Introduction to Tantra
Amitabha Buddhist Centre, Singapore
by Venerable Thubten Chodron©
Part 1 of 3: Not to have the wrong motivation for practising Vajrayana~ 'Enlightenment in one lifetime': what it really means ~ Vajrayana is not completely separate from Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism ~ What is an initiation and the purpose of taking initiations ~ Common fault: Spiritual arrogance.
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Part 2 of 3: How should we go about practising the Dharma in order to approach Vajrayana in a realistic and practical way? Embarking on the gradual path ~ Watch our mind, watch our behaviour ~ Establish some ethical foundation in our life. Take Refuge and Precepts. Do we lie to ourselves? ~ Learn how to make wise decisions ~ What is the right time to enter the Vajrayana path?
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Part 3 of 3: Questions and answers
[22 min] : Download
- To practice tantra, the first step is to find a spiritual mentor. Different levels of spiritual mentors. Finding a spiritual mentor.
- Since you say to start with the Theravada practices, then add on the Mahayana and the Vajrayana, does that mean that we should all do Pali chanting? But this isn’t done in the Tibetan tradition.
- Theravada practice leads one to the state of arhatship, which is liberation, but it’s not the full enlightenment of a Buddha. How does somebody then get from arhatship to Buddhahood?
- Is there a book that has a good overview of the various Buddhist traditions?
- Is it better to have taken an initiation and not follow the commitments than to not take the initiation?
- In the practice of tonglen or the taking and giving practice, one takes on others’ suffering and give them our happiness. But in the Abdhidharmakosha, it says the Buddhas (or anybody else for that matter) can’t take on the suffering of another. Is there a contradiction here?