Buddhist Practices

From a Wang Du Thangka the magnetizing deities (left to right) Chenrezig (Padmapani), Amitabha (top) Hayagriva (right) and Vajradharma (bottom.)

Wangdu Great Cloud of Blessings: the 9 Magnetizing Activity Yidams of the Padma Buddha family: Amitabha, Kurukulla, Chenrezig, Hayagriva, Vajrayogini, Vajradharma, Padmaraja, Chakrasamvara, Guhyajnana

Buddha as neurons in space Emptiness

“All Dharmas are forms of emptiness” : ultimate wisdom in the spaces between thoughts, between sounds, between images, between feelings

A devoted Buddhist of faith chanting mantras.

Complete Guide to Buddhist Mantra Yana Practice: 4 Foundations and 9 Tips for Maximizing Mantra Benefits

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Mantra Part 2: Good Vibrations — Mantras in Buddhist Practice “Of what is the body made? Of emptiness and rhythm.” How does mantra work?

Saga Dawa, the most sacred day of the year, celebrated in a march at Gantok in Sikkhim.

Saga Dawa Duchen and the Month of Merits: Buddha’s Birth, Enlightenment and Paranirvana Celebrated With “Merit Multiplied”

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On the Rimé, or Non-Sectarian Approach to Buddhist Study

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Practical Guide to Akshobhya Buddha and Vajra Family with Sadhana: Purifying Practices and Wisdom Insights For Modern Buddhists

PDF Dharma Downloads

NEW – Spread the Dharma Free Dharma Downloads of Sutras, Dharanis, Pujas, Sadhanas, Teaching Texts and More

The Dalai Lama and lamas faced many major and tragic obstacles in Tibet before being forced into exile. Here, the Dalai Lama and lamas leaving Tibet.

Buddhist practice and worldly obstacles — we all have them, but how do you overcome and purify negativities? Advice from Dalai Lama, Garchen Rinpoche and others.

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Fearless Buddhist: How to overcome fear in uncertain times, according to Pali Sutta, Mahayana Sutra and Tantra and King Gesar

Amoghasiddhi Buddha. The "Tian Tan" or "Giant Buddha" at Po Lin Monastery Ngong Ping in Hong Kong is Amoghasiddhi, held his right hand up in Abhaya Mudra. This huge statue is on top of a mountain, with Amoghasiddhi's gaze looking out on the Samsaric world protectively.

Amoghasiddhi Essence of Lifeforce: Modern, Success-Oriented and Profound Practices of the Karma Buddha Family

Tsa Lung Trul Khor demonstration by Akarpa Rinpoche.

Tsa Lung Trul Khor, Yantra Yoga and Qigong — supercharging Buddhist meditation (8 videos)

Five Dhyani Buddhas.

Who are the Five Great Wisdom Buddhas and Why Are They So Important? How to Visualize and Practice the Five Dhyani Buddhas

Shrines and altars can be anywhere even in caves, if they are treated properly.
Here is a temple in a cave in Dambulla Sri Lanka.

The Karma of Intention: Buddhist Guide to Holy Objects: Etiquette, Placement and Other “Rules”

Feature image: Buddha and a solar eclipse.

Maximize Merits in Buddhism: Solar and Lunar Eclipses Practices, a Comprehensive Guide to Practice

Most traditions of Buddhism hold chanting of Sutras as a primary practice of great merit. Here monks are chanting in Kanchanburi Thailand in front of a golden Buddha.

Many paths, one destination: How to choose the Buddhist path that supports you; Why choose one tradition of Buddhism over another?

Shaolin Kung Fu is actually a "yoga" or meditation practice, in Buddhism, not just a defensive art.

Alternatives to “Seated” Meditation: Dance, Stand, Drum, Chant, and Move Your Way to Active Enlightenment — Taking a Stand: Activity Yogas

Four Heavenly Kings photo at Beihai Park Beijing China.

