I usually attend practices in the community of ChNN but I saw on another thread that someone wrote "that explains alot" in response to a quotation from a Aro related site. I took "that explains alot" to be a sarcastic statement (however i could be wrong). I was wondering what people's perceptions are of this lineage?
Taken From The Aro Site:
Ngak’chang Rinpoche (Ngakpa Chogyam) is the reincarnation of Aro Yeshé, the son of the extraordinary female visionary Lama Khyungchen Aro Lingma, who founded the Aro lineage.
Between 1970 and 1984, Ngak’chang Rinpoche spent extended periods in the Himalayas receiving teachings and transmissions from many of the most revered teachers of the Nyingma Tradition. During this time he accomplished all the traditional practices, and received all the necessary empowerments and transmissions, of a Nyingma Lama. Hailing from a financially disadvantaged background, he funded his trips entirely through factory work and manual labour in Britain. He completed—in varying sections—four years in solitary retreat – often living in extremely basic conditions with little to eat.
With the encouragement of his Lamas, he began teaching in 1979. In 1989, he was awarded a doctorate in Tibetan Tantric Psychology from the University of West Bengal. He has been a visiting lecturer at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in California and has contributed articles to several books, journals, and magazines on the subject of Vajrayana Psychology. He has given several keynote presentations at international psychology conferences for the British Psychological Society, and the Association of Transpersonal Psychology in the USA
Ngak’chang Rinpoche is the author of six books, many co-written with Khandro Déchen. He is a Vajrayana calligrapher, poet, thangka painter, multi-talented Vajrayana craftsman, and exponent of Yogic Song and Lama-dance.
Taken From Wikipedia:
Aro is a lineage within the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism (Aro means "taste of the primordial A" in Tibetan). It has several unusual characteristics. The terma on which it is based teaches all Buddhist topics from point of view of Dzogchen, and so is characterized by uncommon simplicity. The lineage is entirely non-monastic (Ngagpa), and so emphasizes householder practice and non-celibate ordination. All of its contemporary teachers are ethnically non-Tibetan.
The Dzogchen point of view permeates Aro. The lower yanas (Sutrayana and Tantrayana) are re-presented in Dzogchen terms, and take on its characteristic style of simplicity, clarity, and expansiveness. Enlightenment needs only to be recognized, and is not produced by artificial means. Aro is therefore primarily concerned with bringing meditative awareness into ordinary life, rather than with elaborate, intellectualized, and time-consuming liturgical chanting. For Dzogchen, the ultimate practice is "living the view," i. e. experiencing and acting in the world as non-dual.
The Aro lineage is based on the Aro gTér, a terma or "revelation" of Khyungchen Aro Lingma. The Aro gTér has several distinctive characteristics: it treats all Buddhist subjects from point of view of Dzogchen; as a consequence its practices are simpler than the elaborate sadhanas typical of Tantric Buddhism; and it includes practices of semde and longde as well as the more common men-ngag-de. These characteristics make it particularly suitable for those with jobs and families, and therefore limited practice time, which accords with the Aro lineage's non-monastic orientation.
I've personally had limited experience with Aro. My "mentor" however considers Ngakpa Chogyam to be his root teacher (due to Ngakpa Chogyam giving him direct introduction) and attends their practices regularly (in addition to ChNN's community). I attended one practice and it was quite different than the practices at the Ling I go to for ChNN's Dzogchen Community. All of the mantras, chanting, singing is in english and there's more of an interactive discussion and atmosphere. It's very formal which isn't good or bad but wasn't what i was used to. I also attended an empowerment by Ngakpa Chogyam for the Owl-Headed Dakini. (From Wikipedia: Within the Aro gTér, the Sutra of the Owl-Headed Dakini (Wylie: 'ug gdong snying thig mkha' 'gro mdo; Sanskrit: Ulukha-mukha Dakini Upadesha Sutra) treats the major topics of Sutrayana from point of view of Dzogchen. It includes unusual presentations of the Four Noble Truths and Eightfold Path, and of the Five Precepts. The Five Precepts are said to have inner meanings at the level of Dzogchen.)
Ngakpa Chogyam is a really charismatic and engaging teacher (in my experience) and the community overall seems to be great... He has quite a few books out and they're easily read and present simple and effective teachings which could definitely serve as a great supplement to anyones practices and/or understanding of Dzogchen...
So with all this in mind i was wondering why the mention of this lineage got a "less-than-desireable" response?