A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby conebeckham » Thu Aug 16, 2012 9:33 pm

Ari Goldfield, and other of Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso's translators, have done great work adapting liturgy (or, really, dohas) in English. Though I understand some are put off by the "cowboy flavor."
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby pueraeternus » Thu Aug 16, 2012 9:37 pm

conebeckham wrote:Ari Goldfield, and other of Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso's translators, have done great work adapting liturgy (or, really, dohas) in English. Though I understand some are put off by the "cowboy flavor."


I wish I can meet Khenpo someday and learn from him, but I understand his current health doesn't allow him to travel anymore. Here I go again, pushing the threads off-kilter.
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby username » Thu Aug 16, 2012 9:51 pm

Jnana wrote:Even faith in the context of the Abrahamic religions doesn't require accepting these kinds of triumphalist assertions and hagiographies.


I was reading the comments by someone in Dzogchen forum & thought some of us read a few translations & think we have figured out everything with our little conceptual simplistic models & then try to correct Vajrayana or Dzogchen as we often see. But then when I meet Khenpos or lamas who read those translations in their youth in original text under masters plus four or more decades of advanced study they say they have only scratched the surface. I take them seriously as with academics or western practitioners who have been studying advanced texts in Tibetan similarly for decades. Some of us get over our little simplistic models quickly & realize that is not how the universe is but is only a starting point to learn deeply. Others of us try to force our little word based funny model on all & even try to correct Vajrayana or Dzogchen for their believers by faith as you put it, year after year after year. I find it sad.

BTW if you have carried out post grad research under academic supervision in continental theory too, hopefully not just half a century old cliche thrown about by most, then please post here if it relates to TB, or in the lounge if it does not & I might read it.
Dzogchen masters I know say: 1)Buddhist religion essence is Dzogchen 2)Religions are positive by intent/fruit 3)Any method's OK unless: breaking Dzogchen vows, mixed as syncretic (Milanese Soup) 4)Don't join mandalas of opponents of Dalai Lama/Padmasambhava: False Deity inventors by encouraging victims 5)Don't debate Ati with others 6)Don't discuss Ati practices online 7) A master told his old disciple: no one's to discuss his teaching with some others on a former forum nor mention him. Publicity's OK, questions are asked from masters/set teachers in person/email/non-public forums~Best wishes
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby Jnana » Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:24 pm

username wrote:I was reading the comments by someone in Dzogchen forum & thought some of us read a few translations & think we have figured out everything with our little conceptual simplistic models & then try to correct Vajrayana or Dzogchen as we often see. But then when I meet Khenpos or lamas who read those translations in their youth in original text under masters plus four or more decades of advanced study they say they have only scratched the surface. I take them seriously as with academics or western practitioners who have been studying advanced texts in Tibetan similarly for decades. Some of us get over our little simplistic models quickly & realize that is not how the universe is but is only a starting point to learn deeply. Others of us try to force our little word based funny model on all & even try to correct Vajrayana or Dzogchen for their believers by faith as you put it, year after year after year. I find it sad.

Thanks, your little rant here supports what I have suggested. And BTW, there's really no need for you to get defensive like this. You're certainly free to believe in whatever you wish to believe in. The point I raised pertains to whether or not followers of TB can set aside the triumphalist rhetoric of their lineages and engage in meaningful dialogue with Buddhists from East Asian and South Asian traditions.
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby username » Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:48 pm

Jnana wrote:
username wrote:I was reading the comments by someone in Dzogchen forum & thought some of us read a few translations & think we have figured out everything with our little conceptual simplistic models & then try to correct Vajrayana or Dzogchen as we often see. But then when I meet Khenpos or lamas who read those translations in their youth in original text under masters plus four or more decades of advanced study they say they have only scratched the surface. I take them seriously as with academics or western practitioners who have been studying advanced texts in Tibetan similarly for decades. Some of us get over our little simplistic models quickly & realize that is not how the universe is but is only a starting pointonly to learn deeply. Others of us try to force our little word based funny model on all & even try to correct Vajrayana or Dzogchen for their believers by faith as you put it, year after year after year. I find it sad.

