Tibetan Rituals, Practice for Beginners?

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Re: Tibetan Rituals, Practice for Beginners?

Postby Paul » Mon Mar 21, 2011 10:45 pm

heart wrote:
Hayagriva wrote:
Padme wrote:
Right, but isn't is also true that not all Tibetan is Vajrayana? That's what I'm trying to understand. I thought I was trying to find out about Tibetan Buddhism in general, not necessarily Vajrayana. There are Tibetan Buddhists who do not practice Vajrayana, aren't there? :thinking:


Yes. Vajrayana is not practised by all Tibetan Buddhists, but sections of all three levels of teaching are practised in the Tibetan lineages. For example the Vinaya followed by Tibetan monastics is actually a hinayana one - Mulasarvastivada.


Like I said, Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana is and was studied and practiced in Tibet. But I never heard of anyone not practicing Vajrayana in Tibet.

/magnus


Surely the vast majority of people in Tibet would be, at most, Mahayana? Of course there's some blurring of lines in reality, but I would find it hard to believe that 'proper' Vajrayana practice is so common.
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Re: Tibetan Rituals, Practice for Beginners?

Postby Caz » Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:37 pm

Hi friend if your looking for something practicle try Lamrim this is pretty much a universal must do, These minds developed with these meditations make rituals all the much more meaningful :namaste:
Abandoning Dharma is, in the final analysis, disparaging the Hinayana because of the Mahayana; favoring the Hinayana on account of the Mahayana; playing off sutra against tantra; playing off the four classes of the tantras against each other; favoring one of the Tibetan schools—the Sakya, Gelug, Kagyu, or Nyingma—and disparaging the rest; and so on. In other words, we abandon Dharma any time we favor our own tenets and disparage the rest.

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Re: Tibetan Rituals, Practice for Beginners?

Postby Adamantine » Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:24 am

Hayagriva wrote:Surely the vast majority of people in Tibet would be, at most, Mahayana? Of course there's some blurring of lines in reality, but I would find it hard to believe that 'proper' Vajrayana practice is so common.


Well in general-- I'd have to agree probably the majority of Buddhists in Tibet and Tibetans in exile are Vajrayana, simply by virtue of the fact most of them have most likely received a Vajrayana empowerment, even if just a long-life empowerment. Likewise, the majority of Tibetan Buddhists , laity, who are not specialists such as ngakpas or monks are at the least consistently engaging in Vajrayana type activities such as reciting the Mani or doing Tara supplications, etc.
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Re: Tibetan Rituals, Practice for Beginners?

Postby mudra » Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:52 am

to come back to the OP's original query:

Have you already taken refuge? Was it with a Tibetan lama? The lineage of that lama (if you have) will provide plenty
of answers to your questions.

The very basics of a Buddhist's daily practice would include, after cleaning the space and preparing your altar, setting up nice offerings in the best manner (you can read up on these), sit in an appropriate manner (7 or 8 point Vairochana posture), and with mind focused:

1. recite the Refuge (and reflection on refuge in the Three Jewels) 3x in the morning, 3x times in the evening. The three sets each can be, and usually are, recited in one sitting. In the Tibetan Buddhist tradition this would include the lines regarding Bodhicitta ("through the practice of my generosity etc...)

2. Some variant of the 7 limb prayer:
-homage to the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, lineage
-presentation of the offerings
-confession of misdeeds accompanied by deep regret, determination not to do it again, faith in 3 jewels
-rejoicing in the virtues of all beings, Buddhas down to ordinary beings
-requesting the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and teachers to continue to give the Dharma
-supplicating them to remain with us
-dedicating all the above to your attaining englightenment for the sake of others

3. If you know it then offer a mandala to all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas etc you have visualized

4. You could add in here a special prayer to them that they "bless" (inspire) your mind to improve etc

5. It is also possible to add other prayers here.

6. meditate a bit

7. Don't forget to dedicate the merit from the whole session.


a little note to magnus:
Like I said, Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana is and was studied and practiced in Tibet. But I never heard of anyone not practicing Vajrayana in Tibet.


