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Buddhadharma : Fall 2015
44 buDDhaDharma: the practitioner’s quarterly fall 2015 to alleviate suffering. With Dzogchen, one goes beyond the notion of transformation to self-liber- ation. Dzogchen is likened to a peacock that eats a poisonous berry; that poison actually enhances the color and beauty of the peacock rather than harming it. So tantra transforms negativity, whereas Dzogchen liberates negativity by experiencing it nakedly—as it is. LAMA PALDEN: Tantric practices are powerful because they utilize all parts of our being—body, speech, and mind—in order to transform habitual pat- terns and clear away confusion, our fundamental ignorance about ourselves, and the true nature of reality. We employ our voice in chanting and other mantras, and with our mind we call upon awakened beings and imagine ourselves into an awakened state. In the Kagyu and Shangpa lineages that I teach in, and in the other lineages as well, whether Dzogchen or Mahamudra, there is an emphasis on realizing and resting in what we call “the view,” or the actual nature of reality, while doing tantric prac- tices. What Rinpoche was referring to as the path of liberation and the path of transformation are practiced together to realize profound awakening. The methods of Vajrayana, or tantrayana, practiced in combination with the view, tend to bring our psy- chological issues and karmic patterns to the surface, but through resting in the true nature of these, we can be powerfully liberated. gEShE TEnZIn WangyaL rInPOChE is a lineage holder of the Bön Dzogchen tradition of Tibet and the founder of Ligmincha International, based in Virginia. he is the author of Awakening the Sacred Body and The True Source of Healing. LaMa PaLDEn DrOLMa is the founder and resident lama of Sukhasiddhi Foundation in San rafael, California, and a licensed psychotherapist. She completed a threeyear retreat under the direction of the late kalu rinpoche. rOB PrEECE is the author of Preparing for Tantra and The Psychology of Buddhist Tantra. he is a practicing psycho therapist and meditation teacher living in England. (lEFT—RIgHT):stephaniemohan/creativeportraiture,janinegulDenergolD,maitreaprague buddhahood in a single lifetime. What is it that makes tantra so powerful? ROB PREECE: Tantra goes to the root of our energetic process and puts us into direct relationship with our innate buddhanature through the potency and vitality of a deity. Because of this, it is sometimes described as the resultant path. Tantra is particu- larly powerful because it uses desire and transforms it into the process of liberation. Deity practice is usually combined with Mahamudra, meditating on the nature of mind. In this way, we bring the pro- cesses of transformation and self-liberation into one practice. TENzIN WANGyAL RINPOChE: According to the Dzogchen tradition, tantra is not the shortest and the highest path of enlightenment. We talk of three paths: the path of renunciation, which is sutra; the path of transformation, which is tantra; and the path of liberation, which is Dzogchen. So there is one more step beyond tantra. In tantra, much as a doctor can turn a poison into medicine to cure illness, the negative emotions are transformed into virtues and become medicine B uDDhADhARMA: According to the Vajrayana teachings, tantra is the shortest and most direct path to awakening. Rather than taking eons to attain enlightenment, with tantra it’s believed one can attain