Tibetan Buddhism Teachings

Ālaya-Vijñāna | Storehouse Consciousness

Ālaya-Vijñāna is the Sanskrit term denoting, roughly, “storehouse” consciousness, a conception of unconscious mental processes developed by the Yogācāra school of Indian Buddhism in the 3-5th centuries CE. Ālaya-Vijñāna appears in such “Yogācāra” scriptures as the Saṁdhi-nirmocana Sūtra and the Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra, but is most systematically treated in the scholastic treatises of Asaṅga (c. 315-390) and Vasubandhu (c. mid-4th to mid-5th centuries).

Buddhist Philosophy

Within the Buddhist tradition there exist enormously sophisticated systems of thought: Whether these systems should be regarded as “philosophy” or “theology” or something else is a difficult question and a topic of much debate: The Buddhist term most closely related is Dharma, which means something like truths or teachings, especially teachings about how to live. But it is not what professional philosophers in modern West

Four schools of Buddhist philosophy

To understand better Buddhist philosophy, Buddhist views and differences between different traditions and first of all between 3 yanas – Hinayana, Mahayana and Vajrayana – we have to speak about their philosophy. Generally there could be differentiated 4 schools of philosophy- Vaibhāṣika, Sautrāntika, Yogacara (Cittamatra in Tibetan sources) and Madhyamaka. All of them are based upon Buddha Shakyamuni teachings, Sutras and Abhidharma, and may share

Pure Lands of Buddhas

The English term Pure Land is used as a handy equivalent for the East Asian notion of a purified Buddha-field, a large extent of space made pure and beautiful by the presence of a Buddha or Bodhisattva. In its specific usage the phrase “the Pure Land” is one such purified world, the Buddha-field of the Buddha Amitābha. Called Buddha-fields (Buddhakṣetra), these worlds are made beautiful

Mahāsiddhas

The Sanskrit term Mahāsiddha (“great master of spiritual accomplishment” or “great adept”) and the simpler, near synonymous form siddha (adept) refer to an individual who has achieved great success in tantric meditation. Buddhist traditions mainly associate siddhas with the transmission of tantric instructions. They are especially important for the Buddhist schools of Nepal and Tibet, there are 84 Mahāsiddhas, founders of tantric lineages still in

Samye Debate | India or China?!

Among Western scholars, the Samye Debate has generated more speculation than any other single event in Tibetan history: Around 797 C.E., a philosophical debate is said to have taken place at Samye, the first Buddhist monastery in Tibet: The debate was held in order to decide, in effect, which form of Buddhism would be adopted by the Tibetan royal court - that of the Chinese

Dāna | Giving

It is difficult to overstate the centrality of generosity and gift giving (Dāna) in Buddhism. Dāna is a supreme virtue perfected by Bodhisattvas, a key practice of providing economic support to monks and nuns and the Buddhist establishment, and a means of generating religious merit. Dāna is first in the lists of the Pāramitā (Perfection) that a Bodhisattva cultivates through the many eons of lives

Bodhicitta | Thought Of Awakening

Bodhicitta | Thought Of Awakening: In its most common denotation the term Bodhicitta refers to the resolution to attain Bodhi (Awakening) in order to Liberate all living beings, which defines and motivates the Bodhisattva’s Vow. The English phrase “thought of awakening” is a mechanical rendering of the Indic term Bodhicitta. The original term is signifying “thought directed at or focused on awakening,” “a resolution to

Maitreya – the Future Buddha

Maitreya is the Bodhisattva anticipated by all Buddhists traditions to become the Next Buddha of this world, Jambudvīpa. Currently dwelling in the Tuṣita heaven, Maitreya awaits rebirth at that time in the distant future when Śākyamuni Buddha’s dispensation will have been completely forgotten. Depicted as both - Bodhisattva and Future Buddha, Maitreya is frequently portrayed sitting Western-style with legs pendant, sometimes with ankles crossed.

Lama & Lamaism | Definition

A Lama is a Tibetan Buddhist teacher: In the most narrow sense, the term bla ma (pronounced “lama”) refers to a lay or ordained religious instructor. It is also commonly used by Tibetans as a title for Tulku, a reincarnated Teacher. The prominent position of the Lama in Tibetan Buddhism gave rise, first in China and then in the West, to the misnomer Lamaism to

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