Theravada? Perhaps you were referring to "Hinayana" or Pratimokshayana. Theravada is more of Sri Lankan/Thai/Burmese phenomena, it is a more specific sub branch.
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Re: Tibetan Rituals, Practice for Beginners?

Postby kirtu » Tue Mar 22, 2011 2:30 am

Padme wrote:
kirtu wrote:You can do prayers and some practice like Shakyamuni Buddha, Medicine Buddha and Tara.


Thank you, but can I ask for a little clarification? Are those three things types of Buddhas, or actual practices?


Shakyamuni Buddha is the historical Buddha of 2500 years ago. Medicine Buddha is a Buddha whose primary function is to heal beings. Tara (there are many different manifestations but I am really referring to Green Tara here) is a Buddha manifesting as a Bodhisattva from the very different past. She is a female Bodhisattva.

So historically in East Asia there were prayers and basic practices for Shakyamuni and Medicine Buddha. In Tibetan Buddhism the basic Praise to the 21 Taras was historically known by everyone.

None of these require empowerments (special tantric permission) to practice. These are both Buddhas and practices. I am suggesting that you check them out and see if there are what you might be looking for initially.

Shakyamuni Buddha Practice
Medicine Buddha
Praise to 21 Taras

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

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Re: Tibetan Rituals, Practice for Beginners?

Postby dorje.neljorma » Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:01 am

I think What mudra has said could be what you are looking for.

Water bowl offerings, etc are not necessarily Vajrayana, and can be done by anyone.

Praises to the 21 Taras, Chenrezig meditations, OM MANI PADME HUM etc can also be done without empowerment, but they are vajrayana.

For the water offerings, butterlamp offerings, incense offering, refuge, mandala offering, 7-limb prayer, sutra chanting/recitation etc, you could consult various Lamrim Texts, such as Liberation in the Palm of your Hand by Pabongkha Rinpoche - it is explained very detailed in there.

Chanting the Heart Sutra every day would also be good.

A so-called ritual that I assume almost every Tibetan in Tibet would have done would be water bowl offerings, and butterlamp offerings.

You can also do prostrations, 3 every morning/evening. Or prostrations to the 35 Buddhas (I don't think that is considered vajrayana?)

Breathing meditation is another option. Circumambulating stupas is another ritual, although not necessarily only a Tibetan ritual.
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Re: Tibetan Rituals, Practice for Beginners?

Postby Heruka » Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:18 am

i would simply try and just sit quiet, meditate, use a candle with a buddha statue or image to focus on, and just start from there. no need to complicate things with ideas.
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Re: Tibetan Rituals, Practice for Beginners?

Postby heart » Tue Mar 22, 2011 6:13 am

Hayagriva wrote:
heart wrote:
Surely the vast majority of people in Tibet would be, at most, Mahayana? Of course there's some blurring of lines in reality, but I would find it hard to believe that 'proper' Vajrayana practice is so common.


Higer or lower Tantra all Tibetans will practice some Tantra even if it is just reciting the mani.

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
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Re: Tibetan Rituals, Practice for Beginners?

Postby heart » Tue Mar 22, 2011 6:18 am

mudra wrote:a little note to magnus:
Like I said, Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana is and was studied and practiced in Tibet. But I never heard of anyone not practicing Vajrayana in Tibet.


Theravada? Perhaps you were referring to "Hinayana" or Pratimokshayana. Theravada is more of Sri Lankan/Thai/Burmese phenomena, it is a more specific sub branch.


Well the Mulasarvastivada Ordination Lineage could be called Theravada or Hinayana if you prefer since this is its source, this is also the lineage of the Tripitaka.

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
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Re: Tibetan Rituals, Practice for Beginners?

