History of The Tao | Origins of Taoism
Where Did Daoism Begin | Where Did Taoists Come From
Taoism is an indigenous traditional Chinese religion, dates back to some 1,800 year's ago when Master Zhang Taoling of the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220AD) formerly organized a religious Taoist group. In the long years of its evolution, Taoism had profound influence politically, economically, culturally and ideologically in ancient Chinese society and it is still functioning today.
During the Eastern Han Dynasty, Zhang Taoling went and settled on Singing Crane Mountain (Mount Heming). He claimed that he had been imparted the "Mighty Commonwealth of the Orthodox Oneness (Zhengyi Meng Wei) by Supreme Master Lao Zi and he began producing and circulating books advocating Tao. His teachings centered on the summoning of deities, magic incantation and subduing of ghosts, as well as breathing exercises.
During the Wei Kingdom Period (220-265 AD), Celestial Master Taoism which was created by Zhang Taoling was suppressed and it declined. However, as Zhang Lu and his disciples moved north from Hanzhong, Celestial Master Taoism began to be revived in the regions where Supreme Peace Taoism had once been practiced. It then spread throughout of the country.
During the Western Jin period (265-316 AD) and the Eastern Jin (317-420 AD), some powerful families and scholars started to believe in Taoism. Taoism, which had started from the grass roots level, now penetrated the upper class and eventually became an integral part of the spiritual life of the ruling class.
As more and more scholars turned to Taoism, the Taoist educational level was thus enhanced. As a result, a vast body of Taoist scriptures was created to challenge Buddhism from India.As the Taoist scriptures spread, three new Taoist sects came into being-namely, the High Purity (Shangqing), the Numinous Treasure (Lingbao) and the Three August Ones (Sanhuang ) sects.
In 589 AD, the Sui Dynasty (581--618) unified China. Different schools of Taoism then began a process of integration. The Maoshan School, which had evolved from the High Purity sect, became the dominant school in the south of the country and began to spread to the north. As both Buddhism and Taoism were practiced during the Sui Dynasty, Taoism developed rapidly, which paved the way for this religion to reach its zenith during the Tang Dynasty (618--907 AD).
Li Yuan, founder of the Tang Dynasty, made much use of public belief in Taoism in the struggle to overthrow the Sui Dynasty. When he assumed the throne, he announced that Lao Zi, the founder of Taoism was his ancestor (Lao Zi's family name being Li and his given name Er). Except for Wu Zetian (the only Empress in Chinese history), all the Tang Emperors venerated Taoism.
The most influential development of Taoism during the Five Dynasty period (907-960AD) on later Taoism was the rise of the so-called inner alchemy created by Zhongli Quan and Lu Dongbin.
More schools of Taoism came into being during the period of the Song, Jin and Yuan dynasties (960-1368 AD). Taoism entered a new phase of development.
During the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127 AD), the Maoshan school was still in a dominant position, and its lineage was very clear. The main new schools that appeared in this period were the Heavenly Heart (Tianxin) and Divine Heaven (Shenxiao) sects.
During the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279AD), Taoism was dominated by the sects collectively known as the Talisman of the Three Mountains (Mount Longhu, Maoshan and Gezao).Furthermore, new sects, such as Shenxiao, Donghua and Qingwei were also active during this period.
Apart from a variety of old and new Talisman sects, there were also the Pure Brightness sect and the Southern Line Golden Elixir sect during the Southern Song Dynasty.
The Supreme Oneness (Taiyi), Great Tao (DaTao) and Complete Perfection (Quanzhen) doctrines ultimately became the Main forms of Taoism during the Jin Dynasty (1115-1234 AD). The Supreme Oneness doctrine lasted for about 200 years and eventually, by the end of the Yuan Dynasty, it had been incorporated into the Orthodox Oneness (Zhengyi) tradition. The Great Tao doctrine declined toward the end of the Yuan and was also incorporated into the Orthodox Oneness tradition. In the Yuan Dynasty, the Complete Perfection and Orthodox Oneness traditions became the two major Taoist schools.
After the founding of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD), Zhu Yuanzhang, the first Ming emperor, adopted a policy to both make use of and control religion in order to safeguard his rule as the country's sole dominant power. As a result, Taoism began to decline.
Comparatively speaking, the Ming rulers favored the Orthodox Oneness tradition more than the Complete Perfection tradition. The former enjoyed a higher political status than the later. Zhu Yuanzhang believed that the sole purpose of the meditation practiced by the Complete Perfection sect was the meditation itself whereas the Orthodox Oneness tradition upheld human relationship and stressed social customs, which had played an important role in social stability. For this reason, he supported the Orthodox Oneness tradition.
The rulers of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911 AD) believed in Tibetan Buddhism. They had little knowledge of Taoism and therefore did not support nor even restrict the development of Taoism. The early Qing emperors followed Ming rulers and adopted a policy of protecting Taoism because of the need to win over the Han Chinese. But from Qianlong's reign onwards, Qing rulers began to impose strict control over Taoism, leading to its decreased political influence and stagnant organizational development.
During the century between the first Opium War (1840-1842) and the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, China underwent a period of political chaos and the Chinese people suffered greatly from war and lived in great poverty.
Taoist structures in renowned mountains fell into disrepair and many Taoists left their temples. As a result, Taoism became more closely tied to ordinary people's daily lives. Early during the Republic of China, in order to become established in modern society, Taoists tried to imitate the practice in Western countries by forming a national organization to protect their own interests. In 1912, a nationwide organization known as the Central Taoist Association was established in the White Cloud Temple in Beijing, with the Complete Perfection tradition as its backbone. At the same time, Zhang Yuanxu, the 62nd Celestial Master, set up the Taoist Federation of the Republic of China in Shanghai, with the Orthodox Oneness tradition as its backbone. Both organizations were rather loosely organized and no activities of great significance were recorded.
After China adopted its reform and opening-up policy in 1979, Chinese Taoists resumed the Complete Perfection tradition's initiation ceremony and the Orthodox Oneness tradition's talisman transmission rules.
Large-scale religious activities were also held, such as the Great Ritual Offering of All-Embracing Heaven. China's Taoist community has established the China Taoist College and the Shanghai Taoist College to train large number of young and middle-aged priests; established academic institutions such as the China Taoist Culture Research Institute and convened several forums on Taoist culture; founded journals such as Chinese Taoism, Shanghai Taoism, Shaanxi Taoism and Fujian Taoism and published a number of books on Taoism.
Some 1,500 Taoist monasteries have been approved by governments at the county level and above for Taoists to carry out religious activities.
There are about 20,000 resident Taoists of the Complete Perfection tradition and tens of thousands of Taoist priests of the Orthodox Oneness tradition in addition to countless numbers of Taoist followers throughout the whole country. The ancient religion has now entered the 21st century with a brand-new look.
