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Secret Mantra is often divided into four levels; the first three levels spread to Japan and China, while the teachings and practices of all classes of Tantra were disseminated in Tibet. The word mantra means "mind protection" (man, mind and tra, protect). This indicates that the practice of mantra protects the mind from ordinary appearances. By cultivating a pure view of the external world, as well as of one's physical, verbal and mental facilities, the aspirant can transform ordinary appearances and activities into exalted ones; not only in meditation, but in all aspects of daily life.

There are four main schools in Tibetan Buddhism, each with subsects, monasteries, head and lineage lamas that uphold the various traditions. 

Shakyamuni Buddha, brocade applique Thangka, Venerable Gyaltsen Choephel, Nechung Monastery, India

These are Nyingma, Sakya, Gelug, and Kagyu. With respects to terminology and emphasis, the four schools may differ, but all contemporary masters agree that the basis of the lineages remain the same. The purpose of any spiritual practice is to accumulate meritorious energy and to overcome defilements which are obscurations to liberation and omniscience.


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