Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Road Map to Your Complete Emancipation - A Blow by Blow Account

What does total freedom actually mean to you?

Do you imagine it to be having loads of cash so you can buy whatever you want, whenever you want?

Or is it having absolute power so you can do whatever you want, whenever you want with whoever you want?

Or is it both?

Personally, I see liberation as having complete mastery over myself. To me, that is true power and not just strength or absolute power. And it is definitely something all the money in the world cannot buy.


Because until we have total mastery over ourselves, we can’t be free in every sense of the word – even if we have shit load of money and unlimited authority.

The money and authority would just turn us into bigger jerks, and make us more arrogant than we already are. They are just means to hide (or shall I say, bury) our insecurities and real issues even deeper. At best, they become tools to inflate our egos beyond recognition.

IF you are really interested in true liberation and not some shallow delusional version of it, then please read on.

I have extracted a recent post from H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche’s blog: and posted it below for your easy reference. In this particular blog post, he elucidates – step by step – on how we can start practising NOW to gain our true freedom.

I am sharing this because this is applicable to all of us - yes, I do mean, all of us.

After Rinpoche's Blog post, I will expound on how it truly relates to our lives in today's context.

Look at it this way, someone must really care for you to do this eventhough we have not met or will never meet. It took me four days to complete writing this post, because I had to think and re-think about everything I wanted to write.

I really want to share something meaningful and of value with each of you.

Now, I am sure this is the very same reason my Guru wrote his blog post too.

So, please read with an open mind and heart.

Starting On Vajra Yogini NOW!

The best anyone can do if not enlightenment for now, is to gain mastery over taking rebirth coupled with developing Three Principle Paths. Where you want to take rebirth can be determined by yourself if you practice the sacred Vajra Yogini Tantra thoroughly.

Start now before you are awarded the Vajra Yogini empowerment by:

Holding vows and commitments.

Be honourable and have integrity.

Whatever work or practices you've been assigned, do it diligently and happily.

Develop contemplations on the good qualities of one's lama again and again.

Never give up.

Practice the 8 Verses of Thought Transformation.

Make it a point to get along with everyone or as much as possible & be forgiving.

Study Lam Rim, Wheel of Sharp Weapons, Bodhisattvacha-avatara by Shantideva, Lojong, 50 Verses of Guru Devotion by Ashvagosha.

Commit to one practice that is light and easy yet profound such as Tsongkapa Guru Yoga daily without fail.

Follow your Teacher loyally and all the way.


Then next step:

Engage in the preliminary practices slowly but surely and finish.

Guru Yoga




Water offerings

35 Confessional Buddhas

Don't start practice only when you get Vajra Yogini's empowerment, because you can start now! Prepare for the empowerment immediately by engaging everything I mentioned above. You have Vajra Yogini now. She is everywhere and She is ready for you. If you wish or if your teacher says start, start in this way that I've written. Start now. Don't wait. Nothing happens when we wait. It gets harder the longer we wait.

Obtain a sacred image of Vajra Yogini on your shrine and do all the practices I mentioned 'directed' or focussed towards Her. All the practices, readings, contemplations use Her as your Universal Buddha. The Buddha that encompasses all Enlightened Beings as your focus. Hence you create powerful affinity with Her this way. So you should be starting now. If you do as I have mentioned, then when you finally recieve the Empowerment of Vajra Yogini, you will be READY to practice Her sacred Tantra and reap the results much quicker!! Reap the results quicker because you have prepared for it well and thoroughly. Don't recieve a sacred empowerment of Vajra Yogini without doing the preparatory practices now when you have the chance.

Good Luck!

Don't waste time and procrastinate due to excuses that arise from empty reasonings.

Tsem Tulku

(Just a short & quick advice)

Now, let us walk through this together, step by step.

So, how do we start NOW - let's begin -

1. Holding vows and commitments

Do you seriously think the above statement only applies to just the spiritual seekers/practitioners, nuns and monks? Really?

So, you think average normal folks like you and me would be forgiven if we are "loose" in keeping our promises, words and commitments? I don’t think so.

