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The Practice of Guru Yoga for Padmasambhava in the Nyingmapa Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism (New)
by Vajranatha, Lama
Book ID: 9789630685801, 9630685809
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Simhanada Series, Vidyadhara Institute
Published by Bodhiszattva Publications, Budapest, Hungary, 2010
Guru Yoga is one of the most important meditation practices in both Buddhist Tantra and Dzogchen. The Guru, or Lama, may be understood in its three aspects of outer, inner, and secret. The outer aspect of the Guru may be a personal spiritual teacher in one's present life or an important historical figure from the past. The inner aspect of the Guru is one's own individual Yidam, or meditation deity practice, and the Secret Guru is the Nature of one’s own Mind, this latter being the Ultimate Guru. Guru Padmasambhava, although originally a historical figure who brought Vajrayana, the Tantric form of Buddhism from India and Central Asia to Tibet in the 8th century, is here understood to symbolize and represent one's own Ultimate Guru, the Nature of one's own Mind. Because one tends to think dualistically, the practitioner first visualizes the Guru, as an exalted spiritual being, out there in the sky in front of oneself, something like God on his throne in heaven. But because the Ultimate Guru is actually within oneself, the practitioner always comes to unify with this figure of the Guru, absorbing him into oneself. This is the real meaning of the term yoga, that is, "unification," so that the actual translation would be "unification with the master." In the practice presented here, Guru Padmasambhava is employed to represent the Ultimate Guru, not only because he established Vajrayana Buddhism in Tibet and is the source of the Nyingmapa tradition, the oldest school of Buddhism in Tibet, but because he is a non-sectarian figure in the Buddhist context, appearing in Tibet long before the development of schools and sectarianism in that country in the 11th century.
This book, based on some of the meditation seminars of Lama Vajranatha given in Europe over the past years, is divided into two parts. Part One, "The Significance of the Guru and Guru Yoga," contains seven chapters:
- Personal Involvement with Tibetan Buddhsim,
- The Meaning of "Tradition,"
- Transmission and Gnosis
- Function of the Guru: Its Importance in Tantra and Dzogchen
- The Nyingmapa Tradition among the Four Schools of Tibetan Buddhism
- Guru Padmasambhava
Part Two, "The Practice of Guru Yoga," contains six chapters:
- The Nine Breathings for Purification
- The Guru Yoga Practice in Brief Form
- Translation of "The Rainfall of Blessings"
- The Ganapuja, or Tantric Feast, in connection with the Guru Yoga
- Guru Yoga and the State of Contemplation
- Summary: Meditation Sessions and Contemplation
The appendix provides an interlinear translation of the text of "The Rainfall of Blessings," by Mipham Rinpoche, the illustrious Nyingmapa master from the last century, together with a line-by-line Tibetan pronunciation, and the accompanying Ganapuja practice.
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