Tibetan Buddhism is the most widely practiced faith in Tibet. It is rooted in Mahayana Buddhism and has actually been practiced throughout Tibet for more than a thousand years. Throughout the millennium, Tibetan Buddhism has evolved into an unique and dynamic kind of Buddhism. It has also established a special body of teachings and approaches.
This body of teachings and approaches is rich and abundant. Yet, it can be condensed into 5 essential teachings, specifically: The Four Noble Truths, The Noble Eightfold Course, the doctrines on Karma and Reincarnation, and the practice of Meditation. In this post, each of these beliefs will be briefly gone over.
The 4 Noble Truths
Tibetan Buddhism is mostly based on the 4 Noble Truths taught by the Great Buddha. Knowing and understanding these 4 Noble Truths enable a follower to acquire a much better insight into the real significance of life. These 4 worthy truths are the following:
The 4 Noble Truths Displayed In
Chart Dukkha( anxious suffering
, unsatisfaction) The Sanskrit word dukkha is tough to translate into English. Nevertheless, it suggests that existence is filled with distressed sufferings. Nervous suffering is present at birth. It is likewise present at death. Moreover, it exists in the aging procedure and sickness or health problem. For this reason, according to Tibetan Buddhism, earthly life is identified by a cycle of birth, death, and rebirth (Samsara).
- Samudaya (emerging, origin)
Samudaya or the origin of dukkha is a central concept in Buddhism. It suggests that there is a law that governs our world. This law is the basic Principle of Cause and Effect. Dukkha (suffering) originates from one’s desire to make it through, desire for non-continuation or death, and desire for sexual enjoyments. Understanding that suffering stems from these numerous desires provides us a better concept of why we are anxiously suffering.
- Nirodha (Ending or Cessation)
Nirodha refers to the knowledge of the possibility of ending dukkha (suffering). To end suffering, one must let go of desires, yearnings, or thirst. Cravings, obviously, come in three kinds, specifically: craving for sensuous pleasures, yearning for becoming, and yearning for non-becoming. If these cravings are not rooted out, dukkha continues returning again and again.
- Magga (Noble Eightfold Course)
Magga or the Noble Eightfold Course is the path that causes the renunciation of desires. If you live the Noble Eightfold Path, you can end dukkha.
The Noble Eightfold Course
Understanding the Four Noble Reality causes knowledge. In reality, the fourth Noble Reality describes the Noble Eightfold Course. The Noble Eightfold Course is a significant doctrine of Tibetan Buddhism. The faithful practice of the Noble Eightfold Course results in completion of the cycle of renewal:
The Noble Eightfold Path Displayed In Chart. Right Comprehending(Samma Ditthi)– Right comprehending describes a clear understanding of the abovementioned Four Noble Facts. It is the understanding of the truth that life is fraught with suffering which suffering originates from our different cravings. This clear understanding is needed to achieve knowledge.
Teaching of Karma
The teaching of karma is a central theme in Tibetan Buddhism. It relates to the law of domino effect. Based upon this law, the teaching of karma says that our present actions produce repercussions. The consequences might be immediate or may appear years from now or perhaps in another type of life. Karma is viewed as a result rather than a cause, and karma is usually kept in the awareness of a being.
Every person requires to resolve the effects of karma. You require to rise above the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth (samsara). Anybody can resolve it by directly resolving its cause. Tibetan Buddhism holds that by comprehending the Four Noble Truths and living the Noble Eightfold Path, one can resolve karma.
The Idea of Reincarnation
Tibetan Buddhism supports the principle of Reincarnation. As an idea, it states that a person can be reborn or reincarnated in another type of life. The principle of reincarnation is a needed doctrine of Tibetan Buddhism because beings undergo the karmic cycle of birth, death, and rebirth.
