a Vajrayana paradox

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a Vajrayana paradox

Postby Luke » Thu May 02, 2013 10:40 am

One thing I have frequently heard lamas say is that we encounter Vajrayana teachings because we practiced Vajrayana in past lives.
But yet, there had to be some first time which we encountered Vajrayana teachings in some past life.
Why are lamas always so confident that our present lifetime isn't the first time we are encountering the Vajrayana teachings?
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Re: a Vajrayana paradox

Postby Nikolay » Thu May 02, 2013 10:44 am

Luke wrote:One thing I have frequently heard lamas say is that we encounter Vajrayana teachings because we practiced Vajrayana in past lives.
But yet, there had to be some first time which we encountered Vajrayana teachings in some past life.
Why are lamas always so confident that our present lifetime isn't the first time we are encountering the Vajrayana teachings?

Probably because we can encounter Vajrayana for the first time only once, yet we can encounter it again many times. Thus, in terms of probability, the second one is more likely?
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Re: a Vajrayana paradox

Postby Luke » Thu May 02, 2013 11:01 am

mirage wrote:Why are lamas always so confident that our present lifetime isn't the first time we are encountering the Vajrayana teachings?

Probably because we can encounter Vajrayana for the first time only once, yet we can encounter it again many times. Thus, in terms of probability, the second one is more likely?[/quote]
Hmm, you might be right, but they sound like they're so confident that not even one person in the audience is encountering Vajrayana for the first time. It's this fact that I find strange.
Perhaps this is because Vajrayana isn't part of the culture in the west so we each had to seek it out actively? It wasn't just like "Oh, yeah, my uncle's a monk in Buddhist monstery XYZ" for us.
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Re: a Vajrayana paradox

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu May 02, 2013 12:38 pm

Infinity streches back infinitely too. Since there is no beginning point, since existence is cyclic, any time can be the first, second, third... and/or the last.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: a Vajrayana paradox

Postby dharmagoat » Thu May 02, 2013 2:23 pm

So when someone leaves Vajrayana, they are not leaving it for the first time?
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Re: a Vajrayana paradox

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu May 02, 2013 4:54 pm

Yup! Old habits die hard! :tongue:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: a Vajrayana paradox

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Thu May 02, 2013 6:14 pm

Hmm, I wonder if I could skip empowerments by claiming past life memories of them.

Joking of course..this idea actually resonates with me, then again if I examine my baggage it seems like i've held all kinds of beliefs before this life, some which seem utterly foreign to me now, and some of which resonate now.

One thing as far as this goes, Vajrayana is very weird by the standards of most westerners, so perhaps that's how the make the claim with some confidence? That the fact that you are lined up with something so foreign to your own culture.
Last edited by Johnny Dangerous on Thu May 02, 2013 6:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: a Vajrayana paradox

Postby dzogchungpa » Thu May 02, 2013 6:19 pm

Luke wrote:One thing I have frequently heard lamas say is that we encounter Vajrayana teachings because we practiced Vajrayana in past lives.
But yet, there had to be some first time which we encountered Vajrayana teachings in some past life.
Why are lamas always so confident that our present lifetime isn't the first time we are encountering the Vajrayana teachings?

I don't think we need to take such statements in an overly literal way.
ཨོཾ་ཏཱ་རེ་ཏུཏྟ་རེ་ཏུ་རེ་སྭཱཧཱ༔
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Re: a Vajrayana paradox

Postby Luke » Thu May 02, 2013 10:23 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:I don't think we need to take such statements in an overly literal way.

Then what do you think is a better way of interpreting them? I don't see them as being metaphorical...

Is it just intentional hyberbole in order for lamas to sound exciting?
An eager pracititioner in the audience then thinks, "Hey! I practiced Vajrayana in many of my past lives! That is just SO AWESOME! I love this lama!" :D
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Re: a Vajrayana paradox

Postby dzogchungpa » Thu May 02, 2013 10:41 pm

Luke wrote:Then what do you think is a better way of interpreting them? I don't see them as being metaphorical...

Is it just intentional hyberbole in order for lamas to sound exciting?
An eager pracititioner in the audience then thinks, "Hey! I practiced Vajrayana in many of my past lives! That is just SO AWESOME! I love this lama!" :D

Well, I can't speak for any Lamas, but it could just be as you describe. More seriously, it could mean that as a result of experiences in past lives, you are a "Vajrayana kind of person" or whatever. At any rate, I think the main point they are trying to get across is that if you are drawn to Vajrayana and have the opportunity to learn about it, that is probably the result of karma from past lives, and you should consider yourself fortunate and feel encouraged to continue. Something like that.
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Re: a Vajrayana paradox

Postby kirtu » Thu May 02, 2013 11:26 pm

Luke wrote:Why are lamas always so confident that our present lifetime isn't the first time we are encountering the Vajrayana teachings?


Some of them can see the interconnections. However most can't and don't. Encountering Vajrayana for the first time ever would be as rare as the old man who wanted to become a monk but the leading Arhats refused to admit him to the sangha because they couldn't find any wholesome roots in him. Only the Buddha could. Encountering Vajrayana for the first time would be similarly rare. Where is this explained? I'm not sure actually.

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Re: a Vajrayana paradox

Postby retrofuturist » Fri May 03, 2013 2:16 am

Greetings,

It engenders a sense of coming home ~ of returning to the source.

Maitri,
Retro. :)
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Re: a Vajrayana paradox

Postby Ayu » Fri May 03, 2013 6:50 am

... and it gives the assessment that this life is something precious, gained out of good deeds in the past. It encourages to collect merrits in this lifetime again. :smile:
Because, if our mothers, who have been kind to us
From beginningless time, are suffering,
What can we do with (just) our own happiness?
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Re: a Vajrayana paradox

Postby Konchog1 » Fri May 03, 2013 7:20 am

I think it's a combination of what Johnny and Ayu said. Most Lamas likely assume that most of the audience have practiced Secret Mantra in past lives because they are westerners who are drawn to something outside of their cultural world view. Also, if there are some people in the audience who are practicing Secret Mantra for the first time, well then it will act as encouragement.
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Re: a Vajrayana paradox

Postby Lhug-Pa » Sat May 04, 2013 1:02 am

Edit:

Actually I did read the original post.

Never mind though, as what I was talking about should probably not be discussed too much on open forums....
Last edited by Lhug-Pa on Sat May 04, 2013 1:28 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: a Vajrayana paradox

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sat May 04, 2013 1:07 am

You obviously did not read the OP.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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