The force of our past actions makes it hard to attain our goals, including success in meditation. And so Buddhism has developed methods for purifying our past, clearing the obstacles to success and fulfillment. One of the most popular methods for karmic housekeeping, one common to all schools of Tibetan Buddhism, is the preparatory practice of visualizing the buddha Vajrasattva and reciting his hundred-syllable mantra. It is considered an essential foundation for the success of spiritual endeavor. The practice of Vajrasattva is often the first experience practitioners have of trying to perform tantric ritual. Combining prayers, visualizations, mantra recitations, and multiple styles of meditation, it can be hard for those who did not grow up in the tradition to know how to proceed. This friendly volume by a young Tibetan lama with many followers in China lays out the practice step by step accompanied by sixty color illustrations.
Tara, the feminine embodiment of enlightened activity, is a Buddhist deity whose Tibetan name means “liberator,” signaling her ability to free beings from the delusion and ignorance that keep them trapped in ever-recurring patterns of negativity. She embodies a challenge, but one that is profoundly nurturing: to transform our minds and become like her, reflecting the tranquility, compassion, and wisdom that make her so beautiful.
Thubten Chodron describes a simple meditation on Tara, explaining its benefits and its application to daily life. She also presents two well-loved praises—“Homage to the Twenty-one Taras” and “A Song of Longing for Tara, the Infallible”—together with reflections on their meanings for modern practitioners.
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.