Buddhist practice can be summarized into two parts: The cultivation of character and the cultivation of the mind. Shakyamuni Buddha taught the Four Noble Truths based on His enlightenment: Dukkha, the origins of dukkha, the cessation of dukkha or nirvana, and the path to the cessation of dukkha. Dukkha is often translated as suffering, but dissatisfaction is probably closer to the Sanskrit meaning. The path is often summarized as the teachings on morality, concentration, and wisdom. One needs to become a moral or ethical being in order to concentrate and one needs to be able to concentrate to develop one’s wisdom, which in turn enables one to be more moral and so on until one becomes a perfect or holy being–a Buddha. So our practice consists of cultivating our character or becoming moral and cultivating our mind through various forms of meditation practice. We study the various teachings of the Buddhas to further both aspects of cultivation. The following sections tell you about the various paths to become a holy being and then the “Quick Path” that can enable you to become enlightened in this lifetime. The Holy Vajrasana Temple offers different types of meditation practice from weekly group sittings to short and long-term retreats as well as rare opportunities to hear preliminary translations of discourses by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III and a chance to join monastic chanting in Sanskrit, English, Tibetan, and Chinese. All are welcome. Click for current SCHEDULE. The temple’s abbot, Zhaxi Zhuoma, also transmits various tantric practices and empowerments to qualified disciples and can arrange for them to receive the highest inner tantric transmissions when they are ready to receive them.
How to Become a Holy Being
This chart provides an overview of the goals, vows, practices, and attainable results of different systems or vehicles within Buddhism as well as non-Buddhist paths.
You will find descriptions of the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Dharma Protectors or Dharmapalas, patriarchs and matriarchs of the various sects, and other Holy Beings here along with more detailed descriptions of various stages of the paths to becoming a holy being.
The Quick Path to Enlightenment
This section tells you how to become a Buddhist and the steps and phases you go through in training at the Holy Vajrasana Temple. You should contact the Abbot of the Holy Vajrasana Temple or other masters who carry an authentic Vajrayana lineage for specific guidance.
It is especially important that those following the “Quick Path” know the most current instructions and announcements from the Office of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III, the United International World Buddhism Association Headquarters, and the International Buddhism Sangha Association, but these pronouncements are important for anyone seeking enlightenment.
Purification-The Four Opponent Powers
Even though we are cultivating ourselves, it is hard to overcome many, many lifetimes of evil behavior accumulated over eons of time, both as humans and as non-humans. However, we can stop negative actions from ripening by purifying them. His Holiness Dorje Chang Buddha III said it is like building a wall of good karma to protect us from the bad. Our bad karma cannot be eliminated–only by becoming enlightened can we escape the laws of cause and effect.
The Seven Dharma System of Listening to Dharma Discourses
H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III gave several dharma discourses in 2000 warning us that it will be fruitless if we do not abide by the seven-dharma approach to listening to discourses presented in these discourses. The Xuanfa Five Vidya Institute (XFVU) has developed a series of seminar/courses that uses this method.
Faith is an important concept in Vajrayana or Esoteric Buddhism. It is especially important in the beginning, but it is an essential component in all stages of practice. When you begin to practice Buddhism, you may not understand the essence of the Dharma and thus cannot enter into true practice. As a result, you will not be able to experience any beneficial effects from your practice. You may not be able to acquire good fortune and wisdom or manifest supernormal powers immediately.
Every disciple who has received initiation has the potential to quickly obtain supernormal dharma powers through practice. One has the potential to easily assume an infinite variety of forms and obtain good worldly fortune. However, if you violate the precept of lying to your master, even a minor lie, you will not be able to obtain any supernormal powers or good fortune unless you immediately repent and resolve never to violate this rule again. It can be proper to desire such powers, depending upon your motivation. It is not proper to desire such powers primarily for your own use, to appear impressive or show off, subdue people, reap fame and gain, cheat people out of money, hoodwink people into sexual misconduct, or further your worldly selfish and evil intentions. It is not blameworthy to desire miraculous powers to enlighten yourself and others.
Even though many (probably most) westerners who come to Buddhism, come wanting or expecting to receive meditation training, His Holiness Dorje Chang Buddha III, has downplayed this aspect of the practice for beginners. His Holiness has told us repeatedly that it is useless to practice any of the so-called “techniques” without first understanding the underlying reason for doing so.
The Holy Vajrasana Temple uses the ancient method of preparing, serving, and eating meals that was followed in China and Japan that develops gratitude to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and all the beings who made the meal possible and makes offerings to the hungry ghosts and local spirits.
Short-Term Retreats at Sanger
This section provides background on how retreats are conducted at our temple and short term retreat center near Sanger, California, and other places where we hold them.
Individual meditation caves will be built at the site of the Ancient Buddha Temple in southern California, that will enable disciples of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III to do long-term retreats in isolation. Click to learn how you may be able to build or help build such a facility.