Thanks, your little rant here supports what I have suggested. And BTW, there's really no need for you to get defensive like this. You're certainly free to believe in whatever you wish to believe in. The point I raised pertains to whether or not followers of TB can set aside the triumphalist rhetoric of their lineages and engage in meaningful dialogue with Buddhists from East Asian and South Asian traditions.


Rant? After Abrahamic fundamentalist? Not nice. You failed to see my deconstruction of a whole genre of anti Vajrayana polemics based on a few translations in English by amateurs who declare they have figured out life, the universe & everything & now they are kindly going to correct Vajrayana & Dzogchen for their "believers" in various forums & websites year after year as you have.I think it is pointless to engage their need as that minority can not let go of their pet theory. Have a good evening.
Dzogchen masters I know say: 1)Buddhist religion essence is Dzogchen 2)Religions are positive by intent/fruit 3)Any method's OK unless: breaking Dzogchen vows, mixed as syncretic (Milanese Soup) 4)Don't join mandalas of opponents of Dalai Lama/Padmasambhava: False Deity inventors by encouraging victims 5)Don't debate Ati with others 6)Don't discuss Ati practices online 7) A master told his old disciple: no one's to discuss his teaching with some others on a former forum nor mention him. Publicity's OK, questions are asked from masters/set teachers in person/email/non-public forums~Best wishes
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby Jnana » Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:59 pm

username wrote:You failed to see my deconstruction

Nope, I caught it.

username wrote:I think it is pointless to engage their need as that minority can not let go of their pet theory.

And what about your pet theory? It seems to me that your replies here don't bode well for the future of inter-tradition dialogue. And without fostering the abilities for meaningful communication there's very little by way of example to support the premise that the teachings of the TB lineages are in any way more efficacious than those of other traditions.
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby username » Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:11 pm

I think the first step in non sectarianism in Buddhism or any ideology is if people do not go into a subforum & attack to deconstruct it in a provocative manner year after year. As for your point on my fault you are wrong as I do not have one but many. Good luck.
Dzogchen masters I know say: 1)Buddhist religion essence is Dzogchen 2)Religions are positive by intent/fruit 3)Any method's OK unless: breaking Dzogchen vows, mixed as syncretic (Milanese Soup) 4)Don't join mandalas of opponents of Dalai Lama/Padmasambhava: False Deity inventors by encouraging victims 5)Don't debate Ati with others 6)Don't discuss Ati practices online 7) A master told his old disciple: no one's to discuss his teaching with some others on a former forum nor mention him. Publicity's OK, questions are asked from masters/set teachers in person/email/non-public forums~Best wishes
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby Jnana » Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:20 pm

username wrote:I think the first step in non sectarianism in Buddhism or any ideology is if people do not go into a subforum & attack to deconstruct it in a provocative manner year after year.

Again, your perceptions of "attack" and "provocation" help to illustrate what I've suggested. Thanks.
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby dharmagoat » Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:30 pm

username wrote:Others of us try to force our little word based funny model on all & even try to correct Vajrayana or Dzogchen for their believers by faith as you put it, year after year after year. I find it sad.

I say good on them for trying. No sweat.
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby Jnana » Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:40 pm

There's occasionally a penchant for calls of excommunication here on this particular sub-forum.
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby deepbluehum » Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:57 pm

What we need to do is stop treating all of this as traditions and start treating like science. Nothing is sacred except the urge to be liberated and to liberate others as well. How that happens is open. I believe it was Asanga who said "it's not true because it the dharma, it's the dharma because it is true." We need better means of evaluating the truth value of statements beyond recourse to some past opinion statement.
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby username » Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:00 am

dharmagoat wrote:
username wrote:Others of us try to force our little word based funny model on all & even try to correct Vajrayana or Dzogchen for their believers by faith as you put it, year after year after year. I find it sad.

I say good on them for trying. No sweat.


There are tens of thousands of folios of debate by Vajrayanists against other attacking schools, Buddhist & non, & each other though not as much (but some) against attacking individuals who make up their own ideology in an obsessive long term basis & rightly so as they disappeared without a trace, meaning followers, in Tibet & Himalayas. Some accounts say in 1959 there were over 450,000 unique folios in Tibet. Frankly many were a waste of time but not most. Though they were all part of our global heritage & much was destroyed in the Cultural Revolution as they said everything is already explained in Mao's little Red Book. Debate is excelled at by Vajrayanists alongside European philosophy since the middle ages & indeed Hindus. The Muslims did go into a dark age a few centuries ago & most other global ethnic cultures were decimated by European colonialists & missionaries. No one has a more continuous recent history of formalized debate structures as the Vajrayanists of Tibet.