Postby Silent Bob » Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:27 pm

I respectfully suggest that page after page of well-intended but conflicting suggestions here may only have added to OP's confusion rather than helping.

Chris
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Re: Tibetan Rituals, Practice for Beginners?

Postby Padme » Tue Mar 22, 2011 4:06 pm

Silent Bob wrote:I respectfully suggest that page after page of well-intended but conflicting suggestions here may only have added to OP's confusion rather than helping.

Chris


You suspect correctly. :thinking: I've been told I should not practice unless I have a teacher, I've been told it's okay and go ahead, then the conversation turned to Vajrayana, which is probably my mistake for using improper terminology, but I never even meant Vajrayana, so now I don't even know if there is a form of Tibetan Buddhism that isn't Vajarayana, and regardless of that, I don't know if I should or should not be attempting to practice without a teacher, which I simply do not have access to. Oh, and I've been told I need to "come off my mountain too", which kind of kills the point of me buying a cottage in the mountains for peace and solitude. So yes, I'm confused.

Don't get me wrong, I truly appreciate all the posters comments and suggestions, but I do have to admit that I am now more confused than ever.
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Re: Tibetan Rituals, Practice for Beginners?

Postby mudra » Tue Mar 22, 2011 4:15 pm

Padme,

You asked for suggestions on daily rituals, the assumption was that you wanted to engage in them, and you got various suggestions.

You don't do any specifically "vajrayana" rituals until you have received initiation from a qualified lama. As for the rest, simple refuge and bodhicitta is useful and good to remind yourself daily. The 7 limb prayer described is simple, it helps generate merit, improve the mind and slowly purify negativity. All rituals are accessories to these two activities, so whatever you do this basically what you keep in mind.
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Re: Tibetan Rituals, Practice for Beginners?

Postby LastLegend » Tue Mar 22, 2011 4:25 pm

LECTURE GIVEN BY TRIPITAKA MASTER HSUAN HUA, 1971

OM MANI PADME HUM

These six characters together make up the Six Character Great Bright Mantra; each one individually is able to emit brilliant light.

Mantras and their meanings are studied in the Secret School, one of the five schools into which the principles of the Buddha's teachings are divided:

1) the Dhyana School;
2) the Teaching School;
3) the Vinaya School;
4) the Secret School;
5) the Pure Land School.

The Dhyana School teaches constant investigation of dhyana meditation; the Teaching School, lecturing sutras and speaking dharma; the Vinaya School, exclusive maintenance of moral prohibitions: "awesome, majestic, and pure in vinaya, great models for the three realms". Then there is the Secret School. Secret means "no mutual knowing". The Pure Land School teaches the exclusive mindfulness and recitation of "Na Mo A Mi T'o Fo", the "Vast Six Character Name".

Some people say the Dhyana School is highest of the five. Others claim that the Teaching School, or the Vinaya School, is highest. Cultivators of the Secret School say, "The Secret School is supreme". Practicers of the Pure Land Dharma-door say, "The Pure Land Dharma-door is first, it is superior". Actually, Dharma is equal; there is no high or low. "Highest" is everyone's own personal opinion; whatever school you like you claim it to be the highest.

Now I will explain the Secret School. What most people understand to be the Secret School is actually Lamaism. In fact, the Secret School is not secret. Within the "explicit" teaching, the manifest and secret perfectly penetrate. The "explicit" teaching also includes the Secret School; for example, the Great Compassion Mantra, and the Six-Character Great Bright Mantra both belong to the Secret School. The Shurangama Mantra is even more secret. "Secret" is just "no mutual knowing".

