Review: The Chapter on Sadhana

With her intuitive sense of the text, Vesna Wallace, one of the foremost Kālachakra scholars of our time, has eloquently deciphered and rendered the fourth chapter on the Sādhanā from the Kālachakra Tantra into the English language. Along with her previous publication of the second chapter on the Individual in this same series, this chapter on the Sādhanā or practice manual completes two of the Kālachakra Tantra’s five chapters in English. Both of these translations include the root tantra along with its explanatory commentary, the Vimalaprabhā or Stainless Light . [1]

While reading the recently published translation of the Kālachakra Sādhanā, I...

A Ngor Kalachakra Mandala

Ngor Kalachakra Mandala Kalachakra Mandala Mandala

One of my favorite themes in tantric Buddhism is the mandala. The replicated symmetry of a perfected space and the implicit dialogue between the deity and the various facets of its environment have always fascinated me.

Recently, I had a chance to look closely at one specific mandala of the Kālachakra, one that is unlike the typical depiction. [1] This particular mandala was commissioned by Lhachok Sengé (1468-1535) from Ngor Evam Choden Monastery, and is one of...

What Is / Isn't Rangtong?

Dolpopa, like many great Tibetan scholars, was interested in making distinctions. Within his writings, we find several terse compositions that employ rich Buddhist lingo in order to succinctly and deliberately analyze critical subjects such as emptiness, existence, consciousness, and the wholeness of buddhahood.

What strikes me about these writings is that they are so unambiguous. Its as if Dolpopa knew there would be speculation, and he didn't want to leave his words too open to interpretation from others.

Having mentioned rangtong in contrast with zhentong in an earlier post, I wanted to step aside and let a work by Dolpopa speak for itself. [1] What follows is my translation of an excerpt from a short text by Dolpopa that defines rangtong ― denoting what it is and what it isn't in mutually exclusive terms ― called, Seizing the Crucial Point ,