Non-sectarian approach, topic here, is a different topic as is repeated provocation of various subforums all over the web by others repeating a few basic slogans amongst various: religious, spiritual, agnostic, atheist & scientific meta-schools. As HHDL & other lamas have said unfortunately after inter-ideology conferences most go back to their old provocative habits & slogans which they have stated many times before. HHDL ChNNR & Urgyen Karmapa have said we need action really not just words after such conferences. Anyway one sect or a personally invented ideology trying to deconstruct another is the complete opposite of non-sectarianism. Maybe that is why action is never taken in such world forum conferences, many by UN sub-organizations & NGOs, as so much is wasted on sectarians or individual ideologues who attack to "deconstruct" in their own words others' well established historic schools. Though none call this attacking practice of their "deconstruction" of others as: "a non-sectarianist approach". But I guess there is a first time for everything. But as HHDL & others say, the conference finishes and then everybody forgets. Another sad re-occurrence we see year after year.
Dzogchen masters I know say: 1)Buddhist religion essence is Dzogchen 2)Religions are positive by intent/fruit 3)Any method's OK unless: breaking Dzogchen vows, mixed as syncretic (Milanese Soup) 4)Don't join mandalas of opponents of Dalai Lama/Padmasambhava: False Deity inventors by encouraging victims 5)Don't debate Ati with others 6)Don't discuss Ati practices online 7) A master told his old disciple: no one's to discuss his teaching with some others on a former forum nor mention him. Publicity's OK, questions are asked from masters/set teachers in person/email/non-public forums~Best wishes
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby Jnana » Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:23 am

username wrote:As HHDL & other lamas have said unfortunately after inter-ideology conferences most go back to their old provocative habits & slogans which they have stated many times before. HHDL ChNNR & Urgyen Karmapa have said we need action really not just words after such conferences.

Conferences are merely one rather sterile and usually anemic setting in the greater "slime and muck of the dark age."

username wrote:Anyway one sect or a personally invented ideology trying to deconstruct another is the complete opposite of non-sectarianism. Maybe that is why action is never taken in such world forum conferences, many by UN sub-organizations & NGOs, as so much is wasted on sectarians or individual ideologues who attack to "deconstruct" in their own words others' well established historic schools. Though none call this attacking practice of their "deconstruction" of others as: "a non-sectarianism approach".

The point was, primarily, whether or not TB is capable of fostering and withstanding critical deconstruction from within, initiated by it's own members, as has occurred in recent decades in East Asian and South Asian traditions (and continues to occur).
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby username » Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:59 am

username wrote:Anyway one sect or a personally invented ideology trying to deconstruct another is the complete opposite of non-sectarianism. Maybe that is why action is never taken in such world forum conferences, many by UN sub-organizations & NGOs, as so much is wasted on sectarians or individual ideologues who attack to "deconstruct" in their own words others' well established historic schools. Though none call this attacking practice of their "deconstruction" of others as: "a non-sectarianism approach".

Jnana wrote:The point was, primarily, whether or not TB is capable of fostering and withstanding critical deconstruction from within, initiated by it's own members, as has occurred in recent decades in East Asian and South Asian traditions (and continues to occur).


The point was? This is not a cyber-dictatorship obsessed around my or your points, restricting others on what to talk about. I was making my own point on the global picture against sectarianism as advocated by TB leaders like HHDL which is based on TB non-sectarian lessons. I referenced international conferences by UN sub-orgs & Large NGOs on global ideologies & peace campaign issues spanning as I said meta-schools of "religious, spiritual, agnostic, atheist & scientific" nature. We can teach from a TB POV & also learn from other global examples for TB's benefit.

