Aug 19, 2019
Buddhist Tantra is a set of methods to quickly attain realizations of the true nature of reality (emptiness), universal compassion and great bliss. In this introduction to tantric practice, Buddhist Teacher, JoAnn Fox shares some of the fundamentals of the two stages of tantra: generation stage and completion stage. In generation stage, we imagine dissolving our ordinary sense of self and all our ordinary appearances into emptiness. We try to have some taste--some wisdom experience--of emptiness. From emptiness we imagine we arise, like a rainbow appearing out of a clear sky, as a pure being with a body of light. We imagine we have universal compassion for all beings, feel blissful, and perceive all beings and all things in this world as pure. When we have a pure mind, free from habits like desirous attachment, Just as the mind of anger appears an unpleasant person, a pure mind sees the fundamental purity of all things.
In completion stage practice of tantra, we learn to manipulate the subtle energies of our own body. Harnessing our subtle energy system, the chakras and so forth, we can cause blissful states of consciousness that can easily penetrate the veil of reality and realize emptiness.
If one knew oneself to be precious,
One would guard oneself with care.
The sage will watch over herself
In any part
Of the night. (157)*
In first establishing himself
In what is proper
And only then teaching others,
The sage will not be stained. (158)
As one instructs others,
So should one do oneself:
Only the self-controlled should restrain others. Truly, it’s hard to restrain oneself. (159)
—Buddha, The Dhammapada
Book recommendations for those with deeper interest in practicing Buddhist tantra:
Introduction to Tantra by Lama Thubten Yeshe (link)
The Bliss of Inner Fire: Heart Practice of the Six Yogas of Naropa, by Lama Thubten Yeshe (link)
Buddha.The Dhammapada. Translated by Gil Fronsdale. Shambala, Boston and London, 2011, pp. 42-43.
Yeshe, Thupten. Introduction to Tantra. (Audiobook). Wisdom Publications, Somerville, 2014.