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Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

Aug 10, 2019

Buddhist tantric practice is a method for quickly gaining realizations like great compassion and wisdom. In this episode, we explore the stage of tantra in which imagine our self as an awakened being. Called generation stage tantra, this is a technique for becoming more and more familiar with the thoughts and actions of an enlightened being until awakening is actualized through much-repeated practice. Ultimately tantra is a quick method to realize emptiness and compassion for all living beings. 

In the meditation, we imagine our body and mind becoming a wishfulling jewel filled with light and as vast as the universe. We also try to perceive the experiences of our life, our thoughts, pleasant/unpleasant feelings, and this body as clouds passing through our vast, sky-like mind. We then contemplate the suffering of someone or a group of living beings. We try to imagine what it is really like for them, what their days and nights are like, until we generate heart-felt compassion. Then we imagine this compassion causes our mind to expand and become a wishfulfilling jewel, radiating light and as big as the universe. We then send light rays out to each and every living being, imagining we bring them temporary happiness and then the lasting inner peace of awakening. 

We can do this tantric meditation every day if we wish. The point of this type of practice is to experience and awaken to our true nature, great compassion and wisdom, which is intrinsically present in everyone. For our daily mindfulness practice, can send light rays from our heart to anyone we see suffering at any time. We do not need to close our eyes to do this practice, just send them light. We can also try to experience our mind as sky-like and our feelings and thoughts as clouds, just passing through. In this way, we can feel a little less affected by our passing feelings.

The person of little learning 

Grows old like an ox: 

The flesh increases, 

But insight does not. (152) 


Through many births 

I have wandered on and on, 

Searching for, but never finding, 

The builder of [this] house. 

To be born again and again is suffering.


House-builder, you are seen! 

You will not build a house again! 

All the rafters are broken, 

The ridgepole destroyed; 

The mind, gone to the 


Has reached the end of craving! (153–154)* 


Those who have neither lived the chaste life 

Nor gained wealth in their youth 

Waste away like frail herons 

In a lake devoid of fish. (155)* 


Those who have neither lived the chaste life 

Nor gained wealth in their youth 

Lie around like [arrows misfired] from a bow, Lamenting the past.

--Buddha, The Dhammapada


Buddha, The Dhammapada. Translated by Gil Fronsdale. Shambala, 2011. pp. 21-22.