In our every day life, we have to uphold our end of the bargain in order to gain trust, respect and build credibility – be it in our personal or professional lives. The very word, integrity stems from here. Would you trust anyone who does not keep their promises and commitments well, or at all? Hence, what works in life will really work in all aspects of life. It is not hocus pocus or magic and spells. This is what constitutes good moral behaviour. At the very least, honourable.

So, if we can't even do this well at our own very basic level - how do we expect to rise to a higher level? It does not matter what is it that you are doing and which ever religious background or Buddhism school you are from, or even what age and gender you are. These basic good principles of life apply to us all. It is universal. Where we apply them, is entirely up to you. But I am willing to bet that all schools - religious, spiritual, academic and professional will preach the same things, if not advocate the very same things.

At the end of the day, to be recognised and applauded as an individual of integrity, honour and trust - we would have to invest real time and effort in building a track record of keeping our words, promises and commitments to all around us - at work, at home, or at play.

Otherwise, we would have no friends, and our families would probably want to disown us as well. And most likely, we would not be able to find a job anywhere at all.

However, in the spiritual path, we take that to the highest level, because we do it for a higher purpose. So, imagine holding our promises, words and commitments in our daily life very well and multiply that by 100. Because we want to better ourselves to be of benefit to all around us, in the highest sense. Hence, we push ourselves to go beyond. And when we can do that well, then we have begun to gain true mastery over ourselves in stage one.

This is why our Guru pushes all our buttons and gives us all kinds of crazy things to do. But in the end, we will understand what it is all about. We will realize that the Guru is truly just transforming us, training us in order to bring out the best of us. In this way, we benefit and those around us will also benefit from us being much better - everyone is happy.

In the same vein, it is imperative to respect and honour our fellow Dharma brothers and sisters, especially the Liasion Council members. They are our Sangha. They are the ones who make everything run like clock work in our centers, monasteries, offices, etc. For those at work, your Sangha is your work colleagues. For those at home, your Sangha is your family. Without any of them, our lives would be very miserable. We need everyone's help to get things done. We can't do everything by ourselves. Hence, the Sangha is representative of the community in which we all belong to. And yes, in life, we may have several different types of Sangha - for work, for play, for home and for the spiritual.

So, IF we can't even uphold these two basic principles well, then it is very likely that we can't possibly be ready for anything much more. It is as simple as that.

2. Be honourable and have integrity

I believe this is self-explanatory.

When we can uphold everything we promised that we will do, then we will exhibit honour and integrity within us. One good deed leads us to better ones, then we rise to a higher stage or level.

It is no different in the workplace, or any other place, for that matter. Which Boss do you know of will promote someone who has consistently shown a lack of commitments, absence of honour and zero integrity? Would you entrust someone who can’t do the simple tasks with more important work to do? Come on, you would not even date someone like this! We don't even need to talk about marriage! Defies logic, doesn’t it?

3. Whatever work or practices you've been assigned, do it diligently and happily

Be happy with what we have been given to do. Because we get to prove ourselves in doing those tasks well.

We can't even walk properly yet, so don’t be so hasty or impatient to want to test those running shoes just yet. Better stop flapping our arms and think that we can fly right now. Not just yet, ok. Focus on what we have infront of us and complete them to the best of our abilities. Master those at hand first, then we can ascend to the next stage.

Does this sound so alien to any part of our real life? It is the same things we teach our kids. So, why are we, the adults, not doing them? This is nothing new. We know this. But doing is completely different from knowing. So, you just have got to be honest with yourself and ask yourself, why you are still not doing it?

4. Develop contemplations on the good qualities of one's lama again and again

Many people read this and assume that you are giving up their entire control and life over to one man, i.e. their Guru and they can’t handle that. Many people also wrongly assume that the Lama or Guru is ego-centric and just wants to be worshipped in every way.

Let’s cut the fluff from the truth, shall we?

At this very moment - every one of you working for a BOSS is already giving your life over to that one person. He or She determines your life’s monthly salary, where you sit at work and what type of job you would be doing. For some, even what clothes you have to wear to work. The only thing you tell yourself is that you will tolerate all your Boss’s crap is because at the end of the month, you get paid.

