Weekly Features

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

A feature article introducing profound Buddhist Tantra, from Jason Espada author of the book A Belief in the Miraculous. I. The Skillful Means of the Mahayana The Stages of the Path teachings [Note 1] cover the entire range of Buddhist teachings, from refuge, to teachings on liberation, to the Mahayana motivation and Wisdom. They conclude with reference to the Vajrayana, the ‘lightning’ or ‘diamond thunderbolt’ vehicle. We may wonder, if we have a compassionate motivation and right view, why we would need anything more. The answer that is offered is that Tantra is faster. It’s out of a sense of urgency that we would seek out and make use of these methods. The wonderful teacher, Lama Lodro Rinpoche, always emphasizes in his commentaries on different practices that the Vajrayana are the skillful means of the Mahayana, and should not be considered apart from them. Alexander Berzin writes that ‘Tantra is the method for putting all of the sutra practices together in an extremely efficient, holistic manner.’ [2] Lama Lodro Tulku Rinpoche (right) with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. And Beda ...
Buddha Weekly buddha sleeping forest Buddhism

Weekly Sutra: Hatthaka Sutta: Sleeping Well in the Cold Forest: “having cut all ties… he sleeps at ease… “

The humble, and short Hatthaka Sutta, carries several profound messages. It is particularly memorable as an “intimate” peak into life in the Sangha. The picture that emerges is of just how approachable the Buddha was to everyone. [Full Sutta translated below by Thanissaro Bhikku.] In this lovely Sutta, a young man, Hatthaka, comes accross the Buddha sleeping in the cold forest on a cattle track. Although the Sutta may not have specifically been about “being content wherever you are” it certainly profoundly conveys the foolishness of seeking out personal comforts and other attachments. “Having cut all ties and subdued fear in the heart, calmed, he sleeps in ease, having reached peace of awareness.”   Buddha describes how a house-holder, living in comfortable home, might not be as at ease as the Buddha sleeping on the cold ground. He describes the “fevers” that the Dharma help us overcome, in the context…

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Buddha Weekly Transcendental Meditation Buddhism

Transcendental Meditation: insight and stress relief. Buddha: “Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think.”

Twenty-six centuries ago (or so) Buddha said, “The mind is everything. What you think you become.” Seven-hundred years later, philosopher and Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius wrote, “The Happiness of Your Life Depends On the Quality of Your Thoughts.” (around 177AD). This universal theme had its roots in human experience and is emphasized in Transcendental Meditation.

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