As discussed in the discussion on karma, karma is generally kept in the consciousness of a being. If you carry in your consciousness bad karma, you may be born-again in a lower kind of presence which you would certainly don’t like to happen. While if you bring excellent karma, you might be born-again in a greater type of presence. You will undergo a birth-death-rebirth cycle till you complimentary yourself of any bad karma and attain enlightenment.
- The Difference between Reincarnation and Rebirth
Reincarnation, however, is a bit various from the karmic concept of renewal. Renewal is uncontrolled and is generally due to karma. You will be reborn based upon the method you have lived your previous life. Yet, reincarnation in Tibetan Buddhism is voluntary. It is not due to karma. It takes place since you willed it to take place.
In Tibetan Buddhism, someone who reincarnates is referred to as “Tulku.” The Tulku voluntarily picks when and where to reincarnate. He picks to reincarnate for a purpose, i.e., to enable other beings to reach a higher form of existence. An example of a Tulko is the Dalai Lama or Panchen Lama. The Tulku is generally discovered or determined by individuals through dreams, visions, prophecy, or consultation with oracles.
- The Concept of Bodhisattva
Bodhisattva is another principle that requires to be gone over under reincarnation and renewal. It came from 2 Sanskrit words “sattva” which suggests “sentient beings” and “bodhi” which implies “knowledge.” So, Bodhisattva etymologically implies an “informed sentient being.” In the strictest sense of the word, bodhisattva indicates “someone who is on his method to Buddhahood, someone who has actually established that sense of spontaneous desire and a caring mind for achieving Buddhahood for the sake of other sentient beings.
Bodhisattvas, therefore, are those who registered for the Bodhisattva pledges of helping other physical beings to achieve Buddhahood. Bodhisattvas are commonly referred to as “Buddhist saints,”
Bodhisattva is in a different way illustrated in varied cultures. Yet, in Tibetan Buddhism, some of the most universally recognized Bodhisattvasare those of Chenrezig, Samantabhadra, and Mañjuśrī. Every Bodhisattva has his/her commitment, and each presides over a particular aspect or realm. Tara, for example, is a female bodhisattva in Tibetan Buddhism who represents or presides over the virtues of success in works.
- The Bodhisattva Course
Another corollary schema in accomplishing spiritual development in Tibetan Buddhism is that of the Bodhisattva Path. It includes the following 5 paths:
- The path of accumulation
- The path of preparation.
- The course of seeing.
- The course of meditation
- The course of say goodbye to learning.
Lamaism– the observance of the mentors and practices bied far by the lamas– is unique to Tibetan Buddhism. Lama is a title, in Tibetan Buddhism, for an instructor of the Dharma (behaviors in accord with the principle of right order). In Tibetan Buddhism, however, Lama suggests the “greatest concept.” In the past, Lama constantly described the heads of abbeys or venerated spiritual masters.
Typically, the term “Lama” is just offered to experts who have achieved a specific level of spiritual enlightenment. For this reason, you will typically see and hear the word “Lama” added to the names of masters and teachers like those of the Dalai Lamas and the Panchen Lamas.
Deity Yoga (Meditation)
There are different kinds of meditation in Buddhism. Yet, among these different kinds of meditation, the most popular in Tibetan Buddhism is Divine Being Yoga. The word “deity” itself can in some cases be confusing. Within Vajrayana Buddhism “divine being” does not indicate “god”. It implies a completely informed being. Divine being yoga, then, is a practice that assists us identify with a specific completely enlightened being or Buddha in order to realize our inherent Buddha-nature. It’s a meditation practice that includes identifying with a particular deity through the practice of visualizations and rituals.
Deity Yoga consists of two phases, namely: the generation phase in addition to the conclusion phase. In the stage of generation, one envisions a chosen deity and concentrates on its mandala and companion deities. This leads to the identification of oneself with that deity. In the conclusion phase, one lets go of the visualization of this identification with the divine being and ultimately goes into vacuum.
- The Objective of Divine Being Yoga!
