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Tibetan Buddhism

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Professor walter sisto

on 29 October 2017

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Transcript of Tibetan Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism
-Buddhism in Tibet, Mongolia, Bhutan, Kalmykia and regions of the Himalayas
-15 million people
Therevada (lesser)
Mahayana Buddhism (greater)
Tantric/Indestructible Vehicle
-Methods of attaining Buddahood more quickly
-Buddahood for all other sentient beings
-200 C.E.--Buddhism begins to reach Tibet
-Not distinctive until 7th century C.E.
Blends Buddhism with Bon-animistic/shamanistic religion
Guru Rimpoche (Padmasambhava)
-"Second Buddah"
-Emanation of Amitabha
-Invited by the Tibetan King (726?) to subdue demonic forces
practices he subdues demons/redirects their negative energy
-King orders the translation of all Buddah's dharma into Tibetan
-method to expand the mind & liberate the dormant potential energy
-Established the Nyingma school (oldest school of Tibetan Buddhist thought)
Guru Rimpoche
-Departs on a sunbeam to the pure land
-Terma-hidden teaches to be discovered at a later time
One Terma:
Tibetan book of the Dead (Bardo Thodol-lit: threshold of liberation)
-More than 100 discovered
-Karma Lingpa discovered in 1339
Tibetan Buddhism
-Various traditions
-Office of Dali Lama
-Belongs to the Gelugpa tradition, largest Tibetan Tradition
-He is a
-A person who decides to be continually reborn
-Dalai Lama= "Ocean of Wisdom"
-Decide to forgo reincarnation to continue work
Dalai Lamas are believed to be manifestations of Avalokiteshvara or Chenrezig, the
Bodhisattva of Compassion and the patron saint of Tibet
-14 Dalai Lamas
no.1 Gedun Drupa (1391-1474) --no. 14 Tenzin Gyatso (1935 - )
-Decide at 90 to continue or discontinue Dalai Lama
-monastic and lay (male and female)
Tradition of recognizing rebirth
1-predecessor’s predictive letter and other instructions and indications that might occur
2- the reincarnation’s reliably recounting his previous life and speaking about it
3-identifying possessions belonging to the predecessor
4-recognizing people who had been close to him/her
5- Seeking the predictions of oracles/spiritual masters

Mind-stream is reincarnated
-some tulkus can emanate their mind stream
-into other people/s
Funerary Rite-General Observations
-First ritual performed after death
-mind stream/consciousness transferred to Amitabha's pure land
-prevent from traveling to the intermediate state (bardo)
-Lama (honor given to a monk or nun)
-read through various funerary texts
-Most popular/important text is the Bardo Thodol
-"Liberation through the Bardo" or again the Tibetan Book of the Dead
-guides to traversing the bardo
read in the presence of the body and continues for 49 days
-At time of Death
-Strong attachment to the self
-Fear is that self is becoming nonexistent
Bardo-is a specific form of life
-all life is a state between life and death
3 Bardos
1-Chikai Bardo- Moment of Death
2-Chonyid Bardo-"Reality-as-it-is"/ Intermediate state between death and rebirth
Tibetan Rituals

"Om mani padme hum"
-Sounds that hold spiritual powers
-Contains all the teaching of Buddah
Dahlai Lama:
1-.The first,
symbolizes the practitioner's impure body, speech, and mind; it also symbolizes the pure exalted body, speech, and mind of a Buddha"
2-"The path is indicated by the next four syllables.
meaning jewel, symbolizes the factors of method: (the) altruistic intention to become enlightened, compassion, and love."

3-"The two syllables,
, meaning lotus, symbolize wisdom"
"Purity must be achieved by an indivisible unity of method and wisdom, symbolized by the final syllable
, which indicates indivisibility"

4-"Thus the six syllables,
om mani padme hum
, mean that in dependence on the practice of a path which is an indivisible union of method and wisdom, you can transform your impure body, speech, and mind into the pure exalted body, speech, and mind of a Buddha"
Prayer Wheel
-Prayer wheels contain a scroll with a mantra written on it and also contain mantras or symbols

-Spinning the wheel = reciting a mantra.

-Hand gestures
-associated with certain buddhas, deities or ideas
Abhaya Mudra --- representing fearlessness,
Bhumisparsha Mudra --- meaning earth witness
Varada Mudra-- symbolizes gift-giving or bestowal
Process of Dying
8 stages
Most complicated treatment of Dying and Death in the Buddhist tradition
-The more you know , the better prepared you are for death
First Stage -- Dissolution of Earth
Symptoms-emaciation, weakness, fatigue, falling apart feeling
Vision-clouded vision
Second Stage -Dissolution of Water
Symptoms-decrease in the liquids of the body, e.g. mouth becomes dry and decrease in urine, blood, sweat, and semen.
Third Stage -- Dissolution of Fire
Symptoms-coldness in the body, inability to digest food /drink, forgetfulness of friends' names, short inhalation and long exhalation.
Vision- Sparks with smoke
Fourth Stage-Dissolution of Air/Wind
Symptoms-inability to perform physical actions, unconcern of worldly activities
-stops breathing, no more vital signs
Vision-Candle flame or lamp
Stages 5-8 = Subtle Stages
-Death is preceded by a dissolution of elements
-not yet dead!!
-Subtle consciousness has not yet separated from the body
5 stage subtle wind enter the central channel
stage six-Clear Light
stage seven-Red
stage eight-Black
Moment of Death
-begins Chikai Bardo
-State of mind at Death is very important
Subtle mind or consciousness enters the Bardo
-Where enlightenment can occur if you have achieved nirvana
-Also Rebirth
-Importance of the Tibetan Book of the Dead
Rebirth-take up to 49 days
-If Nirvana, breaks the cycle of rebirth at
stage 8
3-Sipai Bardo-Rebirth Process
-Caused by the dissolution of "me" (form, feeling, perceptions, mental perceptions, consciousness)
(Response-we need to take comfort in the void)
-we should make this part of our character habituating Buddah's teaching
CLear Light
-pure nature of your mind
-If you recognize that the light is an illusion, then you are liberated!
-most will not b/c of bad habits and ignorance
-last less than a day for most who die of sickness or whose bodies are mutilated
-Now the person is DEAD!
Sign of Death
-Drop of Blood or mucus from nose/penis/vagina
Non-liberated-not aware of his/her death
Chonyid Bardo
-Beginning of actual intermediate state
-subtle consciousness left the body
-see weeping relatives
-try to convince self that she/he is not dead
-creates a mental body
Need to recognize as an illusion!
6 days-6 Buddahs and six soft lights
-Second light---Seek the soft light
-Negative karamic tendencies lead to soft lights
Poisons: Delusion, Anger, Pride, Greed, Jealousy
-cannot bear buddah light (liberation)
6th day
all 5 buddahs
42 deities appear
Recognizes these as projections of Mind and/or appeal to buddahs for compassion
7th Day-Knowledge holding deities
8th-12th-horrible manifestations
-It is all in the MIND!!
-most leave in fear!!!
Sipai Bardo
negative karma-visions of attacks by demons, earthquakes, fires, etc
positive karma-bliss

