Event : Solitary Yamantaka Initiation by His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Date : May 1, 2011
Venue : Gaden Shartse Thubten Dhargye Ling
Address : 3500 E. Fourth Street,Long Beach, California, 90814, USA
Website : http://www.tdling.or...est-Yoga-Tantra
In general, Buddhist scriptures are of two types, sutras and tantras. These two divisions are the bases for the two vehicles of Mahayana, or Great Vehicle, Buddhism: the Perfection Vehicle, which teaches paths found in the sutras, and the Secret Mantra Vehicle, which teaches paths found in the tantras as well as those common to both sutra and tantra. The name Secret Mantra Vehicle comes from the meaning of mantra, i.e., mind protection. Tantric practice protects or isolates the mind from ordinary appearance through a practice known as Deity Yoga.
Within each of us is the potential, called the seed of buddhahood, or buddha nature that allows us to awaken into buddhahood. The tantric initiation, or empowerment, process draws out that potential and allows it to express itself more fully. Our buddha nature provides a basis upon which the initiation can ripen us. With this auspicious circumstance in our mind streams, when we reflect on what is taking place during the initiation and maintain the various visualizations, the conditions are right for the essence of the empowerment to awaken within us a state of wisdom that is blissful yet empty.
Three factors support this awakening: the ritual objects, the mantras His Holiness will repeat, and His Holiness’s own meditative absorption. When these three factors come together they form a basis on which the mind can focus, and so become ripened.
The Solitary Yamantaka initiation that His Holiness will confer in Long Beach on May 1, 2011, is a Secret Mantra empowerment of the highest class, known as Highest Yoga Tantra. Yamantaka is a wrathful expression of Manjushri, the bodhisattva of wisdom.
Traditionally, those who receive such a high level initiation promise the Vajra Master who is conferring the empowerment that they will abide by all the vows and pledges required by the Vajra Master.
Before receiving any Highest Yoga Tantra initiation one must take the bodhisattva vows and the tantric vows. In the case of the May 2011 Solitary Yamantaka initiation, His Holiness is requiring us to make three pledges in addition to our promise to keep the two sets of vows.
The first pledge is to recite once a day, every day, a text known as a sadhana. These texts can be as short as a few pages, or very much longer. Usually the daily recitation commitment can be kept by the short form of the sadhana. It is a practice by which we come to identify with the deity, also known as Deity Yoga practice. One may not practice a sadhana without receiving the initiation related to that deity or buddha.
Secondly, we must promise to recite every day, three times during daytime hours and three times during evening hours, another text called the Six Session Guru Yoga. This commitment can be met by reciting a form of the text that is about one page long.
Finally, His Holiness is requiring us to pledge to complete a retreat sometime during one’s lifetime. Such a retreat may take as long as a week or ten days, or perhaps longer, and should be done under the guidance of a qualified teacher.