The Watchers of the World: the Four Heavenly Kings in Buddhism, Their Mantras and Practice

Sukhavati the Western Pureland of Amitabha Buddha.

A Travel Guide to Various Buddhas’ Purelands and Finding the Right One for You

Video thumbnail Buddhist Mantra Guru Rinpoche's complete guide

Buddhist Mala: Guru Rinpoche’s Complete Guide, “Mala should follow you like a shadow”

The very face of compassion, Metta personified in glorious Avalokiteshvara, the compassionate Buddha.

Avalokitesvara compassion practices can “enhance treatment of anxiety, depression, trauma” say some scientists and clinicians. For the rest of us, his compassion brings us closer to bliss and wisdom.

Buddha renounced ordinary life when he left his secure life in the palace. Symbolic of his renunciation, he cut his beautiful hair. Renunciation isn't specifically pointing to renunciation as a monk, however.  It's about the commitment to journey the path, here and now, to Enlightenment. This road can be journeyed as a monk or a lay practitioner.

Shakyamuni Gautama Buddha’s Renunciation Day (March 17) and His Journey to Spiritual Awakening

Guru RInpoche, the second Buddha.

Guru Rinpoche’s advice for visualizing the deity: a how-to from Padmasambhava with advice from today’s teachers (with video how-to)

Face of a loving friend — Maitreya Buddha.

Celebrating Loving Kindness on Maitreya Day: Significance and Traditional Practices to Start the Lunar New Year Celebrating the Buddha-to-Come

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Tashi Delek! Happy LOSAR Tibetan Lunar New Year Year of the Dragon; how to prepare, how to celebrate to bring auspicious blessings

Thangka depicted the 15 days of Buddha's miracles.

15 Miracles and 15 Days: Chotrul Duchen, the Day Buddha’s Great Miracles: Buddha, reluctant to use miraculous powers, displayed 15 miracles to help correct the errors of six prideful teachers

Chitachakra Wish-Granting White Tara with a rainbow aura of colors representing the five activities and protective tents.

Chintachakra White Wish-Granting Wheel Tara: The All-in-One Mother of Buddhas in Vajrayana Buddhism – Her Significance, Mantra and Why Her Practice is Essential

Outdoor statue of Guru Rinpoche Padmasambhava in Nepal at sunset.

Ten foundations of secret mantra; ten faults of being unsuccessful in Dharma practice; ten key points for practicing. Guru Rinpoche teaches Lady Tsogyal

The peaceful deities of the Bardo Thodrol Book of LIberation Through Understanding the Between.

Treasures of Bardo Thodol – The Book of Liberation Through Understanding the Between — incorrectly translated Tibetan Book of the Dead

Vasudhara in her most popular form in Tibet, with Two arms, Golden Yellow holding a sheef of corn. She is an aspect of Tara, called Yellow Tara (11th Tara in the Nyingma 21 Taras Lineage), and she is none other than Mother Earth's Enlightened Form, who controls the ten Guardians of the World.

Stream of Gems Vasudhārā: The Buddhist Tara Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity; Mother Earth Who Witnessed Buddha’s Enlightenment

Buddha statue against a full moon. Lunar calendar is very important in Buddhism, with most major events celebrated according to the lunar calendar.

Lunar Dharma Dates for 2024: Buddha Days, Recurring Puja Days, Annual Celebrations in Three Buddhist Traditions

Buddha statue against a full moon.

Clearing the Confusion on Lunar Dates: How, When, and Why to Celebrate These Sacred Lunar Days in 2024

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Dakini Days in 2024: Celebrating the Wisdom Activity of the Enlightened Dakinis

Happy Tara Day!

HAPPY TARA DAY! 2024 Tara Days: How, When, and Why we Celebrate the Mother of the Buddhas

HAPPY GURU RINPOCHE Day and Tsog.

Guru Rinpoche Days in 2024: Celebrating the Lotus Born Padmasambhava Monthly with Tsog

Black Mahakala is the most iconic of the wrathful Enlightened Deities. He is a ferocious emanation of the Buddha of Compassion Avalokiteshvara or Chenrezig.