The Tao | Understanding The Tao
The Tao Explained | Tao A Path of Thought
The word Tao (pronounced dau) in Chinese means "way," indicating a path of thought or life that is the essential unifying force of everything that exists in the universe. Taoism is following the way. Many martial artists embrace the idea of the Tao without actually understanding the basic principles behind it.
The Tao-te Ching is the earliest document in the history of Taoism. It is a viewpoint that emphasizes individuality, freedom, simplicity, mysticism, and naturalness. Considered one of the great philosophical works of ancient China, Tao-te Ching literally means "The Classic of the Way and Its Power." The book is less than 5,000 words long and is very likely one of the oldest written texts in the world. Authorship of the Tao-te Ching is generally credited to a man named Lao-Tzu but knowledge of him is so scarce that only legends remain. Seeking to learn more about Lao-Tzu only distracts us from his teachings. His name itself, means "old master" or "wise sage" - which only leads back to his writings.
The Tao is all encompassing. Despite the appearance of differences in the world, within the Tao everything is one. Since all is one, matters of true and false or good and evil are irrelevant and only arise when people cannot see beyond their narrow perception of reality. Taoism is a system of philosophical thought that puts emphasis on the spiritual life instead of the material world. The Tao is considered unnamed and unknowable. Followers of the Tao avoid wasting their energies on the pursuit of wealth, power, knowledge and other distractions. Instead, they concentrate on the reality of life itself of breathing, moving and living in harmony with the natural world. Because all is considered one, life and death merge into each other and immortality can be achieved.
Living the Way of the Tao can be expressed by the term wu-wei which means doing - not doing. This concept does not signify non-action, instead it hints at action without attachment to the action, action without thought of the action. Sounds a little like Zen, doesn't it?
The roots of Zen are based in ancient Chinese philosophy. The Chinese word for Zen is ch'an. In Sanscrit, the ancient language of India, it is dhyana which can be roughly translated as pure human spirit. It can be imagined as the integration of the disparate aspects of the self into one complete and divine being. Zen was eventually brought to Japan where it was elaborated and "perfected" by the Japanese samurai. It is the foundation of the Bushido code, the way of the warrior. The samurai, who lived their lives at the edge of a sword and could die at any moment, were taught to concentrate on and immerse themselves in the here and now in order to connect with the fundamental core of their being. It helped them develop the powers of concentration, self-control, awareness and tranquility. If they approached each battle as if it were their last, they would be able to have every part of their being at their disposal.
Zen itself has no theory. It is not meditation. It is not thinking. It is not not-thinking. It is not something you learn. It is simply something you are. To practice Zen is to live fully and completely, not in the past or the future, but right here and right now. Zen is, in fact, the reflection of the moon in a mountain stream. It does not move, only the water flows by.
As with Zen, the power of the Tao is in simplicity, and yet it teaches one to become a master of all things by learning to go with the natural flow of the universe. Trying to walk upstream against the river is pointless. It is better to accept that change is inevitable, learn to embrace it and make the most of it when it comes.
The fundamental teachings of the Tao present basic wisdom to live by. They are as follows:
-As if you were crossing a stream that is covered with a layer of ice. Stepping too hard on the wrong spot can lead to misfortune.
As if you were a warrior entering enemy territory. Spies and traps may be hidden anywhere. Pay attention.
As if you were a guest. There is no reason for anger or hostility; it only clouds your judgment.
As if you were melting ice. Always ready to act or react as the situation or need demands.
-As a block of wood. The shape is pre-existing, allow yourself to be carved.
As a mountain valley. Water flows down the mountain. Let things come to you. Be patient, warm and inviting.
As a glass of water. Allow the mud of the mind to settle and see things as they truly are.
Absolute happiness comes from erasing the distinctions that separate the self and the universe. Union with the Tao is embracing a higher wisdom, freeing the mind and expanding into the fullness of existence.
Experiencing The Tao
Experiencing the Tao is about existing in the present moment. It is enjoying life regardless of the circumstances. Have you ever met someone who is unhappy with their situation and continuously gripes that if only they could change this or that they would be happy or feel that if they lived somewhere else things would be better? Unfortunately, a darkness of the heart is not cured by moving the body from one place to another. Chances are they would be just as miserable even if they got the change they were looking for.
Living the Tao is about finding the freedom to enjoy whatever you have at this present moment. True freedom is adapting to the infinite variety of life conditions without losing confidence in your ability to connect to the deeper spiritual essence within.
This philosophy is based on simplicity. If you have no expectations, then everything that happens is a surprising success. If you have no desires, then everything you get is a bonus.This is Zen, the true meaning of following the Tao. It is being alive in the present moment, experiencing life as it happens and reacting to it in a calm and natural way. It is living fully and completely.
Defining the spirit is difficult because no definition can come close to the truth. The more it is defined the less it resembles the true spirit. Some attempt, however, at definition can help set you on the path toward greater awareness of it. Define the spirit as the state of being totally conscious and alive. When you are living life and experiencing it at every moment, you are touching your spirit.
These ideas are not new. Chinese masters have spoken of it for years. Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, one of India's most widely respected spiritual teachers, calls it "aliveness." It is a feeling independent of any outward forces. It is being happy without having a reason to be happy. The difficulty lies in reaching this state of being and experiencing it. It is easy to speak of it. Living it is another story.
Lao Tzu, in writing the Tao Te Ching, observed that plants, animals and humans are born supple and soft, yet when they die they are stiff and brittle. In order to experience the kind of "aliveness" Lao Tzu and Rajneesh are referring to, we must be supple and soft. We must be a disciple of life.
We need to learn to allow the soft and supple aspects of life to prevail. That which is hard and stiff will be broken. Fighting against the natural flow of life will only lead to difficulty and disaster. It is not the way. Relax and take the time to observe things as they are especially when you cannot control them. Allow things to take their course and happen naturally. And, of course, pay attention to the present moment. Then you will be well on the journey towards freeing your spiritual nature.
Any art is but one path to travel along on this journey. None of them can claim to be the only answer. Whatever art you choose may, however, assist you in understanding the question. In the words of Lao Tzu...These words here are like fingers pointing at the moon. If you concentrate your attention on the fingers, you miss seeing the moon.
There are some things that money simply can't buy. For it doesn't seem to matter if the economy is booming or bombing... if the bank account has money in it or is empty, most people still feel as though something in their life is missing. There is a deep rooted sense of a lack of security. In today's world, especially in Western society, people are conditioned to believe that the key to a happy and fulfilled life is financial wealth.
In the Tao of Abundance, Laurence G. Boldt challenges this misconception. In the Tao of Abundance you will go on a journey that will help you discover what your true belief system is and how your life is being manipulated by the misconception that peace of mind is gained through the acquisition of material things.
Laurence G. Boldt stresses six things that money should not do in The Tao of Abundance. The six things that money should not do are:
Cost you your soul,Cost you relationships,Cost you your dignity,Cost you your health,Cost you your intelligence,Cost you joy.
