The preliminary practices of Tantra aren't a hurdle to be gotten through in order to get somewhere else; they're an extraordinarily rich collection of practices which have much to offer as a means of cultivating and maturing the practitioner's psychological ground. They can enable experiences to unfold, and they can clear the way when there seem to be problems or hindrances practitioners are struggling with. In Preparing for Tantra, Preece draws on his experience as a Tantric Buddhist practitioner, meditation teacher, and psychotherapist to explain how to make the preliminary practices psychologically meaningful and spiritually transformative. He examines each of the practices with an eye to revealing how they may be used to heal and transform psychological trauma and offers practical suggestions for integrating them into daily life—as well as ensuring that practitioners are prepared psychologically, emotionally, and energetically to start out safely on the tantric path. Preparing for Tantra is an accessible guidebook for engaging in ngondro, the preliminary practices that are done before engaging in a long tantric retreat. These practices are also powerful tools for purifying negativities and alleviating guilt, healing difficult experiences, and enriching our minds with goodness so that we will be able to progress in our Dharma practice and gain realizations of the path.
"Western students of Buddhism—particularly those attempting to master the meditative techniques of Highest Yoga Tantra—face the daunting challenge of weaving these profound transformative practices into the fabric of their busy daily lives. In Preparing for Tantra, Rob Preece draws on his many years of experience as both a meditator and psychotherapist to demonstrate most eloquently how one's daily life and work, far from being a hindrance to one's spiritual practices, can serve as its ongoing foundation, fully integrated with the ngondro or traditional tantric preliminaries. Inspiring and highly recommended."—Jonathan Landaw, author of Images of Enlightenment: Tibetan Art in Practice
"Emphasizing the need for a psychological ground for tantric practice, the author reflects on anecdotes from his own experience and makes frequent reference to the insights of the psychologist Carl Jung. For instance, Preece elaborates on Jung's symbolism of medieval alchemy to make use of the metaphor of an 'alchemical vessel,' a secure space in which the transformative practice of the preliminaries takes place. Divided into three parts, the book discusses preparing the body and mind, the traditional preliminary practices that include bodhicitta prostrations and guru yoga, and a conclusion on the importance of psychotherapy alongside Buddhist practice."—Buddhadharma: The Practitioner's Quarterly