ClarityBelow you can find some observations and meditations on Tantra to give you an idea of what this profound Buddhist practice is about.

If you want to practice Tantra in depth, and have some basic experience of and appreciation for renunciation, bodhichitta, and the correct view of emptiness, you would do well to find a qualified Tantric Master and seek out a Tantric empowerment, or initiation. (My own Tantric Master is Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche.)

Empowerments are given regularly at New Kadampa Tradition Centers throughout the world, and this Summer in particular they are available for the first and perhaps only time via livestream! Here is the website: https://kadampafestivals.org/summer


What is Tantra?

Extract: I wanted to say a bit about what Tantra is within the Buddhist tradition, and how accessible it can be. Buddhist Tantra is known as the “quick path to enlightenment.” Judging by my local bookstore and a quick Google search, a lot of people might be misunderstanding what Tantra is — for example, it is not about middle-aged couples in Hawaii improving their sex lives.

Tantra: using the power of our imagination

Extract: Tantra uses these two things, bliss and imagination, to go straight for the result we seek in our spiritual practice–our quest for improvement and the ability to help others—by our imagining that we are already enlightened. And why not? We make it up all the time anyway, who we are. Who were you today?

pure potentialTantra: bringing the result into the path

Extract: How we can use the power of bliss, wisdom, and the creative power of our imagination swiftly to switch our sense of being stuck and limited with the sense of being liberated and enlightened.

Tantra and attachment

Extract: Attachment therefore is a sticky delusion, and a deeply conditioned bad habit, so how are we going to get unstuck? Luckily Buddha Shakyamuni taught us a very special way to do this … Tantric practice.

Tantra: transforming enjoyments

Extract:  This is a simple exercise that can be practiced even without an empowerment, and that shows something both profound and liberating: we have the power within us to generate bliss. We don’t need another person, a physical act, or any external object to create it.

Tantra: bliss and emptiness

Extract: The object that we mainly use bliss to meditate on is the ultimate nature of reality, emptiness, the actual dreamlike nature of things.

Tantra: the bliss boost

Light dispersion illustration.

Extract: 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.

Happiness is here right now

Extract: So let’s say you are enjoying the presence of a person in your life. Enjoy it, but understand that the person is reminding you of the enjoyment that exists within your own mind. They are giving you a window into the fact that bliss is possible but only if you stay with the source of the happiness, which is not the person but your own experience.

Rewriting the story of my life

Extract: We don’t need to think “I want to be Buddha some day” or “I will be Buddha in the future”. Wanting or hoping creates a gap between who we think we are now (some deluded being with big problems) and who we might be in some la la land future. And how will we bridge that gap?  If we can’t bridge it today, why will we be able to JTK five visionstomorrow? Instead, we already ARE, and we relate to that and happily create all the causes for it in the here and now – meditations on love and compassion, the six perfections, bliss and emptiness, the central channel, and so on.

Using bliss to overcome attachment and other delusions ~ a guest article

Extract: We are learning to turn within to our experience to find the happiness and freedom we seek. With familiarity, this bliss within our heart will grow and we will naturally rely on it to find satisfaction. Over time it will become infinitely more satisfying than any of our ordinary enjoyments.

How to be enlightened right now

Extract: 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.

Practicing Tantra is not as hard as you think

Extract: We don’t have to wait to perfect all these minds before we practice self-generation or every time we practice self-generation. Self-generation need not always be the culmination of all our other meditations — it can also function as a jumping off point.

Escape to reality

Extract: Buddhist Tantra is far from escapist, far from make-believe. At the moment we are hallucinating ourselves, the world, and everything and everyone else – projecting a “real” world outside the mind and then reacting as if it was actually there. Samsara is the make-believe. Tantra sees through the hallucinations. It escapes TO reality, rather than from reality.

Using Tantra to destroy everyday delusions

Extract: The mandala and Deities are inspirational and powerful because they are the embodiment of every stage of the path and every quality of enlightenment. Just remembering them automatically purifies and empowers our mind. I think of it as like all the Sutra and Tantra realizations appearing in technicolor.

Once a Buddha, always a Buddha

Extract: If we’re used to identifying with our Buddha nature from a Sutra point of view, then we do this now from a Tantric point of view, bringing the result into the path – which makes our progress smooth, joyful, and rapid.

Right here, right now

Extract: And the thing about enlightenment? …

Enlightenment is reality.

Everything else is mistaken appearance — it is unreality. And buying into it is why we are suffering.

Becoming Wonder Woman

Extract: Buddha Vajrayogini is the greatest Wonder Woman of them all. And the best thing about her is that she is the embodiment of the bliss and emptiness of a completely purified mind, so we can all become her — become a Wonder Woman or a Wonder Man — through practicing the union of Buddhist Sutra and Tantra.

The Tantric opportunity

Extract: Beyond that it can be hard to wrap our mind around being a Buddha who goes around liberating each and every living being every day, bestowing blessings on everyone we meet and think about (which will be everyone) all the time! But once we receive the empowerments we do generate ourself as such an enlightened being, bringing the future result of our practice into the present, realizing the aims of our bodhichitta in the here and now.

Highest Yoga Tantra: the quick path to enlightenment

Extract: There is a slow way to enlightenment and there is a fast way. According to Sutra, it takes literally aeons to become a Bodhisattva, practice the six perfections, and attain enlightenment. According to Tantra, we can get the job done in one lifetime! Once we’re interested in attaining enlightenment, therefore, who wants to go the slow poke way? Not me.

5 thoughts on “Tantra”

  1. I have mental heath issues. A good imagination. But some lack of direction. I am beginning to do voluntary, work. The teachings you have given here, have given me more of an approach as how to guide my life in practical manner. Emotionally. How to enjoy myself and not to forget to cherish others. In other words to keep myself in hand.

  2. This meditation on bliss ..generating the feeling created by the person or external object …then removing it and remaining in the bliss inside the mind is a good meditation experience.My teacher guides this one sometimes and it is most powerful and leaves a lasting imprint.

  3. Thank you so much. I hear the word tantra, trantric practise etc, so much. I usually dare not ask what it is as I think I will not understand the answer. This is so helpful. I appreciate that you kept it short and simple, enabling some kind of grasp of it. Something solid to work with.
    Keep up your amazingly good work! 🙏🏻
    It is so appreciated.

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