Ignorant people say that secret things are the best. Why? Because they are secret, and not publicly transmitted. So people who don't understand the Buddhadharma speak of the supernatural and mysterious saying, "Oh! I can't tell this to you! It's from the Secret School, and it can't be spoken for you to hear!" If they can't speak of it to others, why mention it? Why do they say they can't talk about it? If it's really the Secret School, and it's best not to speak of it, why do they say, "I can't tell you"? Their "not talking" is just talking about it. Is this "refusal to speak of it" speaking of it or not? Yes, it's speaking of it. Why do they talk this way? Because they don't understand the Buddhadharma, and are completely unaware of what the Secret School is.

Now I will tell you about the Secret School. Mantras are not secret. The Secret School is the magical response which comes from your recitation of mantras; I can't know your response. I recite mantras and have my magical response, and you do not know of it. This is "no mutual knowing". The ability and power are unknown, and therefore are called the Secret School. It's not mantras, but the power of mantras that is the Secret School. This is the meaning of the Secret School.

If mantras are really secret, they should not be transmitted to other people; for if you transmit a mantra to someone else, it is no longer secret. It is the same as the Sixth Patriarch's answer to Hui Ming's question:

"He (Hui Ming) further asked, 'Apart from the above secret speech and secret meaning, is there yet another secret meaning?'

Hui Neng said, 'What has been spoken to you is not secret. If you reverse the illumination, the secret is on your side."'

Speak it and it is not secret. Take a look; he said it very clearly. Once spoken, it is no longer secret. The "secret" is that which is not transmitted. If it can be transmitted, it is not "secret". The "secret" can not be transmitted; it is on your side; it is where you are.

I don't believe that Secret School Dharma Masters understand how validly explain "secret" dharma. They simply think that mantras are secret, but all mantras can orally transmitted to people; there are no mantras, which cannot be spoken. If they couldn't be spoken, there would be no way to transmit them. Isn't that right? We are now speaking true principle. If it is transmittable, it is not secret--it is not the Secret School.

Because the "secret" is un- transmittable, I say that the "secret" is the mantra's power, and there is no way anyone can tell you about it. No one can say, "This mantra has this power, and when you recite it such and such will happen." There is no way to tell you. It is like a man drinking water; he himself knows whether it is hot or cold. The "secret" is that which you know and others don't. The strength is secret, the response is secret, the function is secret; it is not the mantra that is secret. Now does everyone understand?

Those who don't understand the Buddhadharma must have thought that I have spoken incorrectly about this dharma. Incorrect or not, I will still speak this way. Say I am right...there is no way for you to say that. Since you fundamentally do not understand this dharma, how can you say that I understand. I don't understand; I'm even more muddled. Previously, however, I had a teacher who taught me with great clarity so that I understood, and this confused person changed into one who could speak and explain the Six-Character Great Bright Mantra according to the Secret School.

The Secret School is separated into five divisions, East, West, North, South, and Center. In the East is the Vajra Division, which protects and maintains the proper Dharma. In the South is the Jeweled Birth Division; the West, the Lotus Flower Division; the North, the Karma Division; and in the Center the Buddha Division. If there were more time...the Shurangama Mantra explains these five divisions in great detail.

If there is one person who can recite the Shurangama Mantra, the demon kings cannot manifest in the world. If no one is able to recite it, demons can enter all of the three thousand great thousand world systems. Why? Because no one watches over them; no one works in the five divisions, so the demons are able to enter the world. If one person, however, can recite the Shurangama Mantra, demons do not dare enter. It is just because of this that we hope more people will learn to recite the Shurangama Mantra. During the first summer session, the first test was to recite the Shurangama Mantra from memory, and in fact two people were able to do so. Later, many more were able to recite the mantra. It was just for this reason. Now I will talk about the Six Character Great Bright Mantra.

The first character is "nan (Sanskrit: om)". When you recite "nan" once, all ghosts and spirits must place their palms together. Why do they put their palms together? To maintain the rules and regulations. Conforming to the regulations, they follow the correct way. Recite this one character and all ghosts and spirits do not dare rebel and create confusion; they do not dare disobey orders. This is called leading sound-meaning, i.e. lead to the mantra to be mentioned below. This is the first sound in the mantra.