In the spiritual path, or rather, in the Varjayana path, the Guru is everything because HE is the LIVING TRANSMISSION of all the ancient wisdom passed down from one generation to another, forming an unbroken lineage which can be traced all way to the original source: Buddha.

Contemplating on our Guru’s or Lama’s good qualities again and again is to cultivate the sense of GRATITUDE within our hearts. This is the very first step in learning the meaning of THANKFULNESS. If we can’t even be grateful to our teacher, Guru or Lama, how in the world are we going to learn to be thankful and appreciative of anyone else? Please think about this carefully.

Believe me when I say, our teachers, Gurus and Lamas do not need us to propitiate him in any way. HE is there because he cares about our well-being so much that HE takes it upon himself to make us into a better person – despite how "damaged, ugly and broken" we are.

So, the day tears start to flow down your face when you think of your teacher, Guru or Lama - that is when you truly know that your heart has blossomed into a flower named, GRATITUDE. That is the day you will be able to give and receive thankfulness from all around you.

5. Never give up

Let me just repeat that again – NEVER GIVE UP!!!!

No matter how lousy or bad we were, if we give up now – yes, we have sealed ourselves into that casket of losers. Do we really want that? Especially when there is a way out and we can even become a WINNER in the end.

So, don’t ever give up on yourself. If you do, you will always be running away and hiding from your true self. People who give up are people who do not understand the real meaning of love and life. They do not love themselves and they certainly do not understand life. I can talk, because I was a PHD Holder of “Giving up all the time”. Is it any wonder that I could give up everything and everyone in my life? I did not know how to value anything or anyone in the past. Yes, it is sad.

So, I say it again – NEVER GIVE UP.

Learn to love yourself better by actually doing better and becoming better. Then, you will know how to love others and yourself in the right way.

Here, I am going to insert another word for you: PERSEVERE because you are worth every drop of your blood, sweat and tears. So, YOU do it.

6. Practice the 8 Verses of Thought Transformation

The Eight Verses of Thought Transformation teaches us about compassion. In Buddhism especially, compassion is the key to start and great compassion is the ultimate goal. We cannot start until we have some sympathy or empathy for someone else. If we only have indifference, then our world would be a very different place. Hence, compassion is crucial in every religion, every aspect of life. Starting from our mothers to everyone around us. In 8 Verses, every verse teaches us how to arrest, manage and overcome our ‘unhealthy’ or negative thoughts so that we can remain calm, collected, loving and kind. Above all, with clarity and courage. I would strongly encourage everyone to read the 8 Verses.

In today’s context, we can easily identify with the word: LOVE, because compassion has been over-identified with religion. So, it is no different love or compassion. They are one and the same. Yes. LOVING KINDNESS.

We begin with love so that we can end with love.

7. Make it a point to get along with everyone or as much as possible & be forgiving

In life, if we do not get along with the people around us and be more forgiving, how do you think our lives will turn out? Will we suffer or cause others to suffer, or both?

In fact, we do have to make it a point to get along with everyone because it is the most beneficial thing to do – no one gets hurt, including ourselves and everyone is happy.

When we are forgiving, we do not need to be burdened with so many unpleasant thoughts and feelings. We will unload all our garbage and mess, and move onto better pastures.

Hence, again, this is applicable everywhere – be it in our family life, home life, friendship circles, work places, or schools and etc.

Peace begins with mutual friendship and forgiveness. Period

8. Study Lam Rim, Wheel of Sharp Weapons, Bodhisattvacha-avatara by Shantideva, Lojong, 50 Verses of Guru Devotion by Ashvagosha

Yes, these are all famous and important Buddhist texts. However, if Buddhism isn’t your faith, then you can surely invest your time in reading pertinent texts or books that will help you in understanding your faith much better. And you should. WE should all learn up and study on things that will strengthen our knowledge and understanding. Because until we really understand, there is always room for doubts and confusion. Doubts and confusions are like robbers of your sanity and clarity. So, they are not ‘healthy’ for our true progress in life.