Understanding the Significance of Dharma Protector Day in Vajrayana Buddhism: the “Guardian Angels” of Dharma

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A Light to the World — Celebrate Buddha’s Descent from Heaven on Lhabab Duchen: merit multiplied ten million times

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Immovable Lord Achala, Fudo Myoo, ferocious activity of compassion of Maha Vairochana

Karma imprints on our mind stream. For our own physical — and spiritual — health, these negativities should be purified through the Four Opponent Powers.

Is it easier to practice Buddhist meditations in our dreams? Enlightenment through Dream Yoga, is it possible?

Buddhist Practice dates for month of October 2023.

October Practice Dates: Tsog, Medicine Buddha and Tara Pujas, Padmasambhava Day Moon Dates

The Four Dignities in Tibetan Buddhism and the auspicious animals of Bhutan: Tak (Tiger) lower left Seng (Snow LIon) lower right, Cheng (Garuda) upper left and Druk (Dragon) upper right. These are four directional guardians with Garuda in the north, Snow Lion in the east, Tiger in the south and Dragon in the West. (In some regions, directions may be changed).

In Vajrayana, the Four Directional Dignities — Garuda, Snow Lion, Tiger and Dragon — are not just for prayer flags; they are profoundly powerful guardians of our mind

Larger fish drums are often hung outside temples.

Waking up the Mind in Buddhism! The Zen of Drumming for a Wakeful Mind and Mindfulness with the Wooden Fish Drum’s Unique Sound

Concept of "monk in space" as a metaphor for Vajrayana — seeing beyond illusory reality. In this metaphor, the monk walking mindfully is Theravada, the monk driving a big bus full of people, fleeing a flaming city is the Mahayana and the Monk piloting in space is the Vajrayana.

What is the difference between Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana Buddhism? Three Vehicles, One Desitnation

Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche

Prostration, Praise and Prayers — the most essential practices for busy Buddhists. “Go Bananas” for Buddha: Devotion

Visualizing light coming from the heart of Amitbaha Budha as a practice, then entering our body.

Where is Amitabha’s Pureland and how can Amitabha’s practice protect us from danger; Why Amitabha practice is all many people need

Bell, Vajra and Damaru drum are ubiquitous in Vajrayana Buddhism. The bell and Vajra are always together, and when not in use should be side-by-side, ideally touching. The Bell represents wisdom — the sound of the bell being the sound of Emptiness or Shunyata; the Vajra (or dorje in Tibetan) represents adamantine Compassion and skillfull means, represented by the Diamond vajra, a symbol of the lightning bolt.

Why do Vajrayana Buddhists always symbolically carry a bell and vajra? What do they represent? How do we practice with ghanta and dorje?

By Tango7174 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0. A depiction of the first teaching of the Buddha from a Vietnamese Buddhist monastery in Quebec, Canada. From Wikipedia.

Holy Day of Chokhor Duchen and Sangha Day: How to celebrate Buddha’s First Turning of the Wheel of Dharma — this year on July 21, 2023

A rainbow of colors Buddha — an AI interpretation of colors in Buddhism.

Color In Buddhism: Its Importance And Deep Spirituality

The great Lotus Born, Guru Rinpoche, Padmasambhava, the second Buddha.

Padmasambhava Guru Rinpoche’s condensed “all teachings into one — which is concise and easy to practice”at the time of death: as requested by Lady Tsogyal

Interior of Korean Buddhist Temple with altar on Ganghwado Island, Korea.

Korean Seon Buddhism: the thriving and profound tradition, history and practices of Seon Buddhists

Amitabha Buddha statue at an FPMT centre.

Amitabha practice: easy, welcoming, and his merits are so vast that all beings can benefit: Amitabha Sutra

Celebrate Saga Dawa Duchen, honoring Shakyamuni Buddha's Birth, Enlightenment and Paranirvana on the 15th day of the 4th lunar month. All meritorious deeds are multiplied karmically, according to tradition.

