Deity yoga is the meditative practice of imagining oneself as an ideal being, fully endowed with compassion, wisdom, and their resultant altruistic activities. The idea is that by imagining being a Buddha one gets closer to actually achieving Buddhahood. Tantric Techniques offers a complete system of Tantric meditation comparing the views of three seminal Tibetan authors on deity yoga and on issues such as how to safeguard against psychological inflation and how to use negative emotions on the path.
“Jeffrey Hopkins has made a major contribution to deepening understanding of Tibetan Buddhism, had access to some of the greatest contemporary Tibetan teachers, but—most important of all—he has over the years steadily tried to put what he has learned into practice.”—H.H. the Dalai Lama
“It is impossible not to fall in love with a book that has as many references to Carl Jung as to the Dalai Lama. What a treat to open up a work that brings together the profound thinking of a great psychologist with that of the embodiment of Tibetan Buddhism.”—New Age Retailer
“A remarkable read . . . well-grounded in the experience of the practitioner but illuminated by skillful use of contemporary Western philosophical and psychological models. It facilitates a deeper practical and theoretical understanding of the relationship between the meditative methods in Sutra and Tantra on this central theme. . . . A very lucid and enjoyable exposition. The ideas and positions are well argued and supported with substantial translations from the original texts. It is bold in its intention and execution, the work of a formidable leading Buddhist scholar grounded in the practice of a living Buddhist tradition. Where it is difficult, it is only so because of the difficulty of the subject matter. It well rewards the effort of the reader prepared to fully engage with its concerns.”—The Middle Way
“Hopkins takes the reader through what he calls a paradigm shift from sutra practice to tantra. . . . An unexpected pleasure tucked in among commentaries on Tsongkhapa and Longchenpa is a chapter responding to Carl Jung’s warning of the dangers of deity yoga. Hopkins shows that Jung’s dire predictions of ego inflation and other psychological traps were anticipated and resolved by the Tibetan masters’ attention to emptiness and compassion.”—Buddhadharma: The Practitioner’s Quarterly