Tantra: bliss boost

Carrying on with even more benefits of transforming enjoyments into the spiritual path with the help of the meditation on transforming enjoyments …

Bliss destroys grasping

graspingEven with this simple method of transforming enjoyments, we can learn to associate bliss not with grasping but with letting go. Generally grasping has been the name of the game in the past with objects of attachment – we grasp at the pizza or the body or the sex or the security, and it destroys the enjoyment. Attachment projects that the bliss is coming from the object, nothing to do with our mind, and as a result we grasp at it; and the stronger we grasp at it as pleasure existing outside our mind, the more elusive it becomes because that is not actually where the pleasure is. It is hard to grasp onto something that is not there, but we try. So we have a momentary high if and when we “get” our object, but it quickly fades, as the mechanism is all wrong, we have set it up all wrong.

I can’t get no satisfaction, and I try, and I try. ~ Mick Jagger

For example, think about the last time you had your favorite food or drink. We got some pleasure from the first bite or swig, and we tried to holdletting go 7 onto it, but we couldn’t because the pleasure was not out there. This grasping is coming from ignorance and the subsequent attachment – that thing exists out there AND it is capable of making me happy, therefore I have to have it, I have to grab it, I need it, I need you. And this grasping destroys our pleasure, so it is very short lived. And then we are onto the next thing because our grasping mind is like a monkey, wanting to grab at another piece of fruit. Or a donut after the pizza. Here in Denver people don’t mind lining up for 45 minutes of their precious human life out in the freezing cold for a Voodoo donut (especially if they have the munchies) – after a few mouthfuls of donut, however, it’s enough already, “What can I do now? I know, I’ll go find someone.” It is one thing after another, constantly seeking stimulation, we so-called “desire realm beings”.

When we realize that bliss and happiness don’t come from out there but from in here, we can relax, a lot. We start to associate bliss and happiness not with grasping and holding onto things, but with letting go. In the bliss boost meditation, for example, we developed bliss by remembering or imagining our object, and then we let it go, but the bliss carried on! Interesting. Perhaps the bliss even increased.

A friend and monk, Kelsang Pagpa, puts it this way:

One day we will realize that mixing our mind with the mere absence of the enjoyments that we normally see gives more pleasure than enjoying them with our senses.

Generating bliss

If we have strong concentration and familiarity, we can keep that bliss going for longer and longer periods of time. In fact, when we gain familiarity with generating bliss we don’t even need to remember or imagine something in the first place. We can simply generate bliss using Tantric techniques, for example mixing with our Spiritual Guide at our heart, generating as a Tantric Buddha, and/or meditating on our subtle vajra body.

(There is so much happiness in general to be had from Dharma – from faith, from compassion or love, from wisdom. And it works every time. As my favorite quote goes:

lotus 7Having rejected the supreme joy of the sacred Dharma
That is an endless source of delight,
Why am I distracted by the causes of pain,
Why do I enjoy frivolous amusements and the like?)

So it seems that bliss is already associated with wisdom – there is a natural connection between bliss and wisdom. As the bliss increases, the grasping diminishes — and the other way around, as the grasping diminishes, the bliss increases. So bliss and emptiness go together very very well indeed.

Actually, emptiness is naturally and always appearing to the very subtle mind of great bliss, like water mixed with water; and if we could only experience it, (which we will one day), we’ll discover for ourselves that this mind of bliss and emptiness pervades all phenomena.

In ultimate truth there are no impure things, no samsara, no suffering and no mistaken appearance; everything is completely pure in the nature of definitive Heruka, emptiness inseparable from the clear light of bliss. ~The New Guide to Dakini Land, p 151.

With Tantra, we can totally let go of external and internal attachments and finally enjoy ourselves. And that enjoyment is profoundly meaningful — leading us closer and closer to the bliss and emptiness of enlightenment, into which pure state we can absorb all living beings, freeing them at once from suffering.

Latest update — August 10th, 2016

Transforming enjoyments was just explained beautifully at the Summer Festival 2016. Here is the verse and explanation we can use if we wish, all taken from Ven Geshe Kelsang’s commentary to the Oral Instructions of the Mahamudra:

In the Temple of the body of myself as basis Heruka
Appear Heruka Father & Mother, the nature of my purified indestructible white & red drop,
Surrounded by the Heroes & Heroines of the five wheels, the nature of my purified channels & drop elements.
I offer to you, synthesis of all Buddhas of the ten directions,
All my daily enjoyments – eating, drinking, and enjoying any other object of desire.
May I quickly attain enlightenment and become like you so that I will effortlessly benefit all living beings.

