Buddhist Qigong - Tantric Buddhist Philosophy and Training Concepts
By Grandmaster Shou-Yu Liang and Master Wen-Ching Wu
Tony Bujas - Buddhist Qigong
One of the significant differences between Buddhism and any other religion, is the fact that there are thousands of Buddhist sutras. Even though there are thousand of sutras, the fundamental principle of Buddhism consists of the doctrine of karma (cause and effect) and shunyata (Emptiness). Karma states that all things in the cosmos are the result of cause and effect. Because all things in the cosmos are interrelated by this principle, nothing has an inherent existence on its own. Since nothing exists on its own, it is Void of independent existence - shunyata. Void or emptiness are not to be confused with nothingness as in the English language; it is the interrelation of cause and effect. Because there is karma (cause and effect), there is shunyata (emptiness, Void, no inherent existence by itself).
Buddhism believes that not only material things are a result of the karma and shunyata; but the human spirit is also a result of karma and shunyata. Our spirit, mind, intention, are all a result of our family, school, society, and environment. This is very apparent in our daily encounters, where we are affected emotionally by what others say or do.
The Buddhist view of the cosmos includes both the View and the Viewer. That is, the View and the Viewer are one. From the Viewer's perspective, the View can't exist without the Viewer. Therefore, the view must begin with the Viewer. Then the focus must be placed on the Viewer to discover the true nature of the View. If this Viewer is I, then I can't exist independently from the existence of things that I observed, the View. It is like a coin, where there is no such thing as a one sided coin. We can't know something exists, if we don't exist. Similarly, nothing exists if there is not an observer, I, to know that things exist. The relationship of I and the other things in the cosmos are dependent on each other to exist. Without one, there is not the other. It does not matter what subject matter we are talking about, it is all the product of our presence, that gives it its existence.
Tantric Buddhist cultivation involves actively engaging in and experiencing to attain enlightenment. They follow the doctrine of karma and shunyata to their realization. The cultivation of these doctrines, can generally be divided into two parts: cultivating the wisdom to see that all things lack inherent existence and purifying the karmic causing sources - our body, speech, and mind. That is, through what we do, what we say, and what we think, we cause some sort of effect.
Tantric Buddhists believe that everyone can attain buddhahood . They believe that to achieve buddhahood, one cannot solely rely on philosophy and discussion. The physically unexperiential, words inexpressible, and the mind incomprehensible aspects of buddhahood, are categorized into the Three Esoterics: the Esoteric Abilities of the Body, the Esoteric Abilities of Speech, and the Esoteric Abilities of the Mind. The cultivation of the Three Esoterics is to purify the Three Karma. The three karmic causing agents: our body, speech, and mind; involve all the activities of life including human actions and thoughts, good and bad. Tantric Buddhists believe that by cultivating the Three Esoterics they will be able to purify the Three Karma, escape the cycle of reincarnation, and gain enlightenment.
It does not make any difference which Tantric Buddhist Sect we speak of, the cultivation methods will all include cultivating the Three Esoterics. The Three Esoterics are an integral part of each other, and are not to be separated. The Esoteric Abilities of the Body, Speech, and Mind must be done together to produce the highest results. These symbolic expressions involving the Three Esoterics allow the entire being to achieve an esoteric experience that interacts directly with nirvana.