By Bruce Newman

It is a ground-level, practice-oriented presentation of Tibetan Buddhism—personal and intensely available. The e-book starts with the awakening of scholars' curiosity in spirituality and the preliminary come across with Tibetan Buddhism, then leads us via all of the steps valuable for profitable perform within the West. incorporated is succinct suggestions on discovering a suitable instructor, receiving empowerments, turning into lively in a middle, and launching and maintaining a Vajrayana perform. unique emphasis is put on the capability pitfalls, and the exceptional merits, of the guru-disciple dating.

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I will use both terms, although the word "empowerment" is the more literal and superior translation. What is an empowerment? In this section I will discuss the ceremony of empowerment. 1 will not consider the spontaneous transmission of insight from teacher to student-that will come in a later chapter. In terms of the ceremony, an empowerment is almost always associated with a particular deity, or yidam. There are thousands of yidams in Tibetan Buddhism, and each one has its own initiation ceremony.

Some would say that such an occurrence is due to karmic connections from past lives. Perhaps there's not much we can do about it. But until this kind of connection ripens for you, I will offer some advice about finding a teacher. I don't believe we can be too naive or fatalistic about this. Perhaps you are destined to meet your guru, but there are a lot of teachers you can learn from in the meantime, and this learning can only hasten your eventual reunion. Many, many Tibetan lamas are coming to the West these days.

Each of the different lineages of Tibetan Buddhism has its own set of empowerments, and each specializes in the deities it practices the most. For instance, the Kagyupas practice Chakrasamvara a great deal. Most people would feel it would be especially auspicious to receive the Chakrasamvara empowerment from a high Kagyu lama. Gelugpas also practice Chakrasamvara, but they are particularly famous for their practice of Yamantaka, the wrathful form of Manjushri. The Nyingmapas specialize in Vajrakilaya these days.

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