Discovering the natural state [3]: Using deity practice and tantra to discover the natural state, with reference to shiné. Bremen, 1995

Using deity practice and tantra to discover the our intrinsic presence, with reference to shiné.

James Low

Karma Thegchen Chö Ling, Bremen, Germany
18 June 1995
Transcribed by Liz Fox
Unedited
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Extract

“The only valid purpose of tantra is for understanding the nature of your mind and for developing compassion. Yes, it has magical formulations of power and control, which, as far as I can see, are completely unhelpful for people living in the west, since we have electricity and other sources of power. We don’t need to do pujas to get money and power since if we want money and power we can just get a job. We live in one of the richest countries in the world. If you want money and power then go out and  work! We live in a very fertile regime, we don’t need to do magic.

Tantra gives you the choice of working with yourself as the deity or with visualising the deity in front of you. I think it is generally easier for beginners to see the deity in front of you. At the beginning it is probably best to focus on one deity, however if you are going to approach the practice through your mood, you can have as many deities as you want, as long as it evokes in you a positive feeling of connectedness.

There are two main methods for the practice in tantra. One is the system according to mahayoga, where you pay careful attention to every detail of the deity. This has the benefit of focusing the mind. It’s like a very elaborate form of the shiné meditation in that you try to avoid distraction by focusing on the detail and building up an impression of the deity.

In the second system according to anayoga, one operates with the feeling-tone of the relationship that one has to the deity. One doesn’t build up the visualisation meticulously carefully bit‐by-bit, but in an instant (it’s described as being like a fish turning in the water) the deity, in fact the whole mandala, arises in a spontaneous form.”