Real progress comes when we have gained insights and realizations. These are things which you will know once you have experienced it because the results from such realizations will arise. They are undeniable.

Until then, we can only be “works-in-progress”. Hence, we read up on real works of highly attained Gurus and Teachers who have truly mastered the art of PROGRESS.

9. Commit to one practice that is light and easy yet profound such as Tsongkapa Guru Yoga daily without fail

I say it again here – before we learn to fly, we need to take baby steps first. So, we start with something easier and just focus on that. Easy does not mean it is not significant/important/valuable.

Tsongkapa Guru Yoga is most profound and is easy to practice because it is made for “Samsaric Addicts” like us. Meaning, we can’t even keep one little vow or promise or even do one practice well, then we can definitely not undertake any more. If we do, we are likely to break more vows or promises. So, what good will that do for us or for our practice?

This is why we start with baby steps and do them well first and foremost.

This is also why our Guru suggests something light, easy and yet profound like Lama Tsongkapa for all of us beginners so that when we have mastered this, we will be ready for something much more. Above all, we will not be breaking any vows or promises in the whole process.

Do not set ourselves for failure by undertaking too much. So, start with what we can handle and we will gain confidence in ourselves, as well as, see the results arise from doing those practices well.

10. Follow your Teacher loyally and all the way

I have a very simple question for all of you here – would you want your spouse to be faithful to you all the way, or would you want your spouse to just follow anyone and have no idea what loyalty means?

Is it any wonder why the same principle applies here?

If we do not follow our Teacher loyally and all the way, then how do we truly learn and progress? Can a student learn well if he or she keeps jumping from one school to another, or one class to another? Who can keep track of the student’s real progress then? Who shall bear the real responsibility in caring for this student then? You get my drift.

We all know that learning is, essentially, a nurturing process. It is not “cut and paste” or “touch and go”. When a Teacher takes you on, he bears the sole responsibility in caring for your well-being, and your understanding, and ultimately, your progress.

No Teacher can educate a student who keeps running around from one place to another. No student can really learn or master anything when he or she is so busy hopping around.

It is the same when we were studying in schools, colleges and it is the same when we are working in our companies. I have yet to see an employee of any organization gain real experience and promotion if he or she runs off from one company to another.

Simply put, it does not pay to hop around. We will gain nothing from it, but would have wasted all our precious time.

Loyalty is one of the most important virtues that we cherish. Hence, if we demand it from others, we should be the ones giving it to others as well. Most of all, to our Teachers, care-providers and loved ones.

Now, you tell me if spirituality and real life sound so similar or if they are based on the same principles? Are they not relevant to our daily life, to our world?

In truth, spirituality is life and life is spirituality. We cannot separate them apart. The spirit in us is what makes our lives worth living. Personally, I've always believed that spirituality is what makes life.

The foundation of all good qualities begins and ends with spirituality.

So, no matter what religion you are, or profession you are, or whichever school of Buddhism you hail from - commit and go all the way. Invest in crafting the better version of yourself and not be content with the lousy version of yourself. Because you can surely do better. Yes, you can. We all can!

A hero does not become a hero over-night. A hero certainly does not become a hero by being lazy, taking walks in the parks, and take it easy and giving up every time he or she feels like it.

A real hero becomes great by going through everything and rising above - through thick and thin.

Any zero can become a hero. Anyone can do it. You can too. So, what are you waiting for?

Start now, with practising Lama Tsongkapa...yes, right now, from where you are.

Here, I will share some detailed explanation on Vajrayogini and explain why she is not some demon or a scary vampire. 

I can just imagine what some of you are thinking when you first laid eyes on her image. I had the very same reactions. To be frank, I was shocked. She is red and she has fangs!!!

When I first 'met' Vajrayogini, I could not believe that she was a Buddha. To me, she looked like Dracula's Bride - only scarier.

But after I learnt more about her, I began to appreciate why she appears to us as such, at this time.

I revere Vajrayogini as the Goddess of Our Time.

Our world, our society today is known as the "degenerate times". It is not so hard to imagine why it is referred as such, is it?

