Q: This yoga, these physical postures, where does that fit within the tantric path?
A: Okay. Tashi Delek to all of you, the Wisdom team, and our participant here, and as well as the online participant, thank you for joining and being here.
The tantric yoga, of course, is not a singular practice. And as a Buddhist practitioner we have to understand the basic, little bit of foundation of Theravada, little bit of foundation of Mahayana, and then of course, Tantrayana becomes the “vehicle of express”. Right?
So, but, the “vehicle of express”, and to “reach enlightenment in a single lifetime”, comes down to how you understand it, how you initiate yourself, how you start, how you understand all the different element combining together. And of course, it’s not done by learning by oneself, it’s also guided meditation, guided instruction, and the yoga comes somewhere in the middle.
In the beginning of course, it always starts with a refuge, as all the Buddhist tradition, whether it’s a Nyingma, Sakya, Kagyu, Gelug, Jonang, Shangpa, you know? Whichever the tradition may be. It is a common foundation, even we are known as a Tibetan Tantrayana Buddhist branch. Even though we practice all the branches, but widely known as a Tantric Buddhist practitioner. In the beginning it starts with the refuge, purification.
In a Shangpa lineage, in a Niguma’s lineage, the purification is not based on the Vajrasattva deity, it is based on “The empty AH” [ཨའི་སྟོང་ར a’i stong ra] visualisation, based on that very much minimalist visualisation. Very much to do with less colour, less object as possible, to begin with, and that’s where the Niguma tradition starts from.
And there is a preliminary stage, and then after that, of course, there is a deity practice. The deity practice is a very important, because the whole purpose of the deity is not to gain miracle or magical powers, of foreseeing or predicting the future. That may be the possibility, this gift and this experience may come, but you have to let it go because you should not be distracted by little experience. You should reach to the ultimate goal.
Live with Kyabje Kalu Rinpoche on Wisdom Dharma Chats (2′ 50”)
Perspective on dharma in the modern world – 4th May 2023
To be continued …