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“All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.” 
Hindu Prince Gautama Siddharta, the founder of Buddhism, 563-483 B.C.

 In the Beginning

Tibetan people attribute their existence to the union of an ogress (female ogre) and a monkey. One day a monkey ambled into a cave in the Yarlung River valley and decided to do something to attain immortality. Sometime later, an ogress dropped by to visit and tried to tempt him with magic. She whispered to the monkey: “Will you marry me?”

“No, I am a disciple of Mother Buddha," he said woefully because she was quite attractive. "I have been told to stay here in this cave and meditate until I understand the great truths. If I marry you, it will violate my religious discipline.”

The ogress persisted: “If you don’t marry me, I will have no recourse except commit suicide. You see, in my previous incarnation I was degraded into a devil. If I live as a devil, you and I cannot be together. I will be forced to marry a devil and give birth to countless sons and grandsons. If that happens, our beautiful and sacred plateau will be plunged into a world filled with devils and thousands of people will be lost. Please, you must marry me to avoid this disaster.”

Trapped in the dilemma and bewildered, the monkey returned to Putuo Hill to seek instruction from the Mother Buddha. She said: “This auspicious sign is your destiny. It is a deed of great kindness to marry her and reproduce offspring for the plateau. As an enlightened Buddha, you should not hesitate to conduct kind deeds. Hurry back and marry the ogress.”

They married and brought six baby monkeys into the world. They each had different hobbies and dispositions. Soon they wandered into the forest to look for food. Three years later their father went looking for them and found, not six, but five-hundred monkeys wandering about. With so many mouths to feed, the fruits and berries of the forest were difficult to find. Their father worried for their survival and decided to go again to Mother Buddha for help.

Mother Buddha took the seeds of five types of grains from Xumi Mountain and distributed them across the land. Crops sprung up in the vast land like magic and the old father monkey was happy that his offspring had sufficient food. For an unknown reasons, over time, the tails of these monkeys shortened and they developed languages to communicate with one another. Gradually they came to look and act like human beings. So the ogress and the monkey are the mother and father, the Adam and Eve of the Tibetan people.

The story of the monkey and the ogress is a popular Tibetan myth recorded in ancient scriptures and on wall paintings in religious buildings. There is a gorgeous painting of this myth on the second floor of the Summer Palace of the Dalai Lama in Lhasa. Tsetang translates as "the play place for monkeys" and Tsetang Town is famous for the cave where the monkey lived, near to Mt. Gangpo Ri. 


“The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best one knows.”
~Hindu Prince Gautama Siddharta, the founder of Buddhism, 563-483 B.C.

BÖN Religion

The oldest spiritual tradition of Tibet is the Bon religion. However, many Tibetans are not knowledgeable about Bon. Even guides sometimes refuse to go into a Bon Monastery. Tibetan Buddhism and Bon have been, in many cases, intertwined over the ages. Traditions, rituals and even texts that originated with the Bon religion are now accepted by Tibetans as part of the Tibetan Buddhism belief. At the root of the Bon faith are oaths, spells, incantations, talismans, drumming sacrifices and rituals. Counteracting the effects of evil spirits through magical practices  was the chief premise of the earliest form of Bon. Bon priests and their rituals were extremely important in securing a successful passage into the next world. Tenzin Gyatso, the fourteenth Dalai Lama, has recognized the Bön tradition as the fifth principal spiritual school of Tibet, along with the Nyingma, Sakya, Kagyu, and Gelug schools of Buddhism. Bon is often described as shamanistic and animistic and was practiced throughout Tibet prior to the introduction of Buddhism in the 7th century (during the term of Songtsen Gampo). Both the religion and the Bönpo are significantly more rich and textured culturally than was initially thought by pioneering Western scholars. MORE ON BON

 Buddhism in Tibet

Buddhism died out in the Indian states around 1200 BC, as Hinduism revived and various invasions destroyed Buddhist centers of faith. Buddhist doctrines and scriptures, however, lived on in Tibet, where Buddhism was promoted and supported by the kings. The faith almost vanished with the end of the monarchy in the ninth century. When it arose again, Tibet's decentralized conditions allowed Buddhism to split into some twenty sects.

The following five sects became the most important:

Nyingmapa, the ancient sect, began around 750 AD with Padmasambhava. It absorbed the Bon faith and produced the Tibetan book of the dead.

Kahdampa Sect began with Atisha after 1050 AD. Its tradition laid stress on the scriptures and discipline, and it formed a link with India's sages.

Kagyupa Sect began around 1060 AD with the teachers of Marpa and Milarepa. Most typically Tibetan, it stressed yoga as the way to seek enlightenment.

Sakyupa Sect arose in 1073 AD at sakya monastery, which later governed Tibet. It was worldly and practical and less concerned with metaphysics.

The Gelugpa Sect or virtuous ones or yellow hats, began with Tsong Khapa in 1407 AD. It absorbed Kahdampa Sect and carried on Atisha's tradition. It dominated Tibet after the 17th century, leaving other sects to play a minor role.

“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”
~Hindu Prince Gautama Siddharta, the founder of Buddhism, 563-483 B.C.
 Tibetan Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism derives from the confluence of Buddhism and yoga which started to arrive in Tibet from India briefly around the late eighth century and then more steadily from the thirteenth century onwards. Indian Buddhism around that time had incorporated both Hindu yogic and tantric practices along with the classical teachings of the historical Buddha who lived around 500 BC. It acknowledged that there were two paths to enlightenment ( complete transcendence of identification with the personal ego ). One path was that taught in the sutras according to the historical teachings. The heart of sutra practice was based on morality, concentration, and wisdom ( not identifying with the personal ego ). The other path, which has become the cornerstone of Tibetan variations, was tantric. This practice blended the sutra teachings with techniques adapted from Hindu systems of yoga and tantra. more

For a detailed discourse on Tibetan Buddhism, click here


"The greatest achievement is selflessness.
The greatest worth is self-mastery.
The greatest quality is seeking to serve others.
The greatest precept is continual awareness.
The greatest medicine is the emptiness of everything.
The greatest action is not conforming with the worlds ways.
The greatest magic is transmuting the passions.
The greatest generosity is non-attachment.
The greatest goodness is a peaceful mind.
The greatest patience is humility.
The greatest effort is not concerned with results.
The greatest meditation is a mind that lets go.
The greatest wisdom is seeing through appearances." Atisha.
Sand Mandalas and other Religious Information  
Prayer Flags, Wheels and Stones
Khata Offering
The Four Dignities
The Three Symbols of Victory Against Disharmony
Mount Kailash
The Karmapa Dream Flag
Music Instruments in Tibetan Buddhist Ritual

Tibetan Thankas
Books on Tibetan Buddhist Symbolism

courtesy of

more found at Religious Tolerance. org
Tibetan Prayer Video  

courtesy of Clemson University
A mandala is a circular design, usually composed of dyed sand particles, that is a visual representation of the Buddhist path from its beginnings to complete enlightenment. Buddhists believe that the mandala is a deity’s divine environment. The construction of a mandala is a sacred ceremony for Buddhists, and these ceremonies have been made available for public viewing only in recent years.

For more detailed definitions
about Tibetan religious practices, tools, etc, click below

 Tibetan Buddhism
 Dream yoga
 Singing Bowls
 String theory

 Tantric Practice





























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