While concentrating on the meaning of these words, we enjoy any objects of desire as offerings to the holy beings who reside in the temple of our body. This practice is a special method to transform our daily enjoyments into the quick path to enlightenment. This is Tantric technology.


Tantric empowerments are given regularly at New Kadampa Tradition Centers throughout the world.

Author: Luna Kadampa

Based on 40 years' experience, I write about applying meditation and modern Buddhism to improve and transform our everyday lives and societies. I try to make it accessible to everyone anywhere who wants more inner peace and profound tools to help our world, not just Buddhists. Do make comments any time and I'll write you back!

14 thoughts on “Tantra: bliss boost”

  1. Absolutely wonderful,beautiful article Luna,thank you so much for writing,teaching us.
    Emptiness is Bliss,Bliss is Emptiness 😊💙❤️

  2. Hey Luna..

    This is a question coming on and off in my mind for a while. I see how bliss is beneficial and cuts your attachment and all the good things you mentioned. However, bliss is tantric compassion and I fail to see the compassion here.

    When I meditate on compassion my heart is focused on others and one almost gets moved to tears. When I generate bliss in meditation, however, my mind is more “drawn in” rather than “reaching out”. Even though I may use the motivation of compassion, when I generate bliss, there is no mindfulness of compassion, there is only bliss. I am not sure if there should be an ongoing experience of compassion as one experiences bliss. Is this a selfish self-liberation only approach (even though thats not what I mean to do) and is it an unqualified meditation? I’m not an experienced practitioner but I am trying, and would love your enunciate instructions on this.

    Thank you!

    1. Good question. I think that with compassion and love we are also drawing others “in”, we are not really going “out”. We are drawing them into our heart chakra, bringing them into the orbit of our love. That is very blissful. Try adding the love and compassion to your bliss at your heart and see what happens.

      1. I got it, finally, with help from other sangha as well. The compassion I was referring to was conventional bodhichitta that still maintains that other sentient beings are outside my mind. What you describe is essentially ultimate bodhichitta which is the compassion that I was experiencing conjoined with the understanding of their (and my) emptiness. Thanks!

      2. Four years past, I am still struggling with this. I said I got it but I had not, sorry!

        I train in bliss every day. When I train in completion stage practice of imagining/knowing that there is nectar dripping from the nada inside my central channel, can I impute that the nectar is the nature of love and compassion arising from my very subtle mind as I train in bliss? I don’t necessarily need to imagine all sentient beings but I feel this imputation will help me stay in connection. Thank you for your patience!

  3. Hi scrig this kadampalife.org site is awsome gives little email articles if you scroll down you can sign up ….if you like Love g 

    Sent from Samsung Mobile

  4. Hey Luna, beautiful article! It was so helpful to read this for my own practice. I LOVE this quote and plan to make it my every day mantra!

    “Having rejected the supreme joy of the sacred Dharma
    That is an endless source of delight,
    Why am I distracted by the causes of pain,
    Why do I enjoy frivolous amusements and the like?”

    Could you please share where it is from?

    Thank you!

      1. I have another ‘technical’ question. You mention “leading us closer and closer to the bliss and emptiness of enlightenment, into which pure state we can absorb all living beings, freeing them at once from suffering.” How does that work? Buddha Shakyamuni who appeared in this world is enlightened but I and countless other sentient beings are still experiencing suffering. How does a becoming a Buddha free all living beings “at once” from suffering?

        Geshla keeps saying enlightenment is easy (the famous three years or less promise!). But when one becomes enlightened, is it easy to liberate countless sentient beings too? I get that for the pure mind of Buddha, all sentient beings appear are pure as Dakas and Dakinis but that does not mean that all these sentient beings have been freed from their suffering, right? They are not experiencing themselves in the same way a Buddha is experiencing them as. Buddha Avalokiteshwara cried tears of compassion seeing the state of affairs of countless beings. I’m not saying that therefore one need not try and just stay deluded.. but it doesn’t seem easy to liberate all sentient beings 🙁

        1. Another good question. The short answer is that there are no inherently existent suffering beings. I am planning a blog post on this very subject, actually, and I will try to do it soonish.

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