On "your" point: TB has been evolving & constantly reshaping itself since Vajrayana was introduced to Tibet & I always think it needs more improvement. Anti Vajrayana slogans of very very basic nature being repeated provocating various subforums' practitioners is a different matter altogether. Even then I am opposed to silencing them as long as they open a specific topic to challenge those subforum's ideology followers. Having said that until someone new comes along having read a few basic translations, most is circular basic slogans against Vajrayana and/or Dzogchen year after year which is sectarian in nature even if it is an ideology of only one person. Going into a subforum & telling them you need to "deconstruct" your ideology is not a non-sectarianist approach.

On Peace efforts by conference: Well in post graduate Poiltics/International Relations research there is a large field devoted to Conflict Resolution including by public & covert conferences which in realpolitik actually has brought many wars & conflicts in numerous places in Africa, Asia, Latin-America to Balkans, Northern Ireland & south Africa specially after Soviet collapse to a fruitful peaceful end.

Jnana wrote:Conferences are merely one rather sterile and usually anemic setting in the greater "slime and muck of the dark age."


Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin & Mao all found international peace conferences not to their palettes either, I disagree.
Last edited by username on Fri Aug 17, 2012 1:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
Dzogchen masters I know say: 1)Buddhist religion essence is Dzogchen 2)Religions are positive by intent/fruit 3)Any method's OK unless: breaking Dzogchen vows, mixed as syncretic (Milanese Soup) 4)Don't join mandalas of opponents of Dalai Lama/Padmasambhava: False Deity inventors by encouraging victims 5)Don't debate Ati with others 6)Don't discuss Ati practices online 7) A master told his old disciple: no one's to discuss his teaching with some others on a former forum nor mention him. Publicity's OK, questions are asked from masters/set teachers in person/email/non-public forums~Best wishes
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby Indrajala » Fri Aug 17, 2012 1:12 am

Jnana wrote:The only Tibetan teacher that may have even come close thus far has been Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche.

Huseng wrote:Why do you say though it might not withstand critical deconstruction?

Well, if this reply is any indication, it cannot withstand any criticism:

username wrote:Despite what we westerners conceptualize according to latest theoretical trends or even old superseded French theories from the 60's, TB masters & mistresses from various ethnicities & all TB schools have been producing many siddhis & some rainbow bodies & above all realizations of their true nature of mind which effortlessly helps sentient beings of many world systems from the day Padmasambhava introduced Vajrayana in Tibet to this very day & future as prophesied & have always incorporated into their teachings & practices the subset of lower vehicles & yanas as a norm by default. HHDL is a good example of giving those lower level teachings & yanas regularly as well as Rime non-sectarian higher teachings of the Buddha Shakyamuni & other realized beings whose lineages he has made famous worldwide for the first time in human history.

Even faith in the context of the Abrahamic religions doesn't require accepting these kinds of triumphalist assertions and hagiographies.



I see your point.

I've sensed similar lines of thought where it is assumed that if it worked well before, it should work well now, nevermind that hagiographical literature tends to distort history and paint figures in unrealistic ways.

As I said, I think critical analysis is happening outside TB. It might end up being that as "Tibetan Vajrayana" just becomes "Vajrayana" in other countries the critical analysis and reform will take place there but not in the motherland, but we'll see.
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby username » Fri Aug 17, 2012 1:24 am

There is a lot of improvement to be done within TB, which has never been static, but as they say "in order to break the rules you first need to learn them". Which means by masters or great scholars who have at least years if not decades of Tibetan root text research under other masters to begin with & then ongoing in case of difficult points. Plus constant dialog with current masters on various ideological & contemporary practical matters. Even the 75 year old great master HHDL was still taking Dzogchen teachings from Trulshik Rinpoche till recently. People who really are just beginners in TB & have just read a few basic English translations will not be taken seriously by anyone If they find fault with the basics of Vajrayana/Mahamudra/Dzogchen as we often see in TB & Dzogchen subforums, that is seen merely as provocation by opponents.
Dzogchen masters I know say: 1)Buddhist religion essence is Dzogchen 2)Religions are positive by intent/fruit 3)Any method's OK unless: breaking Dzogchen vows, mixed as syncretic (Milanese Soup) 4)Don't join mandalas of opponents of Dalai Lama/Padmasambhava: False Deity inventors by encouraging victims 5)Don't debate Ati with others 6)Don't discuss Ati practices online 7) A master told his old disciple: no one's to discuss his teaching with some others on a former forum nor mention him. Publicity's OK, questions are asked from masters/set teachers in person/email/non-public forums~Best wishes
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby Jnana » Fri Aug 17, 2012 1:59 am

username wrote:Having said that until someone new comes along having read a few basic translations, most is circular basic slogans against Vajrayana and/or Dzogchen year after year which is sectarian in nature even if it is an ideology of only one person.

