Is receiving transmission via webcast a farce?

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Is receiving transmission via webcast a farce?

Postby mint » Wed Nov 30, 2011 4:46 am

Hello,

Some of you know that I recently attended the 11/20 webcast transmission with ChNNR. Those of you who didn't know that, now do!

Since attending and "participating" in the webcast, I've earnestly begun my ChNNR fanboy phase whereupon I devour his books and DVDs, join his fan club (the Community), and hope to attend a retreat in the near future. Still, in the back of my mind, I find the whole process to be farcical. I find the whole idea absurd. I mean, none of this stuff makes him my root guru, none of this gets me any closer to realization. The man doesn't care about me, personally, or my progress. I'm just one more person who happened upon him via the Internet and now makes his organizations slightly better off with my purchases and donations.

I feel like my participation in the direct transmission via webcast is just one more person who cheapens the sacredness of Dzogchen. I say it is sacred because of its history as the Highest Yoga Tantra. It is really nothing but pure arrogance on my part to think that I can make the leap from being an ignorant, aggressive, passion-driven person with little knowledge of the other yanas to being somebody who "practices" Dzogchen.

I'm not questioning ChNNR's ability to transmit via webcast. I'm sure he is as realized as some people here believe he is, and as such can transform into and transmit whatever he wishes however he wishes. I find the concept absurd because it's like throwing pearls to swine. Sorry to be so cynical, but this is how I am feeling.
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Re: Is receiving transmission via webcast a farce?

Postby Konchog1 » Wed Nov 30, 2011 4:49 am

Yeah, I tend to prefer one center lamas too. A person you can get to know and meet.
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Re: Is receiving transmission via webcast a farce?

Postby Josef » Wed Nov 30, 2011 5:02 am

Not in my opinion.
I have received transmissions and empowerments from lots of different lamas in lots of different circumstances.
My experience with the Dzogchen Community and Rinpoche has been outstanding.
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Re: Is receiving transmission via webcast a farce?

Postby mint » Wed Nov 30, 2011 5:11 am

Nangwa wrote:Not in my opinion.
I have received transmissions and empowerments from lots of different lamas in lots of different circumstances.
My experience with the Dzogchen Community and Rinpoche has been outstanding.


That's encouraging. I mean, who am I to be so critical? I don't really even know what it is I'm trying to criticize.

Maybe you get out of it what you put in?
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Re: Is receiving transmission via webcast a farce?

Postby Asabandha » Wed Nov 30, 2011 5:14 am

I can see where you're coming from. I would not want to receive transmission through a webcast... Too impersonal. I do not know enough about Dzogchen transmission to comment on whether it's a farce or not, but I will anyway. My personal inclination is to think that it's not. I mean we're talking about an unbound Master here, with a sublime personal mind stream that is the essence of infinitude coupled with refined intention... Surely he can intentionally project that to every sentient being watching the webcast rather effortlessly, just as we might intend to pick our nose and meet with relative success.
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Re: Is receiving transmission via webcast a farce?

Postby gad rgyangs » Wed Nov 30, 2011 5:44 am

no, its real. if you get transmissions and empowerments both in person and over the internet, and are sensitive to whats going on in your tsa-lung system, then you know that they both work.
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This is (possibly) the teaching of Buddha.
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Re: Is receiving transmission via webcast a farce?

Postby Fa Dao » Wed Nov 30, 2011 6:23 am

Mint,
I have been reading some of your posts over the past month or so...want some advice? Stop listening to the thoughts/voices in your head..they are not your friends. Do like Rinpoche says: Relax, be Present, and do LOTS of Guru Yoga with the white A and Song of Vajra. When he comes to the US, go to as many of his retreats as you can. Stop letting all of these various self defeating thoughts dictate your life, oh yeah and in case I didn't mention it before... Relax, be Present, and do LOTS of Guru Yoga with the white A and Song of Vajra.
"But if you know how to observe yourself, you will discover your real nature, the primordial state, the state of Guruyoga, and then all will become clear because you will have discovered everything"-Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche
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Re: Is receiving transmission via webcast a farce?