Day of Highest Merits: Celebrate Buddha’s Birth, Enlightenment and Paranirvana on Saga (Saka) Dawa Duchen June 4, 2023

Kalachakra Sahaja detail from a painting by Ben Christian (Jampay Dorje).

How can Kalachakra meditation help to relieve our suffering? Why is Kalachakra considered to be the highest yoga meditational form of Shakyamuni Buddha?

The many faces of Wisdom and Compassion: Top right ferocious Yamantaka (two arms), top centre Yamantaka with nine heads — Manjushri's head on top — top right a rarer tantric form, centre bottom Orange Manjushri with Wisdom Sword, bottom right centre Peaceful Black Manjushri, bottom Right Wrathful black Manjushri and bottom left, the syllable Hum on a Lotus.

The eleven aspects of Manjushri — kind, wrathful, protective, teaching and “beastly” — white, yellow, black; father, mother, spiritual child

Heruka Chakrasamvara and Vajrayogini, the Highest Yoga Tantra meditational deities. Artwork by Laura Santi

Heruka and Dakini’s Special Months: Honoring the Blissful Wisdom Mother in the 11th Month and the Compassionate Hero in the 12th

Zasep Tulku Rinoche will return to Toronto May 20, 2017 for teachings on Mahamudra, Green Tara, and Black Manjushri. (Details below, or go to the Gaden Choling website>>)

Why giving and taking practice is an important kindness meditation and Bodhichitta practice; how to do it guided video: Zasep Rinpoche

Visualizing the inner body as chakras and the deity front generated. From a video by Buddha Weekly.

Subtle body as the path to Enlightenment and lighting the inner fire— the five chakras, three channels and two drops of Tantric Buddhism and their practice

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What is Buddhist Prayer: a wish, an activity, an aspiration, an act of love, a form of meditation?

Buddha statue against a full moon.

2023: Celebrating the Lunar: Special “moon” dates for Buddha Dharma Practice including Buddha Days, Tsog, Medicine Buddha, Tara

Venerable Zasep Rinpoche teaching on  Heart Sutra in a sacred cave near Vulture Peak mountain, India, where the original Heart Sutra was taught.

Mahamudra, vast like space and beyond mind; polluted by nothing with nothing to obscure openness

Amitayus, the Buddha of Long Life, an emanation of Amitabha Buddha.

Long Life Prayer to Amitayus, Padmasambhava, Vajrakumara and White Tara: Chokgyur Lingpa (1829–1870). Translated from the Tibetan by Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche

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Three Principal Paths — the peerless path of Renunciation, Bodhichitta, Shunyata

Peaceful Black Manjushri is seated with a slightly "stern" face. Some people feel more comfortable visualizing Peaceful Black Manjushri, especially if they've been traumatized. Wrathful visualization can feel more powerful — reinforced by the symbolism of activity and fierceness.

The Disease Specialist: Black Manjushri Practice Has a Reputation for Successfully Helping Victims of the Most Dangerous Diseases

In Buddhism we are never alone if we have Bodhichitta. We are never alone if we take Refuge. Even if we are remote from our Sangha, in today's connected world, we are always a click away from our Sangha friends. No internet? Buddha, Dharma and Sangha are always at your heart. Your mind never loses the connection.

Buddha Dharma practice reboot? With Refuge and Bodhichitta, you are not alone — methods to supercharge your enthusiasm for Buddhist practice

His Holiness the Dalai Lama with author/artist Leslie Rinchen-Wongmo and her father, standing in front of one of Leslie's magnificent silk appliqué thangkas — in 1997 in Dharamsala.

Threads of Awakening: Interview with artist and author Leslie Rinchen-Wongmo

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Shabkar’s Song of Practice: the entire path, from refuge to generation to completion in one song by one of the great sages of Tibet

Special mega-project of phurbas for an elaborate Vajrakilaya mandala commissioned by Gangteng Tullku Rinpoche.

