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The Lost Sadhanas Project
A Collection of Lost Buddhist Meditations

There are many types of Buddhism. In East Asia, Buddhism tends to be monastic and dependent on texts and commentaries. In the West, it tends to be secular and focused on psychology and ethics. Each has many styles of interpretation and many ritual practices to follow.

But some forms of Buddhism have disappeared over time, and we know little about them today. Finding them again requires skills that have been lost as well, skills that are often categorized today as irrational or impossible. These skills are the basis of this website, finding lost practices of the Buddhist supernatural worlds or sambhogakaya, revealed by bodhisattvas and dakinis through visionary experience, and written in modern English.

Textual religions often deny newer revealed or charismatic forms. However, this is a website based on modern Buddhist revelation. The concept of the terma, a hidden or lost treasure text, is usually known in Vajrayana Buddhism as a teaching that has been deliberately hidden or suppressed long ago. Some of these practices were not deliberately hidden, but rather lost by accident. Their recovery gives insight into other understandings of Buddhism that emphasize the role of the yidam or inner spiritual guide. Teachings that were hidden, suppressed, or lost can be found again or revealed.

While modern Buddhism often presents itself as a simple practice of breathing and inner emptiness, the religion has gone through many complex changes over time. There were debates after the historical Buddha's death, in approximately the fifth century BCE, over the correct interpretation of the Buddha's teachings. Large councils were held to settle these controversies. Buddhism ended up divided into several forms, primarily Theravada and Mahayana, but the council's decisions did not stop religious innovation. The spiritual practices or sadhanas we shall discuss here are from Mahayana, and later Vajrayana Buddhism.

We will begin by discussing some of the historical origins and philosophical antecedents to our first group of lost sadhanas, and then proceed to the sadhanas themselves. Our first essay focuses specifically on the importance of Yidams or inner Buddhist gurus as sources of and guides to the practices described at the site.

Our Discussion Begins Here

  • Methodology: Observer and Participant, Yidams and the Personal Side
  • The Buddhist Forest Tradition
  • The Migration of Buddhism From Northern India to Tibet
  • Continuing Revelation and the Vajrayana Path
  • Clerical Versus Shamanic Buddhism
  • Some Modern Problems and the Terma Response
  • The Lost Bodhi Tree Sadhana
  • The Textual Basis for the Bodhi Tree Meditation
  • The Bodhi Tree is a Lost Buddhist Practice From the Vajra Bhairava
  • The Bodhi Tree Meditation - the Jivamala or First Watch of the Night
  • The Bodhi Tree Meditation - The Second, Third, and Fourth Watches of the Night
  • The Vajra Bhairava Describes the Importance of the Vajra Symbol

  • The Vajra Symbol Can Orient the Seeker After Death
  • Our Discussion of Concepts and Practices That Come From the Vajra Dakini Begins Here
  • Vajra Dakini's Focus on Devotion
  • Vajradhara and the Emanation of the Vajra Dakini
  • The Buddhist Soul
  • What is a Yidam?
  • Yidam Roles
  • Yidam Reflection Versus Yidam Emanation
  • Mantras as a Means of Meditation
  • The Landscape of Death
  • Vajra Dakini Commentary on the History of Devotional Practices

  • The Vajra Dakini Meditations Begin Here

  • The Vajra Dakini Initiation
  • Devotion to and Contemplation of a Yidam
  • The Diamond Land Meditation
  • The Paradise and the Ice Cave Meditation

  • The Meditations on the Bird-Headed Forms of the Vajra Dakini

  • An Introduction to the Dakini Bird Practice
  • The Function of Yidams or Spiritual Guides for the Practice
  • A Listing of the Bird Forms of the Vajra Dakini
  • The Eagle Form of the Vajra Dakini
  • The Hawk Form of the Vajra Dakini
  • The Vulture Form of the Vajra Dakini
  • The Raven Form of the Vajra Dakini
  • The Owl Form of the Vajra Dakini
  • The Goose Form of the Vajra Dakini
  • The Sparrow Form of the Vajra Dakini

  • The Role of the Vajra Yogini and a Discussion of Suffering

  • Vajra Yogini - The Trauma Goddess
  • Vajra Yogini - The River of Pain
  • Vajra Yogini - Dealing with Traumatic Memories and PTSD
  • The Vajra Yogini and Creativity

  • Vajra Yogini - Explaining the Sambhogakaya
  • Vajra Yogini - Creativity in the Sambhogakaya
  • Vajra Yogini - Emerging From the Sambhogakaya
  • Vajra Yogini - The Forms of the Yogini
  • The Vajra Yogini Meditations Begin Here

  • The Three Thrones Meditation
  • Visiting the Land of the Yoginis
  • The Sacrifice to the Yoginis Meditation

  • The Bodhisattva Maitreya Describes His Role, and the Road to His Paradise
  • Maitreya Introduction
  • Maitreya - The Road to Shangri-La
  • Maitreya - An Infinite Gem as the Doorway to Paradise
  • Maitreya's Comments, and Contrasting the Paths of Fullness and Emptiness
  • The Bodhisattva Maitreya Meditations Begin Here
  • The First Step - The Maitreya Initiation
  • The Second Step - Renouncing the Past
  • The Third Step - The Banner of Love
  • The Fourth Step - Fulfilling One's Destiny
  • Legacy - Completing One's Karmic Destiny
  • The Paradise Rider Meditation

  • Vajradhara - the Adi-Buddha and the Source of the Vajra Bhairava
  • Vajradhara Speaks of Himself, and the Role of Yidams
  • Ratnapani - The Bodhisattva and Spiritual Emanation of Ratnasambhava
  • Ratnapani- The Organic and Crystalline Paths Upward
  • Ratnapani- The Crystal Gallery of Illusion

  • Vajrasattva - The Primordial Buddha of Pure Diamond Light
  • Vajrasattva Describes His Role as Adi-Buddha
  • Vajrasattva - Gaining the Diamond Body Meditation

  • Conclusion - The Yidams Speak on the Subject of Lost Sadhanas
  • Lost Sadhanas - Conclusion

  • Please click on the [ NEXT ] link below to continue reading the above pages in sequential order.

    [ NEXT ]                Methodology - The Participant/Observer Approach and Yidams as Guides

    Introduction | Methodology - Participant/Observer | The Bodhi Tree Sadhanas | Vajra Dakini Discussion | Vajra Dakini Commentary | Vajra Dakini Sadhanas | Vajra Yogini Commentary | Maitreya Sadhanas | Vajradhara Speaks About Yidams | Lost Sadhanas Conclusion

    Copyright © 2024,   J. Denosky,   All Rights Reserved

    Author: Karma Gyurme Chodron