"Ma ni (Sanskrit: mani)" means "wisdom silence". Using wisdom one is able to understand all principles, and thus is able to be silently extinguished, without production. It is also defined as "separating from filth" which means leaving all dust and filth. It can be compared to the "precious as-you-will pearl" which is extremely pure, with no defilement. Whatever excellence you wish to bring forth, if you have the "precious as-you-will pearl" it can be done. It can also fulfill your wishes in accord with your thoughts. Every vow you make will be fulfilled. These are its benefits.

"Pa mi (Sanskrit: padme) actually should read "pa t'e mi". It means "light perfectly illuminating", and is also defined as "the opening of the lotus". It is analogous to the wonderful lotus flower, which can complete, perfect, and fulfill, without obstruction. It is the wonderful mind of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva. This is "pa mi".

Next comes "hung ( Sanskrit: hum) which means "put forth". Anything at all can be born from this character "hung". It also means "to protect and support". Recite this character and all Dharma protectors and good spirits come to support and protect you. It also means "eradicating disasters". Recite this character and whatever difficulties there are will be eradicated. It also means "success"; whatever you cultivate can be accomplished.

Recite the Six-Character Great Bright Mantra once, and the immeasurable Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and Vajra Dharma protectors constantly support and protect you. Therefore, when Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva finished saying this Six-Character Great Bright Mantra, there were seven million Buddhas who came to support, protect, and surround him. The strength and function of the Six-Character Great Bright Mantra are inconceivable, the intertwining of the response and way unimaginable; therefore it is called the Secret School. If one were to explain in detail, the meanings would be immeasurable and unlimited; they cannot be completely spoken. So tonight I will just make a simple explanation for everyone.

Now I will tell you a little of that which cannot be told of the Secret School's strength. Why do I say "of that which cannot be told"? Because my talking does not even contain one ten—thousandth part of it. What is it? If you are able to constantly recite and maintain the Six-Character Great Bright Mantra, there will be six paths of light changing the darkness of the six paths into brightness. It is necessary that you turn your mind to one when reciting this mantra to obtain this type of samadhi. Then, not only will the six paths put forth light, but all of the ten dharma realms will become the "great light bright treasury". So now we know that the Six-Character Great Bright Mantra has great strength. I hope that everyone will set aside time from his or her activities to recite the Six-Character Great Bright Mantra.

http://www.drbachinese.org/online_readi ... lables.htm

Is this explanation in accord with your knowledge of Tibetan Vajrayana?


Read at your own risk
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)
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Re: Tibetan Rituals, Practice for Beginners?

Postby Padme » Tue Mar 22, 2011 5:10 pm

mudra wrote:Padme,

You asked for suggestions on daily rituals, the assumption was that you wanted to engage in them, and you got various suggestions.


I wasn't complaining Mudra, I was just agreeing with silent bob that all the differences of opinion is getting confusing. I apparently contributed to the confusion by using the word "rituals", which apparently led everyone to believe I'm trying to practice Vajarayana, which again, I am not. So things got side-tracked talking about how I need a teacher to practice Vajrayana, etc., which is not what I am trying to practice. I was under the impression that there was a "general form of Tibetan Buddhism" that did not involve practice to the degree of Vajrayana. So yes, you are correct that I want to engage in practice, but not Vajrayana. I already stated that was my mistake if I misled anyone with my ignorance of terminology.

mudra wrote:You don't do any specifically "vajrayana" rituals until you have received initiation from a qualified lama. As for the rest, simple refuge and bodhicitta is useful and good to remind yourself daily. The 7 limb prayer described is simple, it helps generate merit, improve the mind and slowly purify negativity. All rituals are accessories to these two activities, so whatever you do this basically what you keep in mind.


Yes, this is all I was asking for. Just basic things I can be practicing. Thank you, and to others who have also suggested specific things like this.

