Vajrayana Yogi for beginners
There are countless reasons I love Shakyamuni Buddha. One of the special reasons, Buddha is flexible. Buddha Shakyamuni might be the most flexible Guru in the world from the beginning of civilization until now and this flexibility shows Buddha's compassion and wisdom towards the Sentient Beings.
As there is a Proverb: Even though there are many Stars, the moment the Sun comes, they can't shine. Even though there are many Deva, the moment Buddha comes, they can't be known.
Before starting this article I would like to bow three times to Guru, Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha.
I am a beginner Buddhist having some love for Buddhist Yogis. They are my ancestors starting from Buddha Shakyamuni to the modern Buddhist Yogis. The reason this article popped into my mind is to prevail this precious Buddhist Tantra Vajrayana Yogi culture in the world and it's for Beginners like me.
How to be a Buddhist Vajrayana Yogi for Beginners?
Vajrayana path is also known as the Tantrayana or Mantrayana path and Sang Ngag Dorje Tekpa in Tibetan. Sang Ngag means secret Mantrayana.
As one of the masters says: it is known as a secret not because there is something to be hidden, it is known as a secret because not all people can digest or understand it properly without learning step by step.
There are a few versions of Vajrayana history since there were many great Buddhist Scholars. From one of the versions that I have read. The precious Vajrayana Yogi culture started in India during the time of Buddha when a King asked Buddha to share his wisdom so the King could also practice the path of truth and attain enlightenment.
Buddha replied to the King that he needed to renounce his palace, position, and queens and become a monk.
King: I don't want to leave the palace nor do I want to leave my position and queens yet I want to practice your teaching and attain enlightenment. You are Buddha, I am sure you have a path for me.
Buddha then taught the Vajrayana path to the King through the Tantra form Vajradhara Buddha (Dorje Chang). later the King attained enlightenment, and he shared this precious Vajrayana teachings with many other Yogis. Finally, it reached Tibet and is now reaching the many regions in the world.
Photo: Vajra Yogini
Vajrayana path is one of the best blessings Buddha has given to the world since Buddha said that even though thousands of Buddhas are coming to our world, only four Buddhas will share the wisdom of the Vajrayana path so Vajrayana is very very precious.
As it was written in the teachings: Vajrayana's path has the same goal but is free from all confusion. It is rich in methods and without difficulties.
Why Vajrayana is Sublime?
Other spiritual paths teach us to let go of attachment, anger, and desire but in the Vajrayana path, these attachments, anger, and desire become the key to practice and progress in the path so we need them to practice the path.
Guru Marpa said: If wisdom is a fire, these attachments, anger, and desire are like woods. The more wood, the better the quality of the fire and that's the beauty of Vajrayana.
It is for those with sharp faculties. The mantra vehicle is especially sublime.
In Tibet, Yoga is taught only when we practice the Tantric Vajrayana teachings. Tibet is a great place to practice Yoga to get blessings from the great Tibetan Yogis. It is also possible to meet Tibetan Yogis in Tibet to ask questions regarding Yoga if you have merit. The great Tibetan Yogis are practicing Yoga at the highest level.
1. Channels (Tibetan name: Za)
2. Winds (Tibetan name: Long)
3. Essences (Tibetan name: Tig le)
These are the three main energy keys in the human body that play the biggest role in the mind and the body. The Vajrayana path helps to control not only our mind but also our body through Yoga and if you can control your own mind and body then everything is in your control so Vajrayana is the most precious thing!
We should aspire to practice the Vajrayana Path one day before our time here ends.
1. Find a comfortable sitting posture.
2. Back straight.
3. Eyes open or closed.
4. Concentrate on the breath in and out from the Nose.
5. When thoughts come and we get lost, come back to the concentration object (breath).
6. Keep doing this for 10-20 minutes per day. Read our article for more information about meditation.
1. Reading Buddhist Books that generate compassion
For beginners like me, the first step is to read more Buddhist books and watch more Buddhist videos that focus on rising compassion and Bodhichitta. As Buddha says Bodhicitta is the root of Buddha Dharma.