Laurence G. Boldt then challenges you to determine what financial wealth is costing you. The Tao of Abundance is a journey, one in which you will be guided on a mesmerizing and eye opening journey of self-discovery as you contemplate the great teachings of the Taoist philosophy. It is then through this philosophy that you will gain the insight that will transcend you from the misguided notion that material wealth will bring you peace to the point where you are able to find contentment through your own inner directed life peace and fulfillment. Only you can define what success means to you, what it will take for you to have inner peace.
There are eight principles that are essential for abundant living. Such as:
-Realizing that the unity of everything starts you on your path to true abundance.
-That learning to receive will open the door to your greatest good.
-That following the path of least resistance will actually bring you success with ease.
-That in order to improve your health, deepen your relationships and generate wealth you must learn how to circulate your energy.
-That the road to authentic power is the road that allows you to honor your dignity and use your inborn abilities.
-To eliminate stress and bring about peace of mind you must find the balance of Yin and Yang in your life.
-Take time to nurture yourself and what is important to you such as relationships, take the time to grow, the time to be.
-Finally learn that in order to achieve your destiny you need to trust and embrace the organic pattern of your life.
Tao will allow you to transform your focus and perceptions, so that you can use your energy to move the natural flow of the universe and open doors that will grant your abundance, satisfaction and inner peace.
Many Eastern philosophies talk about the essential essence of things, of being in the flow of life rather than being stilted in strife. Most strive to achieve this essential flow by meditation, or careful thought in movement like tai chi etc. But things in nature have a natural ebb and flow that one can interact in all manners such as sport, observation even emersion. Take for instance the act of surfing which takes such incredible thought concentration over an extended period that it borders on meditation. Mixed with the physical exertion and release of endorphins, the end result is a feeling of bliss and contentment. Even if you are freezing as you climb back into your crappy car and go back to a life that previously seemed all too much. You really are in the NOW.
Cleanse your Aura in the waves
It is said that washing your head with the energized sea water, will re-energize your aura. Certainly there are high levels of ions in the salt water of the ocean, and this must have an enduring effect on the natural magnetic field of the human body. This leads to the surfer belief that every surf session is a baptism in the sea, from whence you emerge a new person.
Spirituality by the sea - the sea refreshes
Now health is difficult to define, but there is a proven link between regular exercise/ less stress and the decrease in illness/disease. Surfing fulfills these requirements by forcing heightened cardiovascular exercise, and taking individuals outside their everyday world, and therefore view their normal stresses in a more objective light.
Tao is the Chinese word meaning flow, or life, or universal. These words are generally quite hard to translate. It’s more of that universal feeling you get when you’re standing on top of a mountain, or watching an elephant, or hearing the chanting of monks in a far flung location. If you've got the tao. You’ve got the now. And so surfing is one the easiest ways after meditation and thoughtful martial arts to attain a sense of health and wellbeing.
As with all things in life surfing presents its challenges. For many their simple baseline fitness is not good enough, then when you're out in the water struggling against adversity, their strength or agility, or flexibility, or just will power fails them. This is where practice and a determination to overcome personal challenges takes priority. So go surf.
Lindsay Macvean is a surfer dude who lives on the South West coast of Ireland, amongst the ancient traditions of the Celtic culture. He found an interest in surfing at the age of 15 on a school trip, and now travels the world following his interests in all extreme sports. Lindsay's interest in his own words is the "progression of the human cause in the universal existence". Surfing seems to suit that, with its challenges for the mind, body and soul.
You've got to take ofyourself outside of the little box of reality which we all live in all day long. It could be anything from riding a wave (no matter how big), to moving to a new place. These challenges are not obstacle but learning experiences which force us into the Tao of now.
No matter what our personality style, true success comes when you can initiate a balanced cycle of Ready, Aim, Fire, Ready, Aim, Fire, Ready... You don't spend too much time in either the state of Reflection or of Action.
It should also be mentioned that in teams, individuals may play different roles in the Ready, Aim & Fire analogy. Some focus on the reflection roles and others on the action roles. This is valid as everyone has different strengths. When it comes to leadership (and we all have leadership roles) and our personal lives, we must take control and be active in both parts.
Stumbling blocks to success and specifically to creating the Tao of Success include acting too often without any sense of direction or spending too much time reflecting without creating outcomes. Do either of these descriptions sound like you?
So, what can you do to create more of the Tao of Success in your life? The first thing would be to understand that both components of the Tao of Success are active verbs. You are either actively reflecting or actively doing something. SUCCESS is NOT about INACTION.
The next thing to consider is whether you can spend time reflecting and acting at the same time? The short answer is... sort of. Your mind can only hold one thought at a time. This is an important point for us to remember when we are considering focus and balance in our lives. It is also important in the Tao of Success. You can be going through periods of reflection and action at the same time but the truth is that at any specific moment in time we are only spending energy in one of the two areas. We may switch between yin and yang quickly enough that we "appear" to be supporting both at the same. The reality is not true.
The wonderful thing about the Tao of Success is that it applies to our personal lives, our extracurricular lives and our business lives. Whether you are goal setting, working on your motivation, working on personal development or working on your professional development, you can implement the concept of the Tao of Success.
A good way to remember the power of the balance of Reflection and Action is to consider a child swinging. When a child swings, they put energy into the swing during the motion part of the swing. Then, they have a moment where they are completely motionless where they still have a great deal of potential energy. Then, instantaneously, this energy is released in a new direction.
Then, the cycle continues over and over again creating REAL RESULTS.
Moderation and balance are usually considered general bases for points of wisdom and insight. This understanding is exemplified variously throughout philosophical sapience. Buddhism teaches of a middle way, a path of moderation between extremes. Classically, virtue is found between two vices. Realizing the cosmos as in a state of unity, dichotomies are revealed as illusion. The concept of Yin and Yang along with the Tao address this adage specifically. Singularity is illustrated as a thing proceeds to an extreme state, it moves to its opposite. Careful examination and analysis of our language and the reality which we create is necessary to evolve and expand in consciousness and understanding.
Mistaking Pessimism as Realism.
Too often cynical people will describe their worldview as 'realist.' This is a direct result of a social pathology in which our place and role in the natural world has been distorted. Distrusting of others, driven by an animalistic sense of survival, these people let their emotional dispositions tint their lens of objectivity. The concept of realism includes a plethora of philosophies and institutions, but in this context refers to 'seeing things how they really are.' Ironically, this position is just unrealistic. The mind presents a mere interpretation of sensory input, and could not provide a 'realistic' impression of anything. To say that the human perspective (of the small amount of reality that we are able to perceive) is anywhere near accurate would just be unrealistic. In this sense we can begin to realize that to understand any actual truth, we must transcend our humanity and embrace the cosmic.
