Insisting on receiving instructions damages samaya

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Insisting on receiving instructions damages samaya

Postby JKhedrup » Sun Oct 27, 2013 8:32 am

Saw this on a friend's page recently. It gives food for thought:


"If we receive teachings against the teacher's wish, or without first checking whether he has agreed, or we use various means to oblige the teacher to give us teachings without being sure whether he considers those teachings suitable for us, this will lead to a breach of samaya.

When the time is not ripe, using pressure or complaint.

To insist on getting the instructions leads to a breach of samaya.

The teacher knows the disciples capacity and therefore the most suitable teachings to give. So if we use different means such as cunning and insistence to get teachings against the teachers wishes, we will cause our samaya to degenerate.


Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, Zurchungpa's Testament, p148-9" thank you Geoffrey Dearing
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
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Re: Insisting on receiving instructions damages samaya

Postby heart » Sun Oct 27, 2013 11:11 am

It certainly does, quite disturbing I think for all that live far away from their teacher and maybe just meet him once a year or so. I have sometimes requested things many years before I managed to get them, definitely bordering on insistence.

/magnus
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- Longchenpa
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Re: Insisting on receiving instructions damages samaya

Postby KonchokZoepa » Sun Oct 27, 2013 11:19 am

"If we receive teachings against the teacher's wish, or without first checking whether he has agreed, or we use various means to oblige the teacher to give us teachings without being sure whether he considers those teachings suitable for us, this will lead to a breach of samaya.

When the time is not ripe, using pressure or complaint.

To insist on getting the instructions leads to a breach of samaya.

The teacher knows the disciples capacity and therefore the most suitable teachings to give. So if we use different means such as cunning and insistence to get teachings against the teachers wishes, we will cause our samaya to degenerate.




i dont think this can really apply in any meaningful way to teacher student relationship unless it is extremely close relationship where you are in close contact with your teacher on a daily or weekly basis. the teacher in now adays wont most likely point a student coming to an empowerment that ''hey you cant attend''

ive heard there are some empowerments that require your own lamas recommendation, so it can be taken care that way.

also, if you ask to receive teachings or request and the teachers says yes, its not insisting, if the answer is no and you immeadiately try to persuade him giving you teachings, that would be insisting. on the other hand if you ask one year later '' am i ready now '' its not insisting.

so i think this kind of samaya breach is actually very hard to break. unless youre an a hole and dont know what respect and your limits are. i dont think many people really dare to insist the master give some teaching. at least from my perspective you should be able to understand that the master knows better and take an humble attitude and devotion to the wishes and teachings of the master.
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
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Re: Insisting on receiving instructions damages samaya

Postby heart » Sun Oct 27, 2013 11:36 am

Well, I am afraid my experience don't corresponds very much with what you are saying. But of course insistence can have a side where the master actually encourage you to be insistent by saying yes. But that is just the thing, some Guru's always say yes, but it don't amount to something actually happening.

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
- Longchenpa
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Re: Insisting on receiving instructions damages samaya

Postby michaelb » Sun Oct 27, 2013 11:52 am

heart wrote:Well, I am afraid my experience don't corresponds very much with what you are saying. But of course insistence can have a side where the master actually encourage you to be insistent by saying yes. But that is just the thing, some Guru's always say yes, but it don't amount to something actually happening.
My lama almost always says no. He only agrees after I've asked him a few times at least. Am I damaging my samaya or is he checking that I sincerely want what I'm asking for enough to ask for it repeatedly? I asked my lama for a particular empowerment about ten years ago. I've mentioned it once or twice since then. Now he has agreed to give it, but not yet. The model of just turning up to whatever empowerment a lama is dishing out and passively collecting a whole load of stuff doesn't make much sense to me. I have to perform the act of requesting a teaching or I won't get anything.
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Re: Insisting on receiving instructions damages samaya

Postby Simon E. » Sun Oct 27, 2013 12:12 pm

I would suggest that there is no single model of teacher/student relationship.
It depends on the teacher. And it depends on us.
Both have personality displays that are not of the essence, but that need building in to the equation.
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Re: Insisting on receiving instructions damages samaya

Postby Sherlock » Sun Oct 27, 2013 12:33 pm

According to Tsangnyon Heruka's biography Milarepa kept insisting that Marpa give him instructions as everyone knows.
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Re: Insisting on receiving instructions damages samaya

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Oct 27, 2013 12:39 pm

Many times, even if the lama concedes to your stubborn insistence, you will find yourself with a practice that you are incapable of doing anyway.
"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: Insisting on receiving instructions damages samaya

Postby Adamantine » Sun Oct 27, 2013 1:10 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:Many times, even if the lama concedes to your stubborn insistence, you will find yourself with a practice that you are incapable of doing anyway.



