Vajrayana Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Vajrayana. Here they are! All 32 of them:

Once I had an opportunity to talk with Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche, about the fact that I was not able to do my practice properly. I had just started the vajrayana practices and I was supposed to be visualizing. I couldn't visualize anything. I tried and tried but there was just nothing at all; I felt like a fraud doing the practice because it didn't feel natural to me. (...). So he encouraged me by saying that as long as you have these kinds of doubts, your practice will be good.
Pema Chödrön (The Wisdom of No Escape: How to Love Yourself and Your World)
Just calling one's practice "approach and accomplishment" and staying in retreat for years will produce nothing but hardship. Completing hundreds of millions of mantras will not even bring the warmth of the ordinary qualities that mark one's progress on the path! In other words, if the essential points of the path are not taken into account, perseverance will amount to nothing more than chasing a mirage.
Patrul Rinpoche (Deity Mantra and Wisdom: Development Stage Meditation in Tibetan Buddhist Tantra)
The aim of far too many teachings these days is to make people "feel good," and even some Buddhist masters are beginning to sound like New Age apostles. Their talks are entirely devoted to validating the manifestation of ego and endorsing the "rightness" of our feelings, neither of which have anything to do with the teachings we find in the pith instructions. So, if you are only concerned about feeling good, you are far better off having a full body massage or listening to some uplifting or life-affirming music than receiving dharma teachings, which were definitely not designed to cheer you up. On the contrary, the dharma was devised specifically to expose your failings and make you feel awful.
Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse (Not For Happiness: A Guide to the So-Called Preliminary Practices)
Primordial wisdom [Skt. jñāna; Tib. ཡེ་ཤེས་, yeshé; Wyl. ye shes] has many names, but in truth it refers simply to the inseparability of the ground and fruit, the one and only essence-drop [thig le nyag gcig] of the dharmakaya. If it is assessed from the standpoint of its utterly pure nature, it is the actual dharmakaya, primordial Buddhahood. For, from its own side, it is free from every obscuration. We must understand that we are Buddha from the very beginning. Without this understanding, we will fail to recognize the spontaneously present mandala of the ground, and we will be obliged to assert, in accordance with the vehicle of the paramitas, that Buddhahood has a cause. We will fail to recognize the authentic view of the Secret Mantra.
Jamgön Mipham (White Lotus: An Explanation of the Seven-line Prayer to Guru Padmasambhava)
My current way of teaching mindfulness is, in part, informed by this early Shingon training. I have people observe self in terms of inner mental images, mental talk, and emotional body sensation, the three sensory elements used in the Vajrayana deity yoga practice. I’ve created a hybrid approach. What I have people observe is derived from the Japanese Vajrayana paradigm: self = mental image + mental talk + body. But how I have people observe is derived from mindfulness, which has its origin in Southeast Asian Theravada practice.
Shinzen Young (The Science of Enlightenment: How Meditation Works)
The special skill of esoteric Buddhism is transmutation by right view and pure perception, using all appropriate means for training. For example, eating food is not itself a Buddhist practice, but if one uses it as a means of training, it becomes a Buddhist training in transforming one's daily life as Buddhist practice.
Tulku Thondup (Hidden Teachings of Tibet)
Some people think that expedient meanings are false and deceiving and thus should not be relied upon. Also, some Buddhists say, "We are practitioners of Madhyamaka" or "We just follow the Vajrayana," and deprecate the rest of the Buddha's teachings. Clearly, all such attitudes are completely mistaken. In general, the Buddha never said anything false or deceiving. Moreover, since all expedient meanings are pervaded by the definitive meaning, they are the methods of becoming introduced to the definitive meaning and realizing it. This is the same as when it is said that seeming reality is the means and ultimate reality is the outcome of this means. Thus, all the turnings of the wheel of dharma serve as means to cut through the entirety of reference points with regard to the way things appear and teach their true way of being.
Karl Brunnholzl (The Center Of The Sunlit Sky: Madhyamaka In The Kagyu Tradition (Nitartha Institute))
according to the Vajrayana system there are one thousand Buddhas for this millen- nium
Leon Marvell (The Physics of Transfigured Light: The Imaginal Realm and the Hermetic Foundations of Science)
In Vajrayana (Tantric) Buddhism the path of Tantra is that of, among other things, the practice of certain psychosomatic exercises the aim of which is to attain the “clear light of bliss.
