Attachment & Tantra

Generally, Buddhism teaches that attachment is a delusion that is to be avoided, and eventually abandoned, but in Secret Mantra there is a method for transforming attachment into the path.

However, to practice this method we must be very skillful. In this practice, we use attachment to generate great bliss and then use that mind of great bliss to meditate on emptiness. Only if we can do this is it a transformation of attachment.

Attachment itself cannot be used directly as a path because it is a delusion, and even in Secret Mantra it is finally to be abandoned. In authentic Secret Mantra practice, the bliss generated from attachment meditates on emptiness and thereby overcomes all the delusions, including attachment itself.

This is similar to the way in which the fire produced from rubbing two pieces of wood together eventually consumes the wood from which it arose.

For those who are unskillful, or whose minds are untrained, such practices of transformation are impossible. For this reason, the Yogis and great meditators of the past have said that to attain the realizations of Secret Mantra, one’s mind should first be controlled by training in the Sutra stages of the path. Without building this firm foundation, there is absolutely no way to attain a pure experience of Secret Mantra.

It is very important, therefore, that both the Spiritual Guide and the disciple have controlled minds and an impeccable motivation. Even though we may call ourself a Buddhist and take refuge in the Three Jewels every day, these alone are insufficient qualifications for the practice of Secret Mantra.

It should be noted that the spontaneous great bliss of the completion stage of Secret Mantra is not the same as ordinary pleasure experienced at the height of sexual embrace.

Spontaneous great bliss is experienced only when, through the force of meditation, we cause the winds to enter, abide, and dissolve within the central channel and, as a result, the white drop melts and flows through the central channel.

Using spontaneous great bliss to realize emptiness was the essential heart practice of the great Secret Mantra Masters of ancient India, such as Saraha, Nagarjuna, Tilopa, Naropa, and Maitripa; and of the great Tibetan Masters, such as Marpa, Milarepa, Gampopa, and Je Tsongkhapa.

As in the past, so today – the Secret Mantra meditator’s supreme path to perfect enlightenment is the union of spontaneous great bliss and emptiness.

For more information, see Tantric Grounds and Paths and Clear Light of Bliss.