16

As it was explained to me, the purpose is rather mundane. During some kinds of meditation, esp. when one penetrates lower chakras, there is lots of saliva generated, swallowing which can be quite a distraction and interfere with abdominal breathing. Raising the tongue makes most of saliva flow back into the throat instead of filling the mouth. P.S. in a ...


14

Rather simplified, somewhat caricatured presentation based on my own very limited knowledge: Nyingma - "the old (translation) tradition", based on prehistoric transmissions of B into Tibet as early as 8th century. Characterized by loose "democratic" organization (until the exile each monastery was independent, with no central figurehead a-la Dalai Lama) and ...


13

No they are not the same, Tibetan Buddhism is a broader concept that subsumes Tibetan Vajrayana. Also, there's non-Tibetan Vajrayana, some still practiced in e.g. Japan. To some degree all schools of Tibetan Buddhism, and particularly Karma Kagyu, recognize three yanas (Hinayana, Mahayana and Vajrayana) as subsequent stages on an individual's path to ...


11

You said, "Forgiveness means if anybody do some harm to you you don't react and just try to pretend like it never happened to you." This is called "Kshanti-paramita", the perfection of patience. In Buddhism, patience does not mean that you put a lot of effort to keep yourself calm. In Buddhism, patience means you do not have attachments. Because you have ...


9

My main teachers have a lineage coming from both Nyingma and Kagyü, so their explanations might differ slightly from 'pure' Karma Kagyü teachings, but I was told that touching foreheads is a gesture of very endearing closeness. Good old friends might touch their foreheads as a recognition of their proximity. Similarly, teachers feeling a strong bond with ...


7

Vajrayana was practiced in China, Vietnam and Korea. This is often called esoteric Buddhism. Kukyo brought esoteric Buddhist to Japan and founded the Shingon sect. In Russia (well, Kalmykia and Buryatia now) Buddhism was essentially Mongolian Buddhism, which in turn came from Tibet. And in the US, we have modern formulations of Vajrayana like Shambhala. ...


7

Because Buddhism denies independent existence of substantial "self", it does not posit literal reincarnation, as in someone literally being a come back of e.g. Ananda (Buddha's favorite student). Tibetan Buddhism does have a notion of Tulku though, which is similar. Tulku is a new person that inherits the life stories and responsibilities of a previous ...


7

Because Buddhism denies the notion of "self", it does not have a concept of Avatar, as someone literally being a reincarnation of the same "self". Tibetan Buddhism does have a notion of Tulku though, which is similar. Tulku is a new person that inherits the life stories and experiences of a previous person. This is done through teaching this person to ...


7

Lamrim is a genre. It is a genre of spiritual literature that gives a thorough overview of the whole teaching, methodically progressing from somewhat crude and primitive concepts of basic levels, to more sophisticated and nuanced perspectives of the higher levels. Each school usually has their favorite lamrim text or two (one for beginning students, one for ...


7

There is a saying in Zen: When we love them flowers wither; when we hate them creepers bloom. Meaning, the more you like something, the more your mind gets sensitive to losing that. And the more you hate something, the more painfully aware you become of its unwanted existence. In Vajrayana Buddhism we usually do not see external events as reward or ...


6

While I'm clearly out of my depth with this question, let me give you a few pointers. (TL;DR version: Thogal is cultivation of "suchness", aka tathata). First, you need to understand what Dzogchen, or Great Perfection, really refers to. Basically, this is the direct realization of the Heart Sutra experience. In other words, you need to clearly see that ...


6

This is like with children playing doctor: most of the imitation activity they can come up with is going to be harmless, but if they get their hands on real medications and start actually taking them at random, then they can get into real trouble. Similarly with Tantra, as long as all you do is mindlessly repeat some mantras and get a tattoo of a wrathful ...


6

Demographically the majority of Buddhists today (nearly 99%) are born in Asia into Buddhists families and would likely follow their family or local tradition. But assuming your question is regarding those of us who have converted to Buddhism in primarily non Buddhist countries, there may still be no consensus on what the majority of these Buddhist converts ...


6

These are Tibetan Buddhist prayer wheels and they often have 'Om mani padme hum' engraved on them: According to Tibetan Buddhist belief, spinning a prayer wheel is just as effective as reciting the sacred texts aloud. This belief derives from the Buddhist belief in the power of sound and the formulas to which deities are subject. For many Buddhists, the ...


6

The Gelug tradition expounds on the following five types of meditation. You find here teachings (for free) related to Tsongkhapa's Middle-Length Lam Rim. They must cover the first, second and third types of the five types of meditation I list below. They were given by my teacher. You also have the possibility to subscribe to the FPMT Online Basic Program. ...


