Katinka Hesselink 2010
The word Vajra can be explained as 'thunderbolt' or 'Diamond like'. It stands for the clear constancy of the mind of the enlightened meditator. Vajrayana is then the path of meditation, specifically visualization meditation. This doesn't mean all Tibetan Buddhists meditate, far from it. It does mean that the most respected of their spiritual leaders DO.
One of the most famous aspects of Tibetan Buddhism is the prayer wheels. These are turned by the faithful in the conviction that the prayer will go up in the air and help humanity gain enlightenment
Devotion - an alive aspect of Tibetan Buddhism
Types of Tibetan BuddhismThere are 4 or 5 main schools of Tibetan Buddhism (depending on who you ask).
The Nyingma TraditionThe Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism traces its origin to the Indian adept, Guru Padmasambhava, who came to Tibet in 817 C.E. at the invitation of King Trisong Deutsan (742-797) in order to subdue the evil forces then impeding the spread of Buddhism. Guru Rinpochey, as he is popularly known, bound all evil spirits by oath and transformed them into forces compatible with the spread of Buddhism. In collaboration with the great Bodhisattva Abbot Shantarakshita, Guru Rinpochey then built Samyey monastery, which became a principal centre of learning and the site where many of the texts that would make up Tibet's vast Buddhist literature were first translated into Tibetan.
The Sakya TraditionThe Sakya tradition is closely bound up with the Khon ancestral lineage, which derived from celestial beings. The lineage has descended intact up to the present time from Khon Könchok Gyelpo(1034-l 102), founder of the Sakya tradition through hereditary lama's.
Gelugpa traditionDrepung Monastery The Kadampa tradition founded by Atisha was the direct source of inspiration for the development of the Gelug tradition founded by Je Tsongkhapa (1357-1419). The Gelugpa lineage is the one the Dalai Lama belongs to. I'm a Gelugpa Buddhist and the best way for most people to start on this path is to study the Lam Rim, though there are Kagyu and Nyingma versions of the Lam Rim as well.
Kagyu traditionThe Kagyu lineage, sometimes referred to as the "oral lineage" of Tibet, originated with the great yogi Tilopa, who lived in Northern India around the 10th century A.D. He is considered the founder of the lineage and, in addition, he received four special transmissions (Tib: bka-babs-bzhi) for which he became the lineage holder.
The leader of Tibetan Buddhism: the Dalai Lama
- The 14th Dalai Lama, Tibetan leader in exile: articles by him
Nobel Peace Prize Winner, popularizer of Buddhism and head of the Tibetan Government in Exile. The Dalai Lama's life is a unique convergence of religion, politics and an admirable stand on peace in the face of aggression.
- Best Dalai Lama Books
The Dalai Lama is that unique mix of a spiritual teacher and a political leader. Unlike the Pope he is virtually uncontested as a spiritual inspiration. His continuing attempts at peaceful dialog with the Chinese government is amazing. His attempts a...
- Best Dalai Lama DVDs, CD and Blueray Disks
The Dalai Lama is one of the most famous religious leaders of our time. His Buddhist teachings have charmed the world. His peaceful attitude in the face of colonial (Chinese) aggression has brought him honour and esteem wherever he goes. His story is...
- Best Dalai Lama books and movies
The best movies and books about the Dalai Lama: his life and teachings. The most famous man in Buddhism. The arch enemy of the Chinese government who write to every government that receive him. They probably have a clerk for the duty, because the Dal...
- Quiz: Dalai Lama facts and trivia
Tenzin Gyatso, born Lhama Dhondup, and named Kundun after having been named the future 14th Dalai Lama (which he now is) is the leader of the Tibetan people in exile. He and his people have suffered greatly under Chinese rule. The troubles there are,...
In all forms of Mahayana Buddhism, including Vajrayana Buddhism, the Bodhisattva Vow plays an enormously important part. The idea of staving off salvation (Nirvana) till all sentient beings have been saved is inspiring after all.
The bodhisattva ideal is embodied in the bodhisattva vow: May I attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings. This practically means that one vows not just to attain enlightenment or Nirvana (ambitious enough of itself), but to postpone...
Pema Chodron: the most popular female Buddhist Teacher
And she's a Tibetan Buddhist (though not a Tibetan)
- Pema Chodron Books, Quotes and information
- Pema Chodron quotes: Taming the Mind
- Pema Chodron: Practicing Compassion
- Best Pema Chodron Buddhism Books
Buddhism is becoming more popular every day. Pema Chodron's books have a lot to do with that: they offer practical advice on how to deal with the troubles and annoyances of daily life. On this page I've collected her best books, her most popular book...
- Pema Chodron Calendars and Planners
Pema Chodron (formerly known as Deirdre Blomfield-Brown) is an ordained Buddhist nun in the Tibetan Vajrayana tradition, and a teacher in the lineage of Chogyam Trungpa. Her strength as a Buddhist teacher is the ability to apply Buddhist teachings to...
- Tibetan Buddhist Jewelry
The colors and shapes of Tibetan Buddhism are unique. This has a lot to do with the letters: spiky forms derived from devanagari (the letters most used to write Sanskrit and Hindi) translate into fiery forms for Om and Om Mani Padme Hum for instance....
- Mandala Calendars, Date Books, Agendas and Engagement Planners
Mandalas are beautiful, usually round or square, symmetrical paintings. The tradition stems from India but has been taken up most famously in Tibetan Buddhism. It's sand paintings have become crowd drawing events world wide - and a major source o...
- Mandala Meditation Posters
An art form developed in India and Tibet, mandalas have come to be seen as symbols of inner peace and balance. These mandala posters are sometimes based on traditional Tibetan thankas, but are in other cases modern spiritual art. See also these Budd...
- Tibet Wall Calendars and Desk Calendars
When thinking of Tibet, most people automatically think about China, the Dalai Lama and Tibetan Buddhism. However, like other countries, Tibet is more than just those political and religious factors. There are ordinary people there, not all of whom...
- Buddhist Goddesses Art by Romio Shrestha
I got 'Goddesses of the celestial gallery' for my birthday (2010). It was quite a chore to take it home: it's almost as tall as this desk! (aka Poster size) Romio Shrestha portrays the main Tibetan Buddhist Goddesses (and a few Hindu ones) in dazzling...
More Tibetan Buddhism
- Tibetan Buddhist philosophy
- General Aspects of Tibetan Buddhism by Dagpo Rinpoche
- The various forms of Buddhism as relating to each other according to Tibetan Buddhism, Lama Ole Nydahl
- The Blavatsky/Tibet and Stanzas of Dzyan Connection.
- Sogyal Rinpoche on the fear of Death and dying
- Atisha's Pith Sayings
- Books about Tibetan Buddhism
- Asanga's Teaching of Great Compassion
- Life's Impermanence
- Dromtonpa's Outline of the Path
- The natural liberation through naked vision, identifying intellingence
- Tsong Kapa's Medium-Length Transcendent Insight
- The Nature of Mind, Sogyal Rinpoche
- Single Pointed Meditation in Buddhism, the path to Enlightenment