Jonah Engler Silberman: The Ins and Outs of Tibetan Buddhism
If you’re looking for a spiritual connection and a deeper understanding of the world — and of yourself — look no further than Tibetan Buddhism. It is a belief system like no other, according to Jonah Engler Silberman, a Buddhism and spirituality expert. What makes Tibetan Buddhism so unique is that it reflects elements of not one but rather multiple traditions, including Indian Buddhism, Japanese Zen, Indian Tantra, and Shaivism. In a way, you could call it an oriental eclectic spiritual mix. Here are four aspects of Tibetan Buddhism you need to know about if you’re interested in practicing it and attaining full enlightenment through it.
This term refers to a great compassion and love that motivates and informs your spiritual pursuits. If you’re like many other people, you’ve felt the emptiness of seeking satisfaction in things that simply don’t fulfill you. However, you now realize that you’ve been set free from the delusion of desirous attachments to objects that don’t satisfy. Now, you’re naturally motivated to free others from this trap as well.
This is what bodhicitta is all about — the desire to be free so that you can maximize your benefit to other beings, both humans and other living creatures. In other words, you want everyone to be happy, as deep down inside, that’s what we all truly want — to be content and to avoid patterns in life that end up undermining our feelings of contentment.
Vajrayana essentially means imagining yourself as an extension or emanation of bliss, love, and void — the fabric of reality, according to Jonah Engler Silberman. In other words, you can visualize yourself as a totally enlightened person fabricated from light and love — a person who radiates bliss and benefits every being present in the universe. This approach is undeniably smart, as it’s hard to achieve something if you don’t first grab hold of a vision of it and conceive it clearly.
Then, the next stage of this process is to develop a connection with bliss and access deeper consciousness states by using your body’s energy system. Your goal is basically to take your sexual desire and transform it into a potent fuel that ignites the path to enlightenment for you.
This term, also known as sunyata, is another significant concept in Tibetan Buddhism. According to this thought system, when you realize the reality of emptiness, you gain deep wisdom and become capable of purifying ignorance and transcending suffering. For this reason, sunyata is likely the most commonly practiced form of contemplation and meditation in Tibetan Buddhism.
You can’t neglect this fourth and final main aspect of Tibetan Buddhism. Renunciation has to do with turning away from or toward something. For instance, you can turn your back on worldly pursuits so that you can accomplish happiness. Likewise, you can turn toward spiritual and inner means of achieving lasting fulfillment and happiness, and you can finally begin this intense yet rewarding journey — the very essence of Tibetan Buddhism.