Diamond Way meditations
Over time, meditation leads to an ever-better understanding of ourselves and the world of phenomena. Observing everything coming and going in our mind gives us the space to finally recognize the observer of everything — the true nature of mind.
You can learn Diamond Way meditations in all of our 643 Buddhist centers around the world. Beginners must get the oral explanations in order to be able to practice properly. Meditating with a group is very helpful to learn the rhythm and sequences of the meditation. It’s also a great way to stay motivated to continue the meditation practice!
The following meditations, together with the view of the Great Seal (Mahamudra) can lead in one lifetime to liberation and enlightenment. They are traditional meditation practices of the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. They were transmitted to Lama Ole Nydahl by various masters of the lineage, and translated to Western languages to give direct access and understanding to Buddhist students in the West.
16th Karmapa Meditation
The bread-and-butter practice of Diamond Way Buddhism. All our centers offer it as the main meditation practice, and most Diamond Way Buddhists do it daily. Here, one imagines the 16th Karmapa — the realized teacher — and receives his blessing for body, speech and mind. One melts with his qualities, and continues with a fresh, wider, and less personal view on the world. The 16th Karmapa composed this meditation himself and asked Hannah and Lama Ole to teach it as the main practice in the West. It’s a very condensed and very effective meditation.
The Refuge Meditation builds the beginning of a long meditation series. Here one checks if one really wishes to engage in a serious Buddhist path. One will get familiar with, and take refuge in, lasting values. The Buddha represents the ultimate goal of enlightenment, the teachings bring one to this state of mind, the realized Bodhisattvas are friends on the Buddhist path, and the lama represents blessing, methods, and protection at the same time, and is necessary to reach enlightenment. Repeating a refuge formula, one opens up to these four sources of refuge. After completing 11,111 repetitions, one can decide if one is ready to start the Four Foundational practices, which take longer.
The Foundational Practices, or Extraordinary Preliminary Practices (Ngöndro in Tibetan) consist of four meditations done one after another. Each of them are repeated 111,111 times. They prepare one’s mind for more advanced meditation.
Taking Refuge and Developing the Enlightened attitude
This is a well known physical practice from Tibet. One prostrates while visualizing all the aspects of the Refuge and repeating a refuge formula. This practice mainly cleans hindrances of the body so that it becomes a useful tool on the way to enlightenment. The openness and devotion which will appear are used for the next meditation, on Diamond Mind.
In this meditation one cleans difficult subconscious impressions (the causes of disturbing feelings) before they can manifest as difficult results in one’s daily life. One uses the mantra of the Buddha Diamond Mind, who has the ability to dissolve all impressions of whatever we have said or done in this or former lives.
After having cleaned body, speech and mind, one gets the space to receive new impressions. That’s why this practice can enrich our now open mind with everything good imaginable. One focuses on everything beautiful, precious, good and pure which one offers to the refuge. The surplus and joy that appear from this practice are used to benefit others.
The Guru Yoga meditation follows the same principle as the 16th Karmapa meditation. It is a more elaborate practice, where one repeats certain wishes to the whole transmission lineage, and increases one’s devotion and openness to the source for development. The identification with the lama will help us to experience the world as ever more blissful.
The daily 5-minute invocation of the protector of the Karma Kagyu lineage, which helps to diminish hindrances on the way to enlightenment. This sung meditation is one of the few practices that is guided in the Tibetan language.
8th Karmapa Meditation
The Guru Yoga on the 8th Karmapa is an advanced meditation for which one can ask for authorization to practice after having completed the Foundational practices.
Additional meditation practices
The Phowa meditation is one of the Six Yogas of Naropa. In retreat, one learns about and prepares for the dying process at the end of one’s life. One learns upfront what meditation to use while dying to finish the cycle of rebirths and liberate one’s mind.
Loving Eyes Meditation
The meditation on the Buddha of Compassion increases one’s love, compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity towards all sentient beings.
Medicine Buddha Meditation
This meditation focuses on the health of all beings.
A 3-day intensive meditation retreat involving commitments of not talking, eating, wearing jewelery etc. The practice increases one’s compassion for all beings.
Clear Light Meditation
This Clear Light meditation on the 15th Karmapa connects one to the blessing of the lineage.
Meditation on the Buddha of Limitless Light
One must complete 111,111 repetitions of this meditation before doing one’s first Phowa Course.
Meditation on the Buddha of Limitless Life
The meditation on the Buddha of Limitless Life improves one’s karma for a long life.
Meditation on Liberatrice (Tara)
This meditation is used to get in contact with female wisdom in its active form.