Mahayana and Vajrayana

General forum on the teachings of all schools of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. Topics specific to one school are best posted in the appropriate sub-forum.
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Mahayana and Vajrayana

Postby Tim » Sun Aug 07, 2011 9:29 pm

I'm exploring Tibetan Buddhism at present and would appreciate some clarity on the following aspects:

(1) If one intends to practice Tibetan Buddhism, does this automatically include vajrayana (tantric practices)? What I'm asking is - can one practice only the Mayahana aspects and still call it Tibetan Buddhism?

(2) In my part of the world (Durban, South Africa) there is only one Buddhist centre available, namely the "Mahasiddha Kadampa Buddhist Centre" which is a member of the New Kadampa Tradition. (EDIT: I'm thinking of going here for meditation practice). In which of the Tibetan subforums on this Forum will this lineage fall?

(Note: I posted here because I couldn't figure out the correct subforum - sorry if it is in the wrong place)

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Re: Mahayana and Vajrayana

Postby Malcolm » Sun Aug 07, 2011 10:00 pm

འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Free of hope and fear, relax.
Human life spent in
a state of great spaciousness is enjoyable.

— Kunzang Dechen Lingpa

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Re: Mahayana and Vajrayana

Postby daelm » Sun Aug 07, 2011 10:12 pm

hi tim

mindyourmind, a member also posting here, is also South African, as I am, and so we sympathize.

there also used to be a Vajrayana presence associated with Marianhill monastery in Durban, under the auspices of the Lam Rim centre founded by Geshe Damcho, in Johannesburg. my suggestion to you is to contact the Lam Rim folks themselves and see what they suggest for you. the contact details that i have are as follows:

Good Heart Dharma Group

Address: Durban, KwaZulu-Natal
Tradition: Vajrayana, Gelugpa
Phone: 031-7014307
E-mail: [email protected]
Contact: Elizabeth Gaywood
Spiritual Director: Geshe Damcho Yonten

also, if Dharmagiri is still running then it would be helpful for you, too. Thanissaro and Khitissaro opened it a while back, after leaving their posts as resident teachers at Ixopo, if I remember right. while they were formally (initially) Shravakayana practitioners, their practice now is quite expansive and meditation instruction and/or retreats with them would be a wonderful experience.

they can be found here:

in general, since the Vajrayana is a type of Mahayana, it's perfectly ok for you to see yourself as a Mahayana practitioner. in many lineages, getting a good grounding in the sutra material - that is, the non-tantric material - is considered critical and so you are definitely doing the right thing, and should not see it in any way as a settling for less than you want - merely as a doorway to what you want.

on a personal note, i'd suggest researching the New Kadamapa tradition at least a little before joining in there, simply because there may be issues later on for you - for example, if one were to become a serious practitioner in an NKT school, it would make it impossible to take teachings from His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, whom they regard as a false Buddhist.

because of the contentious nature of NKT discussions, which can get heated and divisive, the Terms of Service of this forum prevent discussion about them. for that reason, people will hesitate to provide you with (at least) some of the answers you ask for. fortunately there is a wealth of information readily available online that will be sufficient to help you make a good decision.

good luck and feel free to drop me a note anytime if you feel like it.

hope it helps.


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Re: Mahayana and Vajrayana

Postby Gharchaina » Mon Aug 08, 2011 1:51 am


I lived in Durban for a number of years and practiced with the Good Heart Dharma Group and am still in contact with them. They are still there and a great group. You should definitely contact them.

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Re: Mahayana and Vajrayana

Postby Tim » Mon Aug 08, 2011 8:57 pm

Thanks, Namdrol, Daelm, & Gharchaina for your kind responses.
@Daelm - I'll try the links you gave and heed your kind advise.
With kind regards to all.

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Re: Mahayana and Vajrayana

Postby DarwidHalim » Fri Sep 23, 2011 11:18 am

I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!

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