Mental focus

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There is no Tantra without the focusing of the mind. To exercise control of the bodily functions, to direct the energies within the body, to attain higher states of consciousness at will, all these accomplishments require sustained mental focus. With this focus, we can reach states and accomplishments far beyond those available in non-Tantric practices. Without this focus, we become as leaves in the stream, floating on rivers of pleasure and pain, craving and aversion, without making progress toward our ultimate goal.

Question: Can you explain how Tantric meditation achieves the enlightened state so much more quickly than vipasyana, i.e. insight meditation?

His Holiness the Dalai Lama: In Tantric meditation, particularly in the practice of Anuttarayoga Tantra, while one is realizing emptiness, the ultimate truth, one controls thought through the use of certain techniques. In the Sutrayana, the non-Tantric form of the Mahayana, there is no mention of these unique techniques involving the yogic practices of controlled breathing and meditation using the inner channels and cakras, etc. The Sutrayana just describes how to analyze the object, i.e. how to come to gain insight into the nature of the object through reasoning, etc. The Anuttarayoga Tantra, however, teaches, in addition to this, certain techniques which use the channels, subtle winds, etc. to help one to control one's thoughts more effectively. These methods help one to more quickly gain control over the scattered mind and to achieve more effectively a level of consciousness which is at once subtle and powerful. This is the basis of the system. [1]

[1] accessed 2017-01-23