We should also be careful about which Buddhist books to read and which Buddhist videos to watch since in the 21st century, the time of money, people are ready to say a thousand things even if they know only one thing, I am one of the examples.
One best recommendation is to read books of Maha Gurus from many centuries ago whose wisdom is accepted by all the schools of Mahayana Buddhism.
A few Buddhist Maha Guru's names:
1. Indian masters from Nalanda
Nagarjuna, Chandrakirti, Shantideva, Vasubandhu
2. Nyingma School
Padmasambhava, Kandro Yeshe Tsogyal, Longchenpa, Jigme Lingpa, Patrul Rinpoche
3. Kadam and Geluk School
Jowoje Atisha Dipamkara, Drom Tonpa, Tsongkhapa
4. Kagyu School
Tilopa, Naropa, Marpa, Milarepa, Gampopa, Rechungpa
5. Sakya School
Kunga Nyingpo, Drakpa Gyaltsen, Sakya Pandita
6. Shiji Chod School
Pa Dampa Sangay, Machik Lapdron
Reading books from these above-shared masters will give us a blessing to widen our path to the truth. The devotion is the roof of the blessings.
2. Finding a Compassionate Guru having Lineage
This is one of the most important steps as all the previous masters say. There is a proverb: Even a common wood will smell like Sandalwood if it is put in the middle of the sandalwood forest for many years so the same thing will happen if a delusional person like me stays with people who have more compassion and wisdom, I will slowly become like that sublime person.
Finding a compassionate Guru is the biggest mission for Beginners like me since all the Buddhas became Buddha because of Guru and that is the reason why in Vajrayana Buddhism there is a saying:
Even though Buddha and Guru are similar in wisdom, the kindness of Guru is more precious since Guru is with us at the moment showing us the path to the truth in a human form.
It is very difficult for us to become full-time disciples of modern Gurus, even if we become a disciple, because of our lack of devotion, it is difficult to get blessings and also most of the modern popular Gurus are busy since they are so many disciples to teach and taken care. Beginners like me should look for not famous Guru who has compassion. Compassionate Guru will definitely put all his effort into us to walk the path to enlightenment.
I recommend finding at the retreat areas, a master who can meditate for days and days are worth following if they have the compassion. Here you can read about Compassion.
Merit plays the biggest role in finding the Guru so here you can read about Merit.
3. Taking Refuge and Taking Vow Samaya, Discipline
Taking Refuge in the Guru, Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha is one of the main paths in the Vajrayana vehicle so after finding a compassionate Guru, we should take Refuge in the Guru, Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. After taking a Refuge, we should also take a few Vows from the five Layperson( Householder) Vows.
Taking a few Vows from the five Layperson Vows
1. Not intentionally killing
2. Not stealing
3. Not lying
4. No sexual misconduct
5. No intoxicants
First, we can take one or two Vows and try to take more Vows when our devotion to the path improves. After finding a compassionate Guru, our Guru will show us the path to the truth, we should walk full of devotion and diligence.
We should put all our effort into finding a compassionate Guru who puts all his efforts into both learning and practicing the Buddha Dharma and teaching the disciples with compassion and wisdom.
No matter how lazy, deluded, or have no positive merit to have indulged every day in a meaningless deed like movies, porn, game, alcohol, parties, travel, or even a mouse race, we must still aspire to be a Yogi and practice Vajrayana.
We must pray with devotion to Guru, Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha so their blessings change our mind, and find our Root Guru to practice the Vajrayana path until the last breath we take only for the benefit of all the Sentient Beings.
The word Yogi in Tibetan Buddhism is very very high teachings, it means Naljor or Nagpa. Someone who has already gained some spiritual attainments but since Buddhism has one of the lowest populations in the world to attract more Buddhists like me who are not ready to become a monk or nuns, I have written this article.
May Guru, Buddha, and Bodhisattvas forgive me for my lack of compassion and wisdom. May Buddha Dharma Prevails!
Mantra of Buddha Shakyamuni: Om Muni Muni Maha Muniye Soha
Check out my other article on Few Weeks at a Monastery in Tibet.