I think my confusion is because once I realized people assumed I meant Vajrayana, I asked "There are Tibetan Buddhists who do not practice Vajrayana, aren't there?" and one person clearly said "no", while others said "yes". So that is confusing for me. Again, I am not complaining. Just confused. Apparently I should not have used the word 'rituals'.
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Re: Tibetan Rituals, Practice for Beginners?

Postby Padme » Tue Mar 22, 2011 5:20 pm

For clarity of my original post, which I apparently did not word very well, my question is this:

Are there forms of Tibetan Buddhism that are not Vajrayana?

If so, are there names for those forms?

If so, what practices to those schools of thought practice, days of observance, certain meditations, etc?

I apologize if my original post was misleading. I am a beginner to Buddhism, hardly ready to jump into deep Vajrayana practice, do not have access to a teacher, and want a simple form of Buddhism to start out with. I suppose I keep specifying "Tibetan" because I relate best with books and speakers from the Tibetan school of thought. Speakers like Pema Chodron, Bob Thurman, etc. While they may practice Vajrayana, I know at least Chodron does, their books and talks don't typically speak of tantric practices, Vajrayana techniques, etc. They speak more generally, and that is what peaked my interest.
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Re: Tibetan Rituals, Practice for Beginners?

Postby heart » Tue Mar 22, 2011 6:54 pm

Padme wrote:For clarity of my original post, which I apparently did not word very well, my question is this:

Are there forms of Tibetan Buddhism that are not Vajrayana?

If so, are there names for those forms?

If so, what practices to those schools of thought practice, days of observance, certain meditations, etc?

I apologize if my original post was misleading. I am a beginner to Buddhism, hardly ready to jump into deep Vajrayana practice, do not have access to a teacher, and want a simple form of Buddhism to start out with. I suppose I keep specifying "Tibetan" because I relate best with books and speakers from the Tibetan school of thought. Speakers like Pema Chodron, Bob Thurman, etc. While they may practice Vajrayana, I know at least Chodron does, their books and talks don't typically speak of tantric practices, Vajrayana techniques, etc. They speak more generally, and that is what peaked my interest.


The Tibetan put great pride in that all their various teachings and practices on all various levels come from India or are versions of original teachings from India. There are, like I said a few times now, teachings from the three yanas, Hinayana, Mahayana and Vajrayana, practiced and studied in Tibet.

/magnus
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Re: Tibetan Rituals, Practice for Beginners?

Postby Adamantine » Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:05 pm

Hi Padme, you have many good suggestions here, actually most are not conflicting, it is just a matter of either doing all of them or choosing which one's seem to fit your temperament the best. Doing the practice of Shakyamuni, Tara, and Medicine Buddha, either just one of them or all three is correct, empowerment is not needed and there will still be benefit. Setting up a shrine, offering water bowls and incense to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas every morning as a way to cultivate the perfection of generosity and cut through grasping'.. these can be done, also prostrations can be done. Here is a link about water-bowl offerings http://envisionation.org/index.php?opti ... &Itemid=80
But don't confuse these things with theism.. None of these contradict my suggestion to focus on Shamatha (calm abiding) and Vipassana (insight) meditations. These forms of meditation are foundational and are cultivated in different forms through all the different levels of the path. I'm sure you can find a Pema Chodron teaching on these if you look. Focusing on arousing the Bodhicitta intention, cultivating the 6 perfections, these are all extremely important and focused on in Tibetan Buddhism but are not Vajrayana, although all Vajrayana practitioners engage in them-- in this vein, lojong / mind training can be cultivated on your own, I suggest Chogyam Trungpa's book Training the Mind. It is very lucid and helpful. (Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche was Pema Chodron's own Guru.) http://www.amazon.com/Training-Mind-Lov ... 0877739544
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Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
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Re: Tibetan Rituals, Practice for Beginners?