-remaining time after death ( up to the 49th day)
Part II: Funeral Rites

The Basics
-bring dead to the monastery
-Death is painful for those who are attached to material objects
-Ephemeral life
-Cycle of life
Goal-understand nature of mind
-ensure favorable rebirth
-Care little about physical husk
-crush bones and bury in dirt
-feeding another living being
Formed a character/personality that is too attached to the world
Part III: End of life Care
Consciousness stays in body up to 3 days
-type of death or rituals performed, may leave body immediately
1-Details about religious support system
-lama? sangha? Dharma Box/Will/Proxy
Difficult questions-who should be present at death?
-may not want any family
-visitation schedule-allow for uninterrupted meditations
2-(hospice) location-as quiet as possible
3-P'howa prayers (death meditations)
-calm-NO crying or strong emotions
-respectful of silence
4-Communication between Tibetan and Western doctors
-holy "pills"
At point of Death -after death
-help facilitate "transfer of consciousness" = good death
1-disturb as little as possible
2-tap top of head as death occurs to draw attention upwards
3-avoid touching hands and lower parts of the body
4- sit up or move patient to right side (Buddha position)
5-after death, leave body undisturbed!!!
-3-4 days after "brain death" the consciousness is in the body-DO NOT TOUCH!
6-document time of death, time body was undisturbed
6-usually not seek bereavement until after 49 day period
5-open to palliative care--want as clear a mind as possible
Goal--> Transference of consciousness
Begin reading Book of the Dead
O nobly-born (so and so by name), the time hath now come for thee to seek the Path [in reality]. Thy breathing is about to cease. Thy guru hath set thee face to face before with the Clear Light; and now
thou art about to experience it in its Reality in the Bardo state, wherein all things are like the void and cloudless sky, and the naked, spotless intellect is like unto a transparent vacuum without circumference or centre. At this moment, know thou thyself; and abide in that state. I, too, at this time, am setting thee face to face.
(left hand-use passions versus conquer them)
e.g. chakras and pressure points
3 day process
14 days
If not liberated, the consciousness, goes through stages 8-1 in reverse order
-creates an emanation body that will allow it to traverse the next bardo
Theravada Buddhism-Arhant
Mayahanna Buddhism-Bodisattva
Tibetan Buddhism-Mahasiddha
includes both traditions
-Can do it in one life TIME!!
-Accelerated Buddhism!!
Stage One: earth into water
Let's get into meditative posture, nice and balanced and comfortable. Close your eyes. It's ideal in the Buddhist meditation to leave them half open so that you have a half curtain window so you don't make a duality between inside and outside. You don't pay attention to either the inside or the outside but you withdraw your mental attention away from your visual field. Then just observe your breathing inward and outward and try to count your breaths to ten. If you lose your count by being distracted by thinking, go back to one. Count on the inhales.

Now imagine that you are dying and you are losing sight and memory of your town, your house or room, the people with you. Also your body starts to go numb, your breathing becomes labored and you lose track of who's drawing breath. You forget to breathe. And then you enter first the realm of hallucination. You feel like a sort of fainting, melting sensation. There's a visual swirl all around you but not in your eyes, you're not seeing. It's sort of in back of your eyes, in the center of your brain behind the eyes. It's a swirling visionary state which is mirage like and illusion like. And you feel kind of a melting. This is the earth element dissolving into water. Don't be frightened. Just let yourself go limp.
Meditation on Death!!
then soul re-created new emanation or dreamlike body
-stages 8-> 1
nothingness is an infinite plenum void
-melting of self
-Infinite/quantum energy
-experience it as bliss
-not a place or elsewhere
-death-everyone melts-let go of five sense and etc.
Experience this world as bliss --> leads to
universal compassion

-Tukdam state-intense meditation before becoming a Buddha
-200 year old monk mummy
-like how your genes are coded into your children
Fully enlightened has
involuntary drive to be reborn (from super-subtle level to the course level of al patterns of energy)
Reincarnation is a coding of our mental behavior on new body
After Death-Fully enlightened person
-caused by voluntary/involuntary drive/desire
Buddha a scientist??
Remain in an imperceptible subtle state of energy
reembody (take on a course body)
There is no Desire here!!
Like a dream-mind creates a dream body
Emptiness-everything you look for you do not find.
What is emptiness/nothingness of Nirvana then??
Everything dissolves under analysis
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