Leon Marvell (The Physics of Transfigured Light: The Imaginal Realm and the Hermetic Foundations of Science)
Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, a contemporary Vajrayana (Tibetan Buddhist) scholar, states that the “great seal [mahamudra] refers to emptiness,” and quotes the statement of the Buddha in the King of Concentrations Sutra: “The nature of all phenomena is the great seal.”⁴³ Gyatso explains, “Here, ‘nature’ refers to the ulti- mate nature of all things: their emptiness, or lack of inherent existence. Such emptiness is called the great seal because phenomena never move or change from the state of lacking inherent existence.
Leon Marvell (The Physics of Transfigured Light: The Imaginal Realm and the Hermetic Foundations of Science)
Meditation on the “seal,” that is, the “immobilization” of all dependent things, is for the purpose of liberation from the cycle of existence. The notion of “empti- ness” (Tibetan: stong pa nid) is central to Vajrayana Buddhism (as indeed it is to many schools of Buddhist thought) and is derived from Nagarjuna’s teaching that the essential nature of all dharmas (phenomenal existents) is sunyata, void or empty. As Tibetan scholar Herbert V. Guenther translates the term, sunyata or stong pa nid means “no-thing-ness,” all existents being inherently insubstantial.⁴⁵ The sense of “seal” (mudra) in Gyatso’s commentary is clearly the sense of being sealed in to this state of inherent “no-thing-ness.
Leon Marvell (The Physics of Transfigured Light: The Imaginal Realm and the Hermetic Foundations of Science)
The scholar and Buddhist teacher Chö- gyam Trungpa explains that all Vajrayana practices accept the body as the “basic being” that is “highly workable and full of all kinds of potentialities”⁴⁸ and that the mudra of mahamudra does not indicate a “symbol” (a sign, writing) as such, but a certain ontological level of realization.
Leon Marvell (The Physics of Transfigured Light: The Imaginal Realm and the Hermetic Foundations of Science)
In vajrayana practice, students identify with the different styles of awakened energy by visualizing themselves as deities. These visualizations arise out of and dissolve back into emptiness.
Chögyam Trungpa (Training the Mind and Cultivating Loving-Kindness)
As a transmuted energy, anger is mirror-wisdom – undistracted, undistorted clarity. But in order for us to find this clarity, to polish this mirror, we need to cut through the insidious process of justification. Justification is the authority we invoke to license our anger. Because of this it is important not to allow space for the distorted indulgence of justification. This can be very difficult because the process of justification is a strong part of our education and a salient feature of the world’s cultural heritage. The nuclear balance of terror was part of that process. Totalitarian political movements (either extreme left or extreme right) are a manifestation of that process; and, unfortunately, it has also become part of the very ideologies that have arisen to benefit humanity. How often have we heard people saying: “Of course I’m angry! Wouldn’t anyone be angry?” And, of course, this is a purely rhetorical question. The concept that we have every right to feel anything that we feel needs to be called seriously into question. At best we can say that we simply feel what we feel. It is a delicate balance: to acknowledge emotional needs, on the one hand, and to have a sense of these needs being conceptually generated on the other. This balancing act requires the experience of emptiness, because without it, we either indulge ourselves or brutalise ourselves. The experience of emptiness, in this sense, helps us to view our emotions with a degree of humour – with more sanity and true perspective. With this sense of space we can find ourselves adopting a very powerful stance – the stance of a practitioner. Then it is no longer possible to say: “You have made me angry!” All we can say is: “I have made myself angry in reaction to what I have perceived you to have done to me”. In this way we make ourselves completely responsible for what we feel. That is really wonderful, because from this perspective we stop laying this responsibility on other people. Taking responsibility for whatever we may happen to be feeling is what enables us to kill justification. Dechen, Khandro; Chogyam, Ngakpa (2014-01-14). Spectrum of Ecstasy: Embracing the Five Wisdom Emotions of Vajrayana Buddhism (p. 143). Shambhala Publications. Kindle Edition.