At this day and age, people are traded and killed because of money, greed, power and etc. Children are not brought into this world to be loved and cherished, but to be brutally raped and murdered. Wars and violence plague so many countries, while hatred and intolerance reign our streets. Women are stripped off their clothes and are photographed in magazines to be called, art. Sexual acts are sold at a price, no different than one buys a cup of coffee.

Welcome to our world today...we only need to open the newspapers to read more of the bad, sad news.

If these are not the "degenerate times", then what times are these?

I dare say that THIS IS the Darkest Age of Humanity - whereby we create the highest technology only to cripple, maim and imprison ourselves further. We are no longer shining examples of humankind – but a perverted and twisted resemblance.

Hence, Vajrayogini appears to us in such a way that reflects our regression, and at the same time, she attracts us to her by appearing as such.

If she was all holy-smoly and goody-goody, you wouldn’t care to have a second look. But because she looks somewhat like our attachments, desires and she is naked – we will gawk at her. Well, most men would, for sure!



Everything that you see in the picture means something very important. They are not just painted there to fill up all the white spaces.

In Buddhism, every single element in its Spiritual Art is a teaching in itself. Yes, the saying: A PICTURE PAINTS A THOUSAND WORDS means exactly that, if not more, in Buddhist Thangkas.

A picture or Thangka is no different than a statue in Buddhism. They serve the same purpose. It is through the statues, and thangkas that the teachings "speak out" or "come alive".

Every icon symbolises something, even Vajrayogini being in the colour RED means something. Hence, this is how teachings can be passed down. Yup, there is much more to this RED HOT BABE than what meets the eye.

Tibetans are extremely ingenous in finding ways to spread and teach the Dharma - they can do it via paintings, statues - not just books and scriptures.

Now, how does practising Lama Tsongkapa lead us to Vajrayogini? Please allow me to explain -

This is a thangka of Lama Tsongkapa. I would like you to take a good look at it and then compare it with the Vajrayogini thangka above.

Lama Tsongkapa Guru Yoga is the key to the higher practice that is Vajrayogini.

How? This is what Rinpoche explained to us – yes, you are getting it straight from the Buddha’s mouth…

Lama Tsongkapa will transform later, starting with his Hat.

Lama Tsongkapa’s hat will turn black and into hair. Lama Tsongkapa’s face will turn into three eyes, with ears and fangs.

Lama Tsongkapa’s complete attainments over the four maras will turn into the four fangs of Vajrayogini. Two lower, and two upper.

Lama Tsongkapa’s complete clairvoyance and omniscience over the three lower realms will transform into the third eye of Vajrayogini.

Lama Tsongkapa’s complete subjugation of his desires, attachments and his sexual desires and attachments, will transform his body from WHITE to RED.

Lama Tsongkapa’s complete, overwhelming and over-coming of renunciation, means he has completely renounced – will turn into the “kajangka” of Vajrayogini – the RITUAL KNIFE.

Then Lama Tsongkapa having attained great bliss, and great happiness – the happiness that cannot be moved, and that is not controlled by karma, situation, environment, and geography -that symbol of him attaining great bliss and great happiness of the Buddha, unchanging – will turn into a skull cup filled with intestines and blood.

Then Lama Tsongkapa wishing to give you a higher path, controlling your winds and your energies and channels, will transform into his left arm instead of the Dharmachakra mudra, will go up into the sky and point to Vajrayogini.

Then Lama Tsongkapa’s extreme compassion, bodhichitta and great love for you, and his vow not to give up on sentient beings will transform his face - instead of looking at you, his face will look up to Kechara Heaven – his face becomes the face of a RED FEMALE.

Then Lama Tsongkapa’s extreme wish to nurture sentient beings, to teach them the Dharma, to emanate, to take on the Rupakaya form, Nirmakaya form, to take on Tulku forms, emanations, to teach, to turn the Wheel of Dharma, that great love and need and want to help you, will turn into the two breasts of Vajrayogini. Because breasts – the ladies’ breasts – is why we are all here, and we’re healthy. Because it’s filled with vitamins and nutrients. Like that, Vajrayogini’s breasts are filled with emptiness, bodhichitta and Dharma. And when you suckle on her breasts, symbolically, you will become a Buddha.

