Institutional Buddhism

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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby Simon E. » Thu May 31, 2012 11:38 pm

No personal affront taken in the slightest...I know that your point was not a personalized one.
:anjali:
Of course its true that we cant say definitively how things would be if had not had the life that we have had. But I wonder if it is both a strength and a weakness in Buddhadharma that we are so conditioned to thinking that it all entirely down to our own efforts that we forget that there is grace. The grace of the Guru and our own efforts are not different. Perhaps.
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby Dechen Norbu » Fri Jun 01, 2012 12:04 am

conebeckham wrote:I am sure that someone is reading my posts, and thinking that I am "defending" the precious Kagyu ngondro, the profound Two Stages, or whatever.

Really, I'm doing no such thing. I'm merely pointing out that, even for those who have experiental "knowledge" of the Natural State, it is possible that prior practices from more "gradualist" systems than the Ati system may have contributed to the blossoming of that "knowledge," even if the practitioner sees no clear and apparent link to such practices.

You feel me? :shrug:

I've commented the first part and now I'll comment the second.

But you can defend those practices! They are wonderful practices and lead to enlightenment.
I also don't think they are being attacked, so obviously you wouldn't need to defend them, but if the time comes, you can count on me to help! :lol:

I think it is beyond question that the 9 yanas system works. We have many examples of that. But it is not the only way of doing things and this is what some have explained.

My personal take on this, so also has my own opinion that might be mistaken, is that tantra needs a shitload of dedication and real immersion in the practice- pardon my french. I am very convinced, it needs long and closed retreat conditions. I know, because I've been at it for some years. I was already thinking formal 3 years retreat because I knew that's what it takes. My problem was having enough money and I was struggling to spare it. So years were passing but I was very determinate. Then, some interesting circumstances, some of which I commented privately with Malcom years ago, lead me to ChNN. Never regretted it. I'm still trying to do retreats, as long as possible, because, as you know, we also practice tantra in the DC. Personal retreats are very beneficial even for Dzogchen practice, especially if one is a beginner, like me.

The above doesn't mean there's no work if you practice ChNN methods. Not at all! You aim to practice 24/7, something I can't do. Usually I try to do 20 small sessions a day. Guru Yoga mostly, with one or two longer, other times much less and much longer (depending on what I'm doing) and if I have time. Years back I reduced the activities in my life a lot to be able to practice. Perhaps more than I should, so now and then money is not as much as I would like, at least to be able to see my teacher as often as I would like. I have no problems to get by, but when it comes to having some in the bank- especially with the Portuguese economic situation- it's complicated. I digress...

What I was saying is that Dzogchen practice as ChNN teaches it means hard work too, let there be no mistake! In fact, I'm doing more than I did when I was using the tantric approach. Perhaps because I also feel it's more fruitful. Maybe I'm to blame for being a lousy tantra practitioner. Now I'm considering the SMS program.
The thing is, we only work what we realistically can. We need to work with circumstances and practice can be done when having a busy life. We go to the essence. Some people have very busy lives and are very good practitioners. For a very good practitioner, busy or not busy is the same because he integrates all activities. But as I am not that good and have some time, I try to do my best. Which I never do, but alas... bad dechen!

What I feel is that if we compare the benefits of the practice, considering the time available for the great majority of people having busy lives, that comes from performing it like ChNN advises or practicing the 9 yanas system as I used to do, the latter pales. It's not because it sucks, because it surely doesn't. Tantra is a fantastic system! But it takes time, knowledge and a lot of dedication. It needs real immersion, extended retreat conditions. Especially if you have little time, seems to me that by using ChNN methods you can travel much faster in terms of progress. Of course people may feel different and they are in their own right. this is just my opinion and may not apply to all. But I'm still to be convinced otherwise because nothing replaces our own experience and mine taught me that much, so in my case that's how I see it. :smile:
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby jnanasutra » Fri Jun 01, 2012 6:32 am

you people are nuts! seeing Dharmata doesn't even require much effort. Everyone is blah, blah, blah with ideas. so much mind...
conditioned by "buddhist" ideals, relax.
:shock:
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby Simon E. » Fri Jun 01, 2012 6:50 am

jnanasutra wrote:you people are nuts! seeing Dharmata doesn't even require much effort. Everyone is blah, blah, blah with ideas. so much mind...
conditioned by "buddhist" ideals, relax.
:shock:

I would just like to make it clear that I would disassociate myself from this kind of attitude.
That does not speak for me.