Postby mantrika » Wed Nov 30, 2011 6:44 am

Fa Dao wrote:Mint,
I have been reading some of your posts over the past month or so...want some advice? Stop listening to the thoughts/voices in your head..they are not your friends. Do like Rinpoche says: Relax, be Present, and do LOTS of Guru Yoga with the white A and Song of Vajra. When he comes to the US, go to as many of his retreats as you can. Stop letting all of these various self defeating thoughts dictate your life, oh yeah and in case I didn't mention it before... Relax, be Present, and do LOTS of Guru Yoga with the white A and Song of Vajra.


This is some good advice.

But also i think you should find your own path and method, that works for you.
Maybe some of the preliminary practices could be helpful?
You seemed sceptical about the whole Dzogchen thing in another thread and i saw people going out their way to convince you to attend to the world wide transmission. I didn't wan't to say anything, but i was shaking my head a little bit. I don't think this is the Dzogchen way.
Before this you were doing Vippasana meditation, right? There are a myriad of paths and methods all leading towards the same goal.
So don't listen too much to what other people are saying either, find out what works best for you.
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Re: Is receiving transmission via webcast a farce?

Postby Adamantine » Wed Nov 30, 2011 9:01 am

I'd say yes, both, and.

You are probably partly reacting to the institutional construction of Dzogchen Community, the impersonal nature of it as it functions in a global context as a business among other things. I think this a natural reaction.

But I also believe you can really connect with the Guru if you have sincere intention and they do as well, both are making the effort to connect and using modern technology is just one new method to use. I can't say for sure because I had the fortune to receive transmission from ChNN in person a few times before trying the webcasts, so I don't know what it would be like if I was starting with them from scratch. But I don't see how it would be that different because it is almost a given that if you've had info and inspiration to tune into the webcasts then you have a connection to ChNN already, from prior lives. SO the connection is there, and it is good to cultivate faith that.

Even hearing recordings of some of my Lamas doing practice or singing mantra I feel immense blessings, so there is clearly something beyond the simple minded sense of limited materiality at work with Wisdom Beings such as these... they play amidst appearances, but are beyond them and this relates to technology as well.

Given that the webcasts are free, and open to all, it is quite a wonderful gift to the world and buying anything like practice texts, etc. obviously benefits you directly and helps support the preservation of the lineage, so there is another way to look the institutional/business element too beyond the cynical.
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Re: Is receiving transmission via webcast a farce?

Postby wisdom » Wed Nov 30, 2011 9:34 am

I believe that if ChNN could, he would personally guide each person who received transmission from him to complete Enlightenment. He may not know we exist as individuals, but if he met us I doubt he would turn us away if we were seeking advice.

In the least its a good start. You have transmission, you have access to teachings and texts, and can authentically begin your practice. You've also already benefited from all this by realizing that there won't be an immediate leap into Enlightenment, but that it will be a process and that a great effort is required. Your feelings that these teachings are sacred and should be protected is good.

In my opinion there is a certain wisdom in "casting pearls to swine". In giving this to everyone equally, without discrimination and without seeing any difference, it is an act that truly treats each individual like he or she is a Buddha and gives each an equal opportunity to realize their Buddha nature.
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Re: Is receiving transmission via webcast a farce?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Nov 30, 2011 9:45 am

Dear Mint,

I understand completely where you are coming from.