The objective of deity yoga is to make the specialist understand that he and the meditation deity are of the very same essence. This indicates that the meditator understands that there is no duality between the meditation deity and the meditator. Non-duality is a difficult concept to discuss. Yet, in basic terms, it implies that the specialist and deity turn into one.
As a follower regularly participates in divine being yoga, he gradually ends up being at one, in thoughts and deeds, with the Buddha. Moreover, through the continuous practice of this meditation, the state of Buddhahood is accomplished.
Another purpose of this practice is to let the practitioner recognize that there is a potential Buddha in every one people. The reality that each people is a prospective Buddha identifies this practice from any wishful thinking or wanting something that can never ever be attained.
Meditations, naturally, is central to Tibetan Buddhism. In truth, the last 3 of the Noble Eightfold Course describe the practice of meditations and its importance.
- Analytic and Concentrative Meditation
There are numerous kinds of Buddhist meditation such as asubha bhavan (reflections on repulsiveness), a meditation on the pratityasamutpada (dependent origination), anussati (recollections), samadhi (concentration), and much more. Yet, Buddhist meditations can be organized into two types– the analytical type and the concentrative type.
The analytical type is a sort of meditation that integrates a little mindfulness. Yet, this meditation utilizes thinking to gain a much deeper insight into the functions of the mind and the nature of reality. Using factor, one can arrive at a concrete awareness of one’s true self and the true nature of reality.
Concentrative meditation, on the other hand, is a meditation practice that assists a practitioner to develop focus. In this practice, one trains one’s mind to concentrate on an object. Its main goal is to make it possible for a person to establish a single-minded focus on an item. The object can be a flame of a candle light, an image, or breath.
As one participates in concentrative meditation, one’s attention always goes back to the image of focus if one gets distracted. This enables the specialist to establish the capability to remain focused and grounded.Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who practiced this type of meditation, states that “it is a workout for establishing hyper-focus.”
- The Concept of Mantras
You will also come across the concept of mantra when you read about Tibetan Buddhism and meditation. Mantra– a Sanskrit tern– describes a spiritual word or a set of words that is repeatedly uttered, sung, practiced meditation upon, or murmured during prayers or meditation. Mantras work in soothing the mind and setting the mood for meditation.
Mantras are not ordinary words. They are spiritual words or verses that are connected with a divine being. Deity mantras are an essential aspect of Tibetan Buddhism. Furthermore, mantras differ in length in addition to in structure. An example of a mantra is that of “Om” which is considered the first symptom of Brahman in Hinduism and is the fundamental mantra.
If you are going to check out some Buddhist monasteries, you will be surprised to see vibrant mandalas. Mandalas refer to vibrant geometric configurations or symbols. They represent the entire of the cosmos. They are frequently utilized as a means or help to much deeper meditation. They are also used to focus the mind of a believer and produce a sacred area while hoping.
In Tibetan Buddhism, mandalas are considered spiritual cosmic maps that chart the successions of Buddha. They come in woven or painted fabrics or scrolls or in huge wall hangings that are positioned in the gompas of temples and altars. You will see big mandalas in Potala Palace in Lhasa and other Buddhist temples and monasteries in Tibet.
The Monks Are Painting Mandalas With Colorful Sand.
To an outsider, the practices of Tibetan Buddhism may appear to be mystical and enigmatic. Yet, Tibetan Buddhism is based on strong doctrines. Additionally, it embodies a superb body of rituals, viewpoints, and beliefs that deserve studying.
The practices of Tibetan Buddhism have, as its supreme objective, the “Buddhahood” or “knowledge” of a follower. Buddhahood is understood as a state or level of presence that is free from obstructions to freedom. It is a state of continuous happiness or happiness coupled with the achievement of knowledge. Hence, if you are trying to find an honorable path towards enlightenment, you can always embrace the basic tenets and teachings and take part in the special practices of Tibetan Buddhism.