padma norbu wrote:
I don't see the point of it, really. I understand the theoretical points, but I thoroughly disbelieve any and all of it, basically.
Far away from me to point anything about your thinking but ... if you don't see, how can you thoroughly disbelieve any and all?
Well, I may have moved past this obstacle now, as you can see my reply to Namdrol below. But, what I attempted to say (poorly) was that I understood the theoretical points of ganapuja, but since I thoroughly disbelieved the practice is really accomplishing its intents, I didn't see the point in doing it. I can't make myself believe something. It would be like trying to perform a love spell by Silver Ravenwolf or attending Catholic mass.
It's a real problem. How to believe? Well, we must become convinced, actually, somehow.
Learning what I have this past week has gone a long way to convincing me that ganapuja really does accomplish its intents and is not purely an imaginary merit-generating exercise working strictly with one's personal psychology. It's all related, though; guru yoga, ganapuja, whatever you put in front of me, basically— there was some missing pieces I needed to collect. I now have a deeper understanding of some things I did know, but didn't really have a way to connect the dots from big picture ideas to little picture (me). I know this is all conceptual baggage, but believe is important for me and I can't simply shake off doubts because someone tells me to "not remain in doubt" or "drop conceptual clinging." I've been trying that; the doubts resurface because my mind wants clarification about what its doing. It doesn't matter that I've received transmission multiple times or whether or not I've had a taste of rigpa.
padma norbu wrote:
Also, my other problem with the whole concept of "there is no more power an offering than offering to the Guru" is very simple: just what that means exactly is just a jumbled up mess in my brain.
There are four gurus: the guru who gives you introduction is the outer guru; the path practiced is the inner guru; the result realized is the secret guru; rigpa is the ultimate guru;
But without the first, the rest will not happen.
Actually, before I just read this response, I spent a lot of time pondering what you have written in the past week on various threads. I collected it all in a text file in proper sequence for my brain to process if it becomes abstract and confusing again, interspersed with some helpful definitions from RigpaWiki and put in big giant words at the top: DZOGCHEN EXPLAINED.
You are really a very good teacher, Namdrol. If you were doing retreats or teaching classes, I would certainly like to be there. The text file printout is only about 7 pages and it covers pretty much every aspect of Dzogchen that was still vague to me as far as how this fits in with other Buddhist ideas and methods.
Simply thinking about energy for a long time, as you explained it in the "Cosmogeny" and "individual" threads while simultaneously reading the Dalai Lama's "Universe In A Single Atom" put everything in order for me pretty well and I really don't feel so conflicted anymore about anything
[ I've felt conflicted about on and off for years. The understanding of energy (as well as the basis) was really important detail for me. And I have read about these ideas and heard about them in Namkhai Norbu's writing and lectures, but I think the Q&A format really worked for me, even though it was mostly everyone else asking the questions. I wouldn't have known the right questions to ask, anyway.
Understanding this, it is far more acceptable to realize and believe that beyond this basic knowledge of how things are, there is a gigantic scope of detail it is impossible to know (basically all the things the Buddha kept a silent tongue about), but so long as we really understand these basic concepts of energy and awareness, that's all we really need to know in order to understand how to proceed or to actually have faith based on something reasonable.
Thanks for taking the time to explain these things. That little printout is going to help me a lot in the future, I think, whenever doubt might rear it's head again. I suppose I could always get frustrated again and really reject everything now that I have a better understanding, but here's to hoping that doesn't happen...
...because that would probably really be the end for me.
"Use what seems like poison as medicine. We can use our personal suffering as the path to compassion for all beings." Pema Chodron