Dechen, Khandro; Chogyam, Ngakpa
Making ourselves feel solid, permanent, separate, continuous and defined – by constantly scanning the phenomenal horizon for reference points which substantiate these criteria – is a convoluted process. The phenomena of our perception will only serve us temporarily in this capacity. So if we take this course, we sentence ourselves to the continuous activity of establishing and replacing reference points. When we engage in this process, we convert our perceptual circumstances into a prison. In fact, our perceptual circumstances not only become an incarceration, but a very subtle personal torture chamber. We need to be continually on the look-out for new reference points. We need to reassess old reference points. We need to imbue ourselves with a certain pervasive nervousness. We need to foster a sense of unease about the whole process of experiencing existence. It could become unrelenting hard work in our own personal forced labour camp. In our attempts to establish reference points we react to the phenomena of our perception in three ways. We are either attracted, we are averse or we are indifferent. Attraction, aversion and indifference are usually referred to, in the translations of Buddhist texts, as lust (desire or attachment); hatred (anger or aggression); and ignorance. Although these words have a distinct application to the three distorted tendencies (usually referred to as ‘the Three Poisons’), they have connotations in English that lend them the tone of ‘the Seven Deadly Sins’. If we encounter anything that seems to substantiate our fictions of solidity, permanence, separateness, continuity, and definition – we are attracted, we reach out for it. If we encounter anything that threatens these fictions – we are averse, we push it away. If we encounter anything that neither substantiates nor threatens these fictions – we are indifferent. What we cannot manipulate, we ignore. But what is left of our responses if these three fictions dissolve? The question of what our experience would be like without attraction, aversion, and indifference poses an interesting challenge to our rationale. In fact, we cannot approach this question at all, if we approach it through conventional reasoning. Fundamentally this question deals with the nature of experience itself. If attraction, aversion, and indifference dissolve, what remains is not any ‘kind of experience’; it is simply experience – experience as such. In terms of experience as such; we are completely present, open, and free in the experience of whatever arises as a perception. Dechen, Khandro; Chogyam, Ngakpa (2014-01-14). Spectrum of Ecstasy: Embracing the Five Wisdom Emotions of Vajrayana Buddhism (p. 45). Shambhala Publications. Kindle Edition.
Dechen, Khandro; Chogyam, Ngakpa
Outwardly we should practise the shravakayana, inwardly the bodhisattvayana and secretly the vajrayana.
Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse (Not For Happiness: A Guide to the So-Called Preliminary Practices)
As a foundational principle, all Buddhist practices are based on clear perception, using the naked and direct honesty of mindfulness practice as a basis to create a bare attention and direct experience of the present reality. At the same time, if Vajrayana is about ritualizing every aspect of our consciousness in the service of awakening, then paying attention to the way things really are includes making use of the mind’s imaginative capacity. The point of self-awareness is not to turn off our projector, per se, but to study the projector, to realize that the projector is always on, and to notice that our experiences are projections that arise in the theater of the heartmind. The
Ethan Nichtern (The Road Home: A Contemporary Exploration of the Buddhist Path)
Shamatha and Vipashyana sometimes get confused due to the different usage of the terminology in Pali and Sanskrit etc. Sometimes Shamatha is Vipashyana and sometimes Vipashyana is Shamatha, but in Tibetan Shamatha is Shamatha and Vipashyana is Vipashyana. You would expect me to say that because I’m a Tibetan right? Shamatha for us is the first step, it is where you make your mind calm, and Vipashyana is the second step, where you observe and maintain that calm-abiding state of mind, clearly. Therefore, Shinay or Shamatha is first, and Vipashyana or Lhagthong is later. If you don’t have a calm-abiding state of mind, then what are you going to observe? You are going to observe your confused state of mind; not necessarily confused in a negative sense, but busy, chaotic, and then that will naturally lead to a neurotic state of mind. That is why Shinay comes first and Lhagthong is later in Vajrayana Buddhism, and especially in Mahamudra practice.
Chamgon Kenting Tai Situpa (The Dorje Chang Thungma)
Once I had an opportunity to talk with Chögyam Trungpa, Rinpoche, about the fact that I was not able to do my practice properly. I had just started the vajrayana* practices and I was supposed to be visualizing. I couldn’t visualize anything. I tried and tried but there was just nothing at all; I felt like a fraud doing the practice because it didn’t feel natural to me. I was quite miserable because everybody else seemed to be having all kinds of visualizations and doing very well. He said, ‘I’m always suspicious of the ones who say everything’s going well. If you think that things are going well, then it’s usually some kind of arrogance. If it’s too easy for you, you just relax. You don’t make a real effort, and therefore you never find out what it is to be fully human.’ So he encouraged me by saying that as long as you have these kinds of doubts, your practice will be good. When you begin to think that everything is just perfect and feel complacent and superior to the others, watch out!
Pema Chödrön (The Wisdom of No Escape: And The Path of Loving-Kindness: How to Love Yourself and Your World)
Students often ask if they should only invoke the guru in the context of a formal daily practice, or if it can be done anywhere. The answer is that it depends on the student. Dharma bums who roam the streets of Kathmandu smoking hashish and sitting in cafés nursing a half-empty cup of cappuccino for most of the day should probably sit formally and recite ten million or one hundred million mantras. Whereas those who have demanding jobs in London, New York or Paris might benefit more from reciting the mantra on their way to work, or as they wait for a bus. The method each student is given will depend entirely on their personal situation and how disciplined they are.
Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse (Not For Happiness: A Guide to the So-Called Preliminary Practices)
What is mainly taught in the system to which the Uttara Tantra Shastra belongs is the aspect of awareness (Tib. rig pa) or clear light (Tib. od gsal), whereas in the system of the Madhyamaka the aspect of emptiness in the sense of freedom from conceptual elaboration is exclusively taught. If one understands well what is meant by the inseparable union of emptiness and clear light, one comes very close to the path of the Vajrayana. In the system of the Vajrayana the nature of mind is then described as the inseparable union of clarity-emptiness (Tib. gsal stong), of bliss-emptiness (Tib. bde stong), of appearance-emptiness (Tib. snang stong), and of awareness-emptiness (Tib. rig stong). These are called the four “joint manifestations” (Tib. zung ’jug bzhi). Without knowing the meaning of the inseparable union of spaciousness and awareness one will not be able to understand these. Not having studied the views as presented in the Uttara Tantra Shastra and in the Madhyamaka system, one will not come to an understanding of the Vajrayana where the four joint manifestations are introduced.
Arya Maitreya (Buddha Nature: The Mahayana Uttaratantra Shastra with Commentary)
The vajrayana, or diamond vehicle, is powerful because it is derived from the tranquillity and readiness of the hinayana and the purity and soft heart of the mahayana. When students have developed those qualities, the vajrayana becomes ready to launch its diamond ship into the oceans of those who are ready for it.
Chögyam Trungpa (The Tantric Path of Indestructible Wakefulness (volume 3): The Profound Treasury of the Ocean of Dharma)
No matter how many of these practices we may perform, none of them qualifies as Vajrayana or Mahamudra-even if outwardly they are performed in a technically perfect way-if they lack the three indispensable features of the renunciation of cyclic existence, the altruistic motivation of the mind of enlightenment, and the view of emptiness.
Karl Brunnholzl (The Center Of The Sunlit Sky: Madhyamaka In The Kagyu Tradition (Nitartha Institute))
The Vajrayana is the path of the rug being pulled out from under your feet, so you need someone who knows how to do that.
Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse (The Guru Drinks Bourbon?)
I shall go savor the supreme taste of Vajrayana.
Thupten Jinpa (Mind Training: The Great Collection (Library of Tibetan Classics Book 1))
Once I had an opportunity to talk with Chögyam Trungpa, Rinpoche, about the fact that I was not able to do my practice properly. I had just started the vajrayana2 practices and I was supposed to be visualizing. I couldn’t visualize anything. I tried and tried but there was just nothing at all; I felt like a fraud doing the practice because it didn’t feel natural to me. I was quite miserable because everybody else seemed to be having all kinds of visualizations and doing very well. He said, “I’m always suspicious of the ones who say everything’s going well. If you think that things are going well, then it’s usually some kind of arrogance. If it’s too easy for you, you just relax. You don’t make a real effort, and therefore you never find out what it is to be fully human.
Pema Chödrön (Awakening Loving-Kindness (Shambhala Pocket Classics))
Because Shingon is Vajrayana, the main meditation practice involves working with visualizations, mantras, and mudra gestures. You replace your self-image with that of an archetype, you replace your usual mental talk with the mantra of that archetype, and you take on the physical and emotional body experience of that archetype through making mudras—ritual hand gestures. If your concentration is good enough, your identity briefly shifts. You become that archetype.
Shinzen Young (The Science of Enlightenment: How Meditation Works)
Our limited insight into our own nature is part of the human condition, and leads us into confusion and suffering time and again. From a Buddhist viewpoint, our fundamental ignorance of the nature of reality leads us to circle endlessly in the cycle of death and rebirth. While we lack the insight to free ourselves from this cycle of existence, the teacher can offer us a way to break free of our ignorance and suffering. The Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions consider the guru to be the root of the path, the source of realizations and the one who liberates us from the bondage of ignorance. The tantric teachings of guru yoga say that the guru should be considered synonymous with the Buddha, and emphasize that without the guru the student cannot proceed. Because the role of the guru is given such emphasis, it is important to examine it closely, and in recent vicars awareness has grown of the hazards involved in the guru-disciple relationship. When students meet a teacher who touches them deeply, the experience can be overwhelming. They might become aware of their potential in a way they have never recognized previously. Disciples still captivated by the inspiration of their teacher often speak as if they have fallen in love, full of wonder and admiration. The teacher has opened their eyes, and they see him or her as fundamental to that experience. What empowers this experience is partly the quality of the teacher, who acts as a catalyst to awaken an inner quality that was unconscious.
