Vajrayana Buddhism (Devanagari: बज्रयान) is also known as Tantric Buddhism, Tantrayāna, Mantrayana, Mantranaya, Secret Mantra, Esoteric Buddhism and the Diamond Vehicle. These terms are not regarded as equivalent.
Vajrayana is as an extension of Mahayana Buddhism since it differs in its practices, rather than its philosophy. The Mahayana has two practice paths: the Sutrayana method of perfecting good qualities and the Vajrayāna method of taking the intended outcome of Buddhahood as the path. The Vajrayana requires mystical experience in order to experience Buddha-nature prior to full enlightenment. In order to transmit these experiences, a body of esoteric knowledge has been accumulated by Buddhist tantric yogis and is passed via lineages of transmission. In order to access this knowledge, the practitioner requires initiation from a skilled spiritual teacher or guru.
The Vajrayana is often viewed as the third major Yana (or “vehicle”) of Buddhism, alongside the Theravada and Mahayana. According to this view, there were three “turnings of the wheel of dharma”. Continue reading
by Walter Last [Edited]
Sexuality is closely related to spirituality in several ways. In its negative aspects of lust, sexual excess, degradation and rape, it appears as the antithesis of spirituality, and in this light it has been seen in the Christian tradition. However, in its positive aspects our sexuality can open our heart to love, and enable us to have experiences similar to meditative states and mystical bliss during or instead of an orgasm and its afterglow. In a less obvious way, sexual energies can be channeled upward to develop our energy centers or chakra system and higher energy bodies. According to esoteric and yoga teachings, this is all part of our spiritual evolution.
The idea of celibacy for priests, nuns and monks is to spiritualize sexual energies as in meditation, rituals and other devotional practices. While this generally involves conscious exercises as in yoga, Christian mystics commonly transformed their energies without conscious awareness through intense Continue reading
…shades of night.
“The sky grew darker, painted blue on blue,
one stroke at a time, into deeper
and deeper shades of night.”
~ Haruki Murakami
Image~Tender is cheetah night by Carlos Santero
Text & image source: Moonlight Serenade https://web.facebook.com/Moonlight-Serenade-228504310532112/
LIFE PATH 8
Those with the 8 Life Path are gifted with natural leadership and the capacity to accumulate great wealth. You have a great talent for management in all areas of life, especially in business and financial matters. You understand the material world; you intuitively know what makes virtually any enterprise work. Your talent lies not with the bookkeeping or petty management, but with greater vision, its purpose and its long-range goals.
You are a visionary and a bit reckless at the same time. You posses the ability to inspire people to join you in your quest, but often they are incapable of seeing what you see. Therefore, those around you need your continual guidance, inspiration, and encouragement. You must prod them into action, and direct them along the lines of your vision. You attract financial success more than any other Life Path, but effort is required. Continue reading
LIFE PATH 4
The 4 Life Path is practical and down-to-earth, with strong ideas about right and wrong. You are orderly and organized, systematic and controlled, and you are decisive and methodical, employing a step-by-step rationale approach to problem solving. Once committed, you do not give up easily.
You are not one for get-rich-schemes. Rather you use hard work and long hours while building a business career; you seek to establish a solid foundation. Precise tenacious and persevering, you have a great potential for success, but only after putting out effort, and by overcoming the limitations you so often encounter.
Justice and honesty are sacred to you. You are reliable and dependable, a cornerstone in the community. Though not an idealist, you are willing to work for a better world in the community. However, you can be rigid in your ideas, and sometimes too quick in judging your fellow man. Continue reading
From THE ORANTE AND THE GODDESS IN THE ROMAN CATACOMBS
By Valerie Abrahamsen
Traditional Interpretations of the Orante
Ever since their modern discovery in the catacombs and on other artifacts such as sarcophagi, Orante figures have been studied and interpreted by early church historians, art historians and other scholars. However, among present-day scholars, there is no consensus on their meaning.
One common interpretation of the Orante is that she represents the “soul of the dead person – whether a man or a woman – rather than an actual […] woman” 7 or “the immortal image of the dead, under the guise of a young girl.”8 The question becomes, why use a female figure to depict the soul? One explanation is that the word for soul in Greek, psyche, is feminine, and that the Orante is similar to other personifications of qualities and virtues; Nike, for instance, is a female personification of the quality Victory, and Tyche/Fortuna personifies Luck or Fortune.
However, in Gnostic and other literature of the early Christian period, Continue reading