The precious Dharma Craft of Ritual implement making — empowering an ancient practice: Interview Rigdzin Pema Tuthob (pictorial)

100 Million Mani Retreat with Garchen Rinpoche.

100 Million Mani Mantras to Celebrate Shakyamuni Buddha’s First Sermon Holy Day of Chokhor Duchen and Sangha Day

H.E. Garchen Rinpoche teaching with spinning prayer wheel in right hand.

Inspired by Kyabje Garchen Rinpoche, Holy Land Prayer Wheels personalize Tibetan Prayer Wheels: interview with Micha Strauss

Bhikshuni Thubten Chodron

“Our mind is full of rubbish” —Venerable Chodron. It’s time to purify: sutra practice of “The Bodhisattva’s Confession of Moral Downfalls” with commentary

Guru Rinpoche, the Quantum Buddha. Padmasambhava's eight emanations represent eight Quantum energies.

Billions of Guru Rinpoche’s ready to answer the Seventh Supplication of Guru Rinpoche: “Repeat this prayer continuously” for the granting of wishes

His Holiness the Dalai Lama teaching.

Targeted Calm-Abiding Meditation: Dalai Lama and Lama Tsongkhapa teach how to target the main affliction for a more precise meditation result

Close up detail face of Prajnaparamita, Wisdom Mother.

Prajnaparamita Yum Chenmo, the Face of Perfection: Wisdom Personified, “Emptiness is Form” Manifested: Great Mother of Wisdom

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The month of merit: Saga Dawa, celebrating Buddha’s Birth, Enlightenment and Paranirvana — be generous, moral and practice often

Buddha calmly resists Mara's evil hoard under the Bodhi tree.

Ehipassiko: encouraging investigation — Buddha taught logic to give us confidence in Dharma — not perpetual doubt

Padmasambhava giant statue at Guru Rinpoche temple.

Enlightenment in one lifetime? Guru Rinpoche Padmsambhava explains what it takes. Practice, discipline, and more practice!

Prayer flags are ubiquitous in the Himalayas. Printed on them are usually a windhorse, surrounded by the four auspicious ones — Garuda, Dragon, Tiger, Snow Lion — with prayers and mantras. The wind carries the blessing to world.

In Praise of the Vajrayana – A Brief Introduction to Buddhist Tantra

Shatideva and the Bodhisattva Way of Life, the Six Paramitas.

The Six Paramitas, the Liberating Actions: a Complete Buddhist Path for Modern Living: Generosity, Discipline, Patience, Diligence, Meditation, Wisdom

Stunning image of Palden Lhamo, the Queen of the End of War by Jampay Dorje (Ben Christian). She is flanked by blue Makaravaka on the left; and red Simhavakra on the right.

Palden Lhamo, the Terrifying Female Protector aspect of Tara: “Sole Mother, Lady Victorious Over the Three Worlds”

Thangka artist Angeli Shkonda has painted stunning Tara paintings in the Karma Gadri tradition for ten years.

21 Taras Surya Gupta Thanka — stunning art by Angeli Lhadripa Shkonda: interview featuring 21 Tara closeups

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The Profound Practice of Taking Refuge: the foundation of Buddhist liberation, faith, devotion, protection by Jason Espada

Mandala offerings are very active forms of veneration and meditation.

Mandala Offering: offering “everything to the Buddha” — purify karma and accumulate merit daily

A monk holds the hand of a deceased person found on a train platform in China.

“Learning how to die” and “Why Meditating on Death May Bring Joy to Life”: What the Buddhist Teachers Say About End of Life, Dying, and Palliative Care

Advanced teachings, such as Chod, and other Vajrayana practices, require a teacher due to the precise, delicate and powerful nature of their impact on mindstream. Zasep Tulku Rinpoche practicing ancient Chod to benefit all sentient beings.

