The meditations taught
There are many approaches to practice the Path that leads to enlightenment and liberation from all suffering.
- The direct way, by the practice of the Path of the Great Seal, of the Great Perfection, or of the Great Middle (these ways to progress on the Path are beyond all systems and represent the approach at the level of transcendent wisdom).
- According to the particular approach of developing the two Minds of Enlightenment: through love and compassion generated together with an understanding of emptiness, by the practice of Mind Training (this path is connected with the Great Vehicle).
- According to the Path of Vajrayana, through skillful methods taught in the Tantras using pure supports, such as practices visualizing the mandala of the Deities, meditated inseparably with emptiness. These specific practices generally require to receive the Empowerment corresponding to the mandala of the Deity. This may possibly be required from great Lamas such as Karmapa or Shamarpa.
Whatever the different practices and their supports are, their essence is always in meditating on the nature of mind.
Three aspects are needed to fulfill the practice according to the Tantras, therefore there is the Empowerment of the Deity, the ritual reading and the transmission of instructions.
Practices related to Vajrayana may be practiced during individual retreats for those who have already received these three aspects, or aspire to receive them, while being guided by the Lama.
In general all practices related to Vajrayana require committing and placing oneself under the protection of enlightenment.