I have total respect for Namkhai Norbu as a teacher. The first dzogchen book I read was "The Crystal..." and it blew my mind. When Namkhai Norbu comes to Greece next year you can be 100% sure that, barring complete physical and mental incapacitation on my behalf, I will be there. I also, though, am sceptical of the efficacy of transmission via webcast. So I follow the teaching part of the webcasts and leave out the transmissions, ie I do not allow my scpeticism about webcast transmission to dissuade me from learning from one of the greatest Tibetan masters still alive. I compromise and that way everything is cool for me. I also am a fan of personal relationships with ones teacher and am not a "rock star lama" groupie. My lama looks like (to quote a friend of mine) a "Greek grocery store proprieter". That is 100% cool by me! :twothumbsup:
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Re: Is receiving transmission via webcast a farce?

Postby Sönam » Wed Nov 30, 2011 10:10 am

Also, in theory, there is no difference between to be in the same place with the teacher and to be via webcast, in fact there is (for me) one, which is simply that there is less interferences when you are in the same room with him, with others practitionners, all dedicated to the session. Therefore the receptivity, openness and so on are stronger. Only you've met the teacher once, webcast can fully equate it.

It has been so for me ...
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By understanding that any and all mental activity is meditation, you are freed from arbitrary divisions between formal sessions and postmeditation activity.
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Re: Is receiving transmission via webcast a farce?

Postby Thug4lyfe » Wed Nov 30, 2011 10:40 am

What is the difference between a "transmission" and watching a teaching?
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Re: Is receiving transmission via webcast a farce?

Postby muni » Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:06 am

I think it is very good for those who can follow these webcast.

While to make connection with a master, a story jumps in mind of one offering his already strong affected body to parasites. No single concept of a self is in such masters, the freedom of their students...an inviting offering in selfless love.
Namkhay Norbu Rinpoche La does the same.

Only then, no fingers pulling on my ear directly, as the "peel" between distraction/awareness is less than the wall of a soapbell...
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Re: Is receiving transmission via webcast a farce?

Postby catmoon » Wed Nov 30, 2011 11:11 am

I think I should play devil's advocate here for a minute. It might lay some of the difficulties bare. Okay here goes: :twisted:

Argument 1

Transmission via webcast is a farce for the same reason it's a farce when televangelists tell you to put your hand on the TV screen and pray with them. In that case you aren't praying with anybody, you are praying with a box of transistors. You cannot recieve transmission from a box of transistors.


Argument 2

During webcast transmission, the teacher has no awareness of the student. How can there be transmission without contact?


Argument 3

If transmission by webcast is valid, then why not transmission by book? If transmission by book is valid, what need is there of a teacher? You can just read a book and transmit the teaching to yourself.


Argument 4

The whole point of having a teacher, rather than just a pile of his books, is that the teacher can observe and correct the student. This cannot be done via webcast.

:twisted: mode off

I think such arguments do need to be answered before webcast transmission is deemed acceptable.
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Re: Is receiving transmission via webcast a farce?

Postby Blue Garuda » Wed Nov 30, 2011 1:02 pm

catmoon wrote:I think I should play devil's advocate here for a minute. It might lay some of the difficulties bare. Okay here goes: :twisted:

Argument 1

Transmission via webcast is a farce for the same reason it's a farce when televangelists tell you to put your hand on the TV screen and pray with them. In that case you aren't praying with anybody, you are praying with a box of transistors. You cannot recieve transmission from a box of transistors.


Argument 2

During webcast transmission, the teacher has no awareness of the student. How can there be transmission without contact?


Argument 3

If transmission by webcast is valid, then why not transmission by book? If transmission by book is valid, what need is there of a teacher? You can just read a book and transmit the teaching to yourself.


Argument 4

The whole point of having a teacher, rather than just a pile of his books, is that the teacher can observe and correct the student. This cannot be done via webcast.

:twisted: mode off

I think such arguments do need to be answered before webcast transmission is deemed acceptable.


A caveat: I don't know about Dzogchen initiations and my comments relate to other tantric inititations inlcuding other Highest Yoga Tantra initiations within the Gelugpa.

Depends what we mean by 'transmission' but if it is an initiation (as this is perhaps the most extreme example):

Argument 1:

It is not the TV which is transmitting, it is the Guru. You are receiving his transmission through a medium however it is done, whether air or CCTV or broadcast medium, so you are confusing the medium with the transmitter. Guru= transmitter, Disciple = Receiver. Does the medium matter so much?