:namaste:
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby jnanasutra » Fri Jun 01, 2012 6:58 am

Simon E. wrote:
jnanasutra wrote:you people are nuts! seeing Dharmata doesn't even require much effort. Everyone is blah, blah, blah with ideas. so much mind...
conditioned by "buddhist" ideals, relax.
:shock:

I would just like to make it clear that I would disassociate myself from this kind of attitude.
That does not speak for me.

:namaste:


from pov of mind, sounds about right
:namaste:
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby asunthatneversets » Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:35 am

jnanasutra wrote:
Simon E. wrote:
jnanasutra wrote:you people are nuts! seeing Dharmata doesn't even require much effort. Everyone is blah, blah, blah with ideas. so much mind...
conditioned by "buddhist" ideals, relax.
:shock:

I would just like to make it clear that I would disassociate myself from this kind of attitude.
That does not speak for me.

:namaste:


from pov of mind, sounds about right
:namaste:


jnanasutra, notice that the statements:

"you people are nuts! seeing Dharmata doesn't even require much effort. Everyone is blah, blah, blah with ideas. so much mind...
conditioned by "buddhist" ideals, relax."


And

"I would just like to make it clear that I would disassociate myself from this kind of attitude.
That does not speak for me."


Are both essentially saying the same thing.

You are speaking from the POV of mind as well. And there's nothing wrong with that, so don't pretend there is.

Realize that mind is the only instrument you have to gauge, measure and judge. Every expression of acceptance or rejection is mind, even rejecting the sharing of ideas. You do not reside beyond mind.
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby heart » Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:21 am

jnanasutra wrote:you people are nuts! seeing Dharmata doesn't even require much effort. Everyone is blah, blah, blah with ideas. so much mind...
conditioned by "buddhist" ideals, relax.
:shock:


The natural state don't need any effort at all my friend. So the question here is: how do you become free from effort?

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
- Longchenpa
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby heart » Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:23 am

Malcolm wrote:
heart wrote:
Simon E. wrote:I did the full Kagyu Ngondro.
It made no difference one way or another to the transmission of Dzogchen ..


I did to, how do you know it didn't make no different?

/magnus


Because he said so.


Are you suggesting our conditions are only formed by our opinions?

/magnus
"To reject practice by saying, 'it is conceptual!' is the path of fools. A tendency of the inexperienced and something to be avoided."
- Longchenpa
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby muni » Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:00 am

asunthatneversets wrote:[You are speaking from the POV of mind as well. And there's nothing wrong with that, so don't pretend there is.

Realize that mind is the only instrument you have to gauge, measure and judge. Every expression of acceptance or rejection is mind, even rejecting the sharing of ideas. You do not reside beyond mind.



The dog is free to chase behind its tail without rejecting or accepting its tail.
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby Matylda » Fri Jun 01, 2012 12:12 pm

Malcolm wrote:

I took refuge in May, 1989 with HH Sakya Trizin.

My first direct encounter with Dzogchen teachings was in 1990 when I attended a lecture on Rushan from Tri Yeshe Lama -- I didn't understand anything.

Then in 1992 I recevied the Guuhyagarbha empowerment from Bakha Tulku and the explanation of the Rongzom's commentary on that tantra from him. I met Chogyal Namkahi Norbu in that year too and attended a retreat with him that year and in 1993 (klong sde). I also met Khenpo Jigphun in 1993 and received from him his complete Manjushri Dzogchen cycle, the Khandro Nyinghthig wang, and the transmission for the Chetsun Nyingthig. I practiced the latter for some time while in my three year retreat.

When I got out of my three retreat I more or less gave up all formal sadhana practice apart from Tregchö for some years apart from receiving the Nyingma Kama transmissions from Penor Rinpoche in 1998 and the explanation of the Buddha in the Palm of Your Hand Ngondro cycle.

In 2001 I met Taklung Tsetrul Rinoche and received his permission to read and translate the five volumes of the Gongpa Zangthal teachings. I also met Kunzang Dechen Lingpa in that year.

