Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tantric Buddhism

There are an infinite number of paths available to us which can ultimately lead us to enlightenment. Of these innumerable paths, tantra is often considered the highest form of self actualization because of its ability to interconnect and unite all forms of reality, to mingle the physical world with the spiritual. No longer separated they become an integral part of one another.

Tantra is a diverse and rich spiritual tradition that deals with deep meditations, rituals and symbols. Tantric Buddhism is known as Vajrayana and is represented by a vajra and the ghanta, a bell. The vajra represents the masculine: skillful means and compassion. The bell represents the feminine: wisdom, emptiness, and nirvana. Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud believed that symbols such as these could be used to access our sub-conscious, the parts of our mind that are kept hidden from us: symbols as a means to transform the mind.

Tantric symbols use sexual polarity to symbolize the twin concepts of insight and compassion. All goddesses are symbols of insight while the gods represent compassion. The union of compassion and insight symbolizes a non-polarized state of being or the mind of enlightenment, which is represented visually by showing two deities engaged in sexual union.

Tantric Buddhism views the body and sense experience as sources of knowledge and power. Tantrics believe the body to be the abode of bliss and affirm that desire, sexuality, and pleasure should be embraced on the path to enlightenment. Moods of exuberant delight, graceful sensuousness, and reciprocity characterize the sculpted and painted couples. They exult in an open and unashamed affirmation of sensuality in a religious context.
The process of enlightenment with Tantra is realized when the senses, the emotions, and the intellect are cultivated and brought to their highest levels, so that our deepest memories and responses are awakened and converted once more into the pure energy from which they originated. Tantra realizes the continuous connection between all human states and conditions, this realization is brought about by using more than eight million tantric mudras and their combination's in meditation as well as advanced sexual postures. Our deepest feelings and pleasures become the raw material for our transcendence into enlightenment.

Tantra asserts that, instead of suppressing the power of visions and passion they should be cultivated and made use of. Because sensation and emotion are the most powerful human forces they should not be suppressed, but harnessed toward the ultimate goal. Properly channeled they can provide an unparalleled source of energy to the individual, as well as society, by transforming them into enhanced expressions of love and passion.

Tantric Buddhism teaches that all these natural forces can be tied back in to the greatest power in the universe, love. Love is the pure expression of compassion, and this universal compassion is the ultimate social virtue... some would even call it god.


Kat said...

I am seriously considering declaring this my religion. I need to read more and learn more before I feel I can definitively state this, but I'm leaning ever more this way.

I love your blog!

Dawson said...

Me too! The tantric Buddhist principles are uncannily profound and logical, simultaneously. We should study them together, so that we're not alone and can grow together.