In this episode we are joined by one of our favorite Buddhist Geeks, Hokai Sobol. Hokai who is a teacher in the Shingon Buddhist tradition–a form of Vajrayana found in Japan–joins us today to speak about the Shingon school. Hokai shares with us a brief history of Shingon tradition and its main teacher Kukai, the artistic dimension of Shingon, and also begins to explain the basic teachings and practices of the lineage.
Similar to the Tibetan Vajrayana approaches Shingon harnesses things like mudras (gestures), mantras (sounds), and mandalas (visualizations)–which lines up with the three-fold Body, Speech, & Mind. Speaking about mantras specifically Hokai brings us through the three distinct dimensions of mantra practices and shows us how we can understand and practice with the basic mantra of “om”-“ah”-“hum.”
This is part 1 of a two-part series. Listen to part 2, Vajrayana in Plain English.