Who's doing this here???

username wrote:Going into a subforum & telling them you need to "deconstruct" your ideology is not a non-sectarianist approach.

You still don't get it. I'm just as much a part of this as you are bud.
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby username » Fri Aug 17, 2012 2:05 am

Jeff I think the most effective person to write about ideas on how to fix Vajrayana/Dzogchen etc. is HHDL:
http://www.dalailama.com/office/contact
Last edited by username on Fri Aug 17, 2012 2:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
Dzogchen masters I know say: 1)Buddhist religion essence is Dzogchen 2)Religions are positive by intent/fruit 3)Any method's OK unless: breaking Dzogchen vows, mixed as syncretic (Milanese Soup) 4)Don't join mandalas of opponents of Dalai Lama/Padmasambhava: False Deity inventors by encouraging victims 5)Don't debate Ati with others 6)Don't discuss Ati practices online 7) A master told his old disciple: no one's to discuss his teaching with some others on a former forum nor mention him. Publicity's OK, questions are asked from masters/set teachers in person/email/non-public forums~Best wishes
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby Jnana » Fri Aug 17, 2012 2:06 am

Huseng wrote:I see your point.

I've sensed similar lines of thought where it is assumed that if it worked well before, it should work well now, nevermind that hagiographical literature tends to distort history and paint figures in unrealistic ways.

As I said, I think critical analysis is happening outside TB. It might end up being that as "Tibetan Vajrayana" just becomes "Vajrayana" in other countries the critical analysis and reform will take place there but not in the motherland, but we'll see.

I have seen some practitioners and teachers within the TB world who have been willing to stick their necks out and state the obvious. For example, Reggie Ray, Indestructible Truth:

    Each school, whether classified as Hinayana, Mahayana, or Vajrayana, has practitioners at all levels of understanding. For example, one can be a member of a Hinayana school yet have a Vajrayana level of maturation, or follow a Vajrayana school with a Mahayana level of understanding. And, as Ringu Tulku points out, one can even belong to a Mahayana school and not be practicing Buddhism at all! Trungpa Rinpoche once expressed the view that within the Theravadin Tradition over the course of its history, there were undoubtedly realized people who reflected a Mahayana and even a Vajrayana orientation. He also commented that within historical Theravada there were probably realized siddhas (the Tantric Buddhist enlightened ideal).

    This somewhat complex way of talking about schools and practitioners makes a simple but important point. The school or sect that a person belongs to does not really tell us about his or her level of understanding, maturation, or attainment. A practitioner is to be evaluated strictly according to the degree of humility, insight, and compassion. A Vajrayana practitioner who thinks that he or she is automatically at a higher level than a Theravadin completely misunderstands the matter....
Of course, Ray has been heavily criticized previously here on Dharma Wheel.
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Re: A directive for a non-sectarian approach to practice (HHDL)

Postby username » Fri Aug 17, 2012 2:11 am

That quote is fine & very true by Ray and his two classic books are still excellent IMO but he is not talking about "deconstructing" TB & re-constructing it, unavoidably as by any re-maker, in his own image or ideas. Not in that quote.
Dzogchen masters I know say: 1)Buddhist religion essence is Dzogchen 2)Religions are positive by intent/fruit 3)Any method's OK unless: breaking Dzogchen vows, mixed as syncretic (Milanese Soup) 4)Don't join mandalas of opponents of Dalai Lama/Padmasambhava: False Deity inventors by encouraging victims 5)Don't debate Ati with others 6)Don't discuss Ati practices online 7) A master told his old disciple: no one's to discuss his teaching with some others on a former forum nor mention him. Publicity's OK, questions are asked from masters/set teachers in person/email/non-public forums~Best wishes
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