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
Tantra (Sanskrit: तन्त्र) is the esoteric tradition of Hinduism and Buddhism that co-developed most likely about the middle of 1st millennium CE. The term tantra, in the Indian traditions, also means any systematic broadly applicable “text, theory, system, method, instrument, technique or practice”.
In Hinduism, the tantra tradition is associated with its goddess tradition called Shaktism, followed by Shaivism and Vaishnavism. In Buddhism, the Vajrayana tradition is known for its extensive tantra ideas and practices. Tantric Hindu and Buddhist traditions have influenced other religious traditions such as Jainism, Sikhism, the Tibetan Bön tradition, Daoism, and the Japanese Shintō tradition.
The Hindu texts that describe these topics are called Tantras, Āgamas or Samhitās.
Tantra (Sanskrit: तन्त्र) literally means “loom, warp, weave”. The connotation of the word tantra to mean an esoteric practice or religious ritualism is a colonial era European invention. The term is based on the Continue reading
“Monkey King”, also known as “Journey to West” written by Wu Ch’eng-en (1500?-1582) a scholar-official, is one of the renowned classical Chinese novels about an allegorical rendition of the journey, mingled with Chinese fables, fairy tables, legends ,superstitions, popular beliefs, monster stories, and whatever the author could find in the Taoist and Buddhist religions.
It was based on a true story of a famous Chinese monk, Xuan Zang (602-664). After years of trials and tribulations, he travelled on foot, budgeting what resources he could to make it to what is today India, the birthplace of Buddhism, to seek for the Tripitaka, the Buddhist holy teachings. This was before the time of unlimited conference calls, so a great physical journey was necessary and travel to the source of knowledge. When he returned to China, or the Great Tang as was called that time, he started to translate the sutras into Chinese, thus making a great contribution to the development of Buddhism in China.
Monkey King is a rebellious extraordinary being, born out of a rock, fertilized by the grace of Heaven, Being extremely smart and capable, he learned all the magic tricks and gongfu from a master Taoist, Continue reading
Myths and Legends of China
By Edward T.C. Werner, 
Chapter XIV – How the Monkey Became a God
The Hsi Yu Chi
In dealing with the gods of China we noticed the monkey among them. Why and in what manner he attained to that exalted rank is set forth in detail in the Hsi yu chi 1—a work the contents of which have become woven into the fabric of Chinese legendary lore and are known and loved by every intelligent native. Its pages are filled with ghosts, demons, and fairies, good and bad, but “it contains no more than the average Chinese really believes to exist, and his belief in such manifestations is so firm that from the cradle to the grave he lives and moves and has his being in reference to them.” Its characters are said to be allegorical, though it may be doubted whether these implications may rightly be read into the Chinese text. Thus:
Hsüan (or Yüan) Chuang, or T’ang Sêng, is the pilgrim of the Hsi yu chi, who symbolizes conscience, to which all actions are brought for trial. The priestly garment of Hsüan Chuang symbolizes the good work of the rectified human nature. It is held to be a great protection to the new heart from the myriads of evil beings which surround it, seeking its destruction. Continue reading
The word Kasina means a meditation object whereby the mind is concentrated. There are 10 types of Kasina. The following are how to meditate with Kasina based on Visuddhimagga or the Path of Purification.
1. The Earth Kasina (Pathavi)
The method of meditating using the Earth Kasina can be readily understood by one with previous experience from a past life. He or she might just see a farm or rice paddy field and the Learning Sign (Uggaha-nimitta) would arise easily. Those who do not have such merit must create a Kasina. There are two ways of making an Earth Element Kasina: movable and fixed in position.
Movable Kasina Continue reading
Ten recollections; ten foul objects; ten kasinas; four divine abidings; four formless absorptions; one resolution into elements; and one perception of the filthiness of food.
1. Buddhanussati: recollection of the virtues of the Buddha.
2. Dhammanussati: recollection of the virtues of the Dhamma.
3. Sanghanussati: recollection of the virtues of the Sangha.
4. Silanussati: recollection of one’s own moral virtue.
5. Caganussati: recollection of one’s generosity.
6. Devatanussati: recollection of the qualities that lead to rebirth as a heavenly being.
7. Kayagatasati: mindfulness immersed in the body.
8. Maranassati: mindfulness of death.
9. Anapanassati: mindfulness of breathing.
10. Upasamanussati: recollection of the virtues of nibbana — ultimate pleasure; unexcelled ease, free from birth, aging, illness and death.
Ten foul objects:
1. Uddhumataka: a rotten, bloated corpse, its body all swollen and its features distended out of shape. Continue reading
Five elements (Japanese philosophy)
The five elements philosophy in Japanese Buddhism, godai (五大?, lit. “five great”), is derived from Indian Vastu shastra philosophy and Buddhist beliefs. It is perhaps best known in the Western world for its use in Miyamoto Musashi’s famous text Gorin-no-sho (The Book of Five Rings), in which he explains different aspects of swordsmanship by assigning each aspect to an element.
The five elements are, in ascending order of power, Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, and Void.
地 Chi (or ji) or tsuchi, meaning “Earth”, represents the hard, solid objects of the earth. The most basic example of chi is in a stone. Stones are highly resistant to movement or change, as is anything heavily influenced by chi. In people, the bones, muscles and tissues are represented by chi. Emotionally, chi is predominantly associated with stubbornness, collectivity, stability, physicality, and gravity. It is a desire Continue reading