What is Vajrayana? The question is often asked by new students.
Vajrayana represents the direct transmission of the most profound teachings of the Buddha.
The Vajrayana tradition, based on Tantra, includes mantras and deity visualizations.
The Vajrayana Path
Of the three paths to enlightenment taught by the Buddha – the Vinayana (or Theravada), the Mahayana, and the Vajrayana – the Vajrayana is the considered to be most direct path to enlightenment. Based on the idea that we all already possess Buddha-nature in ourselves, and that enlightenment is simply the recognition of our true nature, Vajrayana is known as the vehicle of result.
The practices of Vajrayana transform our day-to-day experience, which is often full of confusion and negativity, into the clarity and wisdom of an enlightened being. Engaging in these practices makes it possible to achieve enlightenment in a single lifetime. Vajrayana is unique in its presentation of all opposites as the union of Emptiness/Bliss and rare in its optimism of our becoming enlightened in this one lifetime.
Vajrayana is based on the transmission of the practice from a qualified Tantric master, one who is part of a lineage of transmission that stems from the time of Buddha. The transmission ritual, or empowerment, is a ceremony in which the teacher instructs the student in the right way to do the practice and gives permission to continue the practice regularly.
Rinpoche offers empowerments into various classes of Tantra. Meditations on deities such as Green Tara and Manjushri are held at the center on appropriate days of the lunar cycle. Some of the meditations are open to everyone while others are only open to those who have received the empowerment.