Nadav Spiegelman

Introduction to Tantra

Lama Yeshe, Philip Glass, and Jonathan Landaw
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If the fearful, self-restrictive approach that I have criticized is mistaken, then what is the skillful approach of someone seriously interested in realizing his or her highest potential? Stated simply, it is to keep the mind continuously in as happy and peaceful a condition as possible. Rather than letting ourselves follow habitual patterns of grasping, dissatisfaction, confusion, misery, and guilt, we should try to improve our mind by developing deeper and deeper levels of understanding, more skillful control of our mental and physical energies, ever higher forms of happiness and bliss, and a better life. Such an approach makes much more sense than trying to reject our everyday experiences. This is the logic of tantra.
[Nadav’s note: or attribution error]
THE FUNCTION OF TANTRA is to transform all pleasures into the transcendental experience of deep penetrative awareness.
Thus the logic of tantra is really very simple: our experience of ordinary pleasure can be used as the resource for attaining the supremely pleasurable experience of totality, or enlightenment. It is natural that qualities of the mind, when cultivated, produce something similar, not opposite, to themselves. This is true for both positive and negative states of mind.
One of the essential practices at all levels of tantra is to dissolve our ordinary conceptions of ourselves and then, from the empty space into which these concepts have disappeared, arise in the glorious light body of a deity: a manifestation of the essential clarity of our deepest being. The more we train to see ourselves as such a meditational deity, the less bound we will feel by life’s ordinary disappointments and frustrations.
the deity we choose to identify with represents the essential qualities of the fully awakened experience latent within us.
[Nadav’s note: Wonder how this squaress with reggie rays tantra]
Whenever we fix upon the idea that we exist in a certain specific way, we are hallucinating.
AS WE HAVE DISCUSSED, renunciation, bodhichitta, and the correct view of emptiness are three of the prerequisites for the practice of tantra. This does not mean, however, that our realization of these three has to be complete and perfect before we can start following the tantric path. An approximate understanding is sufficient for us to begin.
Our normal dualistic mind — our so-called realistic mind — always interprets that something is not right, something is not complete, about me and my surroundings. It is always criticizing. That is the symptom of the dualistic mind: something is always wrong.