Download A Beginner's Guide to Tibetan Buddhism: Notes from a by Bruce Newman PDF

By Bruce Newman

It is a ground-level, practice-oriented presentation of Tibetan Buddhism—personal and extremely obtainable. The ebook starts with the awakening of scholars' curiosity in spirituality and the preliminary come upon with Tibetan Buddhism, then leads us via the entire steps invaluable for profitable perform within the West. integrated is succinct information on discovering a suitable instructor, receiving empowerments, changing into energetic in a middle, and launching and maintaining a Vajrayana perform. certain emphasis is put on the aptitude pitfalls, and the significant advantages, of the guru-disciple relationship. 

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Monks and nuns of all four lineages engage in study for many years and then gradually shift to a more contemplative lifestyle. All of these orders have produced cen­ turies of highly realized beings. It is quite a serious fault to belittle one tradition at the expense of another. You should follow the tradition to which you feel closest while retaining respect for them all. Some people will feel comfortable studying more than one of these traditions-, others will find this confusing and will feel better studying only one.

First, the lama gives meditation instructions. Not only does he know the myriad of techniques, but also through his clairvoyance, he knows the ones that are most appropriate for us. We might have spent the last nine lifetimes practicing the deity Vajrayogini. A truly qualified lama will know this and will guide us correctly. Our own choice of practice would most likely not be as accurate and could be based on fantasies and wish­ ful thinking. As a teacher myself, I really appreciate this; I feel that I am able to help a student with his or her practice but that I have no real guidelines regarding which kind of practice to recommend to them.

At this point, we have reached the point of no return and have committed ourselves to being tantric practi­ tioners. The next section, "the descent of blessings" invokes the bless­ ings of all the buddhas, bodhisattvas, and deities while music is played and the students meditate on a visualization that the master has just described, usually imaging countless buddhas in the form of the deity melting into them. What is the purpose behind all this? Tsele Rinpoche explains it quite clearly: In fact, it is necessary to purify our karmic perception of everything outer and inner, the world and beings, as being ordinary and solid.

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