Forgoing this position of cosmic truth, lets attempt to undermine the pessimism as realism view pragmatically. People who subscribe to this view tend to 'prepare for the worst.' They have a strong sense of right and wrong, good and evil. Their theology is usually riddled with guilt, judgment, and punishment. These conditions cast a person into bondage, as they mistake man-made concepts (which do serve an important and practical purpose) for ultimate truths, and base their spiritual core around them. This method of existence traps your spirit, the cosmic self, to social constructs. Somehow, nestled in this worldview is that sacrifice and suffering leads to reward and peace. This delusion originates from a startled inner peace due to uncontrolled desires and emotional imbalance. Good and evil, on a cosmic level, do not exist. True realism would start in detaching from human constructs.
Dignity without Pride.
They say that pride is the sin from which every other derives. Excessive pride is the flaw of tragic heroes throughout literature, and is the antagonist of everyday moral struggle. Despite this, society equates pride with a sense of self. There is a misconception that with a lack of pride comes disrespect, unfair treatment, and diminished self-worth. Pride in one's self, family, and country are glorified. This position is clearly a mix of lingual discrepancy and social stigma. Dignity should never be confused with pride, as in my opinion, the two are contrary.
Dignity implies self-respect, but above all else self-control. The ability to maintain balance, emotionally, mentally, and physically, bespeaks and exacts dignity. It is a quality similar to the Tao, the way without force, idealized as winning a battle without fighting. Foresight, precision, and perspective are necessary for dignity. Pride undermines each of these attributes, counterpoising judgment.
Pride is concerned with ego, and gives ground to the delusional. It indicates separation, illusion, and irrationality. Avoidance of pride is imperative to stability as it has the ability to confuse priorities and lead to a misjudgment of significance. Behind the mask of pride unity is mistaken for separation, and illusion as truth. Rather than glorifying pride, we should rather work towards dignity.
The Tao of Jesus.
Upon careful analysis of religions consistencies between them become obvious. Various contemporary Christian practices originate from pagan rituals. Anthropological evidence supports that primitive drug cults, specifically using coprophillic fungi, are a common ancestor of all modern day religious and spiritual practices. Interestingly, wisdom and insight held within ancient Vedic texts accurately conform to modern day scientific knowledge. Stripping away cultural abstractions and anecdotal details from spiritual works and religious texts, an identical skeleton appears behind them all. From sacramental practices to theological philosophy, a methodological core may be explicated and developed. In Cosmic Religion: The Future of Spirituality such filtration is presented as the primary goal in spiritual development.Commonalities and recurring themes among religions is a topic worthy of entire book lengths. Sacramental practices can be traced to ritualistic inebriation. Islam's 'will of Allah,' closely resembles the way of the Tao. The release of DMT, described as 'the spirit molecule,' at human death creates an uncanny analogy to a last rights ceremony. The Christ story goes back to the time of the Egyptians, taking on various incarnations throughout history, and has striking astrological significance. The story of Jesus Christ lends enormous insight to spirituality when carefully explicated in a philosophical context.
Most perspicaciously distinguished in the New Testament is the understanding of Jesus' third way. Methods of nonviolent resistance, utilizing creativity and foresight, enable the Christ to actively convey a message of peace and justice. Jesus did not preach passivity to abuse, but rather a way of acting without force in the face of oppression. More importantly than either of these Tao-like points involving Jesus' practice was his effortless exhibition of insight. The most profound theme of Jesus' work was to let your life, in your everyday actions, be your message to the world. Transcendently this was communicated by allowing his life to be this very message. Mahatma Gandhi, in this same way, practiced creative nonviolent resistance, once saying "You must be the change you want to see in the world."
There is a book out there called "The Tao: Everything You Have To Know To Be A Complete Badass With Women" by Joshua Pellicer. For those of you who have not heard the buzz, he claims that Tao will enlighten males of the level of skill the way to be the star that women love.
The term badass implies different things to various individuals, and it is also relative to the problem at hand. If you're searching how you can seduce, attract and find women, he saysyou have to embrace a bit of bad ass within your technique, attitude and style.
Welcome to Friday night! You just busted your ass all week working for the person and now it's time to begin raging! Jump in the shower with your sipping beer and uhhh... your are likely to put on this Ed Hardy shirt out?
Before hand, you have to understand that this is not a system regarding masculinity or perhaps posturing as a few might take from the post or even concept. What he claims to do is actually show men the way to do all the vital "moves" in the seduction game without getting fearful, silly, or sneaky. Early courses claiming to do exactly the same fell short of exactly the same declaration.
Nonetheless, you have to walk a fine line between being someone who actually grabs and also holds attention along with a badass that simply turns ladies away. When you learn how to utilize a bad ass mindset and appeal to attract women, you'll definitely find yourself having a much greater success rate when you go out to meet women.
The peer pressure in the life of a youngster today, imposes an unintentional restriction when it comes to socializing. This leaves the young man of today a bit distressed with no proper guidance on how to get in touch with women. On the day of a date, he starts a frantic search on the Internet and goes into an experiment mode. After implementing various online tips, failures and rejections make him depressed leading to inferiority complex and other behavioral issues.
The Internet abounds in books written on dating. But, the trouble is that most of them are either too difficult to understand or are full of impractical tips. Reading them is sure to put you in a trial-and-error mode leading to great frustration in the long run.The search on Google, for a book written by an expert in the field, is sure to come up with "The Tao ."
A glimpse into the book:
Following are some of the points, it contains:
1. How to muster the courage to make the first move?
2. How to radiate self-confidence through eye contact?
3. How to pass the test and get qualified for an on-going friendship? Know that women tend to test men for their sincerity and honesty.
4. How to initiate a friendly conversation without sounding too informal? The book also contains practical tips on the art of moving forward from a superficial liking.
How to interpret The Tao by body language?
Joshua Pellicer claims to have done lots of experiments on this which is the basis for his approaches. He also claims to have a lot of knowledge of the ever changing dating scene and truly understands and knows what he explains to the world. A self-confessed guru in this field and has a radio show which shares thoughts on dating. He reveals his knowledge correctly seduce women.
He gives numerous tips such as the following: attract females without pickup lines or needing to give a background of yourself, learn that facing a woman directly removes potential sexual attraction, understand what gals need which won't include a buff body, money, and attractive facial expression and learn strategies to keep her falling in love with you.
The guides claim to help men on what to do in certain situations. The book discusses how you can grasp the body language of females. The technique on this book claims to assist men to read her body gesture without the need to stare and zoom in on all her movements. Determining the bad and good body languages as well as understanding the tone of her voice.
Men are taught that they need confidence. However, it’s easier in theory. The material demonstrates how to gain confidence. You have to have an optimistic picture of on their own self even if they are overweight, do not have good looks, and that are too shy and scared to go out.