Postby Padme » Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:40 pm

heart wrote:The Tibetan put great pride in that all their various teachings and practices on all various levels come from India or are versions of original teachings from India. There are, like I said a few times now, teachings from the three yanas, Hinayana, Mahayana and Vajrayana, practiced and studied in Tibet.

/magnus


Yes, I heard you every time, and I am aware of these three schools. But I thought that WITHIN the Mahayana school, there was a form of Tibetan Buddhism, one that does not practice the Vajrayana tantric practices, etc. Not Varjrayana, not Theravada, but within Mahayana. I realize it all came from India originally, but I thought there was a "branch" for lack of a better term that came to be practiced in Tibet that was not Vajrayana.

For example, here's a couple excerpts from articles I've been reading:

From Dharmanet.org one sentence says:

"...Tibetan Buddhism and Vajrayana
Tibetan Buddhism and Vajrayana are usually lumped together and often confused. Tibetan Buddhism is a form of Mahayana Buddhism that developed in Tibet and the Himalayan region beginning in the 8th century C.E. It combines Mahayana philosophy, meditation, tantric symbolic rituals, Theravadan monastic discipline and the shamanism of Bon, the indigenous religion. Tibetan Buddhism is, then, a form of Mahayana Buddhism that inorporates the practice of tantra (Vajrayna)..."


An article on About.com says:

"...Tibetan and Vajrayana Buddhism
Vajrayana is sometimes presented as a third "vehicle" alongside Mahayana and Theravada. It is more often thought of as an extension of Mahayana, however. Vajrayana is the core of Tibetan Buddhism, but not all of Tibetan Buddhism is Vajrayana, and some forms of Vajrayana developed outside Tibet...."


An excerpt from Wikipedia says:

"...Vajrayana Buddhism was established in Tibet in the 8th century when Śāntarakṣita was brought to Tibet from India at the instigation of the Dharma King Trisong Detsen, some time before 767. He established the basis of what later came to be known as the Nyingma school. As a Tantric Mahasiddha Padmasambhava's contribution ensured that Tibetan Buddhism became part of the Vajrayana tradition. While Vajrayana Buddhism is a part of Tibetan Buddhism in that it forms a core part of every major Tibetan Buddhist school, it is not identical with it...."

So these are just a few examples of the things I've read that give me reason to believe that there has to be a difference between Tibetan Buddhism and Vajrayana. All of the above articles still continue on to explain Theravada, Mahayana & Vajrayana, but they do all seem to imply a Tibetan practice that's separate from Vajrayana.
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Re: Tibetan Rituals, Practice for Beginners?

Postby Padme » Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:45 pm

Adamantine wrote:..... these are all extremely important and focused on in Tibetan Buddhism but are not Vajrayana, ....


That is what I've been trying to find out Adamantine, if there are Tibetan practices that are not Vajrayana. Some have said yes, some have said no, hence my confusion. That's what I'm trying to focus on and learn more about before I even attempt to endeavor Vajrayana, if I even do at all.

Thanks for the links, I'll check them out now. :smile:
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Re: Tibetan Rituals, Practice for Beginners?

Postby pemachophel » Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:00 pm

Padme,

Practices which are Tibetan Buddhist and Mahayana but not Vajrayana:

Lo-do Nam-zhi (The four topics that turn the mind)
Tong Len
Lo Jong

You might want to do word searches for those topics. These are very wonderful, very powerful and positive practices.

Also, the three lower tantras (kriya, carya, and yoga) are tantrayana, not, strictly speaking, Vajrayana. Vajrayana only refers to the three higher tantras (Maha, Anu, and Ati). Some of the practices others have suggested to you, such as Tara and Medicine Buddha, are often practiced from either the sutra or tantrayana POV or level. When practiced from the sutrayana level, no absolute need for a Teacher. Best if we all reserve the word "Vajrayana" to specifically mean (at least within the Nyingma school) the three higher tantras.
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