The ‘vajra descent’ and ‘authentic completion stage’: the 8th Karmapa and Tāranātha on the meaning of ‘vajra’ and ‘non-conceptual primordial awareness’

In this post today, for the auspicious day of Saga Dawa, that celebrates the birth, enlightenment and paranirvana of Buddha Shakyamuni, I consider and share some thoughts from two great Tibetan Buddhist masters on the ‘completion stage’ and ‘signs’ of attaining full awakening and what the word ‘vajra’ means in that context. The first  text… Continue reading The ‘vajra descent’ and ‘authentic completion stage’: the 8th Karmapa and Tāranātha on the meaning of ‘vajra’ and ‘non-conceptual primordial awareness’

New Translation: Jetsun Tāranātha’s ‘The Ornament of Madhyamaka Empty-of-Other’

A new translation of one of Jetsun Tāranātha’s key texts, on the view of ‘Empty of Other’ (gzhan stong), Ornament of Madhyamaka Empty-of Other (gzhan stong dbu ma’i rgyan) has recently been announced by Jonang lama, Khentrul Rinpoche, who is based in Australia. It has not been translated/published into English until now. The text is… Continue reading New Translation: Jetsun Tāranātha’s ‘The Ornament of Madhyamaka Empty-of-Other’

Machig Jobum: Female mahasiddha and lineage holder of Dro Kālacakra

Chief of all who live life in the sky [dākinīs], [attainer of the] rainbow body, Jo-‘bum-ma.  I pray to you, hold me in your thoughts with compassion. You hold the lineage; bless me to have a life like yours. —Tsewang Norbu As is typical of ‘his’-stories of famous, or powerful, men, women are often underrepresented,… Continue reading Machig Jobum: Female mahasiddha and lineage holder of Dro Kālacakra

Ultimate ‘ecstatic union’: the meaning and role of ‘erotic bliss’ in tantra and Kālacakra

“Erotic love, enjoyed by the ignorant, becomes bondage. That very same love, tasted with understanding, brings liberation.”  —Āryadeva “Erotic bliss is the totality.” —Hevajra Tantra ‘”Buddha taught in countless different ways so that all beings with countless different faculties can find bliss. Anyway, wherever they go, all sentient beings from insects to wise men appear… Continue reading Ultimate ‘ecstatic union’: the meaning and role of ‘erotic bliss’ in tantra and Kālacakra

‘Love is the water of compassion’: Tāranātha on the ‘four immeasurables’ in ‘A Hundred Blazing Lights’

Today, for the anniversary of the parinirvāṇa of Jetsun Tāranātha (28th of the 3rd Tibetan month), and as part of the launch of the new publication of Tāranātha’s ‘Meaningful to See‘, this post, is about the section from his more extensive commentary, A Hundred Blazing Lights on the second preliminary practice, ‘generating a mind of… Continue reading ‘Love is the water of compassion’: Tāranātha on the ‘four immeasurables’ in ‘A Hundred Blazing Lights’

‘A Hundred Blazing Lights’: Tāranātha on the meaning of ‘profound’ and ‘exceptional devotion’ in the ‘profound path of vajra-yogas’

As part of the new publication of Tāranātha’s root text ‘Meaningful to See: Guiding Instructions on the Profound Path of the Vajra-yogas‘ (and the annotations within it from his longer supplementary commentary, ‘A Hundred Blazing Lights‘ (HBL)), this  post shares his explanation of the term ‘profound’ (zab mo) and why it is used to describe… Continue reading ‘A Hundred Blazing Lights’: Tāranātha on the meaning of ‘profound’ and ‘exceptional devotion’ in the ‘profound path of vajra-yogas’

Tāranātha on Vajrasattva: the nature of karma, the four ‘opponent powers’ and the necessity of purification in ‘A Hundred Blazing Lights’

As part of the launch of the first publication of ‘Meaningful to See: Guidance on the Profound Path of the Vajra-Yogas‘ by Jetsun Tāranātha,  and the launch of a new ‘Vajrasttava’ section on this website, I am sharing some of Tāranātha’s instructions on Vajrasattva: Hundred Syllable Mantra practice of the Kālacakra preliminaries from his longer… Continue reading Tāranātha on Vajrasattva: the nature of karma, the four ‘opponent powers’ and the necessity of purification in ‘A Hundred Blazing Lights’

NEW PUBLICATION: ‘Meaningful to See: Guidance on the Profound Path of the Vajra-Yogas’ by Jetsun Tāranātha

Today, for the commemoration of Vesak (Buddha Day) and the Kālacakra new year, I am happy to announce the long-awaited and much-requested, translation and publication of a short (but important) root text  by Jonang and Shangpa Kagyu master, Jetsun Tāranātha, Meaningful to See: Guidance on the Profound Path of the Vajra-Yogas (zab lam rdo rje’i… Continue reading NEW PUBLICATION: ‘Meaningful to See: Guidance on the Profound Path of the Vajra-Yogas’ by Jetsun Tāranātha

Translation Note: The difference between ‘prajñā’ (sherab) and ‘jñāna’ (yeshe) and their role in understanding the Buddhist ‘view’

As an homage and offering to the great mother prajñāpāramitā, on this new moon day, I offer this short translation and research note of what the term prajñā means, how it differs from the other important term jñāna and thus how it is best translated. It is ‘knowing’ but ‘knowing’ what? In many Buddhist texts,… Continue reading Translation Note: The difference between ‘prajñā’ (sherab) and ‘jñāna’ (yeshe) and their role in understanding the Buddhist ‘view’

NEW PUBLICATION: ‘The Explicit and Hidden Aspects of Tāra: A Commentary on the Twenty-One Tāras’ by Jetsun Tāranātha

On the the Kālacakra New Year, the full moon of the third lunar month (Nagpa Dawa),  I am happy to announce the first English translation (and publication) of the Commentary on the Praises to the Twenty-One Tāras (Phyag ‘tshal nyer gcig gi bstod pa’i rnam par bshad pa), The Explicit and Hidden Aspects of Tāra, composed… Continue reading NEW PUBLICATION: ‘The Explicit and Hidden Aspects of Tāra: A Commentary on the Twenty-One Tāras’ by Jetsun Tāranātha