Karmamudra Practice | Tantra Techniques
Tantric Loving | Karmamudra Partner
Karmamudra is a Sanskrit word which means either "action seal", "desire seal" or "love seal". Karmamudra is the equivalent of the Tibetan word "las kyi phyag rgya". Karmamudra is one of the Tantra techniques, collectively known as Vajrayana, associated with Buddhahood. Karmamudra is a synthesis of two words: "karma" and "mudra". "Karma" which means sexual while "mudra" means a partner. Thus, karmamudra practice is the use of consorts, either physical or visualized, to transcend normal passion and bring out a blissful natural passion.
Physical Karmamudra Partner and Visualized Karmamudra Partner
The literal meaning of Karmamudra is a sexual yoga practice. It is a tantric technique. The sexual technique can involve either sexual intercourse with a partner or an imagined sexual partner. A real sexual partner or, better yet, physical karmamudra partner, is known simply as karmamudra. However, if the sexual partner is imagined or, better yet, a visualized consort, it is referred to as jnanamudra.
Importance of Karmamudra Practice
Karmamudra transcends the procreational and recreational aspects of sex. As a tantric technique, karmamudra uses upaya-kaushalya. The Buddhist terms "upaya" and "kaushalya" mean expedient and cleverness, respectively. Used together, the terms mean "skill-in-means". The person practicing karmamudra is liberated spiritually, referred to as samsara.
According to professor Judith Simmer-Brown, a scholar with extensive knowledge about Buddhism, karmamudra can ably help bring out the natural passion. In the book titled "The Six Yogas of Naropa", Simmer-Brown observes thus: In the context of tantrism, natural passion is customarily three-pronged--creation-phase, tummo, and sexual yoga.
In the first way, creation-phase or generation stage, the technique helps the practitioner achieve a visualization of the yidam (the tantric deity) as a yab-yum in the copulation. Yab-yum is Buddhist symbol which implies sexual activity between a male and female. In the second stage, called tummo in Tibet and Candali in Sanskrit, the aim is the practitioner taking the helm of their body process. At this stage, the practitioner arouses the psycho-spiritual function, the subtle body, which helps the phowa (the central channel) breath. The third stage is the actual karmamudra or "lekyi chagya" which both refer to the appropriately named sexual yoga. By accomplishing the three aforementioned stages, the practitioner is able to exceed the normal passion and, in its stead, achieve a moment of great passion or pleasure; this is called "Dem Chog" or "Maha-sukha" in Tibetan and Sanskrit, respectively. In doing so, the practitioner is also able to overcome the psychogenic baggage.
The karmamudra technique was greatly revered by ancient gurus of the Six Dhamas of Naropa. On one hand, a section of the experts lobbied for the practicing of the karmamudra technique as a standalone. On the other hand, there were experts who opined that karmamudra was to be classified under tummo or candali yoga. Karmamudra is an integral section of four different practices: the Six Yogas of Naropa, the Lamdre meditative system , Kalachakra teachings, and Anuyoga practice.
Physical Karmamudra as a Requisite
It is generally agreed among Tibetan Buddhist experts that karmamudra is crucial in the context of getting an insight in this life. Renowned scholars who have held such sentiments include the Tibetan lama called Thubten Yeshe. On the flip side, a section of lamas, notably the 14th Dalai Lama, have expressed opposing views; Dalai Lama, for instance, shrugs off the opinion that a physical karmamudra partner is a must-have primordial. To support his opinion, Dalai Lama cites Khedrup Norsang Gyatso, a 15th century scholar, who opined that practitioners affiliated with some spiritual faculties can realize similar goals using a visualize consort only.
Requirements for Practitioners
Incidentally, Tibetan Buddhism has a laundry list of schools of thought. These schools are Bon, Sakya, Nyingma, Gelug, Kagyu, Rime, Jonang, and Kadam. The New Translation schools of thought are Jonang, Kagyu, Kadam, Gelug, and Sakya. In these schools, there are practitioners classified under the action, performance, and yoga tantras; these are collectively known as tantra lower classes. Practitioners in those classes can only do with a visualized consort. However, once the practitioners are promoted to the Highest Yoga Tantra, they are authorized to practice karmamudra using a real sexual partner.
The different thoughts and practices of Tantric Buddhism concur that certified tantric practitioners, among them ex-monks who disavowed, are permitted to practice using physical consorts. Furthermore, those who founded Mahasiddha, used them. For instance, Atisa Dipamkara Srijnana, an 11th century Buddhist scholar, observed that the religious dedications that a practitioner can depend on transcend encompass every aspect in the tantra teachings. Even then, some aspects are hazy regarding active monks practicing karmamudra. In this context, a notable example is Tripitakamala; this Buddhist teacher argued that Buddhahood as a rank transcends monkhood pledges.
To wrap up this, the basic requirement for karmamudra practice is tummo or candali. Karmamurda is but a continuation of tummo.
Background of Karmamudra Practice
The Pala Empire, an imperial dynasty in classical India, is hailed as the time when tantra became famous. Vajrayana supplemented the then single way of seeking enlightment, only then believed to be achieved via lovemaking. In her book, titled "Passionate enlightenment"author Miranda Eberle Shaw, states that tantrism also augured well for women as they voiced their concerns in the quest for karmamudra.
The author cites sixteen proven cases where female instructors had male students, with the instructors teaching using upadesa, a spiritual guidance. Moreover, Shaw cites seven tantras, religious scriptures, authored by female religious teachers and which were approved by 8th century Tibetans.
Debate on Karmamudra Practice
Simmer-Brown observes that the range to which karmamudra should have been practiced was a contentious issue in Tibet. Societies out of the range of monkhood practiced predominantly yoga. According to her, the non-monastic practitioners such as Terma and Ngagpa religion followers and inherited lamas affiliated with some schools of thought like Kagyu and Nyingma abstained from marriage and sex. On the flip side, Simmer-Brown adds they repelled monasticism, especially Gelug school which called for good conduct.
In his book titled "After the Ecstasy, the Laundry", American author Jack Kornfield, who is also a Vipassana meditation instructor, cites an anonymous Buddhist scholar; the cited scholar, a female, narrates an aged "realized" lama whose yearly choice of a physical consort was a nun aged between thirteen and fourteen. Upon consulting females who were intimate with lamas, the cited anonymous instructor deduces the karmamudra practice was pro-lamas.
Former Kagyu practitioner and scholar June Campbell, told The Buddhist Review that women have a penchant for being lamas' discreet lovers; Campbell stated that she was also in such a relationship following the deification of Kalu Rinpoche, a Buddhist lama who passed on in 1989. Based on the interview with the publication, she did not feel misused by then. However, on sober reflection, the secretive nature and lack of equal power had the hallmark of sexual abuse.
Kundalini Concept | Kundalini Physiology
Kundalini Explained | Learning Kundalini
Kundalini is becoming a very popular concept, as it is broadly cited among different yoga disciplines and modern age beliefs. The Kundalini is there to nurture, to mend and look after and also to offer a person a better and much deeper persona. The potency of Kundalini is utter purity, chastity, auspiciousness, self-respect, detachment, genuine love, concern for other people and enlightened interest, to provide unlimited joy and serenity to an individual.