In 2002, I met Chogyal Namkhai Norbu again.

At the end of 2002 I received the Nyingthig Yazhi from KDL, and continued to receive many teachings from him in 2004 and 2005 including most of his termas and complete tregchö and thögal from him.

In 2006, 2007, and 2008, I received more instructions on Man ngag sde from Kunzang Dechen's Lingpa's son, Ridzin Dorje.

During this time I was also receiving regular teachings from ChNN, as well as studying to become a doctor of Tibetan Medicine (2005-2009).

It is funny, people often think I am a Sakya, but in fact I have received more Dzogchen teachings than I have received sadhana instruction, or sutrayāna instruction apart from my early days with the Sakaya school and my three year retreat in Sakya. The main Sakya teachings I have received are Tsembupa Chenrezi cycle, Lamdre Tsogshad, and the Vajrayogini Lobshad cycles, and that's it. I have received far more Nyingma teachings than Sakya ones, so it is a little bizzare when people call me a Sakyapa. Of course, I have a title from Sakya, i.e. Acarya based on mostly on my mastery of Tibetan, three year retreat and early course work, Abhidharma and so on and the fact that I have helped Lama Migmar Tseten over the years in many ways. But I am no Geshe, and I am not nearly as well educated as some people assume I am. What I am is an aggressive reader.

So, in fact, when you add it all together, I have received more Dzogchen teachings than any other kind of teaching, and that history goes back for more than 20 years. Not only that, but I had dreams about ChNN in 1987-8, before I ever took refuge.

When I decided I was a Buddhist, it was because I was standing in the rain listening to a group of Japanese woman recite the heart sutra on Hiezan near Kyoto in the summer of 1986. Up to that point I was a musician (fiddle, guitar, bass, early electronica).

So, just so you understand I have been devoting myself to Dzogchen practice for 20 years now self-consciously. Of course, there have been over the years a lot of turmoil in my understanding because my early three years in Sakya and my former drive for orthodox understanding caused inner conflict. Howeer, in the end my love of the Dzogchen teachings and personal value of them for me won out. I happen to be good at tenet systems and have a good memory so it used to fun to debate in a polemical way.

But now I find it heart wrenching and very wrong headed. We live in a world where the five poisons fill not just our minds, but where they are expressed in our very environment, in the way the five elements are in conflcit with one another. But of course there is also beauty too, for as I sit writing this, the lovely scent of our Kazanalik roses waft in through my library window.

We cannot do anything about the cycle of living and dying, the fact that we are all food for each other, but we can, through tolerance, natural compassion, and mutual recognition of each other's humanity transcend these divisions that so alienate us from each other, that cause us to split in religion, sect, and tribe and conduct war with other, denying one another our basic humanity through objectifying those who do not understand what we thing we understand as "other".

There are no others. All beings are our reflection; through all beings we find ourselves, and see our own faces. And when we meet a master, or two, or three, or more, we have a chance to see our real face. Having seen that real face, how can we deny that to others. Our real face is not white, black, red, yellow. It is not Buddhist, non-Buddhist, or something in between. When we have seen our own real face, then we will see the real face of all others and all of these petty differences just melt.

Please don't think I have had some sudden epiphany -- these thoughts I am expressing have come about through a long process of tempering, heated through hearing, sharpened through meditation and polished through prajñā-- but in the forging of a practitioner is nothing that ever reaches completion until total realization.

In the Samurai tradition, there is a concept of the life-giving sword -- I would like to think of Dharma the same way. When Buddhadhama is wielded polemically, to enforce a view, or a postion, or a policy, or a political stance, it too can be just as destructive as a sword wrongly wielded. And in this I am as guilty as any petty sectarian scholar, since I have been petty sectarian scholar for many years. The sword of Dharma should never be drawn lightly. The sword of Dharma should only be drawn to preserve life, to draw people together, who see its highly polished glint and look at it with awe rather than fear. When the sword of Dharma is unsheathed, the scent of attar of rose should fill the air, not blood.

