Tibetan Buddhism


Tibetan Buddhism

More than one thousand years ago Tibetan scholars descended from the Himalayas, looking for Indian yogis - masters who realized the potential of mind - who could teach others how to do it. Tibetans learned under their supervision, and later transplanted the teachings to Tibet.

There are four major lineages of Tibetan Buddhism: three old schools, Kagyu, Nyingma and Sakya, and the new school, Gelug. First translations of the Dharma have been done 1200 years ago by the Padmasambhava, who had to codify the Tibetan script especially for the task. In effect he became the first Nyingma master.

Our Karma Kagyu lineage began with Marpa the Translator who traveled to India and became the student of Naropa. The journey from Tibet was not an easy one, but Marpa in his search of valuable teachings undertook it three times. Through his work, the Six Yogas of Naropa are still preserved in their usable state within the lineage.

On the Diamond Way

The highest level of Buddha's teachings is called Vajrayana. The English translation of Vajrayana is Diamond Way and the name is derived from the perfect purity of a diamond, its durability. This precious stone symbolizes enlightened mind.

All Tibetan Buddhist schools have Vajrayana methods. Our Karma Kagyu lineage uses Mahamudra - which translates as the Great Seal.

The methods of this path are exceedingly powerful and aim at giving the practitioner a direct experience of the nature of mind. On the Diamond Way the relationship between student and teacher is the heart of the practice. If the student is inspired, and if he can keep his mind open, he will develop very quickly.

During the last 1000 years many of the Kagyu Lamas have inspired countless people with their great wisdom, compassion and fearlessness. The 16th Karmapa (1924-1981) was very well known for his level of realization, and his activity continues today through the work of the 17th Karmapa, Trinley Thaye Dorje.

Tibetan Buddhism in the West

In the recent 50 years, lamas such as the 17th Karmapa Thaye Dorje, 14th Shamarpa, Lopon Tsechu Rinpoche, Sherab Gyaltsen Rinpoche, and the Danish Lama Ole Nydahl have been working to transfer the Tibetan Buddhist knowledge about the mind to the West. Those teachings are now easily accessible in New Zealand, Australia and the rest of the Western world.

Lama Ole Nydahl, following the wishes of the 16th Karmapa, began establishing Tibetan Buddhist centres in the West under the name of Diamond Way Buddhism. After 40 years of continuous work we now have 650 centres around the globe, and we are still part of the same Karma Kagyu lineage that descends from the Buddha.

If you would like to learn the skillful methods translated by Marpa, and then preserved by seventeen Karmapas, Shamarpas and high Kagyu lamas, you are welcome to visit the Diamond Way Buddhist centre for a meditation session. In New Zealand we have groups in Auckland, Christchurch, and Wellington and their members can help you access the lineage's wealth of experience and knowledge.





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