Vajrayana

Tantric Buddhism, charting the "fast path" to realization
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    Tantric Art: Maps of Enlightenment Paid Member

    The tradition of Himalayan tantric art evolved over more than a thousand years into a form notable for its iconographic complexity and stunning beauty. In December, Tricycle visited New York City’s Rubin Museum of Art, home of one of the West’s richest collections of Himalayan art. In this interview RMA curator Jeff Watt pulls back the curtain on this potent Buddhist art form.What role can art play in conveying the Buddhist teachings? Buddhists are always talking about tools to use on the path to liberation. Often we are accused of living in our heads, of being too abstract. Buddhist art—and more specifically, tantric art—gives us the opportunity to come down to earth and look at how Buddhism represents itself visually. How is the Buddha represented? How are his teachings and followers represented? More »
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    The Power of Solitude Paid Member

                             When I mention my own experience of going into isolated retreat for ten days, most of my friends get a little suspicious. They think of another Ted who spent time in a cabin alone: Ted Kaczynski, the so-called Unabomber. Why do people often have such a negative impression of isolated retreat? We are a very extroverted society. Even though within the Western tradition the practice of seclusion and retreat are very much a part of our own spiritual culture—the contemplative practices of Roman Catholicism, for example—most people are not aware that they are part of our heritage. More »
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    The First Precept Paid Member

    To refrain from killing is the first Buddhist precept. The Theravada tradition of Southeast Asia interprets this precept in terms that parallel a Western sense of morality: there is a clear-cut distinction between killing and not killing in which the existence of a breathing, moving being either comes to its end—or doesn't. In this view, there is a killer, a separate entity that is killed, and the activity of killing. Compassion is expressed by not harming others, and many followers honor this precept by choosing a vegetarian diet. More »
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    Continuous Mind Paid Member

    "For those of you who want to attain enlightenment, do not study many teachings. Only study one. What is it? It is great compassion. Whoever has great compassion has all Buddha's qualities in his hand." —Lord BuddhaIn the undeluded purity of self-appearance, there are no names for love and faith.... But since all sentient beings grasp at the uncatchable display of appearance, all our phenomena become heavy and substantial, and we create the duality of self and other, the conceptions of ordinary mind, and the karmic delusion of habit. Since all habit belongs to either the deluded panic of samsara or the noble path of enlightenment, it is best to develop the positive habit of the path of enlightenment that always creates the positive energy of love and faith, until we attain the selfless appearance of the buddhas. More »
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    Realizing Guiltlessness Paid Member

    Pema Chödrön, an American nun in the Shambhala lineage of Tibetan Buddhism and the author of several books, including the best-selling When Things Fall Apart and The Places that Scare You, currently practices under the guidance of the Venerable Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche, a teacher in the Nyingma lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. Dzigar Kongtrul established the mountain retreat center Longchen Jigme Samten Ling, in southern Colorado. He spends much of his time there guiding students, with particular emphasis on long-term retreat practice. At his retreat center last spring, Pema Chödrön spoke with Dzigar Kongtrul about a primary obstacle Westerners face in their practice: guilt. More »