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“Emptiness is not a specialty of Vajrayana. Yidam meditation is part of Vajrayana, but is not the special quality of the Vajrayana. The special quality [that enhances the practice] really is the bliss.” — Gelek Rimpoche 
There is no Vajrayana Buddhism without the concept of bliss. In Buddhism generally, the path to Enlightenment begins with wisdom, or insight — starting with understanding the four noble truths. This level of wisdom is basic, necessary, and foundational. To paraphrase Spock from Star Trek, that is “the beginning of wisdom, not the end.”
In Mahayana, compassion combines with wisdom to help prevent obstacles — incorrect views such as nihilism — by focusing on the wisdom comprehending emptiness and compassionate action (means).
In Vajrayana, the faster path, bliss and emptiness become the cipher — and method — by which we try unlock realizations, or even Enlightenment.
The Dalai Lama emphasized: “In all the manuals on tantric practice, the wisdom of bliss and emptiness is referred to repeatedly… All phenomena that appear are the manifestation of wisdom of bliss and emptiness.” 
Or, to quote an earlier Dalai Lama (the 7th):
This play of this divine mind,
The union of bliss, the supreme father, and emptiness,
Is unlimited and thus beyond concept.For a “What the Teachers Say” story on Emptiness, see our full feature>
Often, as a starting conceptualization, students are guided to think of Emptiness as “space” or spacious. This is generally, not the ideal conceptualization. To avoid nihilistic attitudes, many teachers now coach students to think in terms of “oneness” and “fullness” — union with all, rather than removal of all. Both of these concepts are beginner visualizations. Cultivating bliss, with emptiness, a speciality of Vajrayana, helps us develop our own insights into the true nature of reality and Emptiness.
This verse from Lama Chopa (translated from Tibetan) emphasizes the importance:
The Dalai Lama. One side-effect of contemplating bliss and emptiness is a feeling of bliss in everyday life — apparent here on His Holiness’s face.
Inspire me to perfect transcendent wisdom,
Through practicing space yoga in equipoise on the ultimate
By: Lee Kane
Title: Bliss helps us understand Emptiness without nihilism: Vajrayana develops faster insight through the balance of bliss and emptiness, compassion and wisdom, mandala and deity
Sourced From: buddhaweekly.com/bliss-helps-us-understand-emptiness-without-nihilism-vajrayana-develops-faster-insight-balance-bliss-emptiness-compassion-wisdom-mandala-deity/
Published Date: Fri, 11 Dec 2020 06:18:48 +0000