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Dakini & The Spa of Initiation - Ep. 154

By Robert AF Thurman

The Fantastical Beings and creatures contained within Buddhist Symbolism provide a rich tapestry upon which it's teachings of Wisdom + Compassion create the foundation of inner + outer transformation. In this two part podcast Professor Thurman leads exploration of the language found in the Kalachakra initiation and practice sadhanas- using his close translation as a gateway to understanding of the Gods, Humans, Titans and fairies (Dakini) found throughout Buddhist teachings, prayers and art work. Podcast begins with a discussion of the twelve offering goddesses, the different types of Vajrayana Initiation and an examination of the difficulties of visualization meditation practice faced by modern Buddhist students. In the second half of the podcast Robert AF Thurman continues his exploration of Buddhist Daka + Dakini, discusses how the Buddha's teaching on karma eroded the lethality of tribalism of India of his day and gives a teaching on the connections between the Kalachakra, Tantra, Theravada's "The Four Immeasurable" and the subtle body understanding of elements, channels, drops and winds. Using his trademark wit & perspective on studying Buddhism Bob Thurman in this podcast reiterates the value of the "Lam Rim" Teachings as preliminary practices and foundational centralist understanding of emptiness found in the teachings of Shantideva and the Great pandits of Nalanda and in those of the daka, dakini, gods, demi-gods, hungry ghosts and other mythical, other worldly creatures. This podcast is an excerpt from the “Second Afternoon Session of the Kalachakra Study + Practice with Robert AF Thurman” Video. Recorded at Menla’s Nalanda Conference Center in Phoenicia, New York, July 2017 the Annual Kalachakra Study + Practice Intensive Retreat. To read more about this year’s Kalachakra Program with Robert AF Thurman at Menla please visit: This podcast is apart of the Buddhist Inner Sciences 101 Podcast Series taken from the Bob Thurman & Tibet House US archives which are intended to provide an introduction to the yogic, meditative & theoretical practices of the tradition. These recordings are intended to be general overviews & one should be studying with a qualified teacher before attempting or engaging in the practices. The song ‘Dancing Ling’ by Tenzin Choegyal from the album ‘Heart Sutra‘ (2004) by Ethno Super Lounge is used on the Bob Thurman Podcast with artist’s permission, all rights reserved. To listen to more recordings from past Robert AF Thurman programs please consider becoming a Tibet House US Member.

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