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Jan 02

Ekajati and the Ati Teachings

Filed under Dharma Teachings

Exploring depth and meaning in the Ekajati protector chant

by Russell Rodgers

Ekajati: Queen of the Mamos, thangka painting by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

This chant has an extraordinary level of teaching in it about the nature of mind and the nature of reality. To the extent that one truly understands this chant, one will understand at least on a conceptual level a lot about the ati teachings and practices, the highest in the Nyingma lineage.

Ekajati is a protector of the ati teachings. The lineage of ati started in Tibet with Padmasambhava, in the 8th century CE. (In contrast, the Four Armed Mahakala, subject of an earlier essay is a protector in the Kagyu lineage, which started about 400 years later). Before he left Tibet, the Vidyadhara Trungpa Rinpoche was abbot of several Kagyu monasteries, but many of his main teachers were Nyingma, and they introduced him to the ati teachings. For this reason, both Kagyu and Nyingma lineages form the basis of what we practice now as Shambhala Buddhism. The Shambhala aspect of our lineage was also present in Tibet, but it was not regarded there as a separate lineage. While it was intimately related to the Buddhist lineages, it also drew from wisdom embedded in Tibetan secular society and the pre-buddhist Bon religion. Continue…

Entries filed under Dharma Teachings

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