Rob Preece (The Psychology of Buddhist Tantra)
These practices show us that everything is energy–anger, jealousy, pride–these emotions are all energy. You let them arise and even if you start with anger or other ‘bad’ emotions, you end up with a happy result. That’s what Karmamudra is all about. You don’t say "stop having anger, stop feeling this or that emotion." Instead, you become the master of your emotions, you realize you can work with their energy and use it. That’s the essence of Vajrayana. Vajrayana is the indestructible vehicle. What is it that is indestructible? The non-dualistic mind is indestructible, the bliss of its nature, of pristine awareness is indestructible. Nothing can destroy that bliss–suffering, pain, anger, jealousy, pride, these and all other poisons are no match for it. Vajrayana or Tantric Buddhism thus offers very fine and precise teachings and methods that allow us to transform our emotions.
Nida Chenagtsang (Karmamudra: The Yoga of Bliss: Sexuality in Tibetan Medicine and Buddhism)
Through Bodhichitta you will realize that there is no self. Self-grasping will be destroyed, for when you think of others you do not think about yourself. Ultimately 'self' and 'other' are but thoughts. When we understand that we are not separate from others, we begin to fathom the preciousness of compassion, of Bodhichitta.
Garchen Rinpoche
There are many thoughts that always arise, but thoughts are impermanent; they come and go. The mind from which they arise, however, abides like space; it never comes and goes. It is always there, it has always been there, and it will always be there. It is like space, or a vast ocean, or a mirror. It never goes anywhere, just like space. Therefore, do not cling to the temporary thoughts. No matter how much you cling to them you cannot actually hold on to them, as they are impermanent by nature. Rather, observe that which never goes away, the clear knowing awareness that recognizes all the thoughts arising. This awareness is the Buddha within you; it is your true nature. Whatever thoughts arise, negative thoughts, sadness, afflictive emotions, do not follow them but continue to observe with mindfulness. When this mindfulness is sustained, arising thoughts will naturally dissipate without the need to abandon them. This awareness must be upheld, not only in meditation sessions, but also during all your activities. No matter what you experience, happiness or suffering, it does not affect your awareness; it always is as it is. This nature is Buddha nature, and every being has it.
Garchen Rinpoche
Ten ma (bsTan Ma [བསྟན་མ་]). Twelve local female spirits of Tibet who have taken the vow from Guru Padmasambhava to protect the Dharma and its followers: the Four Ten mas of the Dud mo [bDud Mo] type: 1) Tshe ring ma (Tshe Ring Ma [ཚེ་རིང་མ་] or Kun Grags Ma [ཀུན་གྲགས་མ་]), 2) Dor je Ya ma kyong (rDo rje gYa Ma sKyong [རྡོ་རྗེ་གཡ་མ་སྐྱོང་]), 3) Kun zang mo (Kun bZang Mo [ཀུན་བཟང་མོ་] and 4) Geg gyi tso (bGegs Kyi gTso [བགེགས་ཀྱི་གཙོ་]; The Four Ten mas of the Nod jin mo (S. Yakṣasi, T. gNod sByin Mo [གནོད་སྦྱིན་མོ་]) type: 1) Chen chig ma (sPyan gChig Ma [སྤྱན་གཅིག་མ་]), 2) Kha ding Lu mo gyal (mKha' lDing Klu Mo rGyal [མཁའ་ལྡིང་ཀླུ་མོ་རྒྱལ་]), 3) Dor je Khyung tsun ma (rDo rje Khyung bTsun Ma [རྡོ་རྗེ་ཁྱུང་བཙུན་མ་]), and 4) Trag mo gyal (Drag Mo rGyal [དྲག་མོ་རྒྱལ་]); The Four Men Mo (sMan Mo [སྨེན་མོ་]): 1) Pod kham kyong (Bod Khams sKyong [བོད་ཁམས་སྐྱོང་]), 2) Men chig ma (sMan gChig Ma [སྨན་གཅིག་མ་]), 3) Yar mo sil (gYar Mo bSil [གཡར་མོ་བསིལ་]), and 4) Dor je Zu le men (rDo rje Zu Le sMan [རྡོ་རྗེ་གཟུགས་ལེགས་སྨན་]).
Tulku Thondup (Hidden Teachings of Tibet)