Kirti Tsenshap Rinpoche explains the distinctive features of the four classes of tantra--action tantra, performance tantra, yoga tantra, and highest yoga tantra--by describing the way to progress through their paths and levels. He illuminates key issues in tantric practice that are still a matter for debate within the tradition. Finally, he gives a special treatment of the unique methods of Kalacakra tantra, which is regularly taught around the globe by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Kalachakra is a system of highest tantra practice for overcoming the limitations imposed byhistorical, astrological, and biological cycles so as to become a Buddha for the benefit of all. His Holiness the Dalai Lama and other great Tibetan teachers have been conferring the Kalachakra initiation in the West, empowering prepared practitioners to engage in its meditations. Large numbers of people also attend this initiation as interested observers and gain inspiration for their spiritual growth.
Introduction to the Kalachakra Initiation explains on a practical level and in everyday language the theory of tantra; the vows, commitments, and their implications; the factors to consider in deciding if one is ready to attend a Kalachakra initiation as a participant; how to visualize during the initiation; and the most important thoughts and feelings for participants and observers at each step of the empowerment.
The Kalacakra, or "wheel of time," tantra likely entered Indian Mahayana Buddhism around the tenth century. In expounding the root tantra, the Indian master Pundarika, one of the legendary Kalki kings of the land of Shambhala, wrote his influential Stainless Light. Ornament of Stainless Light is an authoritative Tibetan exposition of this important text, composed in the fifteenth century by Khedrup Norsang Gyatso, tutor to the Second Dalai Lama.
One of the central projects of Kalacakra literature is a detailed correlation between the human body and the external universe. In working out this complex correspondence, the Kalacakra texts present an amazingly detailed theory of cosmology and astronomy, especially about the movements of the various celestial bodies. The Kalacakra tantra is also a highly complex system of Buddhist theory and practice that employs vital bodily energies, deep meditative mental states, and a penetrative focus on subtle points within the body's key energy conduits known as channels. Ornament of Stainless Light addresses all these topics, elaborating on the external universe, the inner world of the individual, the Kalacakra initiation rites, and the tantric stages of generation and completion, all in a highly readable English translation.