I tell you, even four plus four is a make believe. So just thinking, even so I am not seeing it because of my own delusion, thinking and having confidence that they are there, and with this fear to the samsaric games and cause of samsara, take refuge to protect us from all kinds of temporary illness, temporary obstacles, temporary, I don’t know, sickness, disease, war, famine, disputes, disagreements. And then more importantly to protect us, you know refuge is something to do with the protecting, you remember, to protect ourselves from our own inner enemy which is clinging to the self, self cherishing. And then if you are tantric practitioner, thinking all the Buddhas, embodiment of all the Buddhas, the guru, in front of you. Your guru in the form of a deity or whatever, you know. And on top of what I just told you, reasons of taking refuge such as fear of outer obstacles, inner obstacles, secret obstacles is this constant impure perception or constant judgment, dualistic mind. To protect ourselves from this dualistic mind then we take refuge to Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, or in the Tantrayana, name of the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha is kind of transformed into guru, deva and dakini, and specially, if you are practitioner of more profound level of Tantrayana such as Mahasandhi or Mahamudra, then taking refuge to dharmakaya, sambhogakaya and nirmanakaya or prana, bindu and nadi or essence, nature and display, we take refuge. And towards the end of the refuge, refuge object and you become inseparable. That’s the point. That is actually very very important. It is not as if the refuge object stays there as a celestial divine being and you go around as a mundane, ignorant being. That’s very important. They merge together. That is the technique. And then there are many many different liturgies to recite the refuge. You can do Namo Buddha, Namo Dharma, Namo Sangha or Buddham saranam gacchami, so on and so forth. ????? or in English which ever, I take refuge to Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. And then if you want to elaborate this, specially for those who are doing the Ngondro practice, then there will have a specific liturgy.

Outer, Inner and Secret Refuge, London 2010

accepting ridiculousness of samsara into the path

accepting ridiculousness of samsara into the path

The great saint Virupa, what is he saying? He is not saying that you should not wear tie. No, not at all. If you say, okay the tie is useless, is ridiculous, it is not good, therefore you should not wear tie. He is not saying that. Because if he says that it is a bit like a Sharvakayana path. Isn’t it? Escapism. Renounce the tie. Get rid of the tie. He is not saying that. What is he saying? You should wear the tie. But know at the same time that it is ridiculous. Wearing the tie, and you should wear it really nicely. And keep on thinking this is the most useless, ridiculous piece of cloth I am wearing. Impure perception. This is my impure perception. But I am putting it on so that my boss will be happy, so that my colleges will be happy, so that some people might get inspired by my look. You understand. If you can combine this then that is what we call accepting ridiculousness of the samsara into the path. The Vajrayana tantric path is like a big recycling machine. You collect all kinds of garbage and make it into something useable. That is the whole purpose of tantra.

The Three Levels of Perception, Singapore 2003

means to express

means to express

In fact, in the vajrayana buddhism, there is nothing that cannot be used as a medium, as a means to express what tantric wisdom can be expressed. Any shape, any colors, any kind of tools can be used.

Projecting the Dharma, Yale 2008

Buddhism and passion

Buddhism and passion

Once actually Bernardo Bertolucci, this was, I remember this, he asked me about tantric Buddhism. And he said: “Well you know I am an Italian. For me passion is very very important. Passion. Tell me something about Buddhism and passion.” Then I was saying: Well, maybe, I can not say so much. But according to the tantric Buddhism you can keep your passion but you can’t have your self. If you don’t have you, then your passion becomes really abandoned. Very rich, very sort of not bound. Right now our passion is very limited. And you can see the way we try to turn on ourself so to speak. We are running out of our ideas now as you can see. Everything we tried and it is becoming so boring.

Projecting the Dharma, Yale 2008

triangle symbol

triangle symbol

Not only in Buddhism we try to represent main teachings of the Buddha through like figures such as Buddha and Bodhisattvas paintings. But we also use different other symbols. Specially in the Vajrayana. For instance, the symbol of triangle, the triangle shape, this is a very important medium again in the tantric Buddhism. A triangle, it is just a triangle, a simple triangle. Sometimes there will be double triangle which is called dharmakara. But the basic triangle is a very important symbol in the Vajrayana. This is a very important medium if you like. And the triangle is again – in some of the tantric practice, this triangle also represents dungeon This is quite interesting isn’t it, the dungeon. Somewhere it is almost like a torture chamber. Sometimes this triangle also represents source of everything, source of everything. Where all the universe came from. Okay. So now we want to know, what is this triangle? Where is it? In fact, some of the outer tantric teachings say the triangle exist beneath us. This is as far as they go, beneath us, under this earth. This is the outer teaching. But then if you really want to know what is triangle, the triangle is actually representation of what they call three doors. One triangle, it doesn’t matter which order, one triangle represents that everything is emptiness. The ground is emptiness, everything is extremeless. The second point of the triangle represents path, path should not have any mark. Path should not have any characteristic. The third triangle represents enlightenment or the result should never be aspired for. So this is actually the triangle. Okay ground is emptiness, the ground.The path should not have any characteristic – no I should say path should not be bound by characteristics. Result, the enlightenment, should not be something to aspire for. If you go this way then we are talking a very big subject. Of course we are talking about the emptiness. But also the second tip of the triangle that path should not be bound by characteristic. And this is very important, at the same time something that many Buddhist keep on forgetting. For instance, I mean Buddhism in the West is still relatively new, but in the East like China, Japan, Tibet, as much as we should really not forget this second triangle, we are always bound by the characteristic of the triangle, such as Yellow Hat Sect, Red Hat Sect. This is the way to do. Meditation should be only doing sitting up. Not sleeping. Meditation actually in fact, you know, like meditation is the only thing that the Buddhist do. You know something like that. These are all bound by characteristics. And then the result, enlightenment, is something that everybody wants. Remember. Buddhism, journey to the happiness, path to the happiness. What are we looking for? We are looking for happiness. This is a fundamentally – actually going wrong. If you, trying to look for happiness, using Buddhism is really a self contradiction actually. Buddhism is actually not really made for – first of all, when you are looking for happiness you are already looking for something so you are aspiring for something. So you are breaking that rule so to speak. So anyway, this is the triangle. Now I was telling you, many times in the tantric Buddhism this triangle is also called dungeon. Why dungeon? This is interesting. What they do in the tantric practice, they try to chase and summon and catch and, I don’t know, bind the ego and then put it inside this triangle. So you put the ego as a prisoner of emptiness, characteristicless and non-aspiration. What happens to the ego then? It becomes meaningless.

Projecting the Dharma, Yale 2008