6

At this point I venture to say that the school one picks is largely irrelevant. It's much more about the teacher's ability to connect the map of the teaching with the jungle of your immediate living experience. Once you see how the two relate, you can start making progress. As was said in Kalama Sutta: Come Kalamas. Do not go upon what has been acquired ...


5

+1 to Andrei's answer. I'd like to add just one thing, which is that yes, it is hard to find someone to play the role of the guru for tantric practice. In America in particular, there's a tendency for ordinary people to fall into one of two extremes: extreme independence, individualism, and mistrust of spiritual authority; or, when one encounters a "guru" ...


5

@konrad01 got it pretty close, the Buddhas symbolize various ways Dharma is presented in each of the six realms, expressed so as to match mental disposition of the realm's beings. If you look carefully, on most depictions of Bhava-Chakra the Buddha in each realm holds a different object in his hands. That is the key. in Hell realm Buddha holds a cup of ...


5

In the Karma Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism we interpret this saying in a different way. We interpret the iron birds as the airplanes and the horses running on wheels as the trains or automobiles. The prophecy was fulfilled when the XVI Karmapa visited the Sioux Indians in the seventies.


5

The word, as spelled in english, is "gak-cha," and it refers to the object whose existence we deny. The idea is that things, including our selves, do not exist "out there, independently," or "from their own side." Such a thing, according to Mahayana buddhism, could never exist. When we catch our mind falling prey to relating to some thing (including our ...


5

History of martyrdom in Buddhism The Burning monk of Saigon, Thích Quảng Đức is perhaps the most famous of monks in recent times who self immolated for a cause, however he is hardly the first, in fact he follows a very ancient precedent set since before the beginning of history in Buddhism. The Buddha in his life just preceding his Buddhahood offered ...


5

From Milindapanha: -- “What is it, Nàgasena, that is reborn?” -- “Mind and matter (namarupa).” -- “Is it this very mind and matter that is reborn?” -- “No, it is not, but by this mind and matter deeds are done and because of those deeds another mind and matter is reborn; but that mind and matter is not thereby released from the results of its ...


5

The reincarnation of a lama isn't chosen or elected. He or she is found. Man or woman Historically the Dalai Lama has always been a man, but it has been my understanding that there is no rule that the next Dalai Lama can't be a woman. In fact, according to this news article the Dalai Lama once said that If a woman reveals herself as more useful the ...


5

The quote is more or less true. The position that Tibetan Buddhism distinguishes between pāramitāyāna and tantrayāna is accurate. Pāramitāyāna is most often translated 'perfection vehicle' or 'sutra vehicle' while tantrayāna is usually translated as 'tantra vehicle' or 'secret mantra vehicle'. In the Middle Length Lam-Rim, Tsongkhapa says: [Atisha] held ...


5

In Tibetan Buddhism, a God is merely a sentient being that is subject to suffering. Gods have afflictions such as ignorance, anger, attachment and so forth. They have mistaken consciousnesses, and so forth. It is just a type of rebirth. You yourself could be reborn as a God. A god is empty of being permanent, unitary, independent, self-sufficient ...


5

The Wikipedia entry on dependent origination is pretty good and simple. Similarly there is a good essay called Dependent Arising by Piya Tan. In simple terms this is as follows: When the cause is present, the effect arising from the cause is present as well When the cause arises, the effect arising from the cause arises as well When the cause is not ...


5

I would recommend you to pick the tradition closest to the original teachings of the Buddha and try to find a good teacher within that tradition. Trying many traditions would probably lead you to spiritual confusion than progress. You can discover a good Dhamma teacher by evaluating the following criteria Are his teachings sensible, skillful and praised ...


5

The Dhamma of the Buddha is the right dhamma teacher; as stated in the Pali suttas. I have set forth the Dhamma without making any distinction of esoteric and exoteric doctrine; there is nothing, Ananda, with regard to the teachings that the Tathagata holds to the last with the closed fist of a teacher who keeps some things back... Therefore, Ananda, be ...


4

Tibetan Buddhism is invoking the trikaya. These special rebirths are nirmanakayas willed into being by enlightened beings or they are the chosen rebirth of an accomplished yogi. It's closer to the Hindu idea of an avatar. For the majority of people, not particularly accomplished, rebirth functions as normal. Those others aren't being "reborn" because the ...


4

In the editor's preface of my copy of Trungpa's 'Shambhala - The Sacred Path of the Warrior' it is claimed (and I do well agree with that), that the Shambhala teaching is "a major departure" from Trungpa's earlier, popular but quite orthodox Tibetan Buddhist books. This is further elaborated, saying that the outlook is rather secular than religious and in ...


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