Meaning of Kundalini
Kundalini, a Sanskrit term which means 'coiled up' or 'coiling like a serpent'. There are numerous of other translations of the word generally putting an emphasis on a more snake nature to the term, for example '"serpent power". The caduceus symbolic representation of the coiling snakes is considered to be a historical symbolic portrayal of the Kundalini physiology.
Concept of Kundalini
The idea of Kundalini originates from yogic school of thought of historic India and refers back to the mothering thinking ability driving yogic awareness and spiritual growth. It could be deemed by yogis as a kind of deity, therefore the sporadic capitalization of the word.
Within a traditional western framework of understanding it is usually linked to the practice of religious or contemplative practices which may stimulate a transformed state of consciousness, often brought on spontaneously, via a form of yoga, by way of psychedelic prescription drugs, or by having a experience of near-death.
In accordance to the yogic custom Kundalini is actually curled up in the rear section of the root chakra in 3 and one-half spins across the sacrum. The Yogic phenomenology declares that the kundalini awakening is connected with an appearance of the phenomena named bio-energetic which are reported to be encountered by the yogi, somatically.
This physical appearance is also known as Pranic awakening. The original source text for the thought of kundalini is written by Swami Svatmarama named as Hatha Yoga Pradipika, translated in English in 1992, anywhere between the 12th and 15th centuries. The pradipika is among the after enhancements in yoga holy texts. Hatha Yoga is in fact a driving technique containing since its primary purpose is the forcing of stemming kundalini.
The Main Emphasis of Kundalini
The main focus is a challenging routine of breathing techniques designed to boost the store of prana within the body. Prana is viewed as the essential, life sustaining power in our body. Intensified or Uplifted life energy is termed as pranotthana and is likely to originate from an evident reservoir of refined bio-energy at the spine base. This power is also viewed like vibrational phenomenon which triggers a period, or a technique of named vibrational psychic development.
The well-known physical postures are merely intended to be a guide to keep up maximum health and fitness, in order to assist the actual function of the breathing techniques. All this has to be coupled with extended and unbroken yoga practice, based on tradition.
Kundalini as a Meditative Discipline
Kundalini Yoga is really a meditative discipline or a method of trance-like techniques and exercises around the yogic traditions that concentrates on psycho-spiritual development and the human body's prospect of maturation. The technique of Kundalini Yoga includes a variety of physical postures, significant moves and utterances, breathing patterns, character logical cultivations, and concentration levels.
According to many scholars of religious beliefs, the body work and movements shouldn’t be regarded as simple stretching exercises. The idea of life-energy called as Pranotthana is a vital practice and comprehension of Kundalini Yoga. In addition, it gives exclusive consideration to the function of the spinal column and the endocrine system in the knowledge of yogic awakening. Lately, there's been an increasing curiosity within the health-related community to review the physiological impacts of meditation, and some of those researches has employed to the Kundalini Yoga discipline on their professional medical settings.
Kundalini as a Reservoir Of Energy
Kundalini can be defined as an incredible reservoir of innovative energy at the base of the spinal column. It isn't beneficial to sit with our awareness predetermined in our head and think about kundalini as a foreign drive accruing and down our spinal column. The idea of kundalini may also be analyzed from a firmly psychological viewpoint. From this point of view kundalini could be regarded as an abundant supply of clairvoyant or libidinous strength in our depths of the mind. Kundalini Yoga is the scientific disciplines to bring together the finite along with the Infinity, and it is the art to achieve Infinity within the finite.
Kundalini is a form of energy which rests inactive in the 1st chakra, which is at the spine base. This energy is produced in the course of orgasm over the 2nd chakra, as the body tries to create a baby. In the course of life threatening circumstances, the kundalini power is also frequently released. This is the way people all of a sudden possess the super-human power in order to save themselves or their loved ones. Most of us have learned about the grandma who had to lift up a car in order to save her grandchild. Her kundalini was already released, offering her the ability to do what she had to do. In the past, a few yogis found that the kundalini may be used to move quickly into better states of mind. Through meditating around the chakras, the kundalini is triggered and starts to rise.
A complete Kundalini Awakening is a certain energetic experience which means all the issues and knots of the mind and body happen to be resolved. It’s extremely uncommon. Most of the people who encounter some form of energetic experience aren't going through the whole awakening, but the starting symptoms of the movements of Kundalini within the body. Irrespective, Kundalini awakening whether or not a complete experience or the starting symptoms of movement is the arising of Kundalini power, which is located at the spine base. The force starts to progress the spine in some manner, form or shape.
When Kundalini stimulates, a person may go through much deeper empathy with other people, and this empathy can nearly turn out to be telepathic. There is better level of sensitivity, greater levels of energy, occasionally psychic capabilities or profound understanding, aging can appear to decelerate, and creativeness and charm can improve, as can inner peace and learning. There is a feeling of being a part of all of that is. The bigger mysteries of life aren't mysteries anymore.
Kundalini as Yoga of Awareness
Kundalini Yoga is referred to as the yoga of awareness. It is a vibrant, effective tool which is meant to give us an event of our soul.In Kundalini Yoga we use the psychological, physical, and also nervous energies of the entire body and set them under the area of the will that is certainly the device of the soul. This technology specifically and purposely fuses breathe, eye focus, mudras, mantras, postures and body locks to bring harmony of the glandular system, reinforce the central nervous system, broaden lung volume, and purify our blood. It gives good balance to the entire body, soul and our mind.
In Kundalini Yoga, it is important is what we experience. It is going directly to our heart. No phrases can substitute our experience. Our mind might acknowledge the words or it might not, however our consciousness won't accept simply words. Kundalini Yoga isn't a religion. Whenever we implement Kundalini Yoga technology to our minds and bodies, it has the effects of outstanding the spirit. It is for everybody. It is wide-spread and non-denominational and universal.
Kundalini Yoga was held as very top secret till 1969 when Yogi Bhajan educated it publicly so as to prepare mankind for the key changes this entire world is certainly going through once we cross through the Piscean age to the Aquarian Age. The historic Kundalini Yoga technology provides for us the consciousness and the fortitude for making this a simple transition. The heritage of complex and religious expertise that Yogi Bhajan learnt and perfected in India is the reward he delivered to the West.
3 Levels - Subtle, Starvational and Conscious
The kundalini soars through these centers from the base of the spine all the way up to the head top, the location where the 1000 petalled lotus chakra is found. When kundalini gets to the 7th chakra with its total energy, this spiritual energy evolves its entire regal force by means of enlightenment. In the subtle level, Kundalini is the energy resource which will keep our subtle bodies operating. Just like we need water and food to outlive on our physical level, likewise we need Kundalini to outlive at this subtle level. So everybody who is still living has a specific amount of Kundalini going via their subtle bodies.
