The Buddha worked to benefit three kinds of people. Whoever wanted to avoid suffering received the instructions about cause and effect called Theravada or the "Small Way." Those who wanted to do more for others were given the Mahayana or the "Great Way," the teachings on wisdom and compassion. To people having strong confidence in their own Buddha nature, Buddha taught the Vajrayana or the "Diamond Way."
Here, he manifested as forms of energy and light or directly transmitted his enlightened view as a flow of awareness. On this highest level the aim is the complete development of mind, the spontaneous effortlessness of Mahamudra. The basis, way, and goal of this highest view are transmitted under varying names by Tibet's three old Buddhist transmissions, the Nyingma, Sakya, and Kagyu Schools.
Diamond Way Buddhism in the West
While there are many Buddhist centers of various lineages active in the West, this homepage pertains to the 230 lay Buddhist centers of the Karma Kagyu Lineage which have been started by Lama Ole Nydahl. They are under the spiritual guidance of the 17th Karmapa, Thaye Dorje, who now resides in New Delhi, India. These groups have a democratic structure and function through unpaid, voluntary work on the basis of idealism and friendship. The members share the responsibility for guiding meditations, answering questions and giving teachings. Lama Ole has so far trained about 30 students who are now traveling and teaching in many countries.
The Karma Kagyu school offers practical teachings applicable to everyday life. It gives a wealth of methods for lay people and yogis to develop mind's inherent richness and clarity both through meditation and in one's daily activities. The roof of the self liberating Mahamudra is supported by three pillars which are: verifiable non-dogmatic teachings, meditation, and the means to solidify the levels of awareness which have been attained.
The Diamond Way opens the most skillful methods of the Buddha to the modern world. It helps us discover and develop our inner richness for the benefit of all beings as well as ourselves.
The Karma Kagyu Lineage
Karma Kagyu is one of the major Buddhist schools of Tibet. As a lineage of direct oral transmission, it especially treasures meditation and can, through interaction with a qualified teacher, bring about the full direct experience of the nature of the mind. The Karma Kagyu methods were taught by the historical Buddha Shakyamuni to his closest students.
They were later passed on through the Indian Mahasiddhas: Padmasambhava, Tilopa, Naropa and Maitripa and the famous Tibetan Yogis Marpa and Milarepa. In the 12th century, the monk Gampopa gave the teachings to the first Gyalwa Karmapa whose successive incarnations have kept them powerful and vibrant over the centuries. Today, great Tibetan and Bhutanese teachers (lamas) such as Kunzig Shamarpa and Lopon Tsechu Rinpoche transmit this unbroken tradition when visiting the many Karma Kagyu centers around the world.
Our teachers. >>>