Tonight we prayed to the protectress Palden Lhamo, made a burnt offering to beings in the bardo and recited the chod text using sadhanas from the Bonpo traditions. There’s nothing non-Buddhist in these texts. How can we call a practice which generates loving kindness and compassion to all sentient beings Shamanistic?
After we make a burnt offering, we visualize that the beings are happy and satisfied. We pray for them to realize the primordial state of their mind which is enlightened from the beginning. We pray for them to attain Buddhahood. And once they become Buddha, we request them not to leave Samsara but stay here for the sake of sentient beings.
I felt sad every time I thought about prejudices and stereotypes against this great tradition. What is the point of making a division between what is genuine Buddhist and what is not? I do believe the real nature of Buddha mind knows no division. It’s the “self” that we hold onto which separates us from others, which makes us feel that we are better than others, that we are genuine and others are not. If we fall trap in this kind of division, there’s little hope that peace will exist in our mind, let alone talking about peace elsewhere in the world.
Yontan related a story that he was once asked whether he was a black Bon or white Bon. He said he didn’t know whether it was black or white. What he knows is that this lineage leads way to enlightenment.