However, on this planet currently, many people are functioning at a starvation level pertaining to Kundalini energy. They've just sufficient flowing to help keep alive, anything. The Kundalini energy exists at the spine base in the very first chakra, and in the entire process of living a lot of it will be pointed out to raise level of chakras to fuel up our everyday life.
When we meditate, we're attempting to try this on a conscious level to ensure that rather than getting only a nominal level of Kundalini.
Benefits Of Kundalini:-
- The Basic benefits by Kundalini Yoga provided are
- Strength - Dridhata,
- Mudra provides Steadiness - Sthirata,
- Pratyahara offers boldness - Dhairya,
- Pranayama presents Lightness of our body - Laghima,
- Dhyana provides self Perception - Pratyakshatva and
- Samadhi offer Isolation - Kaivalya which can be liberty or ultimate beatitude for powerful wholesome lives.
1. Results In Explosion Of Power:-
The kundalini yoga is coiled-up just like a very firm spring, and when unveiled there is at times an outburst of power. Adequately focused, the kundalini will be traveling up to a tube inside the energy body which lies near to the spine. Without correct direction, the discharge of kundalini can be quite uncomfortable and perhaps damaging.
2. Strengthens Body Energy And Chakras:-
On kundalini's way up, it equally cleans and fortifies the chakras and energy body. We might sense a comfortable feel upgrading our back. If our head feels as though it's burning up, we might be driving way too hard, too quickly.
3. Taps Naturally Stored Power:-
We could think about kundalini yoga as a means of reaping a natural storage space of energy that everyone has to fuel our process. Just like the gasoline we decide to put in our vehicle, kundalini on its own is comparatively safe but when coupled with willpower; it can turn out to be erratic if not dealt with value.
4. Boosts Body-Mind Connection:-
Kundalini Yoga is the Yoga exercise of healing at the actual physical, mental and spiritual levels by way of increased awareness that purposely links with a greater self-nature or the divinity.That consequently tones up the body-mind interconnection at the bodily level, the psychological at the mind level and the spiritual over and above the unlimited level of fearlessness strengthened by the real consciousness.
5. Helps Our Body Undergo Organic Alteration:-
It have been witnessed that whenever Kundalini is purposely or subconsciously turned on and ascends from the spine in Sushuman nadithe mind converts its energy into essential hormones necessary for body and the 7 chakra centers go through a significant organic change.
6. Physical Benefits:-
The autonomic central nervous system is in harmony, heart rate decreases, blood pressure level decreases, cardiovascular system proficiency raises, lungs effectiveness improves, gastro-intestinal functionality improves, endocrine performance normalizes, musculo-skeletal overall flexibility and joint flexibility in motion enhance excretory functions strengthen, and so forth.
7. Psychological Benefits:-
Increased sense of consciousness in kinesthetic and somatic senses, swift changes in moods , self-wellbeing, acknowledgement and realization improves, Adjusting improves, anxiousness, stress and major depression reduce, Rage lessens, concentration boosts, memory hones and social abilities, learning capability enhances and via emblematic coding level of perception enhances.
Kundalini Yoga in its basis is easily the most unsafe type of yoga. When we say unsafe since it is the most powerful also. What is strongest is obviously the most unsafe if wrongly handled. This doesn’t imply there's something completely wrong with Kundalini Yoga. It is a really amazing process but it must be done correctly simply because energy doesn't have discretion of its very own. We can make our life from it or we can burn off our life from it.
Kundalini Yoga is yoga for house-holders, for individuals who have to deal with the day-to-day challenges and tensions of retaining jobs, rearing families, and handling businesses. It is a way for anyone who wants the abilities to deal effectively with the difficulties of our situations. Devoid of the essential preparation, without continuous, professional assistance, observation and guidance nobody should at any time attempt it.
Vajrayana Religon | Vajrayana Mantras
Mantravana Philosophy | Buddhist Shamanism
Vajrayana is a form of (Tantric) Buddhism that is today predominantly encountered in the Himalayan nation of Tibet, as well as Bhutan, Nepal, and parts of Mongolia. It takes its name from the term vajra, which in Sanksrit stands for “thunderbolt” or “diamond”, and represents the central symbol in the Vajrayana ritual, signifying that which is indestructible and entirely real within the human being, in contrast to various fictions that one holds about his true nature.
It is also known by other names, including Mantrayana, because of its use of mantras to keep the mind so focused on reality and not to get lost in the world of fiction; Guhyamantrayana, where guhya, “hidden”, means that the process of coming to awareness is elusive and hard to perceive; an Tantraya, because it draws its knowledge from the scriptures that is known as tantras.
Vajrayana is also a practice that is often seen as corresponding to Tibetan Buddhism, as it partly drew from the shamanism of the Tibetan native religion of Bon. The central figure of Tibetan Buddhism is called lama, which is a rough Tibetan translation of the word “guru”, and it is the source of another of its names, Lamaism.
There is no real consensus on the exact historical timeline of the formation of today’s form of Vajrayana. It is generally accepted that the practice took its shape as early as the 5th and as late as 11th century, as we know that by the 7th century Vajrayana flourished in parts of the Indian sub-continent. It is closely linked to what scholars call the fifth period of Buddhism in India and can be traced back either to the Indian region of Bengal or to the border regions of today’s Pakistan.
Vajrayana rose from the practices of Mahayana, and there is no real distinction between either the starting point or the goals of the two traditions: they both come from the experience of worldly suffering and the focus of one’s mind on the true reality of being, both find their sources in various tantric textual traditions, and both set out to achieve Bodhisattva, or Buddhahood, the perfect state of being and the goal of incarnations. Where Mahayana and Vajrayana differ is in the actual method performed to achieve the ultimate goal. Mahayana seeks out perfection through a series of incarnations that can last days, while Vajrayana is centered around the acceleration of the process and allowing for the goal to be accomplished much faster. It is of value to note that the purpose of attaining the state of Buddha in Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions is a selfless one, namely to make oneself of perfect use to others.
Except for the Tibetan Bon tradition, which gave Vajrayana its final form under which it is known today, other influences are noted as well. They include the Hinduistic practice of Shaivism, which is inclined towards monasticism and ascetics, as well as the strong influence of Theravadan monastic discipline. Other possible influences include Kalachakra tantra, and the sahaja-siddhi movement whose practitioner Saraha is considered one of the founders of Vajrayana.
Buddhist scholars hold that the evolution of Vajrayana is based in the original teachings of Buddha, and that it reflects the development of three currents that are essential to Buddha’s way. These are the democratic current, which seeks out to allow for everyone, including lay people, to achieve the highest potential of enlightenment and participate in the accomplishment of Buddhahood; the magical and ritual current, which grew to include various yogi traditions; and the symbolic current of thought, which means that the use of symbols, such as the wheel, the vajra or the lute, is inherently present in Buddhism and allows for a faster progression of teachings and practices.
