We’re covering new material on ‘Buddhism’ in this book, and in some ways we’re hesitant even to refer to it as ‘Buddhism’. However, the word ‘Buddhism’ (and everything associated with that word) comes closest to giving the average reader some idea of the direction we’re taking with the material we’re presenting.
Our author, Leslee Hare, is no stranger to Buddhist thought, although she considers herself far from being a scholar of Buddhist philosophy. She’s read many books on Buddhism and has studied several in detail. She’s acquainted with Dzogchen, New Kadampa, Nyingma, Ri-Mé, Tibetan and Zen, and most of her study and practice have been focused on the Vajrayana Path. She’s also studied, although in less depth, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, New Age Thought, Shamanism, Toltec Sorcery, and Yoga. As you read through this book, you’ll detect influences from many of these. That’s why, to the minds of some, we should not classify this book as Buddhist.
However, each book needs classification, and this material originates from Enlightened Beings or Buddhas, so ‘Buddhism’ fits best.
Many times throughout the history of Buddhism, practitioners have faced criticism and ridicule because they dared to tell people that they have an understanding of Buddhism which goes against the accepted norm. Some lineages and cultures accept anomalies like these, just as some minds are more open. As Westerners have accepted nominal Buddhism in its many forms, they’ve also developed particular expectations about certain forms of Buddhism.
In many popular Buddhist stories, we find adepts known as ‘Mahasiddhas’ who fit this category of following very unconventional paths to Enlightenment. History documents some of these Mahasiddhas’ lives as human beings. Some of the tales of the Mahasiddhas are considered to be mere legend, and at best, metaphors. In each case, though, there is something remarkable and unusual about the Mahasiddha’s point of view and method of practice, and they were often considered (before being recognized as Adepts) to be mad, delusional, or just eccentric by the standards of their contemporary society. Oftentimes the Mahasiddhas were not recognized until after the deaths of their ‘ordinary’ human bodies.
So the classic tales of the Mahasiddhas come to you now from across the safe distance of centuries. They have become mellowed and embellished by many years of telling and transcribing, and are often studied more as anecdotes rather than examples of a way one might actually practice Buddhism.
We’d like to propose to you that the world is ripe for a fresh round of Mahasiddha activity.
We know that there are more highly-realized beings in this world right now than there have been in many previous centuries, combined. We know that these beings are looking for a cue – that one drop of water to land on the seed so it can germinate. This book is one of those drops of water. If you absorb the contents of this book, you may find yourself on a lightning-fast Vajra Path to a world and state of being that up until now you only imagined existed.
There are two traits that all of the Mahasiddhas had in common. They all had both immovable faith in their Spiritual Guides, and unquestionable certainty that by following their Guides’ instructions, They could – eventually – attain Enlightenment. These are the two traits which are most needed in today’s spiritual practitioner (although qualified teachers help tremendously as well), and they are rare to find in current culture. They may also prove rare to find among readers of this book, but we doubt that. We believe that if you’re reading this book, you have been drawn to it by your natural inclination to want to know the truth, and to discover it for yourself.
Actually, without these two traits, you cannot attain Enlightenment. Why? Because without them, it’s only ‘you’ trying to figure it out on your own, and if that were possible you would have done it already. No one can attain Enlightenment alone; part of the nature of your being is that you are inextricably connected to others. When you operate as if that connection does not exist, you’re denying an essential aspect and understanding of your very nature. Enlightenment is about accepting your nature, not resisting it.
We believe you may find your truth in this book, and we make all prayers that you will. We hope that you will come to believe that your own Enlightenment is possible, and also that it is imminent. Purity is hard to recognize in this world, but it does exist. True Paths seem hard to find in this world, but they beckon. If you find one grain of truth for yourself in this book, then please take it and run with it. If all you come away with is a better understanding of some good reasons not to harm others, then we’ve still done our job.
This world has entered a new age of miracles. Your ‘miracles’ may seem matter-of-fact and under-stated by comparison to those of the Mahasiddhas, because a jaded society does not entertain that kind of flamboyance with much tolerance. But your miracles’ effects will be the same: they will change minds, shift karma, and bring Enlightenment. So please continue your path with courage and confidence, and know that we abide in the wings, helping at every moment. The more you request, the more we can offer.
One more request we have is that you pray. Praying purifies karma and creates merit, but most of all it strengthens the connection you have with us. Pray for whatever you want, and we can sort out the details.
So now we leave you to dive in and ponder what you’ll find here. Thank you for reading however much you read, and for practicing however much you choose to practice. We’re very happy to have found you again, and are delighted that we could connect once more. And thank you for all your help.
~ Buddha Vajrapani and Buddha Heruka