Thoughts on Shenphen Dawa Rinpoche

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Thoughts on Shenphen Dawa Rinpoche

Postby Challenge23 » Mon Jul 14, 2014 5:50 pm

A few things to start off with. If you are looking for something "scandalous" or "dirt", you will not find it in this post. I consider Rinpoche to be a fine teacher and very authoritative. I will not speak poorly of him in any way. Also, if you are looking for "secrets" it will not be found in this post either. Furthermore, this post will be really vague because the only times I have really interacted with Rinpoche have been either via e-mail or at teachings. Lastly, much like I am not an authority on the Dharma I am not an authority on Rinpoche. Please keep that in mind.

I have been attending teachings given by Rinpoche since around 2008. If I had to use one word to sum up my interactions with him, it would be "traditional". Though he is most definitely not "New Age", he is also not a "New Buddhist" in the sense of the more atheistic brands of Buddhist. In the relative sense(and he is always quite careful to differentiate between relative and absolute truth) ghosts are ghosts and spirits are spirits.

Of the teachings I have attended, there are some things that I think I can say. Most of the texts that he presents are very, very short(the Green Tara practice you can find on tersar.org is a great example). Because his teachings tend to be about one or two days this means that you get a lot of information that might not be directly connected to what you planned for. For example, during a recent Phowa teaching he gave us a very good teaching(but not a full practice) on how Dream Yoga works, including a practice on how to sleep without medication that is really quite useful(I won't give details because samaya but I'm sure if you were to ask him about it he would share it).

Rinpoche tends to have two types of teachings. The first(and the ones I usually attend) I call the "householder teachings", meaning that they are usually around one to three days long. The other are retreats which last at least one to two weeks to upwards of a month. I hope someday to be able to do the longer retreats but for now as I have very limited vacation time I do the teachings and try to improve as best as I can.

Usually the way that I interact with Rinpoche is via e-mail. I've found that if you take the time to really edit your message down to its essence that you will be rewarded with a good response(I'll spend about four minutes typing an e-mail and about 30 minutes paring it down).

The Sangha that surrounds him are very good people and extremely dedicated to the Dharma and to Rinpoche. As far as I know they are technically householders but the ones I have met are as dedicated as any fully ordained monk.
I'm an agnostic in the same sense that Robert Anton Wilson was, except his reaction was laughter. Mine isn't.

I am not a teacher in any tradition, Buddhist or otherwise. Anything that I have posted should not be taken as representing the view of anyone other than my own. And maybe Larry S. Smith of Montgomery, Alabama. But most likely just me.
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Re: Thoughts on Shenphen Dawa Rinpoche

Postby Tsultrim T. » Tue Jul 15, 2014 3:16 am

I have been to many of his teachings and like his style as well as the density of his teachings. You are right in saying that he crams a lot of extra teachings in that may seem like they have little to do with the topic at hand, but they are often some of the most interesting topics. I too would like to attend some of his longer retreats but have not had the opportunity to yet. He English ability is also quite good and his translations of texts are also of a very high quality level.
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Re: Thoughts on Shenphen Dawa Rinpoche

Postby ismael » Tue Jul 15, 2014 11:05 am

Rinpoche was my very first Vajrayana teacher and, after 15 years of following teachings by many different masters, reading many Dharma books and feeling like somehow I have made some progress in my understanding, I am always amazed when I re-read the notes I carefully took during that first retreat. Such quality of understanding, such profound advice! I can't say after 15 years that I have fully explored and understood all of what Rinpoche explained that very first time. Indeed a very profound and precious teacher!
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Re: Thoughts on Shenphen Dawa Rinpoche

Postby Konchog1 » Wed Jul 16, 2014 1:04 am

Challenge23 wrote:Most of the texts that he presents are very, very short(the Green Tara practice you can find on tersar.org is a great example).
Speaking of: I imagine བ་སུ is transliterated वसु right?
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Thoughts on Shenphen Dawa Rinpoche

Postby Challenge23 » Wed Jul 16, 2014 1:50 am

Konchog1 wrote:Speaking of: I imagine བ་སུ is transliterated वसु right?


That is an excellent question. Unfortunately, it is not one that I can answer, I'm afraid.
I'm an agnostic in the same sense that Robert Anton Wilson was, except his reaction was laughter. Mine isn't.

I am not a teacher in any tradition, Buddhist or otherwise. Anything that I have posted should not be taken as representing the view of anyone other than my own. And maybe Larry S. Smith of Montgomery, Alabama. But most likely just me.
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Re: Thoughts on Shenphen Dawa Rinpoche

Postby dzogchungpa » Wed Jul 16, 2014 3:54 am

ཨོཾ་ཏཱ་རེ་ཏུཏྟ་རེ་ཏུ་རེ་སྭཱཧཱ༔
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Re: Thoughts on Shenphen Dawa Rinpoche

Postby dzogchungpa » Wed Jul 16, 2014 4:31 pm

I'm curious about the empowerments at the end of August:
http://www.tersar.org/summer-2014-program/

In particular, does anyone know what Tara wang will be offered,
and also what commitments there will be for either of the empowerments?
ཨོཾ་ཏཱ་རེ་ཏུཏྟ་རེ་ཏུ་རེ་སྭཱཧཱ༔
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Re: Thoughts on Shenphen Dawa Rinpoche

Postby Tsultrim T. » Thu Jul 17, 2014 11:26 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:I'm curious about the empowerments at the end of August:
http://www.tersar.org/summer-2014-program/

In particular, does anyone know what Tara wang will be offered,
and also what commitments there will be for either of the empowerments?


Probably one of the short Dudjom Tersar Green Tara practices (I know there are at least 2) or it may be the popular Chokling Green Tara with Praises to the 21 Taras (this is popular among many old school Nyingma masters).
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Re: Thoughts on Shenphen Dawa Rinpoche

Postby dzogchungpa » Fri Jul 18, 2014 6:21 pm

OK, thanks for the info. Any idea about practice commitments?
ཨོཾ་ཏཱ་རེ་ཏུཏྟ་རེ་ཏུ་རེ་སྭཱཧཱ༔
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