So you see, for me, I have no interest anymore in sectarian buddhism that characterizes so much of "buddhist discourse" over the centuries. The siddha movement in late medieval India was non-sectarian -- it produced two main heirs, the Vajrayāna tradition of Tibet and the Natha Sampradaya, as well as other offshoots. "Non-Buddhist" bards call the Bauls in Bengal still sing the Dohas contained in the Caryagiti. Some people think Vajrayāna disappeared into India. Nothing could be further from the truth. India and its outlying regions such as Oḍḍiyāna have been the garden for the many spiritual movements. They sprout, they flourish, they fruit, they are harvested, and in the end they are ploughed back into the soil to provide nourishment for furture spiritual movements. Occasionally, strains escaped from India, and flourished in Isolation. Dzogchen is just one such movement. Mahāyāna another.

I have spent the last 20 years devoting almost my whole life to Buddhist texts, and in particular Dzogchen texts. Everything I have studied or read was somehow related to my practice, even my working stuff out as a sectarian jerk (which people still accuse me of) was related somehow to my practice. I have come to the point in my understanding where I clearly see that all these sectarian divisions of this relgion and that relgion are negative. Not in the sense that we should not all pursue a spiritual path that is pleasing to us (right now mine is smelling roses, listening to music and typing this post), but in the sense we should be kind and generous about others spiritual paths. Dont get me wrong, I am not saying put on rose-colored spectacles and ignore for example that in the past there have been grave injustices met out to many peoples in the name of religion, the misdeeds of institutional religion in all its forms. We can recognize these and then move on.

Humanity needs to move into post-religious, post-tribal phase where we meet each other with respect and decency. I am trying my best to meet all of you here on Dwheel from that point of view, and I also fail, will fail, have failed, and for that I am sorry. But my deepest wish is that we can all just get past all divisive nonsense and focus on what is truly important. It's a process, and no one gets it right the first time.

M



Hi Malcolm, thank you for sharing so personal story. It is very moving and interesting. Good luck :)
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby Dechen Norbu » Sat Jun 02, 2012 1:14 am

Off topic posts related to the relation between Dzogchen, Buddhism and culture were relocated to the new topic Dzogchen, Buddhism and culture.
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby bob » Sat Jun 02, 2012 1:33 am

Malcolm wrote:Humanity needs to move into post-religious, post-tribal phase where we meet each other with respect and decency. I am trying my best to meet all of you here on Dwheel from that point of view, and I also fail, will fail, have failed, and for that I am sorry. But my deepest wish is that we can all just get past all divisive nonsense and focus on what is truly important. It's a process, and no one gets it right the first time.

M


Thank you again for your ongoing elaboration of clear thinking and compassionate recognition. It is truly encouraging to the heart, and many will benefit, assuredly!

Deep Bows!
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby Sönam » Sat Jun 02, 2012 9:11 am

It came to my mind ...

Would those who defend a "buddhism only" theory to receive DI, would considere than a Theravadin practitioner, only on the base of his sutric culture, could meet a Dzogchen Master, receive DI, realize his true nature, practice GuruYoga, and finally reach complete realization? ... would it be possible?
If it's the case, I remember in the early 70s, when only few sutras were available (suttapitaka dighanikaya mainly), when I was reading the word of the Buddha, what always came in my mind was : "I knew it, this is very clear, it's evident".
So one can imagine that one could have discovered those evidences without having read sutras ... could that open-minded non-buddhist meet a Dzogchen Master, receive DI, realize his true nature, practice GuruYoga, and finally reach complete realization? ... would it be possible?
My answer is evidently yes ...

Sönam
By understanding everything you perceive from the perspective of the view, you are freed from the constraints of philosophical beliefs.
By understanding that any and all mental activity is meditation, you are freed from arbitrary divisions between formal sessions and postmeditation activity.
- Longchen Rabjam -
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby Paul » Sat Jun 02, 2012 9:26 am

Sönam wrote:Would those who defend a "buddhism only" theory to receive DI, would considere than a Theravadin practitioner, only on the base of his sutric culture, could meet a Dzogchen Master, receive DI, realize his true nature, practice GuruYoga, and finally reach complete realization? ... would it be possible?


I say definitely: http://www.abhayagiri.org/main/book/138
This nature of mind is spontaneously present.
That spontaneity I was told is the dakini aspect.
Recognizing this should help me
Not to be stuck with fear of being sued.

-Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby Simon E. » Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:14 am

Indeed. Ajahn Amaro ( now Abbott of Amaravati Monastery, part of Ajahn Chah's legacy ) has been a Dzogchen practitioner for some years.
As is, on a different tack, the Sufi teacher Pir Shabda Khan.
Last edited by Simon E. on Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby treehuggingoctopus » Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:21 am

Paul wrote:
Sönam wrote:Would those who defend a "buddhism only" theory to receive DI, would considere than a Theravadin practitioner, only on the base of his sutric culture, could meet a Dzogchen Master, receive DI, realize his true nature, practice GuruYoga, and finally reach complete realization? ... would it be possible?


I say definitely: http://www.abhayagiri.org/main/book/138


A very interesting book it is.
. . . there they saw a rock! But it wasn't a rock . . .
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby kalden yungdrung » Sat Jun 02, 2012 12:51 pm

Mr. G wrote:
kalden yungdrung wrote:But Dzogchen teachings are Dzogchen teachings and they shouldn' t be changed.


The existence and discovery of new termas is change. :smile:


Tashi delek,

Termas are additional sources to the exisiting Dzogchen sources. They do not change Dzogchen at all, this we can watch if we do compare Dzogchen Teachings, out of different Traditions. Dzogchen = Dzogchen / Rainbow Body = Rainbow Body.

But i am also interested to know from you, in how far "The existence and discovery of new termas is change " ? What is then changed in case we speak of change?

Mutsog Marro
KY
THOUGH A MAN BE LEARNED
IF HE DOES NOT APPLY HIS KNOWLEDGE
HE RESEMBLES THE BLIND MAN
WHO WITH A LAMP IN THE HAND CANNOT SEE THE ROAD
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby kalden yungdrung » Sat Jun 02, 2012 1:01 pm

heart wrote:
jnanasutra wrote:you people are nuts! seeing Dharmata doesn't even require much effort. Everyone is blah, blah, blah with ideas. so much mind...
conditioned by "buddhist" ideals, relax.
:shock:


The natural state don't need any effort at all my friend. So the question here is: how do you become free from effort?
The non Natural State does need it, effort. Freed of effort is abiding for 24 hours a day in this NS. But most of us cannot prolongued this NS, for more then.....

For me it would be then logic that here according Dzogchen vision, there could also something be practiced. I want here not to be too personal and fast, so i would ask ask you and others:

- what is then the practice of a Dzogchenpa is he/she is not abiding in the NS?

Mutsog Marro
KY



/magnus
THOUGH A MAN BE LEARNED
IF HE DOES NOT APPLY HIS KNOWLEDGE
HE RESEMBLES THE BLIND MAN
WHO WITH A LAMP IN THE HAND CANNOT SEE THE ROAD
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby Malcolm » Sat Jun 02, 2012 1:05 pm

heart wrote:
Are you suggesting our conditions are only formed by our opinions?

/magnus



I am suggesting that people have a right to assess their own experience without being gainsayed by others.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://www.bhaisajya.guru
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

Though there are infinite liberating gateways of Dharma,
there are none not included in the dimension of the knowledge of the Great Perfection.

-- Buddha Samantabhadri
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby Mr. G » Sat Jun 02, 2012 1:07 pm

kalden yungdrung wrote:
Mr. G wrote:
kalden yungdrung wrote:But Dzogchen teachings are Dzogchen teachings and they shouldn' t be changed.


The existence and discovery of new termas is change. :smile:


Tashi delek,

Termas are additional sources to the exisiting Dzogchen sources. They do not change Dzogchen at all, this we can watch if we do compare Dzogchen Teachings, out of different Traditions. Dzogchen = Dzogchen / Rainbow Body = Rainbow Body.

But i am also interested to know from you, in how far "The existence and discovery of new termas is change " ? What is then changed in case we speak of change?

Mutsog Marro
KY


"Change" in the sense that one doesn't need to go through elaborate empowerments or need intellectual study to practice Dzogchen. Or that one must do ngondro first before starting other practices. Or receiving transmission over webcast. "Change" encompasses a lot in terms of methodology over time.
    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
    - Vasubandhu
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