How to be enlightened right now per Tantra

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Vajrayogini is a female enlightened Deity of Highest Yoga Tantra who is the manifestation of the wisdom of all the Buddhas. By engaging in the Tantric practice of Vajrayogini under the guidance of a qualified Spiritual Guide, sincere practitioners can completely purify their body, speech, and mind and attain the state of full enlightenment.

Vajrayogini at festival

I didn’t make that up — I just got it from the back cover of The New Guide to Dakini Land. It seems like a good time to talk about Buddha Vajrayogini and Buddha Heruka seeing as thousands of people are about to receive these Highest Yoga Tantra empowerments in Mexico and/or are intent on doing so in England this summer. If you have these empowerments already, or are getting them soon, please read on. Otherwise, you may prefer to wait

Bringing the result into the path

In Tantra, we bring the result of our future spiritual practice into the present by generating ourselves as a Deity, ie, a Tantric Buddha or enlightened being. This is based on renunciation, bodhichitta, and the wisdom realizing emptiness, all explained in Buddha’s Sutra teachings. These so-called “three principal aspects of the path” are said to be like the runway, and Tantra the airplane that flies us non-stop from samsara to the city of enlightenment.

I want to be free right now

Heruka and VajrayoginiIn general, therefore, we generate ourself as a Buddha out of renunciation. For as long as we impute ourselves upon, or identify with, a samsaric body and mind, thinking “me” — which we don’t need to do, by the way, if we understand that self is mere name with nothing behind it — we have no choice but to inhabit all the sufferings thrown up by a meaty body and a deluded mind.

So what is it like to be a Buddha instead? To have a body made of wisdom light instead of this painful crunchy old bag of bones? To have an omniscient blissful loving mind completely free from ignorance, mistaken perceptions, and suffering?

I want others to be free right now

And we self-generate as a Buddha especially out of compassion. We cannot bear kind living beings to suffer for even one more day — dawdling along the spiritual path is not an option. So we have to get enlightened, and quickly. We are thinking, “I can do this. I am already arising as a Buddha in an enlightened Pure Land, with pure enjoyments, helping all living beings.”

radiating light

As soon as we can already imagine doing this, that is the point when it starts becoming a reality. And everything is speeded up. We can go around all day blasting blessings from our heart, giving everyone peace and bliss. 

I can do it right now

And we CAN self-generate to become the embodiment of renunciation, bodhichitta, and all other good qualities because everything lacks existence from its own side and is mere projection of the mind. We dissolve ourselves and all other phenomena into the clear light of bliss and emptiness — the mere absence of all the things we normally perceive — and, like a rainbow appearing in an empty sky, arise from that as a Buddha in a Pure Land full of pure beings and enjoyments.

Our main basis of imputation for “me” is bliss mixed inseparably with the mere absence of all the things we normally see — the absence of all those real things that usually draw us in, bog us down, and make us develop self-grasping and other delusions. We are now vast, omniscient, and effortlessly all-compassionate, able to emanate or appear whatever people need whenever and wherever they need it.

So this is what we are aiming for! This is what it will be like to be a Buddha. So this is who we imagine we are now.

Everything is imagination

rainbow lightAs I explain more in this article, this so called “correct imagination” is based on the wisdom realizing that nothing is fixed, everything is mere imputation or conceptual label. It is just as “realistic,” indeed far more so, than the limited, hallucinatory sense of self projected and fixed by the ignorance of our self-grasping. It also works a great deal better. Regarding ourselves as stuck, ordinary, useless, and suffering keeps us exactly that way, whereas every moment of regarding ourselves as free, enlightened, powerful, and blissful draws us into liberation and enlightenment for our own and others’ sake.

Self-generation is not as hard as you may think

By the way, generating or identifying ourselves as Vajrayogini or Heruka is not as hard as we sometimes make out. And far from being abstract, irrelevant to “real life”, or fantastical, it is an immensely practical and realistic way to overcome daily run-of-the-mill delusions and effortlessly help others.

In degenerate times, when discouragement and low self-image abound, I think the practice of Tantra is essential not just for attaining enlightenment but for making any real headway against our delusions and sustaining the energy and confidence needed to help others.

So I plan to share some tips and tricks on this shortly 😊 Starting with this.

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Some articles on Tantra 

Rewriting the story of my life 

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!

13 thoughts on “How to be enlightened right now per Tantra”

  1. Hello Luna,
    I have the following deluded concerns about being reborn in Keajra and getting enlightened. Could you please help me?
    (1) I feel the human realm is more conducive to my practice than being reborn in Keajra (while still not being enlightened) and continuing my practice there. My strongest delusion is attachment and it helps to have ordinary generally unattractive appearances as it automatically functions as guarding of my sense doors. I once had a lucid dream of someone attractive and KNOWING that its illusory and doesn’t exist, my mind was still responding with strong attachment, it was a discouraging experience. In Keajra, with attractive Dakas and Dakinis all around, my attachment will be flared up all the time. This is my main concern on being reborn in Keajra unless I have attained enlightenment already. The other concern is that its so much easier to generate compassion being in the thick of suffering all around me.
    (2) I love enlightenment and I have a wish for attaining it. I love the Sutra explanations and most of the Tantra descriptions of enlightenment except for one detail, that is, all our gross minds will cease forever. A permanent cessation of all gross minds seems like going into NOTHINGNESS. At the same time, I feel Geshla is enlightened and he functions just fine in the world. Could you clarify how someone can have no gross minds and still function in the world?
    Much love and gratitude.

    1. Dear Yona, you don’t have to go to outer pure Dakini Land if you don’t want to, you can pray to practice in the human realm; but you may be over-worrying things. In any event, you are aiming for inner Pure Dakini Land, meaning clear light, and as your mind gets purer you’ll have no choice but to have pure appearances. As for (2) all our gross minds do is throw up hallucinations. Our very subtle mind carries our life, as Ven Geshe-la says, and is very far from nothingness — everything arises from it like a dream for the Dharmakaya.

      1. Thank you for clarifying, Luna. I do have the wish to go to Keajra, I’m working on not being afraid of my attachments. Maybe a very ordinary perspective question but do beings in Keajra have partners like they do in human realm?

  2. Hi And Metta Dear Luna.
    I have just written/typed a wanna-be post, but can’t decide if I want to actually post it, as others (close to me, especially) will read it. It is (as always!☺) coincidentally appropriate to your post.. I attach it below as a perhaps precognitional perception/musing of my “correct imagination, empowerment, Bringing the result into the Path” and as a heartfelt comment to your amazing post (Deep gratitude and respect for sharing it!)

    I am resolved to be mindful in all that I do until then, continually assessing my mind for further developments and/or progress.


    1. Dear Tara, I read your post with sympathy and respect but decided not to post it in its entirety because, as you also imply, it is perhaps a bit too personal. I hope you don’t mind.

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