How does deity yoga benefit others?

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How does deity yoga benefit others?

Postby Luke » Sun May 05, 2013 11:50 am

In Tibetan Buddhist sadhanas, one often visualizes oneself as a Buddhist deity and visualizes that light rays are coming out of oneself which touch all other beings and bless them/heal them/make them become enlightened/etc.

This is a lovely image and I think we all would like to be able to benefit other beings by just visualizing such a pretty thing, but what is the philosophical theory behind this? Why should a person believe he or she can benefit other beings just by doing such a visualization?
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Re: How does deity yoga benefit others?

Postby Clarence » Sun May 05, 2013 12:05 pm

I think two things are happening there:

1. By visualizing as you described one changes oneself. Not only mentally but also in the subtle body.

2. Once one gets a little realization it will influence not just oneself but also circumstances and people, removing obstacles, etc. This is my belief btw. Not based on any experience. Except of course that one time...
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Re: How does deity yoga benefit others?

Postby byamspa » Sun May 05, 2013 3:12 pm

Transform your mind, you transform yourself, and the obstacles that keep one from being able to help beings begin to loosen and transform from obstacle to opportunity.

Sending light blessings helps things 'lighten up' so to speak imo. Instead of the solid illusion of permanence, the mandala of the diety begins to reveal itself into the post meditation state. One hears sounds as mantra, sees everyone is a diety, every place is the palace etc. From this POV, there is nothing left to do but be kind, all the reasons for not being kind have been dissolved and transformed.

my 2c.
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: How does deity yoga benefit others?

Postby heart » Sun May 05, 2013 3:23 pm

Luke wrote:In Tibetan Buddhist sadhanas, one often visualizes oneself as a Buddhist deity and visualizes that light rays are coming out of oneself which touch all other beings and bless them/heal them/make them become enlightened/etc.

This is a lovely image and I think we all would like to be able to benefit other beings by just visualizing such a pretty thing, but what is the philosophical theory behind this? Why should a person believe he or she can benefit other beings just by doing such a visualization?


Yes, the philosophy behind it is: "your state of mind is the main impact behind all actions you do in this world". The Buddha summed it up succinctly "do no harm, help everyone, completely conquer your own mind".

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
- Longchenpa
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Re: How does deity yoga benefit others?

Postby Luke » Sun May 05, 2013 5:48 pm

heart wrote:Yes, the philosophy behind it is: "your state of mind is the main impact behind all actions you do in this world". The Buddha summed it up succinctly "do no harm, help everyone, completely conquer your own mind".

The fact that it can improve and purify your own mind is clear. But my question is "Can imagining that you're sending out light beams to other beings when you visualize yourself in deity form actually benefit them in real life? And how is this possible?"
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Re: How does deity yoga benefit others?

Postby dakini_boi » Sun May 05, 2013 6:07 pm

Luke wrote:"Can imagining that you're sending out light beams to other beings when you visualize yourself in deity form actually benefit them in real life? And how is this possible?"


Yes, because no phenomena exist apart from your mind. This is a fundamental "theory" of Buddhism, and also Western metaphysics.

There are also many scientific studies you can read about the effects of prayer on objective reality.
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Re: How does deity yoga benefit others?

Postby JKhedrup » Sun May 05, 2013 7:11 pm

I would like to say that this qualm could be brought up about pretty much any Buddhist practice tradition:

Vipassana: "How does mindfulness of breathing benefit others?"

Zen: "How does focusing on the question WHO? benefit others?""

Pure Land: "How does chanting Amitabha benefit others"

Gelug pa: "How does debating about Prasangika versus Chittamantra benefit others?"

..................and so on.

In terms of answering this is a general way from a Buddhist perspective in a Mahayana context: One wishes to benefit others and engages in practices including generosity and so forth, but realizes as an ordinary being one cannot bring them ultimate benefit. The best way is to achieve a state where one's positive impact in the lives of others will be much greater, where one can really lead others to a state free from suffering- a fully enlightened Buddha has the best capacity to do that. So, work towards enlightenment knowing that one will then be able to help others in the most meaningful way.

In terms of the deity practice itself, teachers speak about bringing the result into the path. Through the methods of deity yoga we generate as a deity and create profound imprints to achieve the body and mind of a deity in the future. This is one of the basic principles behind deity yoga as I understand it. In addition, through the practices of deity yoga such as generating many goddesses to make offerings etc. one can accumulate virtues much more efficiently, which allows one to achieve enlightenment for the sake of others more quickly.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
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Re: How does deity yoga benefit others?

Postby heart » Mon May 06, 2013 5:45 am

Luke wrote:
heart wrote:Yes, the philosophy behind it is: "your state of mind is the main impact behind all actions you do in this world". The Buddha summed it up succinctly "do no harm, help everyone, completely conquer your own mind".

The fact that it can improve and purify your own mind is clear. But my question is "Can imagining that you're sending out light beams to other beings when you visualize yourself in deity form actually benefit them in real life? And how is this possible?"


Like I said, it is a method to "completely conquer your own mind". The sending and receiving of light is mainly benefiting yourself in the beginning but ultimately it will affect other beings to. Your mind is not what nor where you think it is.

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
- Longchenpa
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Re: How does deity yoga benefit others?

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Mon May 06, 2013 7:49 am

You could use the exacts same argument to adk how metta benefits others.....
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: How does deity yoga benefit others?

Postby muni » Mon May 06, 2013 7:59 am

heart wrote: a method to "completely conquer your own mind".

/magnus


Oh yes! Conquer our dualistic mind, is key issue for all methods in Tibetan Buddhism. As long as we suffer from this kind of dreamlike state, we need help in order to can help. Therefore to open our heart/mind for all through practices, then lasting peace gets a chance to be revealed. The sun shines for all. :smile:

But whatever I say here or think, this cannot improve anything. Don't buy it. Since practice is key, by the precious guidance.

Here from Guru Rinpoche: "You may possess the power and might of a world ruler, but unless you gain mastery over your own mind, when the time of death arrives you still haven’t attained the power of freedom. So gain mastery over your mind!"

Grasped thoughts are magicians, they create by division a whole theatre, being themselves less then farts already gone. Awareness is always there but we are too good trained in being busy in the theatre.
Awareness is mastering the theatre-mind.

Therefore precious guidance is of indescridable value. Bowing.

:namaste:
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Re: How does deity yoga benefit others?

Postby lobster » Mon May 06, 2013 9:09 am

Luke wrote:
heart wrote:The fact that it can improve and purify your own mind is clear. But my question is "Can imagining that you're sending out light beams to other beings when you visualize yourself in deity form actually benefit them in real life? And how is this possible?"


The study of this has barely begun. How it operates is not really known, it may be similar to entanglement in physics. Human bioluminescence is not yet considered developable, but the body of light or rainbow body is known of in other systems than science . . .
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/blog/ ... minescence

:thumbsup: Shine on
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