Vajrayogini

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Vajrayogini

Postby rob h » Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:01 pm

Hi there,

I've never been in contact with any Tibetan Buddhists before, but have felt a connection to Vajrayogini for a number of years now. I could try and explain but it's probably more complicated than I realise and could take a while, so I'll just skip that part!

So I know that as a Tibetan Buddhist, you need an empowerment to work with her. I'm fine with that, but what I'm wondering is, as a person who's meditated on and off for over a decade, and who now sees meditation as central to health, in what ways could I work with Vajrayogini without an empowerment?

And are there any people throughout history that are known to have been inspired by, or to have worked with Vajrayogini, without being a Tibetan Buddhist/having had an empowerment to do her rituals?

Final question : do you think that someone with the right state of mind can work with Vajrayogini on a decent enough level without an empowerment? Or do you think it's impossible? Personally I think it's possible, (not for me right now though! I don't think my mind is anywhere near the right state.) but I'm wondering what some of you think.

I just kind of think that, and I'm saying this with respect and without wanting to offend, Tibetan Buddhists see themselves as kind of the gateway to being able to work with her, and that without working with them it's not possible, and I think that's a frustrating and limited view of things, that's all. I mean if Vajrayogini herself wanted to work with someone, or to inspire them, that's up to her, right?

Again, with respect, and thanks if anyone can help,

Rob
"A 'position', Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with." - MN 72
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Re: Vajrayogini

Postby heart » Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:18 pm

Why don't you just request the empowerment and instructions from a qualified Lama Rob?

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Re: Vajrayogini

Postby Blue Garuda » Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:23 pm

rob h wrote:Hi there,

I've never been in contact with any Tibetan Buddhists before, but have felt a connection to Vajrayogini for a number of years now. I could try and explain but it's probably more complicated than I realise and could take a while, so I'll just skip that part!

So I know that as a Tibetan Buddhist, you need an empowerment to work with her. I'm fine with that, but what I'm wondering is, as a person who's meditated on and off for over a decade, and who now sees meditation as central to health, in what ways could I work with Vajrayogini without an empowerment?

And are there any people throughout history that are known to have been inspired by, or to have worked with Vajrayogini, without being a Tibetan Buddhist/having had an empowerment to do her rituals?

Final question : do you think that someone with the right state of mind can work with Vajrayogini on a decent enough level without an empowerment? Or do you think it's impossible? Personally I think it's possible, (not for me right now though! I don't think my mind is anywhere near the right state.) but I'm wondering what some of you think.

I just kind of think that, and I'm saying this with respect and without wanting to offend, Tibetan Buddhists see themselves as kind of the gateway to being able to work with her, and that without working with them it's not possible, and I think that's a frustrating and limited view of things, that's all. I mean if Vajrayogini herself wanted to work with someone, or to inspire them, that's up to her, right?

Again, with respect, and thanks if anyone can help,

Rob



It's great that you feel this connection. :)

I have a similar connection, bringing home her statues from India long before I knew her as a Yidam (meditational deity).

The practice of Vajrayogini in my experience is Highest Yoga Tantra and before embarking on that path you need to be prepared correctly, and have the empowerment from a suitable Guru. An empowerment is essential and you need to be able to contextualise the practices and undertake some preliminaries.

It's maybe not what you want to hear, but I can only advise that you find a Guru. Starting on your own with this is not wise.
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Re: Vajrayogini

Postby Mr. G » Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:37 pm

Just get the empowerment. If you have a connection to VY, you won't hesitate to get the empowerment, and you won't have to ask if you should get the empowerment.
    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
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Re: Vajrayogini

Postby conebeckham » Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:44 pm

Rob-

the short answer to your main question is: No.

With respect to your question about Vajrayogini "outside" Tibetan Buddhism...well, of course it pre-existed Tibetan Buddhism. But, to my knowledge, I don't think there are any Buddhist lineages of Vajrayogini in India at present that bypassed Tibet. I could be wrong.