Chod practice: offering yourself to all beings, the ultimate expression of bodhichitta

Lama Zopa expounds on the benefits of the sublime "Golden Light Sutra."

Sutra of Golden Light brings “peace and happiness” and “long life”; also, Sutra transmission of Chod, alleviating fear, and healing

One concept in Buddhism is Shunyata, various described as Emptiness or Oneness. When the ego is removed, there is oneness. When the ego is introduced, phenomenon arise from the observer (with the ego).

Bliss helps us understand Emptiness without nihilism: Vajrayana develops faster insight through the balance of bliss and emptiness, compassion and wisdom, mandala and deity

The fearsome power of great Vajrapani, who is always ready to "beat down" the obstacles to our practice.

Vajrapani, the “Hand of Buddha” defeats the poisons : pride, anger, hate and jealousy

Parnashavari is the 20th Tara emanation of the 21 (some traditions) and is "Supreme healer" emanation of Tara.

Healing Parnashavari — Tara’s Healing emanation: specialist in Contagious Disease, Illness, Pandemic: How to practice her mantra and sadhana

A young monk plays a drum at Tawang Togya festival at a temple in Arunachel Pradesh India.

Drumming for Mindfulness — a simple way to calm the mind, remove stress and heal. Studies show drum meditation supports treatments of cancer, Parkinsons and depression.

The complex visualizations required in Vajrayana meditative methods, which can include holding detailed images for long periods of time, dramatically and immediately improve cognitive ability according to research from NUS.

Science: Research Indicates Vajrayana Meditation Techniques Involving Deity Visualization Improve Cognitive Performance and May Be Promising For Degenerative Brain Disorders

Zasep Tulku Rinpoche answering questions after  Mahamudra teachings  in Owen Sound.

Mindfulness of Feelings Meditation: Overcoming Negative Feelings and Using Discriminating Alertness of Feelings in Your Practice: Mahamudra Teachings

Black Mahakala is the most iconic of the wrathful Enlightened Deities. He is a ferocious emanation of the Buddha of Compassion Avalokiteshvara or Chenrezig.

Wrathful Deities: The First Responders in Meditation; the Psychology of Fearsome Enlightened Buddhas

Monks prostrating.

The Foundation Practice of Prostrations: Humble Bow, a Method to Connect with Buddha Nature; the Psychology of Buddhist Prostrations

Practicing generosity creates positive karma. Here, a kind lay-Buddhist gives alms to three monks who, like the Buddha, eat only before noon and only from food given to them. Merit for good deeds is an intuitive concept in karma.

Wealth Deities: Generating Karma for Prosperity by Practicing Generosity. How to Reconcile Renunciation with Wealth Practices in Buddhism.

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Padmasambhava: The Eight Great Qualities of Taking Refuge; Taking Refuge in the Three Precious Jewels, the Defining Practice of Buddhism, and How it Can Rescue Us From All Dangers.

12-armed Red Ganapati is a treasured practice in Tibetan Buddhism, known for bringing auspiciousness and removing obstacles.

Buddhist Ganesha: popular Ganapati’s many forms include enlightened Yidam, protector, and “bringer of success”…

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Video teaching: Metta and Karuna, the “most important” Buddhist practices of Love and Compassion, from H.E. Zasep Tulku Rinpoche

Detail of a painting of Tara 1, Heroic Red Tara, by V.V. Sapar of the first Tara in the Surya Gupta sytem. In the background is the Lotus Face of Avalokiteshvara. (Full image below in the feature.)

Mother Tara’s many-armed protective embrace: 21 Taras according to Surya Gupta — with 8 videos and mantras and stunning art

Cover image by Ben Christian, from the book Gelug Mahamudra: Eloquent Speech of Manjushri by H.E. Zasep Rinpoche.

Book Excerpt: Gelug Mahamudra, Eloquent Speech of Manjushri, a commentary and practice guide on Sutra and Tantra Mahamudra by Ven. Zasep Tulku Rinpoche

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