Principles and Methods of Deity Meditation The Tibetan Buddhist practices of meditation are part of the spiritual wealth of humanity and deity meditation forms the heart of this treasure. For over a millennium Tibetan lamas have used meditation on deities as a means to master the inner world. Chenrezig Avalokiteshvara in Sanskrit , the deity that represents the loving and compassionate potential of the mind, is the most popular deity of Tibet. In this volume a great living teacher, Bokar Rinpoche, gives detailed instructions for this practice. He specifically addresses the concerns of Western practitioners in offering these unique teachings.
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Yet the use of visualized images in mental and spiritual development forms the heart of this practice. For over a thousand years monks, nuns, and mountain yogins have developed and perfected this unique style of meditation. Recently many exiled Tibetan masters have been actively Deity meditation is perhaps the least understood of all practices within Tibetan Buddhism.
Recently many exiled Tibetan masters have been actively teaching in Western countries. These teachers have very generously shared their contemplative knowledge and experience, including instructions for deity meditation.
A small but growing number of people have attempted to practice these teachings. For most this has not been an easy path. Many feel there is something here very precious and valuable but difficult to approach. For a person not raised in the sphere of Tibetan culture fruitful practice of deity meditation requires a sound understanding of its basic intention and principles.
Bokar Rinpoche in this small volume directly addresses the needs and concerns of Westerners venturing into the lofty, yet sometimes, confusing world of deity meditation. He clearly sets forth the principles and theory of this meditation using a minimum of technical terminology and then gives instructions for the practice of Chenrezig.
With his many years of study, practice, and teaching he is uniquely qualified to present these teachings. Through his deep experience and wisdom condensed here he unfolds a world and makes possible an authentic connection with it. Still it must be said that for those interested in pursuing this practice, a book is not a substitute for contact with a living teacher.
The Buddha Sakyamuni used oral instruction as the basic vehicle of teaching and all Buddhist meditative lineages have continued this custom. Many dharma centers can now be found throughout the world where one may receive qualified guidance for the practices discussed in this book.
The chapter consists of both a prose and a verse section. These practices have their basis in the early Indian Vajrayana : her origins lie with a yakshini cult in Bengal and Orissa, and her name in Sanskrit "connotes a prostitute or other woman of low caste but specifically denotes a prominent local ogress The only Mahayana deity that has entered the worship of ordinary Buddhists in Theravada countries is Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara. In Ceylon he is known as Natha-deva and mistaken by the majority for the Buddha yet to come, Bodhisattva Maitreya. The figure of Avalokitesvara usually is found in the shrine room near the Buddha image. One can only assume that similar trends were transmitted to other parts of Southeast Asia with Sri Lankan ordination lineages. The bodhisattva goes by many other names.
Chenrezig, Lord of Love: Principles and Methods of Deity Meditation