Of course, it all depends on what you mean by "Vajrayogini." I mean, one could be attracted to the form or image of Vajrayogini, and perhaps even meditate on that, using it as a basis for calm abiding practice. I suppose that, in a sense, one would "work" with Vajrayogini in that way, without an empowerment. But, really, if one is drawn to Vajrayogini, wouldn't one want to know everything about her? Or perhaps one could "feel desire" for Vajrayogini, and then analyse that desire, or work with that desire in other ways...but I seriously doubt someone could do this without detailed instruction and the help of a teacher.

There are many Vajrayogini practices, in fact, and myriad instructions, methods, techniques related to her....Vajrayogini's blessing is truly vast! However, even greater than the blessing of Vajrayogini, is the blessing of the Lama or Guru who is capable of passing on this blessing. So, I'd recommend that you find a teacher who can instruct you, and if appropriate, bestow the transmission.
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Re: Vajrayogini

Postby underthetree » Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:17 pm

I'm another one who arrived at the Dharma through Vajrayogini. A lifelong connection to Her in various forms, lots of searching... You know.

Everyone who has said get the empowerment is right. If you have the connection to Vajrayogini, She is a Tantric deity and the only way to take things to their destined conclusion is through the tantric empowerment. It's an extraordinary thing to experience, and then, hopefully, everything will make sense. There are commitments, though, which I am still dealing with. But at some point, you have to start walking down the path.
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Re: Vajrayogini

Postby rob h » Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:43 pm

Hi again, and thanks for the replies!

I should've added it to the first post really, but yeah just before I registered here I sent a message to Lama Jampa Thaye via Dechen.org asking about how I'd go about getting a Vajrayogini empowerment, so am just waiting to hear back from him hopefully. At the same time though it just seems like it could take quite a while before that could happen if it's possible, and leaves me kind of frustrated in the meantime. Saying that though, the meditation I usually do is Zen basically, and I can just keep up with that for now as it's worked well enough for me for quite a while.

Will hopefully get back to you and let you know how things work out anyway, and thanks again for the responses.
"A 'position', Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with." - MN 72
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Re: Vajrayogini

Postby SSJ3Gogeta » Mon Aug 20, 2012 11:09 pm

post your state or country, so that everyone can give you recommendations
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Re: Vajrayogini

Postby Virgo » Mon Aug 20, 2012 11:14 pm

X
Last edited by Virgo on Mon Aug 20, 2012 11:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Vajrayogini

Postby rob h » Mon Aug 20, 2012 11:17 pm

SSJ3Gogeta wrote:post your state or country, so that everyone can give you recommendations


Ah I'm from Hull, UK. I don't think there's many places in the UK for this either, which is why it's frustrating basically! Because even if I do get in touch with someone it's probably going to be a while before they're doing the empowerment, so it could take months at least. Will just have to have patience I guess.

I'm already reading about Tibetan Buddhism though so maybe if I learn about the Six Yogas for the time being that'll help, and it might also help me work out my own way of working with her for the time being. :buddha2:

Virgo wrote:There are some Nyingma ngondros where you arise as VY during the Guru Yoga section.

Kevin


Ah I remember reading a bit about ngondro a few years back, will check that out, thanks!
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Re: Vajrayogini

Postby pemachophel » Mon Aug 20, 2012 11:32 pm

Rob,

In Tibetan Buddhism, empowerments are typically given in response to a request for those empowerments. So you don't have to wait around until you see a Vajrayogini empowerment being given. You can make a sincere request to a Lama that He/She bestow that empowerment. That's not to say that He or She will automatically and immediately grant your request. You may be told that you have to complete certain preliminaries first, or you may be told that certain circumstances have to come together first. But, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Good luck and best wishes. :namaste:
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Re: Vajrayogini

Postby rob h » Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:14 am

pemachophel wrote:Rob,

In Tibetan Buddhism, empowerments are typically given in response to a request for those empowerments. So you don't have to wait around until you see a Vajrayogini empowerment being given. You can make a sincere request to a Lama that He/She bestow that empowerment. That's not to say that He or She will automatically and immediately grant your request. You may be told that you have to complete certain preliminaries first, or you may be told that certain circumstances have to come together first. But, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Good luck and best wishes. :namaste:


That's a huge relief, thanks! I thought I might have to wait until a certain date where they were given out to a group of people, so it's good to know that's not the case.
"A 'position', Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with." - MN 72
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Re: Vajrayogini

Postby username » Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:35 am

Hi Rob,
The 6 yogas is fine to read about but do not try them as they can be dangerous without supervision. The book on Vajrayogini by Elizabeth English is a good source on Vajrayogini though it is more academic than from a POV of practice. However Vajrayogini is a big source and has many female tantric figures & deities emanating from her as a basis. You might have a past connection with her and/or one of those deities practices. I would say just stay away from the ubiquitous centers of some who oppose the Dalai Lama as that is a sure way to downfall. Just ask people here and they will help here with any questions and take your time and read up a bit. There is no hurry. You might want to save some money (little apart from tickets) & visit India or Nepal for masters & epowerments later.

You can register for free and watch for free (or donate) the video/audio archives of Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche, after registering: Saturday talks, in below link. He has excellent books on Mahamudra/Dzogchen too which is the essence of all teachings on the nature of mind, as do his brothers Tsoknyi Rinpoche, Mingyur Rinpoche & their late father Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche whose books give you all you need to start with.
https://dharmasun.org/
Best wishes.
Dzogchen masters I know say: 1)Buddhist religion essence is Dzogchen 2)Religions are positive by intent/fruit 3)Any method's OK unless: breaking Dzogchen vows, mixed as syncretic (Milanese Soup) 4)Don't join mandalas of opponents of Dalai Lama/Padmasambhava: False Deity inventors by encouraging victims 5)Don't debate Ati with others 6)Don't discuss Ati practices online 7) A master told his old disciple: no one's to discuss his teaching with some others on a former forum nor mention him. Publicity's OK, questions are asked from masters/set teachers in person/email/non-public forums~Best wishes
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Re: Vajrayogini

Postby ngodrup » Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:48 am

rob h wrote:Hi again, and thanks for the replies!

I should've added it to the first post really, but yeah just before I registered here I sent a message to Lama Jampa Thaye via Dechen.org asking about how I'd go about getting a Vajrayogini empowerment, so am just waiting to hear back from him hopefully. At the same time though it just seems like it could take quite a while before that could happen if it's possible, and leaves me kind of frustrated in the meantime. Saying that though, the meditation I usually do is Zen basically, and I can just keep up with that for now as it's worked well enough for me for quite a while.

Will hopefully get back to you and let you know how things work out anyway, and thanks again for the responses.


I'd be curious to know what you mean by "the meditation I usually do is Zen basically." The Vajrayana is like Zen as a form of Buddhism
that you either practice or don't. So if you have a Zen teacher, attend a Zendo, and are following that training you are practicing Zen.,
The Vajrayana similarly requires a teacher who gives initiation, a student who receives it, then follows through with that practice.
There is no obstacle to practicing with both systems, each can support the other.

Anyway, meet a qualified Lama, get the empowerment, do as the Lama says.
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Re: Vajrayogini

Postby rob h » Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:15 am

ngodrup wrote:I'd be curious to know what you mean by "the meditation I usually do is Zen basically." The Vajrayana is like Zen as a form of Buddhism
that you either practice or don't. So if you have a Zen teacher, attend a Zendo, and are following that training you are practicing Zen.,
The Vajrayana similarly requires a teacher who gives initiation, a student who receives it, then follows through with that practice.
There is no obstacle to practicing with both systems, each can support the other.

Anyway, meet a qualified Lama, get the empowerment, do as the Lama says.


Sorry, I should've said mostly like Zen. Have been on a Zen forum in the past where it was repeatedly pointed out that without a teacher you can't possibly be doing Zen properly, so I don't want to get into all that again if I can avoid it. Anyway, what I do is sit, breath in, breath out, maintain an awareness of the body and concentration, and if good or bad thoughts arise, let them pass. (then various insights seem to come to mind from time to time spontaneously if it's going well enough.) So to shorten that, I've been trying to practice awareness and non-attachment, which has always seemed closer to Zen in the way I've done it than anything else.

