The lineage of the reincarnated line of Dalai Lamas has held primary spiritual authority and, until recently, temporal power in Tibet since the beginning of the fifteenth century. The translations in this book represent a curated set of their writings specifically on tantra, the advanced path of Tibetan Buddhism in which practitioners use a variety of methods and techniques to directly overcome delusion and conflicting emotions. If one has the proper training in sutra and tantra, it is said that the path to enlightenment can be traversed swiftly. Glenn H. Mullin, one of the foremost translators of the Dalai Lamas, has selected key texts from eight of the Dalai Lamas that clearly elucidate the proper understanding and context of the tantric system in this lineage.
Tsongkhapa's commentary entitled A Book of Three Inspirations: A Treatise on the Stages of Training in the Profound Path of Naro's Six Dharmas is commonly referred to as The Three Inspirations. Anyone who has read more than a few books on Tibetan Buddhism will have encountered references to the Six Yogas of Naropa, a preeminent yogic technology system. The six practices—inner heat, illusory body, clear light, consciousness transference, forceful projection, and bardo yoga—gradually came to pervade thousands of monasteries, nunneries, and hermitages throughout Central Asia over the past five and a half centuries.
A number of books in the past have explained how to meditate on the stages of the path, but Geshe Lobsang Jampa's volume is unique in showing the reader how to integrate visualizations from highest yoga tantra, guru yoga, and the instructions of the oral tradition within the contemplations of every single stage. From the initial meditations on the precariousness and immense value of human existence, through the contemplations of how we perpetuate the cycle of suffering, to the highest teachings on the practice of universal compassion and the empty nature of phenomena, The Easy Path leads practitioners step by step through the journey to enlightenment.
Following Je Tsongkhapa's (1357-1419 C.E.) text Having the Three Convictions, Lama Yeshe introduces the renowned Six Yogas of Naropa, focusing mainly on the first of these six, the practice of inner fire (tummo). Mastery of inner fire quickly brings the mind to its most refined and penetrating state--the experience of clear light, an extra-ordinarily powerful state of mind that is unequaled in its ability to directly realize ultimate reality.
Lama Yeshe felt that twentieth-century Westerners could easily grasp the often misunderstood ideas of this esoteric tradition: "We really need tantra these days because there is a tremendous explosion of delusion and distraction.and we need the atomic energy of inner fire to blast us out of our delusion."
Lama Yeshe's aim was for his students to actually taste the experience of inner fire rather than merely gain an intellectual understanding. Lama's own realization of the transformative power of these practices comes through, inspiring his students to discover for themselves their own capacity for inexhaustible bliss.
Tantric Buddhism provides a quick avenue to buddhahood by means of dissolving the body's wind energies into the central channel at the heart, mimicking the transformations of consciousness that occur at the time of death. Guiding readers systematically from tantra's generation stage through to the full enlightenment of the completion stage, Geshe Tashi Tsering even unpacks a simple compassion practice composed by the Dalai Lama, using it to illustrate the building blocks common to all such visualization techniques.
Tantra is a fitting conclusion to this accessible and practical series.