Students read the book at the end of the term as a review of Mahayana and brief introduction to Vajrayana Buddhism. After ten weeks of struggling through Peter Harvey's An Introduction to Buddhism: Teachings, History and Practices (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990), students loved Yeshe's text.
Overall, although I sometimes worried that Yeshe's tone was so casual that students risked missing the profundity of his meaning, at the end of a tough semester, my undergraduates appreciated the ease with which they were able to read and understand a book on Vajrayana Buddhism written by a highly-respected Tibetan lama.
Guru devotion is a doctrine vital to Vajrayana Buddhism. Yet the Beat emphasis on the primacy of the individual--and the integrity of the individual utterance, especially speech that goes against the grain--contradicts the culture of obedience and submission required by guru devotion.
(139) As Nga-la Rig'dzin Dorje, a lama in the Nyingma School of Vajrayana Buddhism, explains in Dangerous Friend: The Teacher-Student Relationship in Vajrayana Buddhism, faith in the enlightened mind of the guru is critical to the disciple's development of wisdom needed to advance on the path to enlightenment.
What further complicates the potential merits and dangers of guru devotion is that it is a necessity for the highest levels of practice in Vajrayana Buddhism. Tantra is a specific level of practice in which, as Mark Finn writes, "nothing is excluded, and the whole tendency of the mind to exclude is challenged" (109).
They focus on the deities and teachings of the Geluk tradition of Je Tsong Khapa, the tradition of Vajrayana Buddhism
they are most familiar with.
Earlier chapters mention Vajrayana in a piecemeal way, and one wishes that the volume began with the chapters on Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana Buddhism, locating them firmly in time and place, before moving on to films with a more idiosyncratic relationship to Buddhism.
An Introduction to Buddhism course would presumably work through rituals, beliefs (e.g., karma and rebirth), monastic and lay life, doctrinal matters and basic teachings (e.g., the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path), and issues related to historical development of the religion, especially the difference between Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana Buddhism. The chapter on Vajrayana and The Cup repeatedly discusses the Dalai Lama and asserts without evidence that the Gelugpa sect is represented in the film.
The Empowerment is a blessing ceremony that authorizes one to do the meditation practice of Chenrezig, the principal deity in Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism
. The cost is $20.
"Voice of freedom in Bhutan: Reclaiming Lost Feminist Voices in Vajrayana Buddhism
Kagyu Dakshang Chuling - The Venerable Lama Tsang Tsing will lead a teaching on the principles of Vajrayana Buddhism
and the Vow of Refuge, "Entering the Buddhist Path," from 2 p.m.
Among the issues addressed by DeVido are the following: the relationship between socio-economic development and Buddhist reform movements, the advancement of Buddhist women into positions of authority, and their prominent role in ordination movements in both Theravada and Vajrayana Buddhism
. She also provides some insight into the lives and thoughts of these nuns.
The Venerable Lama Tsang Tsing will give a public talk, "Deity Meditation in Vajrayana Buddhism
," from 3 p.m.
This book is an important guide for those interested in Mahayana / Vajrayana Buddhism in Nepal.
During the course of time, Vajrayana Buddhism became a dominant form of Buddhism in Nepal.