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Kālacakra refers both to a patron Tantric deity or iṣṭadevatā, (Wylie: yi dam) of Vajrayana Buddhism and to the philosophies and meditation practices contained within the Kālacakra Tantra and its many commentaries. The Kālacakra Tantra is more properly called the Kālacakra Laghutantra, and is said to be an abridged form of an original text, the Kālacakra Mūlatantra which is no longer extant. Some Buddhist masters assert that Kālacakra is the most advanced form of Vajrayana practice; it certainly is one of the most complex systems within tantric Buddhism.
The Kālacakra tradition revolves around the concept of time (kāla) and cycles (chakra): from the cycles of the planets, to the cycles of human breathing, it teaches the practice of working with the most subtle energies within one's body on the path to enlightenment.