What is Secret Mantra?

May 8 to June 5

Discovering Buddhism module 13, Intro to Tantra

If you do an internet search on the word tantra, you might find some workshops or books that teach you how to have better sex. Don’t worry; that’s NOT what this course is about. The Sanskrit word “tantra” means “continuum” and is cognate with the English word “thread”.

This course is about the part of the Mahayana path known variously as Secret Mantra, Vajrayana, or Tantra.

Compared to the sutra approach, the tantric path enables us to transcend our presently obscured condition and experience unencumbered enlightenment much more rapidly. In fact, a fully qualified tantric practitioner can achieve enlightenment within one short lifetime! That is why tantra is sometimes called the Lightning Vehicle.

Through the various methods contained in tantra, we train to visualize ourselves as if we were already fully enlightened. We learn to transcend our ordinary, limited self-identify and view ourselves as possessing the holy body, speech, and mind of a buddha. By doing so, we are able bring about our enlightened self-transformation much more rapidly than if we were following only the causal approach of sutra.

– Jon Landaw, Discovering Buddhism at Home transcript

In this course, you will learn about:

  • what an empowerment is and how to decide whether to take one
  • achieving the state of a buddha-deity by taking the result as the path
  • what a sadhana is, i.e., the “means of achievement”
  • what is a mantra retreat
  • what kinds of commitments and pre-requisites are involved with Secret-Mantra practice
  • how Secret-Mantra practice can change your worldview

Who can attend?

Suitable candidates for this course are people who have some background in our tradition of Buddhism either by having attended:

  • previous Discovering Buddhism courses, or
  • other general teachings on the lam-rim (stages of the path)


We will be using the book Introduction to Tantra, by Jonathan Landaw and will make the book available for purchase.

The books are in. They are $14 even – special price for DB students; includes tax. Pick up your book at 1st class. (You may also pay in person on first night – cash, check, credit card.)


Retreat requirement:
This module has a one-week deity retreat as a requirement for completion. The instructor will accept some options which are not quite one week in length. Here are some choices. (You might find other options which are also acceptable.)

Discovering Buddhism Materials Page

We are now using Google Sites for homework, because that enables us to add audio (although we’re not promising to upload audio on any particular timescale).

Go to LMB’s Discovering Buddhism Materials Site

See more about the whole Discovering Buddhism program at Land of Medicine Buddha, here.

Venerable DrimayAbout the Instructor

Venerable Drimay is the regular Discovering Buddhism teacher at LMB. She has been teaching Discovering BUDDHISM since its inception in 2002. See more about our instructors.


This module is best suited to those who have been attending previous module of Discovering Buddhism.

Online registration below gives various options for donating to support this program. The Dharma center depends on your contributions to make classes like this possible. However, we don’t want anyone to feel that there is an obstacle if they are unable to donate. All are welcome.

Benefits of Membership

Scholar-level membership covers donations for regular classes. Look into becoming a Scholar.

Date(s): May 8 to June 5
Times: 7:00 pm - 8:45 pm
Instructor/Leader: Venerable Drimay
Type of event:
Number of sessions: 5
Level: Introductory
Participation: Best to attend consistently
Location: Main Gompa
iCal Link: iCal
Add to Google Calendar: 0

♦ See Refund Policy (opens in new window). ♦ If you pay with PayPal, you will still be able to pay with a credit card. You don't need to have a PayPal account. ♦ If you select a $0 option below just complete the form as usual and submit it ♦

Registration and Donations for What is Secret Mantra?

Online registration is now closed for this event.