The Nature of tantra. Bremen, Jan. 1994

The word tantra in Tibetan means continuity or connectedness. Traditionally this indicates the continuity of awareness through all the moments of experience. Awareness is like the open sky; clouds and sunshine and rockets pass through the sky, but the sky itself is open to all of them. That is to say the continuity of the sky, the sky-ness of the sky, is not interrupted by the things passing through it.

James Low

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Karma Thegchen Chö Ling, Bremen, Germany.  29-30 January 1994
Transcribed by Liz Fox
Unedited

Excerpts
“…Many people drift into buddhism, then they drift into hinduism, here and there, doing all sorts of different things. Leaving behind them a trail of broken vows the way modern men leave children scattered here, there and everywhere. Well of course the children are real and they suffer if their papa isn’t there. Every time people take vows and break them they piss in the face of reality. And that’s not good because it brings karma; it brings consequences…”
“…You make a commitment to stay in touch with reality but then you have to confront the fact that when reality becomes difficult, you will want to retreat into fantasy. This is how samsara is structured; this is how dualistic consciousness works. It is all the time fabricating fantasies about things. So it’s very important to know what we take on before we do it. That way we respect ourselves and we respect others and we respect the tradition …”
“…The tradition tells the story of a yogi who practised calmness and equanimity for many, many lifetimes. And he had many, many lifetimes where he experienced no anger at all no matter how much he was provoked. Then when he died his bones couldn’t be burnt in the burning cremation fire because they had become indestructible. This was the first vajra – this yogi’s bones…”
“If we get lost or we forget to do our practice we have to remember that the Buddha is not going to be angry. It’s like the story in the Bible about the prodigal son. He blows all his money and wrecks his life, but when he comes home there is a welcome. Now that story is symbolic but in terms of reality,  it is absolutely true. There is always a welcome! So in a sense we should go where we’re wanted. Hanging out with the Buddhas is fun.”
Contents

Tantra indicates continuity and connectedness 2
Question about having no enthusiasm to do practice 5
We are all refugees 8
Paying the bill 9
The first vajra 10
Tantra: we assume the confidence of acting ‘As if’ 11
How karma and tantra fit together 12
Karma is the only thing you take with you when you die 15
Finding a practice that suits you 16
The dharma is taught to effect some change in us 16
Question about karma 17
Buddhist compassion means being open and able to respond 21
Tantra is the continuity of energy 22
In tantra things keep transforming into something else 23
Looking with the eyes of love 24