And then, Lama Tsongkapa showing you the abandonment of the 8 worldly Dharmas – he doesn’t want fame, or praise, or compliments. He doesn’t want any of the 8 worldly Dharmas. His complete abandonment of the 8 worldly Dharmas will turn into the secret “vajra lotus” of Vajrayogini - exposed. What ladies run around with their privates exposed, but Vajrayogini does. Because Vajrayogini’s privates exposed means something much more.

So, Lama Tsongkapa’s intense wish to free you of the 8 worldly Dharmas of attachments, will appear in the form of a beautiful lotus – full and thick, and exposed.

Then Lama Tsongkapa’s complete destruction of ignorance and hatred – no more ignorance, no more hatred – his complete destruction of that manifests into the form of black Bhairava, facing down and his red beautiful feet stepping on it.

And Lama Tsongkapa’s ability to transform your desire into the path of the Dharma, into the path of Enlightenment, is transformed into the consort of Bhairava – red, facing up and Lama Tsongkapa is stepping on that.

Then Lama Tsongkapa’s ability to not be affected by maras, weapons, anything negative, anything evil, thoughts, bad karma, obstructions, spirits, nagas, gods – his inability to be harmed by them, because he is Enlightened – will be symbolized and manifested in the form of tumultuous fire, emanating from every pore of his red body, surrounding him.

Then Lama Tsongkapa is unified with every single Buddha in existence – past and present. And these Buddhas will manisfest in the form of the King of the Tantras, Heruka. Heruka takes the form of the “Khatvanga”, and then Lama Tsongkapa holds the “Khatvanga” at the crook of his shoulders, looking up. And this crook on his shoulders represents the hero: Heruka Chakrasamvara. And Chakrasamvara is the emanation of all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, and Deities in the Ten Directions. And Lama Tsongkapa embraces these Buddhas – meaning, Lama Tsongkapa and Vajrayogini are ONE.

And then Lama Tsongkapa extolls you, requests you and teaches you, and invites you to practise the 6 Paramitas of giving, effort, wisdom, asceticism, renunciation, etc – he extolls you and invites you to practise this. And this invitation and his accomplishments of the 6 Paramitas manifest into the 6 Ornaments on Vajrayogini. So, in fact, when you are looking at Vajrayogini, you are looking at Lama Tsongkapa. When you are looking at Lama Tsongkapa, you are looking at Vajrayogini. Hence, I tell everyone in Kechara House to practice Lama Tsongkapa. And in the future, it will lead to Vajrayogini.

Now, Rinpoche has given us a vivid description of how Lama Tsongkapa will transform into Vajrayogini.

Rinpoche has said many times - if we look at a Buddha’s Body, if we know the Dharma, we can see the Dharma in the body. If we know the Buddha’s Body, and we know the Dharma, the Body is the ROAD MAP to the Dharma.

It is very clear.

Hence, this is why Rinpoches has been advising everyone to do Lama Tsongkapa's Guru Yoga and Mantra everyday. Because this great gentle Lama will eventually transform into the Goddess in Red and lead us to Kechara Heaven. And we certainly do not need any initiations to begin the practice of Lama Tsongkapa.

So, we can start on our own. We can start now.

This is what Rinpoche meant when he said that we can all start making our connection to Vajrayogini now - via Lama Tsongkapa.

May you truly be blessed and cared for by all the Buddhas, especially, Vajrayogini.

I love Vajrayogini - she is my best friend, my mother, my sister, my everything.

This is my favourite Vajrayogini statue and you can see her in person in Kechara Lounge, Kathmandu. All 5 feet of her! She is like a real living person.

For further reading, please also check out my Dharma brother and sisters' personal blogs. They are great writers and have written extensively on Vajrayogini. You will be able to get more insightful info from their blogs.

David Lai - (David even published a beautiful coffee table book on Vajrayogini!)

Sharon Saw -

Jamie Khoo -

I hope this post has been helpful in some small way.

Thank you for reading to the last line, to the last word.

Have a wonderful night or day, depending on where you are!

Take good care!


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