Argument 2:


If the Lama giving the empowerment is seen as a Buddha, then there is no constraint on their awarenes of you, and the transmission is not bound by space or time. Where do you draw the line - in the same room, building, open air crowd of thousands, cctv, webcast, Youtube? As Adamantine wrote, as you are tuning in you already have a connection with that Guru and his karma through the transmission will continue to affect you.

Argument 3:

A book is a valid way to transmit information of a restricted type. However, if the 'transmission' requires you to see the Guru, follow his gestures and mudras, and repeat vows and mantras as has been done through 'oral tranmission' over the generations, then a book is not apporpriate. In fact, I can think of occasions when, without a nearby TV screen and speakers, it would have been very difficult to even see and hear the Guru over a few thousand heads.

Argument 4:

Your point about the teacher correcting the student would also seem a little ambitious, say in a live Kalachakra initiation in a football stadium, so would be the same unless the group was very small indeed. In a webcast, if there is no live opportunity for your own input, you can still hear commentaries, Q&A etc. and can often email and ask your own questions. ;)

Argument 5? :

If a great Master offers this opportunity then it is de facto valid. If the Guru transmits correctly, the medium carries the transmission, and the Disciple receives the transmission without error, then only a mistaken view by the recipient may be responsible for invalidating the process, surely. I'd also add that for some people, the possibility of meeting a Guru from any of the Tibetan traditions face-to-face may be impossible, and I embrace the opportunity modern media provide. I'd like to think Buddha would have used them if available. After all, they provide not only a means of direct communication, but also an archive of the teachings of many great Gurus.
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Re: Is receiving transmission via webcast a farce?

Postby oberon_rex » Wed Nov 30, 2011 3:05 pm

I have total respect for Namkhai Norbu as a teacher. The first dzogchen book I read was "The Crystal..." and it blew my mind. When Namkhai Norbu comes to Greece next year you can be 100% sure that, barring complete physical and mental incapacitation on my behalf, I will be there. I also, though, am sceptical of the efficacy of transmission via webcast. So I follow the teaching part of the webcasts and leave out the transmissions, ie I do not allow my scpeticism about webcast transmission to dissuade me from learning from one of the greatest Tibetan masters still alive. I compromise and that way everything is cool for me. I also am a fan of personal relationships with ones teacher and am not a "rock star lama" groupie. My lama looks like (to quote a friend of mine) a "Greek grocery store proprieter". That is 100% cool by me!


Really? If you respect him so much, if he is, in your opinion, one of the greatest Tibetan masters still alive, why don't you listen to what he says about transmission? Firstly, in terms of its efficacy via webcast and secondly about the importance of actually participating in it.

It's also worth noting that while ChNN was among the first to use webcast for transmission (and before that the video, remember?), a number of venerable, respected lamas are now doing so as well. Sogyal Rinpoche and Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche for starters. This bodes well. But at the end of the day, of course, it's up to the individual - if you don't like the idea of webcast transmission then don't listen to the webcasts. Simple! Rinpoche travels from one end of the world to the other and by the sound of it, Greg, he will be in your neck of the woods shortly.

My two cents worth: I participated in several World Wide Transmission days before I met Rinpoche in person. My strongest experience (the time I really "felt vibrations" as Rinpoche would say) was via this method. In contrast, the first time I received transmission "in person" when Rinpoche uttered the mind shattering syllable, I thought it was a dog barking. Such is my awful karma!
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Re: Is receiving transmission via webcast a farce?

Postby mint » Wed Nov 30, 2011 3:20 pm

wisdom wrote:I believe that if ChNN could, he would personally guide each person who received transmission from him to complete Enlightenment. He may not know we exist as individuals, but if he met us I doubt he would turn us away if we were seeking advice.