Tibetan Buddhism can trace its lineage to several most important lamas, starting from the 9th century Nyingma-pa, when Guru Padma-sambhava were invited to Tibet by King Trisong Detsen in 817 as a missionary and helped establish the connection between the local Bon religion and the spreading Buddhism. The importance of Bon lies in allowing for the establishment of new goals that helped spreading Buddhism in Tibet, namely the involvement of already established religious practices, magical rituals and symbolism, in providing for a quicker, more intense and advanced seeking out of Buddhahood. Also, it helped to keep and develop the local artistic and symbolic practices, culminating with the sacred mandala, which represents the universe and is used as central aid in meditation.
A more esoteric practice rose through the 11th century Sakya-pa, which brought the Kalachakra path to Tibet and established the Sakya monastery in central Tibet. The practitioner of Sakya-pa is leading a way of reaching the state of Hevajira.
The Kagyu-pa traditions are derived from two 10th and 11th century lamas who received tantric teachings and interpretations of sutra that lead to Mahamudra, a feature unique to this path of Tibetan Buddhism which aims at directly understanding the true nature of the mind.
Finally, the most popular and widely known path of Tibetan Buddhism is the Gelug-pa, which rose to prominence in the 14th century. The followers of this reformed form established the incarnation of their teacher as that of bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, which inaugurated the lineage of the Dalai Lamas. Strict monasticism plays the central role in this line of Vajrayana, and the conviction that Bodhisattva is constantly present in the world.
Aside from Tibetan Buddhism, other schools of Varjayana rose to prominence in other neighboring regions in more or less the same historical period. The esoteric teachings of Chinese Buddhism for example still thrive in parts of Mongolia and Indochina, and have a great history that goes back to the first three Buddhist gurus that came from India, spreading tantric teachings through the Chinese kingdoms. In Japan, there are several schools including the Shingon school, which is very similar to Tibetan Vajrayana but has differing practices and source history. Shugendo is another Japanese school which shares characteristics with other forms of Vajrayana, but incorporates practices of local Shinto religion as well as the influences of Taoism. Other connected schools include the Ari Buddhistic practices of Burma, the Azhali religion from the kingdom of Dali, and the Newar Buddhism school practiced in Nepal, characterized by their usage of sanskrit in scriptures. All these schools share the focus on monasticism and ritual as part of the tantric practice, and most of them share a history of textual sources dating back to the first Vajrayana tantras of the 8th century.
In all forms of Vajrayana, the main emphasis remains the attainment of the state of Bodhisattva, which is often explained as the final form of Buddha, the reaching of the final nirvana which fills with absolute compassion for every living creature.
Every practitioner of Vajrayana is taken through stages of being introduced to its true nature, the inherent potential of the Buddha-nature, and to see the whole world in these terms. This is achieved through a variety of tantric techniques, including the advanced meditations that bring the enlightened mind in the state of being able to perceive the nature of the ultimate truth, and introducing a set of other ritual practices that are all in some way allowing the practitioner to purify its perception. This is done through rising the motivation of the practitioner to pertain on the path of enlightenment, and by introducing him to the various rituals that are built on the more abstract meditation techniques of old.
The Vajrayana texts deal with inner experiences and place the sole emphasis on evoking the full potential of experiences within the practitioner through the use of symbolic language. In terms of its internal philosophy, Vajrayana could be said to represents both the ultimate superiority of the enlightenment mind which has its roots in the Yogashara discipline, and the deep determination of Madhyamika, which means that the ultimate stays safe. The true enlightenment in Tantric Buddhism comes when one achieves the state of realizing that principles usually perceived as opposite are in truth the same thing. Erasing of this false distinctions are fundamental in Vajrayana practice.
One thing that further characterizes Vajrayana is its focus on monasticism, which present the practitioner with the special teacher-student relationship as essential in the ritual and the practice. The most crucial teachings of Vajrayana are thus not present in the texts and are not accessible nor understood by those not involved in the practice itself. This esoteric, secret transmission of knowledge is not secret in the sense that it is not permitted to fully express them to the “outsiders” – rather, the nature of these knowledge’s is such that they are impossible or hard to understand outside the context of either Tantric practice or the teacher-student bound, and even if they could be understood to some degree their application by untrained and the non-ordained may prove to be fatal and dangerous both to them and to others.
Part of these precautions are expressed through the tantric vows that a practitioner must bear with in order to follow the rules of their specific stage in initiation. It is expected that the teacher follows the same tantric vows and this is considered one of the most important and sacred practices of Vajrayana gurus.
Tantric techniques are considered the most profound practices that enable the practitioner to achieve Bodhisattva in the quickest possible way. Because of the severity of these meditation and ritualistic practices, it is very important for the initiate to take various extra vows and commitments to supplement their daily meditations, such as recitation of specific mantras or accomplishing specific tasks.
The most present symbol of Vajrayana is of course the vajra itself. The term has various meanings and came to denote the substance of the true enlightened insight achieved through the tantric practice. The word means “thunderbolt”, which was the name of a mythical weapon of Indra, the king of the Devas, made from the indestructible, diamond-like adamantine, and was said to be able to pierce through any material and crush any obstacle. “Vajra” came to be used for any indestructible substance, including diamonds, which gave the name “The Diamond Vehicle” to the Vajrayana.
A symbolic representation of vajra is found in Tibetan Buddhism through the use of a specifically built scepter object, used in rituals combined with the use of the ritual bell known as ghanta. The purpose of using vajra in the ritual is to remind the practitioner of both the true method through which to achieve enlightenment, as well as the nature of the goal of such endeavor, the moment of realizing the blissful emptiness which is the path to bodhavistta.
Vajrayana practice incorporates the usage of many other symbols. A profound place is taken by the figure of mufti, the image of a deity that embodies the divine and the ultimate reality. Then, there is the usage of painting, the thangka, made on cotton and silk, usually representing Buddha or a deity, and used as a teaching tool to show the life of Buddha, any of the more important lamas, or the myths of other deities important to the practice. The religious art is used in Vajrayana primarily as a meditation tool, where the practitioner is instructed to visualize himself as being the character depicted in the thangka, thus bringing forth the best qualities of Buddha that will help him move more rapidly down the path to Buddhahood. Other items used in the rituals include the hand-drum damaru and the ritual dagger phurba all that serve to help in chanting and brought the identification process of the ritual to its peak.
Central symbol of Vajrayana, as with many other forms of Tantric Buddhism, is the mandala. It can have various forms, but in its most basic form it is pictured as a square, the representation of four gates, containing the circle, the central point of enlightenment. The mandala represent the universe itself, with the balance of four sides and the gates that lead to perfection. The role of mandala is always as a meditation guidance tool to achieve complete focus.