narraboth wrote:heart wrote:Well Tulku Urgyen wouldn't get along with a lot of things ChNN says. Still, the got along very fine and ChNN used to visit Tulku Urgyen when he was in Kathmandu. Interesting, no?
Many masters would not agree things Namkhai Norbu rinpoche said, but they didn't criticise him. (Some did though)
Lamas say many things, but usually it is important to back up what one says. This is a great feature of ChNNR. When he says something, if needed he backs it up with credible sources like tantras and such.
I'm not a Buddhist for ages, a little more than 10 years, which isn't much, but I've studied a bit and listened to a few lamas. I owe them a great debt, as I consider all the teachers I had (and have, since what I was taught is still very useful) great teachers.
However, and maybe because it resonates with me, Namkhai Norbu has the ability of leaving me in awe. This doesn't happen because I'm a good practitioner or a scholar, but because the clarity of his explanations, the accuracy of the method he presents and the means he uses to do so are indeed innovative and effective for our era. Many times when he speaks, and this is not something that usually happens with me, I think "this is the wisest thing ever". I was never very "devout" if you know what I mean. Very soon I understood some lamas sometimes get things wrong, are mistaken, most aren't enlightened, some are corrupt, and so on and so forth.
E-sangha, and mainly Namdrol, helped me opening my eyes even further, not because he wanted to, but because Namdrol has the nasty habit of backing up what he says. And sometimes what he said wasn't in accordance with what I was taught. Guess what... one researches, asks a few questions and after all guess who was right? You got it. He says things after researching, with scholarship and facts are facts. I mean, I have the right to my ideas, but I don't have the right to my own facts. The same goes for lamas, if you ask me.
ChNNR can explain difficult concepts in a rather simple way. Then, if one wants to dig deeper, we have such possibility. It's easy to see where he is coming from and then do research. Rinpoche is accurate, precise and yet very deep. He also adapts to his listeners, if I get it right. But he seems NOT to give an inch to "politicalities" and such. His teaching seems really pure and I am not sure if he isn't becoming more direct now that his age is passing, so that what needs to be said is indeed said and recorded for the sake of the future.
I can say for sure that some of the "deviations" of his students (this is hearsay, but some seem to get it wrong and falling in some sort of "emptiness sickness") can't be traced back to his teachings. People listen and then interpret it they way they want. I think a good theoretical background in buddhism is very helpful when one starts to learn with Rinpoche. There are many concepts he assumes one knows already. Someone without that background may get a little lost.
I say people who never did should give the webcasts a try. It needs a bit of habituation, but when one gets it going, one really understands what one has been missing. This doesn't mean one doesn't keep his teachers. That is blatantly clear in Namkhai Norbu's words. But be ready for a few surprises. I certainly wasn't and only after some time I started to deeply appreciate the freedom that comes from the teachings (vs the lack of it that comes from our inability to practice correctly and getting ourselves stuck inside a box; an old tibetan box if you will )
I don't want you fine fellows to interpret these words as any criticism to any teacher in particular, to any sangha, to anyone in fact. Just a little sharing, perhaps oversharing without intention.
Just because I've posted in this thread (could have been in another) I think I should say that I have great respect for Tulku Urgyen, mainly being his eldest son, Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche, one of my treasured teachers, among others.
Sorry for the little rant. If my experience is useful for anyone, than writing this was worth it. If not, I had some fun while doing it.