He reminds me of a bishop of a particular large diocese. The bishop knows "you" exist on a generic level, prays for "you," and offers "you" spiritual guidance, but, in reality, doesn't have the time to actually address your particular personal concerns. Even when you manage to get an appointment with the bishop, he knows so little about your background and personality that the meeting is relatively fruitless. As for ChNNR, I know there are members here who have met and received personal teachings from him, and I know that he has, in the past, had a core of disciples whom he has visited in their homes, offered instruction, etc., but that's the exception. The rest of us are simply DC member #s. Anybody can e-mail him - but so what? Why not just pick up another one his books from the webstore? Same medium and likely the same instruction depending on the complexity of one's concern.

Yes, I'm overly cynical and critical, but that doesn't mean that I regret "receiving" transmission on 11/20, nor do I regret reading his books, nor do I regret becoming one of his groupies. This experience can only benefit me even if it isn't 100% authentic. I'm just laying my cards on the table so they can be scrutinized.

In the least its a good start. You have transmission, you have access to teachings and texts, and can authentically begin your practice. You've also already benefited from all this by realizing that there won't be an immediate leap into Enlightenment, but that it will be a process and that a great effort is required. Your feelings that these teachings are sacred and should be protected is good.


Do I have transmission? I may have transmission according to the parameters of the Dzogchen Community, but that license doesn't exactly extend beyond the boundaries of that community.

What happens when ChNNR has his pariniravana?

You go to another Dzogchen master and say, "Master, I am a Dzogchen practitioner."
And he says, "Have you completed the Sems dzin?"
"Well, no, master, I have not but I am DC member #...."
"Have you completed the korday rushan?"
"Well, no, master, I have not but I am DC member #...."
"Have you completed ngondro?"
"Well, no, master, I have not but I am DC member #...."

I think you see my point.

In my opinion there is a certain wisdom in "casting pearls to swine". In giving this to everyone equally, without discrimination and without seeing any difference, it is an act that truly treats each individual like he or she is a Buddha and gives each an equal opportunity to realize their Buddha nature.


It is also an act which could lead to grave misunderstanding. Lord knows we need more people trying to convince us Buddhists that Dharmakaya is God, Rigpa is Nature, and other such misinterpretations.
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Re: Is receiving transmission via webcast a farce?

Postby Dechen Norbu » Wed Nov 30, 2011 3:29 pm

Well, I would say that if ate least one of his students got it from the webcast and subsequent practice, then it's not a farce. This is the case, so you got to check what is happening on your side. Nothing special really. You are just not ready and need to understand why and correct it. It's so common that there are many teachings about it. Dzogchen practice starts when you get it, not before. However, there's a lot of practice you may have to do until it happens.

For instance, when you look to a master giving a transmission in person to dozens of people, do you think he actually knows them all well? You will also notice that they use microphones and speakers when the event is big enough. Does it really matter the length of the cable? Does it really matter the origin of the photons that impact your retina or the sound waves that go through your ear? In every situation what you get is the experience that your brain constructs of the event. You never "touch" the real event itself, as you know. The source of that brain built experience is a little irrelevant as long as it does happen. This is not what causes transmission to happen. We all see a little different, see from different angles, have different hearing perceptions, you name it. You are getting lost in details and missing the essential here, mint. Simultaneous intention. This subject was already explained by ChNN quite thorougly. As someone said, what was at first an isolated trend (webcast teachings), is now becoming very common. ChNN just was a pioneer doing what most will eventually end up doing. It works and helps in more ways than one. And that's cool. This doesn't mean you should miss the opportunity to meet the lama in person, obviously.
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Re: Is receiving transmission via webcast a farce?

Postby Malcolm » Wed Nov 30, 2011 3:34 pm

mint wrote:
What happens when ChNNR has his pariniravana?



Then you follow ChNN's children -- who have both been given mandates to teach.

For now, stop worrying so much.

N
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