Good point!
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
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Re: Insisting on receiving instructions damages samaya

Postby heart » Sun Oct 27, 2013 3:15 pm

michaelb wrote:
heart wrote:Well, I am afraid my experience don't corresponds very much with what you are saying. But of course insistence can have a side where the master actually encourage you to be insistent by saying yes. But that is just the thing, some Guru's always say yes, but it don't amount to something actually happening.
My lama almost always says no. He only agrees after I've asked him a few times at least. Am I damaging my samaya or is he checking that I sincerely want what I'm asking for enough to ask for it repeatedly? I asked my lama for a particular empowerment about ten years ago. I've mentioned it once or twice since then. Now he has agreed to give it, but not yet. The model of just turning up to whatever empowerment a lama is dishing out and passively collecting a whole load of stuff doesn't make much sense to me. I have to perform the act of requesting a teaching or I won't get anything.


Yes, I agree, if you don't request what you want you will probably not get it in this life. Both the no and the yes model of respons from the Guru might actually amount to the same thing, an encouragement to keep asking. Its a tricky question this.

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
- Longchenpa
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Re: Insisting on receiving instructions damages samaya

Postby michaelb » Sun Oct 27, 2013 3:31 pm

heart wrote:Yes, I agree, if you don't request what you want you will probably not get it in this life. Both the no and the yes model of respons from the Guru might actually amount to the same thing, an encouragement to keep asking. Its a tricky question this.

I actually think it is pretty traditional for teachings not to be given unless they are requested by someone. In my case my Lama doesn't give public empowerments so everything I ask for would entail a certain amount of hassle for him just for me and I'm aware of that, which is why I limit my requests. That, after quite a while, he has agreed to give me a quite elaborate empowerment is a sign of his great kindness and generosity.

Just to add, the best approach might be not to ask for so much, only practices that one is really going to do, and ask nicely, like "I wonder if you might agree to giving x if you think it would be good for me to do?" that kind of thing. Nagging until they say yes isn't a good plan.
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Re: Insisting on receiving instructions damages samaya

Postby mandala » Sun Oct 27, 2013 4:04 pm

heart wrote:
michaelb wrote:
heart wrote:Well, I am afraid my experience don't corresponds very much with what you are saying. But of course insistence can have a side where the master actually encourage you to be insistent by saying yes. But that is just the thing, some Guru's always say yes, but it don't amount to something actually happening.
My lama almost always says no. He only agrees after I've asked him a few times at least. Am I damaging my samaya or is he checking that I sincerely want what I'm asking for enough to ask for it repeatedly? I asked my lama for a particular empowerment about ten years ago. I've mentioned it once or twice since then. Now he has agreed to give it, but not yet. The model of just turning up to whatever empowerment a lama is dishing out and passively collecting a whole load of stuff doesn't make much sense to me. I have to perform the act of requesting a teaching or I won't get anything.


Yes, I agree, if you don't request what you want you will probably not get it in this life. Both the no and the yes model of respons from the Guru might actually amount to the same thing, an encouragement to keep asking. Its a tricky question this.

/magnus


It's really tricky.. I've pondered this quite a bit. I made a request years ago to a Lama I don't get to see often. After a year he said yes, but not yet. It's been a long time since then, I've been fairly content to wait, but I'm starting to wonder if I've been too passive & he's simply forgotten!
On one hand I don't want to be pushy, and frankly what I want isn't always what's best for me.. on the other hand, perhaps the teacher wants to see how earnestly you want it.
Hmmmm.
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Re: Insisting on receiving instructions damages samaya

Postby Karma Dorje » Sun Oct 27, 2013 7:10 pm

Etiquette would be to ask three times with a khata, each time and suitable time and reflection between each time you ask. Generally I would specify "A second time I ask, please give....", "A third time I ask, please give...", but this is just a formality. If he or she still says no after three times, drop it. That would definitely be rudely insisting. Anything up to three times, given reasonable time between requests is not going to damage your samaya. Sometimes after asking, the lama may be waiting for a sign that they should give it, they may perform a mo, etc.