But one thing I can't seem to let go of is the nagging feeling that I'm supposed to be working with Vajrayogini. I've tried to let it pass several times, but here I am again, so I think I'm going to have to pursue this properly this time and see if I can get an empowerment and a Lama to teach me.

And thanks username, will have a read up on what you posted too. (and also try not to start doing the 6 Yogas like you said, because I'm aware that trying any of this out without a teacher or empowerment might cause a lot of problems that I'm not aware of yet.)
"A 'position', Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with." - MN 72
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Re: Vajrayogini

Postby byamspa » Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:48 am

Zen and Vajrayana have that in common, it's best to work with a teacher.
Phenomenon, vast as space, dharmata is your base, arising and falling like ocean tide cycles, why do i cling to your illusion of unceasing changlessness?
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Re: Vajrayogini

Postby Blue Garuda » Tue Aug 21, 2012 7:12 am

Vajrayogini practice is very popular within the Gelugpa. This organisation is maybe close enough to chat to and they may be able to direct you towards a teacher.

http://www.jamyangleeds.co.uk/

It is part of the FPMT and is well respected.

Dechen is also a good choice in terms of the frequency of empowerments given.

Whilst asking for an empowerment is traditional, many Lamas now have a schedule planned out for many months ahead and the groups in the West who host the visiting Lamas obviously also need to plan for these events.

In my experience the Vajrayogini empowerment takes a couple of days and there may be a long period before the Lama advises you to begin the actual practice.

I hope your karma ripnes and that you find what you seek - I was lucky earlier this year to stumble across an empowerment I had been seeking for some time.
Good old Google! ;)
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Re: Vajrayogini

Postby kirtu » Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:43 pm

Hi Rob -

Vajrayogini is very profound. However the yidam is not as profound as the lama. We can get mesmerized sometimes by the yidam. Nonetheless the yidam is the source of accomplishment and realization of siddhi. This is a profound method of Vajrayana.

Lama Jampa Thaye is a Sakya and Karma Kagyu lama. It is unlikely that he will give the Vajrayogini empowerment , at least from the Sakya tradition, himself (although not impossible I suppose).

As Cone notes there are different forms of Vajrayogini. These are treated differently in different traditions. However no one even hears of Vajrayogini without a connection from previous lifetimes.

You can't practice Vajrayogini without an empowerment. You can practice Green Tara, at least on the level of mantra, to purify and also to help create the causes and conditions for meeting the lama, the teachings and empowerment.

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Re: Vajrayogini

Postby rob h » Tue Aug 21, 2012 4:26 pm

Blue Garuda and kirtu : thanks loads for the help. I was just coming back here to ask if anyone is with Lama Jampa Thaye, because I've messaged the site twice now but haven't had any response, so am a bit confused there. If he's unlikely to give an empowerment for Vajrayogini though there's probably no point in carrying on trying to contact him. The Jamyang link is a great help though, so thanks! Have just sent them an email and will hope I get some type of response. (and yeah, hopefully my karma is good enough that I can finally get somewhere with this now......)

Thanks for the advice about the importance of the Lama as well kirtu, will keep that in mind. To be honest I've always thought that working with Vajrayogini was the most important thing by far, but if that perspective needs changing hopefully it'll happen as quickly as possible.
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Re: Vajrayogini

Postby kirtu » Tue Aug 21, 2012 5:31 pm

rob h wrote:I was just coming back here to ask if anyone is with Lama Jampa Thaye, because I've messaged the site twice now but haven't had any response, so am a bit confused there. If he's unlikely to give an empowerment for Vajrayogini though there's probably no point in carrying on trying to contact him.


Sakya people can be kinds of Luddites actually. Someone will probably get back to you shortly. In the Sakya tradition, pretty much only the high lamas would give an empowerment like Vajrayogini. Right now almost all the Sakya high lamas are in Asia or the US and Canada. You could see if Dechen UK has anything scheduled or if anything is scheduled in the Sakya center in Amsterdam or in Lugano in Switzerland.

Vajrayogini from the FPMT (Gelug, Lama Zopa) is of course very good.

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