How to Practice Kalachakra
Although some Tibetan traditions offer Kalachakra Tantra, the Jonang tradition is the only tradition which has preserved the entire Kalachakra system of practice. This includes all of the extensive practices from fundamental preliminaries up to the completion process containing the six yogas. This tradition has been practised for centuries in remote parts of Tibet, untouched by politics or modernisation. The recent emergence from Tibet brings with it an authenticity and purity almost impossible to find today.
Within the Jonang Tradition, the practice of the Kalachara Path is broken into four distinct phases or sets of practices:
During this phase, practitioners work to familiarize their minds with the Four Convictions of Renunciation and develop a strong connection to the lineage masters of the Jonang Kalachakra Lineage. This phase helps orient the mind away from mundane concerns and towards spiritual practice.
At this point, the practitioner strengthens their resolve towards spiritual practice by working with the five inner preliminaries: refuge, bodhichitta, vajrasattva purification, mandala offerings and guru yoga. This process lays the foundation for entering into the practice of Buddhist tantra.
In order to prepare the mind for engaging in the Kalachakra completion stage practices, practitioners must first practice the two unique preliminaries of Innate Kalachakra and Three Solitudes. This latter practice is an extremely effective tantric method for developing shamatha. It is equivalent to practices found within the Dzogchen and Mahamudra traditions.
Six Vajra Yogas
Having fully prepared their minds, the final phase is to engage in the practices of the Six Vajra Yogas. Each practice within this six-phase series is introduced to the student in direct guidance of a qualified Kalachakra master. Practitioners receive personal instruction, engage with the practice and then report their progress to their teacher. The teacher then introduces new practices when the student is ready for them. This process continues until the student reaches enlightenment.