If there is something you want and your motivation is good, you really should ask. Some things might not be given without a request. Don't be afraid of breaking samaya by making a request.
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Re: Insisting on receiving instructions damages samaya

Postby Malcolm » Sun Oct 27, 2013 8:35 pm

Frankly, you should read anything that interests you. If you want to practice, go get the transmission from a Lama you like. If he does not want to give it, then go ask someone else you like.

There is never any samaya damage from wanting to practice Dharma!
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Re: Insisting on receiving instructions damages samaya

Postby heart » Sun Oct 27, 2013 9:02 pm

Malcolm wrote:Frankly, you should read anything that interests you. If you want to practice, go get the transmission from a Lama you like. If he does not want to give it, then go ask someone else you like.

There is never any samaya damage from wanting to practice Dharma!


Pretty strange attitude Malcolm. Isn't the attitude of a bee for the beginner?

/magnus
Last edited by heart on Sun Oct 27, 2013 9:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Insisting on receiving instructions damages samaya

Postby Karma Dorje » Sun Oct 27, 2013 9:21 pm

Malcolm wrote:Frankly, you should read anything that interests you. If you want to practice, go get the transmission from a Lama you like. If he does not want to give it, then go ask someone else you like.

There is never any samaya damage from wanting to practice Dharma!


This is your particular perspective and not at all normative for the tradition. Having a close relationship with a single (realized) teacher can benefit immensely. As a Tibetan doctor, you would not expect that someone comes to you for advice gets a prescription from you and then goes to three other doctors to get different and perhaps conflicting prescriptions. There is nothing wrong on the other hand mentioning to all the doctors what you have been prescribed by others so that they can work within the parameters of your treatment. However, suggesting that students should not follow the protocol of their teacher is irresponsible.
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Re: Insisting on receiving instructions damages samaya

Postby Adi » Sun Oct 27, 2013 9:37 pm

Surely the translation in the OP is proper. So it follows that insisting (demanding something forcefully and not accepting a refusal) even once is a very different thing from a request (asking politely or formally for something), no matter how many times made.

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Re: Insisting on receiving instructions damages samaya

Postby ClearblueSky » Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:54 am

Adi wrote:Surely the translation in the OP is proper. So it follows that insisting (demanding something forcefully and not accepting a refusal) even once is a very different thing from a request (asking politely or formally for something), no matter how many times made.

Adi

That sounds like a good explanation. I also was thinking of Milarepa, where he asked Marpa many, many times before he would give empowerment, yet this was considered proper, and Marpa eventually did. I guess because he requested, as opposed to "you better give me this teaching!".
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Re: Insisting on receiving instructions damages samaya

Postby smcj » Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:54 am

Karma Dorje wrote:Etiquette would be to ask three times with a khata, each time and suitable time and reflection between each time you ask. Generally I would specify "A second time I ask, please give....", "A third time I ask, please give...", but this is just a formality.

Actually multiple respectful requests are traditional. This has been formalized and ritualized during empowerments when the lama says, "repeat after me" and then you request the empowerment three times, and then offer the mandala, etc. The multiple request idea means that you are showing sincerity and are not just asking trivially. You are demonstrating not just your sincerity but your openness, which is a theme I post of often. That is needed if the empowerment is not to be just an empty and stale ritual.

But insisting or demanding is inappropriate.
A human being has his limits. And thus, in every conceivable way, with every possible means, he tries to make the teaching enter into his own limits. ChNN
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Re: Insisting on receiving instructions damages samaya

Postby Malcolm » Tue Oct 29, 2013 1:50 pm

Karma Dorje wrote:
This is your particular perspective and not at all normative for the tradition.


It was and is totally normative for those people in Tibet who were able to read and had wide access to books. It is a story often repeated, for example, Longchenpa sees and reads books from the Vima Nyinthig before he finds Kumaraja and asks him for the transmission. There are many other examples from Tibetan history.
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